The Burlington Pacific is a freelance model railroad primarily serving the agricultural regions of western Illinois and eastern Iowa. While the Burlington Pacific has a few diesel and steam locos in its own paint scheme, power from CNW, CGW, MStL, RI, and many other roads, mostly Midwestern, are frequently seen working on this road.
Grain customers are given special treatment: four grain elevators are served with trains consisting exclusively of grain hoppers. Other industries are also served: stock yards, packing plants, feed mills, a cement plant, a brewery, an ore processing plant, an ore dock, an ore mine (lead was once mined in northwestern Illinois), and a future corn processing complex.
Every town has a team track and an interchange track, which serves to generate much traffic without taking up much space. The layout is single track, around the wall in a 30’ x 30’ basement. Two branch lines extend off the main line on either side of the basement stairway. The many structures on the layout consist of scratchbuilt, custom designed, kitmingled, and craftsman kits. Sufficient leads, runaround tracks, and turntables are present in each town so that industries can be switched and trains turned without fouling the main.
Way freights are made up in one main yard, which also has extensive loco servicing facilities. Unit ore, coal, and grain and passenger trains originate and terminate at a staging yard. A passenger yard will be added in a future town, making a total of nine towns on the layout.
The card order system is used for operation. Eight trains can be, and are, operated simultaneously. Operations consist of way freight turns, unit coal and ore trains, local and unit grain trains, miscellaneous through unit freight trains, local passenger, mail, express, milk, and through passenger trains. Almost all trains are pulled with locomotives that have sound. Both DCC and DC can be accommodated.
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