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Thread: Question on fueling a diesel locomotive

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    Default Question on fueling a diesel locomotive

    I'm looking for some information on fueling locomotives. I'm interested in a particular place in a town called Bend, Oregon. The address, if you want to look at it, is 240 SE Railroad St, Bend, Oregon. There is a small yard to the south called Cascan, which has been expanded to be four tracks wide with a fifth stub ended track for part of its length. From what I understand, it is used for meets and as a crew changeover point as well as the place where cars headed to or from the nearby towns are set out and picked up. There is a local that operates out of Cascan covering about 60 miles each way through that part of Oregon. I'm working on a staging extension on my layout that is loosely inspired by this. The address I just mentioned is north of that yard, and is where the BNSF office is. There used to be a Great Northern roundhouse during the steam era, which was torn down and everything was consolidated into a Spokane, Portland and Seattle engine house. That, too, was eventually torn down. Today, as far as I know, there is no engine facility there. There has to be a place to fuel at least that local, if not the through freights, right? I've been looking at Google maps for a while though, and haven't found it.

    Sorry for the long post here, but that's the background to my questions. Does anybody have any info on Cascan and BNSF operations in the Bend area? Or better yet, what was there back in the '90s during the last days of BN and the beginning of BNSF? I've found bits of info about Cascan here and there on the web, but nothing on this question.

    And more generally, how do the railroads fuel their locomotives in a small facility like that? Is there always (or almost always) a fueling point, or do they ever just use a large fuel truck or two? Thanks for any info.

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    Sometimes, especially at smaller facilities, they'll just drive a semi up along the tracks and fuel directly from the truck.

    It's also possible that the tanks are buried, but there would be some kind of above ground pump, and I don't see anything around the facility you show, either... so I'd bet on the semi truck method.
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    Around here I do believe they mostly fuel directly from tank trucks.
    - - There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I like to use that line as a jump rope. ... (unknown)

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    Thanks guys. The fuel truck method makes sense, and there looks to be a dirt access road all along the western edge of the tracks at the yard. Hmm, now to find an N scale fuel truck from the right era...

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    Just a quick question OTFan, have you tried to Google any info off of that area? Also, I see you're in KS, you could write the Chamber of Commerce out in Bend, OR & ask them. Or maybe even try BNSF operations. I don't think the guys at BNSF have the time to research something like that, though. Maybe a local train club? Just guessing? I know, when I do a search on something old, I use the computer to hit up all the easy stuff. LOL

    I checked out the area (Google Maps), pretty cool. Got a pretty detailed picture, too! I have always been intrigued by those diamond shaped turn-arounds (WYEs?). U-turns with style! IF I had a little more room, I would probably model one.

    Good luck on your search!
    Last edited by Tred; 27th Jan 2014 at 01:29 PM. Reason: Nomenclature
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tred View Post
    have you tried to Google any info off of that area?
    Yep, in fact pretty much all of the info in my first post came from "Googleing" it. And the info in my first post is pretty much all the info I've found I think calling out there would be the next step, like you said. Honestly, with the security concerns today, I wasn't sure what kind of response I'd get to some random guy calling to ask about their fuel operations.

    On a side note, if you look at that area the tracks leading off to the west go to a couple of industries. I don't know what's still active, there used to be a saw mill. The track heading north is the Oregon Trunk main line, heading up into Washington State. The track that heads southeast from the office area turns south by the time you get to the yard, and runs all the way down to Barstow.

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    I'm not sure about BN practices, but I know that NS moves the engines assigned to switching in Charlotte, NC (not a small facility, see here) are move to Spencer Yard in Linwood, NC for fueling and servicing. This is a distance of a little more than 50 miles. That is what lead to the replacement of SW-1500's and and MP-15's in Charlotte with GP38's and SD40's.

    Also, engines in local service can probably go further than you think. In the '70s, the Southern had a local that ran from Spencer, NC to Morganton one day and back the next, which was almost 80 miles each way. So far as I know, the engines were not fueled in Morganton. At least there were no facilities there.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    Thanks Tim, that's good info. The next yard to the north of Bend is Wishram, about 140 or so miles. To the south is Klamath Falls, about the same distance. Fuel and servicing in these locations for the locomotives pulling the through freights would make sense, but the local doesn't go that far. It goes about 60 miles north from Bend, out and back in one day, switching a handful of small towns. I'm not sure how often they rotate locomotives for the local in and out of Bend, but it's not every day. The local these days is a pair of Geeps, back in BN days it was a single Geep. He has to fuel up somewhere around there. I suppose it could be one of the smaller towns, but that just didn't seem as likely.

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    Same thing with NS here in Lebanon PA. While it was still CR territory and for a while after NS took over, they had a fuel station at their maintenance building and small yard here plus two engines based here for local service. Now the fuel station is gone and the local service is done by engines from the Reading yards about 30 miles away.
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    This Google search shows a number of places you can contact for info on Central Oregon railroads:

    https://www.google.com/#q=Bend+Orego...ilroad+society
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    Whenever the Ringling Brothers circus comes to Indianapolis, their train goes into a yard on the near southeast side of town. A local fuel vendor dispatches a couple of tankwagons to refuel the locos.

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    Thanks folks. Moose, I'm a little embarrassed to say I hadn't found the Eastern Cascades Model Railroad Club yet, but I just sent them an email.

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    Tankwagons. 'Tis routine for them. Whether running out to fuel some logging equipment in the woods, top off the graders working on the roads, or goofing off downtown at the RR yard, Tankers are always scurrying about juicing the big boys.
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    When I saw this picture on railpictures.net (link below) it reminded me of this question I asked three years ago...

    http://www.railpictures.net/photo/616830

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    Nice shot! That would be a great little scene to model.
    Never mistake a guy who talks a lot for a guy who has something to say...

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwinDad View Post
    Nice shot! That would be a great little scene to model.
    challenge accepted.... now I need to find N-scale modern diesel trucks....

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    In my neck of the woods... years ago. when the CPR owned the D&H, 555 going north from Hagerstown MD up the conrail line through Enola back on the D&H to Taylor Yard would stop and refuel in Taylor Yard. About 50 miles south of the division point Binghamton NY. the refueling was cheaper to do trackside and cost less with PA fuel Taxes than refueling in Binghamton, or Conrail. Also, north of Taylor Yard was a ruling grade of 2 o/o for about 10 miles. After CPR bought the D&H... running out fuel a few times to Binghamton... this became a daily photo OP. A fuel truck was a common site at Taylor Yard.

    I'm sure you photo has much the same...
    One more note about Taylor Yard, 1 fuel truck filled 3 engines.

    I hope this helps
    bobk

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    I plan on doing this very thing for my industrial complex switcher. I have the Details Associates tank trailers. Gonna make a couple of bob tail takers with trailers. Pacific Motor trucking.

    Wolf

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    Nice picture, and thanks for coming back to revive this thread - I hadn't seen it in it's first life

    Oh man do we need modern(ish) tank trucks in N scale!

    Heiko

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    This may be informative: http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/741/t/154295.aspx

    A lot depends on how busy that local is. 10 cars at a modest speed, it might refuel less than you think. 40 cars at a brisk clip and if will be frequent.
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