Modeling Ideas from Butler Yard

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Modeling Ideas from Butler Yard
by Joe Russ
On a cold, snowy afternoon on December 23, 2003 I stopped by Butler yard to see if anything interesting was going on. No freight action, aside from some switching, but in looking around from the Hampton Ave. overpass I did get some interesting modeling ideas.

Gons and tank car from above How often do we just leave our empty gondolas unpainted on the inside? Here's how the prototype looked from Hampton Ave. Note the rusted walls and dirt/junk on the inside of the cars.

Also notice the reporting marks on the top of the tank car. That is done on cars which carry hazardous chemicals so they can be spotted from the air in case of a derailment. Both are things you don't see from a trackside perspective, but something we all see on our model railroads.

There were three center-beam flats in the yard the day I was there, and as you can see one was being unloaded. I didn't see any trucks around to receive the loads. Then again, the forklift wasn't moving either, although its safety beacon was flashing. Butler Team Track

When I got home and looked at the pictures, I may have figured out where that load of lumber was going. The flat car mentioned above is on the lower left, and if you look back towards the car shops and above the caboose parked just outside, you will see lumber with the same wrapping as those on the flat.

The UP has put a new fuel storage tank in Butler. Notice the berm for protection from a leak, and how fuel is being delivered. So much for delivery by rail.

Although modeling this whole facility on a layout would take up a lot of space, it could be cut in half and modeled against a wall or layout's edge.

Butler Yard Fuel Tank

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Updated 9/28/05
All text and photos by Joe Russ. Copyright © 2004-2005 by Joe Russ