Atlas Model Railroad Co. - Modeling a modern Intermodal Facility
Atlas Model Railroad Co.
Save Password

Forgot Password?
  Atlas Model Home   Forums   Events Calendar   Rules   FAQ  
Active Topics | Members | Online Users | Forum Archive | Basic Forum (Mac / Netscape Users) | Search | Statistics
[ Active Members: 0 | Anonymous Members: 0 | Guests: 95 ]  [ Total: 95 ]  [ Newest Member: RaymondLok ]
 All Forums
 Atlas Model Railroad Forums
 HO Scale Model Railroad Forum
 Modeling a modern Intermodal Facility
 Forum Locked |   Printer Friendly
Author Previous Topic: Can you help identify this Atlas part? Topic Next Topic: How many of you are regulars on HOYS?  


Posted - 2011 July 09 :  12:27:45 PM  Show Profile
Hey everyone.

I am interested in Modeling an intermodal facility that is modern (Or semi-modern). I live in Maine and our only rail Intermodal facility is quite small compared to most others, so I would like to know what a good operation would be. I'm looking to make an inland facility that isn't HUGE but is decent sized. Perhaps can hold 100-200 wellcars (maybe less). Any help or pics would be greatly appreciated!

Country: | Posts: 39


Posted - 2011 July 09 :  1:18:57 PM  Show Profile  Visit nygl2's Homepage
The Sea-Land facility in New Jersey was about that size, back when the Susquehanna was reborn.
There might be photos around on the web.

John, Southern Tier Modelworks

Edited by - nygl2 on 2011 July 09 1:21:31 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 977 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2011 July 09 :  1:25:12 PM  Show Profile  Visit atsf104's Homepage
Phoenix, AZ has a decent size intermodal facility. It contains just two tracks in the actual facility for moving trailers and containers. All of the traffic there is domestic. So you mostly see 53' JB Hunt, Schneider, Pacer, and Swift (all of which can be had via Athearn). As for trailer traffic we see quite a bit of UPS, ABF, Yellow and Roadway 'pup' trailers. Just about any refrigerated trailer company can be seen there as well. The lift has just two cranes that they use to unload trains. At the north end the tracks coming out of the facility can go to the main line or to a yard lead that they use to switch as well as bring cars in and out. The lead continues north into a 6 track holding yard that can hold quite a bit (makes switching a little more interesting on a layout). For some good aerial views this yard is just south of Glendale, AZ proper.,-112.161355&spn=0.006414,0.008765&t=h&z=18

A bigger version of Phoenix would probably put you in San Bernardino, CA on the BNSF Transcon. Very similar to Phoenix in the types of equipment received one could easily model this 5 track intermodal facility. To add to the mix there is a holding yard for empties next to the yard, then the BNSF mainline as well as the famous depot and Metrolink. If you follow the main east passing the flyover you will see several holding yards for trailers and containers, following the line south around the wye you will then see the other yard in San Berdoo, also used for holding equipment. That pretty much sums up San Bernardino in a nutshell.,-117.314439&sspn=0.003185,0.005402&ie=UTF8&ll=34.105267,-117.313929&spn=0.003185,0.004383&t=h&z=19

If you wanna go big or go home for a layout then I would suggest the City of Commerce intermodal facility. Pretty much self explanatory the only difference is the chassis racks on the north side of the yard.,-117.314439&sspn=0.003185,0.005402&ie=UTF8&ll=34.005383,-118.182271&spn=0.009019,0.017531&t=h&z=17

Another one, this time Argentine Yard in KC,-94.696167&sspn=0.002111,0.005402&ie=UTF8&ll=39.08819,-94.695657&spn=0.002111,0.004383&t=h&z=19

2012 SFRH&MS National Convention in Temple, Texas.

Country: USA | Posts: 536 Go to Top of Page

Ken Rice

Posted - 2011 July 09 :  1:51:25 PM  Show Profile  Visit Ken Rice's Homepage
Pan Am Southern's Ayer, MA facility is about that size:,+MA&hl=en&ll=42.54735,-71.591297&spn=0.003039,0.005144&sll=33.516818,-112.160786&sspn=0.006879,0.010289&t=h&z=18

Tracks 1 & 2 on each side of the paved area are where the intermodal is handled. Sometimes track 3 is used to hold intermodal cars. The rest of the yard is for other purposes.


My blog:

Country: USA | Posts: 1093 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2011 July 09 :  2:09:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit IAISfan's Homepage
The Iowa Interstate's Council Bluffs, IA facility sounds a lot like you describe, probably holding around 150-200 well cars. A Bing maps satellite photo is at , with the ramp being the big dark dirt strip, but it was paved last year. It was created in about 1997 when the UP wanted an expanded Council Bluffs ramp, but didn't have the space in their own facility. IAIS removed 7 tracks (#3 through #9) from their 15-track yard to allow space for the ramp, and began sharing the facility with the UP, though IAIS does all the switching.

Up until about 2007 or so, IAIS would run to the UP yard each morning and come back with a long string of pigs off an eastbound UP stack train, and then each evening, UP would send a light power set over to the IAIS, and IAIS crews would build the UP westbound stack train, add the UP power, and take the train back west to the UP yard. Since about 2007, the morning routine has been the same, but in the evenings, the IAIS just shoves the pigs back to the UP, and the UP power is added once it's back in UP's yard.

Two tracks serve the ramp: #2, on the side of the ramp furthest from the enginehouse, is for UP pigs, and #10, on the other side, is for IAIS.

Joe Atkinson

Modeling Iowa Interstate's West End, Spring 2005

Country: USA | Posts: 878 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2011 July 09 :  9:21:55 PM  Show Profile
Doug Geiger's article on how he built his Bremer Hub facility may help you with some of your modeling.

Country: USA | Posts: 40 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2011 July 10 :  08:39:39 AM  Show Profile  Visit SantaFeJim's Homepage
JB Hunt Chicago Illinois.

Go to googlemaps and enter: JB Hunt Intermodal chicago

Coming soon to a layout near you... The Santa Fe El Capitan.

Edited by - SantaFeJim on 2011 July 11 1:10:35 PM

Country: USA | Posts: 872 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2011 July 12 :  07:54:32 AM  Show Profile  Visit Sombra's Homepage
The key question is what is the space you are working with?

A well car is approximately a foot in length - so a 100-200 car train would require more than 100-200 feet of track. In a sense it doenst really matter what the prototype does because 99% of modelers dont have a fraction of the space available as does the real thing.

The key is what kind of yard can youfit in the space you have. So what kind of space do you have?

Camera: Fuji S5100 (new layout)
Vivitar 3610 (old layout)

See Pictures of old layout and new layout under construction here
New Layout and Projects

Country: | Posts: 972 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2011 July 14 :  10:29:54 AM  Show Profile  Visit Sombra's Homepage

Camera: Fuji S5100 (new layout)
Vivitar 3610 (old layout)

See Pictures of old layout and new layout under construction here
New Layout and Projects

Country: | Posts: 972 Go to Top of Page

Jim from Valencia CA

Posted - 2011 July 15 :  9:15:09 PM  Show Profile
I have a small intermodal yard that has four tracks that each hold about five cars. That takes up about a 1' X 6' space on the layout. You are talking about something five to ten times that size. You must either have a big layout or be part of a modular club.

Country: USA | Posts: 1531 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2011 July 15 :  9:34:52 PM  Show Profile
Pix of brand new CSX intermodal yard--

North Baltimore & Scottsdale
Southern Division

Country: | Posts: 129 Go to Top of Page
  Previous Topic: Can you help identify this Atlas part? Topic Next Topic: How many of you are regulars on HOYS?  
 Forum Locked |   Printer Friendly
Jump To:
Atlas Model Railroad Co. © 1709-2011 Atlas Models Go To Top Of Page
This page was generated in 0.42 seconds. Powered By: Snitz Forums 2000