Breaking The Rules with the Bonne Terre Railway
The Bonne Terre Railway is shortline operating in eastern Missouri in the late 1970s / early 1980s. It's the era of the IPD (Incentive Per Diem) boxcar craze, and the BTR was formed from former Missouri Pacific / Missouri-Illinois / Mississippi Valley & Bonne Terre trackage around its namesake town. The specific year is a bit fuzzy, allowing for connections to be made with the Frisco or Burlington Northern, and the Missouri Pacific or Union Pacific. The Mississippi River car ferry operation might be restored (albeit via hidden staging) to allow for additional connections.
The N-scale (1:160) Bonne Terre Railway is the only one of my layout concepts to be actually under construction as of this writing (4-Jan-2017). When I moved from New York City to rural Missouri in March of 2016, I wanted to build a generic little N-scale layout to have something to do. That 24" x 48" layout magically morphed into a 40" x 80" layout occupying a fair chunk of the living room before a single piece of track was laid. The track plan is based on the late Art Curren's HO-scale (1:87.1) "Break The Rules" layout concept in the September of 1980 issue of Model Railroader Magazine. I confess that being friends with Art's son, Chris, made this choice of plans easy, though I have long been a fan of Art's kitbashing articles. I hope to add several N-scale versions of Art's building designs to this layout. While I wanted to keep the BTR initials, I decided that I wanted to invent a prototype to give the layout some anchor in the real world. Picking something that ties into my new home (the old Frisco is within airhorn range of my front door, and the old M-I line I've adopted runs through town as well) was just a happy coincidence.
I have added lower level staging to Art Curren's track plan, and turned the mainline from a loop into a folded loop, the hidden part of which shares the lower level with the staging tracks. As of this writing (4-Jan-2017) track is mostly finished on the lower level, while the upper level awaits the purchase of extra track and certain key building kits.
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Last Modified: 15-Mar-2017 at 05:23 CDT