Yellow Pass Subdivision

By Ray Lucas

Burlington Northern’s Yellow Pass Subdivision represents a fictitious bridge route that connects Denver Colorado with Billings Montana. The section that is modelled “begins” at Omega Junction which connects to Denver via Boulder. It then proceeds north-west through the Medicine Bow Ranges “ending” at Allustria. The line contiues from there through to Rawlins Wyoming, then north to Billings Montana.

The yellow Pass Sub is owned by BN with trackage rights for ATSF and Rio Grande.

The layout itself is housed in a lomg but fairly narrow garage and because of its length I and operators use only radio throttles, which give give greater flexibility especially with sound. While it is preferable to have valance lighting, I prefer to work and operate in natural light, hence the full length of the centre section of the ceiling makes full use of that light.

I personally love Western U.S. mountain scenery and seeing long consists traversing through the vistas. I also love second generation diesels and the colourful rollingstock and large logos of the 80’s era. The layout is by no means finished needing many details, etc.

The modellers and their layouts that have inspired me the most have been; Eric Brooman and his original Utah Belt Line and Doug Tagsold and his Rio Grande Front Range and Western.

Layout Specifications

  • Size; 35′ 6″ by 12’6″ or 10.82m by 3.81m
  • Era; 1985-1991
  • Location; North-Weston Colorado
  • Prototype; BN, also ATSF and Rio Grande
  • Length of Mainline; approx 150′ including open staging yard
  • Height; 47″ -51″
  • Design; Around walls and both sides of long central peninsula
  • Track; Roco code 100, Peco large radius points on main line, medium radius in yard.
  • Grades; max 2.5%
  • Locos; Mostly Athearn each consist fitted with one SoundTraxx 2nd Gen EMD unit and BLI with QSI sound
  • Train lengths; max 3 SD’s plus 20, 50′ rolling stock or equivalent.
  • Control; NCE with radio throttles
  • Control; NCE with radio throttles
  • Scenery; Casting plaster over crumpled paper, hand carved rock-work
  • Backdrop; self painted using acrylics
  • All locos and rolling-stock weathered with enamels using an airbrush