Tulsa Port of Catoosa

Discussion in 'Divisions' started by dalebaker, Mar 26, 2018.

  1. dalebaker

    dalebaker Member

    At the suggestion and request of Joe Lovett I am posting an introductory thread on my build of the Port of Catoosa Industrial Park and Railroad. I am modeling the modern era of the port and it’s rail operations served by the BNSF, SKOL and the Port of Catoosa Railroad. I am currently running a build thread over at Trainboard.

    For those not familiar with the POC, it is situated about 15 miles NE of downtown Tulsa Ok. The port is the furthest shipping point on the McCelland-Kerr Navigation System. From Tulsa we are able to connect with the Mississippi River and reach the Gulf of Mexico. The port ships many commodities such as grain, bulk powder material, steel shapes and structures to name a few.

    The modern port is served through 2 points, to the West is the SKOL from Owasso Ok and from the East by the BNSF at Catoosa Ok. The Owasso link being former ATSF line and the Catoosa link being former Frisco, MP and BN line.

    I currently have switching on the layout for a number of industries;
    Gavilon Grain- East and West Complexes
    Terra Nitrogn- Fertilizer Manufacturing
    BKEP- Asphalt and Petroleum products
    Word Industries- Structural Steel
    HARSCO- Oil Field component manufacturing and warehouse
    Hughes Lumber- wood products
    Team Track featuring loading dock and liquid bulk transfer
    Gavilon bulk rail/barge transloading

    The layout uses Bachmann Dynamis wireless IR DCC Control. It is situated in a 12.5’ by 11.5’ room and is mounted at a rail height of approximately 50” above the floor. I utilized HCD cut to width and mounted on steel shelf brackets. I do have a pennensula in the center of the room making the layout E shaped. There is a wye on the layout to aid in switching and to turn locomotives if desired.

    For switching operations we use card cards and waybills to simulate traffic. A typical operations session will take about 3 hours if we have traffic from both interchange railroads. This means we will move about 15 cars in and out of the port with a crew of 2 operators, an engineer and a switchman.

    For motive power we use a custom painted POCR SW-1500 #001, 2 SKOL SD 40-2 locomotives and 3 different BNSF locomotives. Two Dash 8-40BWs and a GP-60, these will change out from time to time.

    I realize this is not Frisco, but Joe suggested because of the ties to the historic lines, you all may be interested in seeing what we have accomplished. If you are, let me know and I will post up our progress so far.

    Thanks for reading so long, I will be happy to answer questions and post up pictures if you all would like.

    Dale Baker
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2018
  2. dalebaker

    dalebaker Member

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  3. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Welcome to the Frisco website Dale!!!

    I met Dale on TrainBoard a few days ago and went to see his layout last Sunday. He has a really nice layout and is very knowledgeable about the daily Port of Catoosa operations. Also he is deep into DCC.

    I'm proud to call Dale my new friend and I believe you guys will like him too.

    gjslsffan and modeltruckshop like this.
  4. Jim James

    Jim James Staff Member Staff Member

    Welcome aboard! I always enjoy your work.
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  5. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Frisco.org Supporter

    Dale, welcome and thanks for sharing. I'm always fine with seeing examples that tie in either the Frisco or former Frisco lines/connections/locations.

    Best Regards,
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  6. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Here are some photos I took Sunday afternoon of Dale's layout.
    March 25, 2018


    IMG_20180325_153800.jpg IMG_20180325_153818.jpg IMG_20180325_153834.jpg IMG_20180325_153852.jpg IMG_20180325_153842.jpg IMG_20180325_153858.jpg IMG_20180325_153907.jpg IMG_20180325_153915.jpg IMG_20180325_153934.jpg IMG_20180325_154008.jpg
    modeltruckshop likes this.
  7. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    And two more.


    IMG_20180325_154057.jpg IMG_20180325_154105.jpg
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
  8. dalebaker

    dalebaker Member

    Hi Joe,

    You had mentioned a few days ago that you had documentation regarding traffic movements of cars through Owasso on SKOL. When you get the chance, I would love to see it. No big hurry, just when you have time.

    Joe Lovett likes this.
  9. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member Staff Member

    Looking Good Dale. Glad to see you here, we always like pictures!!
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  10. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Dale, I have one month worth of records for the Owasso yard. I made a grid representing the yard and every day after work about 4:00pm, recorded the type of railcars and their position.

    I'm trying to find them but I think they're in storage or my laptop. Will post them at later date, this could take a few days, I have about 15 apple boxes of nothing but train stuff.

  11. dalebaker

    dalebaker Member


    Thank you all for the warm welcome! I will be posting up more pictures as I progress on the layout. I appreciate all the comments and your thoughts. A bit further information on the layout.

    We started the (we being my younger son and I) layout in 2015 in our garage. It started out as a about 12 foot long switching layout. We added to it and ran it along 2 walls ending up about 17 feet in total length. We were progressing on scenery pretty well but had started to run into limitations with staging for operations with that length. We had first started with a switch list for ops but were not happy with the way it was working. We made the jump to car cards and way bills but were stumped on how to generate the inbound traffic into the port. That is when I started looking at the type of cars we were seeing brought into the port by the BNSF and SKOL. We were able to determine the traffic, then we finalized the Industries we wanted to model.

    We started using and still use our random car traffic generation program..... basically it consists of 6 wooden dice for BNSF and 7 for SKOL. The dice are marked for they types of cars we normally see being brought into the port. We will roll the dice and whatever cars are on the top face the of the dice are pulled from the cars storage shelves and placed into staging for th op session. Using the way bills we determine which cars will be switched out of the port in that session.

    If we have too many cars going into one spur, those cars are dropped off-spot and will have delivery priority in the next session.

    I got off track on the history of the layout, we worked along and operated the layout through winter of 2015/2016 but the garage is not very warm and having lawn equipment in there we were haveing quite a bit of dirt issues. So, on March 30 2016 Mother Nature decided to help us out. We were hit by the tornado that went through the Owasso area that evening. We lost about a third of the roof and had quite a bit of damage. The layout went on hold through most of 2016 till right about the fall of 2016. Once we got the house back to normal, son and I decided to move the layout into an unused bedroom up stairs. What Joe has posted has come to being in the last 18 months or so. All the track work is in final position and we are working on structures for the industries and have started scenery.

    So here is where we stand to date. Besides working on the layout, I take regular detours into car building and weathering, same for locos. Building structures and items to enhance the railroad. That is what I like about this hobby, there are some many different ways one can go into.

    Thanks for reading, i’ll Be posting more.
  12. dalebaker

    dalebaker Member

    This is a BLI SW 1500 painted in POCR livery. The loco is rounding the main turn into the port from BNSF interchange. In the background is HARSCO Manufacturing building.
  13. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    !!! I FOUND THEM !!!

    I found the records of SKOL rail traffic in Owasso, they were in my laptop. Will do some editing and then go to the library to post the matrix dated March, 2002.

  14. dalebaker

    dalebaker Member

    Thank you Joe, I’m looking forward to seeing it! We will see how it compares to what I’m seeing going in there now.
  15. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Here they are!!!

    SKOL Owasso rail traffic. Joe

    Attached Files:

  16. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Please let me know if you can't see the matrix. I went to the library to post the matrix and didn't have time to check the download, the library was closing at 8:00pm. Got there at 7:55pm, talk about a rush.

    Ozarktraveler and dalebaker like this.
  17. dalebaker

    dalebaker Member


    I could see it fine. I caught an inbound to the port SKOL train on,y way out of town Monday morning. From what I saw, it hasn’t changed too much since 2002. I am going to modify my traffic pattern to reflect that.

    It makes me wonder if BNSF is using that old SF yard North of downtown Tulsa as an interchange point instead of going all the way out to Catoosa to drop cars for the port. I could certainly model some of that action to add variety to my op sessions.

    Speaking of ops, I’ll did some switching tonight into Gavilon. I post a couple of pictures.

    Thanks for finding that!
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  18. dalebaker

    dalebaker Member

    The POCR switcher pulls a cut of hopper cars across Keystone Road headed to Gavilon Grain.
    Joe Lovett likes this.
  19. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Thank you Dale!!!

    I listed the codes for type of railcars in yard on the matrix and I thought I would list them here also.

    The two digit bold letters are locomotives and the letters indicate color with the first digit being the front of locomotives.

    b. Black
    y. Yellow
    o. Orange
    g. Green

    The yard support features are a station/shop, fuel and a couple of oil tanks.

    S. Station/Shop
    F. Fuel
    O. Oil Tanks

    The railcars codes are:

    Bx. Boxcar
    Hp. Hopper
    Tk. Tank
    Fcs. Flatcar Coil Steel
    Fpw. Flatcar Pulp Wood
    Fsp. Flatcar Steel Wire Spool
    Fmt. Flatcar Empty

    Sorry, I missed some of the codes on the matrix, especially flatcars.

    Wish I had taken photos while I was recording the matrix. Sunday I plan on being in Owasso so will take some photos while my wife and I are there.

    Last edited: Mar 29, 2018
  20. Joe Lovett

    Joe Lovett Member

    Almost all of the Hoppers were covered, the open hoppers had a white color rock load. Unfortunately I didn't record which hoppers were covered and which were open.


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