2024 Layout Design and Operations Meet

Tulsa Port of Catoosa Railroad

Owner / Location / Website Crew Operating System Car Forwarding Layout Location
Dale & Sean Baker
Owasso, OK
2 Engineers
2 Conductors
Digitrax Car cards Second floor bedroom

The HO Scale Port of Catoosa Railroad is a representation of modern-day rail operations at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. The layout is a single level, shelf-style layout situated in a 12.5' by 11.5' room. It represents the day-to-day switching activities of the Port of Catoosa Industrial Railroad and is serviced by two rail connections that are modeled on the layout.

The railroad is fed by the SKOL (A Regional Railroad) from the West out of Owasso Oklahoma and the BNSF (Class 1 Railroad) from the East at Catoosa Oklahoma. The Port traffic includes steel in coils, tank commodities, grain cars, lumber cars flat cars and some box cars with miscellaneous cargos. The Port operates its own locomotive power in a distinctive burgundy and blue scheme.

The layout itself is elevated at 50" approximately rail height above the floor. It is set low enough to allow an operator to reach into the layout to access turnouts for operations. All turnouts are hand operated. The layout is controlled by Yard Limit Operations throughout. It is located in a non-pet/nonsmoking home. Restroom is located just outside the layout room. A Crew Lounge is available to relax and sit.

About the Port of Catoosa

The Tulsa Port of Catoosa sits at the Northern-most point of the McClelland-Kerr Navigation System and operates year-round as Oklahoma's link to the Mississippi River & Gulf of Mexico. Opening in 1971 it has seen growth throughout its history. The port receives rail shipments of grain, steel, petroleum products, gypsum, lumber and other bulk cargos. The port is served by connections with rail, truck and barge.

Port Industries

The HO Scale Port of Catoosa Railroad serves the following industries:

  • Gavilon Grain - East & West Elevator Complexes (rail to elevator)
  • Gavilon Transload Facility (rail bulk commodities to barge)
  • Hughes Lumber Supply
  • Port of Catoosa Team Dock & Liquid Bulk Facility
  • Kloeckner Metals Processing
  • Tuloma Stevedoring (rail to/from barge- heavy cargo)
  • C.F. Industries (formerly Terra Nitrogen Fertilizer)
  • Word Industries/LEECO Steel Supply

Operations Overview

Operations on the POCR are strictly switching moves delivering inbound railcars and pulling outbound cars to their respective interchange locations. Each car's B/L is color-coded for its receiving railroad.

A work day begins by picking up a Port Locomotive at the Port Engine House, then on to the Interchange tracks to sort and deliver the inbound cars. Typically, the port operates as a "pick, then put" switching operation. A car is picked up at its industry, taken to its appropriate interchange, dropped and a car is picked up and taken to its industry customer. Outbound SKOL cars are added to the SKOL Interchange as needed. NOTE: The North Leg of the turning wye can be used as an interchange point between the BLUE and RED Zones. It is the responsibility of the 2 switcher crews to coordinate their movements of cars to their designated work areas.

Switching crews will be shuttling inbound and out bound cars to the BNSF Interchange and spotting off-spot cars from the previous day if needed. This work shall be done prior to the SKOL Port Turn arriving from Owasso at mid-day. With the arrival of the SKOL, the switcher crews will park on the West Branch or BNSF Interchange to allow the SKOL to complete its turn. The crews need to be aware that there is a trailing switching move for the SKOL on its return to Owasso 5 miles west of the Port at Green Hill Materials. The SKOL Train may have cars for that location at the head end of the train and may need some assistance from the Port crews reassembling their train for departure.

The Shift ends when all cars are either:
  • Delivered to their respective destination.
  • Set-out at the proper off-spot area.
  • Outbound cars are spotted at their respective interchange points.

The Crews then return their locomotives to the Port Engine Facility, shutdown and clock out.