Summary Edit

Information provided here is being updated to reflect changes in V2. Some information may be out of date as this is under construction.

Barstow is a major classification yard in Southern California's desert country. Owned and operated by BNSF, with running rights for UP from Cajon and Mojave to nearby Daggett. It it a hub of 3 subdivisions that terminate at Barstow. Most traffic runs on the southern transcontinental line west on the Cajon Sub to San Bernardino, and east on the Needles Sub to Needles. The northern route goes across the Mojave desert on the Mojave Sub to Mojave. There it joins the UP Mojave Sub for trackage rights to rejoin the BNSF Mojave Sub at Bakersfield.

Barstow contains a departure yard, often divided into a south and north departure yard. An inspection yard where running inspection takes place on some trains. An arrival Yard where all inbound traffic arrives. A hump yard where arrivals are broke down and classified by gravity into the bowl below. Servicing facilities, fueling, and ready tracks. Beside the hump there is a local yard that is shorter than the departure yard for the various locals in the region. Finally there is Old Yard which is often used now for additional storage and the sorting of some local movements.

California Registry Edit

From the trains menu you can access the California Registry which contains all the data you need for authorized movements as well as the forms to process it. California Registry Usage Procedure will guide you in what the data means and how to enter it.

For those that recall V1 registry, this was done for every train and movement. However in V2 this is only needed for movements in and out of the yard.

Instructions are posted by the YM or admin assistants in a strategy of how they want to move forward in processing the yard. Tracks are assigned on an ongoing basis both on and offline from the server. Basically anyone operating a player train in and out of Barstow Yard, or any dispatcher operating an AI train in and out of Barstow Yard are required to make an appropriate entry.

Currently bowl tracks are not monitored except as a switch list item for your convenience. The only time a trim is required is when an overflow would take place on another hump. Please follow all instructions both in this registry or in the yard forums (latest thread only) and if you're not sure post or ask.

Entering Barstow Edit

02-15-2016 17.50.54

Barstow as this Feb 15, 2016 image shows can be a very busy place. With version 2 and the addition of AI traffic, the yard can easily fill up and at times need to hold back inbound traffic. The yardmaster will normally try and ensure not only certain tracks are strategically available but also ensure tracks are available prior to it's potential arrival.

Dispatchers will be advised if any trains need to be held back. Trains entering EB from Mojave will need to hold back in a controlled siding. Trains entering EB from Cajon will need to hold back on passable double track. Trains entering WB from Needles will need to hold back at Newberry siding, other available sidings, or passable mains. All of this will be set up by the dispatcher with the exception of Newberry where players will enter a manual switch at the east end of Newberry. If this involves AI traffic then the DS will operate manual switches and restore them for holding of trains at Newberry. All traffic can be taken out of AI and relinquished.

Regardless of seeing signals, it's a good idea to contact Barstow anyways prior to your arrival. If no YM is present the latest forum post may authorize movements. Before entering regardless of signal try contacting a yard crew. Otherwise enter an available track only and report the arrival.

Departing Barstow Edit

Trains are permitted to depart Barstow in a dispatched sessions once a release is stated in the BAR registry. Please check and see if anyone is operating in Barstow as YM or crew. Best way to do this is through the network tab (that shows the trains operating). You can also check the Barstow Yard Forum.

Operating Barstow Edit

Unlike other yards, due to the hump very little flat switching is required. Trains that come into Barstow receiving either will take their power themselves off the train and proceed to the fuel or ready tracks. Other times yard crews perform this task while occasional cuts of cars not efficient to the hump (normally long blocks of cars) can be switched out of the consist.

Once a train is humped, the bowl may be trimmed if capacity is an issue for the next hump on deck. This technique basically prevents the bowl from overflowing with too many cars, while building up outbound departures. Cuts of cars from each bowl track when assigned can then head over to the departure yard. If a track has not been assigned then it can be brought to the Old Yard for temporary capacity storage, provided it is indicated open and not assigned.

Due to the limited number of bowl tracks, the local yard often is required to flat switch the various local cuts that can either be built or blocked again in the hump. The Old Yard can also be used for some locals as well as this yard has a tendency of filling up rather quickly.

Finally once outbound trains are given a build order, appropriate power is added. How much power is determined by calculating the HPT of the train and ensuring it meets minimum criteria.

Operating with or without dispatchers & AI Edit

With version 2, California is now only operating mainlines when authorized dispatchers are running the board which includes AI service for any trains not in control of a player. Due to the DS password the electric switches are controlled by either the dispatcher or an authorized YM with DS access.

When outside of a session the switches are returned to an unlocked status. This allows yard crews 24/7 to operate within Barstow. To operate an unlocked switch simply click on it outside in the 3D world like any other manual switch.

If in a session and a switch will not throw for you contact the YM or DS for authorization.

Outbound Minimum HPT Requirements & Coupler LimitsEdit

When building outbound trains from Barstow, the following guidelines shall be met:


The following routes have minimum HPT requirements.



(Non-DPU or Helper Equipped)


(DPU or Helper Equipped)

Cajon Pass (UP) 2.0 1.8
Cajon Pass (BNSF) 2.0 1.8
Mojave Sub 2.2 2.2
Needles Sub 1.5 1.5
Trains shall be built to have enough power to meet the minimum HPT requirements to prevent stalling. 

Mojave Subdivision: All trains with helpers and/or DP, other than loaded bulk commodity trains, must not exceed 11,000 tons.

Note: Trains coming into Barstow have different HPT requirements, therefore, this chart should only be used for trains originating from Barstow.. 


Standard strength couplers (S) have a lower trailing tonnage limit than the high strength coupler (H).  High strength couplers are found on solid coal, grain and intermodal trains.  All others are considered to have standard strength couplers.  Some routes have multiple grades with different coupler limits.  The most restrictive limits are as follows:






Cajon Pass (UP) 8500 tons 11,500 tons
Cajon Pass (BNSF) 8500 tons 11,500 tons
Mojave Sub 6200 tons

7875 tons

Trains exceeding the above tonnage shall be DPU/Helper equipped.

When adding locomotives to a train, observe the following guidelines:

  • Trains requiring more than 3 ES44's shall have be DPU (3x1, 3x2, 3x3, 2x2, etc.)
  • Trains requiring more than 5 SD40's shall have helpers
  • Trains requiring more than 6 ES44's shall have mid train helpers (3x2x3, 3x1x3, 3x2x2, etc.)
  • When adding DPU's, the number of locomotives on the rear shall be equal or less than the number on the head
  • Trains hauling additional locomotives for the purpose of a power move shall run the extra units isolated

Additional Articles Edit

Barstow Yard How To - Instructions for operating BNSF Barstow Yard (Note this MAY be outdated)

California Registry Usage Procedure - How to use the V2 registry for California

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