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MeowRailroad
September 6th, 2016, 08:47 PM
Have you wanted to model some unique fictional railroad but could never come up with something to make it unique? This thread may be a solution. I have a few ideas in case anyone is interested. Feel free to add your own below.

A line that serves 2 industries big enough to each have at least 1 private engine, but often all the engines run together because no one at the industries cares if the line borrows their engine for the day. The amount of private engines on connecting track to the actual RR is more than the RR's roster.

A line with some adapted railroad structure on it, for example, a bridge that was the limit of abandonment so it was turned into a dumping trestle for a gravel sales company. Another example could be a large railroad shop complex turned into several industrial buildings, with new ones added, old buildings demolished or modified, etc. You could use any large industrial complex for this.

A line with some weird motive power setup. For example, their main power set is 2 RS11's, a slug, and an SW8 all MU'ed together.

I'm out of examples, post yours below like I said already.

JCitron
September 6th, 2016, 09:09 PM
https://youtu.be/Z9DwCBkd4p4

This would make a nice route. Weirton Steel

It includes various Alco and Baldwin power owned by Weirton Steel as well as visiting Conrail trains as well. A really cool operation which has sadly been abandoned or severely reduced.

philskene
September 6th, 2016, 10:16 PM
Great video.

I thought I was the Trainz expert on grime, dirt and decay. But obviously I need to do better to mach the environment in that clip.

Phil

JCitron
September 6th, 2016, 10:41 PM
Great video.

I thought I was the Trainz expert on grime, dirt and decay. But obviously I need to do better to mach the environment in that clip.

Phil

It would be nice, but the sim would crawl to a halt with all the particle effects. :hehe:

It's a neat operation anyway. I love the way the Baldwins are shuttling back and forth while Conrail is bringing in their daily loads. It would make an interesting operation I think.

bendorsey
September 7th, 2016, 01:50 PM
Some ideas:

1. Two major railroads terminate on opposite sides of a wide river. A third railroad exists only to transfer trains across the bridge (which they selfishly own). Would require 2 major yards, lots of switching action making up and breaking up train on both sides of the river plus 3 different equipment rosters, paint schemes, and so on. An alternate might be to substitute a tunnel for the bridge which would allow the third railroad to be electrified.

2. Model the Busk Tunnel area on the Colorado Midland RR. Include the original route as an alternate when weather was good and the Midland didn't feel like paying Mr. Busk for the use of his tunnel. There is at least one large curved trestle which I would be willing to make.

3. Today the Durango & Silverton and Cumbres & Toltec are remnants of the original line from Alamosa to Durango. What if some Trainzer re-created the line connecting the two from Chama to Durango. I'm pretty sure the C&T and D&S exist in Trainz so the end baseboards on the connecting route just need to be made in such a way as to match up (elevation-wise) to them. Admittedly this would me a bit of a project but I suspect one which would be very well received and remember - most of the equipment already exists (and I'd be glad to make any bridges needed).

4. Recreate the Chili line from Alamosa to Santa Fe on the D&RGW. Ditto my making any bridges needed (there are at least 2 that I know of) and ditto equipment already existing.

Ben

ish6
September 7th, 2016, 03:46 PM
https://youtu.be/Z9DwCBkd4p4

This would make a nice route. Weirton Steel

It includes various Alco and Baldwin power owned by Weirton Steel as well as visiting Conrail trains as well. A really cool operation which has sadly been abandoned or severely reduced.

Hi John

Like Phil said, great video ---

I hope those guys got great health insurance with all that pollution roaming around them!!!

Ishie

MeowRailroad
September 7th, 2016, 05:03 PM
Another idea: A small branchline or shortline is being abandoned in a few months, but it has a few more shipments left before it closes even though all industry spurs are abandoned. Some interesting load (trash containers, high and wide, etc.) needs to be hauled out for a little while, then the engine will do run last run after the last shipment, and collect any remaining equipment.

JCitron
September 7th, 2016, 05:51 PM
Another idea: A small branchline or shortline is being abandoned in a few months, but it has a few more shipments left before it closes even though all industry spurs are abandoned. Some interesting load (trash containers, high and wide, etc.) needs to be hauled out for a little while, then the engine will do run last run after the last shipment, and collect any remaining equipment.

This could work as a sub-operation within a larger route. I have some abandoned branches and even a once important rail line on my own big route that no longer see any service.

Sometimes as time goes on, I will reactivate the line by putting the track back in and clearing the ROW in Surveyor. If you look at my maps, you'll see a dark streaks of old cinder ballast where the lines once ran. In some places the road crossings are intact, while in others they are gone. You'll also find places where there are stretches of track left in place. In some areas it's rusty old track while in others it's a bit better condition. I also leave some bridges in place while in others I have removed the bridge, but left the piers and abutments. To do this I use a piece of disconnected invisible track to support the infrastructure.

MeowRailroad
September 7th, 2016, 06:44 PM
Another similar thing is sometimes I turn an old freight house or caboose into a cafe by putting new doors in it, adding a fence and tables to the platform, and maybe some railroad signs.

Another Idea: This can be any type of railroad, but it has an old wreck-train support car as a caboose.
(The car to the left of the crane.)
http://www.trainweb.org/oldtimetrains/photos/cpr_rolling/414471_402047.jpg

Another cool caboose:
http://www.railpictures.net/photo/248803/

I imagine that the boom car could be bought extremely cheap as once its working life on the big railroad is over, it's just worth the scrap price of the metal components. It also has a place for storing fuel drums, lube oil drums, a water tank, a tool box, trees removed from the RoW, etc.

EDIT: A better pic of a boom car.
http://sbiii.com/rrpix/waynr70c.jpg
It's like a transfer caboose except a lot cheaper and more dangerous. Still, it would be pretty cool to see this clanking along at the end of a consist of 80's cars. Anything past then would be a little too modern and implausible for it to stay around. It would just be so thoroughly used that it would have to be retired.

JCitron
September 7th, 2016, 07:40 PM
I've done the same as well. There's another neat thing you can do.

I've took a steam switcher and a passenger car and placed them next to a station. These trains, however, are only scenery items so there's no consist involved. The station is the actual station, but along the platform are other signs which were for the name of an ice cream stand. I then head people queued up as though they were waiting in line for the ice cream sundaes.

What also works is creating a rail trail. At the end of the trail, place a caboose or some other equipment as if to pay homage to the once active rail line.

It's little scenes like this which can make a route very interesting. They don't necessarily have to be a whole route unto themselves.

There are so many things that can be done including a trolley line serving a major city. This can be a simple loop of double track so that the trolleys serve a good swath of the city. They don't even need real stations. In this case track marks are perfect because they'll guide the trolleys along the route as they stop at the various track marks and wait for a few seconds. Drive to track mark Bridge Street Eastbound, wait 20 seconds, etc. I had such a setup on an old route of mine, long gone sadly, and it was great seeing the trolleys crossing the big river at the same time I was pulling into the big passenger terminal located on the other side of the city. Eventually, just before I was leaving on my schedule, the same trolley would be crossing over the passenger terminal after stopping at a stop for the passenger station.

You want to run other equipment besides your usual stuff? Setup a museum. It doesn't have to be complicated, nor does it have to be big. Put in a loop of track, some buildings, whatever else you want, and setup the operation to be similar to the trolleys mentioned above. I have such a setup on a rather large route which is quite busy and it's great seeing the little steam trains chuffing around the museum when I arrive there.

Roy3b3
September 7th, 2016, 08:08 PM
A great video John. Plenty of action in all directions. Setting out the schedules and avoiding AI 'head-to-head face-offs' could generate a headache but its got potential.

Cheers, Roy

MeowRailroad
September 7th, 2016, 08:27 PM
You want to run other equipment besides your usual stuff? Setup a museum. It doesn't have to be complicated, nor does it have to be big. Put in a loop of track, some buildings, whatever else you want, and setup the operation to be similar to the trolleys mentioned above. I have such a setup on a rather large route which is quite busy and it's great seeing the little steam trains chuffing around the museum when I arrive there.

I saw a picture today of some small trolley museum that had a crew riding an old wood caboose pulled by one of those small, early trackmobiles, and they were siting on the interchange track watching a big Pan Am freight with 3 SD45's pass. It was quite inspiring, and I enjoy seeing small, unique operations like that. Then some people say they don't like the modern era because it's all big GEVO's and unit trains. There's still a huge amount of cool operations out there, if you look for them.

Thanks to everyone for posting on this thread, I can't wait to see other ideas!

JCitron
September 7th, 2016, 09:03 PM
I saw a picture today of some small trolley museum that had a crew riding an old wood caboose pulled by one of those small, early trackmobiles, and they were siting on the interchange track watching a big Pan Am freight with 3 SD45's pass. It was quite inspiring, and I enjoy seeing small, unique operations like that. Then some people say they don't like the modern era because it's all big GEVO's and unit trains. There's still a huge amount of cool operations out there, if you look for them.

Thanks to everyone for posting on this thread, I can't wait to see other ideas!

Yup. I agree. Not all railroads run GEVOs, especially up where I am in Mass. We're lucky if Pan Am is running s those SD45s, and just think those SD45s are the "newer" of their locomotives!

I know that operation it's located in western MA in Shelburne Falls. The city once had a trolley line that ran where the museum is today then up to Colrain, MA. The trolley not only carried passengers, it also interchanged freight and delivered boxcars to the mills located up in Colrain. So here you go here's another little operation for you. :)

The concrete bridge in downtown Shelburne Falls still exists. Today it's covered with gardens (another idea too) and is known as the Bridge of Flowers.

http://www.bridgeofflowersmass.org/

https://binged.it/2c6iFGB

If you look at the map, you'll see the concrete viaduct with plantings on it. Scroll down and you'll see the trolley museum. Sadly the freight yard is gone, which also had a spur to a creamery, and the beautiful station with the big long platforms is long gone as well.

SharkNose
September 9th, 2016, 05:31 AM
Some ideas:

1. Two major railroads terminate on opposite sides of a wide river. A third railroad exists only to transfer trains across the bridge (which they selfishly own). Would require 2 major yards, lots of switching action making up and breaking up train on both sides of the river plus 3 different equipment rosters, paint schemes, and so on. An alternate might be to substitute a tunnel for the bridge which would allow the third railroad to be electrified.
<snip>

Similar to Ben's first idea: 2 major railroads with mainlines on either side of a mountain. Both unwilling to commit resources to extend their line over the mountain. Meanwhile, and old timer obtains property and land rights and secretly builds a right of way over the mountain smack in between the two major railroads. He now stands to really cash in leasing his "short line" to both major railroads to haul freight and passengers over the mountain saving time and money for both!

Or something like that... I can't take credit for the idea. It came from the first volumes of "Ralph of the Roundhouse" and "Ralph in the Switch Tower" published in 1906 by Allen Chapman. Adventures of Ralph Fairbanks on the "Great Northern" railroad. A lot of places are mentioned, but I cannot seem to find their "real-world" equivalents on any old GN system maps.

bendorsey
September 9th, 2016, 08:51 AM
I like Shark nose's idea.

Perhaps as a variation the little RR only leases it trackage rights for freight traffic. It retains and runs passenger trains under its own RR name. Would allow 3 different liveries on locos rather then just 2 and different (passenger versus freight) equipment.

Here's another:
How about an iron ore route? It would have a gigantic (and I really mean gigantic) open pit mine at one end and equally gigantic iron ore docks at the other end. Small locos are used in the pit due to the radius of curves but once out of the pit the cars are assembled into long trains (keeping in mind how heavy those 22 ft cars are) and moved to the docks with far larger road engines. Then the trains are broken up and smaller locos move them on and off the docks. The same large road engines move the empties back to the pit.

Ben

JCitron
September 9th, 2016, 11:08 AM
I like Shark nose's idea.

Perhaps as a variation the little RR only leases it trackage rights for freight traffic. It retains and runs passenger trains under its own RR name. Would allow 3 different liveries on locos rather then just 2 and different (passenger versus freight) equipment.

Here's another:
How about an iron ore route? It would have a gigantic (and I really mean gigantic) open pit mine at one end and equally gigantic iron ore docks at the other end. Small locos are used in the pit due to the radius of curves but once out of the pit the cars are assembled into long trains (keeping in mind how heavy those 22 ft cars are) and moved to the docks with far larger road engines. Then the trains are broken up and smaller locos move them on and off the docks. The same large road engines move the empties back to the pit.

Ben

This would make an interesting operation. The old Erie Mining Company comes to mind.

https://youtu.be/d0VTXQ5tbxg

This was quite an operation and shutdown after LTV was dismembered.

JCitron
September 9th, 2016, 11:09 AM
A great video John. Plenty of action in all directions. Setting out the schedules and avoiding AI 'head-to-head face-offs' could generate a headache but its got potential.

Cheers, Roy

I was thinking the same on this. All those track marks, direction marks and triggers to keep the AI happy.


Hi John

Like Phil said, great video ---

I hope those guys got great health insurance with all that pollution roaming around them!!!

Ishie

Really... What's that at a steel mill? :D

MeowRailroad
September 9th, 2016, 12:59 PM
I started working on a traction museum like the SFTM, and right now the motive power consists of a Laurel Line combine (will be reskinned), a PRR N6B caboose, an open car (really just a Bendorsey work car), and an SW1 or a plymouth switcher, I can't decide. Maybe I'll get rid of the smoke and engine sounds on the Plymouth and put it on a storage track, waiting to be restored, but then I'll have a problem because it might be time-consuming for them to fire up the SW1 whenever the combine needs to be moved into the shed. (There is no catenary in the shed due to clearances, a fairly common occurrence on both original interurbans and museum railroads.)

I completed section 1, which has a yard of 3 tracks. The far track has a pile of ties for MoW and a passenger platform. The middle track is a storage track and has no overhead wire. The near track is for the engine shed which is an SAP Branchline shed. Past the yard, there is a short, low trestle over a creek.

Section 2 will have the track go across a larger trestle over a big river, there will be stone bluffs on both sides of the river, and at the top of one bluff will be an old barn or house, a water tank support, a road, a small plank platform, and a MoW shed.

Section 3 will be the town approach, and be mostly woods with one farm field. There will be another road next to the tracks, and a baseball field.

Section 4 will be the town. There is a museum and storage building, a small platform, and a connection to the Guilford branch. The interchange will diverge from the line and turn to connect, while the line crosses the Guilford line and ends about a short distance after the junction. I might model it as abandoned past there, or just as an ending spur.

bendorsey
September 9th, 2016, 03:37 PM
Yet another idea:

An extensive harbor/seaport railroad with curves so sharp docks and many industries can only be served by 0-4-0T's (like little joe). Somewhat larger locos to feed them from smaller yards, and of course mainline locos feed the intermediate locos. Lots of trackage in streets, docks with tracks, ships of various types, and industries galore (and everyone loves little joe - I had one many many-moons ago, lol).

Ben

MeowRailroad
September 9th, 2016, 05:42 PM
The only issue with that is that it would be very hard to locate the hundreds of brick buildings one would need. It of course would be an amazing route.

I think with the trolley museum route I'm going to use the Plymouth even though I prefer the SW1. I want the SW1 in a coat of basic black with just cab initials and numbers, but it is proving to be very difficult. I can't figure out what color to use for the details and the detailing is done differently than the JR engines I'm used to working with. I may start again, but before that I'll put a simple patch on the Plymouth. I also mostly finished section 2 and I'm going to work some more on it now. Tonight I'll post pics in the Model Railroadz section.

EDIT: Can't reskin the Plymouth either, the skin file is transparent and removing the alpha channel makes it non-transparent, but the colors are messed up. I will use a US Army 44 tonner patched with no new identification.

Dap
September 14th, 2016, 10:11 PM
Yet another idea:

An extensive harbor/seaport railroad with curves so sharp docks and many industries can only be served by 0-4-0T's (like little joe). Somewhat larger locos to feed them from smaller yards, and of course mainline locos feed the intermediate locos. Lots of trackage in streets, docks with tracks, ships of various types, and industries galore (and everyone loves little joe - I had one many many-moons ago, lol).

Ben

Ben, I did one similar, with a bit of your help several years ago. The Jay Street Connecting RR. Remember the E.W. Bliss buildings, Arbuckle Coffee Headquartes, Arbuckle warehouse and more. There are still some tracks in the streets of Brooklyn from this railroad. Two 0-4-0 locos for power. Only connection to other railroads was via car floats. There were several buildings with tracks inside the building. The Arbuckle Coffee Company had a 9 track yard on the ground floor of the building. And finding brick buildings was not a problem!

I'm currently working on the Portland Terminal Railroad. Serves a business park that covers about 1 sq mile. There are over 80 industry spots for cars. Connection to outside world is the BNSF yard.

Check out http://members.trainweb.com/bedt/IndustrialLocos.html for some very interesting terminal operations.

David

MeowRailroad
September 18th, 2016, 01:35 PM
This is somewhat related to the original topic but I think it's close enough:

Have you ever had open space on a route that you want to fill but you can't think of anything to put there?
We'll start a list.

-Sports fields
-Reservoirs/water towers
-Small-scale farms (a greenhouse and a few rows of crops)
-Tractor-trailer or bus parking lots
-Fairgrounds
-Airstrips
-Places of interest (museums, mansions, old ruins, etc.)
-Maintenance centers (a few modern metal buildings in a gravel lot, for example, a garage and an office. Park work trucks or heavy equipment there.)
-Fertilizer silos and pesticide tanks (In agricultural areas, placed as a cluster at, say, a crossroads)
-Self-storage facilities

jordon412
September 18th, 2016, 01:50 PM
What about a railroad that's on an island and can only be accessed by car float? I know that there are a few routes like this, but you can make the route more unique by having all trains begin on the mainland. You would have to load your train onto a car float and then take the car float to the island, where you unload your train from the car float, do what you need to do on the island (work industries), then load your train back onto the car float. You then take the car float back to the mainland, where you unload the train from the car float and call it a day. A unique twist on the normal 'railroad on an island' route.

jordon412
September 18th, 2016, 01:54 PM
Oh, and another one. How about Canadian Pacific's Slocan Lake Division? A CP train must load onto a car float, float across Slocan Lake, then unload the train on the other side of the lake, head to a remote pulpwood mill, serve it, then return to the car float, load the train back onto the float, and then float back across the lake to the connection with the remainder of Canadian Pacific and the rest of the world.

MeowRailroad
September 26th, 2016, 08:57 PM
I'm making a model railroad that is a shortline that doesn't exist on paper. Here's how this is possible.

Local grain elevator owner: Excuse me, Mr. Conrail local manager, I know you are abandoning the branch servicing my elevator, can you just send my cars to the interchange yard and keep an old engine lying around so that I can switch my own cars
Conrail local manager: I don't see why not.

So basically the line has an RS27 that was technically taken off the roster but is still owned by Conrail, and the cars are left in the yard while a grain elevator crew pulls them down the short branch to the elevator, sorts them, spots them, and takes the loads to the yard.

Several years later the higher management found out, the operation was stopped, the manager was fired, and then Conrail refused to serve the elevator, so it closed shortly after the service was cancelled.

Vern
September 27th, 2016, 01:59 AM
Something from North Korea..? :) :)

MeowRailroad
September 30th, 2016, 08:01 PM
Pweiser just released new IC electric MU cars that only have high-level doors, so they only work with high platforms. What if there was a small interurban that bought a few used ones and had some city trackage where people could get on anywhere? Since they wanted to continue operating like this they sunk the trackage into a trench for its entire route in the city so that the ground level was like a platform.

MeowRailroad
October 8th, 2016, 07:51 PM
I was looking a pictures of a small electric tourist line and since the wire wasn't very visible in some pictures, it gave me an idea. What if there was some tourist line that owned a Plymouth, SW1, or some other small diesel and a wooden interurban car, maybe an old wood caboose or two and a work car if you wanted, and about halfway along the route there was a small yard/siding with a light shed (basically just a wood canopy) that the diesel was parked under when not operating, and the electric wire only ran from that point to the line's end? When trains would run, they start at the end of track on the electrified side, and run toward this small shed and yard. The train, currently consisting of an interurban car and cabooses, stops near the shed and the diesel comes out of the shed and couples to the front. The trolley poles are lowered, and the motorman enters the diesel engine, while the conductor stays in the car. Then the whole train is pulled by the diesel to the other end of track, where there may be another station or just a platform, etc. Before going back to the other end, the whole train drives onto a runaround. Then the diesel and interurban pull forward past the siding switch. The switch is changed and the interurban runs around to the other end of the train. The diesel then couples back onto the train. Now the interurban car can be used as a cab car (since they are usually double-ended), occupied with the conductor using his radio to assist the motorman who is still in the cab of the diesel. When the whole train reaches the limit of electrification they don't need the diesel anymore and after they push the trolley onto the electrified track, they cut the diesel off and park it in the shed. Then they raise the trolley poles again and drive to the end of the track. There they run around the cabooses again, so they whole thing is reset for another trip.

JCitron
October 9th, 2016, 12:11 AM
This kind of operation is different but not unusual. When the Lowell National Historic Park first opened, they setup a small diesel that pulled an interurban car on a former Boston & Maine spur which delivered goods to the various mills along the tracks. Today the line is run under wire and there is both a modern trolley car built to look like an antique open car, as well as, cars on loan from the Seashore Trolley Museum.

Vern
November 13th, 2016, 07:06 AM
Bit of a bump...

Here's a list of projected railway lines in the UK which never quite made it to the construction stage. It could be good fun in Surveyor pondering the route these would have followed and laying out accordingly:

Central Essex Railway
East Kent Railway Extensions
East Sussex Railway
Gower Light Railway (http://www.hfstephens-museum.org.uk/colonel-stephens-railways/unfulfilled-projects/the-gower-light-railway)
Hadlow Railway
Headcorn and Maidstone Junction Railway
Hedingham and Long Melford Railway
Kelvedon, Coggeshall and Halstead Railway
Lands End, St Just and Great Western Junction Railway
Long Melford and Hadleigh Railway
Maidstone and Faversham Junction Railway
Maidstone and Sittingbourne Railway
Newport and Four Ashes Railway
Orpington , Cudham and Tatsfield Railway
Shropshire Railways ( Shrewsbury and Market Drayton Extension)
Southern Heights Railway
Surrey and Sussex Railway
Worcester and Broome Railway

MeowRailroad
November 15th, 2016, 09:55 PM
I know this thread is a bit old but I thought of another interesting idea...

What if G&W was contracted to operate passenger service and they had coaches painted in the G&W scheme along with SDP45's and that type of engine pulling them, maybe converted SD40-2's or GP38-2's? A lot of people don't like the G&W scheme but I think it's ok, and it would look nice on a smooth-side passenger car. This could either be done like they are taking over for Amtrak (similar to Iowa Pacific and the Hoosier State) or it could be a new commuter service.

Other shortline holding companies that this would work with:
Pioneer Railcorp
Gulf and Ohio Railways
Watco

You could do this with anything actually but these have cool paint schemes that would look nice adapted to a passenger car.

Jayco-man
November 17th, 2016, 10:12 PM
Busy little place, is it even there anymore or has it been shut down by bureaucracy?

RJPugh
November 18th, 2016, 08:18 AM
I'm trying to model a section of narrow-gauge to illustrate the start of a conversion. That is, the company recently decided to convert the 3ft rail to standard gauge, so the old 3ft equipment is working alongside a variety of custom-made and purpose built equipment. This results in some pretty strange looking trains.