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View Full Version : parts of America that would make for the grandest route designs



JonMyrlennBailey
June 21st, 2019, 03:54 AM
1. the Rocky Mountains/Continental Divide: Golden Spike, UT to Denver, CO
2. the Sierra Nevada/Donner Pass: Sparks, NV to Roseville, CA (with the large Roseville yard)

Forester1
June 21st, 2019, 06:23 AM
Columbia River Gorge, Washington/Oregon. From PortlandOR/VancouverWA to Hermiston OR area, with BNSF on the Washington side and UP on the Oregon side!

JCitron
June 21st, 2019, 09:50 AM
Great swaths of the Appalachian Mountain Range.

The Water Level Route along the Hudson River from New York City (part of) up through to Buffalo. Set this in the 1950s so we can run the Dieselized 20th Century Ltd. with the NYC grey scheme.

New York, New Haven, & Hartford with it's busy mainline and unique equipment - 1930s-1960s era.

The Anthracite region in eastern PA set in the heyday of coal operations through the Lehigh Valley up through Scranton and Wilkes Barr. This region had multitudes of short lines, spurs, industries, and connections by the big famous railroads such as New York Susquehanna & Western, Delaware & Hudson, Erie, Pennsylvania, New York Ontario & Western, Lackawanna, Lehigh Valley, Lehigh & Hudson River, and so many others that are long gone.

Various Maine Central operations including the Mountain Division through the White Mountains

B&M Cheshire branch from Ashburnham, MA to Bellows Falls, VT.

pitkin
June 21st, 2019, 10:19 AM
My opinion on route design is that shorter routes with lots of points of interest, such as industries, small towns, rivers, bridges, etc., are the best way to design.
Attempting to model an actual long route means long distances with terrain that has to be filled in. Running trains like that seems monotonous to me.
Remember also that real railroads mostly built in the most favorable locations, meaning low and flat.

boleyd
June 21st, 2019, 12:15 PM
Yep, lots of routes alongside rivers. Highways then followed alongside them later. I agree long is boring with the endlessly repetitive same trees. There are people who like that. There are airplane simulator enthusiasts that also like to set the auto-pilot and watch the dials on a 3 hour flight. The better routes are in the EAST with lots of "stuff" along the routes - towns, industries, housing and of course vegetation.

Christopher824
June 21st, 2019, 01:22 PM
1. the Rocky Mountains/Continental Divide: Golden Spike, UT to Denver, CO
2. the Sierra Nevada/Donner Pass: Sparks, NV to Roseville, CA (with the large Roseville yard)

My Vote Chicago

Chicago, Highlighted as the US Railroad Capital by Trains Magazine. The numerous freight and passenger trains coursing through Chicago define the city as the nation's railroad hub.

Feb 23, 2017

https://news.wttw.com/2017/02/23/chicago-highlighted-us-railroad-capital-trains-magazine

JonMyrlennBailey
June 21st, 2019, 01:40 PM
The West has the grandest NATURAL scenery and the largest North American mountain ranges and canyons of the Lower 48 but some people here indicate it has monotony and boredom. My idea comes from having rode the California Zephyr from Oakland, CA to Denver and back. In Colorado, the line goes along the Colorado River for much of the way and there is a 14-mile long Continental Divide tunnel coming out on the Denver side of the Rockies. I think Union Pacific owns most of the transcontinental line west of Chicago. In Utah, the line crosses a causeway on the Great Salt Lake. The SP Mojave Sub, California and Milwaukee Road Drexel-Avery/Lookout Pass, Montana-Idaho are two great western Trainz routes that have been packaged in editions. My idea of the East would be many large cities and industries. I've never been any farther east on a train than Denver. I've never been any closer to the Northeast than changing planes in Cincinnati and Washington, DC.

pitkin
June 21st, 2019, 02:12 PM
The Moffat Tunnel is 6.2 miles long (not 14 miles).

JonMyrlennBailey
June 21st, 2019, 02:30 PM
Thought I heard the Amtrak conductor (or the person's voice over the train PA system) say 12 or 14 miles over 30 years ago. This was the tunnel east of the town of Granby, CO. Maybe my bad memory. It was long and had lights in it as I recall if memory serves me correctly. Does the Amtrak conductor make announcements over the loudspeaker on board or one of the stewards? On a plane, it's usually the captain. Certain points of interest are announced by train personnel to the people on board as airlines do.

JonMyrlennBailey
June 21st, 2019, 02:41 PM
The Moffat Tunnel is 6.2 miles long (not 14 miles).

Which is the LONGEST railroad tunnel in the Lower 48 that is still NOW operational?
The longest RR bridge in the Lower 48 not counting causeways?

pitkin
June 21st, 2019, 02:56 PM
Thought I heard the Amtrak conductor (or the person's voice over the train PA system) say 12 or 14 miles over 30 years ago. This was the tunnel east of the town of Granby, CO. Maybe my bad memory. It was long and had lights in it as I recall if memory serves me correctly. Does the Amtrak conductor make announcements over the loudspeaker on board or one of the stewards? On a plane, it's usually the captain. Certain points of interest are announced by train personnel to the people on board as airlines do.



Rollins Pass over the divide before the tunnel was built is 14 miles long or so. The RR often used more coal for the multiple engines than the coal that was being hauled, or so the story goes. Moffat went broke to reach the western slope, and there was essentially nothing there anyway. A bypass was eventually built from his line to Dotsero to join the then Rio Grande for traffic to the west (Salt Lake City).
The point of departure for the new line was called Orestod, which was the destination of Dotsero spelled backwards.

pitkin
June 21st, 2019, 03:11 PM
Jango uploaded a beautiful route and some sessions for Rollins Pass fairly recently.

Christopher824
June 21st, 2019, 03:15 PM
Which is the LONGEST railroad tunnel in the Lower 48 that is still NOW operational?
The longest RR bridge in the Lower 48 not counting causeways?

Longest US tunnel is the Cascade Tunnel at 7.8 miles

According to the Guinness book of world records, the longest US Bridge is Lake Pontchartrain Causeway at 24 miles (even though its called a causeway)

Forester1
June 21st, 2019, 06:30 PM
I still think we need a really good route of the Empire Builder From Spokane Washington Through Glacier National Park and on through Eastern Montana... Would also like to see Northern Pacific's Mainstreet of the Northwest through Montana.

JCitron
June 21st, 2019, 11:21 PM
Longest US tunnel is the Cascade Tunnel at 7.8 miles

According to the Guinness book of world records, the longest US Bridge is Lake Pontchartrain Causeway at 24 miles (even though its called a causeway)

Up until this tunnel was built in the 1910s, the Boston and Maine Hoosac Tunnel was the longest tunnel in North America at just 5 miles. It was one of the earliest too having opened in 1875. It took 25 years to build and cost $25 million to build back then. I suppose we could say this was the first Big Dig project that Massachusetts paid for because due to state charter and political interference, the state gained control of the tunnel during construction.

gd5150
June 21st, 2019, 11:32 PM
Donner Pass, Roseville to Reno has been done. I don’t have it but it looks amazing. TrainzItalia.

Christopher824
June 22nd, 2019, 12:04 AM
Up until this tunnel was built in the 1910s, the Boston and Maine Hoosac Tunnel was the longest tunnel in North America at just 5 miles. It was one of the earliest too having opened in 1875. It took 25 years to build and cost $25 million to build back then. I suppose we could say this was the first Big Dig project that Massachusetts paid for because due to state charter and political interference, the state gained control of the tunnel during construction.

The new Cascade Tunnel was opened on January 12, 1929. The original was opened on December 20, 1900 and was only 2.6 miles long. So I am pretty sure the Boston tunnel was the longest prior to 1929. Read the Wiki, great reading...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascade_Tunnel

They used Z-1 Locos... See here;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Northern_Z-1

JCitron
June 22nd, 2019, 01:30 PM
The new Cascade Tunnel was opened on January 12, 1929. The original was opened on December 20, 1900 and was only 2.6 miles long. So I am pretty sure the Boston tunnel was the longest prior to 1929. Read the Wiki, great reading...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascade_Tunnel

They used Z-1 Locos... See here;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Northern_Z-1

That is correct, my error. The Great Northern Z-1s are similar to the New Haven box motors and of course similar to the ones used on the B&M until 1946 when they dieselized. The B&M motors, their 5000 series, ran for nearly 40 years before they were scrapped and were built in conjunction with the New Haven with help from GE and Westinghouse.

Here's an article on the electric service.

https://reference.insulators.info/publications/view/?id=11903

The B&M also used 11KV and then stepped it down inside the locomotives. They, however, used a catenary system similar to that found on the New Haven, but a lot shorter and not as fancy. I'm sure the New Haven had a bit of help with this since they were both owned my J.P. Morgan at the time and partnered with a lot of projects. The plan, before J.P. Morgan sucked the funds out of the companies, was to electrify the B&M Connecticut River Line. The Fitchburg line from Williamstown, MA to Deerfield, and the Eastern RR. None of the expansion plans occurred, but the B&M gained a 4-track bridge in Lynn, MA where the Eastern was to be expanded to a 4-track mainline that was never to happen.

Mike, aka Steamboateng. has been working on a Hoosac Tunnel project using actual DEM data and 1944 (or thereabouts) topo maps. I've taken his current route as is, chopped down stuff outside of the area I'm interested in, and I've been slowly rebuilding the Hoosac Tunnel & Wilmington, a connecting short line better known as the Hoot Toot & Whistle, or Hold Tight and Worry. The HT&T disappeared in the 1970s after New England Power Co., now National Grid, flooded their ROW just below Madison, MA with the Bear Swamp power tunnel. The flooding completely changed the river level and wiped out their ROW. The railroad was too poor by then to rebuild. Today parts of the ROW are now paths, and lots are gone. Tracing the route on maps is nearly impossible, but with historic photos, approximation, and a lot of artistic license, my aim is to have this connecting short line come to life again as a tourist route. This unique route has a history all in its own as a 3-foot gauge route built to haul lumber with connections to further routes in the region, and this too could link to yet another project all in its own as a what if scenario with a lot of artistic license applied. Using DRG&W, and old BRB&L locos and coaches, plus the plethora of lumber cars built to that gauge, a lot can be done. Hmm... this has me thinking on this!

smyers
June 22nd, 2019, 02:56 PM
Norfolk & Western Abingdon Branch. Long enough to be interesting, short enough to be manageable. Well documented, very well known, beautiful N.C. and Va. rural scenery. Especially with Mollies already available. Or maybe the Ma & Pa too.
Best,
smyers

davesnow
June 22nd, 2019, 07:38 PM
Why even start a thread like this? It's certain that EACH PERSON will say THEIR part of the country has the BEST scenery, railroads, versatility, etc. etc.

jrfolco
June 23rd, 2019, 12:50 PM
Why even start a thread like this? It's certain that EACH PERSON will say THEIR part of the country has the BEST scenery, railroads, versatility, etc. etc.

It's very informational, and it benefits those like myself who are constantly looking for areas to build routes.

Forester1
June 23rd, 2019, 01:40 PM
And some of us hope someone might look into our suggestions. I might have to do it myself, but only if I get 2019 first....