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Thread: The Silver Lines Electrified West Virginia Division

  1. #31
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    I have another Q . Are going to release the skins ? OK two . Payware of DLS ? Looks like you are having fun . Well done

    Matt
    work hard, Play harder

  2. #32
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    Thanks guys, appreciate it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Railwoodman View Post
    I have another Q . Are going to release the skins ? OK two . Payware of DLS ?
    Unfortunately none of the skins can be released as they are all done on models that are either payware or private/unreleased. Similarly, the route itself will probably never be released as it's too large to be finished and about half of the assets used for it are payware/custom/modified.

    --

    Here's something neat. This shot is almost a year old already actually, and it's me just handbuilding a little scene on my diorama route based solely on some not-so-great Google maps info. Inspection train arriving in Colcord, WV, where PRR stored old coal cars that were now surplus as the mine had closed.



    So, I decided the other day to brute force my trackwork through the mountains and get over to Colcord on the DEM. It took another three mile long tunnel, but I made it there and was able to get the scene started. So, here's the new, canon, version of the inspection train arriving in Colcord, WV. Circa 1968.



    Quite a difference! Very happy with how it's coming along in this area now. You can't see it from here, but the Budd cars have also had their logos replaced with the proper canon diamond logo to replace that old and outdated one.

    A photo from the first two posts in the thread saw SLRR 3006, a GP30, and 3 GP9s hauling in some of these old PRR hoppers during the early operations after the Silverlines takeover of the division. I recreated the lashup and let it roll around a bit. Here, 3006 summits Independence:



    Check this one though! I was given a little ole PSD and whipped up brand new, canon, ph4 SLRR SW1500s. Numbered 3020 to 3044, 25 of these critters arrived on the railroad in 1970 and roll around the network.



    Doing these finally gave me the kick I needed to update handrails on more locomotives. The ugly yellow colour I've been using is too neon for my tastes and I've been meaning to correct it for ages, so I've gone and done that for most engines on roster now. I believe I just need to do the SD38 and then everything will be up to par.

    A pair of SW1500s working in tandem at Boaz Yard:



    A few years later, another pair has worked its way into the Boaz facility and idles outside the shop complex. Meanwhile, three new SD50s saunter their way out of the shops to get some empties moving. Note the updated handrails!



    That's about all I have for now, so 'till next time.

    Cheers,
    SM
    Last edited by lego207; February 24th, 2021 at 12:31 AM.

  3. #33
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    Well that sucks , But completely understandable . I'm getting a kick out of the route . Nice work

    Matt
    work hard, Play harder

  4. #34
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    Ah, a month has passed, and I've got little to show for it. Such is the way she goes, really. Life's been weird and busy lately and I just haven't felt like doing terribly much in Trainz, else I'd probably go insane with how this game drives me and everyone I know up the wall with its antics. If we could go five minutes without precaching and have a skybox that didn't look twenty years out of date...

    I've swapped out the tracks in the Dixie woodchip plant for RTRAX, which the author generously gave me a copy of. Some procedural tracks definitely make a nice difference in the details department - that's what this game lacks a lot of, detail. Here, SLRR 2491 brings a work train into the short industrial spur.



    I'm considering swapping some of the tracks in the railyards and Boaz shop complex to RTRAX as well. I'd do it for the whole mainline, but the current track I use for it and the embankments match just a little too perfectly for me to totally replace. For now, anyway. Maybe I'll do some reskinning of tracks and embankments and be able to replace everything - it'd be nice to get the whole route full of procedural tracks!

    Meanwhile, one of the massive bridges at Lizemores towers over the small settlement. A few SD40-2s and an N&W SD45 on lease are screaming in full dynamics as they struggle to hold back the coal loads behind them on the steep grades of the Lizemores Valley. There's nearly a dozen big bridges that make up the valley, where tracks twist and turn and make heavy downhill coal drags a dangerous operation. Extreme caution is advised to all crews, and the speed limit is rather low. Lizemores itself is home to a few dozen homes, a few small local businesses, and a church. Small dirt roads wind through the trees and mountains to connect the community together along West Virginia Route 12.



    After the SD50 fiasco, SLRR's trust in EMD had been shaken gravely. While the SD50s were improved upon and became generally good units after time, large orders from EMD seemed unlikely. Indeed, the SD60 saw a limited number acquired by the railroad - though an improvement over the SD50. In 1981, the railroad took ownership of 35 slightly troubled SD50s, and five years later, 45 SD60s appeared on the roster. The 60s were liked well enough, and were certainly better than their prior cousin, so the company was willing to take a few additional units. Three years later, five SD60Ms were bought to try out widecabs. That was a big moment for the railroad. But, here in late 1986, SD60 4524 leads a few of its more distant cousins northbound through Dixie on another coal drag. By this time, most of these trains were primarily electric, but diesel power was still a relatively common sight as runthrough power. To allow the railroad a better understanding of the new EMD 710s capabilities, 4524 was given the opportunity to lead through the steep grades and tight curves of the WV division. It told the company that EMD wasn't quite dead yet, but they still needed something more from them.



    Most of my work lately has been in tinkering with the BF&E route and another big DEM I acquired, which is the SLRR's Champaign sub - from Pontiac, IL, to Terre Haute, IN. Being a primarily midwestern carrier, I needed to have something to show off the SLRR's home turf. This gave me a chance to refine the route a bit and further develop the proper backstory for the formation of the company. Here's a few snippets from that route-


    SD50 4045, SD45 2994, and ex-SP 9423 lead a string of grainers beneath the R2 signals that guard the crossover from the SLRR's Chicago to St Louis route - the Alton's route, in fact! SLRR is now canonically a Chicago & Alton derivative - and onto the Champaign sub, beginning here at Pontiac, IL. The 'Alton' route is still doubletracked, but the Pontiac to Terre Haute route was converted to single track decades ago after traffic dropped post-steam era.


    SD60s have this intermodal train well under control as it passes under the cantilever that directs trains south over the crossover. To the right is Route 66, by the way!



    SD45s are a startlingly common sight on intermodal trains on the Champaign sub, owing to the fact these engines hit their stride in the higher notches - and thus higher speeds, exactly what intermodal traffic demands. In the 1990s, SLRR rebuilt hundreds of its locomotives to extend their lifespans, including the SD45 fleet. Retaining their flared radiators, the SD45s are now at Dash Two specs and play with one another much nicer than before. Though they still have their 20-645E3 and are still rated for 3600hp, they don't guzzle down as much fuel as most believe.



    Lastly, C44-9W 4903 leads autoracks south towards Kansas City with ex-UP 3446 in tow. The aforementioned SD60Ms made the railroad intrigued by widecabs, and the railroad followed GE's suggestion and went forward with widecabs becomming the standard for new motive power. Interestingly enough, SLRR did not decide to do this with EMD, as the 100 SD70s were built with standard cabs instead - though the 70 ACe's acquired in 06 broke this rule, and also were the last order from EMD. The Dash 9s, as well as previous iterations in the Dash 8 line, were liked well enough. The railroad had a tough time deciding between power choices - AC vs DC? It ended up ordering bits of both, with 100 DC Dash Nines entering service and 75 AC44s joining them, all between 1994 and 1995. The AC power tends to stick to the regions with heavier grades or trains, and these days, SLRR doesn't bother with new DC power. Nonetheless, the DC designs will last for longer yet still.

    Speaking of DC engines, an SD38 powers a local train out of Pontiac and up to Dwight.



    That's all I've got for now. Till next time, whenever that is with whatever it is.

    Cheers,
    SM

  5. #35
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    Work, work, work. Here are some recent scenes.

    June, 1971. The Silver Lines is well-underway on electrifying the West Virginian division, but with the Boxcabs still in the Boaz shops, everything is under diesel power still. Approximately 90.7 miles south of Boaz, we find an oddity in the division - a US&S R2 has replaced the familiar Pennsy Position Light that once stood in its very place. The PL, now rusting away on the side of the tracks, was pulled down the month before after it sustained damage due to a Penn Central freight and dragging equipment. With the nearest replacement PL or parts some 90 miles to the north, an R2 was pulled in and dropped in its place. The only reason they had an R2 this far out from home was because a pair of them had been stashed on a work train that was repairing the tracks near Chloe, two miles to the north.

    SD40s 2672 and 2689 are running light towards Nebo to pick up a short train awaiting them there.



    The SD40 duo slows to a crawl as it encroaches on the Nebo mine tracks. The signals here are another oddity - the siding at Nebo and subsequent mine track came as a surprise addon to the Pennsylvania line, and as a result, things are particularly cramped all throughout. The siding ended up being rather useful, as farther south, sidings were difficult to employ due to the terrain. The dwarf PL protects the mine track, while the two full-size PLs guard the main and the siding as they converge into one. Normally, the signal for the siding would be a dwarf, but it was decided to put a full-size signal in instead so as to help avoid confusion for crews.



    Gritty coal tracks, restricted to only 10mph, sit below the mainline and its siding. The SD40s, having switched leaders, lug their 25 loaded cars away from the mine where a pair of old GP9s have been working. Nebo is a low-capacity and low-production mine - its location makes it unsuitable to store many cars there, and as the mine produces only a small amount of the black rocks, small batches of cars ended up being the right way to go. While the coal train, C827-1, works to exit the mine track, an empty work train has the right-of-way as it barrels north. The GP40-led train is helping supply catenary and associated equipment to crews working along the line, and as such, it gets priority.



    With permission to rejoin the main a short while later, C827-1 makes haste and drags north. Though two SD40s and 25 coal cars is a short train, the grades and curvature of the route make it a struggle no matter what. Once again, the train passes 90.7 and the fallen Position Light.



    Two miles north and the train has crossed over to a strangely modern scene. Catenary crews have built up the line to MP 89 already, and with a brand new bridge over WV Route 16 installed just a few years prior, C827-1 looks strangely out of place as it spits smoke upon the wires that will result in the removal of their own kind. In a decade, the majority of power on the division will be electrified, including Nebo mine runs like C827-1.



    Clean power for a dirty resource - an oxymoron if ever there was one. For the time being, however, diesels will continue pumping out fumes as they collect the loaded coal hoppers, but the stage is already set for a radical change in the future. Some things, like the blocked PRR depot at Chloe, or the little downtown and simple housing just out of frame, won't change though. No matter what the railroad does, it will always be a simple life in these small towns dotted throughout the mountains.



    Cheers,
    SM

  6. #36

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    nice route and signals.

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