Amtrak Hiawatha: Milwaukee - Chicago (ft. Canadian Pacific)

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Krazy, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. Krazy

    Krazy Well-Known Member

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    Amtrak's Hiawatha service is an 86 mile (138 km) passenger route from Chicago Union Station to Milwaukee Intermodal Station. The route has a total of 5 stations, and also serves the Amtrak Empire Builder and Canadian Pacific freight trains.

    Amtrak Hiawatha
    Since I'm suggesting the Chicago to Milwaukee route, the Amtrak Hiawatha is the main focus here. Hiawatha trains have a locomotive located at both ends of the train, and in between the locomotives are around 4-5 Horizon passenger cars, and 1 Amfleet car, which is the train's "quiet car". The train stops at 5 stations along the route:
    - Chicago Union Station
    - Glenview
    - Sturtevant
    - Milwaukee Airport
    - Milwaukee Intermodal Station

    A full journey on the Hiawatha takes around 90 minutes, so there's a good amount of driving to be done. It isn't the busiest route out there, only having 14 services in the day (7 to Milwaukee, 7 to Chicago). But it's probably pretty fun! I would guess that there is a depot/yard to store the trains, so that's a few extra services as well.

    There are two locomotives that run the Hiawatha services:

    SC-44 Charger
    The SC-44 in Amtrak Midwest livery is the main locomotive that operates the Hiawatha. Usually, the SC-44 operates the southbound services towards Chicago.
    [​IMG]

    F40PH "Cabbage Car"

    This is a variant of the F40PH that can carry baggage in it! That's pretty cool. These locomotives are found on the northbound side of the train, running services to Milwaukee.
    [​IMG]

    There are also two types of passenger cars used on the Hiawatha:

    Horizon Cars
    These make up the majority of the Hiawatha trains, which usually have 4-5 of these.
    [​IMG]

    Amfleet

    These are the cars that will be found on the upcoming Boston-Providence route. Hiawatha trains have just one of these cars, and it's used as the train's "quiet car", which, as you can guess, is for silence.
    upload_2021-7-24_19-57-5.jpeg

    Amtrak Empire Builder
    The Empire Builder is a long-distance train, running from Chicago Union Station to Seattle King Street Station and Portland Union Station. The trains see only a couple services in a day. Much less than the Hiawatha, for sure. There would also be the depot services, as well as the turnaround services, where the train uses a wye junction to turn itself around. On the Hiawatha route, the Empire Builder would stop at 3 stations:
    - Chicago Union Station
    - Glenview
    - Milwaukee Intermodal Station

    The Empire Builder is pulled by the Genesis P42. The trains are most commonly seen with two of these locomotives at the front.
    [​IMG]

    Right after the locomotives, the train has a baggage car.
    [​IMG]


    The majority of the Empire Builder is taken up by various Superliner cars. These include coach cars, dining cars, and sleeping cars.
    upload_2021-7-24_20-5-54.jpeg

    Canadian Pacific Freight Trains
    The line that the Hiawatha runs on is owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway. So of course, it deserves to be added. I don't know if there are any fancy freight operations on this line, so I'll just assume that it's just mainline freight trains between Chicago and Milwaukee.
    Freight trains that run on this line include:
    - Manifest trains
    - Intermodal trains
    - Grain trains
    - Oil trains

    A great locomotive for running Canadian Pacific trains is the AC4400CW. It's probably quite similar to the CSX version. I mainly chose it because the Canadian Pacific version of this locomotive is nice, and I feel like if locomotive work were to be done, it would be way better to put that work into the Amtrak stuff.
    [​IMG]

    But I do think the ES44AC is also a really good choice.
    [​IMG]

    And screw it, what's life without an SD40-2? Everyone could use a bit of SD40-2 in their lives.
    [​IMG]

    As for what the freight trains pull, there isn't really anything new to add.
    - Boxcars for manifest trains
    - Ribbed covered hoppers from Cane Creek for grain, manifest, and oil trains
    - Tanker cars for oil and manifest trains
    - Intermodal well cars (with Hamburg Sud, Hapag-Lloyd, ONE, and CSX containers)
    - Centerbeam flatcars

    So yeah, I think that Amtrak Hiawatha would be a great addition for Train Sim World. The route is pretty long, and there's a good amount of rolling stock, but there aren't many stations on the route, and the service mode isn't that much work compared to other routes. The Hiawatha would be a nice way to get a full Amtrak route, as well as a good way to add the iconic Empire Builder to the game, since the rest of the Empire Builder route is owned by BNSF. And the addition of Canadian Pacific is also a nice thing that I'd love to see. (Metra also runs on some of this route, but it isn't a major part of the route. At most, it would probably be an AI layer if there was ever a Metra route in the game).

    Thanks for reading this suggestion, if you did. Hopefully you folks also think the Amtrak Hiawatha is cool.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2021
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  2. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    I love this alot. One thing I would add would be the dual flag, Beaver and Pac-man scheme SD40-2s.
     
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  3. Krazy

    Krazy Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about the SD40-2, but wasn't sure if it was worthy of being a mainline locomotive. But you know what, that's a great idea. I really love the SD40-2, and the classic Pac-Man scheme is just too good to ignore! (Beaver scheme is also really good, but I can only find it on the snoot SD40-2s)
     
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  4. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    Yea, verily. And the P42DCs can substitute on the Hiawatha service if need be.
     
  5. Calidore266

    Calidore266 Member

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    As a lifelong Chicagoan, I've been lamenting the lack of representation in TSW. We are the central train hub of the U.S., after all.

    I would totally buy the Milwaukee route. I'll point out that the Empire Builder (which, along with the Coast Starlight, I will finally get to check off my bucket list in just two months!) only runs once daily in normal times and has lately been on a thrice weekly schedule due to the pandemic.
     
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  6. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Even though there are only, I think, 2 intermediate stations, there's a lot of suburban Chicago and Milwaukee to model and some fast sections. Would be a good route to play on, I agree.
    Also concur that the Midwest is very underrepresented in TSW2.
     
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  7. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Excellent idea but here is the problem with Canadian Pacific locomotives they're simply going to be reskin of CSX Sand Patch Grade locomotives. Because every single freight RailRoad in North America order the same locomotive. Let's say go to Norfolk Southern Allentown yard including the Bethlehem Roadrailer Facility you're going find NS Coal District TS21 AC4400CW coupled to Sand Patch Grade CSX AC4400CW or NS AC4400CW coupled Cane Creek Union Pacific AC4400CW.
     
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  8. Krazy

    Krazy Well-Known Member

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    I'll just add a few photos (which are very much taken from Google) of a few important locations on the route. Just a simple addition to show what the route looks like.

    First off is definitely the biggest station on the route, requiring the most work, being Chicago Union Station:
    upload_2021-7-25_12-58-48.png
    This is a bit outside of the station. There are plenty of tracks, and a good amount of sidings. You can see there are some sidings that are holding some Amtrak Superliners. I will admit that this part of the route would be a bit dead looking if no Metra trains ever get added to TSW. But yeah, that's a nice scenic view. The actual station is a big underground part, so there's nothing too fancy at the platforms.

    Here's Glenview. A nice-looking intermediate station for all of the Amtrak services.
    [​IMG]

    This is Rondout. It's not a station, I just think it deserves to be a spawn location. It's great for railfanning, as it has a railroad crossing. There's also a bridge and a diamond crossing.
    [​IMG]

    This is Sturtevant. That's an Amtrak Cascades locomotive! Wrong locomotive, wrong livery. But the station's neat.
    [​IMG]

    Milwaukee Airport, nothing too crazy here.
    [​IMG]

    And the end of the line is Milwaukee Intermodal! The escalators are blue. You have to like this station now.
    [​IMG]

    I'll throw in Amtrak's 50th Anniversary P42, because it seems like a nice alternate livery, and that's just cool that Amtrak is that old.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Does Amtrak still stop at Sturtevant?
     
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  10. Krazy

    Krazy Well-Known Member

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    That’s what Google’s been telling me. Seems that it’s expecting a few Hiawatha trains today :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
  11. Calidore266

    Calidore266 Member

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    Nice set of pictures, Krazy. Union Station and its yards would be a lot of work to set up properly, but then you have the starting point for a full dozen Amtrak routes and a further six local Metra commuter routes. If DTG wanted to establish a beachhead for future DLCs, that would be the way to go.

    I do like that 50th anniversary livery. Bummer that it's not the lead loco. Granted, it would be hard to see at night, but that's why the trains have headlights that are visible miles in advance.
     
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  12. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    Yeah, Capitol Limited, Empire Builder, Southwest Chief, Pere Marquette etc.
     
  13. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Having Union Station as a hub for Amtrak services would be terrific. It only appeared in the TS Racetrack route, where the "Chief" made a brief appearance. Trouble is the next shortest route is 180 miles (Pete Marquette), Long distance trains are not in TSW2's immediate future.
     
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  14. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    Amtrak, Metra, South Shore. Like Washington Union Station with Amtrak, DC Metro, MARC, and Virginia Railway Express.
     
  15. MetrolinkF125#916

    MetrolinkF125#916 Well-Known Member

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    I support this suggestion, I think we need to see some diesel Amtrak action (the only Amtrak train we got/are getting is the ACS-64), we need locos like the P42s and maybe Chargers one day, or even F40s if DTG is willing to make a route that takes us to the past. Hopefully they can get a CP license to include freight trains with the route.
     
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  16. jedi247

    jedi247 Well-Known Member

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    What about making this route in the Milwaukee Road era (maybe the 1960s) with a few MR locos and a Hiawatha passenger consist.
     
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  17. Krazy

    Krazy Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't around during that time, so I'm not familiar with the older trains. The old Hiawatha looks cool, but I personally like Amtrak's Hiawatha, and it seems like a pretty good modern route.
     
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  18. Trixy1016112

    Trixy1016112 New Member

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    Mabe the Alc-42 because the p42 is going to be reiterated
     
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  19. acela2163

    acela2163 Active Member

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    It's been a while since I've seen the F40 Cabbage car on the Hiawatha. Mostly it's 1 Amfleet+3 Horizon cars with two SC-44s top and tail. Another this to point out is that this line is primarily served by Metra's Milwaukee District North Line between CUS and Rondout junction, where the line heads off to Fox Lake. Without Metra (and the Fox Lake Branch) this line would be rather dead, as the Hiawatha Timetable is made up of just two trainsets shuttling back and forth, and freight isn't particularly common in daylight as most trains run overnight between the end of the evening rush and the start of Metra Service the next day. While I would love to see Chicago in this game, a modern day route isn't really feasible without Metra.
     
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  20. Krazy

    Krazy Well-Known Member

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    That's true, a route focusing on just the Hiawatha would definitely not be very busy. But I still chose the route as it's good as a full Amtrak route, a fast Amtrak diesel route, and it does indeed go to Chicago. But yeah, any route to Chicago really would need Metra trains to make it feel busy. But Metra seems unlikely any time soon. I was thinking about a solution to making less busy routes be a lot busier though.

    What if less busy routes came with two timetables? One timetable could have the accurate services, which would probably be around 30-40 services (a good chunk of these are freight services, because that's a pretty likely thing that Dovetail would do). Then there would be an alternate timetable that purposefully inflates the number of services, for those that prefer a busier experience. It seems like a weird thing at first, but the real timetable is still there, there's simply a new alternate timetable that has more trains. For the most part, it would (probably) be a copy-paste job. So while there wouldn't be Metra, there could be a version of the route that has a lot of Amtrak trains running around. I think it's sort of a cool idea.
     
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  21. Whiskers

    Whiskers New Member

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    I came to this thread today specifically looking to see a Chicago based route suggestion! I live near this route in Illinois and find it to be amazing the railfan. The one problem I have with this route is that most (80%) of the freight trains come on/off at Techny, where they transfer to the UP Milwaukee sub to get to Bensenville, the main CP yard in Chicago. That leaves most of the route South of Northbrook essentially devoid of trains. This route would really need Metra to be fun. This may be against some rule, but my yt channel is Chicago & Northwestern Railfanner and I have quite a few videos from last year when I would go to railfan at the Techny junction for a few hours in the middle of the day and I generally saw quite a few freight trains.
     
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  22. GT2

    GT2 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely have my vote for this suggestion gg''s
     
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