Best North American Freight Routes

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by aarontheloner, Apr 29, 2021.

  1. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    Planning on getting this soon due to the much better variety of routes and locomotives over TSW. I prefer NA routes, with a preference for freight over passenger, although I still like passenger a fair amount. What you guys recommend?
     
  2. Warspite

    Warspite Well-Known Member

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    Montana Hi-Line is a beautifully crafted route and although not the busiest, it is still good to drive. Would certainly recommend it.
     
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  3. NEC Railfan

    NEC Railfan Well-Known Member

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    I heartily agree, coupled with Marias Pass (there is a merged route available which I'll link here), it's a journey you'll thoroughly enjoy.

    Workshop route: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1941392826
     
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  4. TimeSlicedDanny

    TimeSlicedDanny Active Member

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    You don't say where you live, so note that Marias Pass is not available outside the US.

    Stevens Pass is another good route, but also only available in the US.
     
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  5. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    I am in the U.S. Figured my preference for U.S. routes gave it away given how much most non Americans tend to dislike them, lol.
     
  6. NEC Railfan

    NEC Railfan Well-Known Member

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    Are you more of a modern-day fan or like to take the time machine back to golden days of yore?
     
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  7. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    Can do either. Like modern or maybe near past more but anything works. For the most part my train preferences are fairly soft. Have things I prefer, but very few things I straight dislike.
     
  8. trev123

    trev123 Active Member

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  9. TimeSlicedDanny

    TimeSlicedDanny Active Member

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    I can't speak for others, but I'm British and enjoy a bit of US railroading.

    One route I've recently rediscovered is the Pacific Surfliner. It's probably best known for passenger, but has freight also. It's varied scenery wise and looks quite convincing to me. It's one of the few US routes I've been on in real life and I have no difficulty recognising the stations I used.
     
  10. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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  11. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    Danny...

    Where does that go from / to???

    Eric
     
  12. TimeSlicedDanny

    TimeSlicedDanny Active Member

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    LA to San Diego.
     
  13. NEC Railfan

    NEC Railfan Well-Known Member

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    From my point of view:
    - CSX Hanover Sub
    - Battle for Sherman Hill (get the bundle, it's an amazing deal on sale).
    - Clinchfield (Enjoy some backdated action, or even fits some modern-day CSX coal drags.
    - ATSF Seligman Sub (Again backdated action, but the rolling stock is mediocre).
    - NS N-Line (Branch line action)
    - Raton Pass (Fast freight and even some older Amtrak fun)
    - Soldier summit and its extension
    - Alaska railroad (just for the fact it's so unique)
    - Springfield line (amazing work, though the stock might be dated by modern standards)
    - Feather River canyon (one of the best in scenery)
    - NS Coal (coal drags with amazing scenery)
    - Donner pass (the most important route to have for SP equipment)
    That's basically it.
     
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  14. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    Any locomotive DLCs you recommend for those?
     
  15. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    Thanks fpr all the suggestions this far.
     
  16. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    I would look at DTMs lineup of locomotives, most of them are pretty good and add a good variety of rolling stock.

    Their next dlc is one im very interested in.
    20210430_095434.jpg

    Also Dovetails GP40-2 pack is also a good dlc to have as well.
     
  17. triznya.andras

    triznya.andras Well-Known Member

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    There is a charm in driving big, heavy stuff. Also the scenery is beautiful. Most of us are / were annoyed by region locks, see end of this post.
    To the list above I'd add
    • Canadian Mountain Passes - While just one engine, it comes with some interesting cars, and the route itself is crazy long, 159 miles. Even if you discount the 10 mile tunnel.
    • Seconding Blacknred81, I've enjoyed the UP DD35 and (as AI) the UP GP30 pack.
      Engine sounds are awesome, and the wagons are slightly different, complementing the core stock well.
    • You may consider Miami-WPB and NY-NH for CSX equipment anyway. Not particularly special, but adds a bit of variety.
    Upon review you may also consider...
    • Pacific Surfliner is a really nice, also very long route, which comes with some BNSF and is often combined with Marias.
      There is a (short) section just south of LA with some big yards which ultimately connects to...
    • Cajon Pass. Dated in all aspects, but has a nice mood. Just like CMP it's asymmetric. UP in-game but BNSF in-real. Fast (East half). I recall there is an upgrade for it, if / once you get there with devotion.
    • Ohio Steel 2 is a very special route. Uses old tech, but it has a nice mood and it has lots of local work options.
      In the unlikely case you're in love with it, Colton & Northern has more versatility, but even more dated visually.
    If you are interested in visuals, check screenshot threads here and this is my Steam screenshot page.
    You can also drive yourself based on dependencies. There are two popular scenario authors for US freight:
    • RBJets creates really long series involving tons of shunting and local work.
    • High Iron Simulations (Elphaba / Gary W. Dolzall) is more into simple stuff, also selling scenario packs if you want to support them.
     
  18. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    Although I'm in the UK I like some of the American route depending on what is happening
    I like running US Passenger Trains so the route needs to have good line speeds

    The Springfield Line is very good and although it is set in the 1950s(?) there is a lot to see and do.
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/...ield_Line_Springfield__New_Haven_Route_AddOn/
    Pacific Surfliner is another line which is set in current times
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/...ield_Line_Springfield__New_Haven_Route_AddOn/
    Are you in to Traction Routes - the Sacramento Northern is an interesting route
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/...rthern_Suisun_Bay__San_Francisco_Route_AddOn/

    I got the Clinchfield line with TS2021 - Did a QD to have a view with a short passenger train
    2h 20m for a 40 mile run - much too slow for me - in to the bin.

    Peter
     
  19. trev123

    trev123 Active Member

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    Some of the east coast high-speed routes are good some with freight as well as passenger trains. North East Corridor Washington DC to Baltimore, Hudson Line, North Jersey Coast & Morristown Line, The North Jersey Coast Line Route, and The North East Corridor: New York Philedalphia Route add-on.
     
  20. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    So far am leaning towards Montana Hi-Line, and Hanover Subdivision.
     
  21. Southerner

    Southerner New Member

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    I am enjoying Feather River Canyon, Marias Pass, and Alaska Railroad. I cant speak to many others as I have just been getting started myself as well.
     
  22. trev123

    trev123 Active Member

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    Feather River Canyon with the F7 California Zephyr 20210501151937_1.jpg DLC. Both purchased separately.
     
  23. roysto25

    roysto25 Active Member

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    If you are into high-immersion locos and have Canadian Mountain Passes, buy the Searchlight Simulations AC4400CW - by far the most detailed US-built loco in the game. The protoypical CP drivers seat will have you seasick in no time!
     
  24. Nacho

    Nacho Active Member

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    Montana Hi line is great, but in some places in the literal middle of nowhere I have disastrous fps, and I don't get why because it is only single straight track, and it is truly disastrous, I didn't get that low fps not even in WCML-S. But apart from that it is one of the best US routes and it gives us non-US customers the chance to run BNSF trains.
    I also recomend Soldier Summit + SLC extension, great route and with lots of scenarios available on steam.
    Feather river canyon and Hannover sub are very beatiful routes (probably the best ones in scenery) but you may find them boring if you are looking for some speed as they are mostly 25 mph or less limited (except between Oroville and Poe). I think the same thing happens with Donner Pass and Canadian Mountain Passes but I don't have those.
    If I where you I'll go for Soldier Summit + SLC as it is the most complete, you'll find mountain passes, plenty of switching and from Provo to SLC you can get some speed (anyway it isn't a slow route between Provo and Helper too). Apart from that, the route includes Amtrak's California Zephyr.
     
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  25. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    I really don't mind slow routes. Really sells the fact you're battling 1,000 yards or so of rolling metal up a mountain. Thanks of r all the suggestions.
     
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  26. Nacho

    Nacho Active Member

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    Well in that case Hannover sub may not be your thing as you don't have very long trains. Sherman Hill is a classic and you have pretty long trains there, but it is kind of short and aging a bit.
    So for what you said, modern or recent past and long mountain trains then I'd say that Canadian Mountain Passes, Marias Pass or Norfolk Southern Coal District may be what you're looking for. But as I don't have any of those yet then someone else could help us here.
     
  27. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    Eh, short trains don't bother me much either. Guess it depends alot on the length of the route. My taste in trains is a bit weird to explain I guess. Like long trains are cool, but short trains can be cool too depending on what all is going on with them.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2021
  28. Nacho

    Nacho Active Member

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    Then if it is by length the Canadian is the longest route available on steam and Marias Pass is long too but you can see the length of all routes in the description at steam.
     
  29. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    Sounds good. Just see the charm in shorter trains and shorter routes as well.
     
  30. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    Anyway thanks for all the suggestions guys.
     
  31. PhÜnKî_Rø0sTā

    PhÜnKî_Rø0sTā Active Member

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    *Miami to West Palm Beach has some freight action as well as Amtrak.
    *Sherman hill is pretty good - also get the searchlight simulations soundpacks if you haven't already. Makes the locos sound more realistic.
    *Feather River Canyon is pretty scenic - however slow in parts, so if you don't mind cruising at no more than 25mph in some sections, then go for it.
    *Peninsula Corridor - both versions: You get some UP freight/switching

    I can't really give an honest opinion in terms of the routes as a whole, as I've never driven them end to end. But yes, ideally dependso n what you want.
     
  32. dkreveller#9240

    dkreveller#9240 New Member

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    I can recommend Miami West to Palm beach, nice balance of freight and passenger.
    Sherman Hill is quite good as well, both have loco's, and add ons that can be bought to get more content.
    Salt Lake city is decent as well.
     
  33. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    Feather River Canyon seems pretty loved.
     
  34. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    So far leaning towards Feather River Canyon, and Soldier Summit (with the extension). Honestly 70s through the early 90s is my fav era of American railroading. Maybe Donner Pass as well.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  35. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    As far as locomotive DLCs are for those routes you have a few options....

    Reppo made a GP20 DLC for the FRC.
    ss_a2d33eb55f4ddc0a1bb98ef76414ec08a7b01b71.1920x1080.jpg
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/222573/Train_Simulator_Western_Pacific_GP20_High_Nose_Loco_AddOn/

    DTM has made a GP35 DLC for the FRC
    ss_669d07635d4c54792c37cad1d7b0b84cdd458fb9.1920x1080.jpg
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/376971/Train_Simulator_Western_Pacific_GP35_AddOn/

    DTM has made a SD50 DLC for Soldier Summit
    ss_45217b9b27ed5271549e937b1564b6665c36dfdb.1920x1080.jpg

    DTM has made a SW1200 for the Salt Lake City Extension
    ss_dce216074f3ec027f15b0f7c9ad9b71040f28096.1920x1080.jpg
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1012100/Train_Simulator_DRGW_SW1200_Loco_AddOn/

    Dovetail has made a GP40-2 pack which includes Western Pacific and DGRW liveries, but only scenarios for Solider Summit (There are GP40-2 scenario packs from High Iron that fill this gap)
    ss_d21f946e1c61460b6939f415f0b25948dd85f88a.1920x1080.jpg
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/774758/Train_Simulator_GP402_Loco_Pack_AddOn/

    There is also an SD9 pack from DTG for Soldier Summit, and a California Zephyr Pack for both the FRC and SS.
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/325951/Train_Simulator_DRGW_SD9_Loco_AddOn/
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/...ern_Pacific_FP7_California_Zephyr_Loco_AddOn/
     
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  36. Nacho

    Nacho Active Member

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    And for both you have about 6 scenario packs from High Iron Sim. The UP scenario pack 2 is for this two routes and I recommend it. They have sometimes lots of payware requirements though (some steam collections bundle big amounts of dlc making them cheaper, specially on sales, be aware of that, soldier summit collection and sherman hill collection gives you a good part of scenario packs).
     
  37. DIFFLOCK

    DIFFLOCK Active Member

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    Then I must be an outlier. As a Brit I love hauling thousands of tons of freight trains :cool:
     
  38. steve.cunningham1980

    steve.cunningham1980 Member

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    Another Brit here, I've recently been driving a lot of North American freight too. I'd say my favourite routes have already mostly been mentioned here (Stevens Pass, Soldier Summit, NS Coal) but I've been enjoying the recent Arizona Divide route a lot, and for something a bit different there is Portland Terminal, formerly on Steam but is now available for free from Railworks America (number 13 on this link http://railworksamerica.com/index.php/download-library/route-collection)
     
  39. Nacho

    Nacho Active Member

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    Out of curiosity as it is a route that I'd love to play, how did you get to buy Stevens? You purchased it before the licensing issues or did you travel to the US?
    I am Argentinian and I really like US freight routes too
     
  40. NEC Railfan

    NEC Railfan Well-Known Member

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    There is a possibility he got it years ago before the BNSF ban.
     
  41. aarontheloner

    aarontheloner Active Member

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    They fix any of the big issues with Arizona Divide? The route appeals to me, and even if they are nothing ground breaking, I always liked the blue and yellow on the locomotives, but I heard it had alot of issues at launch.
     
  42. NEC Railfan

    NEC Railfan Well-Known Member

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    There are patches available from a third party standpoint, and I've even heard of an official patch on Steam, but I'm not sure about the latter.

    https://www.trurailsimulations.com/arizona-divide
     
  43. steve.cunningham1980

    steve.cunningham1980 Member

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    Yes, I bought both Stevens and Marias Pass several years ago before the licensing issues with BNSF came up and caused them to be removed from sale.

    I haven't experienced any major issues with the route, but that's not to say there aren't any, I just haven't noticed them (unless it's something really glaring I oftentimes don't though!)
     
  44. trev123

    trev123 Active Member

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    I think the only issue with the route was the Arizona Pass Route were the locos were unbranded for those outside the USA but there are ways to get them as mentioned above. I have the route and live outside the USA and have branding.
     
  45. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    There was also the small issue where the branding in the US was messed up upon release, but that was fixed 1st by Trurail with the pack mentioned above, it was officially fixed after the weekend the route released.
    20210326073910_1.jpg
     
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