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Grand Trunk Western Holly Subdivision (1950s)

Discussion in 'Route Suggestions & Proposals' started by Buynot, Apr 29, 2020.

  1. Buynot

    Buynot Well-Known Member

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    Background:
    An American subsidiary of Canadian National, the Grand Trunk Western Railroad served much of Michigan and the northern half of surrounding states. The railroad's Holly Subdivision was a 67 mile route that ran between Detroit and Durand. Traffic on the line consisted of both high speed freight and commuter trains. During the mid to late 50s, the line was one of the last places where steam was run in regular service as the GTW was one of the last railroads in America to fully dieselize. Passenger trains on the Holly Sub. originated from Detroit's Brush Street Station and ran to Durand Union Station, where they either terminated or transferred to a different subdivision (Durand was a division point on the GTW). Freight trains mainly consisted of general merchandise freights and primitive auto-rack trains from the numerous manufacturers based in Detroit. Passenger trains mostly consisted of high speed commuters, with the only named passenger train serving the area being The Mohawk which ran between Detroit and Chicago. In 1960 the Holly Sub. was the site of the last regularly scheduled steam passenger train in America running between Detroit and Durand in 2 sections.
    Locomotives:
    Since GTW held on to steam for so long, the route should include a nice mix of both steam and diesel locomotives. For steam, the railroad had a large fleet of K4 4-6-2 Pacifics for use on commuter runs. These locomotives were designed and built by the USRA during WW I. For heavy freight and passenger trains, the railroad used their large U3 4-8-4s. These beasts were based off the Canadian National U2 design and were comfortable handling both freight and passenger runs at speed. For higher end passenger service the GTW used the streamlined U4. For local freights the railroad used their S3 2-8-2 Mikados, however they could handle a fast freight should the need arise.
    For diesels, the railroad was very reliant on EMD GP9s for both freight and passenger runs after the end of steam. The GTW also made use of EMD F-3 and F-7 units on freights. By the 1950s most switching duties had been handed off to diesel power, and for that the railroad used a variety of ALCO S units.
    Rolling Stock:
    Rolling stock for the route should include what you'd normally find on a freight hauling railroad in the 50s, plus some early auto-rack cars as mentioned above. For passenger cars the railroad had been phasing out Pullman heavyweights for a while and was in the midst of shifting to using lightweight passenger cars on all services.
    Conclusion:
    I think this route would be a fun experience for anyone who's into vintage high speed services. It allows for plenty of fast running and lots of commuter stops, and plenty of steam/early diesel action. What do you guys think?

    Holly sub map.PNG
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    Last edited: Jun 18, 2021
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  2. steammaster4449

    steammaster4449 Well-Known Member

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    I quite like this idea.
     
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  3. andrew.umlauft1

    andrew.umlauft1 Member

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    we need more midwestern routes. so a hell yes for me.
     
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  4. AndTheBest

    AndTheBest Active Member

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    Yeah, I like it I think it's needed.
     
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  5. trainboyerik

    trainboyerik Member

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    They need to stop ignoring the Midwestern routes in TS 2021 and i feel that we need routes in the states near Wisconsin.
     
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  6. DennistheSteam

    DennistheSteam New Member

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    This is a great Idea, I wish Smokebox would make a GTW K4-a, (Mainly 5629 in her post-1966 appearance) I also have some stats on the K4-a,
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    I once posted the idea of 5629 being in a USRA Light Pacifics Pack on Smokebox's Facebook page, someone replied to me "Getting accurate sounds for it may be a little difficult." difficult, but not impossible! One known sound recording of #5629 exists.
    https://vimeo.com/5797359

    Maybe I'll go to CS.Trains.Com and make a thread on the specs.
    One thing should be noted, if we get locomotives 5627-31, #5630 somewhere during between 1953 and 1956 lost the Worthington Feedwater Heater.

    Update: I posted a thread about 5629 and her class sisters. http://cs.trains.com/trn/f/740/t/288598.aspx
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
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  7. DennistheSteam

    DennistheSteam New Member

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  8. Buynot

    Buynot Well-Known Member

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    Awesome! Hopefully there's a complete set of drawings for some of GTW's steamers out there. I know there's plenty of railroad museums that have extensive libraries on that kind of stuff.
     
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