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Kansas City Southern Content Proposal

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by treid09, Oct 22, 2020.

  1. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    3978702403_d50e4cc23d_b.jpg
    Hello Everyone!

    Imagine this: You are standing at a rural crossing by a northwest Louisiana "bayou". The cicadas and frogs create a buzzing symphony in the heat and humidity as you admire the flowing Spanish moss of the cypress trees. Before long, this mesmerizing backdrop of the deep south is split in two by a thundering intermodal train led by two of Kansas City Southern's SD70ACe clad in svelte "Southern Belle" paint. This is just one of the many KCS trains that traverse their diverse system, and Louisiana is just one of the states and environments that KCS runs though: the imposing Ozarks in Arkansas and Oklahoma, the deep south arid regions of Texas, the grand Piney woods of Mississippi, and the sultry deserts of Mexico. The Kansas City Southern is fantastic candidate for Dovetail Games Train Simulator 2021 for three reasons: its diverse routes providing a variety of candidates for creation, its variety of traffic, equipment, and challenging environments, and for the fact that KCS is a unique North American railroad unlike any other. It is also the only Class 1 rail line yet to be created for TS. Please enjoy this proposal. Stay well, and God bless!

    (I will expand on my three points below in separate replies to this thread soon.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
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  2. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Diverse Routes and Environments

    kcs-map-white.jpg


    Kansas City Southern Railway is the smallest of the Class 1 companies in North America. It has a primarily North-South orientation, with a significant East-West section (The Meridian Speedway, to be expanded on later.) According to Wikipedia, it has about 6700 miles of track in the US and Mexico. KCS also has a 50/50 stake in the Panama Canal Railway, along with Mi-Jack Companies. It is also one of the oldest American railways, with its roots going back to its identity as the Kansas City Suburban Belt Railway in 1887. Founded by Arthur Stillwell, this tiny line ambitiously grew into the South, extending to principal terminals such as Shreveport, Louisiana. 150px-Arthur_Stilwell.jpg (Arthur Stillwell, Wikipedia image)



    There are many routes that KCS has that would make great candidate for creation in TS 2021, but I will cover two that I believe players will enjoy the most.


    The Heavener Subdivision

    KCS's Heavener Subdivision stretches from Pittsburg, KS, to Heavener, OK. It is one of three subdivisions that comprise the original KCS mainline from Shreveport, La to its namesake, Kansas City, Mo. Unit coal and grain trains predominate, but intermodal and mixed freight trains as well as export trains of automobiles, oil, and grain for Mexico are common. It is bracketed by the small yard at Pittsburg on the north end. Here, an interesting operation takes place; distributed power units (DPU's) are attached to some heavy trains, such as coal trains originating in Wyoming, to assist in getting over tough grades. Photos below (by James A. Robichaux) show employees swapping locomotives at Pittsburg Yard.

    123.jpg

    1234.jpg

    After leaving Pittsburg, these trains have to cross many challenging grades, such as McElahny Hill, Gravette Hill, and Decatur Hill, in the Boston Mountains (Information from "Midwest Mountain Railroading" by Fred W. Frailey. Sept 2009 Trains Magazine.)

    The pictures below show the daunting hills and mountains that KCS has to cross in th Boston Mts. and the famed Ozarks.
    3kcs4607-3951-3955pageok.jpg

    (Continued below)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2020
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  3. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    (Continued from above)

    4259.1437887235.jpg
    8f796267c548fce2ad4130af38c210d0.jpg

    At the South end of the Heavener Subdivision is the yard and shops at Heavener, Oklahoma. There is a depot for crew changes and a base for more DPU helper locomotives, as well as a respectable size yard to base local freight that work industries along the line.
    45684030085_6d371cd7c7_b.jpg

    There is also another unique operation not yet seen in TS 2021: mainline fuel pads. Here the trains literally pull up to the pump, get refuel, windshields cleaned, supplies restocked (fusees, bottled water, etc.) and get new crews.
    KCS-4591-Heavener-OK-12-12-10-1.jpg

    These trains then continue south to Shreveport, KCS's main terminal and shop location. The northern part of KCS could rightly be called the "classic KCS."

    (more following below soon)
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
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  4. andrew.umlauft1

    andrew.umlauft1 Member

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    I barely railfanned the KCS in the ozarks and boy was it a treat to hear these GE's hauling a mile long freight in notch 8.
     
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  5. Brickrail782

    Brickrail782 Member

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    Sounds great to me!
     
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  6. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    "The Meridian Speedway"

    The "Meridian Speedway" is comprised of the Vicksburg and Meridian Subdivisions. This is KCS's busiest route and also boasts one of the fastest routes from coast to coast by rail and is the fastest route between the West Coast and the Southeast. While it is a straight route across northern Louisiana and Mississippi, it is full of challenging running in the many "hogbacks" (undulating hills) present on the route. It also features many grand river crossings, culminating in the Mississippi River bridge, and several large and small yards. KCS also interchanges traffic with short lines at many locations along the entirety of the route, adding to the mix of interesting and unique features present.

    The picture below is the Big Black River Bridge, located between Vicksburg and Jackson, the capital of Mississippi. This bridge was actually the site of large Civil War battle, which is another aspect of KCS that I wish to highlight: the railway is steeped in rich history.
    6721798_orig.jpg
    (Garland Mckee photo)

    The route begins with the Vickburg Subdivision in Shreveport, Louisiana, running across the state to Vicksburg, MS. The route then becomes the Meridian Subdivision and runs from Vicksburg to Meridian, MS.

    In fact, this line would not be what it is today without the intermodal trains that run over it. These intermodals run from ports at Los Angeles and Long Beach to Atlanta, Ga, by agreements with Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern. The train below is in Vicksburg Mississippi, having just crossedthe Mississippi River.
    9790647_orig.jpg
    (Garland Mckee photo)


    Also present are grain trains (chicken feed), long mixed freights, and many local freights known as "Dodgers" (so-called because they have "dodge" in and out of sidings to avoid delaying freight.)
    IMG_8727.jpg

    What makes this route a wonderful candidate is that it runs through some beautiful Louisiana scenery, such as bayous (pictured below), cypress trees, and tall pine trees that form "tree tunnels" around the track.
    7321821_orig.jpg
    (Garland Mckee photo)

    8299976_orig.jpg
    (Garland Mckee photo)

    Players would also be able to use Norfolk Southern and Union Pacific equipment prolifically, as these railroads make often appearances on this line.

    Notice that three out of the five trains pictured above are intermodals. This is precisely what this route is about: fast cross-country intermodals (hence the nickname "The Speedway"). But just as important are the local freights that serve the critical first and last mile to customers along the line. All of this equates to a route that, in my opinion, would be a wonderful route for Dovetail Games to invest in bringing to Train Simulator 2021. The players would love this route and would be able to use Union Pacific and Norfolk Southern equipment from other popular and classic routes that they may already have.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2020
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  7. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Heck yeah!
     
  8. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks dude.
     
  9. DTG Jamie

    DTG Jamie Staff Member

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    Very interesting route proposal treid09, what makes you like this companies routes in particular?
     
  10. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Hi DTG Jamie, thanks. I like KCS and their routes so much because I've lived about a mile away from one of their routes my entire life. I can hear the trains run every day from my backyard, and have seen so many amazing things on this line. KCS is just a part of daily life in my town, and I have grown to love the railroad so much over my lifetime. I've also been blessed to meet and talk to some wonderful people who work for KCS over the years, they are really great company.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  11. steammaster4449

    steammaster4449 Active Member

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    And not talked about enough either.
     
  12. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Yup, so true. KCS is such a fascinating railroad, and it would be a dream come true to see it come to TS, which is why I have put so much effort into this proposal. Hopefully, I will expand upon equipment that could be used soon.
     
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  13. steammaster4449

    steammaster4449 Active Member

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    I look forward to watching this thread expand.
     
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  14. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the delay folks, this section will be on locomotives that I think should be considered as suitable content for a KCS route add-on. All the locomotives mentioned are common KCS locomotives.

    Important: KCS started the transition from gray paint to the new Belle paint in 2007 (new deliveries since then were delivered in Belle paint, while the rest of the locomotives already delivered are gradually being repainted), but as of 2020, all locomotives have not been repainted. Therefore, if a KCS route is made, I would suggest that both schemes be featured. For example, a SD70ACe and a GP40-2 could be the main locomotives in the route but each include the gray and Southern Belle paint. This would be most typical of modern KCS consists.


    Locomotives:

    EMD SD70ACe: This locomotive type has operated in both the "Southern Belle" paint and the gray KCS paint scheme.
    7924.1389052588.jpg

    KCS 4001 Wenatchee 2007 1.jpg


    EMD GP40-2: KCS has these in gray and Belle paint. Both of these are extremely common on the "Dodgers." (local freights)
    s-l640.jpg
    50354145337_f20c3eb1b1_b.jpg


    GE ES44AC: KCS has only had its ES44AC's in Southern Belle paint.

    IMG_8874.jpg

    KCS has many other types of locomotives currently, and some of its most varied locomotive fleets are from a time past. I am focusing this content suggestion on KCS in the present day, so I will not go on to mention other locomotives, as I feel like the above-mentioned locomotives are locomotives are most representative of the modern KCS, not to mention that Dovetail Games already has models of them (as featured in routes like Granger Heartland.)
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
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  15. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Continued from above...

    Special Locomotives

    KCS 4006 Veterans Unit:
    (My personal favorite) Honors United States veterans. Features the Stars and Stripes of the American flag, with rear featuring digital camouflage and a ribbon that says "Support our Troops."
    RA-Vet-Loco-Image-KCS-4S7A3195-1024x576.jpg

    KCS 4009 Essential Heroes Unit:
    Honors essential railroad workers who helps keep the country moving during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Features the words "Resilient and Essential: Saluting KCS Heroes" in Spanish and English on different sides. It also features the American and Mexican flags on its rear, signifying that KCS runs in both the US and Mexico.
    KCS_4009.jpg

    KCS 4859 Safety Starts Here Unit: This unit is part of KCS Safety Starts Here campaign. Features a beautiful silver paint scheme and has KCS Safety Starts Here logo on both sides in English and Spanish (along with the KCS logos in English and Spanish.)

    49699620146_3d3a667414_b.jpg

    KCS "Southern Belles":
    These are authentic EMD FP9's (former VIA Rail of Canada) that haul KCS's annual Holiday Express (to be featured next.) They look exactly like F and E units that used to haul KCS's flagship passenger trains: The Southern Belle, and the Flying Crow. The passenger car fleet also features classy black passenger cars, many of which are original KCS passenger equipment!
    467c3504ce2b38f392e4fbd18cd4bb59--cleveland-zach.jpg
    KCS_Observation_car_Monterrey.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
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  16. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    More on interesting equipment...

    KCS Holiday Express: This is a charity train each run by KCS Christmas holiday, which generates huge proceeds to the Salvation Army, a charitable organization that does much good. (An interesting fact, this was started by employees who donated their spare time to refurbish make the decorated cars and run the train.) People can walk through the train at each of its stops and see Santa and his elves (cough-KCS volunteers- cough). That fact that this is a volunteer operation and the proceeds go to charity shows that KCS is a truly authentic company.

    Snowy-KCS-Holiday-Express.jpg IMI80435.jpg
     
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  17. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Rolling Stock: I will include only three suggestions of rolling stock, as basically any kind of freight car is a common sight on any KCS route: boxcars, steel coil cars, flatcars, covered hoppers, tank cars, centerbeam cars, etc. Most any default rolling stock would be perfectly suitable.

    The three that I will suggest are unique only in their paint schemes and I feel that if these were included, it would solidify the KCS identity in a route.

    "Southern Belle" and Gray Covered Hopper: These cars haul grain and feed (like chicken feed) and are extremely common throughout the system.
    KCS 286706 -1A at Bartlett Grain CB IA 11-8-07  1024N.jpg
    (beautiful eh?) ;)

    10-13-15-22_web.jpg


    Hi-Cube Boxcar: These are also extremely common in most every KCS freight train.

    156.JPG

    42' Steel Coil Car: Another common car to see on any KCS route.
    6838562671_98491d68a6_b.jpg
     
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  18. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Final Thoughts (and a little something else...)

    I would like to conclude this thread with a few final reasons to offer as to why a KCS route would be a great addition to TS 2021. First, this route is like none other in America. It is not as big as Union Pacific, or as imposing as Norfolk Southern, but it is a railroad that has a legacy, a character, to rival that of any other rail line. Another reason, although not as applicable for TS, is that the people who work for KCS are great, and it is a company that I think Dovetail Games would have no problems working with (especially with licensing.) I also don't think that I am the only player who would love to see this wonderful railroad come to TS 2021, as it is the only railroad to not be featured in the simulator up to this point. All of the locomotives and freight cars necessary for the route have already been created, so only repaints would be necessary. I railfan KCS fairly often, so I might be a bit biased. However, I can say that KCS is a railroad that I would love to see make it to the sim, and I think other players would love it too. It would be a dream come true to command a trio of SD70ACe's on the point of a grain train conquering the Ozarks; or perhaps accelerating a pair of GP40's out of a small town to get to the next industry without causing delays.

    I would like to thank everyone who reads this for their time, and to DTG for offering enthusiasts like myself a place to offer suggestions! I do hope that the effort that I put into this proposal is evident, and I hope that DTG takes my proposal into consideration.


    May God bless all of you, and I wish everyone a healthy, safe, and happy rest of 2020. Keep your heads up and eyes on the next signal!



    Now for that something else...

    I wanted to explain why the red, black, and yellow paint scheme is called the "Belle" paint. KCS's flagship passenger train as renowned for its service which could rival that of the likes of the Super Chief. It was named the Southern Belle, and its locomotives were painted in that red, black, and yellow paint scheme that KCS locomotives feature today, hence the name. KCS wanted to emphasize that this train exemplified true "southern hospitality," so they decided to go on a search for a mascot for the train to appear in advertisements and the such. They had a competition to find a true "southern belle," which is simply a southern lady who exemplifies hospitality and such qualities. Their search led to their first southern belle: Margaret Landry. (Quite a beautiful lady!)
    SouthernBelleluggagesticker.jpg
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
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  19. Brickrail782

    Brickrail782 Member

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    Would definitely love to see the KCS come to TS!
     
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  20. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely!
     
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  21. pugilist3

    pugilist3 New Member

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    I agree!
     
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  22. AndTheBest

    AndTheBest Active Member

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    Nice route, I taked a look and I like it, good job
     
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  23. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you
     
  24. Daniel Gibbs

    Daniel Gibbs Active Member

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    I'd give anything to bring KCS content to TS!
     
  25. treid09

    treid09 Well-Known Member

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    Appreciate the support, Daniel!
     
  26. WoodlandTracks

    WoodlandTracks Member

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    I wonder what you mean by that ? You mean you are willing to pay more than usual ?
     
  27. Daniel Gibbs

    Daniel Gibbs Active Member

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    It's just an expression. I literally meant I'd really love to see KCS content come to Train Simulator.
     
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