Norfolk Southern Harrisburg Line

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Mevans193, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. Mevans193

    Mevans193 Well-Known Member

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    Hello all, as Train Sim World routes are now getting significantly longer I figured it was time to put up my suggestion for what I think would make a great American freight route. The Norfolk Southern Harrisburg Line from Reading PA to Harrisburg PA. The full route is 112 miles from Norristown to Harrisburg (a little too long for TSW at the present moment) but representing the 54 mile section of the line from Reading to Harrisburg would make for a very interesting route with a little bit of everything for freight lovers, including yard switching/shunting, mainline running in open countryside at speeds of up to 50 mph, and local mainline freights serving several large industries along the way.
    map.jpg

    The journey would begin in Reading yard, a small classification yard and starting point for many locals on the line. Heading west, trains negotiate Wyomissing Junction, one of several complex junctions on the line where lines branch off in several different directions. From Wyomissing trains run through the suburban towns of Sinking Spring and Wernersville. In Sinking Spring is the interchange with the East Penn Railroad, as well as a small rail served feed company. In Wernersville exists one of several no longer used railroad stations along the line serving as popular railfanning locations.
    Wernersville.jpg

    After Wernersville things change to very rural farmland. One can relax and take in the sights as trains cruise past the fields and even a few Amish farms at a fast pace of 50 mph (fast for a freight train anyways). Those looking for some challenge will not be disappointed as low priority local freight trains must sneak out onto the mainline at quieter times of the day to serve both a roofing manufacturer and a chemical company just outside of Myerstown. These locals must dodge high priority intermodal and manifest trains by switching from mainline to mainline. To save time and avoid run around tracks, these locals will often run with a locomotive on each end (common practice for local freights in the Northeast US but not something seen yet in TSW)
    Myerstown 1.jpg

    From Lebanon to Annville, things start to change back to suburbia. Annville is another common railfanning town with an old station sitting along the mainline. Annville is also the location of a huge rail served quarry with it's own dedicated switcher, and can produce several loaded stone trains a day.

    One of the most unique towns along the line of course is Hershey PA. Home to the chocolate factory of a candy company that I'll let you guess the name of. The chocolate factory is busy enough to have it's own dedicated switcher as well, spending all it's time bringing carloads from the small yard in Hershey to the many candy factory complexes. Hershey is not just known for it's huge chocolate factory, but also it's amusement park just across the tracks. Trains pass by the roller coasters and rides, and even pass under a monorail that runs between the factory and the park.
    Hershey 1.jpg

    Just before we finish our journey, we pass by Rutherford yard, one of two intermodal yards in the Harrisburg area. West of Rutherford we enter Harrisburg where several more lines meet at one location. Trains first pass the junction with the Lurgan Branch and then meet up with up Amtrak's Keystone Corridor right at Harrisburg Amtrak Station. Freights pass the station on freight only tracks and Amtrak trains can enter Norfolk Southern tracks just north of the station. While the Amtrak station is still electrified, the freight only bypass used to be but is no longer electrified, however the catenary poles are still standing providing a unique sight of double stack container trains under the former catenary.
    Harrisburg 2.jpg

    Harrisburg Intermodal yard is the larger of the two intermodal yards in the area, featuring a large refueling complex, with a fuel rack on the mainline so trains don't have to enter the yard if they need to refuel. Harrisburg intermodal is the official end of the Harrisburg line but if all of this isn't enough operation for you, maybe consider extending the route just a few more miles to include the famous Rockville Bridge and Enola yard, the main classification yard for the Harrisburg area.

    Motive Power:
    Modern mainline trains are often powered by large GE locomotives. Good candidates for a starter locomotive would either be the brand new ET44AH, or the older C44-9W. Providing local power would be either the GP38-2 (either low hood or high hood) or the SD40-2 (either low hood or high hood)

    Rolling Stock:
    Intermodals are a very common sight along the line, and with two intermodal yards including them is a must. For rolling stock a well car and a spine car would be perfect to carry the many containers and trailers.
    For other rolling stock, just about anything can show up, but most common and used by industries on the line would be: boxcars, tank cars, covered hoppers, and stone hoppers.

    Potential DLC:
    Being a busy east/west line, just about anything on the Norfolk Southern roster can show up on this line, but some great choices for future content would be the standard cab SD70, a good power choice for representing older intermodal trains, and also good power for stone trains. The SD60E is another great choice. This locomotive is unique to NS, and is a common sight on all mainline trains that run on this line. Plus the SD60E gives the added potential of trainspotting with both the Honoring First Responders, and Honoring Veterans liveries.

    Here are some additional videos show casing both the line and local switch operations for those interested:




    Thank you all for stopping by and considering this great route!
     
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  2. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    GP38-2 SD40-2 & C44-9W are already in game for CSX SPG and just needs a reskin for Norfolk Southern Harrisburg line. On the other hand ET44AH Norfolk Southern 7200s becomes CSX 3300s-3400s for SPG.
     
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  3. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    The Dash 9 isn't in the game, only the Dash 8 is.
     
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  4. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for telling me about it and I got mixed up between the Dash 8 and Dash 9 because those look identical to each other. Speaking of the Dash 9 does CSX have them too if so this route finished first then Reskinned for CSX SPG
     
  5. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    Yes CSX does own Dash 9's. While they may look identical at first, they have many mechanical differences inside, and also have small differences on the outside. I'd rather have a Dash 9 made out of a Dash 8 rather than just a reskinned Dash 8.
     
  6. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    I second this!
     
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  7. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    CSX's Dash 9s are an odd bunch, as unlike other Class 1s, theirs were Pre Production models, and as such use the Dash 8 as a base.

    CSX Dash 8
    300px-CSX_7689_GE_C40-8W.jpg

    CSX Dash 9
    unnamed.jpg

    NS Dash 9
    NS_8921_GE_C40-9W.jpg
     
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  8. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    I can see the difference between the CSX version SPG and the Norfolk Southern version for this route. CSX lacks the upper headlights and Locomotive numbering which the Norfolk Southern Dash has. If Norfolk Southern reading to Harrisburg was made it can get the SPG AC4400CW reskinned to become NS (United States Norfolk Southern in order to prevent confusion from the Dutch Railways uses the same Abbreviation) 8000s & 1100s for this route. Reason for this is very simple is that all the freight railroads in the United States order the same locomotive with custom specs
    Video by BNSF Fan 1617 shows NS AC4400CW 11170
     
  9. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Would love to see NS in the game, long overdue, and the Harrisburg line would be as good as any. Northern Indiana would be even better. On a side note, I recently saw a tanker train topped and tailed by 3 Norfolk Southern locos only about 30 miles south of the Wisconsin state line. Moving fast but the lead might have been an ES44 or similar with the big radiator, not sure. I don't recall seeing NS that far north and west before, they usually stay south of Chicago. I think they were on CN trackage. Anyway, to get back to your suggestion, you have my vote. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
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  10. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    Yes, you do. Couple this with the Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Reading, Lehigh and Lurgan Lines, you're all set.
     
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  11. 59321747

    59321747 Active Member

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    The most fearful thing is that the rail line in the United States should be 50-60 miles. I would rather wait for the day when DTG technology matures and build more than 100 miles of railway lines for it.
     
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  12. Mevans193

    Mevans193 Well-Known Member

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    I’ve seen a lot demand for NS in the suggestion forums, so I wouldn’t be surprised if DTG is planning something, it’ll just be interesting to see which route they end up doing.
    Also nice catch on the tank train. I’ve seen NS as foreign power on tank trains on CSX tracks before. BNSF foreign power on tank trains seems more common in my area.
     
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  13. Mevans193

    Mevans193 Well-Known Member

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    All great lines as well. Reading Line is very similar to this one. Pittsburgh Line from Altoona to Johnstown would be amazing in TSW, but they may be saving that for steam and use the PRR K4 like in TS
     
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  14. Mevans193

    Mevans193 Well-Known Member

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    Very true that if they want the complete line that it should wait, but in the case of the Harrisburg Line the busier section is the 54 mile section between Reading and Harrisburg. Most trains going to New York City take the Reading Line and don’t continue on the Harrisburg Line.
     
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  15. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    Norfolk Southern doesn't own any AC4400CW's, NS 1170 is an SD70ACe.

    Closest thing would be an AC44C6M, which are DC to AC conversions and rebuilds of C40-9's and C40-9W's
    30402063984_c4a2197e2a_b.jpg
    Norfolk_Southern_AC44C6M_Poster.jpg
     
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  16. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for telling me about this and for DTG they can take the Shortcut by reworking the SPG AC4400CW CSX into Norfolk Southern AC44C6M to save time for this route. And for the Hershey industrial Switcher is it the same MP15DC as Caltrain or NEC New York SW1000R
     
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  17. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    And for good measure, throw in the Top Hat 9s.
     
  18. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    Or use that for NS, and go with the Strasburg Railroad for steam
     
  19. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    I should also add Triple Crown Service, if you wanna go old school
     
  20. MetrolinkF125#916

    MetrolinkF125#916 Well-Known Member

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    This route has my vote, we really need an NS route in the game, and this one seems like a good candidate. I'm not sure if the community wants to see the SD40-2 and GP38-2 again, but since DTG is sticking to including 2 locos max per route these days, and one of them must be reused, we will see one of these trains again. I would like to see an ES44AC, SD70ACe, or ET44AC "Tier 4 GEVO" as the brand new train, and maybe an SD60E or C40-9 "top hat" as dlc.
     
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  21. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    The top hat Dash 9 and widecab variants, SD70 spartan cab, SD70M, SD70ACE, SD70M-2, SD60E would be awesome.
     
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  22. MetrolinkF125#916

    MetrolinkF125#916 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, but unfortunately DTG doesn't seem to want to make more than one loco dlc for a route nowadays, but we might see those locos in the future in a different route.

    If I had to choose it would be the top hats, since DTG will get very creative with the marketing and article titles;)
     
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  23. LiquidShadows

    LiquidShadows Well-Known Member

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    Man, you should get into sales 'cause now I wanna play this route. This definitely has my vote! I also strongly agree that Dovetail Games needs to get some new blood in there with regards to their freight locomotives. An ES/ET44AC or an SD70ACe would be a MUCH appreciated addition to the Train Sim World lineup, in my opinion.
     
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  24. Reventloff

    Reventloff Well-Known Member

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    Nice one, mate - my vote for this route also! And very needed proposed additions in american freight locos ingame also!
    Ready to preo-order this now!! :D:D:D
    12503GiveMeYourMoneyMoneyMain.jpg
     
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  25. Mevans193

    Mevans193 Well-Known Member

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    The AC44C6M would be an awesome locomotive to see, especially with those unique liveries.

    As for the Hershey switch job, normally it's powered by a GP38-2
    Hershey 2.jpg

    However, MP15s have been used on the line in the past, as seen by this photo of a local job crossing the Rockville Bridge.
    mp15.jpg
     
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  26. Mevans193

    Mevans193 Well-Known Member

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    Funny enough I used to work in sales, but I left to work for a delivery company. But back on topic, I agree that they definitely need some new freight locomotives instead of the same ones recycled. ES44AC or SD70ACE are also some good choices, but I think they would be better saved for a more spectacular NS route when the time is right, like the Pittsburgh Line or the Pocahontas Division because some tough mountain railroading coupled with the possibility of Heritage Units would be a huge selling point.
     
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  27. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Okay then and easy way for DTG making the GP38-2 is reskinning the CSX version into Norfolk Southern version for Harrisburg Line.
     
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  28. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    Or the Washington District/B-Line, which would be a perfect route for Rush Hour.
     
  29. jedi247

    jedi247 Well-Known Member

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    My ideas for locos:
    NS SD70M-2, SD70ACU, SD80MAC, C40-9/C40-9W, ES40DC, ES44DC/AC, or ET44AC for heavy freights
    NS SD40-2 Admiral Cab or High-Nose, GP60, GP40-2, GP38-2, GP59ECO, or MP15 for locals and switching
    The heritage NS SD70ACes/ES44AC packs are fantastic DLC ideas. There could be two packs or just one with all the liveries.
    I really like the idea of seeing the Admiral Cab SD40-2s in game.
     
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  30. dedh98mosqueto

    dedh98mosqueto Active Member

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    If you time the line right you might be able to have passenger trains bringing more diversity and choices of scenarios.
     
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  31. Mevans193

    Mevans193 Well-Known Member

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    All great choices. The SD70M-2 definitely would get my vote for the official reskin or livery designer possibilities alone since many railroad including a few shortlines now have them.

    C40-9Ws and GP40-2s or GP38-2s are good choices for this line since they show quite frequently. The Admiral Cab SD40-2s are another good choice if they wanted to do an SD40-2 without redoing the SD40-2 we've seen already.
     
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  32. Mevans193

    Mevans193 Well-Known Member

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    An interesting idea. From what I've seen online, passenger service on this line ended sometime in the mid to late 1960s, and at one point the line was 4 tracks to accommodate the high traffic. DTG would certainly have their work cut out as finding documentation on this line before the Conrail era seems to get increasingly difficult. The idea is interesting though. Reading Railroad is often overlooked for official train simulator content (by any game studio, not just DTG) but Reading did have an interesting roster to choose from, setting the route in the 1960s seeing FP7s, or RDCs for passenger, and GP35s or SD45s for freight, flying down poorly maintained track would be good fun. I'll admit, I'm little biased towards NS since in real life I've only ever seen NS on this route, but the idea of Reading in TSW is neat.
     
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  33. jedi247

    jedi247 Well-Known Member

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    I'd love the AC44C6M and SD60E as well.
     
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  34. steamfan#1309

    steamfan#1309 Active Member

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    Thank you. I was wondering that seeing DTG seemingly only lean towards classic British passenger routes and not classic American passenger routes.
     
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  35. steamfan#1309

    steamfan#1309 Active Member

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    Yes, I have three accounts because the computer forgot my own password and how it is spelt.
     
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  36. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Really good analysis and if you wanted to be in line with United States freight railroads Locomotives the Norfolk Southern ES40DCs become CSX SPG 5200s-5400s ES40DC. This was mentioned by Brodyness4 on SPG DLC
     
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  37. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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  38. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for telling me about the Norfolk Southern Locomotive fleet Numbers for ES40DC. Does Norfolk southern also own SD70ACE Tier 4 SPG CSX 8900s and ET44AH the SPG CSX 3200s-3300s? If they have them then they can fit onto this route later reskinned for Sand Patch Grade.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2021
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  39. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    NS's ACEs are 1000-1200. And the ET44AHs are 3600-3700.
     
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