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Northeast Corridor: New York–new Haven

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by WonterRail, Aug 8, 2021.

  1. WonterRail

    WonterRail Well-Known Member

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    So it's time to tackle another route that featured in that thread of 'what routes, currently not in TSW2, would make great 'Rush Hour' style routes' and since we have just gotten the announcement that Northeast Corridor: Boston-Providence will be coming out just under two weeks from now, I thought I would be quite fitting, since it was the most voted route that wasn't a UK route and also the 4th most voted on route, that this suggestion tackles another section of the Northeast Corridor. This time however, we will be focusing on the section between New York and New Haven. Or as I like to call it, the route that brings NEC: New York back to TSW2.

    But first....

    What he said in that post

    As always, if you want to see every other route that featured in that thread and vote in the poll if you haven't already, go click on the link here.

    The Route Itself

    Now I know a lot of people where disappointed to find out that NEC New York would not be coming over to TSW2 via the Preserved Collection, but for me personally, I hate to say this but...

    …I don't really miss this route all that much.

    The reason I say this is because I personally think that NEC: New York is the worst route to ever be made for TSW2. It has a timetable that is very bare bones and completely inaccurate to what it is in real-life, a lot of the route feels very poorly crafted (I mean, the under/overpasses at both Newark Penn and New York Penn are blocked off, meaning that navigating those stations on foot is incredibly difficult, as well as many other scenery issues) and when talking about routes that are too short, this one I feel takes the cake as while it is 32 miles, there isn't really much going on in those 32 miles as this route only has 5 stations, a couple of yards and that's it. Even the SW1000R loco add-on didn't bring all that much to this route as the loco itself felt pointless as all it did was shunt coaches in Sunnyside Yard at a ridiculously low speed and while it did come with the Ex-Metroliner Cab Car, all it did was A. Feel like it was just thrown in there just so it might get people to buy it, B. Added services that only ran non-stop between Newark Penn and New York Penn and nothing else with maybe the odd run to Sunnyside Yard and C. cause the rest of the timetable to jam up and fall out of sync, so services end up falling way behind schedule, because while the Metroliner services (Keystone) are accurate to real-life, every other service is not.

    But although I see NEC New York not coming over to TSW2 as not that big of a loss, I also see it as an great opportunity to either improve the route or adapt a different segment of the route should it make a come back and we are going to be getting that with Boston-Providence, as that route promises to be much longer and offer so much more than what the TSW 2020 route ever could offer. So when coming back to the original New York route, instead of just bring it back as it is now, why not try to expanded the route to make it bigger and longer than what it is now, and that's is what this suggestion is about. The route I am about to suggest here is similar to a version of the route that has been available in TS Classic for quite a few years were we take the original route in TSW 2020, cut off the section to Newark Liberty and then extend the route further north to New Haven and also add in the Metro-North lines to Grand Central and New Canaan. To give you a better idea of how this route would look, here is a map of what I was thinking for this route.

    Map of the Whole Route
    Northeast Corridor New York-New Haven 1.PNG
    Section between New York Penn/Grand Central & New Rochelle (with freight lines to Harlem River Yards, Fresh Pond Junction & Hunts Point Yard)
    Northeast Corridor New York-New Haven 2.PNG
    New Canaan Branch
    Northeast Corridor New York-New Haven 3.PNG
    Section around New Haven
    Northeast Corridor New York-New Haven 4.PNG

    Keys:

    Black Line=Route
    Blue Dots=Stations
    Green Dots=Depots
    Red Dots=Yards

    Once again to go over some facts, the total length of the route you see here is 107.8 miles (173.5 km). To break down that length, it consists of the main Northeast Corridor route between New York Penn and New Haven (75.8 miles or 122 km), the Metro-North line out of Grand Central Terminal, joining the NEC at New Rochelle (16.2 miles or 26.2 km), the branch line to New Canaan (6.1 miles or 9.8 km), the New York Connecting Railroad down to Fresh Pond Junction (4 miles or 6.5 km), a combined 1.9 miles (3.1 km) that make up the lines down to Harlem River and Hunts Point Yards and a further combined 3.7 miles (5.9 km) that make up the various maintenance depots along this route. As of other stats, the route a total of 42 stations, 4 passenger yards (Sunnyside, Stamford, Bridgeport & New Haven yards) and 4 freight yards (Hunts Point, Oak Point & Harlem River Yards and also Fresh Pond Junction).

    So the small section between Newark Liberty and New Rochelle that the TSW 2020 route was is tiny and dull compare to what this mammoth route has the potential to be. Now the first thing you will notice about the map I have just shown you is that I have kept in the freight yards at Oak Point, Hunts Point and Harlem River, as well as the Connecting Railroad that heads across Hell Gate Bridge down to Fresh Pond Junction. This is because regardless of what I think of that route in general, I actually think the freight part of NEC New York is the best thing about that route. There may not may service focusing on freight, but there is a lot to get out of them such as switching around those yards and of course, traversing to and from Fresh Pond Junction via Hell Gate Bridge with either trash or manifest trains. When talking about this route, every freight service that featured in that original route would make a come back in this route with maybe a few minor changes and also one more too and from service from Fresh Pond Junction as that section of the route usually sees three trains a day at a maximum, maybe it would be another trash train, who knows what else runs on that section of the route.

    So all things saying, along with the freight section that I have just mentioned, the section between New York Penn and New Rochelle would be exactly the same as the section on the TSW 2020 route that we have now, but with major upgrades to the scenery along that section of the route. After that, the route would continue north heading via Stamford and Bridgeport all the way to New Haven, but probably the biggest addition to this route other than that, would be the Metro-North lines heading out of Grand Central and joining onto the NEC at New Rochelle and also including the branch line to New Canaan. The reason these have been added is so to include Metro-North services on this route. You seen, when doing the research for this route, I actually found out that not all Metro-North services stop at New Rochelle and travel all the way to Stamford from either Harlem-125th Street or Fordham running non-stop. So you would have services that would have to travel a very large distance before leaving the map and if you were to include those stations in order to allow those services a decent place to start, you might as well go all the way to Grand Central. What also makes this part interesting is that there is a power changeover between Mount Vernon East and Pelham where the line turns from a third-rail line to an overhead catenary line in preparation for joining the NEC. To add to this, some electric services that come out of Grand Central also go onto the branch to New Canaan, as it is the only electrified branch coming off this section of the NEC. You also have to remember that these sections were actually present on the version of the route on TS Classic (Although, I didn't realise that until entering this route in the editor tools and taking one look at the map), so it would also make sense if you wanted to make the TSW2 version exactly like the TS Classic version.

    Pictures of the route in real-life

    Now for this section, I won't be focusing on the section around New York or New Rochelle as we already have that with the original route, so we are instead going to be focusing on the new sections that would be added with this route, mainly everything north of New Rochelle and Metro-North sections of the route.

    New York Grand Central Terminal
    [​IMG]
    Harlem-125th Street
    [​IMG]
    Fordham

    [​IMG]
    New Rochelle
    [​IMG]
    Stamford
    [​IMG]
    New Canaan
    [​IMG]
    South Norwalk
    [​IMG]
    Bridgeport
    [​IMG]
    New Haven Union
    [​IMG]
    New Haven State Street
    [​IMG]

    Available Locos

    Now one thing I will say before we get into the locos available with this route is that out of the five locos that were available with that route, either with the route or via loco add-ons, three of them would make a comeback with this route and would also be joined by one new loco to allow Metro-North services on this route. But before we get into the new loco for this route, lets go over what would be coming back with this route

    Amtrak Siemens ACS-64
    [​IMG]
    Since this is a Northeast Corridor route, it would of course come with a Amtrak ACS-64 with Amfleet coaches. Besides, that was one of the locos that the original route came with. In all seriousness though, this would be the main loco that would come with route, operating Amtrak services between New York and New Haven on two types of service. The main Northeast Regional service and the Vermonter, which travels between the aforementioned section before changing to diesel traction at New Haven and turning off heading out towards St. Albans (although it could be a service saved for an add-on that I'll bring up later).

    CSX EMD GP38-2 & GP40-2
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The reason I put these locos together is because they would both do the same thing. These would operate freight services on that section around Oak Point Yard. The GP38-2 would come in CSX's YN3 livery while the GP40-2 would come in two variants of the CSX livery, the YN2 and the YN3b livery. The freight cars they would pull would be the same as the ones already available in the TSW 2020 route. To run down what they are:
    • 50ft Plate C Boxcar in CSX Livery
    • 5201-Cubic Foot Covered Car with CSX logos
    • 30,500 Gallon Tank Car
    • 73ft Center-Beam Flatcar
    • 85ft Open Deck Flat Car
    Like I said earlier, these services would be the same as the ones currently available with the original route with a few minor tweaks a one more too and from run to Fresh Pond Junction. The first four cars listed here would be used to make up a Manifest consist while the last car would be used on Trash Trains on that section of the route.

    Metro-North M2
    [​IMG]
    The last loco that would available with this route is also the new loco for this route (or should I say new-ish), this loco is essentially be the M3 from Long Island Rail Road with an overhead pantograph and a few other minor differences and where the staple of New Haven line services on this route for many years before being withdrawn in December 2018. It should also be mentioned here that this route would be set before that date so this route would be in the timetable that these trains ran on this route. They would operate services out of Grand Central towards either Stamford, down the branch to New Canaan or all the way to New Haven Union and on limited occasions towards State Street which is located not far from where Union Station is located.

    Future Loco Add-Ons

    I'm going to move on to this part pretty quickly as there doesn't seem to be any additional layers that could added to this route from other routes already available in TSW2. The most that I could think of was Long Island Rail Road adding AI traffic around New York Penn using the M7 available with the route and the M3 from it's respective loco add-on, but not much else other than that, so lets go into what could come in the future to this route after it would have been release, which I have three for you here.

    But first, lets get the obvious elephant in the room out of the way...

    Amtrak Acela Express
    [​IMG]
    Now I know I didn't include this as one of the locos available with this route, however, the reason for this is because I am expecting this will one day be a loco add-on for the upcoming Boston-Providence route (I mean, if it's set on a section of the route that is capable of 150mph running, you kinda think it's only a case of when and not if). So my thinking here is that when that is out and when this route would ultimately arrive, it would add an additional layer of services focusing on Acela Express services between New York and New Haven to help support the Northeast Regional services already running on this route.

    Metro-North M8
    [​IMG]
    Fun Fact: I so nearly put this as one of the locos available with this route, however, when finding out about the M2 that used to run on this run and given the fact that like I said, it is the M3 with an overhead pantograph, I decided that would be the Metro-North loco for this route to be realistic to what this route would come with and leave this loco to come later as a loco add-on. But regardless, these units where brought into service from 2011 to replace the ageing M2's on this route. They would pretty much the exact same thing as those units, running services out of Grand Central up towards either Stamford, New Canaan or New Haven.

    Metro-North GE P32AC-DM & Amtrak/CTrail GE P40DC

    Out of all the potential loco add-ons feature here, this is the one I have had the hardest time trying to figure out how it would work. I would have made these separate add-ons with maybe different locos of each, but after seeing how they would really not add all that much to this route other than a few peak time services, I decide, since both companies featured here have the same look loco, to feature them both in a twin pack that would add both CTrail and Metro-North diesel services to this route.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The first loco variant feature here is the P32AC-DM from Metro-North. This would come with Shoreliner II coaches and cab car and would add peak services that run between South Norwalk and Stamford with a limited amount going all the way to Grand Central and while these branches wouldn't be featured in this route, services coming off both the Danbury and Waterbury branches would be added with this loco with some Waterbury services being drivable as far as Stratford as some do stop there on a limited basis.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The other variant to come with this pack is the P40DC that works for CTrail but is painted in Amtrak livery. These would come with Mafersa coaches and would operate Shore Line East services that run on a limited basis between New Haven and Stamford. But since this is a loco that is painted in Amtrak livery, it would also help add Vermonter service to this route, since this service changes to diesel power at New Haven, this would be the loco that would take over from the ACS-64 before taking it out of the map via AI and the same would happen in reverse where it would take it into the route and then transfer over the electric power for the main leg of the journey to New York Penn.

    Conclusion

    As you can see, this section of the NEC has so much more to offer than what the TSW 2020 route ever could which kinda goes into the biggest problem I have with that route and that is the fact that the route doesn't really have that much more to offer than just the section it offers now. To put it this way, say what you will about routes such as Southeastern High Speed and Hamburg-Lübeck, but I can see ways that you can add to those routes timetables while keeping within the boundaries that those routes are set in. With NEC New York however, there is no way you can add services to that run that doesn't feel like either a waste of time or something that requires the route to be extended for a few more miles. It's these sorts of things that make you ask the question....

    Why put all that effort into bringing back a section of the NEC which, looking back at it, isn't actually all that interesting and massively flawed to begin with, when you could put the same amount of effort into a whole new section that is far more reward and far more worthwhile than anything that original route ever offered?

    …and luckily, we will be getting that with Boston-Providence and while what we have seen of that route certainly looks promising so far, this section of the route has the potential to be even better. It's a lot longer, has a lot more services running on it, has some decent loco add-on potential, has some bonus sections including one out of one of the world most famous railway stations and this route would even keep some of the better parts of the original route such as the freight section around Oak Point Yard and all this would combine to make the largest, busiest and more diverse US route in TSW2. Whether we see this route in the future is up to whoever decides to makes this route, but for now, lets look forward to Boston-Providence coming out in less than two weeks from now.

    If you have any ideas for this route or you feel like there's something that can be done differently with this route, feel free to leave a reply down below.

    That's all for me and I'll see you for the next route.

    Image Sources:
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2021
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  2. Alex_m30x#7297

    Alex_m30x#7297 Well-Known Member

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    Normally I am just not interested in American routes but man you have sold this route to me
     
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  3. trainsimplayer

    trainsimplayer Well-Known Member

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    In in the exact same boat as Alex_m30x#7297 here, I'm not usually interested in US Content but this has me sold - I also plan on buying the season pass for Rush hour (mostly for BML, but I'll make good use of NEC and... The other one.)

    Absolutely fantastic suggestion!
     
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  4. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Really excellent idea part two of the route is going to be Northeast Corridor New Haven Providence that way you can actually operate the 228 miles of track between Boston South Station in New York Penn Station. That meant dealing with MTA New York State Connecticut Department of Transportation commuter trains from New York to New London high speed running New London to Theodore Francis Green Airport. where you must deal with MBTA commuter train traffic all the way to Boston South Station from Theodore Francis Green Airport Station.
     
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  5. jolojonasgames

    jolojonasgames Well-Known Member

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    I'm the third person here not usually interested in US routes, but interested in this one. Nice suggestion!
     
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  6. csxfan#8403

    csxfan#8403 Active Member

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    Nice one!
     
  7. trainsimgaming1001

    trainsimgaming1001 Well-Known Member

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    Grand Central would be a great addition to TSW and the Train Simulation Community in General
     
  8. Dinosbacsi

    Dinosbacsi Well-Known Member

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    After Boston-Providence it would be definitely nice to see other parts of NEC as well. I remember trying the New York - New Heaven line in Train Simulator a few times and I liked it.
     
  9. CrazyDash

    CrazyDash Well-Known Member

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    This route may have nice scenery and is fairly busy, but it is the slowest part of the whole NEC. The average speed along the whole line is between 55-70mph. You only get to go 100 for maybe a mile a couple times throughout the whole line. This route just is not a good representation of what the NEC is capable of. Because of how slow this section of the NEC is, there are plans for there to be a new NEC line going between NY and Boston where trains would be able to go up to 200mph consistently. Not that I think this will happen anytime soon, but this part of the route is just way too slow to even call it a high speed route.
     

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