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St. Louis Missouri & Illinois

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by pschlik, Sep 28, 2017.

  1. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    Saint Louis: Gateway Switching
    A switching-focused foray into the Midwest.
    Any American will understand that the Midwestern united states is often left out in DTG's simulator products. Most routes are closer to the Pacific or Atlantic Ocean than they are to the Mississippi River! So how about we go right up to the riverfront, smack dab in the middle of the country: Saint Louis.
    [​IMG]

    As expected for a Midwestern rail town, Saint Louis is a muddle of many railroads. With yards home to Union Pacific, BNSF, Norfolk Southern, CSX, Canadian National, Kansas City Southern, and Amtrak too the route can appeal to just about anyone in the United States; your favorite railroad most definitely is featured. You even have some shortlines, notably the Terminal Railroad Association.
    [​IMG]
    And that is also why I suggest implementing Saint Louis as a switching route, as opposed to a destination on a point to point route: by making a route that focuses on just St. Louis, it is possible to include all the yards of all railroads, which really bumps of the variety of activities going on. (The mainlines could just be left to route extensions, of course.) And the variety of switching...my goodness there is a lot to do! Everything imaginable in switching is there to be done. From classification yards to big industries to an intermodal terminal to the airport to hump yards to big industrial areas to transload terminals to a power plant, there is really a bit of everything for everyone.
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    Of course, other Midwestern locations can offer similar experiences, but nowhere can offer quite the scenery of St. Louis. The Gateway Arch is right in the middle of all the action, and the Mississippi River is an impressive obstacle that leads to some very impressive bridges. The tallest manmade monument in the United States and the biggest river on the continent are not to be ignored! As the railroad squeezes around the city and riverfront, other interesting constructs have been made; from the elevated trackage of the waterfront to the tunnels under the Arch, you'll be left wondering why anyone thought it was a good idea to make a railroad here.
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    And there is a bit of light rail as a potential DLC opportunity. The entire western part of Metro Link would easily fit into even a modest recreation of the St. Louis area. Only the eastern end is a bit of a stretch.
    [​IMG]
    And if you think St. Louis looks interesting now, the past was even more of a chaotic mess! Union station might now only be an old attraction, but back in the day it was a real union of railroads...too many railroads, to be honest! It would certainly be cool to have St. Louis in modern times or back in the 60s; each is interesting in its own right.
    [​IMG]

    And for a bit of perspective, here is an official TRRA railroad map of the St. Louis area, which should give you a good idea of the railroads, railyards, and industries involved. The yellow "switching limits" line is around an 8-mile radius, or so, from downtown. As this is the real-life limits of switching, it seems fitting that it is also reasonable for a TS route. Though maybe a few more sidings could be put in that are technically not in switching limits...
    [​IMG]

    But when it comes down to it, it's all about the riverfront:
    Tracks under the Arch. Need I say more?
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    The MacArthur bridge-where all that elevated rail comes from. BNSF, UP, and Amtrak use it now, but it once had a road on top of the tracks.
    [​IMG]

    Eads Bridge is the one used by Metro Link. It was used for mainline traffic...but the road on top now acts as too much of a height restriction. This was also the world's first all-steel bridge: there's some interesting history there.
    [​IMG]

    I know this post is a lot, but this is something I really do want to see and I hope you out in the community could find some of the sights (and operations) of St. Louis interesting. I bet some of you haven't even seen the Gateway Arch, which would make a magnificent centerpiece to any route.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  2. PlatChap

    PlatChap Well-Known Member

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    A very ambitious idea. I am sure this would take an incredible amount of development time but man that would be one interesting and fun location to play around in.
     
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  3. Alaskan Jack

    Alaskan Jack Member

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    I have seen the Gateway Arch it's been a while I am from Kearney Nebraska but went through there when I was in Navy but I do see a interesting route even having place to run KANSAS city Southern and others would be cool at least it a midwestern route and that's cool in itself . nice post love your post!
     
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  4. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah, I can imagine this being above the usual route. I figure DTG tends to avoid routes made of yards due to the extra work that goes into a yard compared to a mainline. There's a lot more track-miles in a few yards than a whole mainline.
     
  5. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    I grew up in South St. Louis county in the 40s & 50s, before the arch was built and Metrolink came into existence, but when Union Station was still active and passenger trains had to back in over a very large Wye. Switching that area would be magnificent, especially once it becomes possible to write scenarios for TSW. How would people react to a simplified yard scheme set around 1950? The archives of the Post-Dispatch and Globe-Democrat newspapers must contain a lot of photos from that period.
     
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  6. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    This would be pretty cool. Even with my disappointment with TSW I would buy this.
     
  7. Juxen

    Juxen Well-Known Member

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    I'm from the St. Louis area originally, and I agree we don't have any Midwest routes. With NYC being announced just now (yay, more New York...), I feel like most people believe there are only three places in the US: New York, LA, and Not-NY-Or-LA.

    As soon as the editor comes out, I'm planning to make a small route showcasing the Port Harbor that I used to work at.
     
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  8. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    Seeing what happened with New York, I think that a route of similar scope (just inside the city, not really getting to the suburbs) could have been done out of St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas City, New Orleans...and any one of those would have a much fuller experience to offer through freight switching.
     
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  9. Juxen

    Juxen Well-Known Member

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    I could be on the wrong track here (heh), but I wonder if part of it is because DTG is based mostly in the UK. UK trains tend to be point-to-point, including the freights. The US is very different; while many are point-to-point (intermodal, coal, etc.), there is a huge reliance on switching yards and local freights. The railroad I used to work at had only 5 industries on a five-mile loop (and less than two miles as the crow flies), but a typical day could see 50 carloads in/out and 6-8 hours of switching. Trying to figure out how to break up a 110-car unit grain, empty it, and send it on its way in 12 hours could tax even the most creative mind.

    Basically, we seem to be thinking in the fun of switching and locals, and DTG seems to be thinking in the fun of long-distance runs.
     
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  10. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

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    This much enthusiasm over switching is really exhilarating! I sincerely hope that TSW's developers will take these comments seriously and that many more switching enthusiasts will add their support to this thread. To be sure, switching is not everyone's cup of tea (or biscuit), but it offers another intensive and authentic aspect of railroading that deserves to be featured alongside passenger runs and long-haul freight duties.

    How about it, developers?
     
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  11. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    I usually enjoy a scenario that involves switching as opposed to one that is just start "here" and drive to "here".
     
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  12. Digital Draftsman

    Digital Draftsman Well-Known Member

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    It's not because they are UK based. The reason is because point to point has mass appeal, and will therefor generate the most sales. I believe the most popular route formula is a route set in the last 10 years, point to point with a length that takes about an hour to drive end to end. Market demands and research/licensing limitations dictate what DTG will produce, so it's unlikely DTG will create a shortline/local switching route when the mass market demands otherwise. Fortunately 3rd party developers are generally driven by passion rather than profit, so eventually that'll bring greater variety to TSW. Having a profit driven business as the backbone and 3rd developers to bring passion is quite good symbiotic relationship to have, though I believe DTG should make it easier for 3rd parties to distribute and monetize their addons through Steam.

    Around the time of the TSW Beta I spent a lot of time creating Unreal4 game assets for a shortline railroad on the assumption that the developer tools would be released not long after TSW itself. Unfortunately the tools have not been forthcoming and thus neither has the route I was planning. Hopefully we'll get the tools at some point and then I can start route building. Failing that I may just build it in TS2018.
     
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  13. pschlik

    pschlik Well-Known Member

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    Alright, since this is getting some attention, I'm going to clean up the original proposal.


    Now less of a wall of text with more varied pictures...and an official map that, coincidentally, has the switching limits placed right around where a route would make the most sense.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  14. ragn05

    ragn05 Well-Known Member

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    Good line, have the gp38-2?
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2018
  15. StratPlayer62

    StratPlayer62 Well-Known Member

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    And to give this proposal some more support here are some of my shots from the area,

    The historic station (now the Amtrak station) in Kirkwood at night.
    [​IMG]

    And a few more daytime shots from the area,
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  16. Lawjester

    Lawjester Well-Known Member

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    This would be an incredible route with so much variety from Amtrak and it’s diverse traffic to a whole bunch of different freight trains. I’d definitely love to see this route happen in TSW one day as it would an incredible sight to see and operate through. I also know that I’m a bit late to this route proposal, unfortunately I didn’t see it because all the trashy 1 line proposals hiding it all the way to the bottom but this is definitely a jewel on the forums.
     
  17. rare_common_sense

    rare_common_sense Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to, and like Lawjester, I am just now also seeing this post. I'm not a huge fan of switching, I'm more a point to pick/drop off passenger type guy myself. But also see that everyone deserves a bit of what they like as well. I would love for this route to literally have a little of everything as well. I have no familiarity with the area, and unfortunately have not been anywhere close to seeing such a magnificent structure, that is the St. Louis Arch but have read up on it sometime in very recent years. So I would definitely like to see something come of this as well. Especially if it is supplied with some sort of passenger operations.
     
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  18. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    This would be good route for Amtrak equipment, like a P42DC.
     
  19. Juxen

    Juxen Well-Known Member

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    It's a good route for everything. Current motive power commonly seen in the area:

    GE: AC4400CW, Dash 9, ES44DC, ES44AC, ET44AC, P42DC, C40-8W, 44-Tonner
    EMD: SW9, SW1200, SW1500, MP15AC, MP15DC, GP38-2, GP40-2, SD40-2, SD60, SD70, SD70M, SD70ACe
    Siemens: SC-44

    Class I railroads in the area: BNSF, CN, CSX, KCS, NS, UP
    Shortlines: TRRA, PHRR, Granite City Steel, AS, FTRL

    And that's the present day. In the past, the railroads in the area included: MP, MKT, NKP, PRR, NYC, ITC, TRRA, SLSF, WAB, IC, CNW, CBQ, CRIP, SSW, BO

    The St. Louis area is second only to Chicago for the variety of railroads, locomotives, and rolling stock in all timeframes. A St. Louis route would be great for legal purposes, too; licensing can come from any of the 6 of the 7 class I's, a fair number of shortlines, as well as historical railroads.
     
  20. cosmo

    cosmo Active Member

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    Seems like there's loads of ways this could go. Good shout indeed!
     
  21. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

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    Would really enjoy this route in TSW
     
  22. Ski

    Ski New Member

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    I wanted to suggest doing a route centered on St. Louis, Missouri. I searched the forums to see if it had been suggested previously...and I found this thread. I would love to see St. Louis represented in TSW and the original author of this thread did a great job in proposing it. I have lived all over the US and St. Louis offers so much to the rail enthusiast, perhaps more so than anywhere. Almost every Class One railroad, multiple shortlines, multiple Amtrak routes and stations, an extensive light rail system, multiple power plants served by rail, automotive and steel facilities...it goes on and on. Heck...even tunnels. COME ON DOVETAIL...DO IT!!!!!!
     
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