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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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... But when it comes down to it, it's all about the riverfront: Tracks under the Arch. Need I say more? 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. 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. 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.