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The Florida S-line: Seaboard Air Line's Baldwin - Tampa Main (and Branches) In The Early-mid 60's

Discussion in 'Route Suggestions & Proposals' started by 777Gaming, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    Hi, I have a new idea that I think would be really cool for Train Simulator. My proposal is to have the Seaboard Air Line route from Baldwin, Florida south to Wildwood, Florida, and then west over to Tampa, Florida, as the base route as it was in the early 1960's.

    Introduction

    The Seaboard Air Line Railway was formed on July 1st, 1900, and got into Florida as of August 15th, 1903, after acquiring the Florida Central & Peninsula Railroad. This acquisition gave the Seaboard its entire system south of Savannah, Georgia, stretching its way down to Tampa, Florida, where the Seaboard's southern terminus was until 1926, when construction of a line to Miami was completed. In 1924, the Miami extension was started by S. Davies Warfield, who was the president of SAL at the time. The new line "shot like an arrow," as some say, due southwest, starting at Coleman (which is just south of Wildwood and is part of Baldwin - Tampa), down the center of the state towards West Palm Beach, where then it turned due south towards Miami. Fun Fact: The line from Miami to West Palm Beach is actually the Miami - West Palm Beach route in Train Simulator. In the early 1930's, Seaboard declared bankruptcy, and spent the next 15 years clawing their way out of receivership, which they finally accomplished, in 1946, where the name would be changed to "Seaboard Air Line Railroad" (because of the route's time period, all the locomotives, rolling stock, etc. would be labeled "RAILROAD" instead of "RAILWAY," because of this).

    Terrain & Flora

    The terrain of this route is pretty varied, as it travels through the Florida Sandhills in the north/north-central part of the state, which can have gradients up to 1%, and the ancient seabed towards the south, after coming off of the ridge (around Bushnell/Dade City). As well as the terrain, there would also be some new foliage. Trees would include Loblolly Pine, Sand Pine, Water Oaks, Live Oaks, Sabal Palms, Palmetto Palms and Bald Cypress Trees.

    The Route

    The main line would be the Baldwin and Tampa subdivisions, starting at Baldwin, FL, at milepost 652.5 (technically the Baldwin sub starts at MP 635.0 at Jacksonville), and ending at St Petersburg, FL, at milepost 894.0. As for branchlines, there would be one, which would be the Brooksville subdivision, starting at milepost 690.2 at Waldo, FL, and ending at milepost 838.3, at Sulpher Springs, FL (which connects with the line to St. Pete at Sulpher Springs junction). There were (still are) three main yards on the route: Baldwin, Wildwood, and Yeoman (Tampa). The biggest yard on the route was Baldwin, though one could argue that Wildwood was a bit busier. Baldwin had a depot on the northeast side of the diamond, an icing plant on the southwest end of the yard for re-icing refridgerated boxcars, a roundhouse and turntable for cleaning, refueling, and fixing locomotives just to northwest of the yard, and of course, a very large freight yard. Wildwood had a station with three different platforms and a house track, as well as servicing facilities at the ends of the platforms and at the roundhouse for cleaning/refueling locomotives, a roundhouse (with turntable) for fixing locomotives, as well as an icing plant, and a moderately sized freight yard. Yeoman Yard was moderately sized with servicing facilities, but passengers disembarked at Tampa Union Station about two miles to the west, and any repairs would be conducted at Gary Shops, which was also about a mile to the west. There would of course also be depots along the way.

    Locomotives & Rolling Stock

    The primary passenger locomotive would be the EMD E7A (Numbered 3017 - 3048), with standard E8 engine sounds, bell, and an M5 horn, as these sounds are prototypically accurate (Mostly. SAL E Units had M5 as well as M3 horns), as well as a Mars Light (Top headlight), and I know this is possible, as I’ve seen Mars Lights on other DTG locos. The loco would have two paint schemes; "Citrus" and "Mint Green and Chinese Red". Along with the two paint schemes, the E7’s had two different number board styles; Early, and Late. The “Early Style” has a set of number boards on the side of the locomotive, with a large one mounted to the roof, while the “Late Style” had two number boards mounted to the front of the nose. Both paint schemes had a painted on number, Mint Green & Chinese Red had it towards the bottom corner of the rear end, and Citrus had it right near the cab. E7’s 3017 - 3035 had “Early Style” NB’s while 3036 - 3048 had “Late Style” NB’s. As for E7B’s, Seaboard owned three of them numbered 3105 - 3107. They were used on the Meteor and Star in an A-A-B configuration from Richmond to Wildwood, an A-B configuration from Wildwood to Miami, and a single A unit from Wildwood to St. Petersburg. Just like the A units, the B units would be dressed in the Citrus scheme and the Mint Green and Chinese Red scheme.

    For fast freight, the EMD GP40, numbered 600 - 650, and painted in Seaboard's 1960s "Jolly Green Giant" scheme is an excellent choice. With standard GP40-2 engine sounds, an "Early Cast" EMD bronze bell, and the elusive Leslie RSU3L horn, this locomotive can bring the sound and feel of a standard Seaboard workhorse to life! The GP40 is a diesel road switcher made by EMD in the 1960s. They had an EMD 625E3 16 Cylinder engine that can produce 3,000 HP, had minimum of 300 RPM and a maximum of 900 RPM. The GP40 would work great because it's versatile and would overall perform well.

    For standard freights, the EMD GP7, numbered 1700 - 1822, and painted in Seaboards's classic 1940s "Seaboard Standard" scheme works splendidly. With SAL buying 123 of these units, the Seaboard's GP7 fleet would prove to be the backbone of SAL's freight service. Audio would be the standard GP7 engine sounds and bell, but with a Leslie RSU3L horn as well. (Most of the SAL Geeps had RSU3Ls)

    Finally, for slow freights or locals, the ALCO RS-3, numbered 1629 - 1691. This locomotive was the other backbone of the freight fleet, besides the GP7. The loco would have new ALCO 244-D engine sounds, the D&RGW SW12 horn (Leslie A200, accurate), and a standard ALCO bronze bell (see below) for audio. The ALCO RS-3 was built in 1949This locomotive is also good because of the diversity of tasks it can preform, from pulling mainline freights, to being a yard switcher.

    Finally, rolling stock. Passenger equipment would include Budd lightweight coaches for the Silver Meteor and Silver Star (which would probably be reskins from the FP7 California Zephyr pack), and heavyweight Pullman coaches for local trains (40's and 50's) or secondary mainline ssenger services, such as the Sunland, Palmland, or Passenger, Mail, and Express (PM&E). Freight equipment could be some SAL B-10 (PS-1) boxcars, gondolas, covered hoppers, cabooses, and TOFC equipment would work perfectly.

    Conclusion & Further Thoughts

    I also recommend looking at the MSTS route (Wildwood to Tampa) by Carey Stevens, and use historicaerials.com (Pictures from the 1960's) for further reference. I feel like this would be a great route for TS because one, This railroad hasn't been done yet, two, it has a diverse range of services you could do from freight hauls to high speed passenger services, and three, in my opinion, the good ol’ Sunshine State has been overlooked. We have Miami - West Palm Beach, but it doesn’t come anywhere NEAR representing the entirely of Florida. Anyway, if Baldwin - Tampa was built, there would most likely be 3-4 scenarios for each loco. Anyway, if any devs are out there reading this, and I’m talking not just DTG, but also private developers, you could take my proposal into consideration, as I believe the concept is neat and lots of people will enjoy it. And if someone does, I hope it isn't too difficult to build and model.

    Kind regards, 777Gaming

    Below are some reference images/videos, and also scroll down for further elaboration on coaches, both heavyweight and lightweight.
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    S.A.L. System Map
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    EMD E7 #3045 in the Citrus Scheme (3017 - 3048, Latestyle Numberboards)
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    EMD E7 #3044 in the Mint Green and Chinese Red Scheme (3017 - 3048, Latestyle Numberboards)
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    ALCO RS-3 #1650 in the "Seaboard Standard" Scheme (1629 - 1691)
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    EMD GP40 #602 in the "Jolly Green Giant" Scheme (600 - 650)
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    EMD GP7 Class unit #1700 in the "Seaboard Standard" scheme (1700 - 1822)
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    Caboose (note the slogan on the bottom right) Also here is a list of caboose slogans: http://www.trainweb.org/seaboard/cabooseslogans.htm
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    SAL 24000 - 25899 B-10 (PS-1) Series boxcar. Paint schemes are as follows: “The Route Of Courteous Service” 24000 - 24299, 24500 - 24799, and 25000 - 25299. “The Route Of The Silver Comet” 24300 - 24499, and 24800 - 24999. “The Route Of The Silver Star” 25300 - 25499.
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    Williston Seaboard Depot (Street & Platform view)
    Capture.PNG
    Tampa Area Map (Tampa Northern track belongs to Seaboard in the routes time period. Both Hookers Point and Seddon Island shipping terminals were used after they bought up TN)

    Sample for E7 horn (1:19)

    Sample for GP40/GP7 horn (0:08)

    Sample for GP40 Bell

    Sample for RS-3 244-D (prime mover)

    Sample for RS-3 Bell (1:03)
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2020
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  2. LivingLive

    LivingLive New Member

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    I second that. I live near the S-line by Vitis Junction. I would love to see this route, and include an extension to Bradenton with the Tropicana train. I feel that the Florida west coast is getting overlooked. The S-line is one of Florida's busiest routes still today.
     
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  3. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    Thanks! I'm glad you share the same view as me!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2018
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  4. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    This post is going to consist of Lightweight coaches. All lightweight cars are 85 feet, 0 inches long. Most of this information is coming from a book called "Seaboard Air Line Passenger Service The Streamlined Era". (I posted them in the order of a standard Meteor consist.)
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    Budd - Seaboard baggage-dormitory. The coaches had 24 crew bunks in dormitory section (numbered 6050 - 6058).
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    Pullman - Seaboard 10 roomette-6 double bedroom (10-6) sleeper "Richmond". The cars Seaboard owned in this class were as follows; Atlanta, Birmingham, Charlotte, Columbia, Jacksonville, Lake Wales, Miami, Norfolk, Orlando, Petersburg, Portsmouth, Raleigh, Richmond, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Savannah, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and finally Winter Haven. The cars were numbered 36, 37, 35, 30, 32, 41, 43, 27, 33, 26, 28, 29, 25, 38, 29 (Both Raleigh and Sarasota were numbered 29), 31, 34, 42, and 40 respectively.
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    Meteor Exclusive! Pullman - Seaboard Palm Beach 5 double bedroom-bar-lounge "Sun lounge" and interior. The three coaches in the series were the Miami Beach, Palm Beach, Hollywood Beach, and were numbered 18, 19, and 20 respectively. The coaches all looked like this in the Seaboard days and were named after famous Florida beaches. The "window" in the back is actually a mural depicting a Florida beach, and a bar is behind it.
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    Budd - Seaboard 48 seat diner (numbered 6100 - 6120).
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    Budd - Seaboard series 52 seat coach (numbered 6200 - 6274).
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    Budd - Seaboard 6600 - 6605 series tavern-lounge-observation car and interior. The coaches had 34 seats in the tavern section and 24 in the main observation section, and had a "red theme" and a "blue theme", which basically means the seats and decorations were either red or blue, the blue variant being seen in the observatio photo, and the red variant being seen in the tavern photo. There were also murals depicted along the wall between the tavern and lounge sections, the blue theme depicting a deep sea scene, and the red theme depicting a coral reef scene. You can also see SCL 5845 on the rear door. This coach was originally the SAL 6605, so it would've said SAL 6605, and the number for every other car in the game, i.e. 6603 would say SAL 6603 on the inside using dynamic numbering. 6600 - 6602 would have the Silver Meteor tail sign on the rear door, and 6603 - 6605 would have the Silver Star tail sign on the rear door in game. The themes on the other hand were interchanged, i.e. 6600, 6602, and 6604 had the red theme, and 6601, 6603, and 6605 had the blue theme.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2020
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  5. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    This post is going to consist of Heavyweight coaches. The coaches in game would be painted in Seaboard’s "Pullman Green" scheme. Again, most of this information is coming from "Seaboard Air Line Passenger Service The Streamlined Era".
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    Pullman Heavyweight Railway Post Office (RPO) Numbered 150 - 157 (64 ft. 0 in.)
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    Pullman 36 seat baggage/coach Numbered 254 - 288 (79 ft. 8 in.)
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    Pullman 68 seat coach numbered 571 - 599 and 801 - 859 (81 ft. 0 in.)
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    Pullman 36 seat diner numbered 225 - 243 (82 ft. 1 in.)
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
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  6. Bilizimia

    Bilizimia New Member

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    This is a very nice idea, I hope it will be added to Train Simulator sometime in the future.
     
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  7. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    Thank you!
     
  8. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    Trees & Foliage: This is a list of trees and foliage found is this area of the Sunshine State
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    Lobblolly Pine Tree (one of the most common trees)
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    Sand Pine (other common pine tree)
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    Water Oak (also one of the most common trees)
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    Live Oak (Near my town. 10 foot diameter!)
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    Sabal Palm (standard wild palm tree)
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    Palmetto Palm (these litter the forest floor all over the state and don't get taller than 10 feet)
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    Bald Cypress (found in swamps and cypress domes [possible bulk texture?])
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  9. jedi247

    jedi247 Well-Known Member

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    We need a vintage route for TS2020 or TSW2020. The Seaboard route sounds like a cool idea.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
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  10. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    Depots: Yep, another post on here. This one is going to consist of photos of SAL depots along the route, starting in the north, and making its way south. Note: SAL had a style for their depots. If it's wooden, its most likely a "Standard Number 2" depot. (This list will be expanded over time, as I find new photos)[​IMG]
    Lawtey, FL. (still exists, owned by the city now)
    starke.PNG
    Starke, FL. (still exists, CSX uses it to store equipment)
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    Waldo, FL. (still exists, owned by Amtrak and used as a bus stop to get to trains in Jacksonville, as passenger service stopped in 2004)
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    Hawthorne, FL. (demolished in the late 60's, and was replaced by a concrete one, which was also demolished in the 70's)
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    Clearwater, FL. (top one is the passenger station, bottom one is the freight station, passenger demolished in 2004, freight demolished in the 80's)
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    Bay Pines, FL. (demolished in 1972, Seaboard's 1920's spanish missionary style, pole in background was a semaphore signal mast)
    st pete.PNG
    St. Petersburg, FL. (still exists, is owned by Tibbets Lumber now, color images exist, but this photo showed the building nicely)
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2020
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