The Florida S-line: Seaboard Air Line's Baldwin - Tampa / St Petersburg Main Line C. 1965

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 Railroad’s Baldwin, Tampa, and Clearwater Subdivisions from Baldwin, Florida south to St. Petersburg, Florida, via Wildwood and Tampa, as it was in the early to mid 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, via Winter Haven and Okeechobee. There, it then turned due south towards Miami, passing through Ft. Lauderdale and Hollywood. This portion of the line is the same line as the Miami - West Palm Beach route already 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).

    Topography & Flora

    The topography of this route may be surprising to some, as many people from out of state have the impression that there are no hills in Florida. This is not so, as this line travels through the heart of the Florida Sandhills which can have gradients over to 1%. 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 route itself would be set in the early to mid 1960's, specifically around 1965. The whole main line from Baldwin to St. Petersburg is around 240 miles. The main line would consist of the Baldwin and Tampa Subdivisions. The Baldwin Subdivision technically starts at milepost 635.0 in Jacksonville, but for this route, it would start in Baldwin, FL at milepost 652.5. The Baldwin Sub runs south through big towns and small, including Starke, Waldo, Citra, Ocala, and Belleview, and ends in Wildwood, FL, at milepost 761.2. The Tampa Subdivision starts at Coleman, FL, at milepost 766.0, and runs all the way into Tampa, FL, at milepost 844.9, but also turns north to St Petersburg, FL, where it actually terminates at milepost 894.0. As for branch lines, 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 Sulphur Springs, FL, where it connects with the Tampa Subdivision at Sulphur Springs Junction, on its way to St. Petersburg. Minor repairs along the route would be conducted at the roundhouses in Baldwin and Wildwood, as well as Gary Shops in Tampa. Major repairs were conducted in West Jacksonville, which isn't a part of the route. Stops for the Silver trains were Waldo, Ocala, Wildwood, Dade City, Plant City, Tampa, Clearwater, Bay Pines, and St Petersburg. As for the -land trains, they stopped at almost every depot between Baldwin and St Petersburg besides the small ones located in the middle of nowhere, as those were used only for mainly agricultural-based freight service. There were and still are three main flat switching yards on the route: Baldwin, Wildwood, and Yeoman (Tampa). The first and biggest yard on the route was Baldwin. Baldwin had a depot on the northeast side of the diamond, an icing plant on the southwest end of the yard for re-icing refrigerated 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. Baldwin was larger than Wildwood and Yeoman because it not only handled all of the trains bound for both the Florida Peninsula and Panhandle, but it was also Seaboard's primary yard for Jacksonville. Seaboard had a yard in Jacksonville called Honeymoon Yard, but it was very small and was overshadowed by ACL's giant Moncrief Yard, and Southern's giant Simpson Yard. The second and most busiest yard was Wildwood. 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. The reason Wildwood was so busy was because it handled all trains coming from Miami, and trains from Tampa/St. Petersburg. The final large yard along the route was Yeoman, located in the Tampa suburbs. Yeoman Yard was moderately sized flat switching yard like all of the yards on this route (Seaboard's only hump yard was in Hamlet, NC), but passengers disembarked at Tampa Union Station about two miles to the west, and any repairs or servicing 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 E7, being the backbone of Seaboard's passenger fleet. Purchasing 32 A-units (Numbered 3017 - 3048), and 3 B-units (Numbered 3105 - 3107), these venerable locomotives would serve SAL, SCL, and even Amtrak in a few cases, until the mid 1970's. Audio would include standard E8 engine sounds, bell, and an M5 horn, as these sounds are prototypically accurate, as well as a Mars Light (Top headlight) which is possible, as it's been done on other DTG locos, such as the FP7 and U36B. 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.
    [​IMG]
    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, Early and Latestyle Numberboard variations)

    For fast freight, the EMD GP40, numbered 600 - 650, and painted in Seaboard's 1960s "Jolly Green Giant" scheme is an excellent choice. Even though this locomotive technically was never assigned to the Florida Division, they would occasionally wander down there on priority freights such as "The Razorback" TT-23, which originated from Acca Yard in Richmond, VA, and terminated in Hialeah Yard in Miami, FL. 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.
    [​IMG]
    EMD GP40 #602 in the "Jolly Green Giant" Scheme (600 - 650)

    For standard freights/locals, the EMD GP7, numbered 1700 - 1822, and painted in Seaboard'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 in the north based out of Hamlet, NC, but some would later be transferred to the Jacksonville, FL power pool in the early 60's, due to delivery of new GP30's and GP35's. 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)
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    EMD GP7 Class unit #1700 in the "Seaboard Standard" scheme (1700 - 1822)

    Finally, for standard freights/locals as well, the ALCo RS-3, numbered 1629 - 1691. Nicknamed "Florida Geeps," these locomotives were the other backbone of the freight fleet, besides the GP7, specifically in the southern region. Seaboard bought 60 of these units between November 1950, and October 1952. These locomotives would be the primary freight power on the route. In the 60's, GP7's and GP9's would be transferred to the Jacksonville power pool to lessen the load, but before and still after that, the RS-3 was the main freight power in Georgia, Alabama, and Florida. The locomotive 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 began production in May 1950, and had 1,600 horsepower, making it a great freight locomotive for railroads all across the U.S. from then until the early 1970's. This locomotive is also good because of the diversity of tasks it can perform, from pulling mainline freights, to being a yard switcher, because of it's short hood.
    [​IMG]
    ALCo RS-3 #1650 in the "Seaboard Standard" Scheme (1629 - 1691)

    Finally, rolling stock. Passenger equipment would include Budd lightweight coaches for the Silver Meteor and Silver Star, and heavyweight Pullman coaches for secondary mainline passenger services, such as the Sunland, Palmland, and Passenger, Mail, and Express (PM&E), or local trains (1940's and 50's). Freight equipment would be standard Seaboard equipment of the era, such as 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.
    sal-system-map.jpg
    S.A.L. System Map (everything highlighted in red would be a part of the route)
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    SAL NE Wide Vision Caboose (5700 - 5760) Also note the slogan on the bottom right "LONG CHANCES SHORTEN LIVES". A list of all of the caboose slogans SAL used: http://www.trainweb.org/seaboard/cabooseslogans.htm (This photo is at Plant City, a major junction on the route.)
    [​IMG]
    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.
    [​IMG]
    SAL 15000 - 15499 PS-1 "Cushion Underframe" series boxcar. These special boxcars were purchased between 1962 and 1963 to carry special loads. Because of their bright green color, crews nicknamed these cars "Green Hornets."
    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 (0:23)

    Sample for GP40/GP7 horn (0:11)

    Sample for GP40 Bell

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

    Sample for RS-3 Bell (1:03)
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2021
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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 "Miami". 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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    Silver Meteor Exclusive! Pullman - Seaboard Palm Beach 5 double bedroom-bar-lounge "Sun lounge" and interior. They were specifically purchased for the Silver Meteor in 1954, to act as dome coaches, without the elevated height, as to fit through the tunnels in New York and Baltimore. 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.
    [​IMG]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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    [​IMG]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 observation 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: Oct 14, 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, though there would be room for the “Silver Fleet” scheme and final “Orange Blossom Special” 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: Jan 25, 2021
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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
    [​IMG]
    Loblolly Pine Tree (One of if not the most common pine tree in Florida.)
    [​IMG]
    Longleaf Pine Tree (Once the most common pine tree in the state and southeast, they are distinctive because of their giant pinecones and long pine needles. Back in the 1800's, many of them were logged out for development, and are now kind of rare.)
    [​IMG]
    Sand Pine (Most common pine tree in the sand hill region. They are distinctive for their crazy shapes in which they grow. Many look like they may fall down because they lean so much, but really, they are perfectly stable.)
    [​IMG]
    Water Oak (One of if not the most common oak tree)
    [​IMG]
    Live Oak (These giants can grow to have 10 foot diameters, and can live for thousands of years. The one shown is just outside of the North Florida city I live in, and has probably been there since before people discovered North America.)
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    Cabbage Palm (Sabal Palmetto) (Second most common wild palm tree, behind Palmetto Palms.)
    [​IMG]
    Palmetto Palm (These litter the forest floor all over the state and don't get taller than 10 feet. They are probably the most common palm tree.)
    [​IMG]
    Bald Cypress (These are found in swamps and cypress domes [possible bulk texture?])
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2021
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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. (It still exists, and is now owned by the city of Lawtey and now operates as a museum.)
    starke.PNG
    Starke, FL. (Still exists, CSX uses it to store equipment)
    [​IMG]
    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.)
    [​IMG]
    Hawthorne, FL. (Demolished in the late 60's, and was replaced by a concrete one, which was also demolished in the 70's.)
    [​IMG]
    Citra, FL. (Demolished probably in the 80's after freight service ended, passenger service ended in 1971.)[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Ocala, FL. (Shown in the early Amtrak years, it was a union station built in the 20's for service by SAL and ACL, and it now acts as primarily a bus terminal, as passenger service ended in 2004.)

    Belleview, FL. (Demolished in the late 60's and was replaced by a concrete structure, similar to Hawthorne. Said concrete building still exists, and serves as the Belleview Chamber of Commerce.)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Williston, FL, street & track view. (It still exists, and is owned by the Levy County Insurance Agency now.)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Clearwater, FL. (The top photo is the passenger station, and the bottom photo is the freight station, the passenger station was demolished in 2004, and the freight station was demolished probably sometime in the 80's.)
    [​IMG]
    Bay Pines, FL. (Demolished in 1972 after service ceased in 1968, it was built in Seaboard's 1920's Spanish missionary style. The pole in background was a semaphore signal mast, operating as a train order signal.)
    st pete.PNG
    St. Petersburg, FL. (It still exists almost completely intact besides the west half of the passenger canopy being removed. It's kind of neat that they use the canopy from the original plaza east as a cover for the wood. Despite the tracks being removed back in the early 2000's, and the building being abandoned by SCL in 1968, it's owned by Tibbets Lumber now. Color images exist, but this photo showed the building nicely.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2021
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  11. steammaster4449

    steammaster4449 Well-Known Member

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    I quite like this suggestion. I'm down for it getting made, whatever that may be worth.
     
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  12. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    I'm glad you think so. In fact, for about a year and a half or so, I've actually been considering rolling up my sleeves and doing it myself, to be released as a 3rd party add-on on Steam. Though that would be headache, so I haven't fully decided.
     
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  13. NEC Railfan

    NEC Railfan Well-Known Member

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    In my personal opinion, I'd set the date just a bit forward to around the 70s, it'd allow for a lot of not just original Seaboard Air Line content, but have a new place for SDP40Fs to run around on and a more proper route for the Pooch. We also have the SCl U36B that could be an interesting GE companion to the GP40 and RS-3.
    [​IMG]
    For the GP40, a patched version of the SAL livery exists.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    Maybe a new painted GP40?
    [​IMG]


    Unique liveries also exist for the RS-3.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    During this early era as well old E7s and E8s pulled the early Amtrak rainbow consists that would be displaced with the SDP40F and P30CH.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    P30CH must be in Phase II.
    [​IMG]
     
  14. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    I completely agree. The era that I've chosen (c. 1964) was picked specifically to be able to do SAL, as well as transition era SCL, and 70's SCL. I know that some of the locomotives weren't a part of the roster in '64 (namely the GP40, which would come in '65), which is because of what I just stated. If I were to make the route myself, I would have scenarios spanning from the early-mid 50's all the way to the mid-late 60's.
     
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  15. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    Also, as I said earlier, if I decide to make this route and have it released, after, I could edit the route slightly to fit the 1970's era. Then, I could release it onto the Steam Workshop with a few scenarios using a combination of the U36B, GP40, RS-3, E7, and SDP40F.
     
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  16. trainboyerik

    trainboyerik Member

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    you have my support for this route!
     
  17. Daniel Gibbs

    Daniel Gibbs Active Member

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    Yes, please! This would be a perfect route for the SCL U-Boats! And if this route ever comes to TS, DTM might even make a few SCL locomotives!
     
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  18. 777Gaming

    777Gaming Active Member

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    If anyone is wondering the reason behind a "70' version," it's because by the early 70's after the merger, stretches of the original S-Line had already been abandoned. A simple work around for the Brooksville Sub is to simply not use it north of Brooksville, but by the early 70's, the stretch between Dade City and Zephyrhills had been abandoned in favor of the ACL "AR" line, and the southern portion of the Clearwater Sub between Clearwater and St Petersburg had been abandoned as well in favor of the ACL route. Though to be fair, little imagination is needed to make the 70's work. I just want to be as accurate as possible.
     
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