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Tsw: Magdalena Branch (usa)

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by Juxen, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. Juxen

    Juxen Well-Known Member

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    I would like to propose a route idea for Train Sim World: The AT&SF's Magdalena Branch in central New Mexico.

    What

    The Magdalena Branch was built by the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway in 1884 from Socorro, New Mexico, to Magdalena, New Mexico, to serve ore mines in the area. The line is approximately 27 miles in length, and runs across the open desert to get to Magdalena. Mining was the primary reason the branch was built, but the branch also allowed cattle ranchers to get their cattle to Eastern markets. The cattle would be loaded on at Magdalena, run to Socorro, run up the Santa Fe's El Paso subdivision, and onto points east and west at Belen or Albuquerque.

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    Why

    As stated above, the reason the branch was built was to accommodate the growing ore and ranching markets in the region. Trains loaded ore at the Kelly Mines outside of Magdalena (Kelly is now a ghost town), and rolled down to Park City, where there was a smelter. The cattle pens at Magdalena and Water Canyon allowed cows and sheep to get to Socorro, where one of Santa Fe's mainlines joined in. Most of the other traffic the route carried was passengers, mail, equipment for the mines, and goods for Magdalena. The mining had pretty much dried up by 1932, but the cattle kept the line alive until 1972.

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    When

    The branch was in existence from 1884 through 1972. After the last stock train ran out of Magdalena, the ATSF ripped up the rails. During its lifespan, the line saw steam power ranging from diminutive 4-4-0's to burly 2-10-0's, and diesels from ALCO RS3's through EMD GP35's. The rolling stock was also greatly varied; rickety wooden ore jennies gave way to all-steel USRA 40' boxcars, and wooden drover's cabooses turned into steel combines.

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    How

    The reasons I would like to see this in TSW is multi-fold; a 27-mile branch is a reasonable length for a route. The line represents the absolute spirit of the American West: serving ore mines and cattle ranchers across the open, untamed wilderness. The town of Magdalena was often host to gun battles between drunk and rowdy cowboys. Ghost towns are in abundance; the towns of Kelly, Water Canyon, and Clemow have been abandoned since the 1930's.

    The line itself is a challenging route; as the Socorro to Magdalena line is all uphill (2,000 feet elevation change in 27 miles), engines work extremely hard to make it to the top. Even more challenging is the trip down grade--some parts of the line exceed 3%, and most of the line is above 2% for all 27 miles. Working the air brakes and dynamics will tax even the most competent engineer. If the UE4 engine can simulate heat, remember that this is in an area of the country that routinely sees 110° F (43° C) in the summer.

    On the modeling side of things, while all-new assets will have to be made for the route, it's still sparse enough to not devote a large chunk of time to model-building. And once some of the assets are made, they can be reused in almost any western USA route. The locomotives can be restricted to one type (I recommend the EMD GP7), and only a few pieces of rolling stock (boxcar, gondola, stock car, caboose) will need to be modeled.


    Additional Pictures

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    The town of Socorro, late 1800's.


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    Construction of the branch, 1884.


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    The Socorro Rock Quarry in the 1800's. It mined most of the ballast for the line.


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    The remains of Water Canyon, water stop for steam locomotives until the 1920's.


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    One of the many abandoned wooden trestles along the route. Still preserved after being abandoned for nearly 50 years!


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    Some of the remaining rail in Socorro. BNSF today serves a customer in Socorro, and uses the ATSF caboose in the distance as a shoving platform.


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    The depot at Magdalena. It's been restored, and is now used as a library/museum. Two 40' ATSF boxcars are behind the building.
     
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  2. Alex01

    Alex01 Active Member

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    steam engine is not that easy like in ts
     

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