Would Appreciate Help Choosing An American Route

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Alexandra, Jun 14, 2022.

  1. Alexandra

    Alexandra Active Member

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    Hi Everyone -- Haven't used either Train Sim World or Train Simulator for about a year and I'm totally out of touch. Before that I drove German routes almost exclusivelz and my experience level is 311. I'm presently in America and looking out the window next to my computer there's a railway line about 100 meters from here.

    So much new has been released in since I've been gone and I'd like to start buying an American route or two. I like challenging stuff. Freight is often (but not necessarily) more of an challenge to the Engineer, other than that, any add-on that is well done and challenging will make me happy.

    I'd be grateful for advice, recommendations, suggestions, whatever. Meanwhile, I guess I should start reading the forums to try and get some sense of what's new in the world of TSW2. -- Thanks!
     
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  2. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    I still think the best US DLC to date is Clinchfield Railroad. Beautiful scenery and some really challenging driving, especially when you get out on the spurs with grades over 2% in places (and then have to shunt!). You can pick between the almost-familiar SD40 in its OG form, or the very different classic F7 of 1940s origin. And the Journey is a thing of beauty, running as chapters each of the various spur "turns." IMO a must-buy.
     
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  3. LeadCatcher

    LeadCatcher Well-Known Member

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    If you like large freights - I would recommend Sherman Hill - It has challenging grads and handling a near mile long freight on the descent is fun. - Horseshoe curve is more scenic and also has its challenges both are modern era. My all time favorite is Clinchfield - it is a period route but lots of shunting - challenging grades with older equipment and really atmospheric.
     
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  4. rennekton#1349

    rennekton#1349 Active Member

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    I would definitely recommend clinchfield and sherman hill for the challenge. If sounds are really important to you, there are sound mods too.

    Like above mentioned, clinchfield is probably the most challenging freight route. You've got the f7s, sd40s, challenging scenarios and really steep gradients in some parts of the route. Loading coal on a gradient takes some practice. Brakes are manually lapped. Scenery is also beautiful. Just make sure to stop exactly on the marker cuz I've read it can cause issues if you don't.

    Sherman Hill is challenging too. You get 100 car consists, really heavy cargo and you really have to rely on dynamics when going downhill. For optimal dynamics, don't go over 30mph or you'll get a runaway. You also can't apply both dynamics and automatic so you have to bail off independent. You've got a lot of traffic on the route, some service variety with the sd70 and you got the sd40-2 for shunting.

    Horseshoe curve is a decent route but in terms of braking physics and all that is not that great. You've got a gradient for most of the route and a very steep one somewhere in the route. You also get longer consists too. The south fork branch has some interesting services.

    Cane Creek is only good for the visuals imo. It looks very scenic and you do need to pay attention since there is a gradient. Service count is also really high (28) even though irl, only like a train a week or something. You also get 12 scenarios with several free roam. Make sure switches are set correctly since I've read if you don't, you can get derails. Not sure if it was fixed or not.

    Oakville isn't challenging but if you like shunting and short services, then it basically just has that.

    In terms of passenger routes if you're interested, it would be peninsula corridor. It has manually lapped brakes with the f40 so you need some skill with the braking. Also like dynamic braking also applies as you apply more brake meaning you might stop too soon if you brake too much. It does have sound issues and stuff at the moment.
     
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  5. Disintegration7

    Disintegration7 Well-Known Member

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    How much do you like Sandpatch?

    If you like it, Clinchfield, Sherman Hill, and Horseshoe Curve all bring similar operations (heavy trains and steep grades) within varying railroads and time periods.

    Cane Creek is similar in operations to the above, but mostly contained to a relatively short branch line- great scenery though.

    Oakville Subdivision is a little different, combining light, fast freight runs, with yard and industrial shunting- barely a hill in sight, let alone mountains. Might want to wait for the Preservation update with Oakville, though.

    Penninsula Corridor has a little bit of UP freight, but it's primarily a passenger route. If you get the MP15DC DLC for it, that adds more shunting of passenger cars and a few more freight services IIRC. Another one that's getting a sizable Preservation update fyi.
     
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  6. redrev1917

    redrev1917 Well-Known Member

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    Out of all the US freight routes Sherman Hill is my least favourite, yes it's got some really long trains and great physics which coupled with the long east bound descent offers a challenge unrivalled in TSW.
    BUT the westbound runs are generally just a long slog full throttle up, it's an end to end run with little variety and once you've mastered taking the heaviest eastbound trains down the hill it gets very boring very quickly IMHO, obviously others are free to disagree and entitled to their own opinions.

    Clinchfield is completely different challenge with 3 or 4 branches to keep the route fresh although running at night is very black.

    Cane Creek visually is stunning on high-end but if you are running a potato of a PC then you will get see assets pop up from nowhere on lower settings. But it's an undulating run with numerous gradient changes which gives added gameplay to master but like SH is an end to end run with little variety. Physics have issues.

    Horseshoe Curve. The branch gives variety and visually it's not far behind cane creek, with just the physics letting it down.
     
  7. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    Harlem Line is really good if you like passenger routes.
     
  8. Calidore266

    Calidore266 Well-Known Member

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    I'll add to the masses recommending Clinchfield. I intended to play just a journey chapter or two to start and ended up blowing through all six. Great fun.
     
  9. JustWentSouth

    JustWentSouth Well-Known Member

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    I will also join in the Clinchfield chorus. The F7 is my favorite North American locomotive to drive and the new SD 40 horn sounds amazing.

    The route is well done with good scenery. There are a number of tunnels which were a bit of a pain until they unlocked the external cameras. Now that that’s done, you can sightsee a little better while you driving.

    The route has a number of good service mode runs as well as one of the best scenarios in all of TSW: Limited Power.

    And, welcome back!
     
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  10. CrazyDash

    CrazyDash Well-Known Member

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    I honestly really dislike Clinchfield. Especially when comparing it with Sand Patch. Clinchfield's scenery is basically just a watered-down version of Sand patch's scenery. Mainline runs are super boring to do with no sort of variety whatsoever, and they're not even that difficult. I've almost fallen asleep so many times on Clinchfield cuz mainline runs feel like they take ages. The scenery doesn't change at all along the route. There's nothing really notable to see, other than that one bridge near Elkhorn. The route also only comes with 50 services. Half of the route is single-tracked, meaning you're not gonna see any sort of train traffic 90% of the time. The only thing that makes the route actually interesting are the Nora and Fremont Branches. The Nora branch is all about super steep grades which makes it super challenging. When you get to the end of the branch, most of the time, you have to do switching on these steep 2-3% grades which make for a really fun challenge. I really enjoy the 'limited power' scenario. The Fremont Branch is also really nice since it has relatively decent scenery and you're constantly going up and down various steep gradients. Those two branch lines, along with the F7 are the only reasons I'd recommend Clinchfield. But everything else like mainline runs are just beyond boring and uninteresting.

    Now a route that I would recommend that I believe is criminally underrated is Peninsula Corridor. I can play this route for hours on end and never get bored. There is a lot of variety in services you can play. You can do local services which call at all stops along the route that usually take up to 1hr 45 mins. You can do limited-stop services which are my personal favorite. Stopping patterns can vary per limited-stop service. You could call at all stops until about the halfway point of the route, and then run express towards San Jose. You can have services that do the opposite where you run express for the first half and then call at all stops the rest of the way. And then there are some services where stops are more evenly spread out. Limited stop services usually take about 1hr 30 mins to complete. Then there are baby bullet services where you run express to and from San Jose, making very few stops. Usually takes about an hour to do a full run. There are also a few special services seen on the route such as deadheads between San Francisco and the CEMOF (Caltrain's depot located near San Jose), which can be fun to do as well. The service variety on the route alone makes me recommend it to you. Along with passenger runs, it also comes with the UP GP38-2 for some local freight services. Now there isn't a lot (only about 10 services), but they are all different and add some nice variety. Now a lot of people dislike the route because of the F40ph. It's a relatively difficult train to drive since it uses Westinghouse Braking, which is a lot more difficult than standard lapped braking. I struggled at it for a while, but then I eventually mastered it and I think makes for a really fun challenge. I also recommend getting the MP36ph-3C with it as it is a great train to drive, a lot easier than the F40ph which is why a lot of people prefer it. Sound-wise, the passenger trains sound really good. Especially the MP36. The GP38 has decent sounds, but its horn isn't that great. The MP15DC is also a really nice addon to the route. Although it only has 15 services, almost all of them are different. You can do small things such as switching at the CEMOF, moving passenger cars around. There is an instance where you have to rescue a failed train at San Jose, and bring it to the CEMOF, where you then replace the loco and cab car. There are some freight services. The MP15 is easily my favorite switcher in TSW and is something I also recommend. One thing I also forgot to mention is that this route is very busy. It comes with about 150 services. No matter what time you play a service, you're gonna see quite a bit of traffic along the way. There are also times when you get to overtake trains at Bayshore and Lawrence. Scenery-wise it's not the most impressive, but there are some nice areas along the way such as around Bayshore where you actually get to see the coast. Most of the route however is in mostly suburban areas. Now I might as well mention problems with the route. My biggest issue is that the route is very buggy at the moment. The route is due for a huge upgrade within the coming months, but right now, it's in a really bad state. There are some other small nitpicks, but not a whole lot. I definitely recommend this route if you're wanting to get into American passenger. Harlem is also a great route. Lots of service variety and great sounding trains. Scenery is also very well done. Hopefully this helps
     
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  11. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Passenger routes High speed 25kv 60 Hz NEC Boston Providence 200 kmh ACS-64 130 km 80 mph F40PH-3C MBTA. NYC 750v Third Rail LIRR or MNCRR Harlem Line.
     
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  12. redtrainz

    redtrainz Member

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    Hear, hear! I love the MP36 ("Baby Bullet"), its cab has a space-shuttle like feel. Doing the northward run in the cab car, it looks a little absurd with no aerodynamic shaping whatsoever, but that it also fun to drive. (And who the hell designed the upper level seating arrangement in the galley car? First time I saw anything like that.)
    Strangely for a route that seems pretty straight and with uniform scenery to many people, I think it's actually fairly varied. Going under this overpass in San Francisco, then the big American sky, then the suburbs with their modern or Spanish colonial stations, the coast, the depot at San Jose... I've taken some cool screenshots at dusk, I think it looks great.
    I haven't noticed any bugs that you mention, but I had to learn that yes, really, you have to start braking the Baby Bullet more than half a mile out from the station, or you'll thunder past the platform and come to a stop a few hundred yards further down the line with lots of angry passengers behind you.
     
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  13. paulc

    paulc Well-Known Member

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    My favourite American route is Clinchfield! the F7`s are lots of fun and a welcome change from the other American locos that all look the same! As for how the route looks in my opinion its quite a scenic route to drive, a quick dive into my DTL pics & I found a few to help you decide.....

    clinchfield.jpg clinchfield1.jpg clinchfield2.jpg
     
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  14. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

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    Alexandra For me favourite American Freight is Clinchfield, favourite passenger is Harlem with Boston a close 2nd. Clinchfield for all the reasons other people have mentioned here. Be aware it does have some monumentally slow and boring bits and there are a couple of services where you have to be naughty to get to a certain point before the dispatcher locks you out and you get a meet head to head on single track with a stalemate.

    Boston was my favourite passenger because of ATC and AXSES but then Harlem came out and I find the faster pace more fun because there is plenty going on around you.

    I have streamed all the DLCs from the game at one point or another and have reviewed most DLC so feel free to check out my content as it might help you decide.

    Paul
     
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  15. Alexandra

    Alexandra Active Member

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    Thank you all! One thing that makes train simulation so special is this community of serious, thoughtful, and knowledgeable users who share their ideas and experience on this forum. Thank you all for your advice and counsel!!!!
     
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  16. JustWentSouth

    JustWentSouth Well-Known Member

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    So, what did you choose and how are you liking it? I know you specifically wanted a North American route, but if you haven’t experienced Dresden Chemnitz and the 612 yet, don’t hesitate to try it!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022
  17. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    The "gallery" bi-levels were first ordered to a spec from Chicago Metra. The idea was to save labor costs because a single conductor could inspect tickets on both levels.
     
  18. Blacknred81

    Blacknred81 Well-Known Member

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    The "Gallery" style cars pre-date Metra. They were made starting around the 50's and originally came from Pullman, Budd, or St. Louis. CC
    TkvroRP.jpg CNW181-660404 Wheaton, IL.jpg ricc119.jpg CBQ751-650620 Aurora, IL.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2022
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  19. loflyinjett

    loflyinjett New Member

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    +1 here for Clinchfield, just picked it up on sale and so far it's already my favorite route. The F7 is super cool, horn is a bit of a bummer but not a deal breaker. If you love freight and American locos then go for it.
     
  20. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

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    Ì like Clinchfield. A lot of shunting and nice sequences of timetable drives. On the minus side, a number of mainline drives are completely broken and this is not yet fixed. Scenery is kind of nice, but not as good as some people claim.

    I also like Horse Shoe curve, a bit more than Sherman Hill. Once you get the hang Sherman Hill may be a bit boring. Cane Creek is awesome for its atmosphere, but the drives are long and slow.
     
  21. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Chicago and Northwestern, the old Burlington Northern, Rock Island and ATSF had bi- levels long before Metra. Kids like me loved to ride " up top ".

    And the reason was that they were more energy and capacity efficient, nothing much to do with fare collection. If you're talking specifically about the " gallery " design, that, too, predates Metra.
    They do have the problem of longer dwell times in stations, but that's offset by the greater loading capacity.
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2022
  22. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    There's a difference between bi-levels - which go back a long, long time - and gallery cars, where the upper level has no central corridor, just a gap.
     
  23. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    Nice photos Blacknred81!

    Another vote for Peninsula Corridor.
    Looking forward to the update.
     
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  24. Mich

    Mich Well-Known Member

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    Agree, as much as I like but I find it hard to recommend it seems to be particularly prone to bugging out compared to just about every other route I've played. Even outside of the main service I had one of the branch services bug out and force me to quit because I couldn't get permission to pass one of the stop boards. Also the SD40 is extremely annoying due to always having the brakes cut-out by default, which can create some interesting situations if you have the misfortune of starting a service on a hill light engine.
     

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