Thanks for the kind words. It IS very enjoyable to bring a line back to life that's been gone for a number of years. No doubt, I seem to enjoy that aspect the most about MSTS.
That part of MSTS is almost a compulsion. That is, if I get interested in a line... it pretty much consumes me until I find where it went on USAPhotoMaps and/or Google Earth. And IF I can find it, I then trace it to its terminals or other point of interest. If I'm successful at tracing its right-of-way, typically I will then DEM the terrain and place markers so I can go into RE to get a "feel" for what the line was like and how it would translate into MSTS. Many times, track is laid! It's a sickness.
(FWIW: That's where I usually bog down: Once it's time to start populating all those tiles I added and all that track I laid on an "interesting" route!!!)
As for that compulsion thing, here's a classic example:
Last night I had a long and enjoyable phone chat with a long time friend that I originally met via railroading. He is now retired and currently lives in Pencil Bluffs, AR. Anyway, he was telling me about attending a "reunion" of sorts at a place called "Forester" Arkansas.
Forester was a sawmill town... a BIG sawmill town. It received rail service from the northwest and from the south. From the northwest, it was served by the Kansas City Southern's "Arkansas Western Branch". (Note: The Arkansas Western was originally a little line that ran from Heavener, OK to just past Waldron, AR. It was purchased by the KCS and eventually extended to Forester. The AW's reason for being was coal... lots of it... and timber products. Once in the town of Waldron, a variety of industries were served. The Heavener-Waldron portion of the AW survives to this day and sees a couple/three trains per week.)
However, it's the line from the SOUTH that REALLY piques my interest: The Caddo & Choctaw. The C&C was the railroad of the parent company, the Caddo River Lumber Company. The C&C had a mind boggling array of lines (almost) all throughout the heart of the Ouachita Mountains. Several large sawmills were owned/served, as well general freight for some of the towns along the way.
From what I learned from my friend, was the fact there was at least one major climb, and likely two. The one that is known is also known to have used helper service to get the loaded trains up and over Mauldin Mtn. The other helper grade should be over Blowout Mtn on the line to Forester. Loaded log trains were unidirectional on account of the various sawmills hither and yon that needed to be supplied. Thus loaded log trains could be headed north to Forester or south to Roseboro, etc! Further south, the Caddo & Choctaw connected with the Fort Smith & Gurdon. The FS&G eventually became a branch of the Iron Mountain & Southern, then Missouri Pacific. Portions of the C&C were purchased by the Memphis, Dallas & Gulf.
Anyway... I've "found" the abandoned portion of the AW from Waldron to Forester on the topos/photo maps... but for the life of me I cannot find any evidence of the Caddo & Choctaw leaving Forester! That's really bugging me. (That compulsion thing I mentioned.) In fact, USAPhotoMaps is open as I type this, and I am taking a short break from studying the elevation grids and trail traces/etc for tell tale signs of roadbed work. (i.e. cuts/fills, suspect radii curves, and such.)
Amazing how much railroading was around as one goes back in years!!! VERY likely, the above network of railroads could make a FASCINATING network of MSTS lines circa TOC19!
Like I've said: It's a shame routes are so time consuming to finish!!