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#1 laming


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Posted 05 July 2005 - 10:49 PM


Marc has an interesting poll taking place in the General Forum regarding his upcoming Mountain Sub. I found the consumer input to date intriguing.

It makes me wonder what you, as a sim enthusiast, would like to see in future routes? What types of operations do you like best? What types of terrain? Era? Etc?

Any input would be much appreciated, and perhaps could be idea fodder to other commercial developers.

Who's first? biggrin.gif


#2 jbt1024



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Posted 05 July 2005 - 11:18 PM

I would like to see more Arkansas routes, especially mine (not to brag) I will take alot of shots and post them on here, we have everything you need for a perfect route, cotton, corn, and alot of trains tongue.gif 250 miles worth, I am gonna build it when TMTS comes out, i may go payware (It is really that good) but that is far in the future.

But, i like flat land but i love long heavy trains and them grades in the flat lands that can sneak up on ya, and i love the small details, mailboxes, stop signs, anything to bring the game more to life. I love the modern era, but i love Frisco so i guess anything frisco or BN or ATSF tongue.gif

But my 2 cents wink.gif


#3 boundy



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 01:32 AM

Andre, I would have to op for the late 50's when a mix of steam and diesel power could be seen. Mountins of course and coal. Also short lines like the Cumberland and Penn., Ma&Pa, West Virginia Northern, and the BC&G. The Virginian out of Mullens W.Va eastbound would be neat with heavy electric, steam, and diesel all using the same set of tracks. Just think what one of there 2-10-10-2's would look like in MSTS. That would be something for the DLW to sink it's teeth into.

#4 Gixxer86



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 03:06 AM

I would like to see some NE action.I think a "Birth of Conrail" route in NJ,Pa,etc would be really interesting.I mean the beginning of CR.Maybe 76 to 80.Or the NYSW from Secaucus to Warwick(or beyond) circa late 80's to early 90's.

#5 brinch



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:16 AM

I do prefer 1 & 2 gen diesels and late steam. For a route I would like it set around the 60 or 70ies, preferably with "timeless" structures, so both a steamer and a 2. gen diesel doesn't look to much out of place. I'm wondering if that could be achieved by using mostly "timeless" structures and then having a few stuctures where you could switch between modern and older type by copying shapes, like cars and some buildings in between, changing the over all feel of the area. Most of us doesn't know the area most routes covers in detail anyway, so alittle sacrifice in how prototypical a route is, to gain some versatility is what I would like most.

Just my 0,02$


#6 pnrailway



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:34 AM

I am going to have to agree with David (Boundy) as to what I would like to see.

I especially like eastern short lines, especially in the mountains, or even the types of grades that the Ma&Pa faced with just the rolling countryside north of Baltimore. But to me, there is nothing better than a small to mid sized railroad doing battle with nature as it works to bring some sort of mineral cargo out of the hills to market.

There is also Interurbans like that Hagerstown and Frederick that faced the rolling country that made up the valleys east of the Catoctain mountains and faced the mountains as well while trying to haul both passengers and freight under wire.

#7 LNE 709

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 07:01 AM

Hi Andre,

I prefer the Transition Era myself, a good mix of heavy steam and first generation diesels. I also agree with David and Paul, they both express my preferences perfectly regarding eastern coal hauling roads so I'm not going to add anything more. biggrin.gif But the granger roads have been seriously neglected so far. The M&STL, CGW, SOO, MILW, Omaha, etc. would all make a great route. I would prefer the M&STL because of the 10 different paint schemes they had for their 35 RS1’s.


#8 chripsch



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 08:06 AM

Hi all!

At first I must congratulate Marc for his great idea! It`ll shorten us a bit the time until
the LNE (I am still hoping) finally will come.

Like my precedessors I would prefer a route in the transition era from Steam to Diesel.
Many switchers like RS/S or EMD`s should be there, some GP7 or 9, and some F-Units.

The terrain should be mountainous. A bit like the WVN of digital Rails which is anounced since two years or like the great A&O of Andre...
Mountains, valleys, forests and a couple of rivers would be fine!

Best regards from Germany,


P.S: Has Marcs project an own website?

#9 august1929


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Posted 06 July 2005 - 01:24 PM

Andre, my response isn't going to help you much - I don't have the knowledge of the US rail network that all the guys above have, but as to type of route and operations I can add something...

I personally like a route where there is some main line running (both single and multiple track), with plenty of switching opportunities along the way - not just at each end.

A route with branches or industries off route that provide for interesting work and a bit of "mystery" as far as the route is concerned - i.e. giving the "player" good reason to explore and find out what is around the next bend.

Plenty of scenery, but a mix of close wood, hills (maybe not mountains) and open farmland. Rivers crossing under the track in a number of places giving plenty of photo ops.

All in all a route that has a sense of needing to exist for itself, not just as part of a larger entity that hasn't or can't be modelled - i.e. self contained, but with reason to look to the outside world.

Sounds a bit like the A&O, but more so, with a bit more main line. BTW, those proper branches are important - nothing worse than having a mass of lines going a scale mile off the main then coming to a dead end.

Era - transition is good, as it gives everyone something (thinking of maximising your sales here Andre wink.gif ).

What you need to work out from this is;

Do the numbers of young enthusiasts naturally interested in more modern routes outnumber the older die hards with the cash in their pockets laugh.gif

Whatever it is, you will have one certain customer here.


#10 laming


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Posted 06 July 2005 - 01:35 PM

Thanks to all for your input thus far.

Seems like a couple generalizations can be made from the above comments:

* Those responding seem to like routes set in mountains best.

* 1st gen diesels and even transistion steam is favored.

Also curious about what you PREFER in regards to theme approach:

* Strict prototype (Sincere attempt at prototype accuracy)

* Loose Prototype (Less sincere attempt at prototype accuracy)

* Proto-lanced (A fictional theme overlayed onto a prototype basis. Example: A&O Sub)

* Freelanced (pure fiction, ala fictional route and fictional equipment. Example: Ohio Rail)

Preference aside, of the above four classes, what would you ACCEPT in a well done route?

I was surprised that most still have a thirst for more mountains, though they have been done quite often.

In fact, at one point in the distant past, I considered a prototype granger road (i.e. a route across the flatlands that serves the grain industry), the Rock Island. First segment would have been about 50 miles long. There would have been a goodly amount of local work to do (towns w/switching every 4-5 miles), a nice sized yard and semi-city w/industry, all on a gentle topography profile. Onto this would have been tatty and new Classic Era diesels running at 50 MPH speeds on signaled, single track mainline. However, after reading comments at the time about wanting curves and mountains, I quietly put that idea to rest.

Plus, more recently, after watching the flak MLT (and others) took at various forums over perceived inaccuracies on their latest prototype attempts, such caused me to have serious doubts at my ideas of replicating prototypes.

Ah, the challenge of understanding the consumer!

Edit - Rod: Didn't see your post until after this post was placed. However, I see your sentiments tend to fall in place with the above.

Andre Ming

#11 LNE 709

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 02:11 PM

Hi again Andre,

What I prefer: Strict prototype if I know a lot about the road because then I would be able to recognize the area the road was running through. But if I have no prior knowledge about the road then all can apply because I have no clue about road and you would be able pass anything by me. Also I prefer short to medium length main line running with a lot of switching, to much main line running and I tend to lose interest fast. I thirst for more mountain routes myself because none of the payware routes match what I am looking for. All are set past my preferred era and most involve long mainline running that puts me to sleep. If I were given the choice though I would take a granger route over a mountain route any day.


#12 pnrailway



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 02:17 PM


My personal preference would be either a loose Prototype or else protolanced as you call it, or even Freelanced so that you start with prototype scenery IPB Image

and then you add the necessary details to bring it to life IPB Image

(OH, and watch where you are going too, saves ware and tare on the engines and cars - scenery too), and then you refine the detail IPB Image

and the result gives you something that you can run as a freelanced railroad like this, IPB Image

or even run as your favorite prototype, whichever you happen to be in the mood for at the time. IPB Image

And yes Andre, those of us with mountains in our blood, if we live where it is flat as a pancake, like down here in Florida, our mountain routes are the only way we can return to our roots conveniently.

#13 laming


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Posted 06 July 2005 - 02:30 PM

Hi 'ya Jack! Nice chatting with you again. You done said:

"What I prefer: Strict prototype if I know a lot about the road because then I would be able to recognize the area the road was running through."

Ah, and therein is one of the rubs with trying to faithfully pursue a prototype: SOMEONE will be very intimate with the target route/locale.

Example: That granger road I mentioned? I would have had to make a field trip to the area and spend a couple days documenting the area so I could better reflect it in RE. Even though it was here in my home state of Oklahoma, that was going to take time and money that I really couldn't afford at the time. Even though it is not one of the more popular lines... it likely would have been in SOMEONE'S back yard and taken me to task for not having handled it well.

In all candor, this is another reason that both the CM and LNE have been iced for now: I just simply cannot know the area intimately enough to do a creditible job of replicating either. Making a week long trip to either location is out of question for now.

"I thirst for more mountain routes myself because none of the payware routes match what I am looking for. All are set past my preferred era..."

For those of us that prefer to use photo textures, it is very difficult to come up with the textures one needs to create the equipment, to say nothing of long gone structures.

"...and most involve long mainline running that puts me to sleep."

With you there! The only way long mainline running becomes acceptable to me is for there to be good AI challenges along the way.

FWIW, below you will find a repost of a pic or two of some of the track work on that granger road.

Edit - Paul: You too, slipped in under the radar! Nice pics. Your route is coming along well. What area is that? Did you overlay your PN over a prototype?


Attached Files

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#14 mmartin51



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 03:56 PM

I guess I would prefer proto-lanced or fictional. I play with trains to have fun and relax so I don't "count rivets." I also would like to see (and if I had the ability, I would do" a flat-land route with heavy grain and coal traffic plus local freight switching. I like switching activities over main-line running. The switching gives me a feeling that I have actually done something, I guess.

I'd love to see the Milwaukee or CB&Q in Iowa done up in a route.

#15 ChiliLine



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 03:57 PM

Wow. This has generated a lot of quick responses. I feel like I'm a day late already (I'm pretty used to that, though tongue.gif ).

I prefer a loose prototype, and am not philosophically against protolanced routes. I know there are the rivet counters out there who will gripe about the details (I had one guy complain because a specific tree wasn't included), but I do like a route that lets me feel as though I'm experiencing what the old timers experienced. I like routes where I can go to a real-world map and say, Oh! That's where that is! Adding the right mix of industries really brings a location (and a route) alive, and fits well with one of the real reasons I greatly enjoy the virtual railroading - it brings history alive. I get some of that feel when I ride the real rails - the tracks are through the historic center of town, and you can really see much more clearly how the railroad influenced a town's growth (and vice versa).

I like the transition era as well, and not just because you have a ton of flexibility in terms of diesel vs. steam. There's also a much greater level of passenger traffic, and you're not confined to either intermodal or unit coal and grain trains. I know - the manifest freights are still out there, but there's not nearly the variety there used to be. Not only in terms of loads, but also in terms of railroads represented. I love all those paint schemes and reporting marks!

As to location - I agree with the general interest in mountain railroading, but I'd like to see one of the more famous routes of the east. Riding into Pittsburgh from Baltimore or DC or going over the famous Pennsy routes seem to offer a lot of possibilities, and I'm amazed that we don't have several routes in that region. It doesn't have to be long, but it would be nice to open the throttle from time to time and let 'er fly!

#16 TomG



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 04:34 PM

Youll have to include me in the Mountain catigory. And again 1st generation equipment is high on my list, but then again so is early second generation, so the 70s seem to be the best of both worlds. I like the challenges of single track mains with helpers, stiff grades and online switching. The whine of turbochargers and the chant of 567s in the hils is music to the ears. a Route the i likw the seems to have little of everything is the Shasta Route. If done from redbluff to K-Falls, you have single trak mains, lots of traffic, a helper district, plenty of small lumber mill towns with switching, interchange with a logging railroad(McCloud River Railroad) local switchers out or Redding, high speed tracks south of redding for those that love stretching thier legs with a pig train, and mixed in are 4 and 6 axle 2nd gen power and 4 and 6 axle 1st gen power. as late as the mid 80s, SP was still running a redding turn from roseville with solid sets of GP-9s and SD-9s that screamed up the valley. GP local switchers, SD tunnel motors or SD-9 helpers out f Dunsmuir. The big Valley, Sac river canyon and tall timber, and the majestic 14,000 foot Mt shasta. a happy little setting. biggrin.gif

OK i ran on a bit. cool.gif

#17 S. Weaver

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:02 PM


'Guess I'm the odd man out. huh.gif

I love what you did with the NA, and was intrigued with the idea of the CM. If it is later than WWI, I tend to lose interest. Most of that is structure related - I prefer victorian architecture. The NA's backwoods, rural feel was also a winner.

One advantage you have with early prototype is that the tree counters don't have a recollection. This is what you "got away with" on the NA. Living memory is gone. I would guess that you'd be better off with proto-lanced with the later eras that folks are mentioning. Every town is somebody's hometown, and you'd be bound to cross wires if you didn't get it just right.

I love the brainstorm!

#18 pnrailway



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:07 PM


I will not take credit for something I didn't do. The land forms and track layout are the Clinch Valley route and the first shot, and the second, were ones taken during a reforestation program. While I felt the route was top notch, and the Scalerail add-on from Marc put it over the top for a freeware route, I did not like the original trees used at all. Hence the removal of the old and adding of the new to give the results in the other shots.

The last shot was on the Pocahontas Route and it is one route that meets rather well Rod's comments about being able to explore different branches, like the A&O has, but ones that meander off in one direction or another for miles, and miles, coming upon all sorts of surprises and exquisite details. They are all rather faithful to the real Pocahontas, but modeler's license appears to have been taken in a few places, but nothing that distracts from the overall effect, unless you are a dimple on a rivet counter.


#19 wmghobbs



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 06:43 PM

I'm late to the party as usual since I cannot post from the office (regulatory issues involved). In evaluating the routes I've tried in the past couple of years, my favorites are the StL&NA, the Hisatsu, and the D&S. All share the feature of having relatively short mainlines and enough switching to keep me busy. I get bored with too long mainline runs, but enjoy picking up and setting out cars.
I am also fond of TOC steam era equipment with small locos. As a modeler, I figured out that one does not need long trains to get the feel of running a train. Short trains are just fine. But era is not that important since one can run any kind of train they like on a route. TOC equipment survived until the end of steam on isolated lines.

Bill Hobbs

#20 MILW_E70



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Posted 06 July 2005 - 07:12 PM

Being a native Kansan, I would love to see more routes based out here in the great plains. Californian routes are getting boring fast. tongue.gif

I prefer those semi-accurate "loose-prototypical" routes over the super duper 100%, frame rate hogging, monsters of routes that just go overboard in the detail department imho. But at the same time I tend to dislike those routes will too little of detail that you run a few miles, get bored, and go onto something else. So something in the middle is what I like I guess. A good route that fills this criteria imho would be the Whitefish series...yes they have a few things unprototypical with them...but overall its one of the best freeware routes out there for me at least.

If only people (mainly on that other forum) would just enjoy things no matter how right or wrong they are, the community would be a much more enjoyable place to be...when it comes down to it, its just a GAME!

Just my 2 cents.

PS...that granger road you were talking about would still be a perfect great plains route...not matter how accurate or unaccurate it would be wink.gif