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Seaboard Air Line (SAL) Florida Division route upgrade, Oncoming template
dgionet
post Jan 18 2016, 07:10 PM
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Hi to all,

More than 10 years ago was released Carey Stevens' Seaboard Air Line (SAL) Florida Division route. Steve had done years ago an AG template, but only for AG3. A few weeks ago, in Trainsim, I had seen some screenshots using the route and decided to take a second look at the 2005 route. Some years ago, I ran the route but only partially and superficially but never went further with it.

I have reloaded the route recently and ran it completely and was impressed about how detailed it was, even with today's standard. I have asked Steve permission to upgrade the route template to AG4 and was happy to grant me that permission. With Steve, I was able to reach Carey, the route maker, to ask him permission, if required, to stretch some sidings. I have found out that for some years Carey has not only been enhancing the scenery from the original route but also extending the route with additional trackage. Carey and Steve have sent me the route, I have ran most of it and was very impressed with the upgrade.

By comparing both versions, there is a lot of new trackage and the scenery is completely done for most of it. Only a small section remains to be finished. Buildings are present but vegetation remains to be added. I am confident that Carey will eventually finish it in the future. The unfinished section is between Tampa and Bradenton on the ACL trackage (now CSX).

Steve has uploaded the route here in the skyline web site (see home page) and is now available for those interested to download it. On my side, I will start a new template project for the SAL. The timeframe will be around 1965, just before the 1967 merger of the Atlantic Coast Line and Seaboard Air Line to create the Seaboard Coast Line. The main player download will be the payware BLW Seaboard Air Line freight set plus 18 additional freeware downloads from Trainsim.com. That number may be subject to change as the project advances.

Will update later.


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Denis Gionet
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bandorr2000
post Jan 18 2016, 07:51 PM
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Glad to see this route is being updated and expanded. Always felt it was one of the best freeware routes, even more so for its age. Have always enjoyed running the route, look forward to the new template and/or updated route. Thanks Denis
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ckawahara
post Jan 18 2016, 09:15 PM
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The zip file does not include a readme nor any installation direction. It has two ezstuff*.bat files which copy a large number of files including those in the template folder. Sure would be nice to know if they have to be run.
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dgionet
post Jan 18 2016, 09:25 PM
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Hi Craig,

I didn't use these batch files to run the route. Unfortunately, I saw no readme file either. In the oncoming template readme file, I will probably provide such details related to running the route and its installation.


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Denis Gionet
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ckawahara
post Jan 18 2016, 09:28 PM
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Just for an update...ran both batch files. MSTS ran. Do not forget to create an activity.
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dgionet
post Feb 2 2016, 08:09 PM
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Hi to all,

Here are the first shots from the finished SB Template between Wildwood and Tampa, also between Plant City and Bradenton, mostly mainline with minimal pickups. The whole SAL route templates will have more than 300 serviceable sidings to work with. To come will be the NB mainline, locals, yard templates and a small one from the ACL between the Aceta Yards and some industries South of Tampa.

The shots:





















Will update later as the project advances




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Denis Gionet
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dgionet
post Feb 14 2016, 12:50 PM
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Hi to all,

Work is progressing, but on a slower basis as I used to due to lack of time available. So far, four (4) templates have been done. They are the two mainline SB and NB between Wildwood and the Yeoman Yard in Tampa. Also has been done the LOCO template, handling diesel locomotives to be serviced in the Wildwood shops. As done for some earlier templates, the locomotives were made unpowered with Route Riter to allow this template. The last one finished is one (TROPICANA) handling refrigerated cars in the Tropicana's Bradenton plant, whether to assemble cars for the Juice Train, to bring on empties to the different sidings or both. The latter two will be using one S2 diesel loco.

Carey has sent me some additional timetables for the Valrico and Sarasota Subs. They will be very useful to get working with locals templates, that be the biggest part of the pie in the current project. So a lot to come as it advances.

Here are some shots from the NB main, and both the LOCO and TROPICANA templates.













The remaining shots (from the TROPICANA template) on the next post.


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Denis Gionet
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dgionet
post Feb 14 2016, 12:51 PM
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The remaining pictures, here assembling 35 cars for the Juice Train North to New Jersey





















On the last pickup for final assembly, the S2 was able to bring 17 fully loaded reefers ( throttle at full power) with the reamining cars to complete the activity

Will continue updating as work goes


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Denis Gionet
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Harlank
post Feb 20 2016, 11:47 AM
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Thanks Denis

making a great route even better
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Conductor Chris
post Feb 26 2016, 05:09 PM
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Denis, thank you indeed.

I took a look at these screenshots and thought maybe we need more Fruit Growers Express rolling stock, but there doesn't seem to be a existing model that really matches the roller bearing era cars.

Christopher
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dgionet
post Feb 26 2016, 07:46 PM
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Quite true,

I've been looking online to find some reefers used during the mid sixties by Tropicana to bring their train to Kearney NJ but have been unsuccessfull on my side. The only thing I know is that the SAL used the Sarasota Sub from Bradenton to Durant via Keysville up to Plant City then North. With the SCL merger, the old ACL line was used after from Bradenton to Tampa and North.

Most of the reefers I have seen are in the seventies up to today. The Juice train, as mentioned online, officially started in the early 70's and use the Tropicana colors

Any luck on your side, Chris?

If you can identify them, let me know. Any suggestions will be appreaicted. I could make changes in the rolling stock to accomodate the proper reefers operated for Tropicana.

Thanks


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Denis Gionet
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dgionet
post Feb 28 2016, 09:52 PM
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Hello to all,

Template work is continuing and goes well. In addition to the current template project, Work on updating evenmore the SAL route is continuing by Carey Stevens. He is working to complete the ACL section between Bradenton and Tampa. He has changed back the trackage from CSX to the ACL name on that section. He is also expected to link the ACL trackage between the Tampa Union Station and the Uceta-Rock yards. No date yet but let's be patient. I believe once this gets done, it will be a beautiful job.

Also, Gaétan Bélanger has produced in the recently released BLW SD35 pack, three ACL SD35 #1000,1001 & 1002. He has also produced an ACL GP7 and is expected to be released as a bonus to one of the GP packs. I am still awaiting from Gaétan the confirmation of its availability on the BLW site. Those downloads are not part of the template required downloads. However, for the ACL template, one can swap the default ACL engine (from Train-Sim) with one from the BLW engines.



























So far, nine (9) templates are now finished, including one between the Yeoman Yard and the Gary Shops, one depicting some switching inside four phosphate yards, one between the Yeoman and Tampa Yards and some local work along the ACL trackage between the Uceta yard and some industries a few miles further South to return back to Tampa.

Above are some shots of SLG-Generated activities for the newest templates. In the ACL template, I have swapped the default ACL engine for two BLW sd35's. The ACL caboose is one I have produced for the templates.It will be part of the template package.

Enjoy the shots and I will update the project as it progresses


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Denis Gionet
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dgionet
post Mar 4 2016, 07:58 AM
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Hello,

Additional pictures from the ACL template on a local run between Palm River and the Uceta Yard. Again, the BLW payware ACL SD35 seen here is an option to the freeware U25B, the latter is the required download.







URL=http://s180.photobucket.com/user/dgionet_photo/media/SAL2Template41.jpg.html][/URL]

Earlier this week, I had a surprise mail from Tyler Bundy. He mentioned that there is no proper phosphate cars available in TrainSim. Since the SAL is one of his favorite routes, he had created phosphate cars which were used in the mid-sixties, one set for the SAL and another for the ACL. They are very close to the original used ( see link below)

https://www.google.ca/search?q=ACL+phosphat...kMmHAjN2J4wM%3A


Here are the ones he had created for MSTS



He had provided me with both downloads, which are expected to be available in TS. I have changed all the templates to accomodate the cars. They will be perfect for the Phosphate template.

Thanks for your contribution Tyler, they will be much appreciated.

More to come later.


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Denis Gionet
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dgionet
post Mar 20 2016, 08:24 PM
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Hello to all,

Just to confirm I have finished the template package. It will include twenty-three (23) templates. There has a lot of file editing to include Tyler Bundy's phosphate cars and to replace the COFC with TOFC in consists but it was worth the change.

Benny is continuing to send me reports to improve the templates and consists to reflect more the 1965-era and to report any template errors. Thanks again Benny with your help!

Will try to have some screenshots posted later as testing will resume.


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Denis Gionet
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dgionet
post Mar 22 2016, 03:36 PM
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Hello to all,

Here are some shots from two activities generated by AG with templates that were done during construction. They are from the Coleman Turn and Zephyrhills Turn templates. Many templates have been inspired from genuine runs from timetables of the era provided by Carey. However, they were not meant to be exact replicas of the operations at the time.

















As testing resumes, I will try to include some new images.


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Denis Gionet
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dgionet
post Mar 28 2016, 06:36 AM
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Hi to all,

Here are some shots from two generarated activities. The first five from the Tampa East template handling some sidings just East of the Yeoman Yard, using the runaround track to return back to the yard. The last two is a WB run on the Valrico Sub. Both were taken in the Marden Industries area.















More to come later


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Denis Gionet
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Conductor Chris
post Apr 2 2016, 12:31 PM
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Dennis, somehow I missed your question about the Tropicana juice cars.

Here are cars in the trainsim file library that would fit the early seventies:
tpix130.zip
tropref1.zip
tropref2.zip

These aren't the greatest - they were done in MSTS early days and using the Larry Goss friction bearing boxcar model. On the other hand, at least they say Tropicana and the FGE cars also have accuracy problems representing FGE cars.

There are much nicer tropicana cars available in the file library that date from the eighties when they switched over to orange.

Christopher
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dgionet
post Apr 2 2016, 03:54 PM
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Hi Christopher,

Found out a while ago that the SAL was using the Fruit Grower Express (FGE) reefer cars during the mid-sixties, according to some research done online. The first actual Tropicana Reefers were produced in 1970 and the first "Juice train" started to operate at the same time.

Here is the link to images of the first Tropicana reefers and how the cars evolved over the passing years up to the CSX era.

https://www.pwrs.ca/announcements/view.php?ID=5989

So using the MSTS FGE cars seems to reflect the reality of the era during the SAL-ACL years.

Denis


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Denis Gionet
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Conductor Chris
post Apr 10 2016, 06:24 PM
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Ah, that makes sense, Denis.

i do love this aspect of the simulator - duplicating how things were . . . like the use of FGE cars.

Christopher
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dgionet
post Apr 17 2016, 05:16 PM
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Hi to all,

A major change has been done to the entire SAL template project. From Belanger Locomotive Works (BLW), the extensive Atlantic Coast Line (ACL) freight pack, now officially released last week, has been fully integrated in the oncoming SAL route template for AG users. A lot of file editing has been done to realize this integration. Users of the oncoming SAL template will have the opportunity to use now both the SAL and ACL packs. At the same time freeware downloads from TrainSim has been reduced from 21 to now 15 downloads.

The ACL pack will be mostly used on the ACL trackage ( currently marked CSX) between the Uceta Yard and Bradenton.In the oncoming template set, there are three templates dedicated to the ACL trackage.

On his oncoming route update, Carey Stevens, the route's creator, has confirmed having rolled back the CSX trackage to ACL between Bradenton and Uceta Yard and expects this section and the rest of the route to reflect as possible the pre-SCL era. Most of the ACL trackage on this section is still to be rendered fully sceniced. Buildings are mostly there and work will be available along. The section still remaining to be fully sceniced is between MP 880 and MP 913 ( between Palm River and Memphis)

He also confirmed his intention to link the ACL trackage between the Tampa Union Station (TUS) and the Uceta Yard. Release date is not known for now and I expect it may take a while. The total of templates for this set is now 25. Only the Monon and the Buffalo routes have more templates.

I have started to prepare the template readme file. I hope to release the whole template package in a few weeks.

More later


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Denis Gionet
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