Train Sim World
Superlative Cane Creek!
Written by Gary Dolzall
Union Pacific’s challenging and superlative Cane Creek: Thompson - Potash by Skyhook Games is now available for Train Sim World 2.
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Climb aboard for one of the American West’s most scenic, rugged, and challenging modern railroading experiences – with the new Union Pacific Cane Creek: Thompson - Potash route, now available for Train Sim World 2!
“Superlative” is a word that comes easily to mind when one witnesses the evocative Utah desert and canyon country through which the Union Pacific’s Cane Creek Subdivision passes – and it is a term that fully applies to this new Train Sim World 2 route as masterfully created by Skyhook Games!
Renowned for its extraordinary western scenery, the Cane Creek Subdivision extends from a connection with Union Pacific’s Green River Subdivision at Brendel, Utah south to Potash, Utah, 35.8 route miles. As created for Train Sim World 2, the route also includes a fast-paced five-mile section of the UP’s Green River Subdivision main line east from Brendel to Thompson, Utah.
Cane Creek: Thompson - Potash delivers heavy-haul, tough American freight railroading at its memorable and challenging best. From Potash to Brendel, the Cane Creek line climbs nearly a thousand feet in elevation over a profile featuring frequent gradients of 1.2 percent (in each direction), curves of up to 6 degrees, passage through 7,059-foot-long Bootlegger Tunnel, and a journey amid the towering, sheer cliffs of Moab, Bootlegger, and Dragon Fly Canyons.
By American railroad standards, the Cane Creek Branch is a newcomer. In the late 1950s, plans took form to tap massive potash deposits found along the Colorado River. By 1960, development of what would evolve into today’s sprawling potash mine and processing facility south of Moab were rapidly taking form, and the Denver & Rio Grande Western built a new branch from its main line at Brendel which was completed in 1962. The potash mine at the south end of the line began production in 1964 and the branch was operated by D&RGW as its Cane Creek Branch (or Cane Creek Spur) until the road’s merger into Union Pacific. D&RGW was combined with the Southern Pacific in 1988 and merged into Union Pacific in 1996.
Remarkably, the Cane Creek Subdivision gained a second source of heavy tonnage in 2008. Moab had long been the site of a Uranium mill which closed in 1984, leaving approximately 12 million tons of dirt tailings behind. While these tailings are only modestly radioactive, the risk of their erosion into the nearby Colorado River required eventually reclamation. Under the auspices of the United States Department of Energy, a burial site for the tailings was developed at Brendel and train loads of the contaminated soil began moving over the length of the Cane Creek Subdivision to Brendel.
Today, hauling potash from the mine at Potash and contaminated uranium mine tailings from Moab are the dual tasks of the Cane Creek Subdivision. Since both of these duties involve totting loads northbound – which is to say up a climb of near 1,000-feet in elevation – the route requires plenty of horsepower. To answer that call for motive power, the new Train Sim World 2 Cane Creek: Thompson - Potash includes a potent duo of contemporary Union Pacific six-axle, high-horsepower diesels – the venerable Electro-Motive SD40-2 and potent General Electric AC4400CW.
Between 1972 and 1980, UP purchased nearly 600 SD40-2s, and the railroad’s fleet of the versatile diesel grew even larger via UP’s mergers with Missouri Pacific, Chicago & North Western, and Katy, which together added nearly 500 more SD40-2s to Union Pacific’s roster. Today, the Union Pacific continues to operate a large fleet of the now veteran diesels which have been upgraded in a rebuilding program at Union Pacific’s Jenks Locomotive Facility in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Union Pacific classifies its rebuilt diesels as the SD40N.
Constructed by General Electric, the 4,400-horsepower, A.C.-traction-equipped AC4400CW is a landmark railroad workhorse. Union Pacific purchased more than 1,000 AC4400CWs between 1994 and 2004. And as with the SD40-2, mergers brought more AC4400CWs to the UP, with Southern Pacific and Chicago & North Western contributing more than 300 additional units. Union Pacific has begun to rebuild and upgrade its massive fleet of AC4400CWs, which are expected to remain in Pacific service for years to come. For the Cane Creek Subdivision route, the AC4400CW is provided in both clean and weathered versions.
Along with its pair of authentically crafted Union Pacific locomotives, the Cane Creek Subdivision route includes two types of covered hoppers – a cylindrical hopper in two weathered liveries and a new Union Pacific ribbed-side covered hopper. The covered hoppers feature animated roof hatches and interiors for loading. And also included are a tank car and a weathered open-top hopper (with and without graffiti).
Cane Creek: Thompson - Potash takes you to the heart of Utah’s legendary desert and canyon country in scenic settings that are awesomely realistic. You’ll work heavy tonnage over daunting grades, handle switching at the sprawling Potash mine and Moab dirt loading site, travel along the historic Colorado River, and pass below the famed sandstone Corona Arch. The route features a realistic selection of 12 scenarios and a challenging 24-hour timetable that will fully test your skills as a locomotive engineer! – Gary Dolzall
Climb aboard for one of the American West’s most scenic, rugged, and challenging modern railroading experiences – with the new Cane Creek: Thompson - Potash, now available for Train Sim World 2! After following the Colorado River, a northbound Potash Turn powered by a trio of Union Pacific GE AC4400CWs approaches fantastic Bootlegger Canyon.
Bound for the Cane Creek Subdivision, Union Pacific EMD SD40-2 1653 and kin are hustling at mile-a-minute speeds along the Union Pacific Green River Subdivision main line as the train sweeps through Thompson, Utah (above). On another day along the ex-D&RGW main, as seen from the cab of a UP AC4400CW, Union Pacific trains meet at dawn (below).
A Union Pacific turn powered by EMD SD40-2s swings onto the branch (above) and shortly thereafter crosses a steel girder bridge (below) as it makes its way south along the 35.8-mile line to Potash, Utah.
Masterfully created for Train Sim World 2 by Skyhook Games, the Union Pacific Cane Creek: Thompson - Potashfeatures superlative and dramatic Utah desert and canyon country that at times seems almost otherworldly. North of Moab, Utah, Union Pacific SD40-2s have a Potash turn in tow.
Moab, Utah was the site of a Uranium mill which closed in 1984, leaving 12 million tons of dirt tailings behind. With its “dirty dirt trains,” Union Pacific now transports these tailings to Brendel for burial. At Moab, Union Pacific AC4400CW 6190 and a sister are readying for a northbound departure (above). Moab is also the site of the north portal of 7,059-foot-long Bootlegger Tunnel, from which a trio of UP AC4400CWs have just emerged with a northbound Potash turn (below).
South of Bootlegger Tunnel stands fantastic Bootlegger Canyon, and among its many scenic wonders is Corona Arch, which stands tall above the Cane Creek Subdivision line (above). With loads of potash bound north, Union Pacific GE AC4400CWs are grinding between the sheer sandstone cliffs of Bootlegger Canyon (below).
The scenic southern end of the Cane Creek Subdivision traces the western bank of the wide and historic Colorado River. The new Cane Creek: Thompson - Potash Subdivision route includes a selection of twelve realistic scenarios and an action-filled 24-hour timetable that will challenge your skills as an engineer.
Motive power featured with Cane Creek: Thompson - Potash route is the veteran 3,000-horsepower Electro-Motive SD40-2 and the third-generation A.C. traction-equipped General Electric AC4400CW. The 4,400-horsepower GE is provided in both clean and weathered livery, the latter as illustrated by Union Pacific 6306.
Since it opened in 1964, the sprawling potash mine and facility at Potash, Utah has provided first D&RGW and now Union Pacific with heavy tonnage. A set of UP SD40-2s have just arrived at the large and distinctive mine with empties (below), while a trio of potent GE AC4400CWs are ready to begin their northbound journey with potash loads (below).
Heavy tonnage, tough grades, potent motive power, rugged desert and canyon country representing some of the most awe-inspiring scenery found anywhere in the world – all this awaits you on the new Train Sim World 2: Cane Creek: Thompson - Potash, available now!
Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
Train Sim World 2: Cane Creek: Thompson - Potash is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Steam. Join Sam and Matt on Railfan TV tonight as they celebrate the launch. Watch live on Twitch or YouTube at 19:00 UTC 8th July.
Screenshots and images displayed in this article may depict content that is still in development. The licensed brands may not have been approved by their respective owner and some artwork may still be pending approval.
Train Sim World
Superlative Cane Creek!