TS20: “Born on the Bayou”
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
Now available, the Union Pacific Livonia Division: Monroe Subdivision route for Train Simulator delivers captivating railroading in America’s Deep South “Bayou Country!”
Venture to the famed “Bayou,” hill, and river country of Louisiana to experience a unique and captivating style of contemporary railroading in America’s Deep South with Union Pacific’s Livonia Division: Monroe Subdivision route, now available for Train Simulator!
Union Pacific’s Monroe Subdivision, as re-created in the Train Simulator Livonia Division: Monroe Subdivision route, is a vital portion of the 32,000-mile Union Pacific, serving as a segment of UP’s direct rail link between America’s Upper Midwest and the Gulf of Mexico.
Extending 97.5 miles between Monroe and Alexandria, Louisiana, the Monroe Subdivision historically was an important line of the Missouri Pacific. One of Middle America’s great railroads, the Missouri Pacific (often nicknamed the “MoPac”) operated lines running both north-south and east-west through much of the middle portion of the United States. During its modern era, the Missouri Pacific stretched from St. Louis and Memphis south and southwest to New Orleans and to Texas, and westward through the Plains States to Kansas City, Omaha, and Pueblo, Colorado. In 1969, the Missouri Pacific acquired a portion of the Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad, which allowed the MoPac to reach America’s railroad capital of Chicago, Illinois. At its zenith, the Missouri Pacific system extended over 11,000 route miles.
A successful and innovative railroad, Missouri Pacific represented an attractive merger partner and in 1980, Union Pacific announced an agreement to acquire the Missouri Pacific, which was formally merged into giant UP in December 1982.
In the Union Pacific era, the Monroe Subdivision has been operated as part of the railroad’s Livonia Division, which was renamed the Livonia Service Unit and, more recently, the UP’s Gulf Coast Service Unit. The contemporary Monroe Subdivision is a busy steel artery for the north-south movements of heavy manifest traffic, with much of the tonnage being agricultural, chemical, and petrochemical products moving in covered hoppers and tank cars.
Motive power on the Monroe Subdivision is typically six-axle high-horsepower General Electric and Electro-Motive locomotives such as the Union Pacific GE ES44AC and EMD SD70M which accompany this route, with locomotives such as EMD GP38-2s or SD40-2s (also included with this route) handling yard and local freight duties.
Union Pacific train movements over the Monroe Subdivision most typically operate between North Little Rock or Pine Bluff, Arkansas and Addis (near Baton Rouge) or Livonia, Louisiana, although some trains operate from as far north as St. Louis. Livonia, 90 miles south of Alexandria is home to Union Pacific’s modern and sprawling 555-acre Livonia Yard, which serves as a major handling point for tonnage moving through the Gulf Coast region. Originally planned by the Missouri Pacific, the yard was completed under UP ownership in 1994 and further expanded in 1997.
With major yards at both Alexandria and Monroe and extending through a mixture of rolling hills and flat Louisiana “Bayou” country alongside the Red and Quachita Rivers, the Monroe Subdivision is home to challenging railroad operations that mix grades, fast-running, and heavy tonnage. The Monroe Subdivision is also rich in junctions and interchanges with other rail lines, including connections with Union Pacific’s Shreveport line at Alexandria, Kansas City Southern lines at Mallin and Monroe, and short lines Arkansas, Louisiana & Mississippi and Delta Southern at Monroe.
The Livonia Division: Monroe Subdivision route has been masterfully and authentically crafted by Skyhook Games with collaboration from Trains and Drivers. A selection of seven realistic career scenarios, based on actual UP operations and created for Skyhook Games by High Iron Simulations, are included with the route. Climb aboard contemporary Union Pacific power for distinctive and enthralling modern railroading in America’s Deep South – with the Livonia Division: Monroe Subdivision route for Train Simulator, now available at the Steam and Dovetail Games stores! – Gary Dolzall
Venture to the famed “Bayou,” hill, and river country of Louisiana to experience captivating contemporary railroading in America’s Deep South with Union Pacific’s Livonia Division: Monroe Subdivision route now available for Train Simulator! UP EMD SD70M 5053, having moments ago crossed the Red River, is leading tonnage north along the banks of Lake Buhlow, Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
The Livonia Division: Monroe Subdivision route extends 97.5 miles between Monroe and Alexandria, Louisiana, and is a vital portion of the Union Pacific system, serving as a segment of UP’s direct rail link between America’s Upper Midwest and the Gulf of Mexico. At Alexandria Yard, UP GE ES44AC 5353 has just arrived with southbound grain tonnage (above), while nearby a pair of UP EMD GP38-2s (below) work one of the many lineside shippers at Alexandria. Note: Screenshots depict content while in development.
Numerous rail crossings, interchanges, and junctions are found on the Livonia Division: Monroe Subdivision route and Union Pacific SD70M 5053 is clattering across the Kansas City Southern near Tioga (above). At one of the Monroe Subdivision route’s scenic and signature locations, UP SD70M 4790 is on the point of a northbound manifest crossing the wide Red River (below).
At Antonia, Louisiana, approximately 22 miles north of Alexandria, Union Pacific EMD GP38-2s work a large lumber facility. The Livonia Division: Monroe Subdivision route is host to a variety of line-side shippers.
Now available, the Train Simulator Livonia Division: Monroe Subdivision route makes its way through the Deep South’s Bayou, hill, and river country, offering plenty of railroading challenges. UP GE ES44AC 5353 and a sister are southbound with grain tonnage (above), while UP SD70Ms and SD40-2s meet (below) on the line which features a mix of single and double-track.
It is a rainy day in Louisiana as a set of veteran Union Pacific EMD SD40-2s handle subdivision local work and switch a large lineside shipper near Erco, Louisiana, then a short line later carefully navigates into Monroe Yard (below).
At Monroe, UP GP38-2 513 spots covered hoppers at an elevator adjacent to the railroad’s yard complex. In addition to sizeable yard facilities, Monroe is host to lineside shippers and interchanges with Kanas City Southern and two short lines, offering extensive switching opportunities.
On the fast-paced north end of the Monroe Subdivision, UP EMD SD70Ms hustle tonnage northbound. Climb aboard for distinctive and enthralling modern railroading in America’s Deep South – with the Livonia Division: Monroe Subdivision route for Train Simulator, now available at the Steam and Dovetail Games stores!
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TS20: “Born on the Bayou”