TS19: Carolina Classic!
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
Update: this route is available now as part of Train Simulator 2020 – find out more by clicking below!
The special and captivating experience of American branch line railroading is coming to Train Simulator, with Norfolk Southern’s N-Line!
American branch lines and short lines, especially those in the Southeastern region of the country, have long been revered for their unique and captivating style of railroading – and now the challenging and extraordinary experiences of Carolina branch line railroading will soon come to Train Simulator with the Norfolk Southern N-Line route!
The Norfolk Southern N-Line extends from Salisbury to Halls Ferry, North Carolina. Built in 1891 as the Yadkin Railroad, it became a long-time property of the Southern Railway, and most recently has been part of Norfolk Southern’s Piedmont Division and Charlotte District. The Norfolk Southern N-Line is noted and cherished by rail enthusiasts for its challenging “saw tooth” profile, sharp curves, and journey through Carolina’s lush forest country. And while the N-Line has all the appeal of a traditional southern short line, it is also vital and alive with tonnage traffic. The NS N-Line serves a diverse range of lineside industries and customers, including a sprawling aggregates quarry near Gold Hill and a variety of forest products, agricultural, and building supply customers at locations including South Salisbury, Gold Hill, Richfield, New London, and Halls Ferry.
Norfolk Southern’s N-Line branch diverges from the railroad’s busy Washington, D. C. – New Orleans main line at Salisbury’s Yadkin Junction, then makes its way southeasterly 25 miles to Halls Ferry. In addition to the complete N-Line branch, the upcoming TS2019 route will include the NS Charlotte District main line between “Old Spencer” Yard (home base to N-Line operations) and Yadkin Junction, bringing total mileage to approximately 30 route miles. And the upcoming TS2019 route even includes the facilities of the noted North Carolina Transportation Museum, which occupies the ex-Southern Railway Spencer Shops near Salisbury.
Train Simulator’s Norfolk Southern N-Line route will put you in the engineer’s seat for railroading over a curvy and roller-coaster branch line which will require you to keep a close hand on both throttle and brakes as you make your way along the “up one hill, then down the other” route and over sometimes uncertain trackage. The N-Line’s undulating profile includes grades of up to 1.4 per cent. And you’ll also enjoy the depth and challenges of lineside switching and local duties as you serve the N-Line’s variety of rail customers. Norfolk Southern operations on the N-Line are most typically handled by NS symbol train P92, which operates from Old Spencer Yard and makes a turn to Halls Ferry. Typical operating speeds on the branch line are 25 mph, with 50-mph running on the adjoining Charlotte District main line.
Accompanying the TS2019 Norfolk Southern N-Line route will be three diesel locomotives ideal and authentic for use on the route: NS Electro-Motive “hi-nose” and “low-nose” EMD GP38-2s and an NS EMD GP40-2 (the N-Line is typically served by four-axle locomotives due to its many sharp curves and the nature of its trackage). And the route will also include a variety of appropriate contemporary freight rolling stock, including a three-bay covered hopper, stone hopper, center-beam flat, boxcar, and other modern equipment.
The Norfolk Southern N-Line route will bring to Train Simulator a distinctive railroading experience mixing both the classic charms of American branch line and short line railroading with the challenges and bustle of serving a wide range of lineside industries – and the TS2019 Norfolk Southern N-Line is coming soon, so stay tuned here at Dovetail Live!– Gary Dolzall
The challenging and captivating experiences of American branch line railroading will soon come to Train Simulator – with the Norfolk Southern N-Line route extending from Salisbury to Halls Ferry, North Carolina! Norfolk Southern Train P92 is passing the Amtrak passenger station at Salisbury (above) as it makes its way along the NS Charlotte District main line, then at Yadkin Junction (below) diverges onto the N-Line branch. Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
Norfolk Southern’s N-Line is revered by rail enthusiasts for its challenging “saw tooth” profile, sharp curves, and journey through Carolina’s lush forest country. Bound for Halls Ferry, NS GP38-2 5313 has just dropped down the 1 percent grade in the distance and is already climbing another steep grade on the “roller coaster” profile of the branch line. Note: Screenshots in this article depict content still in development.
The NS N-Line is host to a variety of local industries and lineside switching operations. A pair of Norfolk Southern’s unique hi-nose GP38-2s are making a night switching call at the aluminum facility located along the N-Line at South Salisbury.
Norfolk Southern GP38-2 5313 and the P92 local trundle into Rockwell, North Carolina (above) and encounter one of the passing sidings (below) situated along the single-track branch line. The branch line portion of this upcoming TS2019 route extends 25 miles from Yadkin Junction to Halls Ferry and the new Train Simulator route also includes NS’s Old Spencer Yard and a segment of the Charlotte District main line at Salisbury.
The small community of Gold Hill, North Carolina is a major source of tonnage for the N-Line. Norfolk Southern EMD GP40-2 3053 is switching covered hoppers at a Gold Hill industry (above), while at the nearby and sprawling Gold Hill quarry complex, NS hi-nose GP38-2 5189 is working a string of stone cars (below).
The upcoming TS2019 Norfolk Southern N-Line route features a captivating mix of forest country, small North Carolina towns, and busy lineside industries. NS GP38-2 5313 is leading the way as the P92 local swings through scenic Richfield en route to Halls Ferry.
Near New London, North Carolina, NS GP40-2 3018 is on the point as the P-92 local switches a large building material facility (above). Nearing Halls Ferry, Norfolk Southern GP38-2 5313 makes its way through typical Carolina “pine forest and red earth” country (below).
Halls Ferry is the southeastern terminus of the Norfolk Southern N-Line and is host to multiple lineside industries, one of which NS GP38-2 5315 and an EMD sister are switching at dawn.
The upcoming TS2019 Norfolk Southern N-Line will include a trio of NS diesel locomotives ideal and authentic for use on the route, including (left to right) an EMD low-nose GP38-2; hi-nose GP38-2; and GP40-2. This scene is posed at the roundhouse of the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Salisbury, which once was part of Southern’s Spencer Shops.
With local landmark Mauney Feed Mill in the distance, NS Train P92 arrives at Halls Ferry. The Norfolk Southern N-Line route will bring to Train Simulator a distinctive experience mixing both the classic charms of American branch line and short line railroading with the challenges and bustle of serving a wide range of lineside industries – and its coming soon to TS2019!
TS19: Carolina Classic!