TS20: Memorable Midwestern Railroading!
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
Available free at Steam Workshop, High Iron Simulations’ Bedford Junction Branch for Train Simulator is a Midwestern route ideal to host a variety of railroads and equipment!
When High Iron Simulations decided to build a Train Simulator route for Steam Workshop, our first goal was to create a line that was typical of railroading in the American Midwest and which could host a variety of the region’s memorable railroads. The result is the TS2020 Bedford Junction Branch route, now available free at Steam Workshop!
The Bedford Junction Branch is a free-lance line of approximately 30 route miles. It is set in a rural region that features granger, industrial, quarry, and coal elements amid farmland and rolling, sometimes rugged countryside as particularly found in southern Indiana or southern Illinois but is also similar to many areas of the United States’ Midwest.
While the route is most representative of a Norfolk Southern secondary line, it can as easily represent a variety of other railroads, present and past, that do or have operated in the area, including CSX, Southern, Chessie, Seaboard System, Conrail, Illinois Central, Missouri Pacific, several regional roads or even, with a bit of era creative licensing, classic railroads such as the Pennsylvania or New York Central.
The two end point terminals of the Bedford Junction Branch are Bedford Junction Yard, situated along the route’s dual-track main line and located a short distance from Bedford Junction, where the featured branch line then extends 26 miles to Gosport, which is home to a large rail-to-river coal transloading facility and nearby gravel quarry. In addition to featuring heavy coal and stone movements between Bedford Junction Yard and Gosport, the Bedford Junction Brach hosts a range of local freight and lineside switching opportunities which includes served industrial sidings at five locations and a junction and interchange yard with another rail line.
At track speed (typically 40 mph), a run over the length of the line (excluding lineside switching en route) requires approximately 50 minutes. As a secondary line with heavy coal movements, the route’s main stem is signaled and equipped with automatic switches.
High Iron Simulations, noted for its popular and realistic scenarios as available in scenario packs and at Steam Workshop, has developed a wide range of scenarios for the route which will also become available free at Steam Workshop.
For assets employed in the Bedford Junction Branch, the route requires ownership of two Dovetail Games Train Simulator routes: the Norfolk Southern Coal District and the Soldier Summit route.
Get ready for memorable Midwestern railroading! Now’s the time to enjoy High Iron Simulations’ Bedford Junction Branch route for Train Simulator, which awaits you at Steam Workshop! – Gary Dolzall
Now available at Steam Workshop, the Bedford Junction Branch is a line of approximately 30 route miles which re-creates railroading in the American Midwest and features granger, industrial, quarry, and coal elements set amid farmland and sometimes rugged countryside. At Bedford, a pair of Norfolk Southern GP38-2s switch one of the many lineside shippers on the new route. Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
Northern terminus of the new TS2020 route from High Iron Simulations is Bedford Junction Yard. Norfolk Southern GE Dash 9-44CW 9918 is leading a train of empties into the yard while NS ES44AC 8011 rushes past with coal loads on the main line (above). At the Bedford Junction Yard engine terminal, NS 9647 awaits duty under a setting moon (below).
Bedford Junction is the connecting point between the route’s main line and the Bedford Junction Branch. At the junction, an intermodal train hurries east on the main line while NS ES44AC 8053 is on the point of a coal train curving onto the branch (above). Not far from the junction is Thornton, where a duo of high-nose NS GP38-2s tend to a lineside customer (below).
The largest town on the branch line is Mitchell, which is also home to an industrial spur serving four shippers. A southbound coal train has just met a northbound empties train and is now rolling aside Main Street and past the Mitchell depot (above). Norfolk Southern GP38-2s, meanwhile, are at work switching the Mitchell industrial spur (below).
With Norfolk Southern’s Heritage Fleet EMD SD70ACe honoring the Wabash Railroad leading the way, a coal train is headed south for Gosport. Typical of the American Midwest, the Bedford Junction Branch features a mixture of rugged country (above) and open farmland (below).
Among the notable locations along the Bedford Junction Branch are the railroad’s crossing of White River, where a northbound empties train spans the river while a river barge approaches (above) and Steinsville, site of an at-grade “diamond” crossing with another rail line (below). Steinsville is also home to an interchange track and yard and a nearby steel transload facility.
A major tonnage producer on the Bedford Junction Branch is a quarry at the aptly named siding of Gravel Pit. Illustrative of the route’s ability to host a variety of railroads amid different era, CSX EMD GP40-2s are working the quarry facility (above), while Seaboard System GE U36Bs make a nocturnal visit to Gravel Pit (below).
Along with Bedford Junction Yard, the second key location on the newly released TS2020 route is Gosport, which is the southern terminus of the branch and host to a large rail-to-river transloading facility, storage tracks, and engine terminal. NS SD70ACe 1070 has just brought a coal train into the Gosport transloading facility (left) and will soon cut off and move to the nearby engine serving tracks (right).
Get ready for memorable Midwestern railroading! Now’s the time to enjoy High Iron Simulations’ Bedford Junction Branch route for Train Simulator, which awaits you at Steam Workshop!
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TS20: Memorable Midwestern Railroading!