Train Simulator

TS20: Montana Majestic!

Written by: Gary Dolzall.
The majesty – and challenges – of railroading across the High Plains of Montana await you with the new and extraordinary Train Simulator Montana Hi-Line route!
Ready for a remarkable, captivating, and challenging new Train Simulator experience? That’s exactly what awaits you with the now-available and extraordinary Montana Hi-Line route!
From accomplished route developer VNH and the expert team of Michael Stephan and Rick Grout, the new Montana Hi-Line route for Train Simulator extends across the Montana high plains between Havre and Shelby, 108 route miles. The Hi-Line Subdivision (which west of Shelby climbs through famed Marias Pass) is part of the railroad’s Montana Division and is a key artery of BNSF's bustling northern transcontinental main line between Chicago and Seattle. It was built in the late 19th century by James J. Hill's Great Northern Railway and is the northernmost of the transcontinental railroads in the United States. The Hi-Line today is BNSF’s busy route for intermodal and container traffic moving between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest and the line also originates and carries huge amounts of manifest and grain tonnage.
The constant flow of tonnage on the Hi-Line, high track speeds (79 mph for passenger and 60 mph for freight), a mix of single- and double-track, and most dauntingly, a sawtooth gradient profile with frequent climbs and drops of up to 1 percent, together make the Hi-Line a real challenge for the railroad’s dispatchers and train operating crews.
Havre, located at the west end of BNSF’s Milk River Subdivision, is home to a large yard, diesel and car shops, lineside grain elevators, and an Amtrak station stop for the Empire Builder. Four miles west of Havre is Pacific Junction, where the Hi-Line Sub begins and links with BNSF’s Big Sandy Subdivision. In reaching across Montana, the Hi-Line passes through numerous small towns, all of which are host to tall grain elevators. At Chester, 58 miles west of Pacific Junction, two large rapid-loading grain facilities with loop tracks serve BNSF unit grain trains, most of which are bound for Pacific coast ports. On its west end at Shelby, just as at Havre, the Montana Hi-Line route features a large and active rail yard. Shelby is also the junction point with BNSF’s Great Falls and Sweetgrass Subdivisions.
The new Train Simulator Montana Hi-Line route is a truly masterful and detailed re-creation of this famed line. Havre features the sprawling yard complex, locomotive and car shops with interiors, terminal and main line refueling stations, Amtrak’s depot, and even Great Northern S-2 Class 4-8-4 2584, which stands proudly on display adjacent to the Havre station.
Across the length of the line, the Montana Hi-Line route reveals the majesty of “Big Sky Country” and the fertile grain fields of the high plains, with each town and their distinctive grain elevators standing at trackside. There are, in fact, a dozen towns with grain elevators between Havre and Shelby, which offer a variety of local freight and switching opportunities in addition to the constant flow of intermodal, manifest, and unit trains on the Hi-Line main.
To bring the Hi-Line to full life, the route includes three BNSF freight locomotives – the General Electric mainline workhorse ES44DC, Electro-Motive’s GP38-2 road-switcher, and EMD’s SW1500 switcher -- and a selection of more than 20 appropriate and contemporary freight car types. And the route also features nine realistic and diverse career scenarios.
Note: The Montana Hi-Line route is available worldwide. Due to licensing restrictions, BNSF markings appear only on content distributed to U. S. customers.
The new Train Simulator Montana Hi-Line route promises you countless realistic and challenging railroading experiences on one of America’s busiest and most vibrant rail lines – and the superb route is available now at the Dovetail Games and Steam Stores! – Gary Dolzall
Now available, the new Train Simulator Montana Hi-Line route takes you to the magnificent high plains of “Big Sky Country” for some of the most challenging and busy railroading found anywhere in America. Having just departed Havre westbound, a BNSF manifest freight enters the Hi-Line Subdivision at Pacific Junction. Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
The Montana Hi-Line route, masterfully created for Train Simulator by accomplished route developer VNH and the expert team of Michael Stephan and Rick Grout, extends across the Montana high plains between Havre and Shelby, 108 route miles. BNSF General Electric ES44DC 7216 is on the point of a westbound train departing Havre and passing the city’s station and preserved Great Northern S-2 Class 4-8-4 2584. Note: Screenshots may depict content while in development.
Havre is home to a large yard, diesel and car shops, lineside grain elevators, and an Amtrak station stop for the Empire Builder. Working Havre yard duty, BNSF SW1500 3453 is spotting equipment at the car shop (above and below). Havre’s car shop is one of several structures on the Montana Hi-Line route which feature interiors.
At the Havre locomotive shop, BNSF EMD GP38-2 2264 and GE ES44DC 7216 await duty. To bring the Hi-Line to full life, the route includes three BNSF freight locomotives – the General Electric mainline workhorse ES44DC, Electro-Motive’s GP38-2 road-switcher (in two variants), and EMD’s SW1500 switcher (in two liveries).
Westbound from Havre, BNSF GE ES44DC 7200 is leading a manifest freight and is being overtaken by a priority transcontinental intermodal train. The Hi-Line Subdivision is BNSF’s busy route for intermodal and container traffic moving between Chicago and the Pacific Northwest and the line also originates and carries huge amounts of manifest and grain tonnage.
Between Havre and Shelby on the new Montana Hi-Line route, a dozen lineside towns are home to grain elevators. BNSF GE ES44DC 7818 and its sisters are totting grain tonnage west through Rudyard (above). Chester is home to a pair of rapid-loading grain facilities located on loop tracks (below) which can accommodate unit trains of more than 100 cars.
With a heavy eastbound stack train in tow, a trio of BNSF GE ES44DC’s roll through Devon (above and below). The constant flow of tonnage on the Hi-Line Subdivision, high track speeds (79 mph for passenger and 60 mph for freight), a mix of single- and double-track, and a sawtooth gradient profile with frequent climbs and drops of up to 1 percent, together make the Hi-Line a real challenge for the railroad’s dispatchers and train operating crews.
On the west end of the Train Simulator Montana Hi-Line route at Shelby, BNSF ES44DC 7818 is bringing grain tonnage into the town (above), while sister BNSF 7204 is leading the way with eastbound stacks (below). As is Havre, Shelby is an important operating point on the Hi-Line.
In a scene of the boundless beauty of Montana’s “Big Sky Country,” a BNSF westbound manifest twists along the Milk River. The new Train Simulator Montana Hi-Line route promises you countless realistic and challenging railroading experiences on one of America’s busiest and most vibrant rail lines – and the route is available now at the Dovetail Games and Steam Stores!
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.
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Train Simulator
19 Dec
TS20: Montana Majestic!
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