TS19: Salt Flats, Saloons, and Steam!
Written by: Gary Dolzall.
Mountains, trestles, salt flats, saloons, and steam – let’s take a tour of the upcoming Promontory Summit route!
In Dovetail Live’s recent article “Journey to Promontory,” we introduced the extraordinary Promontory Summit route coming soon to Train Simulator. Now’s let’s take a closer look at the route developed by Smokebox and its captivating steam-era railroading and “Old West” frontier features!
The upcoming Smokebox Promontory Summit route re-creates the historic 68 railroad route miles extending from Corinne, Utah over Promontory Summit and along the north shore of the Great Salt Lake to Kelton, Utah. The route is set in 1869, the year in which the Central Pacific and Union Pacific linked at Promontory Summit to form America’s transcontinental railroad. Centered on Promontory Summit, the route will include segments of the railroad as originally operated by Central Pacific and Union Pacific, and thus will provide a perfect and authentic setting to put Smokebox’s remarkable assemblage of period steam power – which includes Central Pacific’s 4-4-0 “Jupiter,” CP’s 4-6-0 “Buffalo,” and Union Pacific’s 4-4-0 No. 119 types (all available separately at the Steam and Dovetail Games stores) – to work lugging passengers and tonnage. Rugged topography, tough grades, spindly trestles, and the rough-and-tumble “tent towns” that dotted the newly constructed transcontinental railroad all come to enthralling life in the Smokebox route. Let’s take a brief tour of the upcoming Train Simulator route from east to west!
At the east end of the Promontory Summit route, Corinne was founded in 1869 in expectation of the economic boom that the transcontinental railroad would produce. Home to railroad facilities including station, turntable, and sidings, Corinne also came to host more than 100 saloons and gambling houses in its heyday!
Blue Creek (Dead Falls)
A key point on the Promontory Summit route is Blue Creek, also known as Dead Falls. A tent town which served as a Union Pacific construction camp located at the eastern foot of the Promontory Mountains, Blue Creek was the site of UP locomotive servicing facilities and the staging point for the westbound climb of the Promontory Mountains. For the rough-and-tumble lifestyle often found there, the place was also nicknamed “Hell’s Half Acre.”
Promontory Mountains East Slope
The toughest and most unforgiving section of the railroad, on a route that was almost universally rugged, was the east slope climb of the Promontory Mountains between Blue Creek and Promontory Summit. The east slope hosted the single most daunting feature on the route – the spindly, wooden 400-foot-long, 85-foot-high “Big Trestle.”
Site of the historic meeting of the rails of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific and the “Golden Spike” ceremony of May 10, 1869, Promontory Summit, at an elevation of 4,902 feet, came to include railroad sidings and facilities. Promontory was also known to be one wild tent town, so much so that a newspaper reporter of the time wrote it was “morally nearest to the infernal regions as any town on the road.”
What had been known as Rozel was renamed Victory on April 30, 1869 when Central Pacific track workers took a lunch break at the site – but only after laying six miles of track that morning! Site of a siding and locomotive servicing facilities, Victory sometimes hosted helper locomotives for the west slope climb to Promontory Summit.
Little more than a station house (and outhouse) perched on a ledge high above the Great Salt Lake and its desolate salt flats, remote Lake stood midway on the Promontory Mountains’ western slope.
Named for Monument Rock which was visible along the nearby shore of the Great Salt Lake, the town of Monument hosted a rail siding and water tower and would come to provide a handful of residents with a living by working at the Desert Salt Works.
Ten Mile was opened in 1869 and served as a Central Pacific section station. Within a decade of the completion of the railroad, little remained at Ten Mile.
Serving as the west end of the upcoming Train Simulator Promontory Summit route is Kelton, Utah. Kelton was a CP section station and was located on the Overland Mail route. With engine house, turntable, passenger station, and locomotive servicing facilities, Kelton became a bustling, and often brawling, frontier town.
Smokebox is renowned for developing Train Simulator locomotives and routes with extraordinary fidelity to detail and authenticity, and the upcoming Promontory Summit route is marvelous re-creation of 19th century “Old West” railroading. Along with the beautifully crafted route, this upcoming add-on will include ten career scenarios and three free-roam scenarios in which you can go to work at the throttle of CP and UP vintage steam power. And among the career scenarios are two scenarios which together provide an end-to-end “guided tour” of the route and its history. The legendary and captivating Promontory Summit route is coming soon to Train Simulator! – Gary Dolzall
Note: You must own one of the following...
- CPRR 4-4-0 No. 60 ‘Jupiter’ Steam Loco Add-On
- Union Pacific No. 119 Steam Loco Add-On
- CPRR 4-6-0 Buffalo Steam Loco Add-On
...in order to purchase this route. The route will be offered with a 20% discount if purchased as a bundle with one of the above loco add-ons.
Through the creativity and digital artistry of Smokebox, America’s historic transcontinental railroad is coming soon to Train Simulator, with the 68-mile Promontory Summit route! Extending from Corinne, Utah over Promontory Summit and along the north shore of the Great Salt Lake to Kelton, Utah, the route will re-create 19th century American railroading and its enthralling “Old West” environment. At Corinne, UP 4-4-0 No. 116 switches freight alongside the Union Pacific depot while famed sister UP No. 119 stands on the Corinne turntable. Screenshots by Gary Dolzall.
An eastbound Union Pacific passenger train eases into Blue Creek, also known as Dead Falls. A tent town which served as a UP construction camp located at the eastern foot of the Promontory Mountains, Blue Creek was the site of locomotive servicing facilities and the staging point for Union Pacific’s westbound climb of the Promontory Mountains. Note: Screenshots depict content still in development.
The toughest and most unforgiving section of the upcoming Promontory Summit route, on a rail line almost universally rugged, is the east slope of the Promontory Mountains between Blue Creek and Promontory Summit. Along with deep and jagged rocky cuts (above), the east slope hosts the single most daunting feature on the route – the spindly, wooden 400-foot-long, 85-foot-high “Big Trestle” (below).
Site of the landmark meeting of the rails of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific in May 1869, Promontory Summit, at an elevation of 4,902 feet, came to include railroad sidings and facilities and an infamously wild “tent town.” At dusk, a Union Pacific passenger train chugs into town from the east (above), while on another day Central Pacific 4-6-0 No. 86 (below) delivers passengers from the west.
West of Promontory Summit, the Central Pacific spun is rails along the north shore of the Great Salt Lake and through miles of desolate salt flats. At Victory (above), which sometimes served as a helper station for the west slope of the Promontory Mountains, a duo of CP 4-4-0s team up at dawn on eastbound tonnage, while on another day Central Pacific Ten-Wheeler “Gorilla” clanks through nearby Lake, situated on high ground overlooking endless salt flats (below).
Named for Monument Rock visible along the nearby shore of the Great Salt Lake, the town of Monument (above) hosted a rail siding, a water tower, and the Desert Salt Works. Ten Mile (below) was opened in 1869 and served as a Central Pacific section station. Within a decade of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, little remained at Ten Mile.
Representing the west end of the upcoming Train Simulator Promontory Summit route, Kelton, Utah was a bustling and brawling Old West town featuring railroad facilities that included an engine house, turntable, and water tower (above) – and a passenger station adjacent to a rough-and-tumble main street that each night promised billiards and, no doubt, plenty of liquid refreshments (below).
In a classic scene of “Old West” steam railroading, historic Union Pacific 4-4-0 No. 119 drops down the east slope of the Promontory Mountains. The creator of the Promontory Summit route – Smokebox -- is renowned for developing locomotives and routes with superb fidelity to detail and authenticity and the upcoming 68-mile Promontory Summit route will be extraordinary – and it’s coming soon to Train Simulator!
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.
TS19: Salt Flats, Saloons, and Steam!