Riding Amtrak down to NYC from Albany this weekend to visit family has given me the motivation to finally start some Surfliner 2 activities. I had wanted to do this sooner, but had other projects I wanted to finish up. Jeff put a lot of work into this route, and in my opinion it surpasses anything Streamlines or MLT has done in terms of quality and accuracy. I intended to make activities that hold up to that standard, so I want to make them as realistic as possible. But I also want to please everyone here, as these are, well, for you. Please reply to this post with questions/comments that you have regarding what I have to say next, or with anything in general. I'd like as much feedback as possible with this, as I plan on doing a lot with this route.
What I'm thinking of doing is releasing activities (or runs) in pairs. For example, a real Amtrak engineer based out of LA would run train 572, departing at 11:10 AM and arrive in San Diego at 1:55. Then he would have a quick break before bringing train 583 back to LA, departing at 2:40 P.M. I personally like doing things this way, as it's a lot of fun to simulate a day in the life of a real crew member. I'm not sure exactly what the protocol is on the northern end, as it's a 5 hour run up to San Luis Obispo. I would probably simulate an overnight stay or something, taking an evening train out of LA, then returning the next day. If anybody knows what they do up there, please let me know, I'll also be looking into it myself.
I'd like to cut down on equipment use as much as possible; on the northern end, it will be a lot easier, as it's pretty much Amtrak and Metrolink up there, except the Wednesday UP Local and the occasional OilCans or Baretables. I'm going to try to limit it down to less than ten required downloads per "set" of activities that I plan on releasing. It may vary a bit from time to time, but overall, you can expect the same thing.
I do plan on using a decent amount of payware, here's what I have so far:
3D Trains/FPM Surfliner Equipment
SLI P42 Empire Builder Set (feel free to switch it out with the stuff from 3DTS - SLI is just a cheaper alternative)
SLI Horizon Set (equipment used on 572/583)
SLI UP Green River Addon (has the UP locos I want and the oil can cars)
SLI Scenic Sub 2.0 (for BNSF locos/stock on the southern end)
You may also see on the list a few of the nicely done repaints of those products here, and like I said, that will vary from act to act.
There will also be freights acts for the northern end, especially the ODOWP oil cans.
Please let me know what you think, as I plan to begin building 572/583 tomorrow. Thanks for reading this.