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CN/Conrail/NS Detroit to Toledo

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    CN/Conrail/NS Detroit to Toledo

    Thanks to all the glorious features that TSRE has gradually added, especially the in-editor terrain and map importation processes, I decided to come out of the dust and rework (for the thousandth time now, I guess) my hometown route and a semi-highly-requested route among the community at that...the Canadian National, Conrail and Norfolk Southern routes from Detroit, Michigan to Toledo, Ohio.

    I've been hard at work on this route for the past two months, the Conrail/NS Detroit Line is 98% completed (track laid from West Detroit to the Bancroft Street overpass in Toledo) while the CN Shoreline Sub is 95% completed (track laid from Milwaukee Junction to just past the big curve at Sterns Road north of the state line), providing 60 miles of usable mainline track along with a good amount of customer sidings and yards. Only about 1%-3% of the tertiary usable trackage on this route is actually complete right now, with the exception of the Conrail North Yard Branch, where all track to be usable is in place, but for now I'm planning on getting the CN Shoreline Sub done before I tackle those.

    By far, the combination of TSRE and Chuck's Snappers objects, which you'll see in one of the provided screenshots, has been a savior for all the webs of tracks and heavy urban scenery that are commonplace for over half of the route (Metro Detroit, the city of Monroe and in and close to Toledo), not to mention that it makes building routes far, far, far quicker than ever before.

    This route will be completely next-gen, which means there will be nothing included that requires having MSTS installed first.

    Expect a public release sometime in late November or December at the soonest.

    And now for the screenshots:

    Starting out on the North Yard Branch, which was at one time the New York Central's Mackinaw City route, heading south, Milwaukee Junction is the terminus point for three CN subdivisions along with the Detroit Connecting Railroad, which now forms the southernmost remaining trackage of what was once the Grand Trunk Western's Detroit-Lake Michigan line. In the distance is Detroit's New Center, which right now is lacking buildings, I will be making a fair number of custom structures for the area.

    Delray Junction is where the Detroit Line crosses the Boat Yard Track, jointly used by CSX and NS for local switching, a far cry from the glory days when it was used by passenger trains from the Chesapeake & Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wabash Railroads to access the now-demolished Fort Street Union Station. Although the northernmost segment of the Shoreline Sub merges onto the Boat Yard Lead here as well, usually CN trains will simply glide through by way of Detroit Line trackage rights. A connecting track between the Detroit Line and Boat Yard Track is used by Canadian Pacific runthrough freights to access the former Wabash mainline from the Detroit River Tunnel.

    At Oak Street, a popular railfanning spot in Wyandotte, four different tracks are visibly spread out. In the background is the Flat Rock Sub, the former Detroit, Toledo & Ironton Railroad mainline, now used only by locals and rarely a coal train. Adjacent to that is track 2 of the Detroit Line, first laid by the Michigan Central, next to that is track 1, laid by the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern. Both the MC and the LSMS were later acquired by the NYC, ultimately becoming Penn Central before landing in Conrail control, under which this part of the Detroit Line still falls under as part of Conrail Shared Assets. Finally, mostly hidden behind our train, is the Shoreline Sub, former Detroit & Toledo Shoreline iron. In the background, again mostly hidden, I've used Snappers residential blocks. The famous depot, I've yet to build that as well.

    Kentucky Street in the medium-sized core city of Monroe is an interesting path, as Detroit Line track 1 literally separates the street from the homes that line it (which are yet to be put in). This is as close to street running as you can get without actually going into the street itself. Two blocks east are Detroit Line track 2 and the Shoreline Sub, which swings across both Detroit Line mains in Trenton. The Detroit Line tracks are unusually separated like that due to the fact that the tracks were each originally laid by different railroads.

    In far northern Toledo, not far from the Michigan-Ohio state line, is Alexis Junction, where the Detroit Line crosses CSX's Flint-Toledo (ex-C&O) mainline and the Ann Arbor Railroad. It is flanked by double overpasses on nearby Alexis Road, which provides good overhead views of the diamonds.
    Last edited by amtrakmattburb; 10-17-2017, 12:05 PM.

    Glad to see quality work is being done on a route near where I used to reside. Keep up the good work!


      Finished the entire Detroit Line and added in parts of the Chicago Line from Airline Junction to the Martin Luther King Depot area. Believe it or not, the MLK Depot is available in this file library and has been for ten years, but for some reason the platform textures are white in OR but show up correctly in TSRE.

      Ending an 80-minute run from Detroit, Michigan to Toledo, Ohio on a rainy October 1994 afternoon.


        This is coming along beautifully. Keep up the good work!

        John DeLamater


          Hi, just by curiosity and since i am a CN fan, will you make that beautiful route available here?



            Hello guys, I was so busy that I never even bothered to work on this route between October 2017 and March 2019! I finally decided to go back to working on it, it isn't much so far however.

            Route map as of today:

            Nearly half of River Rouge Yard has been completed so far. This is one of the bigger yards on this route.


              It's great to see you're still around. You can't rush excellence. I look forward to seeing future progress.


                OK guys, I have reached the part where you have a say so in this route. My route will be set in modern days, so I want it to be as accurate as possible. Unfortunately, the Maumee Avenue bridge in Toledo just west of MLK Station on the simulated portion of the NS Chicago Line collapsed a few days back.

                I want to hear everyone's opinion as to whether or not I should keep this overpass in my route or remove it (in case it never gets rebuilt again). I'm myself torn between backdating and nostalgia. Majority wins in this poll. Poll closes on the day that I upload this route.


                  Originally posted by amtrakmattburb View Post
                  I'm myself torn between backdating and nostalgia. Majority wins in this poll. Poll closes on the day that I upload this route.
                  Since I can't edit that post, the correct paragraph is :I'm myself torn between backdating and accuracy. Majority wins in this poll. Poll closes on the day that I upload this route.


                    Only the users who know that area will know the bridge fell, unless you tell the rest of us. Besides, it's not really backdating if it just happened. In one of my projects, I have a power plant spur. I went to the real-World location of that spur last fall and discovered that it was removed recently. It remains in the route, as it was there very recently


                      Some screenshots from a scenery go-around at the Ecorse/Wyandotte border. Test train used is out-of-place for this route but could be a look at this route's distant future...

                      CP Mill

                      Crossing the Ecorse River

                      Wyandotte residential neighborhood-one street, Riverbank Street, once crossed all four tracks at grade, but that crossing was closed in the 1980's


                        Nice route that you are working on this and keep up good work till the release of your route when you are ready to release in the near future.



                          Looks great so far! I'd leave the bridge in -- it's such a recent occurence, and I'm sure most people wouldn't even be able to say which bridge it is in the route.


                            Here's a few updates regarding the route.

                            First, I have begun creating custom objects in Sketchup, starting with this building located in between the Conrail Detroit Line and CN Flat Rock Sub in Wyandotte:

                            Next, after about two weeks, River Rouge Yard is 100% completed track-wise.

                            And a couple other important notes:

                            I have started considering releasing an alpha of the route, since it had gone untouched for too long and I didn't want to waste it further just only having me have it. Should this alpha be a closed one (sent only to selected people) or should I let everyone have at it? I also want to allow others to freely add on to the route (including further tracks) and send their additions to me, as I have a busy life.

                            Also, once the route is completed and released, I'm thinking of expanding it into a larger mega-route as a collaboration with people willing to work on it. What I'm considering is to have as much of southern Michigan's railroad network as possible, including the entire lengths of all three of the Michigan Services routes (so as to finally allow a route perfect for running TT's Amtrak Midwest Chargers), along with the possibility of extending west to Chicago and east to maybe both Cleveland (to allow plenty of room to run the Lake Shore Limited and Capitol Limited) and to London, Ontario (to allow for a connection to the Niagara Corridor route).

                            If anyone wants, I may possibly extend it further east to Buffalo, New York and Oshawa, Ontario (that way I may include the entire GO Transit train system). If anyone also wants, I could try to merge it into the Chicago-Minnesota mega-route that's being worked on by others on this forum.


                              Oh, please do extend it to Buffalo, or better yet, Rochester. Relatively simple double track main with mostly trees, but I'm working on a P32AC-DM that currently has no home, and the Empire Corridor between Buffalo and Penn Station is primarily where it runs - so even a small segment would be a great place for it. Progress looks great!