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Blue Comet Line Route "REDUX" 1968-2000 Era in Progress

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    Blue Comet Line Route "REDUX" 1968-2000 Era in Progress

    In light of the future 1970's CNJ Southern Division Pack being worked on by Chris Parker (ConductorChris) at BLW/ZT. And with the grace of Steve Durham (Literalman) the creator of the Blue Comet Lines Route. I have the OK to upgrade the BCL route to a more modern era for future release here at T-S.

    The route will be based from the late 1960's to around 2000. Before I go further I want to say all historical track will be left in place. Not comfortable enough yet to play with the .tdb yet even with TSRE5. I know some of the track in the route in reality has been gone since 1935 (1935 is the Island Heights extension of the PRR's Atlantic & Long Branch line is to name one). Those lines would be modernized to look like the era mentioned. This way one can create activities for a "What Could Have Been" fantasy run (NJT, CR, etc.). Many of us who study these lines over the years think of "What Could Have Been" from time to time.

    Besides the change in structures & vegetation, the modern upgrade to the route will feature:

    1) Electrification of the NY&LB (Today's NJT NJCL) to Long Branch. This way you can run Tiger Trains wonderful NJT Trainset & KLW's NJT Comets & Geeps.
    2) Redone carspawners
    3) Major roads & highways like The Garden State Parkway (GSP), NJ Turnpike (NJT), Atlantic City Expressway (ACE), Routes 9, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 72, 206 & others. Plus County Roads & local streets. All will have correct custom made signage.
    4) Renamed sidings for the era so activities will reflect industries the era correctly (Sample: Manetta Mfg. in S. Lakewood will now be Level Line Windows).
    5) Certain stations on all the routes will be deleted from timetables (Sample: Da Costa & Elwood stations on the PRSL will be taken out of service (OOS).
    6) There will be sets of activities included for both just freeware D/L's & just Payware downloads included. Old activities for the original version will no longer work because of the change in names of sidings & deleting of station. At a future time, I will rework the ones I made that are in the T-S D/L library for use with this version.


    These are just a few of the changes instore for it.

    Like I stated, I am not changing the .tdb because of really not being that advanced yet that I feel comfortable doing that, same thing with the signaling. Those will stay current for the time being.

    Some have asked about me then releasing my modified version I post with screenshots from time to time on the forum. I really can't because that version does have loads of payware objects in it. The task to sort through it would be great. It would be just easier to do it this way & not have to worry about filtering out and replacing the objects.

    Being I am going to have enough time for an upcoming surgery, I should progressing on this at a fairly good pace with using TSRE5. I been cleaning out some things I won't be using in the route and adding scenery objects that will be in the upgraded route. I included a few screenshots of the Jersey City Terminal that I started upgrading last night. I just started working on it for about 4 hours. This area is far from done but it gives you an idea what is instore. It is suppose to reflect the CNJ terminal just before it was abandoned in April 1967 with the induction of the Aldene Plan (When all CNJ commuter trains were rerouted to Penn Station, Newark.).

    This version will expand the BCL for use of a lot of roads. You can run CNJ, PRR, PC, LV, RDG, PRSL, CR, NJDOT / NJT, CRCX, TRR, SRRNJ, SFL with no problem.

    I will release screens and progress reports on this thread from time to time. And thanks to Steve Durham for giving me a green light to go ahead with this project. To Chris Parker for his hard work with the upcoming CNJ 1970's Pack & having me involved with it. Rick Franzosa & everyone at BLW/ZT with his help and input with this project & working on those "Cut Out" CH hoppers. Max Brisben on those great future CNJ SD35's & Red Baron GP7 for the set. Ian Dodd for all the great NJT items at TigerTrains (Yes I love running modern too on the route.). And all supporting this project. - Mark

    First four screenshots are of the CNJ passenger terminal trainshed yard area. By 1967 prior to abandonment, the yard by the largest Bush Trainshed was very overgrown. At 12:01 AM May 1, 1967 the terminal for both rail and ferry service to NYC will fall silent for good with the Aldene Plan going into effect.








    A lone CNJ Geep & hack sit quietly next to Tower "A" in the terminal yard for its next assignment working the car float area of the yard. Tower "A" controlled all movements into the trainshed and to the engine facility just to the north.


    A view from the jetty of the ferry terminal building shows the CNJ terminal's Bush Trainshed & REA - Freight House to the left. On the right is the Lehigh Valley's yard & carfloat. A lot of people don't know that the LV operated the yard & carfloat on the north side of Johnston Ave. This worked in conjunction with the LV at Greenville Yard & National Docks. Being on the Hudson & on the Morris Canal. The LV had a lot of marine traffic here. This are was greatly used after the 1916 "Black Tom" incident. LV's Black Tom - Caven Point yard & docks were just south of the CNJ's main freight & marine yards & terminal. On the morning of July 30, 1916 a munitions explosion by an act of sabotage by the Germans at the LV pier leveled the area around the pier, even dented the Statue of Liberty (The scars are still seen today), turned over cars in both the CNJ & LV yards & cause damage to the passenger terminal. My grandfather told me it even blew out windows on my house & my street in Garfield, NJ some 22 miles away. This was a the first act of terrorism on U.S. soil in history.


    A view of the LV's carfloats & CNJ terminal. This LV operated this carfloat & yard right up to its inception into Conrail in 1976. Conrail operated it for a few years afterwards.


    A broader view of the area from the Hudson River. The powerhouse on the LV side of Johnston Ave was part of the CNJ. The powerhouse & the long REA building was suppose to be incorporated as part of Liberty State Park. But to cut cost their were taken down. The ferry building to the left was suppose to be too. It even got a new roof & structural upgrading by 1980, but the copper sheathing on the water side was taken down to be repaired & cleaned to its Verde look when all of a sudden it disappeared. Hummmm? Actually the building shown here that Teemu made is the version with the missing copper.


    A lone CNJ ferry waiting to depart for the CNJ's West Street Ferry Terminal in NYC. The former ferry terminal on the NYC side became property for the World Trade Center site which construction started in later 1967.


    Hope you enjoy. - Mark
    Last edited by MMSS; 01-29-2019, 11:54 PM. Reason: Highlights
    - Mark -

    #2
    Like the Era you've chosen.

    Also it's a good idea to keep track that's long gone in the real world. Most youngsters don't appreciate that the current traffic and consists on most modern railways and railroads has lead to the removal of all sorts of track and facilities that are irrelevant or unusable to modern traffic.

    It's always been a frustration to those of us who don't have route building skills (and/or the time they take) that many excellent routes could do with a makeover, era change, or even just greater scenery depth. It's been done with many routes already but there are some that just cry out for alternative versions.

    Keep up the good work.
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

    Comment


      #3
      The latest is I been making a few of the road and highway signs needed for the south and central NJ areas. Plus making some billboards unique for the eras too. I have a total of 10 areas I am starting off with first on the route. I keep a log so I know which areas I am upgrading so I don't miss and go "opps" later down the line. Here are a few screens of some of the progress I have done so far.

      This is the South Toms River area on the Barnegat Branch of the CNJ. After the branch was formally abandoned in 1985, the area near the former freight house became a field unit for Jersey Central Power & Light which was part of GPU (You know, the people who brought you Three Mile Island.). This next two screens are of the JCP&L Field Unit.





      This is the town of Ocean Gate that is on both the Barnegat Bay & the Toms River. The town is the last stop before the Barnegat Bay Bridge on the PRR's Atlantic & Long Branch Division. The area is full of summer homes & bungalows plus boat rentals for crabbing. Up into the mid 1990's AT&T had a international call switching station on the point where the bay meets the river. That will be included too.
      This is a few hundred feet before the Barnegat Bay Trestle


      I started putting in the Atlantic City Expressway (ACE), the main toll road that connects the Philadelphia - Camden area to Atlantic City. It also intersects with the NJ Turnpike (NJT) & the Garden State Parkway (GSP). It also mostly runs parallel with the PRSL mainline for 50+ miles. I also started making the custom signage for it too.

      Last is that of the CNJ Southern Division on the Woodland Township. The tracks here cross NJ State Highway 72 & the trestle is a common sight for people heading to Long Beach Island (LBI) in the summer. Seeing the trestle means only 14 miles to the causeway bridge & then sun-n-fun. The area is loaded with scrub pines as this is the heart of the NJ Pine Barrens. In fact south of Lakehurst, this is most of the scenery along the Southern Division. So I will be redone all the Pine Barren area with Michael Stephan's great scrub pine trees like you see here.


      Looking further west past the trestle & Savoy Blvd.


      Looking east toward Manahawkin & Long Beach Island (LBI) at Savoy Blvd. & the trestle that crosses NJ Route 72.


      The custom road signs show where the roads go. A nice little added detail to the upgrade.

      More to come as more gets done. - Mark









      - Mark -

      Comment


        #4
        Wow! Absolutely stunning.

        Is the Jersey Devil hiding in there someplace?

        Robert

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by NW 2156 View Post
          Is the Jersey Devil hiding in there someplace?

          Robert
          He is lurking somewhere in there Robert. Probably off of Jimmy Leeds Road near the PRSL mainline. The Jersey Devil is also known as the "Leeds Devil" & that road is named after one of the family members. And I am putting the road in the route, so Mother Leeds' 13th child will be roaming the pine barrens once again.
          - Mark -

          Comment


            #6
            Hi Folks,

            Nice shots - you might find Paulie and Chris stumbling around out there and a dead deer too...


            Regards,
            Scott
            <a href=https://www.trainsim.com/forums/filedata/fetch?filedataid=80663&type=full title=thumb_80663.png >thumb_80663.png</a>​ My Blender Models

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by scottb613 View Post
              Hi Folks,

              Nice shots - you might find Paulie and Chris stumbling around out there and a dead deer too...


              Regards,
              Scott
              I like that Scott. Put Chris & Paulie Walnuts right around the desolate area where the tracks go through Lebanon State Park. Little "Easter Eggs" like that are fun like on the PRR-ER route.
              - Mark -

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by MMSS View Post
                He is lurking somewhere in there Robert. Probably off of Jimmy Leeds Road near the PRSL mainline. The Jersey Devil is also known as the "Leeds Devil" & that road is named after one of the family members. And I am putting the road in the route, so Mother Leeds' 13th child will be roaming the pine barrens once again.
                Mark, I will keep an eye out for him.

                Robert

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi Folks,

                  LOL - yep - concur...

                  Whomever did that pine barren area did a real nice job capturing that rather unique landscape...

                  Regards,
                  Scott
                  <a href=https://www.trainsim.com/forums/filedata/fetch?filedataid=80663&type=full title=thumb_80663.png >thumb_80663.png</a>​ My Blender Models

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks Robert & Scott,

                    The pinelands area is actually from mid Monmouth County to Cape May & west to the Delaware River. So yes, a lot of scrubs to put in along with a few Birch, Ash, Larch, Chestnut & Oak trees sparsely. One thing TSRE5 makes placing the object with more control. But like to have it where it doesn't have to layer multiple types of trees & ground cover. But I won't complain.

                    Last night, It was be a lot of this:

                    Turning into this:


                    This is the Chatsworth, NJ area on the route I was redoing last night. It is actually built up less here now that it was in 1929. That was during the big cranberry harvesting & bog iron times down here. Going to bring the pines towards the end of the tile like I did in my private version to bring it depth. OR handles it quite nicely.


                    Look for other Jersey Lore "Easter Eggs" in the route too when it is done like the famous "Blue Hole" near Winslow Jct., Capt. Emilio Carranza "The Lindbergh of Mexico" monument, plus the Jersey Devil and Paulie & Chris (I have to do those two, thank Robert & Scott) near Rt 206 in Wharton State Forest. Plus a few more ditties
                    - Mark -

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Hi...

                      LOL - I hear ya - I've requested both irregular shaped forest regions - and forest regions where we could define multiple textures in a desired mix - to both Goku and ORTS - I believe these two concepts are "doable" but TSRE and ORTS needs to work together to accomplish it - maybe someday...


                      Regards,
                      Scott
                      <a href=https://www.trainsim.com/forums/filedata/fetch?filedataid=80663&type=full title=thumb_80663.png >thumb_80663.png</a>​ My Blender Models

                      Comment


                        #12
                        One thing I love on some of the fine routes that were made for MSTS and ORTS are the fine details you pick up. Like on Jeff Farquhar and Paul Peterson Surfliner Route there are very fine details you pick up on. My favorite in Encinitas, CA my favorite Mexican food place Roberto's is on it (Spent the summer of '82 at that place with my cousin). It is the little details that matter.

                        To me, road signs are a big detail to me. Whn heading down the tracks of a route you know in real life so well & see a highway sign, County Road number, maybe a park or historic marker. It immerses you more in the sim. That last update I showed you I was re-foresting the famous NJ Pine Barrens with native scrub pines in the Chatsworth, NJ area. Just have a bit to do to complete the area with them. I have the structures picked out for the area plus the clutter and poles. But one thing bothered me was I really didn't have signs that if the area well.

                        This afternoon and thank God for my very limited reskinning abilities, I made signs for this area I am now doing (Thank you Google Maps) that are all visible from the ROW. A few screenshots are below.






                        Chatsworth which is part of of Woodside Twsp. in Burlington County, NJ is part of the heart of the NJ Pine Barrens. For the County Road Signs for Routes 532 & 563, I made sure that "Burlington County" is marked in the signs because these routes do go through other counties also (Atlantic, Ocean etc.). Lebanon State Forest is part of the NJ State Park system run by NJ's EPA. Today it is actually named Brendan T. Byrne State Forest. It was renamed in 2004 but because of the era I am doing, am I going with the original name.

                        The two mark marker signs on both sides of the Lebanon State Forest sign are very interesting. They are an "Easter Egg" that actually exist today. The Chatsworth Historical Society put these two markers up. The one of the right commemorates the former CNJ's Chatsworth station. The station actually once was a busy hub was sold in 1952 and has been a private residence since.

                        The right hand one was placed with a little memorial area back in 2014. It commemorates the CNJ's Blue Comet & the 75th year of its derailment at milepost 89 in 1939. This was the only major derailment of the CNJ's most famous train when it hit a washout on one of South Jersey's most rainiest days in recorded history. It sits on was the ROW next to the historical society's building in real life but I will place it next to it on the route. Photos of what the real sings said are posted below.




                        Next post will show the newly revamped Chatsworth area (Cranberry Heaven) 98% done. I always love to go back and put in more little details, plus going to repaint the ROW thanks to TRSE5 making it so damn easy to do. Hope you like little details in a route as much as I do.

                        - Mark




                        - Mark -

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Just one thing sticks out in the shots and it's an issue with 99.9% of MSTS/OR routes. The road textures. Few roads have either uniform texture or edges? I seem to remember reading somewhere that someone had come up with a method of making the edges look more convincing and varying the surface textures? Some time back but if anyone can point to it that would really up the realism?
                          Geoff
                          Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
                          UK

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Realistic traffic signs? That's the kind of thing I thought I was the only one crazy enough to do. I've been working on a set of traffic signs to replace/add on to the sets I did a couple years ago. They were all nowhere near the right size, and once I realized that, I couldn't let it slide. I haven't messed much with Guide series signs, mostly because my projects are remote enough to avoid most types (the tracks are mostly along county roads). I'm sure you're aware of Vinnie Lanza's set of highway guide signs, right? They might be a bit large for the type in your images, but they may be useful elsewhere

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ebnertra000 View Post
                              I'm sure you're aware of Vinnie Lanza's set of highway guide signs, right? They might be a bit large for the type in your images, but they may be useful elsewhere
                              Vincent's sets are great. In fact they are coming into play greatly. In the route all of NJ's toll roads come into major play. The NJ Turnpike parallels (At times within feet) the CNJ's E'port & Perth Amboy line (Today's Chemical Coast Secondary), The Garden State Parkway plays over & under with the NY&LB (Today's NJT's NJCL), The Barnegat Branch & part of the old PRR's Atlantic & Long Branch ROW in Beachwood is part of the Parkway's connector. And of course The Atlantic City Expressway runs parallel to the PRSL mainline for 50+ miles.

                              Vincent's set is great for the tollroads & Interstates spanning the era I am doing, though a bit more modern. The two photos below show the signs using his set I made for the Toms River area on the route for the Garden State Parkway (GSP). The newer pentagon style county marker signs started in the 80's but NJ was in a test program for the Federal D.O.T. back in the mid 1970's. First time I seen the style was back in Ocean County around the Bicentennial. So they aren't too out of place.

                              The ones I made for around Chatsworth are to look like those old "Dark Green Board" smaller style signs that some had those old style reflector lettering. You remember the darker green signs with lettering that the letters had those little round reflectors in them. Those were the days before 3M or Avery reflector tapes and vinyls were popular.

                              So see I am anal retentive with realistic traffic signs too . Also with billboards that are from the era and are indigenous to the areas of NJ.

                              The Garden State Parkway heading north in Toms River


                              Garden State Parkway South in South Toms River. The was my old exit when I lived in Bayville in the early 1980's





                              - Mark -

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