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

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    Hi Mark,

    Glad your back.

    Stay safe and sound.

    Robert

    Comment


      I'm late to the party, but Mark I am VERY glad to hear from you. I feared the worst.

      I have a new (rail related) job that is keeping me busy and a new computer that I have yet to fully set up and just got burned out. Hearing that you are back, inspires me to get moving on installing things. The CNJ set is basically done, but there are a great many little problems to fix. That of course is the least fun part of it.

      I hope you will share an "in-progress" copy of the route with somebody as kind of a back-up in case either you or the route should be unable to proceed. It is really beautiful.

      Christopher

      Comment


        Originally posted by conductorchris View Post
        I'm late to the party, but Mark I am VERY glad to hear from you. I feared the worst.

        I have a new (rail related) job that is keeping me busy and a new computer that I have yet to fully set up and just got burned out. Hearing that you are back, inspires me to get moving on installing things. The CNJ set is basically done, but there are a great many little problems to fix. That of course is the least fun part of it.

        I hope you will share an "in-progress" copy of the route with somebody as kind of a back-up in case either you or the route should be unable to proceed. It is really beautiful.

        Christopher
        Hi Chris! Glad to see you here too! Glad you like what I have done so far. If it wasn't for redoing the route with the pandemic & my other health reason. I would be in Greystone in Woody Guthrie's old room on high levels of Zoloft.

        Between the physical part of working on it. I been working on laying out some activities for the upcoming CNJ set. These are based on actual runs in that era. One even humorous like when the CNJ embargoed part of the Seashore Branch between Atlantic Highlands & Leonardo by NWS Earle because of track conditions back in 1972. When they did that, they forgot a CN boxcar that was at Highlands Lumber for a few months. They had to use a payloader & a truck to push & pull the boxcar a mile or so to Earle. From there the CNJ took it away to E'port. Only in NJ LOL.

        And a shout out to Robert too. I see he posted below your post here too.

        Have an updated I will be posting here later today on the work on the barrier island I start for summer. It is on the new Barnegat Bay Bridge I put in replacing the old wooden trestle that burned in Dec. 1946. So, look for it here.
        - Mark -

        Comment


          Hi Mark,

          I'm looking forward to your progress.

          There was an announcement from the original author about some work he was doing on the route. I will see if I can find it.

          Edit, Here is the link. https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showth...ghlight=Jersey

          I still look forward to our little monster Easter egg as well LOL!

          Robert

          Comment


            Oo-ee, oo-ee baby, Won't ya let me take you on a sea cruise

            The words of Frankie Ford in the title because they said this was like a Sea Cruise when you crossed it. As I stated in the previous post being that it is summer & to keep with the summer mood. I am going to start redoing the upper barrier island (aka Barnegat Bay Island) between South Seaside Park to Pt. Pleasant Beach.

            If am going to be working this area of the route from the south (South Seaside Park) northward (Pt. Pleasant Beach). And the era I am doing where tracks are almost 20 years removed south of Bay Head. With the connection to the island already made in the route with the Manasquan River Drawbridge to the north. I do have to re-think & re-invent the PRR's Barnegat Bay Trestle between the island & the mainland. Here is the factual reason why.

            Back on December 1, 1946, a 300'+ section of the trestle burned in the early morning hours by arson. The fire was more to the east side of the bridge about 600' from shore. By the summer of 1947 the PRR decided against re-building or repairing the trestle. In 1948 the ICC did approve the formal abandonment of the line between Bay Head Jct. to South Toms River. Then starting in the fall of 1949, the tracks were torn up between Bay Head Jct. & South Seaside Park on the island. Also, the tracks were lifted from Ocean Gate to South Toms River. By 1954 the tracks between South Toms River & Pemberton would also be abandoned because of the new Garden State Parkway & Route 9 realignment being built in Beachwood. After that all traces of the PRR Atlantic Division's ROW from Bay Head Jct. to Pemberton faded into history.

            Needless to say, this part of the route will be one of the "What If?" or "Fantasy" lines if the ROW still existed into the 1965-1980 era. The PRR was considering back in the late 30's about building a stronger, more permanent bridge of concrete or stone after it abandoned the Island Heights spur back in 1935. With winter storms & the bay freezing over at times causing the splitting, cracking & lifting of pilings, the PRR use to spend most of the springs repairing & replacing pilings. Plus, summer season tropical storms & hurricanes wreaked its share of havoc on the trestle over time too. And with the trestle built just a few feet above sea level summer & winter squalls took their toll on it too.

            So, I used a simple concrete ballasted deck design that was in the ET download library. It has a nice design & looks great with the low-level design of the mile plus crossing. The swing span of the trestle was in real life closer to the Barnegat Pier station as to the east side on the route. I didn't change this due to the fact I didn't want to mess with the routes .tdb. And with the bridge being a replacement to the original crossing & boat traffic a bit heavier in this location in summer, I left it. The original swing span was operated by the Barnegat Pier station agent. So, I put a bridge tender's house by the span because moving bridges on the NJ Shore open frequently in the summer months (On the 1/2 hour in daylight hours). Then add navigation lights to the span, proper signs, a few channel markers, watercraft, correct vegetation & a fisherman or two. And then you have a proper water level crossing of the Barnegat Bay for the new era of the route.

            Now I can start the barrier island properly at S. Seaside Park from the entrance of Island Beach St. Park to points north. So, lots of motels, hotels, Bed-n-Breakfasts, marinas, night clubs, bars, parking lots, oceanfront mansions, bungalows, bait shops, restaurants, arcades, amusement rides, sundries stores, gift shops, Wawa's, 7-11's, Cumberland Farms & LIQUOR STORES to come this summer.

            The view from the Seaside Park shore looking west.


            This lucky angler got himself a striper on the Seaside Park side of the new bridge.


            And on the other side of the bridge, someone in a flat bottom skiff trying his luck for some snapper blues.


            You can do all this from the banks of the bay, but don't try it from the bridge.


            From the swing span deck looking west.


            Signs & navigation lights on the span & bridge fenders.


            The bridge's operating schedule sign. Notice that from Memorial Day to Labor Day it opens on the 1/2 hour in daylight hours.
            A look at the swing span as you approach it on the water.
            Looking east towards Seaside Park from the span.
            - Mark -

            Comment


              Never cease to amaze, Mark. Master class work..thanks for your efforts! Please take care of your health, especially so ---since then you can work on your hobby that gives you so much enjoyment, and eventually the community at large. Be Well.
              Cheers, Gerry
              "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." Frank Zappa
              It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.
              Forever, ridin' drag in railroad knowledge.
              Audi, Vide, Tace, Si Vis Vivere In Pace

              Comment


                I'll second Gerry.

                Take care of yourself Mark.

                Robert

                Comment


                  Boy that looks good!
                  Even the water looks good, which I never really thought I'd see in MSTS.

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