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Thread: UP-Gila Sub

  1. #1

    Default UP-Gila Sub

    Yes, it's time for another small route project.... A rather large chunk of the AZ portion of the Sunset Route, inspired in part by Jean's DIYRB route but a little closer to one of several places we've called home over the past [really big number] years.

    Current plan is to work westward from Tucson in ~40 mile phases:

    Phase 1: Tucson to Picacho (SP988-SP937)
    Phase 2: Picacho to Maricopa (SP937-SP897)
    Phase 3: Maricopa to Gila Bend (SP897-SP856)
    Phase 4: Gila Bend to Aztec (SP856-SP810)
    Phase 5: Aztec to Wellton (SP810-SP770)
    Phase 6: Wellton to Yuma (SP770-SP734)

    Phase 7: Picacho to Florence
    Phase 8: Florence to Magma Jct
    Phase 9: Magma to Phoenix

    Demex has already been pulled for the entire route, and markers for Phase 1 are about 50% complete. As I mentioned in another thread, my son will be working with me on this -- with luck, I hope to "only" be laying track and some occasional scenery object building.

    But, as with other projects, if someone has an attachment to this route and wants to help out, by all means feel free to speak up.

    I can say that the last three phases are the ones which concern me the most --- Magma to downtown Phoenix is a pretty dense urban setting, and as I've found with doing Milwaukee and Chicago, they're extremely time consuming.

    Tucson? Not so much density to deal with. The UP runs along I-10 for most of Phase 1, and the short section thru downtown Tucson is pretty tame in comparison.

    The other major decision I'm struggling with is how far to backdate the route ---- UP is double-tracking the entire sub, and is probably more than 50% complete.
    Last edited by eolesen; 04-03-2012 at 02:33 AM.

  2. #2
    mkstarks Guest


    Sounds like a fantastic plan to the ears of this fan of the sunset route! Depending what you need help with, count me in. I'd definitely be more than willing to mosaic the heck out of it for ya.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006


    Depending on the era you intend to model, and your curiosity, this is a great thread to read through:

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by jovet View Post
    Depending on the era you intend to model, and your curiosity, this is a great thread to read through:
    Yes, I've been following that discussion for over a year. Hadn't looked recently, and just realized I'd forgotten to share an update...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Streamwood, Illinois, USA


    I would say go with a modern version.. Then if somebody wants to, or you get the desire to, you can always backdate and rip out the double track.. Also, I wouldn't mind working on it but my contribution would be rather slow...
    Don't tell me the sky's the limit, when there's footsteps on the moon..


  6. #6


    It's your choice, but I'd go with an era that has similar track for both Southern Pacific and Union Pacific ownership.
    Nick - Creator of the Virtual Railroading Review Show

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam


    I also agree with the UP and SP era. Because it is much more easy to update a route to modern times than to backdate it to an older era. Backdating is much more time consuming because of the increasing of the station and yard layouts and placing of buildings like depots etc.. I speak out of experience that bringing it back from double track to single track is very difficult and cost you a lot of crashes in the RE, but strange enough the opposite way is easier (single to double)! That is why I advise to build first the older era!!!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 1999


    Quote Originally Posted by jrossi View Post
    I would have to agree with "Train-a-Mania" about using the "SP and UP Track Era".
    I also agree with the suggestion that you use an era with similar track. I especially want to run Sunset Limiteds and Golden States.

    John DeLamater

  9. #9


    A very delayed update.... but no, this project isn't dead. Yet.

    After a lot of thought and consideration.... I'm going with present day, mainly because that's what I have the imagery and documentation for.

    As of this week, the Phase 1 trackwork is about 50% done. I've got the track alignment complete from CP Cherry Avenue (SP985) up to SP954, just short of CP Red Rock. Cherry Ave is just west of the main Tucson yard, and also where the Nogales Subdivision turns to the south.

    The first 15 miles between Cherry Ave and what will soon be CP Sabino (under construction) in Marana will likely be the most complicated sections in terms of scenery, as it will involve downtown Tucson, I-10, and all the other fun that comes along with building in an urban area.

    Last edited by eolesen; 04-03-2013 at 05:49 PM.

  10. #10


    With the Gila, I'm trying something a little different... Track is stretching across 34 tiles right now, but rather than plow ahead with track, I'm focusing on scenery and roads over a six tile section, which is admittedly a little more than what some folks would suggest (e.g. 1-2 miles), but could potentially knock out a third of my urban scenery... There are quite a few big-box stores for that stretch, and many, many fast food chain small-boxes... Yes, I know there are some of each already in the file library...

    Orange Grove Road

    Ina Road

    Cortaro Road

    Note the unusual power lines... yes, there's a third line running thru the center of the tower. I've only seen these along this stretch of highway...
    Last edited by eolesen; 04-07-2013 at 05:48 AM.

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