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

  1. #121
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiball 3985 View Post
    I like the conversion on my truck for the fire service great looking scenery also
    Thanks Jim. We actually had one in the service up until 1988. Was use as an extra equipment rig. Served 28 years until it was retired & an ex-fire warden bought it, restored it and still has it. He uses for parades, shows, etc.
    - Mark -

  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by conductorchris View Post
    Only thing that doesn't look right is that nicely tamped track with perfect geometry!
    I know Chris & I am tossed on this. I remember when I was active in the fire service that the grade crossing on Carranza Road there was well maintained. But the road had a lot to be desired, the was a hard packed sand road graded once a year if lucky. The reason was the CNJ and later CR didn't maintain the crossing. The state did for the reason when we use to take our tankers down the road. One time in the early 70's one of the tankers became unhitched from the cab going over the crossing. Up until the late 1980's when the Shore Fast Line use to head up towards Lakehurst for Clayton Block, it was still maintained by the state.

    Today, well last time I was down there about a year ago, you can't even tell it was a grade crossing except for the rails at the roadside. The rail heads lie under about 8" of heavy packed sand. One of the crossbucks lasted to about 2008 but now it is gone too. But it isn't written in stone. Looking about it again I think I might rough it up a bit
    - Mark -

  3. #123
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMSS View Post
    Thanks Jim. We actually had one in the service up until 1988. Was use as an extra equipment rig. Served 28 years until it was retired & an ex-fire warden bought it, restored it and still has it. He uses for parades, shows, etc.
    Were they red? Forest service trucks here are green...
    Mine is semi retired now and only drive it about two days a week. It spent 40 years as my daily driver Thankful to Tim for doing the model so I see it running more often in the sim..
    Jim

  4. #124
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiball 3985 View Post
    Were they red? Forest service trucks here are green...
    Jersey's Forest Service trucks are red (Older & newer trucks) with the yellow Parks shield, yellow striping and green font on the newer trucks. Older trucks (Pre-1980) had no striping on them.

    We did have a US Forest Service field station at one time in NJ. But I think we don't anymore. They I know had green trucks.
    - Mark -

  5. #125
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    Default *UPDATE 12/17/2019* Rebuilding "America's Playground" Into Urban Blight.

    Well between the holidays season starting, Going for catarac surgury (One eye went great, the other..that is another story), my PC deciding it didn't like one of my RAM modules anymore & life in general. The work on this version of the Blue Comet Route keeps moving along at a bit of a slower pace than I like, but it keeps a movin'.

    I have about 85% of the pine barrens done between Whiting & Winslow Jct.. The Seashore Branch from Keyport to the west side of Union Beach, Jersey City Terminal is about 40%. And some other areas I work on intermittiately. I keep a log after every session working on it so I know where to go back to later. It is a smart thing to do because sometimes you get so burnt out working in one general area. So I bit of scenery change working a new area is a nice change of pace. Then return back to the area I left with a fresh outlook to it.

    I been starting the work on the Atlantic City area laying it out to be circa 1969. But keeping all the original trackage of the route, I had to do a bit of thinking. This was a time where the Atlantic City Expressway or ACE was still under construction. Mostly from the Garden State Parkway (GSP) west. From the GSP to Atlantic City was 99% complete. The ACE used most of the former Atlantic City Railroad (RDG) ROW to Atlantic City & some parts west close to it to around Egg Harbor City. Being I am keeping the historic trackage in the route, I had to find a suitable area where to bring the ACE in the city where it starts on Baltic Ave (The home of the $4 rent on Monopoly !) & runs out of town circa 1969. Remembering that part of the old ROW is still in service today starting at Pleasantville & is known as the "Pleasantville Secondary Track". It hosts about 5 customers and was serviced by Conrail after 1976, then the Shore Fast Line (Named after the former interurban line that serviced Atlantic City, Ocean City & parts of SE Coastal Jersey) from the 1980's into the 90s. Then finally The Southern RR of NJ from the 1990's to current..into the early 1990's will be part of switching activities in the future.

    So with that delemma taking care of, now it is time to put the main streets in play for AC around the train terminal and yard. then populate the area with buildings & fixtures of the era. The "GlassTower" look of the casinos of the 80's wasn't in play yet for the oceanfront. Gambling in NJ was voted on and OK'ed in 1976 & the first casino didn't open until 1977 (Resorts Int'l Casino Hotel which was in the old Haddon House Hotel built in the early 1900's). So have to put many of the older, larger buildings I can find in the library into play for The Traymore Hotel, The Mayfair Hotel, The Dennis, The Ritz, The Bhelem & others from the era.

    Also Atlantic City at this time was in the early stages of it's "Urban Blight" era. Prior to the 1964 Denocratic Convention. The city along with the state tore down almost 27% of the structures in the north part of AC that they considered an "eyesore". The blighted area had blocks with no structure on them. I could remember Absecon Lighthouse which stand in the northern side on AC on Vermont & Pacific Aves. with not a house or any buildings around it for blocks. Only buildings standing were mostly the old hotels that were on the northside oceanfront and buildings close to the Brigantine bridge. So this I have to take into consideration too.

    So here are a few screens showing the "new" ACE or the "Road Out Of Town" just south of the former A.C.R.R.(RDG) right of way. I still have to put in the two major East-West routes that were before the ACE. First Black Horse Pike (U.S. Routes 40 & 322) to the south of the ACE. And then White Horse Pike (U.S. Route 30) to the north of the W.J. & S. R.R. (PRR) right of way. A drawbridge is needed for each by the AC city limits to cross the thorofare (Atlantic City is actually an island for those who don't know it). First new Baltic Ave. was installed to as I keep working on the city streets in the city proper. I have a few structures that are perfect from the ASW site that are perfect for a "Downtrodden AC".

    So here is the lastest on it and hope you enjoy and are waiting for the "Redux" of this fine route to be released in the near future.

    Here is where the Atlantic City Expressway (ACE) enters & exits the city on Baltic Avenue. The original alignment was further north of here. But because of having the historic A.C.R.R. (RDG) tracks in (They are by the center swing bridge in screenshot), they are set a bit south .

    A view heading west on the ACE just before the Thorofare bridge and city limits. Large boat traffic creased in the mid 1950's due to oil storage facility gone & AC Electric taking fuel in by rail then closing in the early 1960's. The bridge is non-moveable & set a bit higher for recreational boaters.


    Now an eastern view coming in to Atlantic City. Soon this view will be of the classic hotels the city was known for.


    A view from the Thorofare bridge heading west. The old Atlantic City RR right of was is visible at the right. The closes swing bridge is it. That is actually the real alignment of The AC Expressway.


    The same view & location as above but after dark with the cobra lights on.


    Now over the Thorofare bridge & heading into Pleasantville, NJ . The two original Railroad ROWs are just the right in the screen shot. The early years of the AC Expressway had a high flood rate in this area due to crossing a large tidal marsh area. During Superstorm Sandy, some parts here were almost 9' under salt water.

    And overall look of the area looking west. To the left is the new AC Expressway, the left swing bridge is that of the ACRR (RDG) which actually is the proper Expressway ROW. The right swing bridge is that of the WJ&S RR (PRR). That is the ROW & bridge in actual use today for NJT's Atlantic City Line. The gasometers are that of the AC Electric Company & behind it and to the west of it was the vast engine facility & yard that the PRR put in there. Now it is mostly the newer Atlantic City Convention Center.


    ​Enjoy......
    - Mark -

  6. #126

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    You've made a lot of progress!

    I hope you have shared what you have done with someone else in case you run into any kind of problems a copy exists off site and independent of you and not all will be lost.

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by conductorchris View Post
    You've made a lot of progress!

    I hope you have shared what you have done with someone else in case you run into any kind of problems a copy exists off site and independent of you and not all will be lost.
    Yes Chris, Even with those little things life has thrown at me, progress has been steady. And thank for Open Rails & TSRE5, they make it more enjoyable to do and to run.

    I do have contingency plans for it too in case of something beyond my control to make the project go on. I have it stored on 3 different online storage clouds. Plus it is backed up to 2 different WB External Drives AND even on one USB drive. So yes, I don't take no chances anymore.

    In the 1st quarter of 2020 sometime, I will take on a few members for beta testing what I have done. Just want to have some more things I want done before I do. Like this morning before I went to Occupational Therapy, I got 80% of the downtown grid of streets done in Atlantic City that are the main viewing distance when in OR. Now working on White & Black Horse Pike. After that later today, I can start populating the city with structures, trees, people, etc.

    Here is what I did in 1.5 hours this morning. Try doing that in MSRE

    - Mark -

  8. #128
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    Hi Mark,

    Brilliant!

    I so want to get to Jersey someday. Even if it's only to visit for a little bit.

    Any chances of seeing the monster Easter egg?

    My partner in crime for finishing the NJT U34CH set is a bit tied up with some other projects. But those Jersey diesels are not forgotten. I hope to get them out in the new year.

    Robert

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by NW 2156 View Post
    Hi Mark,
    Any chances of seeing the monster Easter egg?

    Robert
    Hi Robert,

    Hoping my daughter gets that "Little Devil" done over the Holiday break she is taking. She started working on it for me and then her business (She owns a graphics design company) got busy right in time for the holidays. I told her the only thing I want for Christmas this year is my "Little Devil" so hoping my "13th Leed Child" will be making it's appearance around or just after the new year.

    One thing I been working on for the Atlantic City area are signs native to the area. I always felt they are one of the smallest details that make the route "Pop" when detailing it. And thankfully they are within my limited abilities in texturing.

    Below are a few I made up tonight and installed then placed them quickly on the route.

    Below is the type of entrance sign to the Expressway that hasn't changed much through the years. I can remember this type as far back as I can remember (The ACE is as old as I am, 55). I will have one both north and south on Baltic Ave where the Expressway begins on the east end.


    On the beginning of the westbound ACE has an overhead sign (Back then) for the Atlantic City Int'l Airport actually located in Pomona, NJ. It is located 12 miles from AC off exit 9 as the sign states.

    On the same spanning box truss sign bridge use to be two signs heading eastbound just before its terminus. One for the left lane is for Brigantine (An island just north of the city limits) & for the marina area of AC. Also known back then as the "Inlet" area. Places like the famous Capt. Starns restaurant & marina when located there. The right lane sign is for the famous Ocean Drive. Ocean Drive is a road the follows coastal NJ from AC to Cape May. It has a series of toll draw bridges on it so it is a toll road. The one everyone in NJ forgets about or just out right never heard of it. If ever in NJ, I suggest taking a trip "Following The Gull". It is a nice enjoyable relaxing drive you will always remember.


    Enjoy......

    - Mark -

  10. #130
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    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for sharing the updates on the Blue Comet route redux.

    Your signs look great to me.

    I have only a basic skill set in graphics. That's what holds up many of my repaints. They are not really good enough to share, they lack detail and weathering to please the nit pickers. I am often stuck waiting for the right timing in order to have someone finish what I start and bring it up to a standard that will please hopefully the majority.

    Lets hope the Easter Egg eventually makes it onto the route. I think it will be such a blast looking for it in the pine barons. I get a good chuckle every time I think of it.

    Robert

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