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

  1. #221
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    Default **UPDATE 7/25/2020** I Loved It But It Had To Go - Atlantic City That Is.

    One thing bad when you sit in a hospital bed for too long, you start looking at things for too long. Then you are thinking it looks great but........ . The Atlantic City Terminal on the route really came out great. You can scroll back in the thread here to see screenshots of it. But it is very fictional because the terminal was not in that location starting in 1965.

    Let me give you a brief history on this before I tell any further.

    Back in 1962 the South Jersey Highway Authority (SJHA) & the State of NJ got the public to vote & approve the construction of the Atlantic City Expressway (ACE). Plans called for the eastern terminus of the ACE to end on Baltic Avenue (You know, one of the cheapo properties on the Monopoly board). Also it called for running it between both main roads coming into AC. White Horse Pike (U.S. 30) to the north & Black Horse Pike (U.S. 40 & 322) to the south. Between Pleasantville & Absecon they will utilize part of the old Reading's Atlantic City RR ROW that has been abandoned since the 1933 merger forming the PRSL.

    Now once across the Beach Thorofare waters, the most ideal location to come to an end would be on Baltic Avenue between Arkansas & Missouri Avenues. That is the location where the PRSL's Atlantic City Terminal has been since the 1933 merger. So with commuter service down to 6 trains a day during the week & 3 trains a day on weekends (Even less in years to come), the PRSL & the State of NJ worked a deal out.

    The Atlantic City Track Layout Using The Original Track Plan Of The Blue Comet Line Route


    The state would acquire the terminal from just east of "ATLANTIC" interlock to Baltic Avenue for use in construction of the ACE. The entrance for the toll-road would be by Arkansas & Baltic Avenues & its terminus on Missouri & Baltic Avenues. The old head house of the terminal would be right between the beginning & end of the ACE. The Atlantic County Improvement Authority bought the building & converted in the Atlantic City Municipal Bus Terminal which was perfect. it saved the historic terminal building (At lease until 1997 when it was razed prior to the new bus terminal on Atlantic Ave.) & it gave non-local buses easy access to the toll-road. Those buses, mostly from Northern Jersey came via the Garden State Parkway (GSP) or U.S. 9. Then buses from Central Jersey & Philly used the ACE at it's westernmost part. All these locations did interchange with the ACE.

    Now the old, large yards & maintenance facility in AC was greatly reduced also. It was no longer really needed do to a trickle of freight traffic compared to 20 years prior. And the PRR stopped running "The Nellie Bly", The famous all parlor car train that ran between NYC & AC along with other PRR Atlantic City trains. So the need for the big facility in AC wasn't needed no longer. The main maintenance done at Atlantic City was for the fleet of RDC cars. The state paid $30,000 for the little 2 track stub facility which WAS NOT enclosed making work on the units hell in bad weather, hot summers & cold winters. One track had a short trestle at its end to work under the units. They could also provide light maintenance on the Baldwins that were used in commuter & freight service too. But all main service on the Baldwin road switchers & EMD Dual-Cab GP38's was done at the Pavonia Ave facility in Camden. There was another 3 tracks used for storage & MOW. The old spur for AC Electric Co. (OK, roll your dice and multiply by 4 to pay, LOL) that came off this short yard was disconnected after the power plant was decommissioned.

    Freight traffic by the pre-dawn Conrail years was more or less on its way out. Once made up of 7 branches in the city proper, it was down to 3 with only 2 seeing some sort of regular service. The former WJ&S (PRR) Chelsea Branch which ran down to Linwood saw very limited service. The former Mediterranean Ave. Branch saw the most service for two companies it served, The Maine Paper Supply Co. & The Press Union Publishing Co.. The last being the printing facility for the Atlantic City Press newspaper. The branch saw about two drills a week mostly rolls of newsprint from Garden State Paper in my hometown of Garfield, NJ. The last branch was the Mississippi Ave. Branch used for Convention Hall a.k.a. Boardwalk Hall. This ran about 100' shy of the sandy beach of AC. This was used to bring supplies to the hall but mostly from transported convention & show equipment to it. Shows like the Ringling Bros. Circus, Ice Capades, Miss America Pageant, Cole Bros. Circus & The 1964 Democratic Convention used the branch to bring in needs for their shows. The branch was used also to bring in large replacement pipes over those years for the Midmer-Losh "Poseidon" Pipe Organ, the world largest pipe organ. some of the pipes were 100' long.

    The Mediterranean Ave. Branch I am think of installing to the route too if time allows. I do have a schematic of the branch showing the alignment & turnouts so it won't be real hard. The Chelsea Branch with the lack of service really isn't a major branch to do so I will leave it out. But if I can find a large enough building with a "Barrel-Style" roof that I could get permission to use. I might put in the Mississippi Ave. Branch then. It would be fun to make an activity switching out Ringing Bros.' circus train cars using the Tiger Trains set.

    The New Atlantic City Track & Expressway Alignment For The Blue Comet Lines Redux Route (WIP)


    So as you can see with the last screenshot of the Track Viewer. I completed the proper alignment last night. Now it has the look and feel of Atlantic City circa 1970 to it. Tonight I start redoing the scenery & adding in the streets of AC that are needed as I go along. Also looking around on various sites for a smaller block or cement style station to for the new AC station. I should be able to find something suitable in the Europe & South American sites to D/L & use for it.

    Well that is where Atlantic City stands at the moment. I should have a lot done by next weekend to put up some screenshots on the progress. But I am a lot happier with the look & I know the outcome will be the right thing to do.

    If you have any comments both pro or con. Feel free to post them.

    Enjoy, Mark
    - Mark -

  2. #222
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    There is at least 1 round roof big building in Teemu Saukkonen's building sets, in the F/L here back at the dawn of time at this site.

    My opinion is if you are doing a specific time frame, the trackwork should reflect that. It's not like your version is suddenly going to make the first Blue Comet route disappear in a puff of digital smoke. (Ahh, those delightful emails when I began removing road and highway overpasses from the L&HR route that were there in 1950 but were not there in 1920. Can anyone tell me, when Lieutenant George Washington guided British General Braddock and his troops to Detroit during the French and Indian War, did they use I-90 or I-80?)

    Doug Relyea
    Making stuff that works, using outdated Software on outdated Hardware.

  3. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by drelyea View Post
    Can anyone tell me, when Lieutenant George Washington guided British General Braddock and his troops to Detroit during the French and Indian War, did they use I-90 or I-80?
    He used U.S. 30 a.k.a. The Lincoln Highway.
    - Mark -

  4. #224
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    Default **UPDATE 8/17/2020** I Always Believe It Is In The Nearest Details That Make It Pop !

    We are back to the Atlantic City area of the route. It is coming along great. Now it will have the real look of the late 1960's to the Conrail Pre-Dawn years. No longer is the big 10 track terminal needed with only 3 of each arriving & departing trains per work day using only one RDC. So now to fill a busy bus terminal after the county took over the old property & converted it into a bus terminal.

    I can remember back then that 2 major bus companies to the area use to do a lot of business into the city there. Though these were the years the city, boardwalk & attractions were on a major decline. There still was a fair share of seasonal travel to the resort even though casino gambling was still 3 to 4 years off. And now with any long distance service from the PRR a thing of the past, most out of state people resorted to bus travel as their mode of transport. In 1970, Atlantic City in the summer would still handle 80 to 100 buses per day at the old PRSL terminal.

    Both Greyhound & Trailways handled the biggest amount of out-of-staters. Because of their nationwide coverage. And those have been covered in the download library here & other sites. I needed some regional carriers to really fill out the terminal. They covered the majority of the Northeast, New England, Mid-Atlantic & Ohio River areas of the country that was a big part of AC's summer tourists.

    Plus with the route here running parallel to a lot of major highways & toll roads. These will work great on the many custom car spawners you can have with Open Rails.

    So I been making some up of local regional carriers of the day for it. First is for the Coast Cities Bus Lines. If the name "Coast Cities" sounds familiar to you, then it is. Because the bus line is what became of the old Coast Cities Railway from Long Branch, NJ to Sea Girt, NJ. after trolley service ended in 1931 & was replace by the buses. It is also another great route for download here that also was created by Steve Dunham (Who also created the Blue Comet Route I am talking about here). Just search the download library here under "Coast Cities" and the route along with the trolley pack will come up.

    The MCI "Turnpike" style cruisers I am making here were introduced around here around 1970 so they fit prefect into the era. Like the GM Flxible buses of the day, they were a common sight on NJ's State, Interstate & Toll Roads in the 1970's. Later on, they became a staple for NJDOT's TNJ buses then later on NJ Transits commuter buses into the 1990's.

    The other regional carrier I stated making for is the Peter Pan Bus Lines. Back then, they ran lines as far as Chicago, St. Louis & Miami but since cut back service to mostly New England, The Northeast, Mid-Atlantic & the Eastern Ohio Valley. So I made them with custom destination boards from various cities throughout their service area.

    As you can tell these are from Ted Curphey's great bus model and are from the versions the Steven West released as reskins for the ONR & GO buses. When they are complete (Have have a few extra details to take care on them) I can package them up for the library if I get a few takers for them. Just give a yea or nay if I should put them for upload.

    Below are a few screens of the "Work In Progress".

    First are the Coast Cities buses

    CoastCitiesBuses01 by Mark, on Flickr
    CoastCitiesBuses02 by Mark, on FlickrCoastCitiesBuses03 by Mark, on Flickr
    CoastCitiesBuses04 by Mark, on Flickr

    And the Peter Pan Bus Line Buses.

    PeterPanBus01 by Mark, on Flickr
    PeterPanBus02 by Mark, on Flickr
    PeterPanBus03 by Mark, on Flickr
    PeterPanBus04 by Mark, on Flickr

    Also on the forum, there was an interesting thread that was talking about "Easter Eggs" & surprises inside a route when being created. Or just little details that are subtle that the end user might not understand but to the creator of the route it does. I have many such things in this route. Things that during that time in the world, was there but now it is just memory. One thing is the billboard I made up below.

    Going through my archives of photos I scanned over the years, I finally found a photo of this I took in the mid 1970's. Why because it stood out and had a great legacy behind it. These privately funded billboards use to be found posted on US Rt. 9 in Jersey from the early 70's to mid 1980's. They were mostly posted along from Sayreville to Absecon on Route 9. Funny thing is when the state would find out about them, they send to DOT out to either remove it from the billboard or remove the billboard completely ! I do remember there was one posted right where the CNJ's Southern Division in Lakewood crossed over Route 9. So with a bit of cleaning up, I figure put it where it was posted in the mid 1970's. In those days before the road was improved greatly, Route 9 was the deadliest highway in NJ. Even more so than the Turnpike. It really is no great highway to speak of today but it is better. At one time, it was known as the "Old Road" to South Jersey.

    So below is a photo of the actual sign I took many moons ago and one of a screen shot of the one going on the route.

    The real one circa 1970's.
    KillerRt9BillboardProto by Mark, on Flickr

    The model going by the Lakewood grade crossing of Rt. 9 on the route.
    TheKillerRt9BillboardScreenShot by Mark, on Flickr

    My next update later this week will show screens of the new & improved Atlantic City (Improved with urban blight?)

    ​Enjoy......
    - Mark -

  5. #225

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    Peter Pan never had scheduled bus service to Atlantic City (or Chicago, St. Louis and Miami either), but they did run plenty of tours and probably charters. I suppose tours are scheduled, but not in the normal sense of a line run. They were a powerhouse for awhile.
    Christopher

  6. #226
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    You could brighten up the fronts a bit? This might be a Museum pic but the way you've grabbed them in S View they don't look very chrome? https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/27657192037

    BTW if you play with the Brightness, Time and Latitude sliders in the Lighting tab you could light these better?

    I just desaturated ALL the lower parts including wheels, tyres & Mirrors (obviously keeping the lights and indicator) and the model looks like a chrome/stainless steel bus rather than a farm vehicle?
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by lateagain; 08-18-2020 at 04:04 AM.
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  7. #227
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    Just doodling...

    I'll send them if you like them....
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  8. #228
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    Quote Originally Posted by conductorchris View Post
    Peter Pan never had scheduled bus service to Atlantic City (or Chicago, St. Louis and Miami either), but they did run plenty of tours and probably charters. I suppose tours are scheduled, but not in the normal sense of a line run. They were a powerhouse for awhile.
    Christopher
    Chris, I stand corrected and you are 150% correct ! It was bothering me after you posted this, so I had to go archiving........... through about 100 photo albums here (Until 3:30AM in the attic with a hell of a T-Storm going on). And I did find out my memory isn't as good as it once was, time to drink more green tea with ginseng.

    Back in 1969 when I was 7, my grandparents (Mom's side) took my sister & I to Atlantic City on vacation. My family couldn't that year because my dad just started his new job at Hoffman La-Roche. So a week in AC with all the piers & boardwalk was great for a kid my age, well sort of & my grandfather knew why.

    My grandfather knew I loved trains, morning, noon & night. As we came into AC on the expressway you see the PRSL's Thorofare swing bridge so I knew there were train close. So by the 2nd day I was telling him about the bridge & asking if the station was close. He told me him & my grandmother use to take the PRR's Nellie Bly from Newark to AC back in the 1940's & 50's. They even took the Blue Comet for their short honeymoon back in 1930. I have their tickets, menu & schedule from it still sealed in a frame. So he took me to the AC terminal while my grandmother & sis went to the boardwalk.

    When we got there, something was strange. No trains, but lots & lots of buses. My grandfather in his thick Italian accent said, "This can't be right?!". So he asked the Traveler's info woman what happened to the trains. She explained to us that for the AC Expressway to be built, the ROW was diverted & the station is now where the engine facility & coach yard was. But I took photos with my little Kodak Instamatic 126 camera of the former head house & out to the bus platform where the track platforms were. That totally changed BUT it proves you are correct... how?

    Well I took 8 photos out on the platform. There were 2 Peter Pan buses there with "CHARTER" on the destination boards in front. And around them Coast Cities buses, Public Service Buses, Atlantic Transport ones too. But there were about 6 other buses that looked almost like the Peter Pan ones. A closer look. They are buses of the White Bus Co.. The White Transport Co. is a bus company out of South Orange, NJ. The paint scheme of that era (1969 - 1970) looked very close the that of the Peter Pan ones at that time. Almost the same colors though different patterns & the logo on the back of a woman's face holding a bus against her cheek (Weird I know LOL).

    So back to the old drawing board. Haven't found any good photos of their buses from that era in a quick search this morning. I will look better later. But later this week I have to go to University Hospital-Rutgers in Newark for an arterial test. The hospital is on South Orange Avenue about a mile from where the White Bus Co. is on the same street. I can stop by there & see if they can help with a few old photos & a shot of the logo & font so I can make a few up somehow.

    And...... we did make it to the PRSL's new station. There I was introduced to the Budd RDC-1 up close & the Baldwin S-12.

    Well back to having some ginseng with my coffee. And thanks Chris for bringing that up to me.
    - Mark -

  9. #229

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    Here are some images of 1970's Peter Pan buses:
    71ZwQQ3APXL._AC_SX679_.jpg6-Mid-Century-Modern-Bus-Station.jpeg2020-08-18 10_16_43-Basic Masters.jpg12826531.jpgimages.jpeg
    Source: Peter Pan Bus Lines

    (I'm a little bit of a bus foamer as well as rail ...)

  10. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by conductorchris View Post
    Here are some images of 1970's Peter Pan buses:
    71ZwQQ3APXL._AC_SX679_.jpg6-Mid-Century-Modern-Bus-Station.jpeg2020-08-18 10_16_43-Basic Masters.jpg12826531.jpgimages.jpeg
    Source: Peter Pan Bus Lines

    (I'm a little bit of a bus foamer as well as rail ...)
    LOL! So was I when I was at school Chris. In NE London where I lived then we had Trolleybuses (model in the library here I believe and before I left school these were replaced by the 1st Routemasters

    Meanwhile back in New England, USA......

    I noticed that there's a model of the 2nd picture (with an upper deck front window?) and the model I "doodled" works for pictures 4&5 but the 1st and third picture have a hump in the roof, missing from the MC8 model. Air Con? In any case the livery was obviously wrapped around that.

    Happy to have a play with these but don't want to muscle in on anyone else's fun?

    The font and logo are downloadable from the Peter Pan Wikipedia page and free to use BUT original creator must be credited in the read me. Fair enough. They're on a transparent background too so will cover the chrome or any other surface.

    Detail not quite clear enough as to what is on the side of "the Massachusetts" but guess no one will see that in a car spawn?

    I also guess that the Orange electronic destination board in the GO Bus I modified would be a plain white text on black board.

    Any Brits reading this will want to know why none of the buses have "Rail Replacement Bus" in the windows. In Joke this side of the pond.
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

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