Paducah & Louisville Railroad

Phase 1: Paducah - Madisonville

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Of all the routes I have started this is the one I would most like to see finished!  It offers an attractive regional carrier with run-through traffic from CP, UP, BNSF, CSX and NS all of which run grain and/or coal unit trains to destinations on what is truly a scenically beautiful line.  So what's the problem?  I have a couple of health issues which make a project of this size (it's huge!) probably not the smartest thing I could start at the moment.  My current focus is on the PAL's close corporate cousin, the Evansville Western RR for no other reason than that railroad's layout suits releasing  the route in small packages much better than does the PAL.  The PAL is therefore not really a 'current' project, but nor is it abandoned.

If anyone else wants to have a go the master Paducah And Louisville DEM route is now available as a terrain-only download.  Click here for details...

The Paducah & Louisville Railroad is a 260-mile Kentucky regional which runs between - well work it out!  Phase 1 will be the western half from Paducah KY to Madisonville KY, including enough of Illinois to get some portals in North and West of the Metropolis Bridge.  This imposing structure is the third-most downstream bridge over the Ohio River.  Work will start at the bridge and proceed North (CN Portals) and West (BNSF/UP Portals) before work starts on the PAL proper.


First Bit:  ILLINOIS

No PAL in Illinois, but the main sources of interchange traffic at Paducah is the BNSF/UP and CN traffic from north of the Ohio River.  Route building will start north of the bridge - mostly this is to see if I can work out a lo-poly approach to Metropolis, the first intensively urban area I have attempted in Trainz.  If I can't get that bit to work, the rest of the project is more or less a moot point...


 Bigger thumbs :)  Even just the western 'half' of the PAL is a big project, too big to DEM in one go so two routes needed to be created and merged in Trainz.  This is a long shot of the merge which was about as good as it gets, a 300 meter horizontal misalignment, but spot on vertically on very flat terrain.  I can fudge that foreground curve and nobody will never spot the join.  Odd thing, but TS2010 crashed twice attempting the merge so I stuck the two HOG routes into TRS04 and merged without any fuss at all on the first attempt.  Wierd.

  This is my interpretation of the CN (ex IC) Bridge over the Ohio River between Metropolis IL and Paducah KY.  It's a big bridge, that 100 car CSX coal train is entirely on the structure (including the DPU pushers on the rear).  The Metropolis Bridge is the third-most downstream bridge over the Ohio, only the bridges at Cairo are farther west.  Manoeuvring those 23 individual truss bridge spans into place was a bitch.  I should've started someplace else :(

  First worthwhile screenshot.

  That bridge again with the support pylons closed up a bit.  It was a tad spidery!

 Yet another shot of the north approach spans, this time with the correct railroad represented.  I gotta get some more texture down and find another angle!  At the moment there are only two possible shots without too much HOG in the background, and the lighting is better this side!

  Well the 3D tree thing didn't last long.  What's wrong with a good ol' alpha billboard tree anyway!  And on the fourth attempt I finally got the right railroad in the right place on and under that damned bridge!

Look, no bridge!  Farther along the BNSF spur...

  ... and even farther.


  More of the same.


     Still more of the same!

  Rail to barge grain transfer facility at the end of the BN Metropolis spur.

             Back in 'Native Mode' with 3D trees, but I'm not convinced.  That it runs better (despite the zillion polys) is beyond doubt....

   ... but does it look better than the last 'billboard' tree shot?  (The custom reskin JointedRail SD40-2s are not available)

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Feedback is always welcome - please email any comments queries or criticisms here.

Andrew Turnbull 2011