Evansville Western Railway
Mt Vernon Indiana
Mt Vernon Indiana is a large sprawling industrial area with yards both north and south of the main line. It will be a switchman's paradise - or nightmare - depending on your viewpoint. I have not even started to count the total number of industries served by the railway, but there are many many industries large and small catering for cuts of a single car up to (almost) unit train grain capabilities at ADM's elevator and barge loader...
Double Track? Hey what? Yes, I know it should be single. I have one golden rule when building Trainz routes: if there is likely to be a fair bit of AI traffic competing for space with player trains - particularly player controlled switchers - avoid single track like the plague! It's gonna snarl up. It has to snarl up! Seriously - doubling the track from the western edge of Mt Vernon through to the eastern end of the Bristol-Meyer-Squibb spur (see the SWMC Page) is so large a benefit to AI operation that as far as I am concerned it just has to be done. Don't like it? Don't download the route, or get to work in Surveyor and change things to your heart's content.... :-)
Normally an Evansville Western turn but in this instance CSX power heads westbound coal empties approaching Mt Vernon headed (presumably) for Patikki Mine.
Detailed area on the outskirts of Mt Vernon.
More CSX power on the main line.
Ex-CR patched CSX SD80 MAC thunders through Mt Vernon.
A busy street corner. Pretty sure that the grain elevator that was located here is demolished and/or the track is lifted, but it is re-instated on the route.
The Mt Vernon Local waits to swing off the main into the EVWR Yard. This area was later changed with the signals pulled back to the Eastern end of town to in effect make the entire run through the town a single interlocking. Probably not 'proto' but it avoids a situation where an AI train gets stalled half way along and fouls half a dozen junctions. AI trains now get stopped once at the east or west edge of town, then get the green light and run straight through.
Rumbling through Mt Vernon
Mt Vernon's main Interlocking with the main line running left to right, Mt Vernon Yard bottom left and the riverside industrial area top right. So much done, so much to do....
EVWR's sole SD60 leads a pair of GMTX GP38-2s and a couple of the home line's SD40-2s as it snakes a long string of empty hoppers out of SWMC and onto the main line...
... the same train passes through Mt Vernon bound for Pattiki Mine, Illinois.
A bit griddy in the background, but I like the shot anyway...
SWMX SD40-2 #4201 shoves empty tank cars into the CountryMark refinery at Mt Vernon.
The refinery again...
Mt Vernon local drifts into town.
EVWR GP38-2 #3808 tiptoes through the weeds on its way to collect a few cars from a local industry.
Westbound coal empties pass over the Mt Vernon interlocking before grinding up the grade out of town.
Running straight south from Mt Vernon Yard towards the riverside industrial area.
ADM elevator at Mt Vernon.
Southbound through Mt Vernon.
I love complex track work but I have done my best to not get carried away on this route. This area though just begged for a slightly over-the-top interpretation of reality. I will probably replace the outside slip with a pair of turnouts, but it's a sleek arrangement!
OK, the double slip was a bit much. Simpler, better and closer to proto...
Picking up a cut from ADM's Mt Vernon mill.
CSX switchers poking around ADM's Mt Vernon terminal.
Heading North from the riverside industrial area. There is no public park in reality, but this is a fairly intense area and I needed to reduce polys. Parks are performance cheapies!
A huge OOPS of which the less said the better, but I'd better say it anyway. In this area Google Earth shows a short nondescript spur with a small building alongside. Just about zero operating potential. Always on the lookout for any opportunity to add more operating interest to any route I replaced the small building with this concrete batch plant / builder's supplier / whatever. That ramp was an absolute b***** to make, there are a zillion splines stacked on top of each other, then the trestle over the open bins is another kitbash. I really like the outcome, especially because not only does it provide spots for another few cars, but operation is nicely snarled by the requirement for a couple of idler cars to keep the loco on the ramp and off the lightly-built trestle. So it's all good, right? No - it isn't! Would you believe the very day I finished the thing I discovered that the 'nondescript siding' is in fact the EVWR loco service area. Bummer! I am still undecided on what to do. As it stands the arrangement is just plain wrong. But it's nice! I can't move the batch plant, there is no other suitable location for the freelance addition, but I CAN move the loco service area. There is another 'nondescript spur' off the ADM wye just a little farther down the line. So for the moment at least the locos live down by the river and concrete gets mixed opposite ADM. It might get changed, it might not...
Loco service area. I know it's not in the correct place, but it's a freelance interpretation of the EVWR, remember? This area is since rebuilt including a custom-built version of the distinctive Mt Vernon sanding tower...
Some content just cries out for a bit of special treatment...
Sylvan setting south of ADM...
BNSF unit grain eastbound between Mt Vernon and SWMC. The train originated in Grand Forks ND and ran to Woodlawn IL as BNSF-G-GNDMET before diverging onto EVWR metals and running as EVWR-ABG1 for the final leg of the journey. It will terminate at Abengoa Bioenergy just off the eastern edge of the map, so this is Portal-to-Portal AI traffic on the Stage 1 route.
A model of an Australian prototype made from my photos by Derelict Deane. I think it works in this location...
For a mile or so south-west of Mt Vernon Route 69 parallels a long spur serving a large river-side industrial area.
A sparkling EVWR GP38-2 #3834 leaves Cargill's Mt Vernon elevator after spotting some cars.
A couple of long shots showing a local running back towards Mt Vernon along the track paralleling Route 69. The loco is Ex CR GP38-2 GMTX #2651, a unit actually on lease to EVWR and which features in many prototype photos.
CF Industries distribute ammonia fertilisers. First pic is looking back over the tank car loaders towards Mt Vernon. Babcock and Wilcox is the big plant on the right with Cargill's elevators just poking over the roof. The switcher has left a cut of cars on the siding opposite B&W. Country Mark Refinery's subsidiary tank farm is on the left horizon.
Switching at Sabic's plastics plant.
Milestone shot! This spot marks the end of the long industrial spur south of Mt Vernon. In truth there are parts of this section where the track runs right alongside the road that are some of my favourite railfan spots in Trainz, but there were times during the building when HO scale - or the Kentucky Hollers in Comp Mode - were looking real good. Really really good! Anyway the industrial area is done and it's all easy green stuff from here to the Western Portals. Phew.....
Back working on the main line. BNSF grain empties from Abengoa BioEnergy rumble westwards through Mt Vernon. Abengoa is not on the stage 1 route, but the BNSF interchange isn't either, so it doesn't really matter does it... :-)
Westbound Patiki coal approaching Mt Vernon.
Savatran Corp are leasing three NS Gevo's to haul CN coal to SWMC while their own trio receive mechanical attention. Of course the chance of one of the three leasers being a heritage unit are pretty slim. It's good fun pretending though!
Savatran Gevos eastbound towards Mt Vernon. The train is posed beyond the Western Portals which means two things: firstly - you can't really get this view on the route and secondly - it's nearly done!
Another shot from beyond the portals.
Savatran empties westbound through Mt Vernon.
Freelance SWMX (Southwind Maritime Center) skins, the object being to provide sessions with a dedicated Sabic plant switcher and road unit.
Of course if a couple of SW1500s were available... Skin edits of 2Wayne's CR skin. The original is available here.
Another patch on a splendid skin pinched from 2Wayne.
Beyond the Western Portals.
Lead loco is Helm Leasing HLCX 8054 which lived on the Evansville Western for a while.
Permissive signals. I have no idea whether the prototype uses them or if they do what naming convention is used. For the main line I have opted for milepost plus a direction suffix (S or N) plus a second suffix '2' where the signal guards 'wrong road' running. The 'wrong road' signals will be deleted when the track is singled as the route expands and portals are moved farther out. For industrial trackage a 'location' symbol (V = Mt Vernon, W= SWMC) then just a sequential number plus direction suffix. Probably all dead wrong, but it looks a darn site better than blank placards!
Not the same! I didn't like the 'wrong road' permissives, so the 05s are now backed by 04 heads...
Unlikely, but nice nonetheless! Yard transfer from Mt Vernon to SWMC.
This area is totally rebuilt to use the new elevator model from Derelict Deane. There are two more of his fabulous structures in the area which is almost impossible to shoot from ground level because the track is in a cut. Left hand view from a road bridge, trackside shot is woefully back-lit.
Chasing an eastbound local between Mt Vernon and SWMC.
Ex Conrail lash up passing my favourite railfanning spot on the route.
Standing at the end of the old Chicago & Eastern Illinois line at Mt Vernon, Indiana. The C&EI were succeeded in turn by the Louisville and Nashville, Family Lines, CSX, and finally the Evansville and Western Railway.
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© Andrew Turnbull 2012