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Hunter Valley network

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Hunter Valley network 25/11/2020 at 20:52 #134150
Jan
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765 posts
After having gotten a taste for Australian/NSW-style cross-country signalling through Moss Vale, I'd think that the Hunter Valley network might make a nice addition, i.e. from just outside Newcastle (Port Waratah/Kooragang Island) via Maitland and Muswellbrook to the end of the signallised area at both Ulan (Gulgong actually) and Narrabri Coal.

Along the way there are dozens of coal loading loops as part of a large-scale merry-go-round operation between the mines and the ports (plus at least two power stations – one within the sim and the other off-sim towards Sydney), and so the main attraction of such a sim would be that virtually all of this merry-go-round traffic would be captive to the sim (supposedly 70 loaded trains per day on average, or up to almost 100 at peak times, and of course an equivalent number of empty trains in the opposite direction).
Between Newcastle and Maitland the line is four-tracked with a separate pair of lines for the coal traffic, between Maitland and Muswellbrook it's down to two tracks with a few three-track sections on some of the steeper sections, and beyond of Muswellbrook both branches are single-track with passing loops.

In addition to the coal traffic there are also around half-a-dozen passenger trains a day in each direction that extend beyond Maitland and need to be threaded in between the coal traffic (south of Maitland the local service runs half-hourly towards Newcastle, but given the four-tracking on that stretch it's presumably not that operationally challenging), as well as around a dozen of non-coal freight trains.

Additionally, in the northern half of the route, loaded freight trains towards the south need to be banked across Ardglen bank, leading to additional operational interest.

Two million people attempt to use Birmingham's magnificent rail network every year, with just over a million of them managing to get further than Smethwick.
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Hunter Valley network 26/11/2020 at 00:27 #134152
DaveHarries
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1075 posts
Looks a good idea.
Dave

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Hunter Valley network 27/11/2020 at 08:46 #134172
Sparky
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74 posts
Add it to the sims wish list and you never know what might happen
I intend to live forever. So far so good
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Hunter Valley network 28/11/2020 at 10:38 #134196
flabberdacks
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328 posts
Distance between Port Waratah/Kooragang Island and the mines would make for a huge, huge sim.

It's doable but would probably need to be two sims, one for the Lower Hunter with the ports/Maitland and one out a bit further with all the balloon loops.

I've always considered this area to be doable but I'm not sure how interesting gameplay would actually be. Much like the Rugby sims, everything goes on its designated track and then shoots off to destination without that much real input from the player, lots of auto buttons enabled much of the day.

Worth further research.

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Hunter Valley network 28/11/2020 at 15:50 #134217
Jan
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765 posts
flabberdacks in post 134196 said:

I've always considered this area to be doable but I'm not sure how interesting gameplay would actually be. Much like the Rugby sims, everything goes on its designated track and then shoots off to destination without that much real input from the player, lots of auto buttons enabled much of the day.

That'd be certainly true for the lower half, but roughly a third of the balloon loops are at the far ends of the two single track lines beyond Muswellbrook and so trains there would to have to be regulated accordingly across the various crossing loops.
Plus possible capacity constraints at the ports might still mean that some regulation would be required even on the lower half of the route.

You have a point though that the whole thing might still sound more interesting than it actually is…

Two million people attempt to use Birmingham's magnificent rail network every year, with just over a million of them managing to get further than Smethwick.
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Hunter Valley network 30/11/2020 at 10:37 #134261
flabberdacks
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328 posts
Still worth a look.

Australia Crew have a few other New South Wales projects in the pipeline at the moment, but never say never. Access to accurate data is sometimes quite difficult for us.

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