Return of the NEC

Written by: Gary Dolzall

Train Simulator’s classic New York – Philadelphia Amtrak Northeast Corridor route is now re-released in a remastered edition!

Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor is America’s busiest passenger railroad and among its most vibrant and captivating. Across the Corridor, Amtrak carries more than 11 million passengers each year, the Corridor hosts America’s fastest train (the Acela), and it is home to Amtrak’s three busiest stations (New York Penn, Philadelphia 30th Street and Washington Union Station). Back in 2011, Train Simulator created the busiest segment of the corridor – the 91 mainline route miles between New York and Philadelphia – and the famed “NEC” has now been re-released in an enhanced and remastered edition!

The remastered edition of Train Simulator’s Northeast Corridor will be automatically provided via Steam and free to owners of the original route, as well as again be available for newcomers to purchase and enjoy. To celebrate the upcoming return of the NEC, let’s take a fresh look at the history of the route and the key features of this classic route which re-creates the 91 magnificent miles linking New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In modern terms, what is known as Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor extends from Washington, D.C. northeast some 457 route miles via Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York City to Boston. In an older time, and by tradition, “the Corridor” was most often equated to the Pennsylvania Railroad’s great 1920’s-1930’s electrification – a project that would electrify 244 route miles of PRR mainline trackage at a cost of $175 million and where, in Pennsy days, legendary trains such as the Broadway Limited and Morning Congressional mingled with endless commuter-totting “Clockers,” and the power of choice was the iconic, Raymond Lowey-styled Pennsy GG1 electric. Today, this vital and busy line hosts America’s fastest train – the Acela – as well as an endless flurry of Amtrak Northeast Regional trains and the commuter trains of NJ Transit (between New York and Trenton) and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (between Trenton and Philadelphia).

Without a doubt, every mile of the Northeast Corridor is captivating, but arguably none are more so than the catenary-draped 91 miles that extend from New York Penn Station to Philadelphia 30th Street Station. Those 91 route miles begin in the heart of New York City, at famed New York Penn Station (named for the Pennsylvania Railroad, which constructed the first version of the station in 1910), a station that typically sees more than 100 Amtrak passenger movements a day and generates annual ridership of 10 million passengers. To exit New York and reach the meadowlands of New Jersey, the Corridor ducks under the wide Hudson River via 14,500-foot-long twin tubes, then makes its way to Newark Penn Station. Just short of Newark, at Harrison, stands the massive Dock lift bridge over the Passaic River, which carries not only the Corridor but the tracks of the Port Authority’s Trans Hudson light-rail line.

It is south of Newark that the Northeast Corridor becomes a real steel speedway, with 100-to-125-mph running in many sections (albeit briefly interrupted by the grand sweeping S-curves of Elizabeth). On one of Pennsy’s many classic arch bridges, the Corridor spans the Raritan River at New Brunswick, New Jersey, and it is between New Brunswick and Trenton that the NEC host to the fastest running on the New York – Philadelphia section of the Corridor. Trenton, the capital of New Jersey, is 58 miles south of New York and its Transit Center is served by the trains of Amtrak, NJ Transit, and SEPTA. Just south of Trenton, the Corridor bridges the Delaware River, then points toward North Philadelphia. The area around North Philadelphia, as is northern New Jersey, is dotted with lineside industries and while the Corridor is first and foremost a passenger route, it regularly sees freight operations by both CSX and Norfolk Southern (as part of Conrail “Shared Assets” operations).

After crossing high above the scenic Schuylkill River approaching Philadelphia, Amtrak trains make their way through fabled “Zoo Interlocking” (so named for the nearby Philadelphia Zoo), where Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor and Keystone Service route west to Harrisburg converge. Just south of Zoo Interlocking awaits the grand, multi-level Philadelphia 30th Street Station which – with annual ridership of 4.1 million passengers – stands only behind New York Penn and Washington (D.C.) Union Station as the busiest stations on the Amtrak national network.

Thanks to Train Simulator’s now available enhanced and remastered New York-Philadelphia Northeast Corridor route, which features Amtrak’s long-time workhorse AEM-7 electric (upgraded with an improved cab and signaling) and Amfleet passenger equipment, we’ll all be able to take the throttle of an Amtrak speedster and experience first-hand the challenges and drama of operations along these 91 magnificent miles of American railroading! – Gary Dolzall

Train Simulator’s classic Amtrak Northeast Corridor route is soon to be re-released in an enhanced and remastered edition that will re-create all the drama and challenges of America’s busiest and most dynamic passenger railroad!

Train Simulator’s classic Amtrak Northeast Corridor route has now been re-released in an enhanced and remastered edition that re-creates all the drama and challenges of America’s busiest and most dynamic passenger railroad!

Famed New York Penn Station stands in the heart of Manhattan and is the busiest station on the entire Amtrak system. Deep in the environs of New York Penn, an Amtrak regional train powered by a veteran AEM-7 electric pulls into the “Big Apple.” All screenshots by Gary Dolzall. Note: Screenshots may depict content still in development.

Famed New York Penn Station stands in the heart of Manhattan and is the busiest station on the entire Amtrak system. Deep in the environs of New York Penn, an Amtrak regional train powered by a veteran AEM-7 electric pulls into the “Big Apple.” All screenshots by Gary Dolzall.

Stretching from New York Penn Station to 30th Street in Philadelphia are 91 of the most captivating miles in American railroading. Under a predawn sky, Amtrak AEM-7 907 leads a southbound regional train out of the 14,500-foot-long twin tubes (above) which carry the Corridor under the Hudson River, then a short time later crosses another of the Corridor’s most famous landmarks, the massive “Dock” lift bridge across the Passaic River at Newark (below).

Stretching from New York Penn Station to 30th Street in Philadelphia are 91 of the most captivating miles in American railroading. Under a predawn sky, Amtrak AEM-7 907 leads a southbound regional train out of the 14,500-foot-long twin tubes (above) which carry the Corridor under the Hudson River, then a short time later crosses another of the Corridor’s most famous landmarks, the massive “Dock” lift bridge across the Passaic River at Newark (below).

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The grand and sweeping “S-curve” at Elizabeth, New Jersey, 15.5 miles south of New York, requires Amtrak trains to reduce their gait from 100+ mph to 55 miles per hour.

The grand and sweeping “S-curve” at Elizabeth, New Jersey, 15.5 miles south of New York, requires Amtrak trains to reduce their gait from 100+ mph to 55 miles per hour.

Constructed between 1979 and 1988, the EMD-ASEA Amtrak AEM-7 electric was the workhorse of the Corridor for more than three decades. Nicknamed the “Toaster,” the AEM-7, with improved cab and in-cab signaling, is the featured locomotive in the remastered Train Simulator Northeast Corridor route.

Constructed between 1979 and 1988, the EMD-ASEA Amtrak AEM-7 electric was the workhorse of the Corridor for more than three decades. Nicknamed the “Toaster,” the AEM-7, with improved cab and in-cab signaling, is the featured locomotive in the remastered Train Simulator Northeast Corridor route.

An Amtrak Northeast Regional train glides south over the arch-bridge crossing of the Raritan River (above), then seconds later scurries through nearby New Brunswick, New Jersey (below).

An Amtrak Northeast Regional train glides south over the arch-bridge crossing of the Raritan River (above), then seconds later scurries through nearby New Brunswick, New Jersey (below).

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Trenton, 58 miles south of New York City, is the state capital of New Jersey and home to the busy Trenton Transit Center (above). With the Trenton skyline in the distance, northbound and southbound Amfleet-equipped trains meet on the bridge over the Delaware River (below).

Trenton, 58 miles south of New York City, is the state capital of New Jersey and home to the busy Trenton Transit Center (above). With the Trenton skyline in the distance, northbound and southbound Amfleet-equipped trains meet on the bridge over the Delaware River (below).

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The Pennsylvania Railroad was famed for its magnificent stone-arch bridges, many of which remain in service today and one such superb example spans the scenic Schuylkill River on the north side of Philadelphia (above). Near the Schuylkill River crossing stands another classic Pennsy-era landmark, famed Zoo Tower and interlocking (below).

The Pennsylvania Railroad was famed for its magnificent stone-arch bridges, many of which remain in service today and one such superb example spans the scenic Schuylkill River on the north side of Philadelphia (above). Near the Schuylkill River crossing stands another classic Pennsy-era landmark, famed Zoo Tower and interlocking (below).

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Philadelphia’s busy and classic 30th Street Station stands at the southern end of Train Simulator’s 91-mile Northeast Corridor route – and all the drama and challenges of this famed passenger railroad are soon coming to Train Simulator in a remastered and enhanced edition!

Philadelphia’s busy and classic 30th Street Station stands at the southern end of Train Simulator’s 91-mile Northeast Corridor route – and all the drama and challenges of this famed passenger railroad are ready now for Train Simulator in a remastered and enhanced edition!

Profile photo of Gary Dolzall

Gary Dolzall

17 Comments

  • Profile photo of Chris

    im suprised that you guys havent made the aem-7 ac units

  • Profile photo of marineraptor

    thanks DTG for updating NEC and it nice but i wanna know was there ever any plans to add passenger view mode in AEM-7 couch cars or no?

    • Profile photo of TrainSim-Steve

      With regard to the passenger view for the Amfleet cars. This is an older product and as such was not developed with a passenger view in mind. It is possible that this will be given some consideration at a later date.

  • Profile photo of rarecommonsense

    Will there possibly be any future implementation of the Amfleet cab cars. It’s sorely missing from TS catalog, It’s mind-boggling with all the amtrak dlc we’ve been getting, no Cab car has been made. Even if it’s released as a Marketplace Item, I would totally pay for that to be in my collection.

    • Profile photo of TrainSim-Steve

      We currently have no plans to develop the Amfleet Cab Car but this is a great suggestion – I’ll be sure to add it to our list to look into.

      • Profile photo of rarecommonsense

        Please do. It’s strongly recommended that you guys include it for any of the route, or loco DLCs that are meant for NEC operations. Whether by free download, like how you graced us with the multilevels, or via marketplace item for a price. As long as they are supplied with few scenarios. It would make Amtrak operations along the NEC routes you’ve supplied us with, much more interesting, and fulfilling.

        Or, if you guys want to take it a step further, which would help reinvigorate interest and faith in you guys, you could just tackle the Amtrak Metroliner EMU (with a passenger view, obviously), which is basically what the amfleets are based on, and of course, consist of the cab cars which then can also be coupled onto the current amfleets we have, for Amtrak operations.

        Either way, the absence of a cab car for Amtrak, needs to be remedied. Please… PLEASE, consider this. You guys will not regret it. And many of the community, fans of American passenger rail, and Amtrak especially, will be ever so grateful to you for it. I certainly would.

  • Profile photo of kapitanlirr

    Nice prose as usual from Dolzall but “Port Authority’s Trans Hudson light-rail line.” isn’t correct. PATH is in fact a heavy rail line.

  • Profile photo of jostrep

    Its nice to see the NEC return to the world of Train Simulator railroading. Thank you for taking care of the customers, DTG!

  • Profile photo of Ayrtons8

    Welcome back NEC. 🙂

  • Profile photo of Flyingscotsman4072

    Is the discount on the NEC and the Acela Express permanent or temporarily. If it is temporarily when will the discount ends.

    • Profile photo of TrainSim-Steve

      The discount is permanent

  • Profile photo of rarecommonsense

    Pleased to see this return. However, I’ve only noticed about maybe 3 differences. There are no floating vehicles, Penn Station can now be seen externally just like the last two routes, that also utilize that station (NYNH/NJCL). The trackrules are now stable. But other than that, it just seems like it was more of a bug fix than anothing. Would love to know exactly would deem this route “remastered.”

    • Profile photo of TrainSim-Steve

      The changelist for the route has been shared via our Steam Community Forums, we’ll have something posted here later today.

  • Profile photo of SFC (Sagefuncom)

    This one’s a WINNER after all the issues have been resolved. Good job!

  • Profile photo of nec_male_tc

    Thank you for bringing this route back to the Steam Store Dovetail Games. I remember that I was the one who suggested you make the New York to Philadelphia section of the Northeast Corridor and I was so happy when you first announced it in 2010, and I was even happier when you made my pedestrian model for it (NEC_Male_TC in the editor). As I’m writing this, I’m in the middle of a Quick Drive scenario with the Amtrak Acela Express on the route. Overall, judging it as a route that was released in 2011, it looks a bit better than it did when it was first released and many of the glitches have been removed. I also like the new automobiles and station pedestrians, although I’m a little bummed that my NEC_Male_TC model doesn’t spawn at the stations anymore and is only a pedestrian asset, but hey, I’m still honored to be re-included as a pedestrian asset. But there are some concerns about the Acela. Even when the speed limit is over 112 mph in certain areas and if you have the ACSES and ATC enabled, the alerter goes off violently when you are at 112 mph or faster. The alerter lever also doesn’t move when you press the Q button on the keyboard. Just out of curiosity, is there a chance that the New York to Philadelphia Northeast Corridor will receive the North Jersey Coast Line level of detail and scenery accuracy? Or is it going to look like a route from 2011 like it does now? I’m only asking because I’m not sure what the future plans are for this route if there are any. Thanks again for bringing back a route that I’ve wanted to have for Railworks/Train Simulator 2017 since the game’s release.

    • Profile photo of TrainSim-Steve

      Thanks for the note nec_male_tc, could you flag your concerns about the Acela with our Support Team and we’ll get that looked at

  • Profile photo of StevenJam

    I am glad the community has this amazing DLC back!

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