Canadian Railroading!

Written by: Gary Dolzall

Now available for Train Simulator – the Canadian National Peace River Route!

Contemporary and challenging railroading in the spacious prairies of Alberta, Canada now comes to Train Simulator – with the remarkable new Canadian National Peace River route!

Created through the Dovetail Games Partner Programme by noted developer Jonathan Lewis and Milepost Simulations, who earlier brought to Train Simulator the acclaimed Canadian Mountain Passes route, the now available Canadian National Peace River route delivers the experiences of hauling lumber products, timber, grain, and mixed commodities across 40 route miles of demanding, scenic Canadian National trackage located in Northern Alberta, Canada.

Train Simulator’s Canadian National Peace River route is centered upon the town of Peace River, Alberta, and includes key portions of the Canadian National Railway’s Peace River, Manning, and Daishowa Subdivisions. The southern end of the Train Simulator Canadian National Peace River route is at Judah, located high on the Alberta prairie. From Judah to Grimshaw, via Peace River and Roma Junction, the route re-creates much of the CN Peace River Subdivision. From Roma Junction to nearby Roma Yard, the route replicates a key element of the CN Manning Sub, and from Michaud (on the west bank of the Peace River), the route fully re-creates the modern and rugged 10-mile Daishowa Subdivision to Peace Valley.

The included rail lines provide the Canadian National Peace River route with both main line tonnage (moving between Edmonton and points north) and robust lineside tonnage sources, including grain elevators and loading facilities at Grimshaw, and a modern and expansive lumber mill at the north end of the Daishowa Subdivision at Peace Valley. Handling main line tonnage on the Canadian National Peace River route is a guarantee of challenging railroading. The line between Judah and Peace River involves a tortuous 2.4 percent grade linking the river valley and high prairie. The work west of the river is demanding, too; climbing from Michaud to Roma involves a gradient of over 2 percent and use of a double-horseshoe to gain elevation. Even the 10-mile Daishowa Subdivision involves toting lumber loads over grades of more than 1.5 percent.

The new Canadian National Peace River route includes locomotives and freight rolling stock ideally suited to authentically serve on the line. The featured diesel locomotive is Canadian National’s six-axle, 3,000-horsepower SD40-2W. Based on Electro-Motive’s standard SD40-2, the SD40-2W features the Canadian “comfort cab,” a design which includes a full-width and strengthened nose, more spacious crew cab, and distinctive four-piece windshield. Electro-Motive’s Canadian sister company, General Motors Diesel, constructed 123 of the husky SD40-2Ws for Canadian National between 1975 and 1980, most of which remain in service today. The SD40-2W is provided in two CN liveries, the railway’s current livery and the distinctive “zebra stripe” livery CN applied to road-switchers from the 1970s through the early 1990s.

Along with the SD40-2W, the route also includes a superb selection of appropriate freight equipment, including Canada’s classic cylindrical-design covered grain hoppers in two well-known liveries; boxcars in two liveries; center-beam and bulkhead lumber flats; a modern tank car; and a Canadian National-design steel cupola caboose. To put you right to work hauling tonnage and handling switching duties, the route also features a selection of six career scenarios which provide realistic operating experiences across the entire 40-mile route.

Enjoy the challenging and memorable experiences of contemporary railroading in the great prairie and river country of Canada – with the Canadian National Peace River route now available at the Dovetail Games and Steam Stores!  – Gary Dolzall

Contemporary railroading in Canada’s spacious prairie and river country now comes to Train Simulator with the Canadian National Peace River route! Created by Milepost Simulations, the route features 40 miles of challenging railroading in Alberta, Canada. The route is centered at Peace River, Alberta, site of the route’s dramatic crossing of the river by the same name (above). The beauty – and rigor – of the route are on display as a CN freight begins the 2.4 percent climb out of the Peace River valley and clatters onto the towering Heart River trestle (below). Screenshots by Gary Dolzall and TrainSim-James.

From Judah on the high prairie of Alberta, down to Peace River, the Canadian National Peace River route drops some 800 feet in elevation on a torturous alignment that includes a long and steep grade. Canadian National SD40-2W 5255 and three sisters are making the descent high above the river (above), then later curl into the town of Peace River (below).

No less impressive – or challenging – is the railroading on the west side of the Peace River, where the route extends to Roma Junction and Grimshaw. On a brilliant autumn afternoon, Canadian National SD40-2W 5361 nears Roma Junction (above), while close to the same location on a wintry evening, the distinctive silhouette of “comfort cab” equipped SD40-2W 5342 is revealed against the Canadian sunset as a freight crosses a timber trestle (below).

Roma Junction is the connection between CN’s Peace River and Manning Subdivisions and is home to a modern yard facility. CN SD40-2W 5325 is curving around the connecting track from Roma Junction to the yard (above), while at dawn on a spring morning, a trio of CN SD40-2Ws await duty at the Roma yard (below). The SD40-2W, of which CN purchased 123 examples, is the featured motive power in the now-available Canadian National Peace River route.

On the Canadian National Peace River route, you will take the controls of CN’s six-axle, 3,000-horsepower SD40-2W diesel from the engineer’s seat in the locomotive’s unique “comfort cab.”.

Grimshaw is at the west end of the new Train Simulator Canadian National Peace River route and is the source of local grain tonnage. A quartet of CN SD40-2Ws are switching covered hoppers with the small Alberta prairie town in the background (above). Also providing a major source of originated tonnage on the Canadian National Peace River route is the modern and sprawling lumber mill at Peace Valley on the Daishowa Subdivision, where two CN diesels are pulling together outbound lumber loads on a winter day (below).

With Michaud in the background, a Canadian National grain train rolls out onto the 2,700-foot-long Peace River bridge. You can now experience the challenges of contemporary railroading in the great prairie and river country of Alberta, Canada – with the Canadian National Peace River route available at the Dovetail Games and Steam Stores!

We’re always happy to receive your comments below but please ensure they are related to the subject of the article, we’ll remove any that appear to be unrelated.

Gary Dolzall


  • Keep making more routes Gary

    • Thanks, swart6, for the comment, but all the credit for this excellent new Canadian route goes to Jonathan Lewis and Milepost Simulations. I just wrote the article. 🙂

  • I don’t think that I’ll buy this right away, but your screenshots and descriptions, added to the informative users’ manual (available for perusal from a link on the route’s store page at Steam) certainly guarantee that it will be on my computer eventually. I’m really impressed by the 8 freight cars included in the package and the fact that four of the six scenarios include switching.

    • Hi “LastTrain:”
      Lots of excellent switching opportunities in this one … you’ll like it. 🙂

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