Written by: Gary Dolzall
Gary Dolzall of Elphaba’s Workshop creates two Steam Workshop scenarios for the new Peninsula Corridor route
The “main act” on Train Simulator’s recently released Peninsula Corridor route is, of course, busy Caltrain commuter railroading. But this California line also hosts regular Union Pacific freight operations, and with both Caltrain and Union Pacific equipment included with this new route, I couldn’t wait to “go railroadin” on the Peninsula and create both a commuter and freight scenario for Steam Workshop!
Hustling a Baby Bullet to San Jose:
Train Simulator’s Peninsula Corridor route extends over 47 miles of multiple track between San Francisco’s bustling 4th & King Street station and San Jose’s stylish Diridon station, and in the scenario “Caltrain Baby Bullet 332” I wanted to re-create a fast run southbound down the Peninsula. Caltrain’s Train 332 is a weekday 8:56 am departure from San Francisco that makes six scheduled intermediate commuter stops en route to San Jose.
As is typical for Caltrain’s Baby Bullet services, the consist of Train 332 is an MPI “MPXpress” MP36PH-3C diesel hauling six Bombardier-built Bi-Level commuter cars (five coaches and a trailing cab car). Over the course of approximately one hour (the scenario is based on Train 332’s current schedule but with minor adjustments for playability), the Baby Bullet will hurry down the busy and scenic corridor route and make intermediate stops at San Francisco 22nd Street, Millbrae, Redwood City, Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and Mountain View before pulling to a final stop at San Jose’s Diridon Station.
Set on a pleasant northern California summer morning, the southbound run of Train 332 provides an opportunity both for fast running (79 mph) and keeping to schedule while making multiple stops and, as might be expected, the railroad is busy with other train movements.
Saturday Morning Extra Duty:
Union Pacific’s freight operations on the Peninsula Corridor route are based out of the small yard positioned along both sides of the main line at South San Francisco. Typically, these operations consist of three jobs: The “South City Switcher” which handles yard duty and works the industrial sidings and spurs north toward San Francisco; the “Broadway Local,” which makes a turn south from South San Francisco handling lineside industries between South San Francisco and San Jose; and the “Mission Bay Hauler,” which is the road-haul train that forwards cars collected by the previous two jobs to UP’s connecting lines near Santa Clara. The above-mentioned three UP jobs are the basis of the freight career scenarios included with the route, so for a Steam Workshop scenario, I chose to re-create a Saturday morning “extra” that has been called to forward tonnage from South San Francisco to Redwood Junction.
Power for the Saturday extra freight job is a pair of Union Pacific Electro-Motive GP38-2s which are included with this route. Through its own purchases as well as inheriting via merger the GP38-2s owned by Missouri Pacific, Katy (Missouri-Kansas-Texas), Southern Pacific, and Chicago & North Western, the Union Pacific garnered an expansive roster of the versatile Geeps, many of which remain in active yard and road service today. The locomotive included with the Peninsula Corridor route is representative of those dynamic-brake-equipped EMD GP38-2s originally purchased by the Union Pacific in 1974-75 and which today wear up road numbers in the 500-series (UP road numbers 500-559).
The scenario “Union Pacific Redwood Extra” begins with the venerable EMD Geeps switching some of the nearby sidings at South San Francisco, then pulling together the extra’s consist in the yard, and finally making the run (freight maximum speed on the line is 50 mph) down to Redwood Junction where the train crosses over the route’s dual mains and is yarded.
I certainly enjoyed creating these Steam Workshop scenarios for the new Train Simulator Peninsula Corridor route, and other members of the community have also been busy and already contributed excellent scenario content to Steam Workshop for the new route. And no doubt, there are many more superb Peninsula Corridor scenarios to come from the community, so be sure to check them all out! – Gary Dolzall ■