Written by: Adam Palmer
DTG’s Feather River Canyon route has become a favorite amongst the Train Sim community. The superb quality of the scenery, the captivating stock, and the non-typical era the route is set in. However, as great as the route is there is one issue that bugs a good portion of the community, especially those who are fans of the Western Pacific, the route’s length. The Feather River Canyon route currently runs from Oroville to Quincy Jct. (Quincy if your count the Quincy Railroad trackage) and Crecent Mills on the Inside Gateway. What I am proposing is that the existing FRC route be extended from Quincy Jct. to Portola on the main line, and from Crecent Mills to Bieber on the Inside Gateway.
Why do this? The question should be, why not do this. Extending the FRC route means it not only encompasses more landmarks of the Feather River Canyon but also adds much more operating possibility with the route. Operations can range from the westbound California Zephyr going through the train wash at Portola to operating heavy coal drags over the Williams Loop during the UP era to operating a WP-BN train on the inside gateway. Along with many more possibilities for locals and switch jobs out of Portola and Keddie.
The landmarks on the extended route range from iconic Williams Loop where long freight trains pass under or over each other to Clio Trestle where trains traverse the steel span hundreds of feet above the canyon floor. Plus the many lumber industries on the Inside Gateway as well as Lake Almanor and remote Bieber where the WP interchanged with the Great Northern and later the Burlington Northern.
Along with the route extension another grand idea would be a WP Pearlman Green reskin of the EMD GP35 along with a WP grain hopper and a new caboose typical of the later years of the WP.
So in all, I believe that extending the Feather River route will give more possibility for operations as well as add more fabulous landmarks and dramatic scenery along with adding more superb WP content to Train Simulator ■