There are plenty of constants in this scene compared to Chicago's HP Junction -- 1978. The signals and trackage are the same, as are the buildings. However, the trains are remarkably different than those of 25 years ago. Those of us who are frequent train watchers sometimes don't realize how rapidly the engines and rolling stock have been changing.
Those Trains in the Distance
Cars: Chris Denbow, Tom Burger, David Epling, Dave Hersrud, Cullen McCormick, Gary Sereico, Gregg Staley, Nick Wilson, Alfred Woolfolk II
Intermodal: Ed Bindler, Dave Hersrud, Gary Sereico, Gregg Staley, Nick Wilson, Alfred Woolfolk II
Engines: Chris Denbow, Brendan Frisina, Dan Learn, Cullen McCormick, Brad Morocco, Erik Rasmussen, Gary Sereico, Matt Steinblock, Nick Wilson, Alfred Woolfolk II
Metra: Cars and engines by Justin Nelson.
Structures: Christopher Dawalt (buildings), Dave Hersrud (lineside structures), Dan Learn (roadbed), Gregg Staley (signals and switch heater tanks).
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American Orient Express. All cars are drawn by David Epling. There are no duplicates, and each car is in the order recorded by the artist as the train crossed the Keddie Wye in California.
CN Autoracks Eastbound. There are several artists represented, and there are no duplicates in the consist.
CP Eastbound Manifest Train. The Soo-Line engines are disappearing, and are being replaced by impressive new GE's and MAC's of Canadian Pacific, but surprisingly, many of the cars look virtually identical to those of 25 years ago. A good thing has legs. However, the centerbeam flats are indicators that the lumber trade with "the States" is booming.
CSX Containers Eastbound. This entire train has been completely re-worked, as of May 2007. International sea cans have been removed, except for some underneath 53' domestic cans. Besides the 53' FEC single unit platforms, many others have been added.
Iowa Interstate Westbound. The consist is tailored to loosely represent those heading west out of Blue Island towards the Hawkeye State. Information on such consists has been provided by Erik Rasmussen.
NS Intermodal Westbound. Like the CSX Containers Eastbound, this train has been completely re-worked in May and June 2007. It is now representative of unit movements of international containers. The long string of single level containers has come up from Norfolk, as double stacks cannot clear tunnel clearances between Roanoke and Columbus, OH.
Schnabel Car Movement. The monster Schnabel car is by Brad Morocco.
Woolfolk Manifest. Alfred Woolfolk II has been very active in creating new train gifs. This train, led by the paired GE GEVO demonstrators, has a complete consist of Alfred's creations (including the engines, of course).
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Those trains in the distance
One thing I wanted to do in this scene was to include the distant trains that first showed up in the Chicago 1978 scene, but make the trains even smaller. The 1978 scene's trains are 16 pixels in height, and the 2003 scene's are 15 pixels. I have made the roadbed for the former 4 pixels high, and the latter is 3 pixels. These trains are built using Photoshop's ImageReady, and are one very long, skinny gif when finished. The image is then re-sized. This is done to avoid having to re-size every image and store the resulting image with a different name than the original, etc. I got the idea to use a "string" rather than the more normal compilation of a train using many individual gifs from Dave Hersrud.
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