Midwest Central is a fictional railroad, connecting East Shelton to Westfield through the busy heartland of the United States. In the east, coal and forests provide plenty of loads for local trains, and out west, cattle ranching provides livestock for the Armour Meatpacking plant. The new IKEA plant at Huntersville and the container station at Caldwell highlight other shipping opportunties.|
Midwest Central has been designed specifically to handle busy AI traffic, with double-track mainline, and many interactive industries. A unique milepost system helps new engineers to find industries quickly, and a downloadable system map will give an overhead view of the entire railroad. The MidCen Operations Manual, system diagram and the descriptions and train orders for all sessions can be found on the Operations Page.
Midwest Central Original Version
Midwest Central Build 360, kuid2:87783:1134:7 is the finished original MidCen route. Encompassing 133 baseboards, it has 25 miles of double-track mainline. You can find it, and the ten sessions that go with it, on the Download Station. The easiest way to find them is to search for my userid, which is crb001. Details on the active sessions are on the operations page.
Midwest Central Release 2
Expanding to 180+ baseboards, Release 2 includes ten additional miles of track to the east, covering the distance between the old East Shelton portals and the town itself, where there is a BNSF interchange. The eastern territory is considerably more hilly than the rest of the route, and features the Pecata Canyon High Bridge, named after the famous Peco River bridge in Texas. 150 feet high and 1100 feet long, this single track affair may prove to be a bottleneck as well as an interesting scenic element.
An additional five miles of track have also been laid to the mining community of South Claremont, where there is an Iron Ore mine and a foresty. A number of new industries have also been added, including two oil fields, a refinery, brickworks, brewery and iron ore mining.
The MidCen Operations Manual has been updated to reflect Release 2 content. In a similar fashion, the system map has also been updated. There are now separate maps for both the original version and Release 2. This is because a large number of changes have been made to the original map, including new grade crossings, stations, industries and two new turntables. The Release 2 map is now two pages, given the 60% longer mainline of that route.
Release 2 has six available sessions. See the Operations Page for details and train orders.
Midwest Central Release 3
Release 3 extends the mainline 15 miles out to Westfield, where there is an interchange with Union Pacfic. The mainline totals 50 miles, about a 70 minute run at track speed.
With Release 3 will come five sessions, a base session, a passenger session and three freight sessions. One of the new freight sessions will be a free-form challenge for you. MidCen Dispatcher 1 will simply give you list of what to pick up and where to take it. It will be up to you to plan your consists and routes. As with previous multiple driver sessions, this one is rated complex. The other two freight sessions are single-driver, for those of you who just like to drive.
The MidCen Operations Manual has been completely re-written and is a separate document from the original and Release 2 versions. There's a lot of new material and I suggest you look through it for some good explanations and new operating techniques, especially for Approach trackmarks and the ProtoLARS automobile factory.
There is now a new version of the system map as well, again specific to Release 3.
Release 3 is now available on the Download Station, just search for my userid: crb001. See the operations page for details on the five sessions, and be sure to check below for bug reports and missing dependencies.
If you've designed a great session for Midwest Central, you are invited to submit it for consideration. In our recent contest, Irving sent in two fine sessions, earning him a one-year first class ticket on the Download Station. Even though the contest has ended, submissions are still welcome. If your submission is accepted, it will become an official part of the MidCen world and will be posted on the DS with other Midwest Central content. The author will be given credit for the session. I will have more to say about submissions soon. If you're interested, contact me for details.
Join the mailing list, using the form below, if you want to get a notice when new versions are posted.
The Portal Manager, kuid2:192081:14:1, used in some of the active sessions, is apparently no longer available on the DS, but you can get it from the author's website, here.
In Huntersville, a large vacant space is supposed to occupied by the Armour Meatpacking Plant V2, kuid2:50567:111174:1. It is not on the download station either. You can find it at http://trainzproroutes.org. You'll have to register to download from the site, but it's free and if you spend some time there, especially on their forums, you'll learn a lot. Lars, the creator of the LARS commodity system, is one of the board members and has frequent posts and updates. Idiotbouy, the creator of the meat packing plant is also a member.
Here is what is you need to download:
The industry itself can be found here.
You'll also need the product pack for coolrooms - meat packing plant industries that goes along with the industry. Products include the Side-of-Beef, Hams, Treet and Spam. You can find the pack using: this link.
You'll find some cool stuff on TPR. While you're there, consider making a small donation.
-------ADDITIONAL, RELEASE 3 ONLY ISSUES:
If you find any other problems, please report them here.
The "other" Midwest Central Railroad.
After a year-plus working on my fictional railroad, I discovered there is actually a real Midwest Central. It is operated by a group of railfans in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, here in the USA. They have several old-time steam engines and have many educational programs on the history of railroading. Check out their homepage and drop by to see them if you're in the area.
To stay informed of MidCen progress, I encourage you to join the free mailing list, using the signup form below. Topica.com is the host of the mailing list and when you sign up, you will receive an email asking you to confirm you wish to join the list. You must answer the email or your request to join will be cancelled.
In the gallery below, hold your mouse over any image for a description and click the picture for a larger size.
Be sure to visit Auran.com for a great railroad simulator experience.
For more information about Midwest Central, contact Chuck, railroad president. :-)