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How to make a 4-track PRR-style mainline
Much of the ex-Pennsylvania Railroad's Pittsburgh Line was once quadruple-tracked for part of its 248 Miles. The PRR's premier train, the "Broadway Limited", was not named after the street in New York, but actually to the PRR's four-track "Broad Way". The direction of train traffic on this line was rather unique, and often different from the way most Transport Fever players seem to make their four-track lines. Whether you're a hardcore fan of the Pennsy looking to re-create your dream railroad, or simply looking for an additional, outside-the-box challenge, this guide may be of interest to you.
What did the Pittsburgh Line's traffic pattern look like?
Judging by available footage from the 1950s (Prior to the removal of one of the four tracks) as well as photos from the 1950s and earlier, it would appear that traffic generally moved in the pattern I replicated in the screenshot below:
As you can see in the above screenshot, one line takes up the outside tracks while a second line takes up the inside tracks. The two tracks on the right travel in the same direction as each other, and the other two tracks on the left travel in the same direction as each other in the opposite direction from the two right tracks.
This is opposed to the traffic pattern that myself and other Transport Fever players seem to make, an example of which can be seen in the screenshot below:
Essentially just two double tracked lines directly next to each other.
How to replicate this pattern in-game
A couple of things must be done in order for this to work. First, you are going to need a combination of switches at either end of the line so that the two tracks of the outer line can meet prior to entering the station, and the inner line can do the same. It may not matter whether the inner and outer line share a track in the station(s) at each end of the line, however in my example I gave each line its own terminal in the station for the sake of efficiency (It prevents trains from having to wait for another train to leave the station)
The switches you make should look something like this:
As explained earlier, one line will meet up before reaching the platform, and the other line will do the same at another platform.
Keep in mind, the above steps are only for stations at each end of the line, not intermediate stations.
Next, click on one of the stations. When the menu box pops up, click on the "Terminals" tab, which should look something like this:
The station should have at least four tracks (Duh). Even if it has more than four tracks, the terminals are numbered from 1 (The track closest to the station building) to 8 (The furthest from the station building) in case you lose track of which line goes where. The outer line should go into the outer terminals, and the inner line should go into the inner terminals such as this:
Keep in mind my station in the screenshot has more than 4 tracks.
The line in action!
And, you're done!
Now it's time to sit back and watch some trains!
I figured it wouldn't be fair not to show some screenshots of Pennsylvania RR trains on such a line in-game.