The Saint Louis Gateway is an odd railroad simulation. There isn’t that usual balance of yard/locals/freights (with passengers tossed in because we have to). This one is about high speed, high volume running. Several staging yards point at the SH Junction like a Polish firing squad. And when the session starts, a half-dozen trains leap into motion.
And that’s the deal – it all comes down to that one signal tower keeping things moving smoothly. Outside of one working yard and a couple of big grain silos, it’s mostly long trains highballing across the prairie.
To really enjoy it, the operators need to change their mindsets. Here, it’s not the usual deal of dropping cars at sidings and meeting other trains. It’s about starting your locos, turning on the headlight and observing every rule of operation you know. Speed control out of the yard, only accelerating when past the final turnout. Smooth throttle handing. Calling SH well out and following his orders to the letter. Neat braking into your final slot. You might only run a train for five minutes but the emphasis should be on running it really well.
I had a fun time working a half-dozen trains through SH. I also took over St. Louis yard, clinically passing train data with SH to keep the line in order. Just because there might only be a train or two in my subdivision at any time doesn’t mean I want to cornfield them.
Clean fast fun.