If you’re not already familiar with the backstory of the P&B, I suggest you read this blog post first, http://jointedrail.com/pennsylvania-berwind/
One of the most magical things about the P&B is the time and effort BillM put into the history and operations of his original P&B. Everything was detailed to a T in two documents, P&B Employee Timetable and P&B Tour. Bill not only detailed every train and pick up and drop off along the route, he also included a brief history of the different towns and industries found along the P&B’s mainline.
The P&B may be a fictional railroad but much of the back story can be found in stories from Bill’s youth. The first time I spoke with him via Skype, he told me about how the town of Vonny is actually based on a real life place where he grew up in Windber Pennsylvania (see what he did there?). Bill told me how the real life tracks from “Vonny” to “Iron City” wound themselves through the mountains and small towns, and how he would give chase to the local trains making deliveries. He even detailed a few occasions he was given a cab ride by the crew he eventually befriended. Many of the towns along the P&B have been named after his friends and family. The town of Vonny is a tribute to his wife, Yvonne, whose nickname was Vonny when she was a kid. Whether you realize it or not, it’s real life details like these that allow your subconscious to breathe life into a work of fiction.
The P&B timetable may be the most useful document for those looking to familiarize themselves with the operations along the route. It details track speeds, mileages, track charts and every train symbol for movements along the route. What I’ve always loved about the P&B’s operation is the idea that it can work as a fully closed system. This means that every freight car on the route has both an origin and destination on the map. This theoretically allows for an endless operating session as every car continues to be rerouted along the line. There are interchange points at either end of the track plan, but they are not necessary for this type of operation. They act as additional industry points as well as a way to see some foreign power on the route.
It’s details like these that give life to an otherwise lifeless web of tracks through a fictional Pennsylvania countryside. I think that’s what appeals to everyone who experiences the P&B. There’s history, there’s drama, and there’s a tremendous amount of thought put into how freight moves along this wonderful short line.
You can use the P&B Tour and Timetable as it is now as a reference while following my rebuild. I’ve scaled up a few industries and eliminated a few; some of the mileage has been altered but the overall track plan and story remain unaffected. I’ve done as much as I can to preserve the essence of the original while updating everything to current Trainz standards. Both documents will provide you with greater detail into the inner workings of the Pennsylvania & Berwind and the history held within each small town.