Shiloh Valley Tails

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Jazzyamx
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Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Jazzyamx »

So, my second ever post here.
This is still a major, major work in progress, but I'm slowly nailing down the setting and characters. Set in the HPU, with somebody who got basically slung into this universe with some of his gear and vehicle (cliche, I know, but I've been trying to make it interesting as I write).


So, without further ado, here is some basic info on the setting, a major location, and a few characters!



Shiloh Valley:

A relatively quiet midwestern town in the United States, which had slowly been decreasing in population since the 50’s, the current mayor decided to try and cash in on the latest ‘Pet Friendly Community’ craze kicked off by the town of Babylon Gardens in the hopes of bringing more business and people to his dying town.

Once a major railroad town, many of the businesses that were once rail-served are now gone but their ghosts remain, the derelict shells of buildings and sidings, along with a semi-derelict rail yard that now mainly serves as a pass-through and overflow railcar storage area for BNSF. One of the few businesses original to the area that’s managed to cling on, if only by dint of the few remaining rail-served businesses (including the Clarkworth Brewery, Peltier’s Paper and Pulp, and Shiloh Cement) is the Shiloh Valley Railroad (SVR), a once large but now rather small operation consisting of a tiny section of their once fully utilized railyard, four very tired diesel-electric locomotives, and a museum located in the town’s former passenger depot. It is only by dint of luck, the yard storage rent paid by BNSF, and perhaps pity from local businesses that the railroad remains in business.

As part of the town’s new Pet Friendly branding, many local laws have been passed that allow pets a significant degree of freedom and near-equal status to humans, though some of the more cynical locals have noted that it’s also likely out of a desperate desire for any workforce influx into the area, human or animal. Despite the cynical saying that the gambit won’t pay off, it seems to be having some effect, as the town population has been slowly growing over the past few years since the new legislation was passed, and some minor business investment has started.


Town Locations:

Maple Grove Mall:

An originally failed attempt at revitalizing Shiloh Valley, this mall has finally bloomed and become the community hub it was meant to be when built in 1986. Beloved for it’s now ‘retro’ style almost unchanged from the original opening day, up to and including striking angular lines and loads of colorful neon, it has become a popular hangout spot for humans and pets alike.





Characters:

(Main)

Full Name: Johnathan Wienhurtz Winters
Nicknames: Usually goes by Jon instead of his full name, called Jon-Jon by his mother
Human Age: 32 DOB: August 1st, 1998
Pet Age: 20 pet years, or nearly 6 human years
Species: Dog (formerly human)
Breed: English Springer Spaniel (Liver coat, lankier field dog bodystyle, green eyes, and undocked tail)
Occupation: Railroad Engineer for the Hazzard County Railroad, has since become employed by the Shiloh Valley Railroad since ending up in this universe.
Basic Personality: A kind and for the most part friendly gentleman, Jon is courteous to most any person he meets. He is dedicated to his job on the railroad as an engineer and prides himself on having an excellent safety record. Though put slightly out of sorts by his jarring transition to a new world and species, he’s tried to remain positive about the situation, counting what he does still have left and what he can do to improve his lot. Usually speaks in an suburbanized Atlanta-style accent, but if emotional or annoyed tends to slip back into a deep southern drawl. Sometimes snarky.
Homeworld: Hazzard County, GA




(Secondary)

(Humans)

Melinda Thompson:
Parent to one of Jon’s friends, Jack the small black scottie dog, she met the engineer after her dog begged her on a day off to take him down back to the walking path by the railyard where he often greeted this English Springer on walks. A real estate agent who moved from Vermont, for new opportunities in a growing town but mostly for increased freedom for her beloved Jack, she is often quite busy and cherishes her free time with Jack. For times when she is busy, she pays Julia to walk Jack.


Julia Anders:
A young entrepreneur, Julia is 14 years old and has been walking pets for busy owners since she was 12. In addition to making quite a tidy sum doing so, she has grown to know and love almost all the pets in town. She’s well-known and gently mocked with some bemusement by the town’s pets for wearing a large dog mascot suit to promote her business.

Dr. Sandra Swana:
One of the few workers at Shiloh Valley’s small veterinary clinic, Dr. Swana is a kindly but stern older woman in her 60’s who knows most all of the pets in town along with many of the strays and wild animals who sometimes visit.


Timothy ‘Tim’ Johnson:
A freight conductor on the Shiloh Valley Railroad, Tim is a normally jovial and friendly man. Fit but of slightly larger frame, he can run ‘surprisingly fast for a man his size’ according to his coworkers and family.

An avid model railroader since childhood, Tim has a massive layout in his basement, a true-to-life depiction in HO scale of Shiloh Valley and the surrounding area with it’s railroad, set back during the SVR’s golden age of the 40’s and 50’s. A somewhat smaller layout in the other side of the basement is more whimsical in theme, which he made for his children to enjoy.

Happily married to his wife of 15 years, a woman by the name of Josephine ‘Josie’ Johnson (nee Smith), they have two children, both girls. There is 12-year-old Jo (named after her mother), and 14-year-old Jane.
On the railroad, Tim is Jon’s most constant companion in the cab of No. 874, and the two have become good friends. Among other things, Tim often invites Jon and Bella to family celebrations. Jon will sometimes, very rarely, tolerate Jo putting bows in his fur.



(Pets and other Animals)

Bella:
A Carolina Dog who was abandoned by her owner and forced to live as a feral, Bella was found wandering by the railroad tracks by Jon when he was on his way into the Shiloh Valley yard after arriving in the universe. He picked her up and the two have since become good platonic friends and share Jon's small caboose home.

Jack:
Melinda’s beloved black Scottish Terrier, Jack subverts the typical stereotype. Excitable and hyper, like his pet parent he speaks with a still very strong Vermont accent. Enthusiastic about trains of all types, he first met Jon when on a walk by the railyard where he excitedly noticed the new train parked there, including some rare cars and a very unique caboose.

Squeakers:
Julia’s brown pet rat, Squeakers often rides atop his owner’s shoulders or inside her mascot suit’s helmet (he’s got a trap door on top) while on walks to get fresh air. Major fan of comic books.
"We're all mad, some of us are just a bit more honest about it." --The Master, Doctor Who (Paraphrased)
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Krytus The Dreamer
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Krytus The Dreamer »

Okay, Let's see where this goes.
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Welsh Halfwit »

Seems interesting.

What's a BNSF when it's at home? British Nuclear Safe Fuels? :D (Kidding about the acronym but I don't know what BNSF is)
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Jazzyamx
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Jazzyamx »

Thanks guys, I'm glad this is of interest to you.

As for the acornym, BNSF stands for Burlington Northern Santa Fe, one of the large 'Class 1' railroads that has trackage in the Midwestern USA.
As might be expected, it was created in the 90's from the merger of Burlington Northern and the Santa Fe railroad (full name Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railroad)


By compare, both the Shiloh Valley Railroad and the Hazzard County Railroad mentioned are both (fictional) 'Class III' shortline railroads, only serving a few places.
"We're all mad, some of us are just a bit more honest about it." --The Master, Doctor Who (Paraphrased)
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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I really like this setup a whole lot! I can't wait for more!
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Chieris
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Chieris »

I really like this premise and I'm looking forward to read the upcoming chapters

And I'm really jelaous of Tim since I've always wanted to have a model railroad layout
I dunno, just imagine something funny here

And also just to advertise myself:
https://www.furaffinity.net/user/chieris/
https://www.deviantart.com/dangraythewolf
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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Maybe someday you can achieve your dream then. But if you can't just try to live vicariously through Tim. :lol:
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Jazzyamx
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Jazzyamx »

Thanks guys!
As a matter of fact, here's the first chapter.



Chapter 1: Disaster Strikes

August 7th, 2030, two miles south of Atlanta, GA:

The train hissed to a gentle stop in it’s assigned passing siding, then slowly backed up slightly to properly slacken the cars in preparation for eventual departure at the hands of it’s skilled engineer. Said engineer was chuckling and shaking his head as he set the brakes “You’re a crazy man Doug, I’ll give you that.” The man so addressed, freight conductor for this run, puffed up in mock bravado “Why Jon, you know better! I shall have you know I can wrestle TWO bears! And WIN!” Jon leaned against the locomotive’s throttle stand, trying his hardest not to break out laughing. “Dang it Doug, you crack me up. Go on already, inspect the train—we’ve only got a few minutes before the Crescent passes us, and we’ve got to be on our way again.”

Chuckling as his conductor left the cab, Jon leaned back in his seat with a smile. What a job he had. Only 32 years old, and a railfan promoted to the cab of the same old iron he once watched in awe as a kid with great friends and coworkers to boot. Smiling, he patted the control stand of his loco for this run, 63-year-old EMD Geep No. 874, a GP-35m that had just recently been shopped. It was a treat to drive such a ‘cherry’ locomotive, the unit in near-new condition.

Looking over his gauges to make sure everything was alright there as a habit, once satisfied the engineer looked back to the train manifest for this trip. Now, he’d hauled some unusual loads before, but this was kinda weird by even those standards. Among other things, this train had a caboose, not that anyone was in it like the old days. Quite a funky unit too, the world’s oddest Frankenstein MOW unit ever made. He’d read about it once, the Pennsy’s strange one-off combination of the body from an unconverted ‘bobber’ ND-Class cabin car and a slightly newer 40-foot flatcar, itself cut down from a boxcar. He’d have loved to check out the unique unit further, but it seemed that would have to wait until he could visit it in the museum it was being towed to, as they had a tight schedule today.

Jon was jolted from his wandering thoughts by the sound of an oncoming train, and looked up to see the Amtrak passenger train approaching...then to his horror, he watched as it came onto the siding he was on at full speed! With no time to think and little time to react, Jon stared at the also horrified driver of the other train before snapping out of it and jumping from his seat to the floor, bracing himself back-first against the front wall of the cab in preparation for impact.

The horrible sound of metal on metal rang out, and Jon felt the jolt of his locomotive being shoved backwards from the incredible force of collision as everything fell silent and black…
"We're all mad, some of us are just a bit more honest about it." --The Master, Doctor Who (Paraphrased)
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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

This is a really suspenseful chapter you posted! It came out very wonderful!
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Harry Johnathan »

Liking just how detailed the text Is.
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Jazzyamx
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Jazzyamx »

Thanks again, glad you're liking it so far!

Here's the second chapter:


Chapter 2: Strange New World, Strange New Face


The first thing Jon felt was cold. The cab was freezing, he thought as he sat up. Suddenly, he remembered what had happened “The wreck!” Hardly even thinking he ran outside, grabbing the loco’s first aid kit.
Just as suddenly, he skidded to a stop once he’d climbed off the engine, looking around in stunned realization. There was...nothing. No sign of the passenger train whatsoever, no giant piles of burning wreckage, nothing. Just a wide open field around him and the two sets of tracks he stood on, covered in more snow then he’d ever seen in his entire life, snow that was still coming down. Looking back at his train, he just stared at it for a while. It had a good covering of snow yet was entirely undamaged as far as he could see with the locomotive still happily idling. On it he saw the one and only sign of the passenger train—No. 874’s frame had a streak of dark blue paint transferred onto it, right at the height where the Amtrak’s lead power, a Simens ALC-42, had hit.

Shaking himself from the daze, he frantically grabbing the radio off his vest, pressing the button and speaking into it “Doug! Where are you?!” He waited a while, tried a few more times, but there was nothing but dead air. Eventually, he resorted to screaming his conductor’s name to the windblown snow, trying to find his friend and coworker. Nothing but howling wind answered him, the adrenaline slowly starting to wear off as he inspected his radio with trembling hands. As he did so, he started having a bit of a realization “Am I...fuzzy?” the engineer though to himself. Unsteadily, he started walking back to his locomotive, having to crane his neck much farther then usual to see up to it “And why am I so...short.” he stared at the closest ditch light lens. It was not his face that looked back.

Shaking even more now, Jon slid the useless radio back into his vest pocket after a few tries, then raised his hands and felt his new...snout, the reflection doing the same. Climbing up onto 874’s front coupler, he took a closer look in the glass of the light, getting a much better look at his new form. Flummoxed, Jon climbed back down and sat down in the snow in front of the train “I’m...a dog. How am I a dog?” It seemed crazy, but was apparently true. He was now a spitting image of his boyhood pet, an English Springer Spaniel who’d been named Jackson, down to the position of the liver-color patches and spots on his white coat. Yet in some ways things were different, his new body standing in an upright posture with actual four-fingered hands like some sort of cartoon character. He’d also managed to retain his original human eye color, the green-hazel eyes just about the only familiar thing left of him aside the clothing that now hung loosely on his upper body.

Eventually, getting rather cold, he stood up and walked up to the stairs onto his locomotive, grumbling to himself “Well, I ain’t seeing Saint Peter or the Pearly Gates, and this isn’t no lake of fire, so I don’t think I’m dead. Better try and get in contact with whatever sort of dispatch exists here, so I don’t get in another wreck today.”

-----------
A pic, this one of HCRR No. 874, the locomotive Jon is driving (based on one of my HO scale models):
Attachments
Hazzard County Railroad EMD GP-35 No. 874 with background (base by AWVR8888).png
Hazzard County Railroad EMD GP-35 No. 874 with background (base by AWVR8888).png (12.68 KiB) Viewed 423 times
Last edited by Jazzyamx on Tue Sep 20, 2022 11:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
"We're all mad, some of us are just a bit more honest about it." --The Master, Doctor Who (Paraphrased)
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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I love how you managed to get this to come out! It is so awesome!
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Jazzyamx
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Jazzyamx »

No new chapter yet, but I wanted to give an update.


Sorry if this kinda got shoved to the back burner, my life has been a bit crazy as of late. I am still working on the story in what little time I do have, and will publish the next segment when I can.
"We're all mad, some of us are just a bit more honest about it." --The Master, Doctor Who (Paraphrased)
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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

Just take your time and do what you are able to. I'm sure that the chapter will be worth the wait!
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Jazzyamx
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Jazzyamx »

Terribly sorry abut the long, long time without further updates, but I've finally found time to finish the next chapter!



Chapter 3: Welcome to the World

Jon was shivering as he climbed back up onto his locomotive, moving as briskly as was safe on the slick walkways to get to the front cab door, which he’d left ajar when dashing outside. Grabbing the broom from cab’s rear wall, he swept the majority of the drifted in snow back outside and firmly closed the door. Walking back over to his engineer’s seat after stowing the broom, Jon pulled himself up onto the chair and first things first, cranked the cab heater to full blast in an effort to knock the chill off the air.

Giving a sigh of relief as the electric heaters kicked on and began blowing hot air, he reached over and picked up his radio handset. As expected, none of the current set frequencies were right, but a few seemed to be close enough to pick up some form of signal. “Hmm...Well, given all the snow, I must be in Yankee territory. What frequencies did BNSF use again?” Thinking back to the days spent scouring frequency listings and the communications he’d listened to online, the engineer began punching in those that he could remember from the northern states while holding the telephone like radio handset between his ear and shoulder.

Eventually, he hit the jackpot on 161.205, catching the tail end of a train contacting dispatch. “...atch, Shiloh 22 is highballing on. The hot box detector says everything is a-ok.” Jon silently congratulated his memory, then waited until train 22 had finished conversing with dispatch before speaking on the channel “Shiloh Valley dispatch, this is Hazzard County train 874, I am in the hole at milepost 72. No idea how I appeared here, but I suspect you may already have my location on your GPS. I’ll await further instruction.” There was silence on the radio for a moment, and then a quick reply.

Shiloh Valley Dispatch office…
Justin Dorne, head dispatcher at the SVR, turned to his coworker Kody in confusion “Well, I guess that confirms the strange EOT data.” Keying his mic, Justin replied “Copy that Hazzard 874, glad to hear you’re alive. Saw you pop up on our screens about half an hour ago, and were going to send someone out to check on you.” there was silence for a moment as Jon processed the info, but he finally spoke “Thanks for the concern gents. So, what should I do?”
Justin looked to Kody, then keyed his mic “We’ve got a clear main line ahead of you, so hows about you roll on into the yard and we’ll see what to do from there? You’ve got a 1.2 percent grade ahead, so you’ll need some decent throttle up the hill.” the radio crackled in reply “Copy that, Hazzard 874 moving into yard.”

Climbing back into his engineer’s chair, Jon quickly remembered a problem that he'd only noted in passing when on the radio...he was now too short to properly see through the locomotive’s windshield. Grabbing the control for his air-ride seat, he raised it as high as it could go. Better, but still not good enough, the engineer decided.
Carefully climbing down, the man-turned-dog scoured his cab for anything to sit on, finding nothing but having an idea. It seemed he would be getting a closer look at that caboose after all...and borrowing a few of it’s seat cushions.
"We're all mad, some of us are just a bit more honest about it." --The Master, Doctor Who (Paraphrased)
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by NHWestoN »

Everyone loves a good train story ... !
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Amazee Dayzee
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Re: Shiloh Valley Tails

Post by Amazee Dayzee »

I really enjoyed the most recent chapter that you posted! It came out really spectacular!
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