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CNW Chicago Division Progress - 2021

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    #31
    Nice work!
    Wow, that Morton Salt paint on the roof - one of the things that always caught my eye as a kid when riding in the back seat. Now, you need the animated "Magikist" lips (sp?) sign just prior to that inbound.
    Neil

    Chicago Railroading Fan

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      #32
      Originally posted by qballbandit View Post
      Nice work!
      Wow, that Morton Salt paint on the roof - one of the things that always caught my eye as a kid when riding in the back seat. Now, you need the animated "Magikist" lips (sp?) sign just prior to that inbound.
      The Magikist sign is south-east of Mayfair. I also have the giant Budweiser. Once I learn Blender, those will be properly animated...
      If you like what you see here at Trainsim.com, be it the discussions and knowledge in the forums, items saved in our library or the ongoing development of our TSRE Fork, I hope you'll consider a paid membership to help support keeping the site operating.... Thanks!

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        #33
        Oh ya, the Bud sign too - great stuff indeed
        Neil

        Chicago Railroading Fan

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          #34
          I grew up blocks away from the CNW in Wheaton IL and a stones throw away from the Chicago Aurora and Elgin yards were we played in our youth after the railroad ceased to operate. Thus the railroad seed was planted in my head. That being said with Chicago being the railroad capitol of the United States and all Class 1 railroads have a Chicago presence I always find it amazing that there are not more midwest routes that originate from Chicago. Navigating through the hundreds of junctions and trackage miles can be just as challenging as running anywhere in the US. Thanks for taking on a monumental task in building this route Eric!
          Kevin Kelleher

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            #35
            Harvard to Chicago, done...

            McHenry Branch, also done as far as McHenry, still need to finish the last bit towards Ringwood and the lone chemical plant that keeps that stretch of track open... Maybe in a few days. Track is burning me out after four weeks of realigning things.....

            The way to prevent burnout? Shift gears. It's time to spend a little time detailing the ROW and creating buildings, and that means diving into Google for historical images...

            Many people don't know there was an actual station at Clybourn into the 1970's... Not sure when it was finally removed, but the nice thing about backdating routes is that you can resurrect things that should still be there... It was slightly bigger than an AmShack, but totally boring brick-box architecture that located anywhere else but on a train line could easily be mistaken for a Dairy Queen or a dry cleaning store. Unfortunately that's what a lot of the stations built in the post-war timeframe looked like. At least one still exists at Cumberland.



            I really like the fact that the Activity Editor in TSRE can be brought up in an editing session. That allowed me to do a fit check on a section of track at Oak Park which looked too close for comfort with trains on both tracks, a station canopy also at Oak Park, and an underpass in River Forest that stack trains need to be able to clear.



            Last edited by eric; 03-11-2021, 03:22 AM.
            If you like what you see here at Trainsim.com, be it the discussions and knowledge in the forums, items saved in our library or the ongoing development of our TSRE Fork, I hope you'll consider a paid membership to help support keeping the site operating.... Thanks!

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              #36
              A+
              Neil

              Chicago Railroading Fan

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                #37
                Originally posted by eric View Post
                Harvard to Chicago, done...

                McHenry Branch, also done as far as McHenry, still need to finish the last bit towards Ringwood and the lone chemical plant that keeps that stretch of track open... Maybe in a few days. Track is burning me out after four weeks of realigning things.....

                The way to prevent burnout? Shift gears. It's time to spend a little time detailing the ROW and creating buildings, and that means diving into Google for historical images...

                Many people don't know there was an actual station at Clybourn into the 1970's... Not sure when it was finally removed, but the nice thing about backdating routes is that you can resurrect things that should still be there... It was slightly bigger than an AmShack, but totally boring brick-box architecture that located anywhere else but on a train line could easily be mistaken for a Dairy Queen or a dry cleaning store. Unfortunately that's what a lot of the stations built in the post-war timeframe looked like. At least one still exists at Cumberland.



                I really like the fact that the Activity Editor in TSRE can be brought up in an editing session. That allowed me to do a fit check on a section of track at Oak Park which looked too close for comfort with trains on both tracks, a station canopy also at Oak Park, and an underpass in River Forest that stack trains need to be able to clear.



                Nice work Eric, thanks for taking me back!
                Kevin Kelleher

                Comment


                  #38
                  Sprint update... Since finishing up the track on the McHenry Branch, I've been re-installing signals between Harvard and Chicago. Currently, that's done as far as Dee Road.

                  What's left on that last stretch are a dozen interval signals, and three interlocking plants at Mayfair/Jefferson Park, Wood Street/Clybourn/Cy, and Erie Street (right before Northwest Junction).

                  Placing gantries is definitely more involved than placing searchlights... The signal object is already pre-set to the height of the gantry deck, but getting them lined up to the edge of the deck takes some time to look right.

                  I'm also re-working some of my gantry shapes. The original CNW set I built ages ago was made for 5m track spacing. I've got a newer set for 4m spacing partially done, but hadn't quite finished up the 4Y and larger, and those are needed for the three miles between Clybourn and downtown. So, until those shapes are complete, there's not much point trying to finish up those last two miles for signals.

                  To set expectations, I'd expect all this to be wrapped up by the end of the month, at which point I'll release an update around the first week of April.

                  Repeating my previous advise, all of the paths between Madison-Janesville-Harvard and Chicago will be replaced. They are keeping the same names so Timetables won't be impacted, but it could affect activities since those rely on tile positions.
                  If you like what you see here at Trainsim.com, be it the discussions and knowledge in the forums, items saved in our library or the ongoing development of our TSRE Fork, I hope you'll consider a paid membership to help support keeping the site operating.... Thanks!

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                    #39
                    You know, I've been thinking of doing a CNW-specific signal set, since they used so many oddball types: those wonky Model 2As, Type Es, and the SAs with the oblong backgrounds

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                      #40
                      I'd be up for a decent replacement on the horizontal E's and single SA's I built in Gmax, but can't say I relish the thought of repositioning the 200 or so E's I've already placed...
                      If you like what you see here at Trainsim.com, be it the discussions and knowledge in the forums, items saved in our library or the ongoing development of our TSRE Fork, I hope you'll consider a paid membership to help support keeping the site operating.... Thanks!

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                        #41
                        Just for fun, I decided it was time to dive into Blender, and Horizontal E's were my first attempt... The reasoning was simple -- I discovered that I needed a fourth signal head for a couple crossovers, and I'd never gotten that far in GMax.

                        After the first 12 hours of failing to figure out basic texturing of a plain cube, I kept asking myself why I was doing this, but finally managed to export the cube with four sides and a roof texture. 8 hours later, I had something close enough in size to my previous GMax created E type signals.

                        Another hour or so was wasted working out the lighting in the signal scripts. For whatever reason, tweaking the light positions using my GMax settings didn't work. It appears that Gmax set the axis from each subobject (HEAD1, HEAD2, etc) off the sub-object, where Blender appears to have kept the 0/0/0 location for the viewport grid. Once I figured that mess out, it was somewhat smooth sailing. Downside to that difference is I had to create new SignalType declarations in the SigCfg, but that's relatively minor..



                        There's still some work to do on the light hoods -- right now they look like an oversize Lego, and I need to experiment more to get the shark-nose appearance, but that's for another day... Fortunately they're isolated as a sub-object and adjusting the tubes shouldn't mess with my signal script.



                        For those who use Blender already... this is what I landed on for a hierarchy, and where I first shot myself in the foot. All of the normals I'd added to the mesh were in one object, which caused problem after problem when I was trying to re-scale things and move parts around, so I had to selectively duplicate items, and reset the parent object. Hopefully that's just a learning curve item for the first time around...



                        At some point I'll try an animation and maybe some static objects. This was traumatic enough for one day which turned into two...
                        Last edited by eric; 03-30-2021, 09:50 AM.
                        If you like what you see here at Trainsim.com, be it the discussions and knowledge in the forums, items saved in our library or the ongoing development of our TSRE Fork, I hope you'll consider a paid membership to help support keeping the site operating.... Thanks!

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                          #42
                          If you still have Gmax, I can upgrade my Type Es to my current standard and send you the gmax file for them

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                            #43
                            Thanks, that might be interesting to see. I'm working by intuition, so it would be nice to see how close I came on the dimensions if you did yours from drawings.

                            I do still have GMax, but haven't used it since 2013... some of my source files are missing, including the E's, so it was a foregone conclusion I'd have to recreate them somehow.

                            Learning Blender is something I planned to do over a year ago but never quite found the motivation. The need for the fourth head forced the issue and I know there are going to be other situations where I need hierarchy or animation support and can't rely on Sketchup.
                            If you like what you see here at Trainsim.com, be it the discussions and knowledge in the forums, items saved in our library or the ongoing development of our TSRE Fork, I hope you'll consider a paid membership to help support keeping the site operating.... Thanks!

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                              #44
                              Eric,
                              This is great to see.. I'll be moving back to the Chicago area from Florida (yes I know, I'm insane) Palatine, as a matter of fact. If you need any help let me know.
                              Don't tell me the sky's the limit, when there's footsteps on the moon..

                              --Josh--

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                                #45
                                Welcome back... we'll need to get together sometime.
                                If you like what you see here at Trainsim.com, be it the discussions and knowledge in the forums, items saved in our library or the ongoing development of our TSRE Fork, I hope you'll consider a paid membership to help support keeping the site operating.... Thanks!

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