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UP Gila Subdivision 2023

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    #16
    I did get another 7 miles done today to Mohawk Pass.

    One thing I've noticed on the long straight stretches... they need an adjustment every 2 tiles or so... You can indeed run a straight line for 7 miles and have it hit the exact spot you wanted, but if you use imagery for your Terrtex, it will look like this halfway thru:


    capture_500088.jpg

    Visually, that doesn't look great, so what I do is break the line up into 4km chunks, and set new interim end targets for Tangent:

    tangent-long-straight.jpg
    In TSRE, the actual adjustment is about 2-4m offset from the straight line:

    capture_500087.jpg capture_500089.jpg

    The longer the distance, the more interim chunks you'll need. Visually, the adjustments are almost imperceptible when running, especially if you've got rocking motion on.

    After that, it was time to give it a break for the night because Mohawk Pass has a lot going on.... curves on a hill are always fun to get worked out:

    capture_500091.jpg

    I'll leave that for a fresh session.....

    Last edited by eric; 12-08-2023, 01:50 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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      #17
      There are a few stretches I've noticed on two of my routes that are about the same issue when it comes to using the images in TSRE. I usually make it as over time, the alignment loses it's true tangent form, with moving of the ground to typical MOW work that may manage to misalign the tangents.

      and you aren't wrong, curves on hills are always a pleasure.
      -Shawn K-
      Derby Rail Shops

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        #18
        Monday I finished up Mohawk Pass, and was able to get track laid up to MP802 (all the way thru CP Stoval).

        I made two adjustments that work out to just under 0.125d. which is around halfway thru a 14 mile straight section.

        I'd like to get to MP822 this week.... if for no other reason to make up for some lost time over the last couple weeks.
        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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          #19
          I was able to get to MP822, which 82 miles or about 32% of the track re-laid.

          "Only" 170 miles to go, and not all of that will require being rebuilt.
          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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            #20
            Thanks for your updates, Eric. I was fortunate enough to railfan/film trains on the Gila sub several years ago, and was very impressed with the desert environment, particularly in the Shawmut area. Good luck and thanks for your efforts!

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              #21
              Out on AZ-280 by Shawmut is one of my favorite detours (Gila Bend to Maricopa and then down the Casa Grande Highway to Picacho) when I needed a visual break from I-8. Our son lived on Camp Pendleton when we lived in Tucson, so we drove it frequently...

              Entirely out of the way, but the scenery was always worth it, and the odds of seeing a train went up exponentially.

              Sent from my SM-S911U using Tapatalk

              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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                #22
                Just for fun, three more miles.... which felt like nine miles because TSRE crashed twice on me (losing 30 and 40 minutes of work each time). Admittedly, that's my fault, as I've gotten lazy and don't save nearly as regularly as I did when using the MSRE... but I'll need to get back into that habit.

                Another reason this took so long was the fact it's a 1% grade over two miles starting at MP823 (red post at the top of the screenshot)... and it just didn't land quite right when I got up to MP825 (just out of sight at the bottom of the screenshot).

                capture_500114.jpg

                But third time's a charm.

                Up ahead at MP826 (top center of the screenshot below) is a relatively new universal crossover at CP La Sosa, which doesn't appear on my 2002 track charts, but does appear on my 2004 timetable.

                capture_500113.jpg



                As I re-lay the track, I'm really glad I built a few new sections ---
                2tcrv_w_0500r01d
                2tcrv_w_0750r01d
                2tcrv_w_0750r05d
                2tcrv_w_1000r01d
                2tcrv_w_1500r01d
                2tcrv_w_2000r01d
                2tcrv_w_3000r0_25d


                These weren't included with Scalerail, but the geometry exists for X-Tracks, so it was just a matter of creating new track shapes that call the geometry for the X-Tracks pieces.

                They'll be included with the route, and I'll try to submit them to Derek for the next T-Section update.

                As I go thru and tear out sections, it's clear I needed them ten years ago, but "made do" with a bunch of alternate pieces. The 750r has been a life saver on the Gila. Having nothing incremental between 500r and 1000r was a real problem with the first build, and having those extra 750's plus the pre-done 1d pieces for the 500/1000/1500/2000r's as helped out a bunch as well.

                The 3000r0_25d was built tonight -- sometimes you just need a little extra curve but 0_5 is still too much....​



                As for TSRE crashing..... that was my fault, not the application. I had YouTube TV running in another window plus a couple of my work apps, so my memory utilization was at 80% when I launched my TSRE session.

                As I worked on the route, I could see it memory utilization hitting 95% a couple times. Once it ran out of memory, the GUI just disappeared without any notice or indication.

                Had I been saving every 2-5 minutes, the damage would have been a little bit lower.
                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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                  #23
                  Ahh...desert routes, some of my favorites....fine work, Eric, very interested in this route.
                  Cheers, Gerry
                  "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." Frank Zappa
                  It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.
                  Forever, ridin' drag in railroad knowledge.
                  Audi, Vide, Tace, Si Vis Vivere In Pace

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                    #24
                    I'll start with the end of my day first... this evening, I reached Gila Bend, pretty much the halfway point between Yuma and Tucson.

                    This is one of the few towns on the route, and there's a small yard plus some industry tracks there and what's now an abandoned wye.

                    The previous build of the route didn't have any of that, but this one will, which gives me something to do this week that isn't laying long stretches of track.

                    capture_500130.jpg

                    As part of the build, I've been re-doing the Terrtex imagery -- this time around, there are some really good captures where the irrigated fields and even the desert are showing off their greenery.

                    capture_500129.jpg

                    One of the amazing things you find living in the desert is that there really is life everywhere, if you look for it.

                    Unfortunately, just about everything alive will either hurt you passively or try to kill you.... but it really is beautiful up close.



                    A few things I've run into this week....

                    Terrain Spikes are something that you will find with the SRTM data. It's a series of single vertex points that are usually off by 50-100 meters from the other vertices. Fortunately, these are "out of the scene" when in the cab for the most part, and can be easily flattened using the terrain height tool.

                    capture_500120.jpg

                    In a couple places, the imagery managed to capture trains... in this case, the intermodal containers will be covered up by the ballasted berms, but the shadows won't. Some terrain painting will cover those up rather quickly... the Auto-Paint tool in TSRE can make quick work of this, but I prefer to airbrush it myself.

                    capture_500117.jpg

                    I'm glad that I got as much done in the past couple weeks as I have, but I'll admit re-laying track is starting to become a grind, and that's a danger point on route building. That's when you start taking shortcuts just to finish, and that's not how I like to work.

                    To help deal with that, I took some "time off" and started placing some scenery, starting with radio towers and cell towers along the route. If you know where they are, it's fairly easy, but in places you're unfamiliar with, you sometimes need to do some online sleuthing...

                    I was able to find a FCC dataset which had tower locations, which I could download as a KML file. I also found a FAA sectional aviation map which helped me to determine which were the larger 250+ ft higher towers from the more regular cell towers which are between 60 and 100 feet tall.

                    Fixing the terrain painting where the container shadows are is another good distraction and a way to break up the track laying.

                    Regardless, I'm having fun doing this, and remembering how much I loved living out there, which is a big reason why I build where I build...
                    Last edited by eric; 12-19-2023, 09:00 PM.
                    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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                      #25
                      Originally posted by eric View Post
                      In a couple places, the imagery managed to capture trains... in this case, the intermodal containers will be covered up by the ballasted berms, but the shadows won't. Some terrain painting will cover those up rather quickly... the Auto-Paint tool in TSRE can make quick work of this, but I prefer to airbrush it myself.
                      Interesting...I would never have supposed that would happen....
                      Cheers, Gerry
                      "A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open." Frank Zappa
                      It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.
                      Forever, ridin' drag in railroad knowledge.
                      Audi, Vide, Tace, Si Vis Vivere In Pace

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                        #26
                        Have found similar instances of those sort of spikes in other routes when running them in OR, while everything looks okay in MSTS. Will have to snap some screen shots next time, and then run the same route in MSTS and snap a screen shot at the same locations. Have seen some real towers too, and an entire tile wacky in USA1a.
                        Owner and CEO of Hart Rail Lines & Hart Commuter Railways, and Hart Rail Cars.
                        It's my Train Sim world so I run HART RL anywhere I want.

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                          #27
                          The terrain spikes that I've seen in my elevation data almost all occur on lines of latitude or longitude. They seem to be of consistent height, and may actually protrude into the ground rather than out of it
                          Last edited by ebnertra000; 12-21-2023, 12:00 PM. Reason: typo

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                            #28
                            It's Rabbit Hole week...

                            Rabbit Hole One: new berms

                            If you've followed my routes, you know that I use ScaleRail without any ballast, and place berms under my track using WorldFileHacker. If you don't know what those are, search the forums...

                            Two weeks ago, I mentioned the new tracks I'd created. This weekend, I created berms for those tracks. In the past, I used a rather tedious multi step process in Sketchup, but decided to leverage the track generating script used to create the tracks... A profile is a profile to the script, and this one just had ballast:

                            capture_500152.jpg

                            It's a same shape profile that I used from Sketchup, but as the script is using the geometry from the tsection, it generates two paths above, and the two paths look like two separate berms but are in reality one complete mesh when it gets exported to the .S file.

                            I did take a bit of a risk and am only creating the side edges of the berm. The front and back caps were rounded in the old versions so that they would show up where there's a short bridge, but as I looked at the overall value of the caps, I decided to skip those and keep the script consistent with how track pieces are generated.

                            If there's a need to close off the "berm tunnel" in specific locations, it's easy enough to place a bridge abutment or modify the terrain grid vs. keeping the end caps in every shape.


                            Rabbit Hole Two: Swapping out 03d switches

                            Our departed friend Otto Wipfel used to complain (often) about the lack of frogs on track splines and some track systems. ScaleRail's 03D switches were an oddity in that they didn't have frogs or guards, but it was something I've used often on my routes:


                            capture_500157.png


                            Now I have frogs... and guards....

                            capture_500155.png
                            Because there were several variations of the 03d (short, full, extended) , I settled on something that was a hybrid. The short switch (m03d) was essentially points only, and then the straight & end pieces were used to complete the switch.

                            The fun from the last two days has been finding all the places where I used the 03d, and swapping these out. Since it's new geometry, that meant deleting and placing the new piece plus fillers where needed, or deleting out the pieces used with the short and replacing them with the new.

                            Rabbit Hole Three: Upgrading switches on the mainline

                            For whatever reason, switch naming in Scalerail isn't very consistent:

                            Code:
                            Kuju/Xtracks
                            2_5d =  2618m
                            5d =  655m
                            7_5d =  190m
                            10d =  164m
                            
                            ScaleRail
                            06d =  101m
                            03d =  271m
                            05d =  655m
                            
                            MTracks
                            #15 =  597m
                            #20 =  818m
                            #24 = 1555m​
                            Why a 05d is larger than a 03d and 06d makes no sense, but it is what it is, and the 05d is a match with the 05d from Kuju. Maybe Bananarama remembers why.

                            As I've rebuilt the route on the west end, I've been putting longer/larger radius switches into the mainline passing sidings and crossovers, as that's something UPRR has been doing for years to keep speeds up. For the most part, it's replacing an 03d with an 05d. This is at West Picacho, one of the rare three-track segments and where the Phoenix Sub splits to the north about an hour north of Tucson (that's in the last photo at the upper right corner).

                            capture_500153.png capture_500154.png

                            The 05d is a shallower switch you'd see at a crossover with a 40-45mph speed limit. In an urban area dating back to the 50's, the tighter slower speed crossovers with 25 mph limits would still be appropriate for using a 03d... That's part of the fun with route designing.

                            Taking the side-trip into some different mental gymnastics is a necessary evil -- staying away from grinding on the same thing for weeks on end is how you avoid burnout... and taking the quick dip into Blender scripting has been a completely new experience. When you have all the muscle memory in Sketchup, it's tempting to try and do the same thing with a Ruby script, but I am really trying to get into Blender only for 2024...
                            Last edited by eric; 12-26-2023, 07:27 PM.
                            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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                              #29
                              After a nice break building new track systems, upgrading the website, and modifying TSRE for the last three months, it's time to jump back in the saddle and do some route building....

                              The Gila is my winter & spring favorite. I miss the desert most this time of year.

                              Below is how I tend to work these days -- two monitors for editing.


                              The left screen has my track chart, and the middle is for TSRE.

                              capture_500550.jpg

                              To the right of TSRE in the bright red box is REJumper -- I still use that for setting marker points on the fly, but may incorporate that into TSRE the way I did Tangent.

                              This week I'm starting at CP Bosque, located just east of Gila Bend. It's a stretch of somewhat challenging track for the next 20 miles to Estrella, but then it's going to be fairly easy going from Maricopa to Tucson. We'll see how far I get this month. I'll be happy to get to the Picacho Wye....
                              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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                                #30
                                Watching this with much interest, Eric. The Gila Sub is one I've been interested in for a long time, though I've never gotten the chance to visit - until this coming weekend. If all goes according to plan, I'll be between Bosque and Shawmut this Saturday morning
                                ~Sean Kelly~
                                SP Shasta Route for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/sp-shasta
                                MRL Mullan Pass for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/mullanpass

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