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Future Routes - J. H. Sullivan, (landnrailroader)

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    Future Routes - J. H. Sullivan, (landnrailroader)

    Although my health is quite good according to my doctor, having gone past 85, I can feel a slowing and so I am reasonably sure that the several routes I have under construction will never be completely detailed out. Others though have expressed interest in many of them, so my next complete route will probably be my last. That is a complete version of lines in/out of Knoxville, TN. After that, my thinking is to lay the track, which many have convinced me that that is my strong point. Then I will digitize the most important roads and since several of my routes focus on coal mines, I'll place available objects in the correct locations and others can change them if desired. Then I will put the route in the incomplete area and I will include historic data as well as the usual specification. The KML and MKR files will be placed in a directory so that if anyone needs to see where a road, for example, goes, the KML file can be loaded into Google EArth. I would suggest that anyone else in my position in life might want to consider doing this. Also an unfinished route is not going to have hundreds of unused, or not yet used textures or objects so the footprint on a disk will generally be in the 500Mbt or less size. Probably the first of these routes from me will be a complete Big Sandy Div., now Subdiv., of CSX, previously C&O. This one is intricate. For example the branch out of Paintsville, KY is very long, ending near Evanston, KY. It is (or was) unique in that it operated in two seperate water sheds, the Big Sandy and the Licking Rivers. CSX sold it to Corman 20 years or more ago and they have since abandoned it and it is now the Dawkins Rail Trail. The Big Sandy, by way of the E&BV Sub. connects to the former L&N EK Division at Deane, KY so the EK will be another route. Track is already done for the EK. The former C&O Kanawha, New River, and Alleghany divisions (now subdivisions) with branches have been digitized and some track done.

    Another reason for thinking this way is that I was a docent for 4 seasons, typically 1-3 weeks each on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic but my wife wanted to do something else, non-railroad, this year and by next year I likely would not be able to handle the 6-7 hour standup routine required. So I have joined a multi-year project of the "Friends" to create short lessons or units on the history, operations etc of railroads in general and the D&RGW narrow gauge inparticular. Eventually these will be hashed & edited by other members so that the units will be attractive to 10 year olds. The reason is to try to attract those young folks to railroad history. Most of us had a right of passage when we got a toy train around age 10 or so but today if it is not on a cell phone there is little interest. In 2016 we took our then just graduated grandson out to the C&TS and for the 6 hour plus ride, his eyes NEVER left his iphone. The next year our grand-daughter was a little better so it was brought home to me that if we do not garner some interest in the next generation, things like historic railroads and simulations will be HISTORY. I will be contributing to around 10 subjects and have already done another 5 since July 2023. On May 14, we leave Jacksonville for 10 days to take a guided bus tour of some of the National Parks, including Yellowstone. I did sneak in a little railroad and we take a ride on the Black Hills Central on May 15.

    J. H. Sullivan

    #2
    Have you considered doing what a lot of Open Rails Route developers are doing and putting it on Github? If it is there, people can pull it and work on it, committing their work back to the project. That way, you can leave your projects for posterity, even leaving a caretaker for the Github page from the Open Rails/MSTS community. I mean, if you've done all of this track work, artists can come along and work on the rest of it at their leisure.

    Comment


      #3
      No, this is the first I have heard of anyone putting material on Github. I guess the only question I would have would be which is most likely to be around for a few years. Sites crash, and sites disappear and Eric is doing a fine job with this one, but what next?

      Comment


        #4
        Well... some developers are putting routes on GitHub. Many aren't.

        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!

        Comment


          #5
          Putting the finished product here on Trainsim should be what happens when it is finished. Same with Elvastowers. They are where a lot of the stuff we use are kept outside of the payware. However, for the slow development of the route, Github seems to be a very good choice. As you make changes, the end user can download the newest commits and have an updated route. Once the route is complete, it is packaged up and released on Trainsim and anywhere else you want to release it. If someone want to go back and do a next version of the route, they have the route on Github to clone. Of course, the same can be said for downloading the route from here, too. Either way, you have to download the route.

          Comment


            #6
            The benefit of having it here is simple - it's cataloged where someone unfamiliar with Jerry's work can find it easily.

            GitHub? Unless you know the username and project name, it's unlikely someone will stumble upon it.

            I'll admit it's useful for a team project. For general consumption, not so much.
            Last edited by eric; 04-20-2024, 03:03 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!

            Comment


              #7
              That is what I thought Eric, so I'll put them in the incomplete area as I get to it. My son-in-law also has instructions to upload to there any of my routes that remain on my PC after my
              last running orders arrive. However, that might be a while. My father made it to 96.

              One of my routes is the Camas Prairie for which track is done. I plan to add the trestles and the UP bridge. I extended the UP a few miles north up the Palous canyon and I've also laid out the SP&S from Wishram, WA to Bend, OR. I've also started to improve my KP & BR subs., i.e. Clinchfield.

              Jerry

              Comment


                #8
                Is there any reason we wouldn't have entries in the file library pointing to git repositories? Isn't that how payware is handled?

                Comment


                  #9
                  One of the two routes I know that use GitHub are already listed in the catalog with a remote link. We also have links to the blender notebook and TSRE manuals that Pete Willard maintains in GitHub.

                  And all of those links were put the place by me, not by the authors or repository owners. They aren't stepping up asking to have their stuff indexed, which is the problem in general for storing routes somewhere other than where people are likely to congregate and discuss it.


                  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!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Jerry,

                    I know you've been working on routes for some time now. It's probably been asked before but do you use TSRE to lay track or the old MSTS route editor? I know I'm just a young pup (72) compared to you...but would you mind some questions, probably basic ones, regarding route building. I've attempted several times and get frustrated with the terrain or something else...but I keep trying....maybe a question/answer or two may put me on the right "track"....

                    Barry

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I didn't mean to derail this topic. The topic was Mr. Sullivan's unfinished projects. I, for one, want to see your L&N routes completed. I have a whole installation called "CSX" that currently contains Corbin-Knoxville and Hook Eye. I'm looking for more to add to it in the future with CSX and it's rolling stock from it's predecessor railroads. A real challenge is finding Southern Railroad routes, which seem to be all but non-existent.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Amtrak115,

                        Until June of 2023, I used the old editor. When I upgraded to a late version of Win-10 when my video card burped, I was never able to get MSTS to load and install on the new system. I still have it on a Win-XP machine that is not internet connected and I use that one to lay out a route, i.e. the terrain files required etc.. And I use it to generate terrain and distant mountains with DEMEX only because I can usually use higher resolution Digital Elevation Modules, i.e. DEM files. Once I do that I keep a copy on backup and copy the route over to my Win-10 machine and exclusively use TSRE from then on. Once I have a route established & tracks done I'll use Track Viewer (part of ORTS) to look for orphan items and to create paths. I've not had any luck creating activities except with MSTS/AE so for those, it is back to the old tried and true XP machine. The problem there is that if the XP burps, I may not be able to reload XP on it because newer electronic parts may not be supported on XP. Backups are critical. I back up a route every time I edit it. I have a 3Tbt external drive, about $120 when on sale at Staples, and for example, for the Big Sandy route, I have a top directory of "Big_Sandy" and then under that, BigSandy01, Bigsandy02, etc. up to 25. I do my incremental backups in sequence there and after 25, I burn a DVD. My current Win-10 machine has a large SSD divided into two partitions, "C" and "K" with "K being the working MSTS partition. I'll be glad to answer your questions if I can. Use jhsulliv@comcast.net to get me or else use the messaging features of TrainSim. As Eric & others advised me, I would advise you to work with TSRE. It took about a month for me to be comfortable with it and I may never know all of it's tricks, but it is very superior to MSTS/RE except in the area of creating cuts & fills. Eric is smarter than me, maybe most of us, and hopefully he can correct that deficiency in time.

                        My Oldest son pastors a church near Gainesville, TX and my younger son is a lawyer in Houston. Both went to Baylor and never came back. You near either of those? #1 son is what we call a bi-vocational minister in that he takes no pay to pastor the church except mileage if he has to visit the sick in Dallas or Ft.Worth. He makes his living as Technical director at a local ISD. #2 is a criminal defense lawyer.

                        Jerry Sullivan

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Shadowmane,

                          Quite correct, not many SR routes. My next release will be a 3rd version of the Knoxville routes and it will include the SR line from Knoxville through Clinton, Jellico, and Holton to the now defunct ARCO mine. I was on the first track test to that mine in Nov. 1967, 2 weeks before the unit trains started. It closed around 1992 and this line to it, also includes the Clear Fork Branch to Fonde, KY. It also has the Cumberland Gap line, Knoxville to Middlesboro, KY. Both of those are now R.J.Corman operations.

                          Jerry

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Gainesville, is north of Fort Worth. Parker is a northern suburb of Dallas. so not that far. Houston....is well Houston.....

                            anyway, I had started rewriting Michael Vone's guide to route building but using TSRE. I guess I resurrect that project and work through that to get refamiliar with the route editing portion of TSRE. I've built several Activities using TSRE...There are some errors in it still (Note to Eric....) that I've worked up "work-arounds". I built an activity for the 1995 Southwest Chief from Chicago to LA. 10 segments or so with a couple of patches...and also built an activity for the Pacific Surfliner....both using TSRE....

                            questions: in an earlier post you mentioned KML files and KMZ files....Do you use KML's for Markers for the track layout? If so do you use a standard separation of the markers or do you use the markers to get a general sense of track layout? Also are you using railroad Track diagrams for curves/switch locations etc doing the track layout?

                            I'll stop there a little at a time.

                            later

                            Barry (aka amtrak115)

                            Comment


                              #15
                              amtrak115

                              Whenever possible I use track diagrams. For some years, www.railfandepot.com was a good source at reasonable prices but now those are sold through Ebay, still at a reasonable price but my impression is that the person that had the original site is selling out his stock. There is a program in the library that will convert .kml files into .mkr files. KMZ files could be reloaded into Google Earth to redisplay a digitized route but I found that KML files would also do this so now the only time I use KMZ files is to overlay topo maps. If you go to the USGS and download a topo map it comes as a geopdf file and also as a .kmz file. The latter will nicely fit on the appropriate area of Google Earth but it is not perfect, so I only digitize off that when all else is kaput. No standard seperation of the markers, although I try to space them at about 100M in tangents, closer in curves. Just got through digitizing NS from Kenova, WV to just south of Louisa, KY because for most of that stretch it is across the Big Sandy from the CSX(C&O) line. They have a lot of odd spacing between tracks and also a lot of center sidings in double track so it takes a bit of "simmers license" to handle those. The Big Sandy (it will be called Big Sandy South, but I completed it by request into Kenova/Catlettsburg) has at least 50 coal mines in the era I have set it up for, 1960-1985 as well as a few mines older than 1960, one being the Meade, VA mine, served by the Mead Fork extension of the SV&E Sub. of C&O. There is quite a story about the blunder of building this very expensive branch which was only used for 6 years or so. In the beginning (My BR & KP sub. routes are from about 2003) I used USAPhotomaps but then Microsoft shutdown the source for data for that program. Now I digitize & eyeball exclusively from Google Earth Pro - why not, it is free.

                              Since I worked for Chessie/CSX and did a lot of contractor work for NS after retiring from CSX, and of course I worked for Southern, 1965-1978, I liberated a number of track charts.

                              I find roads to be much harder to lay than track. Mainly because track has well known limits of curvature & gradient and even if one does not have a track chart, a reasonable guess is possible, and then we have a large selection of track pieces. Not so with roads. Most local highways look to me like the "CR" series so I use that. State & Federal highways look like the "H" series to me. The only divided highways we have are fine for Interstates but too wide for local divided roads, so compromise is rampant.

                              Kinney has my improved Clinch Valley route which extends past Norton, VA. I'll probably go ahead and do some of the big viaducts for it since I know what is unique about them (same as Milwaukee Rd. & a couple of old Tennesee Central viaducts near Crossville, TN). That route also has all the branches that extend up to the Pokey but I did not do the Pokey connections between them.

                              Jerry
                              Last edited by landnrailroader; 04-22-2024, 04:56 PM.

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