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

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  • landnrailroader
    replied
    I hesitate to do huge routes, in fact some of those I am doing are probably too big. However if one wants to merge routes it is labor intensive but not too difficult. First you have to have some way of adding the terrain files although there may be ways to use those from the route to be merged given that the quad tree is not used by ORTS. Then you just copy the world files in and assuming that the coordinates are coincident (my routes are all digitized from Google EArth except a few early ones. KP, BR, and the RMD series were all digitized from PhotoMaps. Then what I do is just remove dynamic pieces, noting down the parameters of each so I can reinsert them later and then just go through and manually select each track or road piece in sequence along a road or route. There are other ways but this method was the easiest for me. I can lay track for a fair sized route in 60 days of part-time. Roads take me at least twice that long and then there is detailing which makes me think of those Catholic groups out west that climb a certain mesa next to Colorado-17, west of Antonito, to reach a cross at the top and FLAGELLATE themselves along the way.

    Jerry

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  • shadowmane
    replied
    Oh, I'd love to see all three of those done to OR standards. I'd love to see the two Clinchfield routes brought up to OR standards as well. There are a few Appalachian mountain routes that could be connected into a mountain railroading route par excellence. Even if it's kept to multiple routes, you could do a spanned activity that takes you from one route to the next, to the next.

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  • R. Steele
    replied
    Originally posted by shadowmane View Post
    I'd love to see the Pocahontas, Clinch Valley and East River routes merged into a mega-route kind of like the Socal route.
    Do not share the fascination with mega-routes. Especially older routes like the three above --- that all need refurbishing. Effort & time by those capable of doing the work & also interested in doing the work --- imo --- would be better spent on reworking said routes, or starting from scratch and building anew to OR standards.

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  • shadowmane
    replied
    I'd love to see the Pocahontas, Clinch Valley and East River routes merged into a mega-route kind of like the Socal route.

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  • landnrailroader
    replied
    Friends,

    I got curious (dangerous thing) about how far the Pocahontas route goes and found that it ends just north (railroad west) of the tunnel at the north end of Williamson, WV. I don't have it on my things to do list, but I could be persuaded to add it, since I am including about 25 miles of NS(N&W) track with the Big Sandy route. In 1970 I rode a C&O inspection train from Ashland to Elkhorn City & back - got off at the then Ashland Oil Refinery where a cab was waiting to take me to the airport for a flight back to DC. Then I noticed that for several miles, south as far as Louisa, KY you could see (then) N&W trains. Then in 1972, the SR geometry car which I managed and me, were leased for a week to the N&W and while operating over this stretch one could see C&O trains on the other side of the river. The C&O follows the Levisa Fork of Big Sandy beyond Louisa, while the N&W followed the Tug Fork. At Kermit, WV there is a branch several miles long into Kentucky that still appears to have two active mines. At Naugatuck a branch takes off up Pigeon Creek that also goes to mines. The facilities at Williamson are well done but might have to be omitted if the coordinates are very far off. I don't know what the lad used to create tha Pocahontas.

    Jerry

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  • landnrailroader
    replied
    I wouldn't have the slightest clue how to do that. To circumvent that issue is one reason why I have nearly a dozen routes already laid out and shaped by DEMEX. Someone mentioned a dirth of Southern routes. Well my CNO&TP 3rd district is in the library and 1st & 2nd are iin the queue. Being a history nut these will include the routes pre-1963 when the major tunnel eliminations & curve fixing happened. There will be a manual turnout at the ends of the old sections. The section up Sloans valley on the 2nd district is particularly interesting, several tunnels, steel viaducts, and those tunnels fit a 2-10-2 like a bullet in a gun barrel. Big loads & double stacks would have been impossible to go the first mile. I would proceed faster except that about 1/2 of my available time is used to prepare material for the C&TS education project. One of the leaders lives across the river from me here in Florida & while I don't know her, her father is a friend in NM.

    Jerry
    Last edited by landnrailroader; 04-21-2024, 05:38 PM.

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  • shadowmane
    replied
    Jerry, have you ever tried running Windows XP in a virtual machine? It may be a solution when your XP machine gives up the ghost.

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  • landnrailroader
    replied
    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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  • amtrak115
    replied
    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)

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  • landnrailroader
    replied
    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

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  • landnrailroader
    replied
    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

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  • shadowmane
    replied
    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.

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  • amtrak115
    replied
    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

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  • eric
    replied
    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.


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

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