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  1. #1
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    Default Silverliner III Cab View

    I've been working on a cab view for the Silverliner III model, which I've shown in this thread: https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showth...23#post1628923

    Note that the Silverliner IIIs, produced in 1967 by the St. Louis Car Company for use in Philadelphia commuter service on the Pennsylvania Railroad, were equipped with a left hand side cab. This view is from Shape Viewer, and shows the model I'm using for creating the MSTS cab view textures - there are still a few adjustments I plan to make:



    I've previously shown this photo of mine of the cab of Silverliner III #223:



    The model will be made available when I have completed the Cab View, and the as yet unstarted Passenger View model (which will be based on my Silverliner II "Mega-Poly Interior"). I've decided that since I've spent the majority of my modeling time over the last 9 months or so helping other folks and doing "special projects" none of which has seen the light of day, that I'm working on MY OWN projects for now. Everyone else will have to wait.

    Steve
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  2. #2
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    Looking good Steve. Using Shape File Viewer to make the cab and control textures is a brilliant idea.

  3. #3
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    I've got it down to a science (more or less) now. This is the fifth cab view I've done this way, and I've been pleased with the results so far.

    I make use of the function within Shape Viewer to save a view angle and I separate my model into the static parts and the animated parts (which will be used to make the animated control textures. I make a separate version of the animated parts that has the textures all changed to purple! The purple ones become the mask I use for the animated parts' textures. Then I run through the animations first with the "good texture" versions and then with the "purple texture" versions, taking a screenshot at every frame. Then it's all manipulation with PaintShopPro to separate out all the animated controls for each frame captured (of course, some controls only have a few frames, while others, like the brake handle, will have many).

    Doing it this way also gives me a leg up on converting the cab to 3D use should future sims, like OR, or if I ever decided to get into RW, which allow for it.

    Steve

  4. #4
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    Nice! When paired with your Silverliner III EMU model this should increase the size of my SEPTA fleet nicely.
    Writer and Wolverine, among other things.
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    https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showth...82#post1882582

  5. #5
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    Hey Steve, nice looking cab. Please have mercy on me when I ask this but whats the difference between this one and the silverliner II cab?
    https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/signaturepics/sigpic75077_5.gif
    Cory Duguid
    US NAVY

  6. #6
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    I'm not a big fan of the III's, but thats looking great Steve. Is the white faced gage in #223 photo the speedometer?
    Jim

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain82 View Post
    Hey Steve, nice looking cab. Please have mercy on me when I ask this but whats the difference between this one and the silverliner II cab?
    There IS a great deal of similarity in the SLII & SLIII cabs, the controls, gauges, and aspect display essentially the same. The difference is that the SLIII cabs are on the left hand side - that changes the layout of some things out of necessity. Of course, many of the details are different from the SLIIs, probably something few folks would even notice.

    Quote Originally Posted by hiball 3985 View Post
    I'm not a big fan of the III's, but thats looking great Steve. Is the white faced gage in #223 photo the speedometer?
    Jim
    Yes, and like the Silverliner II's, some cars have the digital speedometer (like I'm showing in the cab view preview shot) and some have the analog speedometer as seen in the photo of car #223. In the SLII cab views (for the SEPTA set), some of the cars have the digital speedometer, some the analog. I bet most people who know the cars drive one set and never noticed...

    I've been able to photograph the cabs of a few of the cars, and have looked in (without photographing) quite a few more. One thing I've noticed is that there is variation in the equipment of the various cars, it's not identical from car to car, or even from one cab to the other on the same car. Cables and pipes are routed differently, there are different types of gauges, PA/radio equipment, etc. Yeah, little details, but when you sit and look at details of each car, you start to notice: "Hey, the cable for the ditch light goes around the window to the left in this car, but in this other one, it goes to the right" or "That's a different type of brake guage" or "The horn pull handle is missing in this car, it's just a rope with a knot"... and so on.

    Anyway, my intention is to give an accurate impression of the cab in the car, the SLII cab, to me, is different enough that I would not use it for the SLIII, although certainly, many elements of that cab view model are present in this one (the ADU, the controller, the brake valve, and many smaller details)

    Steve

  8. #8
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    Thank you for the explanation. Do you know if all these different arrangements were from possibly recycling some equipment from earlier models? Or they were just from repairs?

  9. #9
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    Jim,

    I think in the over 40 years that these cars have been running, including the rebuilds of the cars in the '90's by Morrison-Knudsen, that they were fixed, patched, repaired, swapped, crow-barred, duct taped, bondo'd, jb welded and every other fix you can think of, time after time. From 100 ft, they look the same, but upon closer inspection of details, it becomes obvious that each car has had a different set of things done to keep it running and 'legal'. There have been cars, both SLII and SLIII that have been out of service but not scrapped that I think SEPTA has used for parts. I've also observed cars with car numbers stenciled or painted on certain parts that belonged to other cars (underbody equipment box covers for instance, like seeing the box covers for #217 show up on car #202).

    Remember also that the original manufacturer of the cars, St. Louis Car Company (and Budd for the SLIIs), went out of business long ago. I'm not sure if GE still supports the electrical equipment on the cars or not, but I'm guessing that significant amounts of that have been repaired, replaced and/or rebuilt over the years, and I'd guess that most of that stuff isn't "off the shelf" equipment, at least anymore. The cars are fairly unique now, I'm not aware of other cars still running in the US which would share common parts. Even the SLIVs are fairly different: the controller appears similar, but the internals of it could be different; the cars are interoperable with the SLIIs & SLIIIs, but it's doubtful much else is common between the SLIVs and the II's & III's (maybe the couplers and wheels?).

    In the cabs, the things that seem to remain consistenly the same and in good repair appear to be the controllers, the brake valves (main and the single car emergency) and the cab signal. The other equipment, like the reset, horn valve, brake gauges, panto switch & button, etc. appear to have a lot more variation. One thing that I'd point out is that the "earlier models" of the SLIIIs are the SLIIs (although made by a different manufacturer), and the earlier models of the SLIIs were the 6 Pioneer III/Silverliner Is (which were retired more than 10 years ago). The Silverliner I cars, as evidenced by the two preserved cars at Strasburg, were thoroughly stripped of gear, which probably was recycled into the SLII's and III's where possible. It's highly doubtful that anything from the PRR MP54's or Reading MU's was compatible with the SLI/SLII/SLIII cars, given their 1930's (and prior) technology and lack of interoperability with the newer cars - even the brake systems in those older cars were different. I suppose, in theory, a brake guage could be compatible, but I've seen the brake guages from the MP54 and Reading MU cars, and never seen anything like that in a Silverliner.

    An interesting comparison for me has been to find views of the SLII and SLIII cars (and similar Arrow I cars) when new. I have yet to find a photo of a Silverliner III cab as delivered, but have found several photos of SLII and Arrow I cars, AND the DOT Silverliner test car cabs when new. I don't think it's surprising that little has changed: the controllers and brake valves look the same, and the overall 'bare bones' look of the cabs is the same (that is, there was never anything covering all the wires, conduits, and tubing, as in the SLIV, Arrow II & III, and newer cars). What has changed is the cab signals. In the Silverliner IIs, the original Aspect Display Unit (ADU - cab signal box) was a pretty standard unit as seen on other PRR equipment, like GG1s, MP54s, E44s, etc: a set of 5 vertical round glass windows that light to display the prevaling signal aspect (see my E44 Cab View, in which I modeled an ADU of this type). {Aside, I actually have an ADU housing like this that I bought from a dealer a while ago} At some point, it was changed to the Harmon ADUs that are seen in the cars today. That makes the existence of some Analog and some digital speedometers on the ADU units all that much more perplexing: clearly they have to be slightly different units, set up to display the speed via one method or another, but why have two different types? All these ADUs have another, second digital display (which it's believed, use a different sensor to determine speed, since the two speed readings often don't match), so it's not like digital readouts didn't exist when the cars were equipped with the units. It's not even clear cost would be an issue, a digital display, without moving parts, would stand to be cheaper over time.

    The SLII's and SLIII's had to be re-fitted with compatible couplers at the time the Silverliner IVs arrived (1974). I've often thought, with no documented proof, that other changes may have been done at the same time, and have wondered if the ADU's were changed at that time as well: the SLIVs appear to have come equipped with the Harmon ADU, and all SLIVs I've ever seen have had the digital speed readout on the ADU, not the analog dial. Maybe the digital units in the SLII's and SLIII's were later replacements for overhauled, repaired, or broken ADU's originally equipped with the analogy speedometer?

    One last thought on a bit of a tangent... I've also seen photos of the original MP54 and Reading MU cabs. One of the curious things I've noted is that I don't see a speedometer in either railroad's cars (note that the cars are relatively similar). Brake gauges, sure, but not a speedometer. I also know that the cars of both railroads were equipped with cab signals and automatic speed control (whatever the system was specifically called), so it seems that perhaps they didn't think a speedometer was necessary as originally built? Certainly, later, the cars were equipped with a speedometer.

    Now, looking in the cab of the Silverliner V cars, I've seen airplane cockpits with less going on. I have to wonder: were the operators of the old MP54s 'supermen' that they could run the cars on time, day after day, year after year with just a brake handle, controller, a brake gauge and a cab signal?

    Steve

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