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Thread: CNW Harvard Progress - 2015

  1. #1

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    It's hard to believe that I've been slaving on this for five years, but I guess that's how long it's been...

    Opening up a new thread for 2015... The previous updates can be found in the following threads:

    2014: https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showth...-Progress-2014

    2013: https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showth...-Progress-2013

    2012: https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showth...-Progress-2012

    2011: https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showth...rogress-Report

    2010: https://www.trainsim.com/vbts/showth...UP-Harvard-Sub
    Last edited by eolesen; 01-21-2015 at 11:19 PM.

  2. #2

    Default CNW Harvard Progress - 2015

    Something I've waited (without luck) for BLW to come out with (since they're the only one doing vintage EMD's anymore)... a CNW E8 or E9, and maybe a RTA version. A Crandall Cab is too much to hope for, but some MILW, RI and BN versions would be nice, too.

    Using the shape from the freeware E9 and textures from the payware F7, I was able to do some kitbashing and came up with this beast for the time being:








    It's not the prettiest repaint I've ever done, and because it's using the payware textures, it's not something I can share, so please don't ask.
    Last edited by eolesen; 01-09-2015 at 01:57 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Hanover Park, Il., USA.
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    Now THAT is cool! Exactly the way I remember seeing them as a youth, while spending many hours sitting trackside and watching the scoots.
    Nice work
    Neil

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    I did get to ride 2 or 3 times, on consists exactly as shown ... Excellent work on the consist / trainset side of the equation, for this Route project, BTW ...

    Jean Brisson

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by bcrailfan View Post
    I did get to ride 2 or 3 times, on consists exactly as shown ... Excellent work on the consist / trainset side of the equation, for this Route project, BTW ...

    Jean Brisson
    Jean, I can't take credit for the rolling stock -- it's all BLW products, and Gaetan did an outstanding job. I'd love to eventually see some E units and Budd gallery cars available for the CB&Q, Rock, and MILW some day, but for now, these will have to do.

  6. #6

    Default Track Updates

    In the beginning of 2013, I had this plan for the route:



    For the most part, the route has followed that plan pretty closely. The Madison extension was completed, and the Lake Geneva line is extended as far as Richmond.

    The assumptions on sticking with the Madison extension as opposed to building out the Belvedere Branch or Milwaukee Subs (New Line) were made based on other projects that were underway at the time:

    Quote Originally Posted by eolesen View Post
    The Belvedere Branch (51 miles) and New Line (70 miles) are nice to adds, but rely on other projects in work, specifically the Geneva Sub and the Kenosha Sub, which are being done by other route authors. I'm not going to duplicate work unless those projects are abandoned, which doesn't seem likely as I've seen updates on both in the last six months.
    Since then, the Geneva Sub project Colin Mucha was working on did get abandoned, although Billy's work on the Kenosha Sub has been progressing along nicely after being combined with the North Shore.

    So, against my better judgement... the plan has changed a bit.



    I'd hoped that Colin would have been able to provide the work he'd already done on the western parts of the Geneva Sub, but he never followed thru after I said I'd be willing to merge it into the Harvard. So, I've started doing it myself.

    When all is said and done for this month's work, I plan to have the Geneva Sub track finished as far as Villa Park. That will allow for freight traffic to enter Proviso from all directions, and also gives me some added AI feed to add to the ORTS timetable.

    What I don't plan to do is build out all of Proviso, but there maybe a few tracks on the south side of the yard where they run next to the passenger main. I also plan to connect the existing Yard 9 tracks that go up to Deval.

    You might also notice that the MILW tracks are back between Mayfair and CUS. It's primarily to support the AI traffic, but could eventually see some scenery, and maybe even the MILW-West out to Elgin, but that line was also part of the C&M Route.

    Where I go from there is still up for grabs. I could head out to West Chicago and resurrect the Belvedere Branch (folding in my IRM route), or I could tackle the Milwaukee/New Line. But, that's probably a year away.
    Last edited by eolesen; 01-22-2015 at 12:21 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    West Chicago/Belevedere Branch!

    Ok, there is one vote

    Good to hear of your current, and possible future plans
    Neil

    Here at home, in the railroad mayhem capital of the world.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by qballbandit View Post
    West Chicago/Belevedere Branch!

    Ok, there is one vote
    Thanks... That's where I headed this weekend.....

    First dilemma of the week.... Google Earth Terrtex. I had it for the entire Harvard, but didn't capture it for the Geneva or Belvedere yet.

    That meant loading the route into Mosaic, so I could get the tile names for what was missing. Unfortunately, I had a clobbered tile somewhere in the route, and Mosaic kept crashing. Since there aren't any checks in either TS-Utils or Route Riter to detect a clobbered tile, I was faced with either trying to isolate one tile that looked odd, or wiping out the TILES and going with a known-good-copy of the quadtree and tiles.

    Not wanting to spend hours reading files, I decided to go with the known-good-backup approach. I was able to load one of my full backups from 9 months ago just fine in Mosaic, and copied over the TD and Tiles directory from that backup. What I lost was the few terrain tweaks I'd been doing, but that is a small price to pay for getting rid of the clobbered tile.

    With that behind me, I started on merging over the IRM's track.

    That led to dilemma #2 for the weekend. I'd just take the .W files, and slap them into the WORLD directory, right?

    Wrong.

    I'd forgotten that when I did the IRM, I'd used a different program than SRT to get my Google Earth Terrtex, and it was off by about 200m. It was actually off by 209m in one direction, 13m in the other, and 1m in elevation....

    Thus, a new function for WFH came into play... shifting every Position(X Y Z) by 209m, -1m, -13m.... It was much easier than I thought, and in the few places where coordinates crossed a boundary, the RE was smart enough to move them for me into the proper tile.

    That was only one piece of the puzzle... None of the track or roads were in the TDB/RDB, and I'd already decided I wasn't going to do a TDB rebuild and zap all my signals.

    Already tired from dealing with the Mosaic issue, I decided that it was time for another mini-app ... I wrote a recursive mouse clicker -- starting in the upper left, it would click, move down 5px, click again, and repeat until it got to within 20px of the bottom of the RE screen. Then, it shifted 5px to the right, and started over again.That actually worked to click on about 95% of the track and road object shapes, registering them into the TDB & RDB. I cleaned up the stragglers manually.

    What should have been the last "oops" moment of the weekend.... Dynamic track. I had seven pieces in the IRM route and had converted them to Dynatrax about a year ago. Those had to be manually copied into the Harvard's pre-existing tsection.dat (which hadn't seen dynamic track since converting to Scalerail three years ago). Once those were in, I was able to click on the Dynatrax pieces and get them registered.

    It was at this point on Sunday morning where I realized I'd placed a 20m section of track on the IRM's main tile, and also added a siding marker to it. There was a nice pair of blue lines straddling one of the yards with no corresponding piece of track. No matter what I did to try and remove it from the TDB, I wound up crashing the route.

    So... back to the backup archive again... I loaded another backup from four days earlier, cleaned out the tiles I'd worked on since Wednesday, and then copied over the W files I'd changed. Then I loaded Mr. Click-It, let it do its magic again, and the route was back up & running with no problems reported in TS-Utils ICHK.



    To make a long story short, the West Line's Terrtex is now created out to a few miles west of DeKalb, and also for the Belvedere Branch into Belvedere (and no, I'm not going to run into Rockford just yet). The IRM's track is now merged, so the only thing missing to connect it to the rest of the CNW-Harvard's world is the Belvedere Branch to West Chicago, and the Geneva from Elmhurst to West Chicago... That will probably take me until mid-summer to complete for track only.

    And another moral of the story... Had I not kept multiple sets of backups, I would have been up a creek. Sure, I lost a couple days of work, but it was worth it for the peace of mind of having clean databases.

  9. #9

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    As the month comes to a close, so does this sprint on the West Line...

    Track is functional all the way from Chicago out to Villa Grove (MP18), and that includes a small fragment of Proviso (Global Two), primarily so that there's a place to park trains coming off the Geneva Sub as well as off the Rockwell Branch to Global One.

    Longer term, the plan for the next sprint is to get to West Chicago (MP35) and then possibly to Dekalb (MP58). Following that, I'll tackle the Belvedere (later this year, but not in the next sprint). It's 30 miles between West Chicago and Kishwaukee Creek (where it can join the track already present from the IRM route), but the stretch between Big Timber (Elgin) and West Chicago ain't gonna be pretty.

    Here's the Proviso Compromise:



    There are two thru tracks in the lower part of the yard (Global Two) long enough to hold a 100 car stack train plus locomotives from either east or west. That's well over a mile of train... As I mentioned earlier, I don't plan to build out Yards 2 or 4, and Yard 9 was already partially in place at the north end.

    The developer release is available at: https://sites.google.com/site/lanehogpages/CNW
    Last edited by eolesen; 03-25-2015 at 10:29 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Wheaton, Illinois
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    Fantastic scenes on this route, just the way I remember it too.

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