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Thread: Placing tracks on a long straight line

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Placing tracks on a long straight line

    Some weeks ago, i read somewhere that there is something like an utility to help placing tracks in a straight line between 2 distant points or markers ( that could be miles away ). Unfortunetly, i stored in my memory that something exist, but not what it is or how to retrieve it. i just search thru the utilities posted here and none seemed to be what i am looking for.

    Does it ring a bell to someone here? i am not quite sure, but i think it was like an excel spreadsheet.

    Thanks for your help.

    Michel

  2. #2
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    Bob Wirth created a Dynamic Track slope alignment program back in 2002 for inserting track over a distance. I don't know if it
    would work for you but it is worth a try. You will need to input the distance and location/elevation of each end of the gap. The filename is adjtrk2.zip. I don't know if it is still in the library. Hope it works for you.
    Pentium i7-4700 3.4 Ghz QUADCORE 8 Thread, Gigabyte GA-B85M-HD3 Main Board, Speed 1600DDR3 x 8 GIG RAM, WIN 7 -64 Bit Home Premium SP1, Gigabyte-GTX650-2 Gig, Crucial 240Gig SATA3 SSD, 1TB SATA3 Western Dig Caviar Blue 7,200RPM, Casecom ADK-B800SM-82PLUS 800W Power supply.

  3. #3

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    Michael vones object rotator spreadsheet comes to mind

  4. #4
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    thank to both of you, i will be looking for these....

    Michel

  5. #5
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    Reminds me of a track realignment I once did on the CR Indy route. There should be a 25 mile long straight tangent running from Pendleton IN all the way to the Massachusetts Ave curve in Indy. The original tracklaying was comprised of 3 major legs that micro-turned left and right along that 25 mile stretch. As luck would have it, the first 2 segments sorta cancelled each other out, that is to say by the time I reached the end of the second segment, the tracks were fairly close to the original alignment, although a few towns that were near the middle of those 2 segments were off by about 100m. Unfortunately, the third leg of the new tangent took the new track away from the path of the old, and without a 4th leg to offset it, I just had to deal with the far end of the third leg being off. Surprisingly, the new totally tangent trackwork I put down was not far off the photomaps by the time it reached Mass Ave curve. I could live with it. Plus in the meantime, an added bonus was the addition of all the industrial spurs that come off the main that were missing.




    There are 3 tracklaying pet peeves of mine, one being the straights that zig-zag back and forth when they shouldn't, another being compound radii curves where none should exist according to the track charts, and the third being the inappropriate deployment of switch end pieces laid in succession to represent a curve. Those track pieces are NOT uniform in curvature. I cannot tell you how many routes I would love to junk because of them. I would always rather have the track be slightly off from the underlying map, rather than have either of these 3 pet peeves interfere with track that should be uniform (in terms of either straight, curved or gradient)

    Departing Anderson, I relaid all the curves out to Pendleton so they were uniform radii. This screen is the last curve before the 25 mile long tangent that begins near the Pendelton prison.





    I had to employ a small piece of dynamic track to set the trajectory for the tangent. The dynamic chunk was only about an engine and half long (between the 2 red marks).




    Passing through Ingalls, the new track sat to the right, but in Fortville (below), the new track sits slightly to the left of the old track alignment.




    At the crossovers at Lawrence, the new alignment of the track heads to the right again. Note the old whistle post at the far left, where the old track alignment was to the left of that.




    Passing through Brightwood, the old alignment was under the bridges on the left.




    I was off this much by the time the new totally tangent track reached Mass Ave.




    I have pretty much reworked all the track of the Indy route, especially the grade and curves between Ridgeway and Bellefontaine, and the curves between Belle and Quincy, especially around the DeGraff area (plus added the industries there). West of Quincy, it was mostly straightening out the straights, but none of those segments were nearly as long as the 25 mile long tangent west of Pendleton.

  6. #6
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    from what i see in your reply Geepster775, as in Micheal Vones spreadsheet, i will have to use that piece of track that i dislike, the Dynamic track. My straight line is just out of a left curve.

    Before asking here, i tried many combinations of curved sections with different radii, but i was always kind of either to the right or to the left. i guess i will have to replace by that DYN in order to have that straight line.

    thanks for the help...and those pictures are very nice....

    Michel

  7. #7

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    I build a small app called Tangent that could be used to define a straight line with a known startpoint and endpoint. Unfortunately, I'm having a hard time locating it. I've got the source, but I can't seem to find the installer and zip....

    It would calculate the QDirection based on the Tile XYZ's, which could then be overwritten in the .W file for a starting track piece in your route. I've gone as far as 31 miles on the UP Gila.

    If I find it, I'll post it.

  8. #8

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    And.... here it is on DigitalRails.com's storefront. Thanks, Robert for digging up the old link.

    https://sellfy.com/p/YnBq/

  9. #9
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    I did a 35 mile tangent w/ help from the Object rotater -- IMO an essential tool.

    That said, there is still the issue that the tangent you need to set down and the tangent that will occur off the curve that leads into your long about-to-lay tangent will be two completely different directions.

    What you need to is
    (1) calculate the correct qdirection value, (I used the object rotater).
    2) place one tangent shape (T1) on the end of your existing curve (C1),
    (3) delete curve shape (c1), -- you MUST do this.
    (4) edit the world file that holds the T1 data and substitute whatever qdirection value is there with the one you need,
    (5) if using KUJU's RE return to T1, do a mouse touch to reset the qdirection value in the .tdb, save; If using TSRE, return to T1, use the Z key to erase the old .tdb value, use the Z key again to create the new one.
    (6) Place curve C1 again.

    What you've done is force both the track shape and the .tbd entry to use the qdirection value you entered manually -- the correct qdirection value -- instead of the one your editor created. The bit about deleting C1 is to ensure t1 is in its own node in the .tdb before you stared editing things.

    There will be a bumpy joint here. If you conclude the bump is too great you have to repeat the entire exercise only with tangent shapes T1..Tn where you increment the qdirection value by just a portion of the whole distance as you add more tangent tracks. Essentially you divide the bump into smaller increments but you get more bumps as a result. In my own situation I needed two tangent tracks with custom qdirection values, each one made 1/3 the necessary change in direction. The third tangent track made the last 1/3 turn and in doing so was on the correct direction. 35 miles later the track was exactly where it should have been.


    Go slow, use a checklist if you need it. Save, save, save.
    Last edited by muskokaandtahoe; 11-10-2018 at 02:24 AM.
    Dave Nelson

    Seldom visiting, posting less often that that.

  10. #10

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    My practice is slightly different from Dave's. Both work the same and won't slag your route if you're careful.

    When I'm doing a Track sprint, I almost always set all or most of my straight track sections, and then come back to fill in the curves starting at opposite ends and working towards the middle of the curve. That eliminates the bump at the straight section, and places it in the curve where may not be be as noticeable.

    1) Place a 10m track section (S1) and leave it pointing north as my start position
    2) Place a 10m track section (E1) and leave it pointing north as my end position
    3) Save the route
    4) Calculate the QD between the two using Tangent
    5) Open the W file for S1
    6) Update the QD
    7) Save the W file and close
    8) In the RE, jump at least 3 tiles away, and then return to S1's location
    9) S1 should be drawn pointing in the new direction, but the TDB line will be showing due north
    10) Click on S1, and then click on the terrain -- the TDB line should be corrected
    11) Save the route

    Sometimes I'll calculate multiple straight runs (S2, S3, etc) by repeating steps 1,2 and 4 for each straight, and saving only once, and then go in and repeat steps 5 thru 11 to update the route.

    Again, each route builder has their own habits and ways of doing things. Dave's approach works for him, and mine works for me.

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