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Thread: CNW Chicago Division Progress - 2021

  1. #61


    Disclaimer -- none of this is in the route available in the storefront right now. But it will be eventually and anyone who has already purchased will be ale to get the update when it hits.

    The Janesville auto loading yard has room for about 60 autoracks give or take. The storage yard can handle a couple hundred...

    The engine servicing area is long gone, but had a turntable and fueling facility back in the 1970's. A bunch of track still to re-do here, but the turntable is back in place along with a small five stall roundhouse for the switchers and local Geeps that kept the place running.

    Obligatory view from the empty roundhouse...

  2. #62


    Looking good!

  3. #63


    Finished up the servicing area...

    Love the way the BLW CNW pack fits in here...

  4. #64
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Hanover Park, Il., USA.


    Nice work.
    Those dirty F's are among my most favorite of all of his work. Maybe because I had so much enjoyment watching them and their bigger brothers when they ruled the local commuter rails.

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

  5. #65


    Slowly progressing.... Janesville to Evansville in the current sprint. Track's all rebuilt according to the track charts, and finding a need for some smaller scenery objects which are sidetracking me way too much.

    The finished view of the servicing area...

    and a more accurate view of the loading area as it appears today.... abandoned....

    The stone arch to the left is found all over on the Wisconsin Division... as is the box truss bridge to the right.

    Since this is modeled in the 1970's, wood filled grade crossings were still the norm... They were still found into the 1990's thru Wisconsin:

  6. #66


    Context time for this series of sprints.... I'm working on a stretch that's about 68 miles long:

    The stretch from Janesville to Evansville was the most recent, and I'm now working Evansville to Oregon, trying to keep this to 10 mile segments (that's essentially one page on the track chart).

    The route as a whole... it's 130 miles Chicago to Madison, and another 75 miles Chicago to Rochelle.

  7. #67


    Note to self.... Balloon tracks require special handling.........

    This *was* a vanilla balloon track. I re-laid it earlier today, and as I was tearing out the old, noticed a couple of buried signals, and didn't think twice about it.

    Later, as I was trying to create a new path for testing, the TrackViewer blew up repeatedly.


    Running in the sim without a predefined path, it worked until it didn't. The train kept switching between the two paths branching out from the switch at the bottom of the loop.

    Oh.... Yeah.... Balloon tracks need at least 2 signals... Otherwise the sim will lose its mind trying to route a train into its current path.

    I thought I could get away with some switches inside the balloon, but that didn't work. Once I installed some hidden signals on the way out in both directions, everything behaved. By hidden I mean a signal in the track, but the actual signal object is buried under the terrain (it will show up in the F4 window) to fool the ORTS dispatcher.

    One of those things I would have remembered 15 years ago, and forgot over time...... Three hours, wasted.
    Last edited by eolesen; 10-18-2022 at 11:11 PM.

  8. #68


    Apparently ORTS is happy with just a single signal at the exits of the loop...

    No errors in track viewer, and the player route behaved normal.

    It's going to change my normal order of building... signals are still the last thing I put in, and a balloon loop can't be tested without them.

    The positive here is that I'm done as far as Evansville with the worst of the work behind me. The terrain out of Janesville and number of curves was torture.

  9. #69
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Sandwich, Illinois, USA.


    I'm looking forward to those updates!
    Kevin Kelleher

  10. #70


    On Wisconsin...

    I ripped out the Madison station tracks and went with something a little more accurate for 1971 than the massive yard that was there in 1959...

    The two outer thru tracks served regional trains to Chicago as well as long distance runs like the Dakota 400 and overnight sleeper trains from Duluth and Minneapolis. The inside tracks can platform seven coaches plus an E-unit, while the outer pair on the right store six each with or without an engine. There were no turning facilities at the station, but a natural wye is formed about two miles west where the Cottage Grove line (eventually to Milwaukee) merges with the Madison-Wyeville line.

    Have I mentioned lately how much I love the BLW CNW & MILW sets?... Everything in my screenshots is usually from there.

    In later years, the Milwaukee's parallel line was ripped out, so seeing a Milwaukee-Madison special isn't exactly fiction (although they probably wouldn't have run a Skytop).

    The next two shots are a backdating that only TSRE could have generated...

    Monona Terrace was a long fought out battle to build a convention center and event space on the lakefront, connecting with the capitol... Plans started in 1938, but construction didn't start until 1994. Modern day, it covers the tracks and the highway.

    Unfortunately, all of the aerial imagery available is all post construction, so there were a bunch of retexturing required to remove parking lots, buildings, etc. Getting the roads straight was super easy with the auto-paint function. I placed a couple of track pieces where the road lanes belonged, selected a concrete texture, and next thing you know I had roads and some vegetation to cover up the convention center's footprint...

    Heading south... two very CNW-ish custom objects... a semaphore and a line pole mile marker... The semaphore was one of my first jumps into Blender.

    Crossing Lake Monona, is a crossing of the MILW and the CNW. Today, the WSOR uses both lines...

    Across the lake is a rock cut just under a mile long... That was a challenge with TSRE compared to the MSRE...

    Each vertex had to be lowered by hand...

    End result came out reasonably accurate sans vegetation.

    And that marks the end of the sprint. Track is now contiguous again Chicago to Madison. The next couple sprints are going to be testing signals and cleaning up terrain...
    Last edited by eolesen; 10-29-2022 at 03:34 PM.

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