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Thread: Surfliner Ultimate Pack - Beta (Testers Needed)

  1. #1

    Cool Surfliner Ultimate Pack - Beta (Testers Needed)

    Hello everyone, today I am excited to announce that the first stage of my Surfliner Ultimate Pack is almost ready to go into testing. First, some history regarding this pack.

    History
    I originally started making activities for the Surfliner 2 route I believe back in 2015 if not earlier. This was originally on MSTS but I quickly learned that MSTS no like the passing paths and standoffs would become common which is a problem on a mainly single track route. Part of the idea with all this though was to make a single traffic file instead of one specific for each activity. This would save much time instead of figuring out exactly what traffic was required for each activity. But as mentioned and as you know, this simply doesn't work in MSTS. As well, being limited in loose consist was another factor.

    In 2017 I was determined to find a solution, and that one was Open Rails. While I was aware of it, for whatever reason, I wasn't thinking about using it. But after realizing it is really was, I committed. So, I completely restarted the project as a fresh start. (No old 2015 or whatever parts.) For a good chunk of mid-late 2017 I started building the master traffic file. This was tedious to say the least. By early 2018 I was working on it here or there. Part of the drive that helped was that I found out about extended AI shunting. However with real life getting busy, I eventually put everything on the back burner, for quite a while I must add. At this point, all passenger services (Amtrak, Metrolink, and Coaster) were all in the game. Some long haul BNSF and UP were also in along with some locals.

    In January 2020 I was looking at my now 3 1/2 year old used once briefly Raildriver, I was inspired to pick the project back up. So after transfer files from my laptop to my desktop, work started again. And so for the past month and a half or so I have been grinding at times to finally finish this project. Just today I have finished putting in the loose consist and here later will finally do a test drive of a Surfliner nearly 6 years after having the idea.

    Where I Am Now, The Future
    The whole idea behind this project was to have master traffic file. One that contains all the traffic the Surfliner route has. This includes everything from of course the Surfliners to locals and many other pieces of traffic. All told this is over 230 pieces of traffic. You can see why this took a while. However, instead of making what I will come to estimate being 50ish different traffic files, now there will only be a few. And to make an activity it is simple as adding a service in. At least that is the theory. In addition all the traffic, loose consist have been realistically added throughout the route. Despite all this (and of course Open Rails doesn't load all that traffic in) I've managed to still load up in a few minutes. There is still fine tuning to do, but I am excited from what I've gotten so far.

    As you will read below I am looking for testers. My goal is with help is to polish of activities as needed. In order to help speed the process I am only releasing activities in certain groups. Amtrak will be gathered together, Metrolink, and so on. Eventually the goal is to get every reasonable service drivable by the end of the year. Future updates are also a possiblity.

    Testers Needed
    As mentioned, there will be roughly 50 activities if not more in the final pack. That is a lot of testing for one person to do. Some services are on-line for well over 5 hours. It is simply not possible for me to test all these in a reasonable time. What I need is people to help test. Right now I am looking for testers for the Amtrak services. As each batch gets tested, I will post new ones. If you are able to help, you can post below or send me a PM.

    Here are the very basic ground rules:

    1.) You must run the activity completely manually, no autopilot, at least once. If you do more even better.
    2.) Switching out rolling stock is not permissible. I want real data from what will be released to the public.
    3.) You can only request to test two activities at a time. While I doubt many will test, still want people to have choices.
    4.) After testing the activity, you will report any unusual findings to me. If you are unable to complete an activity obviously you will report that as well. This is nothing fancy, just need to know if the activity runs or not.

    In return on final release you will be credited as a tester. For those that go above and beyond I will try to throw in an extra treat. Before you receive an activity I will do a quick test on autopilot at fast forward so you can be sure it is in a somewhat good order. The list of activities to be tested and their status is in the following post.

    Files Required
    The activities will include payware and freeware equipment. While I initially was trying to avoid payware as much as possible, it became clear there wasn't a choice at some points for realism. (At least Scenic Sub is free now.)

    Payware
    From TrainSimulations (https://www.trainsimulations.net)

    Amtrak Autotrain
    Amtrak Trainsets Volume 1
    Amtrak Trainsets Volume 2
    BNSF Seligman Route
    UP Trainsets Volume 1
    UP Trainsets Volume 2

    From 3DTrains (https://www.3dtrains.com)
    Pacific Surfliner Trainset (Should also come with Metrolink and Coaster sets)

    Freeware
    From Trainsim Library

    htpacpar.zip
    rackpak4.zip
    rackpak3.zip
    rackpak2.zip
    bnsfacv1.zip
    julfc001.zip
    julfc002.zip
    julfc003-1.zip
    julfc004.zip
    6tank1.zip
    tankpak2.zip
    tankpak3.zip
    tankpak4.zip
    tankpak5.zip
    6pack28.zip
    6pack27.zip
    6pack24.zip
    gatx_oil-cans.zip
    interstrings.zip
    commutestrings.zip
    modernstrings.zip
    passengerstrings.zip
    cabbages.zip
    f59phi_coaster.zip
    metrolinkrotem.zip
    mlf59h3.zip
    nctdsprn.zip
    amtrakheritage1-1.zip
    amtrak_heritage_3.zip
    amtk_p42dc_pk1.zip
    amtk_p42dc_pk2.zip
    jsxcabs.zip
    uprrgenset2p.zip
    upc45acc.zip

    From KLW TrainSim (https://www.kurtkaminer.com)
    Coaster F40PH-2C 5-pack (under KLW F40PH-2C)

    From TrainSimulations (https://www.trainsimulations.net)
    BNSF Scenic Sub

    I hope this list is complete but considering some of this was from 6 years ago, I may of missed something. Will update as needed.

    Conclusion
    If you have somehow made it to the end, thank you! The following post has all the current activities to be tested/in testing. If you have any additional questions I invite you to post below or send me a PM. Thank you have any help, even if small, you are able to provide!

  2. #2

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    Here are the activities that are in testing or need to be tested. Please only choose two at a time. (If you finish testing one, you can choose another.) You can post below to claim or send a PM, first come first serve. Make sure you read the above post for files and info. Thank you for your help!

    Note the activities are based upon the Fall of 2017 and the equipment and schedule reflect that. If you would like a copy of the schedule PM me.

    Once you request, I will PM you the files. Depending on my work schedule, this can take up to 24 hours.

    Code
    No Color: Needs Tester
    Orange: In Testing
    Green: Tested

    Southbound
    Amtrak 562 (Surfliner, Dep 6:05): LA to San Diego
    Amtrak 564 (Surfliner, Dep 7:25): LA to San Diego
    Amtrak 566 (Surfliner, Dep 8:41): LA to San Diego
    Amtrak 768 (Surfliner, Dep 6:35): Goleta to San Diego
    Amtrak 572 (Surfliner, Dep 11:20): LA to San Diego
    Amtrak 774 (Surfliner, Dep 6:55): San Luis Obispo to San Diego
    Amtrak 580 (Surfliner, Dep 14:58): LA to San Diego
    Amtrak 782 (Surfliner, Dep 12:35): Goleta to San Diego
    Amtrak 11 (Coast Starlight, Dep 15:20): San Luis Obispo to LA
    Amtrak 584 (Surfliner, Dep 17:10): LA to San Diego
    Amtrak 590 (Surfliner, Dep 19:15): LA to San Diego
    Amtrak 792 (Surfliner, Dep 16:25): Goleta to San Diego
    Amtrak 796 (Surfliner, Dep 16:15): San Luis Obispo to San Diego

    Northbound
    Amtrak 761 (Surfliner, Dep 4:00): San Diego to Goleta
    Amtrak 763 (Surfliner, Dep 5:55): San Diego to San Luis Obispo
    Amtrak 565 (Surfliner, Dep 6:57): San Diego to LA
    Amtrak 567 (Surfliner, Dep 8:05): San Diego to LA
    Amtrak 769 (Surfliner, Dep 9:20): San Diego to Goleta
    Amtrak 14 (Coast Starlight, Dep 10:10): LA to San Luis Obispo
    Amtrak 573 (Surfliner, Dep 10:41): San Diego to LA
    Amtrak 577 (Surfliner, Dep 12:05): San Diego to San Luis Obispo
    Amtrak 579 (Surfliner, Dep 13:30): San Diego to LA
    Amtrak 583 (Surfliner, Dep 14:47): San Diego to LA
    Amtrak 785 (Surfliner, Dep 15:58): San Diego to Goleta
    Amtrak 591 (Surfliner, Dep 18:43): San Diego to LA
    Amtrak 595 (Surfliner, Dep 20:52): San Diego to LA

  3. #3

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    I am impressed. You've worked hard and produced something beautiful, or it seems so from a distance. I am not your beta tester - I don't run the surfliner and my time is limited. I hope you find others. If not, you could release the pack as a "beta" and collect comments from users and eventually release a final version.
    Christopher

  4. #4

    Default

    Thank you for your kind words. My plan is to let it run for a month and wherever testing is at, I'll run autopilot on unchecked activities and release with what I got. Don't want to turn this into Vaporware.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Lubec ME USA
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    I would be interested in testing as I have the route and the Surfliner trainsets, but would need about $75 of additional payware to fill out the list above, which I am not in a position to purchase right now. Puzzled why you would need Amtrak Autotrain to test a route in California?

    Jon

  6. #6

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    Yeah, all that payware is a troublesome hurdle for testing, but physics between locomotives and rolling stock can make a difference.

    The first person to suggest or even hint at sharing the needed stock gets booted from the forum.



    Curious why you're pursuing this as an activity pack when you could have done this as an Open Rail Timetable...

    I managed to write a timetable that mimics large chunks of the Metra schedule on the CNW/UP, and I thought that someone had already been working on a Surfliner timetable as well.
    Last edited by eolesen; 02-15-2021 at 08:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    known universe
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    Quote Originally Posted by eolesen View Post
    Yeah, all that payware is a troublesome hurdle for testing, but physics between locomotives and rolling stock can make a difference.

    The first person to suggest or even hint at sharing the needed stock gets booted from the forum.



    Curious why you're pursuing this as an activity pack when you could have done this as an Open Rail Timetable...

    I managed to write a timetable that mimics large chunks of the Metra schedule on the CNW/UP, and I thought that someone had already been working on a Surfliner timetable as well.
    There are two timetables for the surfliner (ver 2-3) that I have installed, Amtrak Special.timetable_or and PacSurf.timetable_or. About the Payware needed...I believe some of the SLI payware is no longer available...or am I wrong on that point? They have made so many changes lately, that I haven't keep up with.
    Cheers, Gerry
    It's my railroad and I'll do what I want! Historically accurate attitude of US Railroad Barons.
    Forever, ridin' drag in railroad knowledge.


  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonpd View Post
    I would be interested in testing as I have the route and the Surfliner trainsets, but would need about $75 of additional payware to fill out the list above, which I am not in a position to purchase right now. Puzzled why you would need Amtrak Autotrain to test a route in California?
    Understood, when I first started this I tried to do without payware but then when a realized pretty much 75% of the rolling stock I needed was re-skinned payware, the options became limited. I do hope in the future to scale down payware.

    That's a good question about the Autotrain. I thought I used it for the loco's and Superliners but it appears I did not. Apparently I can't edit post though so if a mod could remove that, that'd be great.

    Quote Originally Posted by eolesen View Post
    Yeah, all that payware is a troublesome hurdle for testing, but physics between locomotives and rolling stock can make a difference.

    The first person to suggest or even hint at sharing the needed stock gets booted from the forum.

    Curious why you're pursuing this as an activity pack when you could have done this as an Open Rail Timetable...

    I managed to write a timetable that mimics large chunks of the Metra schedule on the CNW/UP, and I thought that someone had already been working on a Surfliner timetable as well.
    Ya, I would figure as much and knew that was going to be an issue. I figure there is though a number of people that have the majority of those sets but it's a wild shot.

    Agreed, if there is an issue with rolling stock then you don't test. If there is a discontinued set, then I'll have to figure that out and replace it.

    I knew someone with Open Rails experience would chime in on that. The reason is the timetable doesn't support freight that well. Many of my freight services feature shunting, as well as back and forth paths. If it wasn't for that I'd be down for it.

    Quote Originally Posted by R. Steele View Post
    There are two timetables for the surfliner (ver 2-3) that I have installed, Amtrak Special.timetable_or and PacSurf.timetable_or. About the Payware needed...I believe some of the SLI payware is no longer available...or am I wrong on that point? They have made so many changes lately, that I haven't keep up with.
    Likewise, I started this thing when it was still SLI. It's hard to figure out what packs went where. It appears some combined while other got merged into routes. I initially was going to just reinstall and go from there but TS makes it such a pain and with their lackluster support, it just wasn't worth it.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    I'm game... PM sent

    I'm pretty sure I have most of the rolling stock (payware) I'm getting pretty good at modifying consist files for file I do not have.

    Thanks

  10. #10

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    I've got two people so far, activities should be going out tomorrow. If anyone else wants to help I'd love it! (I'm testing some myself.)

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