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Thread: Out of my comfort zone - laying tracks.

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Out of my comfort zone - laying tracks.

    Hi Folks,

    OK - I'm a 3D Modeler not a Route Builder - so I'm well out of my comfort zone.

    I started messing around with a route project - trying to "fix" some kinky curves on an existing route I run often. The route has interactives and I understand that I may instantly destroy the route by making changes with the interactives still in place. I'm just messing with a couple hundred meters of track all well within a set of signals. This is more a learning experience than anything else.

    I know the basics of tracklaying - as I replaced a section and my changes saved just fine.

    So I have two questions:

    The section of track I'm modifying is in the middle of the route so it's difficult using fixed track pieces to remake the connections. I used Dynamic Track Piece for this task. In the past I recall Dynamic Track used to be a "bad thing" in MSTS but I'm not sure why. I've followed more recent discussions on ORTS and Procedural Track (Dynamic Track = Procedural Track) and there seemed to be an argument that we could build entire routes out of Procedural Track which would be a better method than we use now.

    So my question - should we not use - or - attempt to avoid using - Dynamic Track for some reason ?

    Second question - I carefully made sure my track pieces were all lined up properly in TSRE before committing the changes to the track database but now when I run the route in ORTS one section of the track I replaced has the wheels of the train floating around six inches above the rail. How do I fix that ?

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    Scott

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
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    Default

    Interactives need not be removed over the whole route if you only intend to modify one area. Any node (the stretch of track between red and/or blue poles) that is to be modified must have all interactives removed before modifying said node. For instance, I regraded my LTV mainline yet again a couple months ago. The stretch modified was between Sarto (MP 28) and trow (MP 41). All mileposts between those locations, along with a road crossing, a signal, and a couple platform markers (used for placenames) had to be removed before I could regrade the track. Once I was done, everything went back and was smooth as silk.

    I don't use dynamic track because I use USTracks and I don't think there's a matching profile for that. I don't recall if there were potential problems from dynamic usage, but it's probably a relic from the MSTS era, where there were problems with everything. You ought to be fine using dynamic track

    EDIT: Any signal with a link to the track to be modified should also be removed, as broken links can cuse problems

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottb613 View Post
    Hi Folks,

    So my question - should we not use - or - attempt to avoid using - Dynamic Track for some reason ?

    Thanks.

    Regards,
    Scott
    Hi Scott ,

    You'll have to make a track profile to use dynamic track in winter activities in OR. There is one over at ET that you can modify to your needs.

    Peter

  4. #4

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    Welcome to the dark side, Scott.

    For modifications... think in terms of a work zone on a real railroad with the Yellow/Red speed restriction signs...

    TSRE is a lot more forgiving when it comes to interactives. When I need to go back into an area I've already signaled, I'll isolate the area by using the "Z" key to de-register at least one track segment on either side of the intended work zone.

    Any signals outside that work zone block will be fine later when the nodes get reconnected.

    Where you could wind up with goofiness..... if there are turnouts facing into the work zone, you might wind up with Flipped Vector Syndrome after you re-join the split vectors into a single vector again. After your save, inspect track segments that are connected to the red pole -- if there's no yellow line showing, that means the vector flipped 180* instead of the direction the track should be. Using the Z key to unselect and re-select that track segment will reset the vector correctly.


    As for Dynamic Track... it can be problematic if you plan to merge a route later because the local TSection.dat section ID's will likely be duplicated, and you'd have to renumber one of them.

    I personally choose to avoid it because I'm a Scalerail junkie, and visually it's distracting to have flat track.

    That said, I did use dynamic track in a couple places on my IRM route's streetcar line (it has some very tight radius turns), and used Tim Booth's Dynatrax tool to create mock Scalerail sections instead of using the "flat track" that dynamic normally track renders with.

    Aside from that, with the variety of curve radii and small sections available in Scalerail, I've always been able to find some way of accommodating just about everything on my bigger projects.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Hi Travis,

    OK thanks - if I follow through - I'll remove the signals eventually as I'd like to try your new signals...

    I just discovered how to load the vector maps and apply the maps as tile textures in TSRE - I had seen the Google Maps images before but not the vector data - man - it's like a big "connect the dots" puzzle - LOL. Also figured out how to load Height Maps in TSRE (used Demex previously) - while the feature works in the latest version of TSRE - it appears that the check fails as it throws an error about missing files - even though it will load and apply them properly.

    Regards,
    Scott
    Last edited by scottb613; 02-25-2021 at 07:02 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterman View Post
    Hi Scott ,

    You'll have to make a track profile to use dynamic track in winter activities in OR. There is one over at ET that you can modify to your needs.

    Peter
    Hi Peter,

    Thanks - hmm - yeah - noticed the need for that pesky profile when super elevating routes with scale rail - perhaps I need to rethink this.

    Regards,
    Scott

  7. #7
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    Hi Eric,

    Hah - perhaps I'm biting off more than I can chew.


    Didn't know the Z key could deregister...

    Yeah - maybe I need to rethink my track options - if I am going to take the time to do it - might as well do it right.

    I noticed your World File Hacker program removes all interactives - might save me some time - says it needs Win7 - have you tested it on 10 ?

    Thanks...

    Regards,
    Scott

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Hi Folks,

    Hah - that Z Key fixed my floating trains as well - nice - baby steps.

    Regards,
    Scott

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by scottb613 View Post
    I noticed your World File Hacker program removes all interactives - might save me some time - says it needs Win7 - have you tested it on 10 ?
    It does work on Win10....

    One of the stipulations for that feature is a TDB rebuild is required afterward, and currently only the MSTS-RE can do that.

    Unfortunately, a lot of us can no longer open up routes in MSTS-RE after having done work in TSRE, either due to memory issues or files that have been modified and now throw exceptions that MSTS can't handle.

    I'll do a couple tests to see how TSRE and ORTS respond with wiping out the objects. It's possible that Goku's repair function will zap the unreferenced items cleanly.

  10. #10

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    OK.... what I've learned so far. Strip interactives and convert interactives appears to work **IF** you:

    1) add both "AutoFix = True" and "LoadAllWFiles = true" to your TSRE settings file
    2) open the route in TSRE
    3) save the route from the menu (exiting won't prompt you to save for AutoFix apparently)

    That will remove anything from the TDB that no longer has a matching record in the W file, which should cover signals, speedposts, platforms, sidings, level crossings, and hazards.

    It won't remove track vectors or crossover nodes added manually to the TDB.


    My preference is the convert interactives to statics, if for no other reason it leaves a visual placemarker of where you need to re-instate a signal, milepost, etc...
    Last edited by eolesen; 02-25-2021 at 01:05 PM.

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