Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Designing a fictional area 101

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Reichensberg
    Posts
    3,158

    Default Designing a fictional area 101

    I started a fictional tourist railroad nine years ago. By started, I mean painted a bunch of rolling stock several times over and made a flat pool table in the Route Editor which got sucked into cyberspace when my hard drive crashed. However, I've been revisiting the project on and off, and now I'm starting to realize that making this route is more than just plopping track and scenery around. Since it's a fictional railroad, I am inevitably going to have to design the world around it.

    Now I'm already off to a good start. I've had a map for the route containing two endpoint towns and a layover point in between almost as long as the project itself has existed. I know that one is a quaint lumber town and the other is a port city which is served by both trains and ships. I also know the route has a primarily Northeastern atmosphere to it (think New Jersey or Pennsylvania). Most recently, I did some poking around and found a DEM which both fits my desired area and almost exactly matches the route I drew for it five years ago. I've also played around with laying down track and scenery in TSRE, and it's not hard to get the hang of.

    However, I know almost nothing about actually designing the route. Just trying to imagine how to lay out a town or where to plop portside industries gives me the heebie-jeebies. Where does everything go? What objects do I use? How do I start to even think about this? This stuff is out of my forte, so any sage advice or resources I could follow would mean the world to me.

    I've primarily been updating this project on Elvas Tower, so feel free to read the thread to familiarize yourself with the route. http://www.elvastower.com/forums/ind...nsberg-eastern

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Alexandria, Va, USA.
    Posts
    577

    Default

    I've never done what you're planning, but for what it's worth, here's how I think I would approach it. In the area I want to model, I would try to find some towns of similar size and location and use them as guides. Looking at maps online, if I found something for the area I wanted, it would give an idea of street layouts and building location. Then I would do a Google image search for towns that might serve as guides. Some would have only a few images, and some would have a lot, and I would use those that had a lot to help design a town. Even one image of downtown might be a lot of help, because typically the railroad station would be on or near the main street, and maybe I could see what buildings were nearby. I would concentrate on buildings near the tracks, because others, unless they are tall or on a hillside or otherwise visible farther away, wouldn't be seen in running the simulation. I could also use Google street view in Google maps to look at towns if there are no pictures available. I hope this helps.
    Steve Dunham
    Alexandria, VA
    www.stevedunham.50megs.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Reichensberg
    Posts
    3,158

    Default

    Helps a lot, Steve! I imagine it wouldn't be hard to draw up some rough maps after doing a bit of homework. Ever since I made this post, I generated terrain for the route with some fitting areas to establish both of my towns. If I can find a way to get a nice overhead view of my route, I could draw some town layouts directly on the route. The terrain I generated is within the area I imagined the route being in, so even researching the real-world towns could help me a lot.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Swindon, England
    Posts
    5,755

    Default

    One concept I've tried though never actually finished, is to take a real route from one country but build it as if from another - e.g. a section of Russian railway, but built as in the US. Another idea I had was looking at some of those extreme road sites, but maybe building the road as a railway - though that more often than not comes unstuck with the gradients.

    Just a random thought!
    Vern.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Poteau, OK, USA.
    Posts
    4,697

    Default

    I've migrated away from creating purely fictional routes. I found that I didn't enjoy running them afterward as much as I do my prototype-based routes.

    Now, having said that, what I HAVE come to enjoy along with my prototype based routes, is creating prototypes that were proposed, but never built. I have one route that I've really enjoyed that uses this principle: My "Colorado & San Juan" route project. (C&SJ: 3' narrow gauge, circa early 1880s.)

    My C&SJ is based on both prototypes that were built (currently using the Silverton RR track alignments between Silverton and Ironton Park) along with adding extensions via lines that were PROPOSED, but never built. On the current version of my C&SJ, that would include the portion between Ironton Park and Ouray. That portion was proposed, but never built. I built it.

    Further, I've just recently started an extension east out of Silverton using the prototype Silverton Northern from Silverton to Eureka (Eventually I'll extend to Animas Forks as per prototype.) At the prototype location of Howardsville, I've added a junction switch, and I'm now building the PROPOSED line (that was never built) over Denver Pass on my way to Lake City. (The line up to Denver Pass is currently really kicking my butt, I must say! No wonder it was never built!!)

    Now THAT'S fun, to me: To see a proposed line that was never built come to life in virtual.

    The above strictly FWIW.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,598

    Default

    I've found some enjoyment taking lines that were removed many years ago and bringing them into the modern day. A project I'm playing with right now is using several old logging lines in the Arrowhead region as a bridge line from the twin ports area toward Thunder Bay, ON. I actually stopped at the Canadian border since it takes four-and-a-half hours just to get that far. The majority of the line is on the General Logging Co. line, which was removed around 1940, but my current time frame is around the 1980s

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Alexandria, Va, USA.
    Posts
    577

    Default

    Like Andre, I enjoyed building a route that was intended but never existed: the Washington & Western, representing one of a few talked-about extensions of what became the Washington & Old Dominion but was never built. And like Ebnertra000, I've enjoyed resurrecting dead lines, particularly the Jersey Central Seashore Branch, which I never got to ride but built and included in the Blue Comet Lines. I've thought about totally imaginary lines too: I researched (a little) a transatlantic TGV line Scotland-Iceland-Greenland-Labrador, but so much of it would have been in straight tunnels that even at 200 mph it would have been tedious to operate.
    Steve Dunham
    Alexandria, VA
    www.stevedunham.50megs.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Poteau, OK, USA.
    Posts
    4,697

    Default

    ebnert:

    Yes, that too! I've resurrected lines in my region and elsewhere. It's really cool to see them come back to live in virtual.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Reichensberg
    Posts
    3,158

    Default

    You guys are making me want to get in on this too! Hearing all this made me think of the Denver, Laramie, & Northwestern, which was initially planned to directly connect Denver and Seattle and pass by Yellowstone National Park. Had it not gone into receivership in the 1910's and fulfilled its initial charter, that could be a very interesting venture. You'd have gorgeous mountain running and hot tourist specials to Yellowstone a la the Santa Fe's Grand Canyon Limited. Another interesting idea is if the Great Western purchased the entirety of the DL&NW to Denver instead of north of Milliken. While maybe unnecessary since the GW was focused on serving sugar mills, I'm a fan of the concept of a bigger, longer GW with more traffic and a larger roster to suit.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
-->