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mezzoprezzo
January 6th, 2011, 08:07 AM
Good afternoon everyone.

Can someone please offer some advice regarding where I might be able to obtain UK track and road heights.

Iím attempting to build the Swanage railway, or at least part of it.

So far Iíve managed to lay down four 1km basemap sections of UK OS maps. Iíve placed all of the contours around the hills using invisible track, smoothed the spline heights and have then hand sculpted them to smooth out the inevitable imperfections. The OS maps gives fixed spot heights at fairly random locations, usually on roads, but not on railways, and Iíve added these wherever possible.

Google Earth does give elevation, but this too imprecise. Google searches have so far found nothing.

Where Iím now getting stuck, is on placing the track and roads at the precise heights. Iíve managed to adjust some ďby eyeĒ from various photographs and Google Street View, but they are clearly wrong when I connect them up and compare them with photographic evidence! I canít help thinking that there must be a source of surveyed track and road data somewhere which I might be able to plunder.

All help and/or advice would be gratefully received.

Hereís a screenshot of where Iím at in the Corfe Castle area, with just a few landmarks for reference. Texturing to follow - next job once Iím happy with the road and rail heights!

Cheers
Casper

http://img529.imageshack.us/img529/6566/progress1l.jpg
Imageshack

Capt_Haddock
January 6th, 2011, 02:38 PM
Casper

This is a difficult one. I faced to same problem in making my route based on the beautiful GWR line running down the Stroud Valley in Gloucestershire.

The Middleton Press books on the GWR Mainlines give a gradient profile for the line and the OS map contour lines periodically cross roads and railway lines to give a spot height. I found that combining the two gave a reasonable result along with carefully study of photos of the line.

A quick web search threw up this page (http://www.jswalker.demon.co.uk/swanage/swanagereferences.htm#Gradient_Profiles) . It includes reference to two books giving gradient profiles for the line.

Chris

mezzoprezzo
January 6th, 2011, 03:27 PM
Hi Chris,

Those publications look like a great source of information for the track heights, together with a lot of other items listed in the contents section. I'll certainly be following them up.


I'll post some screenshots as and when I make progress. I started at Corfe, as I thought it was the most complex part of the terrain, on the basis that the rest should get easier. Wishful thinking!:eek:

Many thanks for your help.

Cheers
Casper
:)

teddytoot
January 7th, 2011, 04:42 AM
One book that almost certainly would give you a gradient map would be the newish one, "Swanage 125 years of Railways" by B L Jackson (Oakwood Press £16.95). I haven't read this one but having read many of Brian's other books and heard him speak (he is a local) I would be suprised if the information was not there.

mezzoprezzo
January 7th, 2011, 06:14 AM
Thanks John.

Another valuable source I hadnít come across. Your post with Chrisí has opened up a whole new area of research for me.

I did find an old ad for 3DTrainStuff Swanage Route (for MSTS) which showed the back cover of the box with a gradient profile diagram, which is unfortunately too indistinct to read the numbers accurately. I presume this will be accurate. If so Iíll need to look for a clearer image.

The screenshots from that route look really good too. The accuracy of the buildings is great Ė far better than substituting available lookalikes.

A bit off topic, but is it possible to use MSTS creations in Trainz?

Cheers
Casper
:)

Vern
January 7th, 2011, 08:24 AM
So far as finding a known height of rail over road (for a datum or starting point), most bridges have height markings on the arch or span which can be viewed via Google (Maps) Streetview. Otherwise full height bridges are generally around 15 to 16 feet of clearance from the bottom of the decking to the road surface, i.e. enough for a double decker bus or large articulated lorry.

mezzoprezzo
January 7th, 2011, 12:33 PM
Thanks for the idea of checking out the bridge heights from Street View images Vern. I hadn't thought of that one. That will be great for fine tuning the route.

I've tried Chris' idea of using the contour heights where they cross the railway or road. That seem to work fairly well, except the 1:25000 OS map I'm using doesn't show cuttings or embankments. I've set a couple of track points to the contour height, only to find on the various YouTube videos or Google photos, that the track is either banked or cut into the terrain.

I'm probably going to have to wait until I source the actual track height, and then let the Trainz software cut/elevate the terrain into the contours with the Smooth Spline height tool.

Thanks for all of the advice folks!

Cheers
Casper
:)

mezzoprezzo
October 19th, 2013, 06:10 AM
One book that almost certainly would give you a gradient map would be the newish one, "Swanage 125 years of Railways" by B L Jackson (Oakwood Press £16.95). I haven't read this one but having read many of Brian's other books and heard him speak (he is a local) I would be suprised if the information was not there.

A note of thanks to teddytoot. After nearly two years I bought a copy of this book during a visit to the Swanage Railway this week.

Did the return trip from Norden to Swanage – the first time I've travelled on this line since the late 1950’s! And what an evocative trip it was. Pulled by Manston, unrebuilt WC class, I’d forgotten how delicate the steam seemed to be when it danced through the treetops and under bridges. The loco seemed a lot smaller than I remember when close to.

I also made the mistake of leaning out of the window. I couldn’t see them at the time but later found a myriad of carbon particles on my face (and in the little hair I have left). “Blacks” is what we used to call them.

The book is packed with info. I couldn’t find the gradient profile listed in the index when browsing in the shop, so I also bought the Swanage to Wareham Cab Ride DVD, the cover of which proclaims, “Gradient & location captions throughout”.

This has proved to be a winning combination. The DVD can be stopped when the captions appear, often with the actual gradient board in view, so it’s easy to locate and correctly place the inclines in Surveyor using GE basemaps.

Brian Jackson’s book is a gem. The amount of research done is phenomenal. And, as an added bonus, I found the gradient profile from Wareham to Swanage clearly printed on page 278!

Cheers
Casper
:)