Cheap Railroad

Also, meant to include this the other day. here is the main yard for the route. There will be smaller yards/ staging tracks at each end but this is the main yard. Located right in the middle of the route.

Interesting looking route you got there.

I totally understand where you're coming from with the issues you're having about the Sidings and the Scenery. Takes awhile to figure out what you want to do if you're not Mr Train Wizard (lol).

I could bring up lots of things to discuss, but at the end of the day, its really what you want to do. Have any goals for this route? Certain level of prototype you're shooting for? or not? Answer those for yourself and the answer's to most of the rest of your questions as far as the route is concerned will get alot easier. At the end of the day this entire hobby is about what you want to do. If you want Prototype, you have to create reasons for why the Railroad laid this spur here or that siding there. If you just want easy, or interesting operations, lay track where ever it appeals to you to have it. Unit Trains make operation easy, but they're rare outside of some few narrow industries or certain parts of the nation, and if you're going for Steam Transition Era, they'd be pretty much non-existant (Hello Sidings!). Part of the fun of this hobby though is learning about how and why the prototype does what it does.....

Same with scenery. Veg is hard to do right, but I think alot of what people miss when they start out when they're trying for prototype is just how varied the Trackside Veg is, and just how much of it there is..... Its literally EVERYWHERE, and it comes in ALL sizes. A few bushes or trees will always look like something from toy town. But at the end of the day, thats ok. Trainz was built originally to be able to cater to people that wanted to make a virtual model railroad and its very good at that.

Also on a note about the veg, honestly, don't get too serious about it if you're worried about your computers specs. To really Run high quality Veg routes you need mid-high end computer with a decent Graphics card, and thats before you even contemplate Speed Trees. You can get away with high poly buildings, Rolling Stock, and even Track with mid range comps and mid range graphics cards. But throw in enough High Poly Veg with Splines and what not, and it becomes a bear real quick. Not saying it can't be done, but it generally takes more pro-active resource management and patience.

Textures are a bear in and of themselves, only because there are so many of them. I use a wide variety of them at this point. Some SAP stuff, some Ultra Textures, some TrainzItalia stuff.... But I'm going for Pacific Northwest Wet/Lowlands. It really comes down to downloading as many as you can find and trolling through them occasionally and experimenting with what you have. Then 2 months later after you paint up 10 baseboards finding a better Dirt or Concrete Texture.... Luckily Replace Asset works with Textures as well, lol. Copy and Paste can be a huge help too. One of the things to remember though: When you find a good texture you like, Paint some somewhere it'll be easy to find and grab, and then you don't have to keep a list of it or anything. Same goes for Objects you like, or Splines. Drop one or two somewhere easy to find. The route Im working on atm is big enough I have a few "Palette"s around I grab from.

Another recommendation for Steam Locomotives, particularly if you don't mind paying a reasonable price (FAR More reasonable then what you'd be Dropping for N-Scale stuff):

If you've been in the South East for awhile, you'll like alot of their more recent stuff.

Good Luck,
First off, I appreciate the link. I will defiantly be purchasing a few if not all of them steamers. As for the route, I want it to feel and look as realistic as possible. I'm guessing unit trains are trains made up of only one type of cargo, like a coal drag. Which coal is the only unit train I'll be running, for 5h3 most part I want long mixed trains that run from each end of the route that then get broken up and set out at the desired industry. My problem is I don't understand much of real life operation to accomplish that.
First off, I appreciate the link. I will defiantly be purchasing a few if not all of them steamers. As for the route, I want it to feel and look as realistic as possible. I'm guessing unit trains are trains made up of only one type of cargo, like a coal drag. Which coal is the only unit train I'll be running, for 5h3 most part I want long mixed trains that run from each end of the route that then get broken up and set out at the desired industry. My problem is I don't understand much of real life operation to accomplish that.

You'll like the K&L Stuff. Most everyone that buys any of it does. The only complaint anyone has ever made that I've seen is that the textures aren't photo-realistic, but honestly, I think they're still some of the best textures I've ever seen applied to steam locomotives in this hobby regardless.

Unit trains aren't just all the same type of cargo (though they usually do happen to only have cars of the same type and model on them). They're made so that they can get from Point A to point B and back again with as little down time as possible. The load and unload facilities usually have giant balloon tracks instead of sidings so the road engines can just pull them through and do the loading and unloading instead of relying on switchers navigating set-out tracks and sidings. Generally the only reasons a Unit Train ever stops are Fuel, Crew Change, or another Train. After that they keep rolling. They're a convention far more recent then Steam power ever would have allowed.

If you want prototype, and you live near some railroads, one of the best things you can do is go down and look at the tracks, and then go study them on Googlemaps/earth, and try to deduce why the tracks are there. How they might be used operationally. Track placement is a cross between customer need and geography, and track length is usually dictated by expected traffic and geography. Generally geography is the limiting factor, while the first of both of those is the proponent factor. Business XYZ expects 3 Boxcars a week of Baskets, so now you have to have a siding next to their warehouse and a way to get them there. Can you drop them off as part of a pre-existing Local Run with 5 other business just outside of town? Or are they in the middle of Bum-Duck nowhere and you need to drop a Set out Track there so whatever train that brings their cargo and can drop it as it runs past and you can have a switcher come out later and put it where they want it? (Though generally if a switcher is coming out at all, they're capable of bringing the cargo with them).

And of course all of this is limited by Geography. If theres a big honkin hill next to their warehouse, you're probably going to put the siding on the *other* side of said warehouse. Grades in general are best if less then 1%, but tons of places can go up to 2% here and there. Anything over that though and you have to take it into consideration whenever you run more then a few cars over it at a time. Back in the East US, this ostensibly is why alot of railroads tended to follow rivers and waterways in general. Water usually tends to create natural grading around it, and back before we had diesel hydraulic Earth Movers it was quicker, cheaper, and easier to find & follow a natural grade then it was to make a new one.....

Anyway, trying to understand track work is usually one of the best places to start when you're learning about modeling Railroads. And I need to head to school, lol. So good luck!
I was watching one of my Pentrex dvds tonight and it was pretty awesome cause they had a whole section of the PRR J1 steam locos on the steam across America combo dvd. Which just so happens to be the exact steam engine I bought the other night from KLtrains. It was cool to see it in action hauling coal drags.
Got a quick question. Is the mileage counter in the custom hud accurate? If so then I have defiantly made my route as long as I wanted it. Also, I got a friend that I work with whos dad owns a computer shop. Guess who will be having a custom computer built just for trainz....haha I cant wait! Then I can actually start to add some scenery to my route.
I had a weird problem, my game went a little crazy making some odd shapes that were like a red color and now I got what seems to be a black line angled up towards the sky coming from my route? What is this?
Where should I post a question about missing dependencies? I tried downloading a 4-6-2 from the DLS and its missing quite a few.

I use this website to find missing dependencies:
If you can't find it using this website, turn to google.
Also, I know that 96914 is bdaneal, and you will find the dependencies on his website, Subpar Productions.
EDIT: You will need to download the 'Medium 4-6-0 (Ten wheeler):
Note that one of the dependencies will be faulty, but it's a relatively easy fix. I can help you out in fixing it.
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Whenever I downloaded some of Ben's locomotives, the dependency that ended with _b2 would come up faulty saying that it's missing a texture file. If this pops up, I can help you. Also, don't forget to also download the 'Common Files' at the top of the page, you'll need that also.
Alright did some work last night. I decided to add on to the branch line were I moved the coal mine. Ive added around 10 miles to it(that's all I'm adding) including another town, forestry, and another coal mine. Figured why only have one coal mine having to produce all the coal when I can just add another one and add some more activity to the route. Ive got a big chunk of the terrain work done on the branch line, whats done I decided to add some textures to: 1-to mark whats done and what needs to be worked on and 2-cause I'm tired of staring at dull boring base boards. Anyway, here are some screens and any comments or tips to make it better are always appreciated. I will also add that I'm loving the 3 K&L steamers I bought. Only 2 are pictured but I did also get the New Haven 2-8-0, figured when I get the route to a point where I'm happy with it, I can start to practice skinning so I'm trying to get a loco roster made up.

The freshly added coal mine looking out towards the valley and mountains.

Don't know if this really fits but I added a wye track to turn the engines around on when bringing empties back from the power plant.

Fresh train headed out with a full load(or suppose to be, I forgot to load the cars in surveyor)

Entering the passing siding shortly after leaving the mine.

Coming up the grade at a steady 25mph. Haven't got all my speed limits set yet but got some. There is a steady 2% grade climbing out of the mine.

Train of empties headed down grade passing the soon to be town with a few industries to serve.

Nothing special but I think once I get some scenery done this would a cool spot to watch some trains.

And that's it folks.