Cleveland, OH TRS19 FP1

Hello everyone,

I've been wanting to start giving updates on a route that I have been working on for the past year now. Almost 3 years back I started working on a route depicting Cleveland, Ohio from anytime between 1927 to the end of steam. Around last year I lost that original route due to my misplacing of the file on an external hard drive and have been working on Cleveland 2.0 ever since. Although disappointing, this was probably for the best as I was able to start new with some of the know how I gained from the last route. This included new ways of getting dimensions correct and other improved skillsets.

I was doing this new route on a MacBook at the time, so using Transdem to try and upload a proper map and elevation of Cuyahoga County was out of the picture, so therefore the entirety of the route is just me doing my best to use the measure tools on Trainz and Google Earth. Additionally, I've recently moved onto a new computer and I am now finally able to use TRS19.

Background on the route:
Cleveland by the 1930s and 40s was an absolute hotspot for rail traffic and industry.
The roads that ran into or around the Cleveland area included:

- New York Central & The Big Four Route
- Pennsylvania
- Nickel Plate Road
- Erie Railroad
- Baltimore and Ohio
- Wheeling & Lake Erie
- Newburgh & South Shore Line
- River Terminal Railway
- Akron Canton & Youngstown (Akron Area)
- Shaker Heights Rapid (Interurban)

Cleveland is also home to the iconic "Cleveland Union Terminal" which stands today as a monument to the former glory of rail travel. Built from around 1926 to 1930, the terminal was expansive with plenty of platforms for long distance trains, commuter trains, and interurban cars on the Shaker Rapid (which still operates today under the GCRTA). The centerpiece "Terminal Tower" was the tallest building in the world outside of New York City at the time of its completion and was the tallest in the world outside of New York and Chicago up until the 60s when a similar looking tower in Russia topped it. I currently have a 3D model for the tower purchased and I've made rough models for 2 of the other buildings in the complex, however all three of these buildings are yet to be textured.

The route was initially supposed to just depict Baltimore and Ohio operations during the 1930s around the area, starting at the steelyard and working my way out, this changed however, once I got into downtown and couldn't help but depict all facets of Cleveland railroading during the steam era. Over the past 3 years I've additionally developed a love for the NYC and this has become the dominant interest in the route, especially as it was the chief road in the area (The Nickel Plate is a very close contender for the top spot).

I plan to model all trackage in Cuyahoga County using "Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps" and possibly a little further out into the Neighboring Counties such as Medina and Summit, but that will just have to be put on hold until its ready to expand.

I plan to use this thread as a place to share updates with whoever is interested in progress of this former titan of industry, so keep up to date with this if it interests you!
This is awesome! I've always wanted to do Cleveland but haven't gotten around to it. Very complex industry-wise. I even have bridge 1 (the north most liftbridge over the river now used by NS)halfway modeled as well as some blast furnace stuff based off of what is now cleveland cliffs. Keep up the good work!
So good to see another steam era route being built. You really brought back memories talking about using the Sanborn maps as this is what I used when I built the Cincinnati section of my L&A route. Those old maps along with vintage topographical maps were very helpful. I'm really looking forward to seeing this route come to life. I know from experience that you'll have a long, but enjoyable road ahead.

Cleveland, Ohio Post Number 2: Nickel Plate Scenery on the West Side
Hello everyone, updating once again with some work that I've been doing on Cleveland's west side near Lakewood. The stretch that I've been working on runs from the NYC underpass to West 65th Street. I've been in a bit of Nickel Plate kick after seeing the upcoming L-1 Hudson coming to TrainzForge at some point and I'd like some more scenery along the NKP ROW to run it on upon its release.

I was hoping to have a complete area to show you all, however as you all know, sometimes you get busy and Trainz gets away from you. Progress, however slow it may be, has been good. "Old world" residential streets always take such a long time to model and I've been trying out some techniques to not only expedite the process of route building, but hopefully keep the frame rate manageable. Downtown already tends to get pretty choppy, so I'd like to avoid that anywhere else on the route. Sprinkled along this stretch of track are some random trackside industries that do a good job of breaking up the scenery and take up a good amount of space.

This first day of work was mostly getting the bones of the area down. Laying lots of industry track and placing lots of roads and retaining walls. Pretty boring stuff, but it needed to be done.

After a couple days without working, I got back on and started to get more detailed. I've been working on custom overpasses (these take the longest are miserable by the way) and began placing some houses along trackside to get a better visual for the housing density in this area. Additionally, I added some grass and textures with foliage and trees in areas that were ready for it. This stretch of track has two mains and the two side tracks for industry access (please let me know what the actual name is. I've heard them somewhere before, but can't remember now what they were called). I wanted these side tracks to look somewhat worn so I used an older track and raised the height of the two mains to give some more depth to the area. I also allowed some of the grass splines that I used to overlap onto these tracks and places some more subtle grass splines along them to bolster the effect.

In terms of these forums posts, I'd like to play around with formatting and other general housekeeping to keep everyone best up to date and make sure that not only the visual aids are great, but that these are also decent reads. If any of you readers have any feedback in terms of these aspects of the thread, please let me know! I don't know how I feel yet about using Imgur as my host site, so if you have any recommendations, I'll look into them!

Thank you all for all the kind words on the last one, I really wasn't expecting the first post to get any traction whatsoever! Stay tuned for more updates.