Looking for Lake Superior Ore Docks


<Insert Creative Title>
Geez... It's been years since I last visited, and even longer since I last posted anything. Looks like the community is still going strong.

Anyway, I've recently become fascinated with the iron ore railroads of Northern Minnesota, Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. Dominate railroads being the DM&IR, DSS&A, and segments of the MILW, GN, and NP; 1950s era. Trying to model these, while possible, is somewhat tricky due to available assets.

I've found and am toying with Ian's (Vulcan) ore loading docks and ore dock 'bridge' segments. While beautiful models, and easy to work with, getting them to represent one of the iconic ore docks on Lake Superior leaves much to be desired. Not anything wrong with the model per se, just not quite right for what I need.

When placed back to back, they only makes a two-track dock (a standard dock has 4 tracks), and because of the location of an operator's office (?) on the industry portion, there is a gap between the docks themselves. I can't even squeeze a couple of tracks/bridges in-between the docks themselves to at least complete the look, as that office ends up sitting square on the filler-track next to it.

One could just use the bridge portions by themselves, but I would like something like an unload script for the trains. The ability to load drivable ships is nice, but the railroad itself is my focus and I'm not planning on installing functional shipping lanes.

As I write, a thought occurred: is it possible to get a basic industry track (Auran, Lars, BI2, etc) to work with the ore-dock bridge track? That would either allow me to make a small-ish two-track dock, or fudge some filler tracks in-between for the 4-track appearance. Those industry track things can be fussy though, and tend to not be able to be elevated above ground level. :confused:

I've also discovered Wawasoo's thread, The Yooper/Yupper. (Screenshot forum thread, large image warning...)
(Look to pages 80+ for screenies of the dock I'm referring to)

His ore docks would be ideal, but it appears that he is waiting to release them after "A New Era" (sounds like Star Wars movie title :hehe:) is released. I understand and can respect that, there's no sense in hurrying to finish something, especially as remarkable and grand as his screenshots make it out to be, just to have it all become 'obsolete'.

My questions are: Are there any ore docks, or ore-dock-like structures that I've overlooked? Or does anyone have some ideas on how to manipulate Ian's docks into working (at least looking like) a 4-track ore dock?

I've checked the DLS with a variety of searches, as well as over at TrainzProRoutes. I found some lovely ore cars from Missaberoad.com, but no docks. Most google searches involving "Trainz" and "Ore Dock" send me to either Iantrainz.com, or to the Yupper thread on the forums.

Am I just out of luck, and need to find a more creative workaround?
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Hi Greg,

I am not aware of a really convincing solution, however you can use vulcan's splines to build a four track dock the following way:

Assets list:
Iron Ore Dock All Up,<kuid:60238:38101>
Iron Ore Dock 1 Down,<kuid:60238:38102>
Iron Ore Dock 2 Down,<kuid:60238:38105>
Iron Ore Dock 3 Down,<kuid:60238:38106>
AJS Track Eraser,<kuid2:122285:1003:1> (or any other invisible track)
PL Great Lakes Bulk (short car version),<kuid2:200687:110800:2> (http://missaberoad.com/?page_id=214 last item). These are for the ore cars available at missaberoad.com.

(Please note that at least for the latest TS12 build one of the products <kuid2:546000:100133:1> has to be fixed:
The following two lines of the config.txt
product-texture                         "taconite256.tga"
    image                               "taconite256.tga"
you have to remove the space between 'taconite' and '256' (resp. change "taconite 256.tga" to "taconite256.tga").)

Place four of the dock splines close together. Don't worry about those shacks... you can remove them easily (see next step). Unfortunately the railing can't be removed, so the prototypical very close track spacing can't be done.
For the inner tracks I would suggest to use only 'Iron Ore Dock All Up' and none of the 'chutes down' versions, for the outer ones use whatever fits the situation.

For the inner tracks insert a spline point about 4 meters away from the end points. That should remove the shacks.

For each track place a ProtoLars industry track 'PL Great Lakes Bulk (short car version)' (Don't connect them with the dock splines).

Now use 'AJS Track Eraser' (or some other invisible track) to extend the track from the PL to both ends. This is the track to be used by the train, so make sure it is aligned properly to the (visible) dock spline track.

The approach track is to be connected to the invisible track and not to the dock spline, and you may have to use the straighten tool on the invisible one after connecting.
For the approach track I recommend to use some track-type/bendy (not bridge-type) girder bridge, allowing you to build junctions.
For example <kuid2:124017:25029:1> by maddy25, there are some more by wawasoo, or austin316hockey's 'SubKit EL' stuff.

Next step is to raise everything to the correct height. Make sure the PL spline points, the other invisible track spline points and the dock spline points do all have the exact same height.

Finally you have to configure each PL track:
Leave the General settings as per default.
For the product(s) you want to unload set Consume rate and Unload amount to the maximum each.

One minute after arriving on the ore dock the train will be unloaded car by car.

When placing rolling stock or trackside items on the dock track always make sure it is placed on the invisible track, not on the dock spline track. Using a separate layer for the dock spline track and locking that layer after having set the track height might be a good solution.

Again, this is far from perfect especially regarding the track spacing... but I hope it helps.

Again, this is far from perfect especially regarding the track spacing... but I hope it helps.

Actually, knowing how that trick with the Proto-lars industry turns out gives me a flood of ideas, thank you!

I'm cool with wonky track spacing, it was the gaps in the dock structure from above and at the ends that was really making me twitch.

And I could live with a two track dock too :eek:, just all my creations were using the ore-dock industry pieces which threw off the spacing (no longer a problem with your proto-lars technique). So if nothing else, I can have a 'perfect' two-track dock with the method you showed me.

I might also check the DLS for some basic tracks/bridges that have wood decks that can be used in between. An industrial building of some sort could serve as a 'cap' on the end of the dock to hide the middle bridge from view. That might clear up the track spacing, with a little bit of visual oddities I suppose.

Hah, so many things to go try out now. (there goes my weekend... ;) )

Fun fact: the DM&IR's later ore docks were actually 6 'tracks', but with only 4 rails. It was the inner rails of the first and third track that made up the 'middle' track of each (sorta like dual-guage but not). This was done to allow for more even ore distribution within the bins below.