Request for content creator help on a big project.


New member
Some of you are aware as I've mentioned bits and pieces about this here and there. Steamboateng and I are in the midst of a big project for a local heritage and technology museum. We need content creators to assist us with buildings and other structures. We have until the end of April to complete the project and present it to the museum for their use. This will not be a full Trainz TS12 route for them, however, this will be a video for their use. There is no monetary compensation for any of us. Instead we're only mentioning names in the list of credits following the movie.

About the project...
Last year Steamboateng approached the museum for information on the Hoosac Tunnel and North Adams yard. Rather than take something for free, he suggested that he give them a video copy of the route once completed in exchange for information. The people he needed to speak with weren't available at the time and he did some research on his own. As time went on he and I discussed this over this summer and we decided to journey west to North Adams, MA and visit the vicinity. We chose the coldest, snowiest week in December to do this. Steamboateng has done some nice explaining here, so I've copied this in full from another forum we belong to.

The 'Hoosac Project' is a rather simple one; It will cover operations of the Boson & Maine RR from Hoosac Station at the East Portal (Hoosac Tunnel) to the North Adams, Massachusetts yards, about two miles north of the West Portal. The time frame is about 1945, when steam was still king and giant 2-8-4 Berkshires and 4-8-2 Mountains ruled the grade into the Berkshire Hills of northwestern Massachusetts. The Hoosac Tunnel was still electrified (and would be until 1946), Triple headed electric locos pulled the steam trains through the 4.75 mile tunnel powered from an 11kv/25 cycle overhead catenary system. The electrics coupled/decoupled at Hoosac Staion westbound, or North Adams, eastbound. We wish to recreate some of the busy activity between those two points. We won't recreate the tunnel in its entirety; a 30 mph speed limit would take a visually boring 10 minutes; only a mile or so of each end. The entire project will be no longer than 5 miles.
The goal of the project is to provide the Heritage Gateway Museum of Science and Technology, located in North Adams MA. with about 20-30 minutes of video (MP4) depicting freight and passenger operations in the area circa 1940's. The video will be shown at the museum as part of the Hoosac Tunnel exhibit. This is a non-profit undertaking on our part. In exchange we get access to old photos, maps and etc. from the North Adams Historical Society, and the Rowe Historical Society. The photos and maps will be used to model the area.

We have met with Robert Campanile, who runs the museum, and author of 'Images of America – North Adams'; a pictorial publication depicting the town's citizens and industries over time. We also met with Charles 'Chuck' Cahoon, president of the North Adams Historical Society. Chuck has been sending us photos and maps fro the Society's collections, weekly. At the Springfiild (MA) train show this last weekend, we met with Carl Byron, who wrote 'A Pinprick of Light – The Troy and Greenfield Railroad and its Hoosac Tunnel'. The book is a history of the building of the tunnel, and a pretty good read. Carl is a member of the Rowe Historical Society, and has promised us its cooperation in providing additional photos and maps for reference. Rowe, by the way, is the town nearest the east portal (although the east portal is actually located in Florida, MA.)

Steamboateng has been working on the East Portal, though the shorter of the track and with fewer structures, but he's also been building content as well. I've been working the west end from the West Portal through North Adams. I've included the track as far as the Vermont border and south to Adams, MA. Whether we use that part as well is unknown at this time. As we know it's best to have a bunch of terrain and cut back as it's easier to trim than add on when working with the real world DEM-based terrain.

Today, the yard is gone. It's hard to believe that in about 54 years, there's nothing left. By this I mean comparing aerial photos from 1960 to those from today. Even in 1960, the roundhouse, station, and some of the other buildings were still there. There's not even a sign the yard was there at all as everything is grass, trees, and piles of ties along a double track main line with a couple of rusty sidings. Gone is the big B&A roundhouse which once hosted the big mountain type locomotives and NYC Hudsons, as well as the B&M Berkshires. Gone is the beautiful passenger station and all the complex point work around the area. The LCL and cold storage warehouse is now a parking lot, and so is the place where the big Purina grain elevator once sat. The only structures left are an old yard office, in rather poor shape, and the old engine house for the electric motors. This building is now a scrap dealer who doesn't even have a rail connection! The big expanse of green weeds and poison ivy once had five stub-ended tracks between the brick engine house and the yard office on the B&M side. The B&A yard had three interchange tracks between their branch and the B&M. Their small stub-ended yard behind the passenger station is now a parking lot for a supermarket or warehouse.

Using the old photos, maps, drawings, books, and whatever else Chuck has been forwarding to us, I've been able to relay the track as best as possible to the original plan. Compromises of course had to be made due to snap-to-grid issues with the tunnel portals and turntables. The latter actually threw me off a bit and I had to adjust tracks! Even though the B&M had consolidated its engine terminal with its rival the B&A here in North Adams, they still kept the turntable, but tore down the roundhouse.

This is a great project and serves a purpose. Imagine a Trainz TS12 route that actually has a purpose. The route will be part of a teaching tool as it will not just show the trains and the great tunnel, a engineering project in its self, it will also show the importance of the railroad and it's opening of the northern corner of Massachusetts and the region to the outside world.

If anyone is interested in joining us on bringing this to life, please contact steamboateng or myself via PM. Pictures will be available upon request.