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Craigals
April 11th, 2010, 06:39 PM
I am planning on doing a route from Glasgow Central to London Euston with routes extending of to Blackpool and Manchester Victoria and Picadilly and Airport. I know this will be a heft task for me but my questions are:

1) has this route already been done and if so where?
2) what would I lay first track, buildings or Landscape?
and thirdly
3) Am I mad in thinking I can do this?

cascaderailroad
April 11th, 2010, 07:11 PM
I am giving my own personal advice, as my prototypical route from Huntingdon to Johnstown Pa, is rediculously large, and will take me seemingly forever to duplicate the @ 300 miles of combined trackage.

So DEM's make all the terrain for you...but your route will be huge, like mine is.:confused:

Maybe you could replicate only the important stations, yards, and rail fan sites...and condence the 10,000 baseboard route into a more fun condenced 100 baseboard route.:wave:

If I had to do my route all over again...I would do Phila Greenwich Yard, Zoo Interlocking, Paoli Yard, Lancaster (Strasburg RR), Harrisburg-Enola Yard, Lewistown, Tyrone, Altoona, Horseshoe-Muleshoe Curve(s), MG Tower, Cresson, Cassandra, Johnstown, Bolvair, CP Conpit, Pitcairn Yard, Pittsburgh. And all in condenced and merged @ 200 baseboards.:cool:

My route is presently 10,000 baseboards and is 567Mb.:eek: The DLS limit is only a maximum of 30-60Kb. So as mine is huge, it will have to be hosted on a third party site.

I have started a fourth route, in addition to my Enola Yard, Pictairn Yard, Horseshoe Curve route(s)...the British Columbia-Kicking Horse Pass-Spiral Loop Tunnels, which is on @ 7 baseboards at present, and may be extended East to Lake Louise BC, and West to Field BC, all in @ 50 baseboards.
---> http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc339/cascaderailroad/Field-LakeLouise3.jpg
---> http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc339/cascaderailroad/Field-LakeLouiseZoom1.jpg
---> http://i525.photobucket.com/albums/cc339/cascaderailroad/Field-LakeLouiseZoom.jpg

stovepipe
April 11th, 2010, 08:14 PM
Well that's 400 miles of route you got there.... I admire your enthusiasm, but to get real for a moment...

At least 6 people have taken 5 years to do half of London KX - Edinburgh. The London - York section (190 miles) was released in TS2010. The remainder might get released in the next year of so, I don't know.

If you are going to do a route properly, this is the kind of effort you are looking at. If you are just going to lay flat lines and make little effort in making places look realistic, then why not just do a fictional route? If you really want to do a prototypical route then perhaps start with something more manageable like say, Preston - Blackpool, it hasn't been done, and it's on your doorstep.

But before you start even that, I would advise you knock out a couple of small fictional layouts to get an idea of the effort required to get something you are happy with. By all means get route building and have fun, but do realise that huge routes don't come at all easy.

Start small and work you way up is my advice.

Have fun.:)

angelah
April 12th, 2010, 02:29 AM
I agree with Stovepipe here. I am working on a route Paddington to (ostensibly) Plymouth. This is being done in sections and each section takes a considerable amount of time, the first part to Reading (actually Theale) took nearly 2 years and that was working flat out, but with me being retired time was not such a problem. 12 hours in a day was not uncommon.
The second part to Westbury took 3 years overall, although I did have a break of about a year during the build.
At present I am on the 3rd section, Westbury to Taunton, and it's slow progress.
But I worked in a trains sim since the Original Trainz and before when I used a German sim, so I had already had a lot of practice. There's a lot to get used to, the knack of texturing for a start, getting a good asset database together on your PC is also important and then I made a list for each type of asset in hard copy because remembering what you have on your drive and exactly what each one is called is rather a nightmare, so having it printed out for reference saves a lot of time continually searching through the assets lists in Trainz. Doing this took several days but was well worth the effort.
Then plenty of practice, seeing what you can produce and how realistic it looks. Experimenting in a word.
If working on a real route then you will need a DEM as the ground base which will put in place countours, set the ground levels at the correct height and mark out all important features.

What I did was to spend 2 years making small routes and putting all these things except the DEM into practice.

So building a real route full scale (which I do) is a massive project and will take an awful lot of your free time. The trap most people fall into is seeing how easy Trainz is to create in; it takes just a few seconds to lay track, slap a building or two in and off you go. But doing a prototypical line is a totally different things because you need to research or know the route fairly well.

Things needed will be the DEM, Ordnance Survey maps to cover the route because the DEM is not always accurate for various reasons so you need to check and reset heights, and an awful lot of assets. Then you need a second PC to run Google Earth and Street View on at the same time as you work on your route so you can see from above the ground plan in real time and in SV for greater detail.
Detail is only necessary near the tracks and perhaps at stations. Remember though, that more detail equals less running speed (frame rate) on your PC. Get a little utility called FRAPS and run it in the background so it shows on your Trainz screen.

To reply to your points: It doesn't matter if a route has been done before unless it is in high detail. Some of the routes on the DS could sorely do with upgrading by a new one being built. If you build onto a DEM then laying track would be my first job because it will show up where the DEM is out. Setting road bridges in as you go along as well as cuttings and embankments and marking the stations is also necessary at this point. Final adjustments can be made after you go back to the start and begin to put scenery in. Are you mad? No, just a bit over enthusiastic due to the Trainz trap mentioned above, but now you know what you're up against!

Hope that helps,

Angela

Craigals
April 13th, 2010, 07:57 AM
Thankyou for your advise, I shall start small with the Blackpool south to Preston then add on extra track once I've sorted it out first, also does the track go 1st or the buildings?

cascaderailroad
April 13th, 2010, 09:02 AM
Generally, as just like in building a real RR line, topography came first, and the rivers cut through the topography. Railroads usually followed the path of least resistance: the rivers. And RR's sometimes made detours around natural barriers, or cities by using tunnels. Buildings and trees come dead last on my routes, as do textures.

The overall route should look like a topo map image, from looking from straight down standpoint...showing a prototypical route, going from point, to point B, using realistic radius curves, and nicely laid turnouts.