View Full Version : Google Rail View

September 11th, 2011, 03:28 AM
Pie in the sky, I know, but how practical could this be and what might be the benefits?

It would be great for Route building research material, though I doubt that Google are likely to oblige just on that basis.

Strapping one of those cameras to the top of a loco might create problems with tunnel and bridge clearances. European catenary might also be a problem, but the cameras presumably donít need to be as high as the ones used on cars where the extra height is required to clear the view above other cars.


September 11th, 2011, 04:35 AM
It is an interesting notion for sure. One problem I'd foresee is that you are limited to currently operating routes.

If, as in Ireland, the UK, and many other countries, hundreds of miles of route have been closed, it's only going to be of use if you're wanting to create modern image routes.

September 11th, 2011, 09:07 AM
The problem in the UK is that there are so many different passenger and freight companies they are not all going to have the same enthusiasm for the idea. While cab ride videos do appear from time to time, there is also the security aspect to consider. Maybe not so much in the UK, but certainly other parts of the world, railways are considered a sensitive area or even subject to the same restrictions as military areas. In that sort of climate, you're not going to get easy access to mount a camera on the front of a train.

If you want a pseudo "Street View" type image of a railway line, don't forget that Bing Maps (formerly Local Live) offers an angled birds eye view of many locations on their map service. Not as good as Street View, but better than flat top down.

September 11th, 2011, 10:16 AM
Good point regarding the modern view. It wouldnít be of too much use for recreating historical lines.

I suppose the topography is likely to remain relatively the same, particularly in rural areas. It could therefore still be quite useful if you enjoy the challenge of World building from scratch without DEM software.

I hadnít considered the security angle. I guess the cab view rides can be more easily scrutinised before release and only give a single angle of view.

I guess weíre never likely to see Google Rail View then.

Mind you, Trainz has had it for years!