View Full Version : Is there an asset for...

May 23rd, 2012, 02:48 PM
Not sure how common these are outside of the UK but what Im looking for is the frontage for the little businesses that sometimes appear under the arches of viaducts/bridges. Im not even sure what to call them. It would need to be a spline for a particular bridge I would have thought as it would need to expand to match the arches. The bridge I have in mind is the "UK brick arched road bridge 01" by Jonny211 (kuid:46219:38022). Anyone any ideas?

May 23rd, 2012, 04:23 PM
They are usually called 'occupied arches'. I did make one as an experiment for one of my bridges, but was not happy as the bridge was height adjustable to match other assets in the series (including fixed and spline stations and viaducts) and any occupied arch would have needed its entrance door(s) at ground level.

I think that only the creator of the bridge you are interested in would be able to make a suitable occupied arch - unless he could give exact dimensions of the the bridge. Why not try making your own in GMax or Blender?


May 23rd, 2012, 08:54 PM
I suggest getting the bridge with arches in place and then look around at the built-in objects (or DLS downloads) for shop buildings that will fit well in the arch size after shoving them into the spline so only the shop front shows.

May 24th, 2012, 02:05 AM
Thanks guys for the responses. I guess making them in Gmax is not such a biggy as it would pretty much be a flat surface to fit the dimensions of each arch. The problem comes with making the texture look realistic enough to be suitable. The first bit I can do. Not so sure about the latter though. I think I shall have to go and try.
As for the second suggestion - that is easily achievable I think. So thank. Now I have 2 options open to me.

May 24th, 2012, 03:26 PM
Occupied arches in the UK are usually industrial/workshop premises rather than shops and it should be fairly simple to make a plane in GMax or Blender with open or shut doors. There would frequently be large double doors with an inset personal door. Making one to fit a particular bridge by another creator would be a case of trial and error although width could be estimated from the Surveyor grid, and height by raising something (? a person) from ground level to the top of the arch.

Suitable occupants could be car repairs, used car dealer, scrap merchant, secondhand furniture, rag and bone merchant etc. Often the name of the enterprise or owner would be painted on the doors - not very neatly! A good photograph of an actual occupied arch would be a good starting point.

I feel tempted to have a go ...


May 24th, 2012, 04:46 PM
If I recall correctly, there are a couple of splines that would match what you're after. I think that they might be by vendel if you do a search for him on thd DLS though I regret that I cannot remember what they're actually called.

May 25th, 2012, 02:01 AM
Thanks guys. I had a go using sketchup (yes I know its pretty lame) I do have Gmax, Blender and also 3d Max2012 but at least with sketchup I got a feel for what it will look like when done properly. As with most folk the biggest issue using it is the high polly count and poor textures so it is only a temporary fix. I used the ruler to give me the width of the arch and took a guess at the height. First attempt was too high but second attempt was about right. The texture I used looked far to new - not that my grandson was bothered as it had his name on it (well he is only 4). One thing I do like about sketchup is the plugin called RubyTmix. It produces all the files needed in one simple step. Oh how I wish I could do that with 3dMax. Anyway the biggest issue with it is that fact that you can never guarantee the arches are going to be the same from one bridge to the next as it depends on how far the spline is compressed or stretched or its height.
ray_whiley, I use a fair bit of your assets, Id love to see what you do with this one :)

May 25th, 2012, 03:57 PM
AntonyVW - glad to hear you use my creations. I've made a note to have a go at an occupied arch when I've finished my current task which is in an experimental stage - either a set of or a kit to make 'bus and tram stops.


May 26th, 2012, 10:23 AM
@Antony VW -
As an experiment, I spent a few minutes this morning making two infills for creating occupied arches, using 'MB-arch bridge rail' (TS2010 built-in) for testing.

Compared with the baseboard grid, each arch appeared to be correct at about 10 metres wide. By adjusting the spline height until the top of the arch was at baseboard level, I estimated the arch height to be about 7.5 metres. To fit this, I used TACS/GMax to make a box 34.5 feet wide, 24.5 feet high, and 1 foot deep. (I usually work with imperial measurements.)

I textured this box, two-sided, with one of my brick textures and deleted all but the front. This was to be used for the rear of the occupied arch or elsewhere when a bricked-in arch was required.

I textured a second copy using a simple green divided vertically in two with a grey line, to simulate doors.
The result is shown below.

http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/8388/archinfilltest.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/836/archinfilltest.jpg/)
Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

This is very much a trial run and certainly not for use. To use, a more detailed texture would be needed for main and personal doors, and these could be made open or shut (in GMax). In addition, a nameboard could be added to show the owner and/or trade carried on in the arch. More work needed - but breakfast beckoned! - and then a somewhat overgrown garden. (Too much time spent in GMax.)

Note that a contrasting brick was used for emphasis, and that no modification was made to the original spline. However, this was made for a particular arch and might or might not fit others. Photos of occupied arches are needed for creating a realistic texture and unfortunately I do not have any, but I shall probably persevere (for my own interest) and try to create an acceptable texture.


May 26th, 2012, 11:03 AM
Thats looking good Ray. The nearest city to where I live has some of these occupied arches. I will take a camera along in the near future and see if they would mind me photographing the entrances. Wont be for a few days though as my wife and I are taking the grandchildren away on holiday next weekend for a few days. If I happen to go there before then I will see what I can do but it is more likely to be after the 6th June. I presume you will want them as square on as possible and as at a high a resolution as possible? That is of course if you would like me to? (I may be jumping the gun here so excuse me if I am).

May 26th, 2012, 12:12 PM
Antony & Ray,

Out of interest I just did a Google search (under the "Images" tab) for "Railway Arches which gave some interesting photos - maybe worth your while having a look.


Straying off topic but, in case you were wondering, I have not abandoned the road project for which you kindly tested some of the assets. Due to health issues (RSI after 40 years of computer use!!) my use of a computer has been severely restricted for a while. Hopefully I can get back into the swing of things over the next few months.



May 26th, 2012, 02:24 PM
Thanks Chris. I'll go take a look.

May 27th, 2012, 03:41 PM
@Antony - many thanks for your offer; I would certainly be interested, and yes, as square on as possible - makes life easier.

I've been thinking about the earlier suggestion of using a shop and sliding it into the arch. It would be pure luck to find one which would suit! Most shops are two or three storeys high and there would be a good chance of the roof or chimneys poking though the viaduct at rail level - not as serious from the safety aspect in Trainz as in real life, but it wouldn't look good. On the other hand, a single storey shop with a flat roof might not reach the top of the arch. Custom made is the only safe answer, I fear - and preferably by the original creator.

@Chris - I had the same idea as you and collected a good folder of photos of occupied arches yesterday evening. And I must correct something I suggested earlier - it seems that although occupied arches were at one time the domain of back-street industrial concerns, some have now been converted to modern shops (eg. Leamington Spa) or even homes (eg. London). So - as railway modellers always claim - there is a prototype for everything. I've prepared a texture from one of my shop models to use on the test infill shown above.

Sorry to hear of your problems with RSI and hope it will soon improve. Your road project was certainly interesting.

Best wishes to you both.


May 30th, 2012, 04:36 PM
Occupied arches.

In the real world, there are no standard dimensions for viaduct arches as they are built to meet local needs. Most viaducts in Trainz are splines, and each creator chooses his/her own dimensions although the arches can be varied by the user both in height and (to some extent) width. Consequently it is impossible for a third party to make scenic objects of occupied arches which would meet every need.

However, my experiments suggest that something is possible provided that certain parameters are agreed. First, occupied arches are found in relatively low viaducts in an urban setting and five to six metres is a practical limit for the height of the arch opening - anything higher would be too costly to build the infill, and the space created would not be suitable for use as commercial or industrial premises. An exception could be the modern trend to use arches for residential purposes. Second, judging by photographs, relatively narrow arches are converted and I suggest accepting 8 metres in width. Fortunately, this suits both my own viaducts and those in TS2010 (built-in) by MB (mike10) - of which there is a good matching set typical of the UK.

As a result, I have experimented with a plane (only 2 polys) measuring 26 feet wide by 16 feet high (I prefer to use imperial standards) which approximates to 8 metres by just under 5 metres. and used a texture from one of my shop models, a double-fronted sandwich bar (two-sided texture to make the object easier to see in Surveyor). The results are shown below.

http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/9729/occupiedarchrw.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/32/occupiedarchrw.jpg/)
Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/8564/occupiedarchmb.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/215/occupiedarchmb.jpg/)
Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

The viaduct by MB is raised from ground level to 5.7 metres (height of track above base) and my own viaduct to 6.5 metres; the difference is due to the depth of brickwork above the arch and can be determined only by trial and error in Surveyor. I feel that both results are acceptable. In each case, the width of the arch is set to minimum.

Given reasonable photos to work from, it would be easy to make a series of arch infills of the same size. I have many photos of shops which could be edited to suit, and of modern town houses to make residential units, if there is any interest. I have very few photos of small industrial units, but could of course create some textures in a graphics program.

A few more thoughts:

It would be possible to use two scenic objects for each occupied arch: a brick, stone or rendered plane as a basic infill, and a 3D frontage for each commercial or industrial enterprise - a building of shallow depth with no back or roof. The basic infill could have greater height, and be adjusted down from base level to suit a particular arch; the frontage would obviously need to rest at base level.

A spline would not be appropriate for occupied arches, as this would lead to each arch infill being identical, which would not be realistic. However, a spline could be used for the basic brick etc. infill, to cover a succession of arches, with a different scenic object then added to each arch.

It should also be remembered that arches were frequently cross-connected by smaller arches, so that one enterprise could occupy more than one.

Those are my thoughts and I would very much like to hear those of others. As they used to say in exams (at least in my youth - a long time ago) - Discuss.


May 30th, 2012, 11:36 PM
Ray and Antony,

I think there are also some arches by Mike10 that are already filled in. This would make it a lot easier, wouldn't you think, to work with as it would save time trying to fill in the arches first before putting in the doors and windows.

This makes me wonder... Having a "kit" of doors and windows might work with something like this.


May 31st, 2012, 01:54 AM
I think there are also some arches by Mike10 that are already filled in.

John - very true, and these are 'built-in' in TS2010, but having said that there was so much variation in the dimensions of arches that any infills were best made by the original creator, I wanted to make ones that would suit my own set of brick viaducts made and published earlier this year. The fact that my experiment also suited the MB series was in a way incidental, but these are the only comprehensive set of built-in viaducts etc. to UK standards. I am sure that there are many more on the DLS but as I'm happy with what I've got I don't want to spend time downloading them just to test!

However, an 'add-on' 3D facade for commercial or industrial premises could be used with any filled-in arches, either originally filled-in like the MB series or by using a textured plane, and this could well be the way to go to make them more widely useable.

The idea of a 'kit' of doors and windows is a good one but the problems, as I said, is that I don't at present have photos of occupied arches other than from the internet and these would be copyright protected, so anything I did might be rather toy-like if made from scratch in a graphics program.

Occupied arches are not a feature of my part of the world - I've never seen any - but are common in London and other large cities.

Thanks for your contribution, John.


May 31st, 2012, 04:34 PM
Some more tests today:

http://img818.imageshack.us/img818/2010/occupiedarch2mb.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/818/occupiedarch2mb.jpg/)
Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

This is a 3D frontage aplied just forward of an MB infilled arch viaduct.

http://img43.imageshack.us/img43/6969/occupiedarch2rw.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/43/occupiedarch2rw.jpg/)
Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

This is the same 3D scenic object applied in front of my own infilled viaduct spline. (Sorry for the repetition in the caption!)

I am not satisfied with the appearance of either - they just don't look right (this is no criticism of either viadcuct, especially the MB).

http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/2998/occupiedarch3rew.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/535/occupiedarch3rew.jpg/)
Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

This is a simple plane with one texture using the photograph of the sandwich bar and the remainder of the infill using the same brick texture. To me, this looks best, but of course it would only match my own viaducts. The plane might fit others, but the brickwork could not match - however, a stone or rendered infill would perhaps give a pleasing contrast and show up better.

One advantage of using a simple vertical plane for the whole of the infill is that other arches in the spline could be left open.

This could well be the end of the experiments as, for my own use, I think that a fixed section of viaduct (a scenery object) would be preferable.