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Thread: M120: Module for Model Railroadz

  1. #1

    Lightbulb M120: Module for Model Railroadz

    Ever been to one of those railroad fares or shows? Lots of model train clubs showing their work. Every now and than those model train clubs even decide to combine their routes together to make one large route.


    Wouldn't it be nice if we did something similar in Trainz?

    These train clubs can combine their work because they work with a pre-defined module standard. As long as everyone sticks to the basics of the standard and can live with the different building styles and skills of the participants, together they can create very large and interesting routes.

    So I thought: To do the same thing in Trainz, we need a standard; a few basic and clear rules that are not too hard to comply to.
    And that's what I did: Create a standard (and give it a name).

    Part of that standard is limited / enforced by the way Trainz is build; baseboards size and not being able to rotated them when merging. The rest needed some thoughts.

    M120 module definition:
    After a lot of thinking and some basic experimenting, this is the result, the "M120 standard" for "model railroadz":

    Connection definition between modules:
    Modules are on the Eastern and Western edge connected with each other by a 120m wide base plate in the middle of a baseboard.
    The rail connection is a dual-track main line, positioned between 20m and 30m of the south-side of the 120m wide plate.
    First 20m of track are straight on both East and West end, after that up to the choice of the designer.
    First 20m of baseboard on both East and West end are flat, after that up to the choice of the designer.
    Screenshot of the connection:

    Module size: Modules are between 1 and 4 baseboards in size and setup in the way of "Model Railroadz".
    Sides: Keep at least 120m of distance between the edges of the module and the edge of the baseboard, after that up to the choice of the designer.
    Allowed content to use: Only DLS content and content built-in into TS2010 and TS12 (and later TANE). The idea is to be able to every now and than merge the routes and make a multiplayer session the combined route; MP requires this.
    Tracks: Standard gauge main (connecting) line. Type of track and what you do outside of the main line is up to the choice of the designer.
    Driving direction: Right-side driving on main line. Everything else is up to the choice of the designer.
    Trainz versions: For your creation you can use every version that can be loaded into TS12 SP1 without extra tricks until we are 100% sure the final version of TANE supports merge without problems. After that every version that can be loaded into TANE.
    Station platform length: 120m minimum on main line. Everything else is up to the choice of the designer.
    Signaling: At least 1 signal in each direction on the main line; consider more if you have a long main line on your module. Everything else is up to the choice of the designer. Details open for discussion.
    Country / theme: Totally up to the choice of the designer.

    Here are some very basic empty module examples of a 1 or 2 baseboard module:
    1 baseboard examples:
    2 baseboards examples:

    Hoping this will become a success, I took the liberty of renting a hall and with some basic particleboard constructed the western loop :


    I hope enough people are interested in this idea to make it a success and in a few months we can have our first combined trainz model route .

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Arrow

    Current modules made:


    • Clark City Terminal Railroad (2 baseboards by meowrailroad)
    • Bigg City Yard (2 baseboards (N-S) by benjaminw)
    • Farm lands 17 (2 baseboards by oknotsen)
    • Grain Loading (1 baseboard by benjaminw)
    • Two Valleys (2 baseboards by oknotsen)
    • Newton Silos (1 baseboard by mrmegaminer)
    • Harbor Route (3 baseboards by curmudgeon66)



    (last updated: August 26th, 2016)
    Last edited by oknotsen; October 28th, 2016 at 06:02 AM. Reason: Added another module

  4. #4

    Default

    I already had suggested this idea to a few people and of course they had questions. I will post them (and future questions) here to create some sort of a FAQ:

    Q: I don't have TS12, can I use TS2010?
    A: Sure. You can use any version of Trainz that allows the created route to be loaded into TANE.

    Q: I created a module. Now what?
    A: Be sure it contains only DLS or built-in material and upload it to the DLS.

    Q: After the merge, the route will be on your name. How about my name?
    A: Everyone is free to merge the modules to their liking and do what they like. When I merge the modules for upload, I will add the names of all participants to the description of the route.

    Q: I am not so skilled in route building; can I still join?
    A: Why not? If we all follow the module standard, we can learn from how other people created things and eventually improve our skill.

    Q: Why maximum 4 baseboards?
    A: Anyone remember those 600+ baseboard projects some started on 8 years ago? Most of those large projects take forever to finish if they finish at all. Let's start with 4 baseboards max; a relatively small route. When we have a bunch of modules and a little momentum / enthusiasm going on, we can increase the maximum later.

    Q: Please explain to me again why only DLS and built-in material?
    A: The idea is to merge them later. Some will only drive solo on it, but some will enjoy the fun of doing multiplayer on this merged route. Multiplayer requires all content to be built-in or on the DLS.

    Q: I created a module. Should I give it some special name so you can recognize it?
    A: Please add "m120" to the name of the route. That way all modules created for this standard will show up when searching for "m120".

    Q: I don't know where to start; can't you just upload some example to get me started?
    A: I have uploaded 4 example routes with just the table (just search for "M120" and "example"), but don't let it limit your imagination!
    Last edited by oknotsen; October 28th, 2016 at 06:07 AM.

  5. #5
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    This is a great idea, but not new. At one point, a few guys who I can't remember now, made some real route modules for Trainz TRS2004. They called the modules UM for "U-Make", and each one was prefixed accordingly. The tracks were placed in specific locations and could be linked together into various formats. I downloaded a few in their day, and they're weren't half bad. I never did much with them at the time, but some people did have a lot of fun and a good time with them. They too made use of built-in or as supplied from the DLS content.

    I hope you have as much success with this as they did with their modules.

    John
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by oknotsen View Post

    If you want, I can work on this one.(If you don't mind sending it to me)
    Ill be sure to give you credit for the base.

    1 Corinthians 10:31

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    Oknotsen, you could put the blank modules on the DLS and people could download them, build their model RR section, and release it, but people have to put your name in the description. I would probably do this, in the interests of time.
    Supporter of spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

  8. #8

    Thumbs up Thanks for the reactions

    Quote Originally Posted by JCitron View Post
    This is a great idea, but not new.
    I totally agree. I did not know it was done successfully done in trainz already though. Just like with a lot of good idea's, this one is "stolen" or "re-invented".

    Quote Originally Posted by JCitron View Post
    I hope you have as much success with this as they did with their modules.
    Thank you, John.
    I hope the current interested and joy people get with creating Model Railroadz, enough people will also be willing to give this a try.

    Quote Originally Posted by benjaminw View Post
    If you want, I can work on this one.
    Quote Originally Posted by MeowRailroad View Post
    Oknotsen, you could put the blank modules on the DLS and people could download them
    In reaction to both of you:
    All the examples are on the DLS:
    M120 - module example 1 (1 baseboard, basic), kuid:645812:12005
    M120 - module example 2 (2 baseboards), kuid:645812:12006
    M120 - module example 3 (1 baseboard), kuid:645812:12007
    M120 - module example 4 (2 baseboards), kuid:645812:12008
    Keep in mind they are examples and in this case "just" of 1 or 2 baseboards. Feel free to use them as your base, but also feel free to adjust them in any way you like (while sticking between the "standard" as described earlier). They are mainly intended as an easy starting base / inspiration / explanation. Maybe you need 3 or (currently max) 4 baseboards? Maybe you like to make different shapes? Just stay 120m away from the sides (and pillars), keep the connection part in the right shape and place on the East and West end and go be creative .

    No need to give me credit for these (nearly) blank baseboards. I am happy you both are interested in giving this idea a go and hope more will join in later . Looking forward to your creations!
    When uploading, please add "M120" in the name somewhere so it is easy to find for everyone who is interesting in merging the different modules together.

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    Cool! When I finish my Hancock and Southern model RR I will give this a go!
    Supporter of spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the modules oknotsen! I'm not that great at building Model Railroadz, but these are just the ticket to help me out. And, if you do not mind me making a suggestion; How about "plexiglass" as a spline to place around the edges?
    Best Regards,

    Alex

  11. #11
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    So can we use any track, or do we need to use the one on the base modules?

    1 Corinthians 10:31

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    I think it is a good idea, but as Benjamin mentioned, "What track do we use?" - maybe the modules could be linked via a tunnel which would allow more flexibility to each layout that presents a new scene. In that way maintaining textures would not be that conspicuous. I also think if each 'modeller' were to upload their designs to the DLS then a designated " Key File Name" followed by an identity tag (such as M120: Frednerks 01,02, etc) should be introduced at the outset; otherwise there could be hundreds of uploads and no one being able to locate them.
    Cheers,
    Roy3b3

  13. #13
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    Just downloaded all of them. However, the large supports are being very annoying. Reason why is because whenever I try to rotate something, I end up rotating the floor. Also, I'd suggest using bendorsey's dig holes. There is more than the 4x8 version.
    Trainz 2019 - So easy a caveman can use it.

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    I'm sure there is a very good reason, but why aren't the track centers aligned on a grid line rather than half way between?

    I also have a question about the peninsula module (the image in benjaminw's first post). It appears (at least to me) that the two ends of the module are not in the middle of the bottom baseboard. Wouldn't they need to be in order to connect other modules?
    Rick

    "It's never too late to have a happy childhood." - Tom Robbins

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    Question will there an east end version of the loop you have posted? I seen the west end on DLS I was just curious.

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