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Thread: Route Merge Tips?

  1. #1

    Default Route Merge Tips?

    Hi guys, I am looking for battlefield tips on merging routes from experienced soldiers! I understand that routes are the geography of any given layout, the layers are numbered junctions, named stations, signal boxes etc. I have tried to merge a couple of routes before and ended up with hideous results, i.e rift valleys and sink holes! I have learnt that when merging, it maybe better to merge the smaller route when working with the bigger route loaded up. I have tried to find info on this in the manual, but there does not seem to be anything related to this important issue if you are keen layout builder! Thanks in anticipation for any replies.

  2. #2

    Lightbulb A link and a few Tips........

    https://www.google.com/search?source...60.V41vOJjocco

    Check out all these different Links and Videos.....It's a start........

    One quick tip or two, make sure none of the Routes you merge have a single Train on them be it a Car or Loco.......

    And make sure one of the Routes has Route Layer named to something else......You can't merge 2 routes with same name "ROUTE LAYER", you'll get RED Block on the merge module telling you to change one of the names.........

    Also, If I recall correctly, Merge smaller Route into larger one. If it doesn't work, then reverse, Large into Smaller Route....

    Also, not good to have multiple Layers in Routes to Merge, should only have one Layer.....

    Another thing, neither Route should have missing Assets, replace them or delete them, it confuses Trainz and you stnad the chance of getting a corrupted Merge, Tracks missing, Texture missing etc......

    Always make a working copy of the Route, and use that copy, retain the original untouched......

    Hope this helps, I have been merging for close to 5 yrs, and there are many others here who know better than me on Merge techniques, these are the ones I have learned from some of the great Veterans in our Forum.......

  3. #3
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    Or try the Trainz Wiki "How to Merge" page at http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/i...o_Merge_Routes
    A member of the "Party Machine". Now if only I could remember where they are holding the party!

  4. #4
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    My recommendation is to back up everything you are merging and this means both routes. With working copies in hand you can now merge stuff without worrying about ruing hard work done on the routes.

    As far as layers go, I merge anything that's connected with the route layer into the route layer prior to merging because things seem to get lost in the translation somewhere, and do the same with the Session layer. It also pays off too to ensure there's nothing missing because for some reason a missing asset will then be difficult to remove, or at least that has been the issue with TS12 and in some cases with T:ANE.

    The problem I will note with the current versions is the lack of feedback once the merging starts. It's difficult to know if in fact the process is happening or the program has hung somewhere in the computer ether. Once the merger is done, I look around and if I am satisfied with the results, I then save, otherwise, I scrap that and try a different way.

    The rifts and holes seem to be something to do with legacy routes. I merged in two T:ANE, latest version routes, and didn't come across that problem, and did the same in TRS19 as well, however, merging in older routes into a T:ANE-era route or doing the same in TRS19, can lead to the great rifts across the mountains.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    TS12 Build: 61388
    T:ANE Build: 90955

  5. #5
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    I add an extra row of baseboard where the routes will be joined so I can then match up the track, terrain, scenery etc. Peter

  6. #6

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by wilts747 View Post
    I add an extra row of baseboard where the routes will be joined so I can then match up the track, terrain, scenery etc. Peter
    Good Point in fact, I completely forgot to mention to him on that one, I do it so automatically..............

  7. #7

    Default Thanks guys, much appreciated!

    Thank you for your valuable tips. A row of blank base boards between the two make great sense as any conflict between the two routes is centred on the blank canvas and geographical faults do not permeate throughout one or both routes. Rebuilding the blank baseboard between the two routes will be far quicker than spending days and days repairing rifts and sinkholes. I also think that it is vital that the adjoining baseboards of the connecting routes are of the same value i.e 5 meter or 10 meter. Once again thanks for your valuable advice!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrakemanJake View Post
    Thank you for your valuable tips. A row of blank base boards between the two make great sense as any conflict between the two routes is centred on the blank canvas and geographical faults do not permeate throughout one or both routes. Rebuilding the blank baseboard between the two routes will be far quicker than spending days and days repairing rifts and sinkholes. I also think that it is vital that the adjoining baseboards of the connecting routes are of the same value i.e 5 meter or 10 meter. Once again thanks for your valuable advice!
    Here's some more things to chew on regarding merging.

    The blank baseboards in between is a great idea for non-prototypical routes based on TransDEM. For a DEM-based route it's necessary to merge up to the edges of each section otherwise there are giant gaps in the terrain, which is of course an obvious problem.

    When combining routes such as those with two disparate heights, I will offset the routes more than a single baseboard, and use these boards as a way to connect the two together. Using these in between boards, I can not only adjust the height but also come up with some consistent terrain that blends between the two sections in such a way it's nearly impossible to tell where one section begins and another ends.

    When the difference is substantial, I will use a tunnel in between the two sections as a way to get around the great escarpment.

    Here are some pictures of my mega-merger route that has routes from Dave Snow, Jointed Rail, and Deremmy. This is the connection between the famous East Kentucky and Dave Snow's famous Ozark Valley:


    2018-12-05 195053.jpg 2018-12-05 195118.jpg 2018-12-05 195124.jpg
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    TS12 Build: 61388
    T:ANE Build: 90955

  9. #9
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    Suggest that this set of messages be placed in the Sticky - Tips and Tricks
    Dick near Pittsburgh, Pa. i5-2500K 4.3ghz, 8gb memory, GTX1050 4gb video card

  10. #10

    Default Thanks John, Can you expand.

    Hi John, can you expand your acronyms for all to understand, TransDEM, DEM, I am not familiar with those terms. I can only assume that you mean layouts that are built to google earth accuracy, or fantasy routes. Sorry to be a neatpick but I think it would be beneficiary for anyone looking on to understand the difference.
    Cheers Chris

  11. #11
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    DEM is Digital Elevation Model. A method of storing ground height data in a computer readable form. The DEM data used by many Trainz route creators comes from satellites often using ground radar technology. Accuracies down to 1 metre or less are possible depending on the source of the data. The data sources are often publicly accessible and free sites run by governments or government agencies such as NASA, ESA, and local mapping authorities.

    TransDEM is a payware product that has been specifically designed to take DEM data and convert it into Trainz route maps, complete with the track if you want. It takes all the fun out of route creation (only kidding).
    Last edited by pware; December 7th, 2018 at 07:53 PM. Reason: typo
    A member of the "Party Machine". Now if only I could remember where they are holding the party!

  12. #12

    Default Thanks for that pware

    Quote Originally Posted by pware View Post
    DEM is Digital Elevation Model. A method of storing ground height data in a computer readable form. The DEM data used by many Trainz route creators comes from satellites often using ground radar technology. Accuracies down to 1 metre or less are possible depending on the source of the data. The data sources are often publicly accessible and free sites run by governments or government agencies such as NASA, ESA, and local mapping authorities.

    TransDEM is a payware product that has been specifically designed to take DEM data and convert it into Trainz route maps, complete with the track if you want. It takes all the fun out of route creation (only kidding).
    Thanks for the explanation. Cripes, I still write down Google earth measurements, then transfer them to my route, I feel like a caveman after reading your reply!

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrakemanJake View Post
    Thanks for the explanation. Cripes, I still write down Google earth measurements, then transfer them to my route, I feel like a caveman after reading your reply!
    Then I am in the cave with you because I still use a very similar technique. Even though I have TransDEM, it cannot be used to update or extend existing routes that were not created using the correct height data. So until I start a brand new route from scratch I will continue to use Google Earth and manually transfer height data.
    A member of the "Party Machine". Now if only I could remember where they are holding the party!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrakemanJake View Post
    Thanks for the explanation. Cripes, I still write down Google earth measurements, then transfer them to my route, I feel like a caveman after reading your reply!
    This is still a valid method even when using TransDEM. When and if you decide to ever move up to the modern world, eluding to the caveman comment, you'll find this still necessary in many places where the DEM data isn't quite accurate due to how the sampling was done, or sometimes due to interference in the area where the sampling takes place. In my area, I have a hill, bridge, and mills next to the railway on an embankment. When this got digitized, the hill mushed into the railway embankment and the mills next to it. I ended up looking at Google Earth (the program) and taking measurements for the area. I was then able to interpolate what I needed out of the blob although not perfect, but enough to separate the road, railway, hillside, and mills. The kick is, just like a lot of projects, this one got trashed because I couldn't get the area to look right enough! I also use this method to when getting the best measurements for the ROW. What is interpolated within TransDEM is quite accurate, but there are problems too with the mesh resolution, which needs to be accounted for. I will periodically measure the ROW height and set my track height to my measured heights and let the smooth terrain fill in the rest.

    Anyway attached are some pics another route done 100% in TransDEM by Steamboateng. (Mike). He's been working on this project off and on, and I added in on a separate project a connecting branch line. This is the Boston and Maine railroad in western Massachusetts near the Hoosac Tunnel East Portal. This area once had a substantial yard with electric motors pulling the trains through the nearly 5 mile long tunnel. The wires came down in 1946 and the yard is gone 100% today with only a mainline and a passing siding. The virtues of using TransDEM are I was able to download the map data and then merge in the Hoosac Tunnel and Wilmington, a northbound branch that ran up to Wilmington Vermont. The HT&W, aka the Hoot Toot & Whistle, or better known as the Hold Tight and Worry lasted until the early 1970s when a dam was built across part of its ROW and attach it to the current route without needing to adjust a thing, but unless the whole route is done this way, it is difficult to match things up, although I have in the past on a fictional route.

    There are a lot more trees today than was there in the 1940s or 50s.

    2018-11-22 121150.jpg 2018-11-22 121213.jpg

    and the area in real life.

    DSCN0081.jpgDSCN0080.jpg
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    TS12 Build: 61388
    T:ANE Build: 90955

  15. #15

    Default Thanks guys!

    Cheers guys, you never stop learning in the worlds of trains and trainz, fascinating stuff! Most of my routes are UK retro routes from the 50's and 60's, so for anyone who is interested in the same, I would recommend checking out the National Library of Scotland site where you can access 25 inch map overlays from the turn of the century, they even map signal post locations. The amount of laid track back then is absolutely eye watering! I would also like to pass on a tip when building a retro line in Google earth is always take measurements from stuff like canal lock gates, old bridge centres, i.e stuff that has never moved in time barring an earthquake.

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