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Thread: Network of model railroads?

  1. #1
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    Question Network of model railroads?

    I would like to interconnect three (or more) different model railroads to form a rail system . Simply remove the focus on the miles of interconnecting tracks and model them through instructions. A simple railroad would be Chicago, via Cleveland, to Pittsburgh. 800 miles of tracks are not needed. Instead the three cities are represented by "model railroads". Timing and events are managed by intermediate instructions to account for delays, transit times and other normal events associated with long haul routes.

    This may be a bad idea but I am tired of modeling miles of tracks, trees, bushes, grass, towns etc. I would instead like to focus more on functions, as represented by the "model railroads"as end points. Train makeup, delivery/pickup of "things". Create a consist and send it on to one or more "model" locations for prescribed actions.

    Any opinions?
    Last edited by boleyd; February 27th, 2021 at 09:56 AM.
    Dick near Pittsburgh, Pa. i5-2500K 4.2ghz, 8gb memory, GTX1060 3gb video card. 111831

  2. #2
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    This is doable and in fact this is how it used to be done when we had to model "miles" of plywood, plaster, and glue. Placing trees is bad enough digitally, but placing trees on a real model railroad is outright painful and annoying, and on top of that, expensive too. With that said, you can model the miles in between by using a couple of baseboards, walls, or even backdrops. This can serve as a visual break so you don't see the other side of the route as you are driving your train. Remember, a model railroad is like a stage set and the trains are the actors. The individual towns and areas are vignettes and scenes that frame the action. Doing this carefully, and you can achieve a lot with very little.

    My favorite real-world-sized fictional route is the Gloucester Terminal, which I electrified with trolleys. The route is only 8 miles end to end from West Gloucester to Eastern Point. These are actual miles since this route is based around a dem file. When the route was originally built by George Fisher, he didn't place any trees or other objects in the middle where he didn't model anything. Close to the tracks is plenty of detail, I've even pared a bit back for better driver performance, but it's pretty busy with houses, other buildings, harbor areas, and so on.

    At first you feel disappointed, but when you're driving up close or sitting in the cab, you lose that shock because you don't see the empty space. Where I did some renovating, I did put in more trees in order to hide these empty spots that became visible from the cab, but otherwise, the rest of the middle areas are simply green grass texture and nothing else.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
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  3. #3
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    Back in TS12 I built a route from Los Angelos to Chicago, using downloaded routes. It was joined together with portals. I also created some yard routes to interconnect. I had AI drivers running the route from end to end with no problems. I lost it when I got cheesed off with TS12 when it went through a bad stage of freezing all the time and dumped it.
    These days I am again using TS12 on large routes without a problem. But that one is history.
    Cheers,
    Mike

  4. #4
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    Trainz has only a single environment at any one time while in the real world trains run 24/7, for example perhaps departing in daylight to arrive after dark which would require some quite neat programming to duplicate in Trainz if such realism was to be retained. Could you therefore connect the models together with back to back portals. I'm not sure what the maximum delay is that a portal will accommodate but if sufficient perhaps you could be working each model in real time to the next. Peter

  5. #5

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    Could also use iPortals, if they still work in newer versions of Trainz. I haven't messed around with those in a long time

  6. #6
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    I've done a similar thing but not as a set of models.
    I made a lot of modules each had a main feature, city, town, industry etc.
    When I had done each module I then joined them together by one or two baseboards which had farms or a lake or a river or a mountain with a tunnel etc..
    Travelling across one or two baseboards is enough for me, I don't like driving for mile after mile of scenery.
    With the modules I can then construct more layouts with them and if you vary the modules when you make them as north-south or east-west you can make even more routes, and not just straight ones..
    Member of TCWW and Trainz DE

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  7. #7
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    My approach is to focus on the stops and end points of a route. That is where the most action is. I had never looked at model rail yards/railroads. That is a totally different Trainz. The middle digholes were the most confusing and then finding the walls spine points. Anyhow, I butchered a model to be a standard rail action center and a possible intermediate or end-point.

    The schedule for a train going from model 1 to model 2 might be managed by TimeCheck rule. Perhaps a 1 minute delay between model railroads would be, in my imagination, a 1 hour delay in train time. There is no absolute on end/mid-points. I have a very complex redo of the MGSAPPER Progressive Jesse James yard that could be a terminus or intermediate point.

    Thanks for the comments.
    Dick near Pittsburgh, Pa. i5-2500K 4.2ghz, 8gb memory, GTX1060 3gb video card. 111831

  8. #8
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    Yep portals are the way to go to achieve this. I believe you can choose a time and what portal trains returned to. So you can simulate the time it would take the train to go on the space in between modules.

  9. #9
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    By using portals you can have trains moving from one to the other at the same time in different directions.
    With my setup you don't have to change the routes at all and can do what you like with any train on the route at any time.
    I don't drive trains very much as it puts me to sleep. Very handy when I have insomnia( an old age problem). I prefer to be a despatcher.
    Cheers,
    Mike

  10. #10

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    I tried to do a similar exercise for the top end of our Far North line, using the ability of Transdem to move the terrain height up and down so the modules could match. The theory was more or less sound, you would have Wick represented by a mile or two of route, then merge with Georgemas Junction which in reality is 14 miles away, then a similar exercise to reach Thurso a further six miles. The ultimate aim was to condense the whole 160+ Far North line into something like 30 miles but sadly the project got lost in one of my periodic "rage uninstalls" of TRS19 which have become more frequent of late since SP2...
    Building In TANE, Driving In TSW2 And Run 8

  11. #11
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    Having worked with the TS12 for many years had a go at joining different routes together.
    I found that adding an extra baseboard or two between the two joining routes made it easier to join up and level out the terrain.
    A slight height difference can be adjusted in the added bases.
    Rail tracks can be curved with a gradient to precisely link up on the boards.
    Construct a tunnel between the boards helps to hide the messy parts.
    Baseboard joins are supposed to be as seamless as possible however the terrain tools can be used to hide join lines.
    Also one should not have too many portals in a layout because there are limitations.

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