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Thread: Northeast Corridor Project (WIP)

  1. #1
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    Post Northeast Corridor Project (WIP)

    So I realize I never actually post on here apart from asking for help on stuff and I wanna change that by sharing some of the routes I've been working on. Particularly this Northeast Corridor route I've had in the works since October 2021. This isnt my first attempt, thanks to me improving as a creator and my perfectionist ass, but it is so far one of my satisfactory projects. Anyways, the route covers the distance between Boston South Station and Kingston, Rhode Island. With extentions to Westerly, New London and New Haven coming in the near future. I'll share some screenshots I've taken during the creation here:





    I'll also include a video of me driving between Back Bay and Providence in the cab of an RTL Turboliner that I found off the Download Station. I dont know who the creator of that model is but they did a good job with this model: https://youtu.be/FNwDR31egAc

    Originally this project was nothing more than a substitute for the TSW2 route Boston Sprinter, as the gradients between Boston and Providence (along with the invisible signals between the standard tri light signals) are pulled directly from a gameplay vid of that route when it was first released. It was also an excuse to build a route using SAP procedural track, as I wanted to deviate from the Jointed Rail/S Benton tracks I had been using until this point, and because I really liked the design of the PS94 splines which I feel like a lot closer to the San Vel ties (The ties that arch downward on the outer rail). I did eventually decided to expand it south of Providence which you can see in the Wickford Junction screenshot but I do plan of sharing a video of the Kingston to Providence portion in the near future.

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    Wow, that's quite a project. Don't burn yourself out and get frustrated as you work at it. That usually happens to me with big projects because like you I get too picky with details and end up abandoning the route. I've done that a few times sometimes with the same route.

    What also would make a nice route is the old interurban that ran from Providence to Bristol. The yard and the interchange with the current service was intact until about 20 years ago. Today, what's left is a single track in some locations to some industries and the rest is a rail trail. The tunnel and bridge are closed and cut off today.
    Last edited by JCitron; May 30th, 2022 at 10:41 PM.
    John
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCitron View Post
    Wow, that's quite a project. Don't burn yourself out and get frustrated as you work at it. That usually happens to me with big projects because like you I get too picky with details and end up abandoning the route. I've done that a few times sometimes with the same route.

    What also would make a nice route is the old interurban that ran from Providence to Bristol. The yard and the interchange with the current service was intact until about 20 years ago. Today, what's left is a single track in some locations to some industries and the rest is a rail trail. The tunnel and bridge are closed and cut off today.
    Never heard of that interurban route but you have peaked my interest.

    Anyways, thanks! I dont think I would have to worry about burning myself out with this route, as I have plenty of other WIP routes I can mess around in. Including another NEC route I've been making along side this one starting at Washington going north. Plus I my feel my route creating skills are a lot more refined and better than I was in previous years so I dont think this route, even if my skills get better than they are now, wont age as badly. Its to the point where I can overlook certian flaws, like the Mansfield to Attleboro section not being completely straight and veering slightly to the east which I didnt notice test driving that section. But it's so subtle that it doesn't get to the point of being a major issue. I do sometimes wish I just maned up just placed a long straight spline like I did for the Rhode Island section but its too bad to where I drive myself crazy over it. Its also on that section that I got the gradient wrong at Mansfield, a flaw which I didn't notice until actually playing the tsw boston sprinter route after having enough money to get it at the end of March this year. But, like with that section not being completely straight, its not too bad.

    Honestly, the only thing that's been bugging me more than the route is trying to find a suitable replacement engine spec for the Beach Groove AEM-7s because the default engine specs on those locos are pathetically weak when pulling anything that's longer than 3 cars XD

  4. #4
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    Here's some information on the unique interurban.

    The Providence, Warren and Bristol Railroad - Abandoned Rails

    It's too bad that its route got destroyed by a hurricane and boat hitting a drawbridge on the Fall River branch. Today, this would make a nice commuter railroad or light rail system given the traffic is so horrible in that area.

    I hear you on having multiple projects. It's a good idea because once one gets bogged down you can switch and work on another while the first one is cooking in the background. I do that not only with my routes but also with my music projects as well.

    The grade in Mansfield is unique because that is actually a later change to the original line at some point because there was a grade separation project done there which also broke the Norton branch which ran to Taunton. The southern end of that line is still in use as an industrial branch for some warehouses in Taunton, but the rest is a dirt path and a bike trail. You can see where it ran out of Mansfield and heads southeast.

    With that said after all that, don't worry about your anomaly.

    Are you using real terrain, or are you hand carving this? You know using TransDEM to build the base terrain and placing a real topographic map on it really helps and saves a lot of time. I will say, though while this is a great tool, I have found that some maps don't line up exactly either and I ended up jogging the line on one of my routes I was working on.

    As you said, your building skills have gotten better. That's a good thing and you can always go back and fiddle with textures and smooth things out later as you see fit.
    John
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    Talking

    Reached Westerly yesterday and got around to building the station today!


    Still on the ropes as to weather or not I should put an ajs invisible station done like other stops cause it would ruin the super elevation on the curve *sob*. With Westerly comes the third high speed crossovers on the route which, when getting the measurements in google maps, are a few feet shorter than the ones at Kingston and Davisville

    So after Westerly, its on to Mystic and New London. Which the other slowest portion of the NEC along with the Metro North New Haven Line. But unlike the New Haven line, it's way more scenic so it balances out. I remember bringing this up in a server and one of them responded with "yeah but its gonna be underwater in a few years thanks to global warming"... I literally have nothing else to say on that but anyways, this portion should be a lot of fun to replicate ^^

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    Oh boy I cant believe its been like 2 weeks since I posted in here. This month went by really fast.

    Anyways, I made some extensions to the route and finally reached New London last night. Instead of just pasting the pics, I'll go through the Westerly - New London section chronologically just to spice things up.

    I'll start off by saying that building this portion was pretty tedious due to the amount of curves I had to build. I mean, sure, the section between Kingston and Westerly was curvy but this portion was on a completely different level. Speaking of which, another tedious, and often frustrating bit, was the confliction between what the topography maps say and what I can see on google maps or trainz. I was having this issue around East Greenwich when building Providence to Kingston, where the ground seems to roll up and down whilst the topograph maps say otherwise, but it was much more annoying here. Particularly near the water where the topography maps give a measurement that I feel is too high. Maybe the water level irl is different than the default level in trainz (2.00) and the level I have it set at for coast line water (1.53). I honestly have no idea. In cases like these I've had to ditch the topography maps and try to determine the height on my own, just like with the gradients.

    There's not much I'll show for the curving alignment through Stonington because there is literally nothing to show. For the most part its just two pieces of track curving through nothing but green with some landmarks here and there. Granted its better than seeing nothing but grey from baseboard. What I can show is the grade crossings.

    This was the first time I made a custom grade crossing with traffic stoppers. Before I would follow a tutorial that didnt use them and it turns out, when using that technique on another one of my routes, the gates go down but cars dont stop. I did use that same technique here but only for roads where I know for a certain cars wont spawn. I actually thought it would be alot more difficult setting the crossing up with the traffic stopper but it turns out you dont need to connect the tracks to it. Only to the road. I know this is not new news to anybody here but, even though I have been building routes in trainz since I was 11, I've only recently began using some more advances techniques. There is the downside that the cars will actually stop at the crossing in surveyor mode and wont move, meaning I'll have to mute the game so I dont here the incessant beeping which is kinda annoying if I wont lie.

    Eventually I did reach Mystic, last week actually. I did have remove the greenery for the baseboard cause its much easier to tell the elevation heights on the baseboard textures as opposed to the deep green of the grass texture. Just like with Westerly, I opted to not include any invisible station for similar reasons. Immediately after that is the Mystic Swing Bridge which is static because there are no non static draw bridges or swing bridges in the game that have built in catenary wires in them.


    After that, the line curves along the shoreline and through Groton onto New London and over the Thames! (Not the River Thames but the Thames River. There's a different naming scheme you see).


    Since the curve the New London station occupies does not have any super elevation on it, I could actually use invisible stations! Which were actually too long for the height of the short high level platforms at the station but the straight track for those objects were small enough to not break the allusion of the curve. Lets just pretend that passengers aren't floating above the ground ��

    I just realized that now Im at New London, Im now 3/4th of the way to New Haven. But Im not gonna extend to line immediately. I'm gonna spend some time adding some scenery to this portion as, despite the slow speed, its one of the most scenic parts of the corridor, from what I was able to see on google maps and in photos and videos.

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    Oh shoot its been a while since I posted here hasnt it? Over a month actually. I havent forgotten about this thread, and did plan on updating it with a video of a drive through of the Boston to New London route which actually turned out to be more challenging then I thought (I kept on overshooting Route 128). So I've been taking a break from that route focus on another Northeast Corridor Route Im making. Only this time Im starting from Washington. This has been quite an on and off route for me, with interest constantly waning but I decided to focus on extending it from the last place I left off which was around Martin State Airport. So far the line covers a total distance between Washington and Elkton and I hope to extend it to Wilmington real soon. At least I hope I can because right now, the future of it is in jeopardy. In short, it got corrupted yesterday. And I didn't have any recent back ups (Yes Im an idiot). Im currently trying to restore it and hopefully I can because it would be a huge waste for all that hard work to just disappear like that because I didnt know unplugging my drawing tablet would also disconnect the hard drive I had my build on for a split second. In the case I get it back, I'll make a follow up going into more detail of the route but for now, here are some HQ pics I took during building:





    I know the last few only show up to Gunpow Interlocking but trust me there is more. Or was more if I cant get my route back. I'll make an update on the status but if nothing goes well, these will be nice mementos to a route that ceased to be

    Update: I was able to recover it!!!!!!
    Last edited by Little_Boy921; July 26th, 2022 at 07:57 PM.

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    This has always been a goal of mine myself doing the NEC . But wanted a DEM of Washington to New York . And one from New York to Boston or Portland ? But that's a big ask , and a heck of a job with Washington , Baltimore , Wilmington , Phly , New York and Boston . And with all the other towns , city's along the way . Looking forward to your work . On my own work I may , or would like to extent from Port Penn to Wilmington .

    Matt
    work hard, Play harder

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    First of all I LOVE this route, I live less than 4 miles away from the South Attleboro station and I’ve grown up watching these trains and riding them my whole life. Can’t wait to download it when it’s released (in fact I can help with anything you want in case you’d like some, I know it pretty well myself).

    On a minor second note, how did you get those phase III skins to work on the AEM-7? I have the ones from TCR that include V, IV, III (supposedly) and SEPTA but only the phase V skin works. Any ideas on how to fix this or perhaps another file I should be downloading instead?

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    Hi guys. Littleboy921, Pretty route pics, thanks for sharing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dwn2884 View Post
    First of all I LOVE this route, I live less than 4 miles away from the South Attleboro station and I’ve grown up watching these trains and riding them my whole life. Can’t wait to download it when it’s released (in fact I can help with anything you want in case you’d like some, I know it pretty well myself).

    On a minor second note, how did you get those phase III skins to work on the AEM-7? I have the ones from TCR that include V, IV, III (supposedly) and SEPTA but only the phase V skin works. Any ideas on how to fix this or perhaps another file I should be downloading instead?
    I dont exactly remember how I got it but I was able to get a Winwar Zip file which included numbers and tga file for the skin along with a text file with instructions. I dont know where I downloaded it from but I still have the zip file on my computer. I'll email it to you if you want.

    Once Im able to release this route, I'll make a google drive folder that'll include the route, any modified assets, and cdps for rolling stock like AEM-7s, HHP-8s, amfleets along with others just so nobody has to go through the headache of finding the proper rolling stock to use like I did ;_;

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    Default Northeast Corridor South (Washington going North)

    So I would've updated this thread much sooner but due to issues I encountered with my pc towards the end of July, I haven't had access to a computer until today. But now I'm back, this time to expand on details I laid out in my last update post. Specifically my other Northeast Corridor route project (which to differentiate this and another route will be known as NEC South with the latter being NEC North) which runs from Washington to Elkton currently. I began work on NEC South around the same time as NEC North and just like with that route, this one is based on a dovetail route. Specifically, Washington to Baltimore. Although, unlike North, this was made with the expectation to be the launching point for a much larger NEC project rather than a hold off that turned into a nec project. I started it around the same time frame as NEC North but progress on it has been quite sporadic, with periods where I'd put it to the side. I only recently began working on it a lot more last month. I’ll include some pics here, including some better views of Washington Union Station.


    The more perceptive of you may have noticed that the track spacing is much wider here than on NEC North. This was an intentional design choice. I was originally going to go for the more realistic track spacing but decided against it for two reasons. The first reason was so that the tracks could fit under the spacing of the new PRR catenary poles Id be using. The second was practicality. As much as a realistic track spacing is cool, it does lead problems when it comes to things like signals not fitting in between the rails and often times clipping into the opposite track. This was something I didn't realize until working on another route where I ran into similar issues. So for this route, the tracks will be spaced apart much more, with the exception of Baltimore Penn Station and places where the spacing is much wider. Quite inconsistent, especially since I have plans of having the two routes become one in the future but I dont think its too jarring. I mean, it could be way worse. Like if I had used the prr catenary I had used for my previous nec attempts where the track spacing was too damn wide for my liking. 🙃

    I'll be making posts about this route and NEC North in the same thread, although I may be working on this one for a little longer as this section is actually my favorite part of the Northeast Corridor, with a broader diversity of trains to run than on NEC North. I want to try to reach Wilmington before I start school in September, and maybe reach Old Saybrook in NEC North. I also want to do drive throughs of both of these routes in the future as well. I'll just need to do some more practice with the Acela.

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    Since my first post I've actually acquired the skins, I've just been too lazy to reskin while I'm working out the kinks of my new TRS19 install; having to decipher which assets I need to import from my old pc into the new one (especially given all of the 3rd party sites that have vanished in the meantime) has been a daunting task. So far the NEC South looks great though! Hopefully if I have the time in the coming weeks I can learn how to reskin some of the E60s I have with working ARN and get permission to host them in your google drive folder (and if learning how to model isn't impossible I'll make it a priority to model the HSP46 and some accurate Kawasaki bilevels).

  14. #14
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    As a former resident, I'll be interested to see what you do for Baltimore. It's a frequently overlooked section on the NEC.

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    You can say that again. This portion of the line has always been something I'd look forward to when building my older nec routes just because of the areas it goes through. Its definitely one of the more scenic portions of the entire route, especially between Baltimore and Wilmington. Its also one of the more interesting routes gradient wise which I didnt notice until building the Baltimore to Washington section. There are a lot of steep 1.0 percent gradients along the entire route (and Im not just talking about the B7P tunnel) along with sections where the line waves up and down as if the tracks were placed directly onto the hilly terrain. Its almost like a roller coaster like its in design which can make it quite fun to drive but also a challenge for maintaining your speed. Anyways, Its going to be a lot of fun making this route and Im hoping I can do a good job giving this portion to respect it deserves

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