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Ozark Northern Update


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#1 laming

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 09:57 AM

Hi All:

Quick update about the Ozark Northern:

If you'll recall, the long delay caused by activity creation was discussed in a previous thread and the clear majority of those voicing an opinion wanted it released "as is" with no activities. In that thread I made the decision to release it with a minimum of activities (5) to at least get the route out there in your hands, and then I hope to add to the activity list, or end users will build activities for it.

Along this vein, I now have 3 activities nearly ready to go. Only 2 more! However, my ON progress will be delayed a bit on account of the wife and I will be heading off to Colorado for a vacation soon. But... you know me... the digital cameras are going along, as well as nearly 5 gigs of memory capability, and I hope to be coming back with a new Colorado texture library! biggrin.gif

While piddling in the sim, I thought would take a quick Ozark Northern pic and share it with you, below is the result...

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#2 august1929

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 12:34 PM

Great news Andre - and a fine screenshot. Have a good break when you go smile.gif.

Rod

#3 laming

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 01:13 PM

Thanks Rod. We're sure looking forward to getting back to that part of the country.

FWIW, here's another pic taken a few minutes ago within an activity...

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#4 laming

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 01:18 PM

And since I'm on a trestle kick... here's another pic of another trestle on the ON. I really like the way Jon's reefers look in the train...

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#5 wmghobbs

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 04:20 PM

Very nice shots. Give a good "old time" RR feel. Looking forward to the final product.
Bill Hobbs


#6 AFracer40m

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Posted 26 July 2008 - 08:24 PM

Hey Andre where abouts in Colorado you going to be at, Cheyenne Wyoming ain't to far from it lol.

Good looking route by the way as well.

#7 chripsch

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 08:19 AM

Hi all!

A happy new year from Munich, Bavaria!

I am very curious about the ON`s progress :-)
Is there some news to report?

Thanx!

Christian

#8 SAR704

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 05:29 PM

That first shot looks like something out of Back to the future 3, only it's not a film set!

Marvelous smile.gif

#9 laming

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 06:31 PM

Thanks to those of you that have expressed recent interest in the Ozark Northern. At this time I will try to the best of my ability to update you as candidly as practical.

Here are the factors that have led to the decison I am making about the Ozark Northern:

1. As most of you know, my life is quite different now than it was when the Ozark Northern project was started. I am no longer self-employed and thus no longer have flex-time. Currently I am still on a 55-60 hour work week. With the arrival of January, the Winter passenger train kicks off this weekend. More often than not, for me this will likely mean 6 days a week at 60+ hours now until April. Unfortunately there are only two Passenger Qualified engineers at the Ft. Smith terminal, and the other one works the night shift so will not have enough legal rest before the Saturday passenger train crew comes on duty. That leaves me.

2. Family health issues. My widowed mother started radiation treatments yesterday. This will cause my weekend time to be even more commited than it is now.

3. MSTS-Bin vs Activities. Apparently, though we enjoy the nice features we enjoy with MSTS-Bin, it may have caused some changes in pathing. This results in all the knowledge I had in regards to creating workable AI meets on a non-signaled route moot. I do not have the time/energy to attempt to figure out new work-arounds and then create something like 20-24 new activities.

In view of all of the above, I am making the decision to release the Ozark Northern with only Introductory Activities for a reduced price. ($25)

Essentially you will be purchasing a Jon Davis MEGA-equipment pack and getting a route thrown in almost for free. Because the delay was on my part, and not Jon's, Jon will receive the majority of the proceeds from any Ozark Northern sales. Included in the Ozark Northern equipment will be something like 12 NEW rod engines, 70-80 (or more?) NEW pieces of rolling stock... and the fabulous Shay that Jon built.

As for what remains:

I will need to create the documentation and maps, clean up the folders, and doublecheck the Intro Activities. After that is completed, I will get it packaged, uploaded, and posted for release.

LASTLY:

With the release of the Ozark Northern, I will be officially retiring from MSTS commercial development. I will continue to keep the VSC website/store open as long as there is interest in VSC product. I would also like to continue to interact at this forum as well as other forums. In addition, I would like to dabble with MSTS... but NOT with commercial application in mind. Instead, I would like to get back to being a hobbiest and ENJOYING the hobby without the pressure and obligations (even if personally imagined) the commercial side brings.

So there you have it. Many factors have brought me to where I'm at right now, and thus, have contributed in my decision on where I need to go.

I am by no means going to disappear. In fact, now that I'm making this decision, and once the Ozark Northern is released, I will feel more free to interact with fellow MSTS/sim enthusiasts here and other venues.

Sincerely,

#10 SAR704

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:39 AM

That's great news about the route Andre. I looked in this section by chance during lunch yesterday , and I was blown away by the quality of the structures, and the atmosphere depicted in the screenshots.

Loved the humour in the various threads about it I must say. What would sell this is not necessarily the given number of hours of operations in activities, but the variety of prospective operations, lifelike atmosphere and general uniqueness, given that aren't many westerns with this kind of detail. Personally, I like to examine new routes in the route editor when they are released, to see if I can pick up on any new techniques that would help improve my own skills.

A few questions-

How long is the modelled route?

How many branches and towns?

Are there any towns along it that are now ghost towns/nonexistent?

Will there be passenger timetables/operational info provided with the final product?

Would you have any screens of the track from the activity editor? smile.gif

Regards
Michael

#11 laming

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 04:55 PM

Hi Michael:

Let's take your questions one at a time:

Q: How long is the modelled route?

The mainline is 16 miles, plus there's the short Buckhorn Branch, Mulberry Lbr. spur, Phipps Lbr. spur, etc. The length is deceiving. It will take you nearly 1 hour to run a heavy freight train to the end of the line. You will work long and hard to get over the long northbound 4% grade to Fly Gap. Better watch your fire!

Q: How many branches and towns?

One actual "branch". (See above. )

Towns: 11

Q: Are there any towns along it that are now ghost towns/nonexistent?

Not sure I understand your question.

As a model, the Ozark Northern is set in the 1893 time frame. Using the "real world" as a guide for the ON world, there were no ghost towns then in the Ozarks. For the most part, places were experiencing settlement and growth.

Now, in the "real world", the Ozark Northern is set among a region that had two primary railroads: The Frisco's St. Paul Branch, and the Black Mountain & Eastern. (Later known as the Combs Cass & Eastern.) I have used the actual Cass area for the ON's interchange with the Black Mountain & Eastern. The prototype BM&E terminated at Cass. The ON is freelanced from Cass to Brashears. At that point, I pick up the roadbed of the prototype Frisco St. Paul Branch for the run to St. Paul. St. Paul proper contains essentially all of the rail elements (with some additions) that existed "back when" the Frisco's St. Paul Branch was booming.

Q: Will there be passenger timetables/operational info provided with the final product?

Operational info, yes. Don't know about working out a timetable schedule.

Q: Would you have any screens of the track from the activity editor?

I do now!

We'll work our way north from the southernmost connection/terminal town of Turners Bend.

Notes about Turners Bend: As with 99% of the places on the ON, Turners Bend exists, but not in the scope depicted. In the ON's world, Turners Bend is where the ON connects with the Arkansas River & Northern, a shortline that (in theory) runs north out the Arkansas River valley at Ozark, Arkansas northward to connect with the ON. At Ozark, the AR&N theoretically connects with the prototype St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern at the river town of Ozark, Arkansas. (Historical note: The St.IM&S became the Missouri Pacific, which is now is the UP. The rails still run through Ozark, Arkansas and sees many trains per day.)

Here is Turners Bend:


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#12 laming

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 04:56 PM

Next up is Cass, Arkansas, Black Mtn. Jct, and the joint yard with the Black Mountain & Eastern:



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#13 laming

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 04:57 PM

Then Mountain Creek: Right at the foot of hard climb to Fly Gap:

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#14 laming

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 04:58 PM

Mt. Airy: Right on the side of the mountain...

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#15 laming

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 04:58 PM

The summit at Fly Gap:

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#16 laming

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:00 PM

Zinc City: Junction of the Buckhorn Branch, zinc mines, etc...

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#17 laming

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:00 PM

The Buckhorn Branch and large zinc mines:

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#18 laming

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:01 PM

Elam and its big sawmill:

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#19 laming

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:02 PM

Brashears:

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#20 laming

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:02 PM

Wolf Pen (named after a hollow nearby):

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