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The Midland Saga 2/6/10


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#21 S. Weaver

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 07:00 PM

QUOTE(laming @ Feb 7 2010, 7:46 PM) View Post

...
I carefully chose 1893 for several reasons:
...

The 1892 Time Table I have lists about EIGHTEEN scheduled trains in/out of Colorado City. Adding in the needed extras, helpers, etc, there will be GREAT traffic opportunities to develop activities around.
...


biggrin.gif

Time Table? Did somebody say Time Table? Scan it, Oh Cheese, and I'll digitally reproduce it for mass consumption!

#22 lelandfletcher

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 09:45 AM

Hello Andre,

I have been looking at your fine railroads and considered buying them. I like the idea of 19th century railroading. The only problem for me was that I couldn't identify with the Ozarks.

The CM looks like the one for me!! Driving east into Colorado Springs I spotted the old CM mainline grade still there after all these years.

Yours truly,
Leland

#23 gtw5812

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 01:45 PM

Are you saying we are "Going CM?"!!! I'm for it brother! Lets get some of those "Fat Boilered" Consolidations!!!

R/
Galen

#24 laming

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 05:48 PM

Steve:

The 1892 Time Table is inside the covers of my latest CM book purchase: Morris Cafky's "Colorado Midland" published in 1965. As the time nears, I will scan and send you the info.

Leland:

The Ozark Northern is a budding steam engineer's "tune up" for the CM. biggrin.gif

Oh... and as for waiting for the "quick release" of the CM... you've got a friend that is also waiting. See below. laugh.gif

Galen:

Yup. Right now I've got the big time hots for the CM. As mentioned above, I'm modeling 1893. The fat-boilered Consols didn't come along until after 1900.

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#25 laming

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 09:15 PM

Haven't really hit RE that hard tonight HOWEVER... did get some things done. In Colorado Springs:

* Reworked the UPD&G street yard to conform to new data I received.

* Have the essential streets placed.

The time has come to start thinking about structures! cool.gif

Spent a bit of time looking over my Photo Texture folders and I have quite a bit of useable stuff. However, what I could really use would be a sunny Saturday so I can get my camera and head out to scrounge around for "building block" textures for things I need to make. Got a feeling one of the harder textures I need to find is going to be "gingerbread" siding, in a variety of colors, no less. dry.gif

Anyhoo... couldn't resist slapping up an RE pic showing the state of things at Colorado Springs. May not look much different from the one above, but trust me, it is!

All for now!

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#26 SAR704

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 10:01 PM

Very interesting shots.

However, have you thought of texturing the streets onto the terrain? Judging by the density of streets necessary, It would help largely in an object count critical area. Just a suggestion smile.gif



#27 laming

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 04:37 AM

SAR:

Absolutely. These will all be dirt roads when finished. No way to make the default dirt roads look like dirt with soft edges, etc. However, I have to use roads as placeholders for two reasons:

1. So the rdb will show in Mosaic, thus helping me to paint the roads.

2. Helps me with structure placement.

Like the Ozark Northern, once finished in an area, out come the roads pieces.

Right now, there is something like 430 objects on the Colorado Springs tile. That will reduce by 100+ once the roads are pulled. Even so, on my now-ancient machine, I get 38 FPS in the heavy tiles. (58 in the lighter tiles.) So, I still have about 10-15 FPS of headroom in Colorado Springs and Colorado City to allow for structures/scenic support. However, I will still have to be miserly and not go nuts... or operational use will be adversely impacted.

#28 scottb613

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 06:56 AM

Hi Andre,

Man - look'n good - you've been busy...
Glad to see one of your old projects might see the light of day...
Really good idea putting Jon's fine locomotives to good use - they really are little jewels...

That looks like one big city - might want to try building entire blocks or multiple blocks as a single object to keep your object count low... Just my 2 cents...
smile.gif

Keep up the good work !!!

Regards,
Scott

#29 laming

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 03:46 PM

Scottrick said:

> Man - look'n good - you've been busy...

I have! However, things will slow waaaay down now. Laying track is the fastest portion of route building.

> Glad to see one of your old projects might see the light of day...

This route is like the "same axe" that has had two heads and three handles replaced. About the only "orginal" thing left is the DEM terrain... and that has been added to!

> Really good idea putting Jon's fine locomotives to good use -
> they really are little jewels...

It pained me to face up the fact that I was way over my head and lacked the track pieces to create the CM waaaay back when. Jon did such a wonderful job on his equipment... like you say.. they NEED the "correct" place to be used.

> That looks like one big city - might want to try building
> entire blocks or multiple blocks as a single object to keep
> your object count low... Just my 2 cents...

Realized that a looong time ago when looking at downtown Ft. Smith on the Coal Belt project. biggrin.gif Colorado Springs and Colorado City are about in the same category. I'm going to have to use LOTS of object count saving tricks.

#30 SAR704

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 08:59 PM

Nice terrain texture. However, my gut feeling suggests that this one may be more suited to the mountainous areas? In street view, the flatter areas around where the shots were taken appear to have a mix of green and a soft golden colour, like some places at the beginning of summer. I notice that as you head west though, the colour of the terrain alters dramatically to resemble the mountains like the texture used in the shots above.

Anyhow, just my $0.02. I hope I don't sound too picky. I am enjoying this thread a lot. smile.gif

#31 laming

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 09:19 PM

Hi SAR!

Current terrtex is only a placeholder. It is something I snagged from the Colorado City area that looks "okay", and works for now. Terrtex work will come later. There is such a variety of textures in the Colorado Rockies, that having to decide on what will serve best as the default "terrain" terrtex is a bummer. Eventually I will have sets of terrtexes in addition to patches that have been through Mosaic. Still though, having the sim paint EVERYTHING with "terrain" as default makes for more work in swapping out/modifying (via Mosaic) terrain patches.

Well... all for tonight. Bed time is arriving.

#32 SAR704

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 08:23 AM

No probs. Obviously it's still in very early stages. Gotta give it time....

Just looking at a post on www.train-sim.com got me thinking about liveries. Have any of the HO scale modelers ever made anything for this railway? The reason I ask is that UP have gone nuts painting some locomotives in liveries of railroads that are no longer around. Are they likely to eventually be evil enough to outshop something in the CM livery, and sell the rights back to us for using it? smile.gif

What about the St Louis & NA?

#33 laming

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Posted 13 February 2010 - 09:50 AM

Hi SAR:

It would be the pits to have to ante up for use of the CM or StLNA trademarks, eh? biggrin.gif

Of course, the CM ceased to be in 1920 or so. The StLNA ceased to be about 1908. (Replaced by the Missouri & North Arkansas.)

It is my understanding that neither trademark was retained and thus have been in the public domain sector for a looooong time. (Obviously, surviving/assuming railroads "back then" didn't perceive obsolete trademarks as revenue-producing gimicks that can be used to somehow gig people that find an appreciation in said historic entities.) However, I guess if someone wants to purchase said trademarks and then issue a "cease and desist" aimed toward me... then that would certainly kill both products! ohmy.gif

Levity aside: Believe it or not, in the years past, the Union Pacific's ridiculous trademark approach to their fallen flag assimilated railroads caused me to drop any idea of developing any route that was under their thumb. Neither then, or for sure now, could my absolutely miniscule MSTS VSC payware "business" support liscensed product. rolleyes.gif

#34 saddletank

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 10:25 AM

Hello Andre... another voice from the past here. Remember? wink.gif

I've always been a huge fan of your work and I drove the StL&NA and the A&O sub to death but your Ozark's Northern was released just a tad after I walked away from the train sim scene some - oh, what would it be...? Two - three years ago?

But anyway, I've decided to return now and my first intention was to find out what you and Rich Garber had been up to... I see Rich is now working in RW but you are still aiming for that CM goal of yours that I knew you held near to your heart from so long ago.

I'll be watching progress in this route and I think you can expect a Paypal transaction from me at some point soon for the Ozarks route too. From the screenshots and Train-Mania's review I think it is a route I *need* to own.

All the very best for the CM project and I truly hope it scratches that itch you've had for so long.

#35 laming

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 07:27 PM

Martin said:

> Hello Andre... another voice from the past here. Remember?

I sure do! You helped me (beta test) my first route: The lil' StL&NA! Good to hear from you!

> I've always been a huge fan of your work and I drove
> the StL&NA and the A&O sub to death....

Plum wore out the hard drive, did you? biggrin.gif

> ...but your Ozark's Northern was released just a tad
> after I walked away from the train sim scene some -
> oh, what would it be...? Two - three years ago?

Well... the development of the Ozark Northern bogged down due to life issues and other distractions. It really took me MUCH longer than it ever should have. Burned myself out, I did. Might nigh ruined me as an MSTS'er! Now that I've FINALLY got that sucker finished and out the door... I have stepped back to again being be a hobbiest first, and a commercial endeavor second. Doing so has helped to put sanity and enjoyment back into what I'm doing with MSTS.

> But anyway, I've decided to return now and my first intention was
> to find out what you and Rich Garber had been up to...

Well you came to the right place to get the low-down on me!

> I see Rich is now working in RW...

And apparently doing a bang-up job at route building therein.

> ...but you are still aiming for that CM goal of yours that
> I knew you held near to your heart from so long ago.

Memory jog: That's right! I now remember you were here "back then"!

> I'll be watching progress in this route and I think you can
> expect a Paypal transaction from me at some point soon
> for the Ozarks route too.

> From the screenshots and Train-Mania's review I think it
> is a route I *need* to own.

Well... Rod's (aka "August1929") screen shot skills can make a pig look like a princess! His screen shot skills help to show what the Ozark Northern really can look like. My screen shots are reeeeeeally bad. Don't know why.

I was very proud of the "At The Railyard" review. I thought the camera and editing work were very good. I also thought the music selections were perfect for the route. Given the anguish I experienced developing the Ozark Northern, it really helped boost my spirits about the overall impact (for the end-user) of the finished product and helped me to feel it was worth my time and effort to finish it.

> All the very best for the CM project and I truly hope it
> scratches that itch you've had for so long.

Well thank you, and me too!

I have sort of hit a stalemate for now. Much to my chagrin, I see that I don't have the structural photo texture variety I thought I had... so I really need a good day (sun), along with the time, to spend the day out taking pics of building parts to use to construct the needed textures. Perhaps this next Saturday.

As it is, I COULD go west and keep laying track... but I've REALLY hit it hard the past month as far as laying track. I was ready for a break... just don't have the textures immediately available to switch gears and start creating structures for Colorado Springs and Colorado City.

Soo... a bit of a break. I suspect in a day or two (as I wait for the time to go get structure pics), I'll head up to Manitou and continue laying track west or something along that line.

I've started at one of the most challenging areas (object density, cityscape, etc). If I can get this first portion whipped... the rest of the way will be more of what I'm used to in route building.

Anyway... welcome back to MSTS and be sure to stop by here often and offer input!

#36 saddletank

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 04:29 AM

Thank you for the warm welcome back. You know that 'Railyard' review of the ON was *so* good, what with that stirring music and all that I actually had a lump in my throat - weird huh? But that's true, it really is.

This track laying deal.. it is all a part of the Grand Plan, yes? Something that adds to the original design concept? I've seen a good few route builders just go out there laying track (because its easy) and then get disheartened when it come to filling in the green moonscape alongside it. Only lay the track you *really* need is my motto.

But no doubt you know all this, having been through it twice. I'm watching from the sidelines though and keen to see progress and comment if you need comments.

#37 laming

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 02:38 PM

> Thank you for the warm welcome back.

Like I said: Glad to have you back.

> You know that 'Railyard' review of the ON was *so* good, what with that
> stirring music and all that I actually had a lump in my throat - weird huh?
> But that's true, it really is.

Nick deserves an Emmy or somethin'! Wonder what that orchestra music was? Very good.

> This track laying deal.. it is all a part of the Grand Plan, yes?
> Something that adds to the original design concept?

The grand plan:

Segment 1 - Build and release Colorado Springs and Colorado City. (Segment 1.) This includes the rail facilities of the CM, ATSF, UPD&G, D&RG and CK&N (Rock Island). Also included on CM track in Segment 1 will be the Golden Cycle Mill, the Colorado-Philidelphia Mill, the Standard Mill, and the Quarry Spur w/Quarry. There will be a lot of switching oriented possibilities on Segment 1, as well as much potential for AI trains chuffing about. Track for this segment is basically complete. We're talking about 4-5 miles CM mainline length, but two or three times that in regards to spurs, branches, and yard facilities, plus the mainlines and yards of the connecting roads. Bear in mind that the CM switched the yards and industries for ALL connecting railroads in Colorado Springs and Colorado City. This means that any/all tracks you see on the schematics will be used by the CM for switching as well as transfer runs. Mondo switching opportunities will be possible on Segment 1.

Segment 2: Lay the CM rails west from Colorado City, passing through Manitou on 3% grade, then up 4% through Iron Springs to Cascade, 3% grade from Cascade through Green Mountain Falls, Ute Park, Woodland Park, Edlowe, to the summit town of Divide. At Divide the CM will connect with the abuilding Midland Terminal Rwy. Modeling 1893 will mean that vast amounts of construction supplies will move up Ute Pass to Divide for the MT Rwy. From Divide, the rails will descend 3% for about 9 miles to the railroad town of Florissant. Helpers were operated from Colorado City to Divide, and from Florissant to Divide. Sometimes the helpers stayed on all the way over the Divide (both ways), depending. Once Segment 2 is released, the total CM mainline mileage will be 36.7 miles.

The operational "personality" of Segment 2 will be completely different from the operational "personality" of Segment 1. Segment 1 will be transfers to/from all the above mentioned connecting roads, plus yard switching, hostling, industrial switching, mill/quarry runs, local switching, etc. Segment 2 will add the ability for lots of helper service (freight and passenger), plus local freights, passenger turns, construction extra freights, caboose hops, freight turns to Colorado City to Divide and from Florissant to Divide, etc! There is MUCH more operational substance with the CM than I first thought many years ago.

> I've seen a good few route builders just go out there laying track
> (because its easy) and then get disheartened when it come to
> filling in the green moonscape alongside it.

Guilty! Been there, done that on MANY route projects. blush.gif

I will say that laying track according to a prototype is nowhere near as easy as it is when freelancing or proto-lancing a route, but it IS faster than filling the tiles with scenic element.

> Only lay the track you *really* need is my motto.

And a good motto it is. Only caveat is that laying the track to the end of the proposed project allows you to see "in the sim" if there are any terrain or DM issues so they can be fixed or addressed before you have too many months of intense work in the project. (In case the issue is severe enough to force the cancelation of the project.)

> But no doubt you know all this, having been through it twice.

Three complete commercial routes and a ton of private-use routes!

> I'm watching from the sidelines though and keen to see
> progress and comment if you need comments.

Enjoy the view and jump right in when you want to!

#38 atsf37l

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 05:37 PM

It is interesting that Martin should bring up that "scenery thing." I never had a layout with scenery until I got into the sim! laugh.gif

#39 saddletank

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 04:54 AM

Good point, Herb. It's one of the most interesting things I have encountered since coming online and meeting 100s if not 1000s of rail-fans, rail-sim users and railroad modellers from all over the world because of train simulators: the diversity of what people seek in their hobby. There are those who drool over engines, those who favour certain old railroad companies; some like to research rolling stock, not being happy until their boxcar or gondola or whatever is just right.

I'm one of those people who goes for atmosphere and operations in a model, whether it be on my screen, in my garden or one I've set up at a exhibition - I like to stand and enjoy how a model looks, the environment around it, vegetation, buildings, details. If you like the mood. Even the history. And I like to run trains for some kind of purpose so I tend to go for the shortline/switching routes more than the long haul main lines. I like to 'fiddle around'. biggrin.gif

And when I'm driving a route I love to sit and watch the scenery slide by. Having had a go in route editor myself I'm keen to see how others tackle the same animal and enjoy seeing their results. If there's a gaping hole in a tree line and a flat green moonscape is revealed beyond it dents the immersion level somewhat, though that's just me and coming back to the start of this post, I've had my eyes opened by the skills of those who seek other things from a train-sim.

#40 copperpen

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 01:57 PM

Hello Martin and welcome back. Been a long time since the StL&NA. After a long period of resisting I have finally taken the plunge into the RE. Actually I was dragged into building a route by someone else who went and laid the track, so now I have 200+ miles of scenery and track tweaking to do.Thanhfully there are only two "big cities" on the line, the rest being much smaller. Main problem is the route is in Florida/Alabama and I am in the UK. Still enough about that, this is the V-scale forum and Andre is working his magic on the CM.