> 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.
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!