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North Arkansas Update & This n' That...


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#1 laming

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 02:23 PM

Slowly getting back in the flow after the vacation. Here's where I'm at...

The North Arkansas:

The route is basically ready.

The activity testing is still going on. This portion has caused some delays. Side benefits of the delay will be improved eng/wag files, and possibly some new/different/modified engine sound files.

This current batch of activities seems to be a bit too tough "as is" for the typical end user. Instead of making them easier, I am leaning toward writing a batch of simpler activities to be included with the initial release. I will then package this current batch of activities up and release them as an additional Activity Pack for "Advanced" users. All told, both Activity Packs will yield about 26 activities for the North Arkansas for starters. Think that ought to hold 'ya fer a spell??? biggrin.gif



The "Next One":

Remember me asking you to NOT hold my feet to the fire on the Ft. Smith Sub idea? Well, sure enough, now that sanity is returning, I'm having second thoughts on it due to a variety of reasons. Perhaps I will build the FS Sub "someday", but not too likely for the "next one".

Fear not though, I have all sorts of routes that I've known and loved... one just might make it into the light of day! Here's a pic of another being considered (note: raw route, default track/textures and roughed terrain only):

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#2 zhivago47

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 09:21 PM

Good deal Andre. Better to have it all working the way you want than to throw the route out as is. I can wait. But not real long! rolleyes.gif Just kidding.

As for your next route, a Rock Island line would be a mighty good road. The Rock Island line is the road to ride.....oh wait, sorry, isn't that part of a song? Hehehe biggrin.gif

I could go for an RI line, as long as it came with some RI engines. Still think you should go into the Northeast. I know, I am like a broken record, aren't I? blink.gif

But I would go for a RI line. Which area would it be in, if that is what you are thinking of doing?
No matter what you do I am sure you will do an excellent job on it because I know you won't do one unless your heart is really into it.

Keep us posted! wink.gif

Tim

#3 laming

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Posted 01 April 2004 - 10:29 PM

> Better to have it all working the way you want than to throw the route out as is.

My feelings too.

> I could go for an RI line, as long as it came with some RI engines.

Absolutely. If this proves to be the direction, the route would likely come at you in at least two installments, each around 50 miles in length. Each installment will come with new engines and rolling stock. 3DTrains has already been contacted to supply 1st generation engines for the first installment.

With the RI, we're talking a virtual cornucopia of paint schemes, loco variations, etc! The engine models would be detail and paint scheme specific. Indications are that we can also have correct Nathan airhorns that the RI used on most of their engines.

> Which area would it be in, if that is what you are thinking of doing?

The 25th Sub. It's almost in my own backyard. The north end of the Sub was in Caldwell, KS. The south end of the Sub was El Reno, OK. Along the way it passes through grain towns of varying sizes about every 5-7 miles, several of significance. Near the middle of the Sub was the huge grain center of Enid, OK. Also included will be various interchanges with the ATSF as well as the SLSF.

This route used/uses signals, which means much more freedom with AI traffic than a non-signaled route.

The era would initially be 1969-1970. Later I would like to expand that to include a heavier presence of 2nd generation power.

Also being considered is ScaleRail.

The surviving line is currently being operated by the Union Pacific.

Lest we think of central OK as all wheat fields, below is a pic of PART of Enid, OK. This picture illustrates the junction area between the RI, the ATSF, and the SLSF. NOT pictured is the SLSF yard, the many grain complexes, Enid industry, the ATSF yard, the SLSF yard, or the RI yard/engine service facilities!

Andre

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#4 MILW_E70

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 08:29 PM

Wow, a route thats also somewhat in my backyard, awesome Andre! Any thoughts of extending the line up to Wichita and eventually up to the junction with the Golden State Route in Herington? I could get you plenty of pics of the current line from Caldwell north if needbe biggrin.gif ...

#5 laming

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Posted 04 April 2004 - 11:18 PM

Hi Austin:

> Wow, a route thats also somewhat in my backyard, awesome Andre!

Well, please remember that until any "official" word is released, any routes mentioned here as a possiblity for the "next one" is just that: A route being considered/evaluated. All things subject to change! biggrin.gif

However, having said that, I think this could be a really fun route to operate. Modeling it ca '69-'70 would mean tons of switching opportunities as well as good AI flow. Plus, it would be SO cool to see trains being pulled by tatty Rock Island 1st generation power again! Oh, and the "grain season" theme could be used to push the AI train frequency up to really "interesting" levels!

Some of the switch jobs at Enid could be quite complex.

Lastly, don't be deceived by the "plains" look... much of it is very undulating terrain, and test running heavy trains proves to be a surprising excercise of throttle and brake use. Back toward the target era, timetable speed for the Sub was 50 MPH, which is a pretty good clip. The miles pass quickly between the agricultural-based towns.

> Any thoughts of extending the line up to Wichita and eventually up to the junction with
> the Golden State Route in Herington?

Oh lands. Way too early for me to have a clue on direction AFTER the "next one". Be reminded that at this point, we don't even know if THIS portion will be selected as the next project. blush.gif

> I could get you plenty of pics of the current line from Caldwell north if needbe

Actually Caldwell SOUTH would be much more helpful, especially if this is the direction I go.

Thinking ahead, I'm of the opinion that once the North Arkansas is released, and "settled in"... then a 2 day field trip along the former 25th Sub will be in order. Likely would start at El Reno, OK and work north, spending the night somewhere in the Enid area... then finish up to Caldwell and make the long trip home that night. I would prefer all foliage to be in full plumage so I can harvest texture pics while in the region.

As with all things I consider, an oft phrase I use comes to mind: We shall see. smile.gif

Thanks for your interest Austin.

Andre Ming

#6 zhivago47

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 01:47 AM

Sounds as though you have a plan Andre. And it sounds like you are into it already, which is good. I have been in Enid, OK and so I know what the area looks like. Didn't spend a lot of time there but have seen the area so know what you mean. Fifty fifty sounds great and I like the era as well. I like the RI for the very fact that they had so many liveries! I think it is a good plan and one that is definitely doable for you. I would love it! And, I would use scale rail if you could. It really does look so much more real than anything used heretofore. If you need any help with any of the rolling stock just give me a buzz. I mean if you get bogged down or 3dtrains does, I would be happy to pitch in and help you in that department.

Well, I, of course will not announce it anywhere, but I think that the Rock is an excellent idea and the era is right and there is plenty to do on that line so heck, why not? You are in the vicinity and that certainly helps.
Will be looking forward to it anyway Andre. If you decide not to do it then that is fine too. Do what your heart and mind tell you to do. Whatever way you go I know it will be done to the best of your abilities. I know that's the type of person you are. If it can't be done correctly then I know you won't do it. And that is as it should be.

Again, if you ever need any help with the skinning of any rolling stock just let me know. That is about all I am any good at! blush.gif

"Oh the Rock Island line is a mighty good road
the Rock Island line is the road to ride"

Yep. I could definitely go for that one Andre! wink.gif


Tim

#7 laming

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 09:24 AM

Thanks for the encouragement Tim.

ScaleRail is seriously being considered. Downsides are:

* I would no longer have the "safety net" of Dynamic track. The two systems (KUJU's and ScaleRail) do not look good together. Yes, I've built routes with no dynamic track before (narrow gauge). No dynamic track adds significantly to the time it takes to build a route and also does NOT leave much leeway for alterations later. So I would definitely have to really weigh my pros and cons before going that direction.

* I would lose the work already accomplished last year on this route while experimenting. As is, nearly 50% of the trackwork for the entire route is finished already. I had to use dynamic track at some curve exits to keep things aligned with the markers on some of the long tangents.

As you can see below, I took care to make sure the existing work on the route is as accurate as practical with MSTS.

So, for this route, I would have to carefully weigh the advantages (and there are several) of going with ScaleRail at this late juncture. If ScaleRail it is, then I essentially start over.

Andre

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#8 jamesphh

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 03:59 PM

One thing that I do for most routes, is the replace the 'clean track2' texture file with the Judd Spittler 'real track' file. Thsi has a better appearance than the KUJU track texture. I replace anly the clean track two file, not the clean track one file. I feel that this give an appearance close to 'scale rail' thouth not as nice as the only thing changed is the texture, not the detail.

#9 laming

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 04:37 PM

"One thing that I do for most routes, is the replace the 'clean track2'..."

With a commercial endeavor, it's a given that custom/modified track textures must be included. Thus, should the 25th Sub become the next route, it too, will received custom track textures.


Andre

#10 zhivago47

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 06:32 PM

Well you have been busy. Didn't realize you had that much done on the route already so, as you say, wouldn't make much sense to start over now with scalerail. And the suggestion to change the Kuju trackage is a given, I would think, anyway. Just too many better looking trackage out there.

Am certainly looking forward to your progress reports and updates on the route if that is the way you go. Good luck with it anyway.

Are we any closer to the North Arkansas route Andre? Any kind of time frame in your mind at this point for its release. Certainly looking forward to it. I have been saving up to get it and just don't want to spend the money if it is real close. I have a very tight budget so am interested in some kind of date. Are we talking this month or next. Will make a difference to my budget is the reason I would like to know.

Thanks and looking forward to both routes.


Tim

#11 laming

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Posted 05 April 2004 - 09:18 PM

> Well you have been busy.

Over the past year I've done a ton of learning/working in RE, AE, as well as 3D programs. Was off on a tangent for a spell last month, but otherwise (except for a couple other interuptions)... been at it pretty steady.

> Are we any closer to the North Arkansas route Andre?

Indeed.

Before bed tonight, I'll be testing the fourth activity that is intended to replace the original ones I'd developed. I will be releasing 10 simplistic activities at the onset, with 16 more "Advanced" ones (the original activities) uploaded a couple or so days later.

I hope to have all the "new" activities written and personally tested this week. To save time, I'm not going to send these to the beta tester pool. It was not a good idea to dump 16 activities into beta at once.

> Are we talking this month or next.

Very likely this month. I do want to stagger the North Arkansas' release in regards to Surfliner, though. So if they release toward the end of the month, I will hold my release for about 2 additional weeks.

Also, given my vocation, interuptions of my discretionary time by situations of a serious nature are always a possibility.

Trust me, I want to get the North Arkansas out the door too! biggrin.gif

Andre

#12 zhivago47

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Posted 06 April 2004 - 09:01 PM

Well, since I went out and bought a new power supply and a new internal fan for this thing maybe next month would be better for me too. Was getting a little scared after put all of these big harddrives in, a new video card (which called for 300 watt ps) in, etc. and was only sporting 250 so went and bought a 400 watt power supply and another internal fan. It is a much noisier machine now but I feel much more secure. There is a fan on the video card too so with all four fans going sounds like it is ready to take off but I can live with it. Better than frying my board or the cpu or one of my harddrives, or anything else. Got a real good deal locally, which surprised me. Could have spent less on line but wanted to know this one would fit correctly. Don't regret the purchase. Not much more I can get for this thing now, unless I opt for a new motherboard and cpu!!! Which is always a possibility with me! smile.gif

Anyway, take your time Andre. Would rather thing be right than not, and that is very generous of you to wait in line, so to speak. But, I would imagine it would be better for you too not to release at the same time.

Keep us posted on the new route as well!

Tim

#13 laming

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Posted 07 April 2004 - 10:15 AM

"Anyway, take your time Andre."

With this being somewhat of a "hobby business" (i.e. definitely NOT my "day job")... I'm a'feared "timely" isn't going to be one of my strong suits.

"Keep us posted on the new route as well!"

Will do. I need to stay focused right now on the North Arkansas finishing up these activities, pursuing some legalities, building a website, obtaining bulk CD's, printing labels, etc, etc, etc... rolleyes.gif

Once the North Arkansas is released, I'll then be able to focus on "the next one". Likely a field trip to the region will be the first order of business. It will be important to get a "feel" for the region, as well as coming back home with data needed... and some pics of that western OK red dirt!

Andre

#14 therock

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 07:09 PM

Rock Island??? RI, RI, RI, RI, RI, RI, RI, RI, RI, RI, RI, RI, RI, RI BRING ON "THE ROCK"! WOO BABY! If ya need any reference pictures for some engines, my dad Litterally has the entire Rock Island Roster on film, Every Single Rock Island engine ever made is on film in our 3 book collection biggrin.gif

#15 laming

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 08:00 PM

rock:

This is a very old thread.

The Rock Island 25th Sub that was evaluated in this thread was not selected for production because of various reasons.

The Rock Island portion that has been selected and is up for construction once the current route is released is noted in this thread:

http://www.3dtrains....?showtopic=8799

If you're used to a flatland Rock Island, you're going to be VERY surprised at this region of the Rock Island!!

In reference to your Dad's Rock Island photos: Yes, I am always interested in viewing Rock Island stuff. Do you have scanning capabilities?

The target era for the Rock Island Hot Springs Branch route is 1969-1970. Would you have pictures from that era and earlier?

#16 chripsch

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 06:33 AM

Hi Andre!

Staying offline some days I was very well surprised by your progresses!
1st I must tell you I can`t await the 26 activities of the Ozark Northern to begin!!!
Consider me below the very 1st to buy it laugh.gif
For the RI branch it seems there are made now nails with heads means it gets its start up these days... Looking very forward to it as I love mountains and Diesels very well especially S H O R T L I N E S! I recently bought Tehachapi Pass and I suddenly missed something...
I missed switching, I missed interesting workorders :-)
Well, although the mentionend concurrence route is well made I thik I`ll remain with the shortlines for ever! Narrow gauge and shortlines these are the things my heart hangs on laugh.gif Simply, your routes, Andre.
BTW: As I got a Mail by the TMTS staff that its simulator is scheduled for the 2nd quarter of 2006 your M & A could be built as your 1st route with the new Sim. Yeah,
I said "could" as everyone of us knows about the MSTS successors already for years... wink.gif

Best wishes from icy Germany with sibirean degrees °C,

Christian

#17 therock

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 06:39 PM

heh, wow, I guess I never realized juist how old this thread is laugh.gif but yes, I do have scanning capabilities. biggrin.gif as for the pictures, they are just scattered all across America, but they are around the 60's-70's era