New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby OpenRailer90 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:17 pm

Speaking of stuff for the freight guys, why did I notice this random isolated speck of track around 150th St. in NYC? It looks out of place
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby minerman146 » Mon Jul 08, 2019 7:37 pm

Why that speck of track is the Erie Railroad's, Harlem Station circa 1968. In fact it is the smallest, historical, yard evah produced for this here game. Grab a yard engine and check it out! I put in over 6 square kilometers of scenery for a 175 meter by 225 meter yard, cuz THIS is how much we love freight. ( I'm stretching my arms out all the way to show ya how much)
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby Spin » Tue Jul 09, 2019 6:30 pm

I never released that scenario for Harlem Station, did I? *!embar*!

I'll have to dig that out...
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby minerman146 » Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:08 pm

Spin wrote:I never released that scenario for Harlem Station, did I? *!embar*!
'll have to dig that out...


Wellllll… sort of. What happened was you gave me the scenario to test. And I did!. Then I came back to you to sort out the rolling stock to make it 100% Golden Age of Railroading. Then I said I would fix that. Then work got me. Then I started on Middletown. Then I added more scenery in da Bronx. As some where in this big crazy thing of ours ya didn't release it right here on RWA like we were gonna do. !*hp*! That's what I think happened! For what its worth, I think you will like the new scenery it was released over a month ago!

* by the way folks its a very cool and engaging scenario
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby minerman146 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 12:41 pm

I know American Steam notices this stuff... and here you go, the unloading platform at 84 Lumber just waiting for you to drop off some lumber, salt, brick or whatever else they might be selling.
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby AmericanSteam » Wed Jul 10, 2019 1:27 pm

minerman146 wrote:I know American Steam notices this stuff... and here you go, the unloading platform at 84 Lumber just waiting for you to drop off some lumber, salt, brick or whatever else they might be selling.
20190710133901_1.jpg

Where is this located? I know that I have 3 cars in the yard to drop off. I need to set up a screenshot for this.
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby minerman146 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:07 pm

American Steam, 84 lumber is in Middletown, coming "soon"

Try Dyke's lumber in Tallman NY, on the Piermont Branch, no one has been there in awhile!
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby minerman146 » Wed Jul 10, 2019 10:22 pm

Welcome to the Rushed version of the Wednesday Route Update Report! I caught a break or two in the past few days and was able to crank out more scenery than I anticipated. Looks like its not quite enough, I still have Thursday to see what I can get done. This means its time for the Friday Route Update Status.

( ) Have Gun
( X ) Will Travel

I know some of you know who Paladin is! !!jabber!! Remember fellow olden folk, cleaning your gun while on the porch will keep those kids off your lawn. If not start a game of Lawn Darts ... heh.

Its time for some pictures. This first shot shows what I dreaded rolling through Middletown. This is 1.2 miles wide man! Yes, you can see it from the train!
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Middletown - too darn big!
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And there is more of this under where I took this picture from too. This isn't Hoboken, but its all sloped, grades all over, its pitches, heaves and cuts. You get the idea. Moving on to showcase our consignees and lovely Middletown-Walkill Metro North Station. Since, I was talking about context before, the shots reflect that, so you get an idea of what it is. Note - deep trees are not done yet, still need more buildings.
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Revere Smelting and Refining
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Ball Container
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Middletown-Town of Walkill Station
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84 Lumber and Lowe's on the right
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I will get to where I am going. And remember, its not where your goin that's most important, its deciding to go.

Carry on!
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby minerman146 » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:21 pm

Good afternoon gents and to the horde of Bergen Line fans everywhere, a happy Sunday. A couple of times week I get the urge to post. The themes are why we do it, how we do it or we found out something interesting about the route to talk about. This one will be all three.

Last night, I finished up the near and mid scenery around Ball Container in Middletown. This means the probability for a release on Friday is very high. On Wednesday's update, I was mistaken, thinking I was closer than I actually. I forgot I had buildings to do on the East side of the track in Walkill. But last night was a good one production wise and I need to extend the track further West to prep those areas for future scenery.

The pro-tip here is that you should only lay enough track for your current scenery work with about 2-5 miles of track beyond your detail work. This comes in handy for laying your track precisely and so you dont get ahead of your self. When I started the route (5 freaking years ago!) we didnt know about using DEM for importing the terraform into the route. As you know, you start out on a new route with zero elevation. The route was started in Suffern, New York at an elevation of 312 feet, on Google Earth, I was getting 300 feet at the station to the Jersey state line. Being a round number, I could take readings off of Google Earth and topo maps and correspond those to the route.

So we build the route at Suffern 300 feet below where it was supposed to be. This means we build the route from Suffern to Hoboken without STRM and went to Harriman without it. I guess that makes the first 2 full years of routebuilding completely hand-built and that was very time consuming to account for elavation. Google isn't prescise and in the North East one in hard pressed to find a flat area to take a reading from. I was always grateful for lakes, which I would compare to my topo maps and my track. If you recall when I was close to Hoboken I kept saying I was going to turn West and rework Suffern to Higland Mills. This was becuase I had sucesffuly figured out how to import terrain. What I saw wasnt pretty. My track was 60 feet to high, 20 would have been acceptable, in Harriman. The track after Ho-ho-kus was passable. My problem was how to account for Suffern and perhaps to lift all the tracks, roads and building to accomodate the 300 foot difference. I learned this wasnt possible. Then in a divine spark, I saw I could adjust STRM and make it higher or lower when I did the import. So, I subracted my import by 91.44 meters and started importing the terrain to a copy of the route I had made. That was a very sad day.

Keep reading I will get to some pro-tips and the current state of the route.

I remember the day I imported the terrain from Suffern to Highland Mills. Track and trees were floating all over the place. I wanted to be so done with this route. 18 miles of track and scenery to redo. Fortunately, this was not my best work, but still it all had to go. I wiped it out and imported the terrain. Also, at this time, I was able to locate track maps from the innerwebs and establish grades. What I did was to work the track where it rose at the West end of Hillburn and correspond the grade exactly to those track maps. I would see where the ground laid above or below the track and compare to photographs or Google Street view to eye ball the terrain as it related to the track. And it was good! I was totally relieved and I gained a new confidence that what track I was laying actually matched my maps and the topo. The rest is history. From comments I read; users notice that that the Western, rural part of the route is better. This is because 1. the terrain is better and 2. My building skills improved over the years. At this point I became religious about using the track maps and the grads that were recorded there. To this day. I always ensure that that the grade relates directly to the terrain.

This brings me to today. (More pro-tips here) I only extend track to a few miles beyond the current work area. Before I start transitioning I extend track, lay down road and makes to rough terrain changes. What I do is snap the terrain to the road and track. For roads, I take measures or eyeball the roads and use lofts to have roads rise or fall with the terrain as needed. For tricky spots I use Google Street view to get the best possible elevation. This is not precise nor do I expect it to be. I like to keep it to plus or minus 1 meter. This fidelity to elevation pays off greatly with the scenery. In the past, I would flatten out the terrain to plop down those house scenery blocks or for houses. Now I leave the terrain alone and now my houses have foundations so I can put them on slopes. I apply this to commercial structures as well. However, for parking lots or industrial areas close to track, I do flatten where practical to simplify the scenery build. Where a slope or grade is inherent to the character of a location, I leave it alone and perform the tedious work to maintain fidelity to the real thing.

I haven't seen this kind of attention being paid to topography at this degree. If someone is doing this out there, do let me know, as you will have my deepest respect. I do this as it makes the route stand out. The fidelity to terrain makes the trees, and structures look better and over all, the cab experience from the train is outstanding. I can tell its my route from the cab views alone that I see on YouTube. Its the frequent rise and fall of the ground and roads I notice. Why do I do it? Well one of the many reasons is that the New York Division and the Erie Railroad itself has always seemingly been obscure. As class 1 railroad, with an epic history and some of the most diverse railroading in the US, it frankly, burns my butt that the Erie Lackawanna plays like a toe-headed step child to the likes of Amtrak. Freakin Amtrak. It pleases me to no end knowing that every iteration of the North East Corridor will never have the scenery detail or fidelity that we have right here on the lowly New York Division Bergen Line. Frankly, I am a bit bitter actually. The train magazines and the scale railroad media, to a large extent, passed over on my railroad. Dovetail and their American advisors do the same thing. In their defense, perhaps there is simply not an awareness of a 3000 mile long, class 1 railroad called the Erie Lackawanna. It's in this writer's opinion that its kinda hard to miss a railroad like that. My mission is to point out this oversight. It would be nice if the game-makers were to throw a proverbial bone in the direction of the Erie Lackawanna. If my investments and cards have been played right, they will have an opportunity to seize the day and make some token recognition in the near future.

As I have always said... I am HIGHLY motivated.

With that out the way, I return to our conversation regarding Middletown and track elevation. The payoff in topo and grade accuracy occurs when we get a track to terrain differtial that is wildly out of proportion. Today it happened to me. I have been running an exact .58 grade after the Walkill River crossing and all has been well. Today, I started extending track Westward to Otisville and dropping those 3 meter blue scenery cubes to mark the track location. Normally, I lay test track that is not attached to the exiting train ribbon and get some test numbers on the curvature, that I record prior to applying track easements. I dont attach to the main ribbon as I delete the track frequently. And I also dont save my test track as to (pro-tip) not create 'ghost' track and otherwise mess up the track.bin. Frequent additions and deletions of track in the same location cause this. So I am running my test track out about 3 miles when I come to a lake/marsh area. My track is approximately 2 meters lower than that lake. This should not be. If the terrain is good and the track is running per the track chart exactly - well, what gives? Either my STRM is wrong or the track map is. So what to do? If I leave the track, then I have to lower the surrounding scenery. This is too hard. Now I have to modify the grade of the track to conform to the scenery. First I try .60 instead of .58 from where my good track ends 3 miles back. Now, the track is plus 4 meters. This is too high. I wipe out the track and start over again with .59 as the gradient. I run my track and its hits the marsh/lake area perfectly. Now I spent about to hours messing with the track to get it right and still havent laid the final track. But now I can snap the terrain to track with confidence. As there was about 1.5 miles of deep 10 meter cutting, the track correction made the cut much less dramatic and realistic. So, because up to this point where I came across this problem my track and terrain were good, I was able to confidently add 1/100 to the grade to make the correction. 1/100th! Now, that's fidelity baby!

There you have it, 2 full hours of writing with some backstory, some tips and some explanation. Lastly, in case you just started reading and haven't followed my posts for the past 3 years and think I am a crank. It was not fun living through the uncertainly of having my fathers company go bankrupt and be absorbed by some heartless quasi-governmental entity called Conrail. It was also not cool to see that the new head quarters for this 'organization' be located at the very same location of the Penn Central's HQ. (Get it? Conrail is Penn Central with government backing!) The Penn Central railroad, the first "too big to fail' organization that thougoughly destroyed, not just railroad competition in the North East, but its competitors themselves, in particular, enemy number one, the Erie Lackawanna. And yeah, when my father, family and all their friends had the choice of working out of Trenton, Philly or Allentown or in essence, quit their livelihood, yeah I'm a little bitter. And when the former 'employees' of the Penn Central referred the trainmen of the Erie and Lackawanna as "boat people" - I have never forgot that. Boat People was a reference to the evacuation of the native people of Vietnam who were forced to leave that country when the communists won control of South Vietnam with fail of Saigon in April of 1975. The Erie Lackawanna ceased operation on on April 1, 1976. "Boat People" Way to stay classy Penn Central/Conrail!

May the odds be forever in your favor. And, as always, Carry on!
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby minerman146 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:13 pm

Good evening Mr. and Missus America and all the ships at sea. This is the Wednesday Route Update!
What a week it has been - thrills, spills … the ecstasy of victory and the agony of defeat! Yet, we carry on and endure.

Lets go to the Friday Route Update Report.

( ) Route? What route? Hummmana, hummmana …
( X ) Halleluiah - the time is at hand! *!greengrin!*

I got enough in to so you can deliver your goods and drop off passengers with some semblance of realism The stars of the show: its the consignees of course! My stops, pulled out their own stops to generate these rich scenes that I have been showing you for the past few weeks. This is a rare update that I nod to the Commuter Train Guys. And its a nod in a big way. Middletown, NY … 72 miles to Hoboken, Station #26. And they know, I case you don't, that there are only 2 stations LEFT for me to do. I am halfway to Otisville now with the track. If you know the line … you know what can come next.

For you freight guys … you know the Bergen never lets you down. And in this iteration you pickup of 4 new consignees. Be prepared to Drop of lumber, refrigerated cars, boxcars and some empty covered hoppers to pick up plastic pellets and sodium sulfate. Its a rare bird on the route that generates loads let me tell ya. You will love spotting cars in each siding and figuring out how to turn your train at "Red Onion" in Middletown.

Here is my token route shot for this post:
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After the update, I will start chatting again about our next objective - Otisville, New York and what may happen beyond that.

Carry on!
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby AmericanSteam » Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:36 pm

Found more of your stock headed West over Sherman.
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby minerman146 » Wed Jul 17, 2019 10:06 pm

Americansteam ... there is just something about those ACL "thank you for shipping Coast Line cars".
I hope in my travels I find some more like those. Carry on Westward sir!
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby minerman146 » Fri Jul 19, 2019 8:58 am

Its Friday and here is another edition for your consideration.

Route Update Number 223
New York Division-Bergen Line 9.9.5.7: Middletown

Additions: Scenery Update Middletown, NY., Add 4 new consignees: Wakefern Distribution, Revere Smelting, Ball Container and 84 Lumber. Add signal tower at Grove St. Hoboken, update scenery in Suffern, Extend super-elevated track to Howell's, NY and add Frank Sinatra at his birth place.

New Quick Drives: Campbell Hall to Middletown (Freight), Middletown to Hoboken and Hoboken to Middletown (71 Mile Run).

Old file size: 181.603 MB
New file size: 191.674 MB

Have a great weekend and ...
Carry on!
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Stay Cool!
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby Pwelt » Fri Jul 19, 2019 9:40 am

Just ran RDCs from Middletown, looks beautiful, thanks. Looks like you may be inching towards Port Jervis too. Keep it up.
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Re: New York Division-Bergen Line - Part Deux!

Unread postby AmericanSteam » Fri Jul 19, 2019 2:38 pm

First day on the job at 84 Lumber.
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