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Milwaukee Road Coast division 2, Template project started
dgionet
post Oct 7 2018, 06:07 PM
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Hello to all,

In preparation for the release of the Milwaukee Road Coast division 2 route, I have received in late August from Moe Smith with Jerry's permission the route to start preparing the template project.Thanks again Moe for your assistance and to Jerry to allow me to start preparing the project! It took a few weeks to figure out the proper download requirements. After that, I have started to install markers on all serviceable sidings in all possible areas. Due to the heavy number of sidings in the Tacoma area, some sidings were omitted (not that many) to allow more performance in the area. The total number of serviceable sidings in the entire route is around 420 (around 300 in the Seattle-Tacoma corridor area alone)

Three railroads are involved: the MILW, NP and the UP (running between Seattle and Tacoma). Due to the presence of intermodal yards in Seattle and Tacoma. I have found among the downloads what I believe to be among the first container cars which started to run in North America in the late sixties. Timeframe of the template project has been set in that period, prior to the NP becoming the Burlington Northern Railroad (BN) in 1970.There are 70 different regions in the SWLTDB file. Each siding has received its respective car attribute. Two payware (and all bonuses) from BLW/ZT downloads are required. They are the Northern Pacific and Milwaukee Road freight packs. They are the same packs used as with previous template projects involving some of the previous MILW route templates. The freeware downloads ( from CLW and TS) is around 27 to complete the count.

Among the downloads are one low-poly car string download which I have started using in some bigger yards to add some eye candy and railfill.

The first and only template done so far is the MILW WB main from Cle Elum to Seattle's Van Asselt Yard. On this one, there is only work in Cedar Falls to pickup or set out cars before reaching Seattle. I have yet to create and test the run from Cle Elum to Tacoma. On the Cle Elum-Seattle SLG-generated run, I have experienced serious traffic issues which took a week to find the culprit: a marker which has been mistakenly put to one siding in Maple Valley on which AI traffic trains pass along. That resulted in all AI trains stalling at the Indian siding. Problem solved!

I have also discovered how to use OR's dispatcher (CTRL-9) feature and will be very helpful with activity creation and to make sure of the position of trains in real time which is different when testing in the MSTS AE.

Due to the detailed nature of the route, I had to lower down some video settings in OR to have a reasonable performance. In maximum settings, some cars didn't show during passage of AI traffic trains. Had also to reduce world object settings from 10 to 9. I may be necessary in older computers to go even lower in these settings.

Here are the first pictures of the first SLG-generated and successful run from Cle Elum to Seattle:

MILWCOA2Image1 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Meeting the North Coast Limited West of Easton

MILWCOA2Image2 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Crossing the NP line West of Easton

MILWCOA2Image3 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
At Whittier where you can see the NP line above at Martin, near the Eastern portal or the Stampede tunnel and also seen above is the Switchback line with its 5% grade in most of the line.
A test run has been successfull along the switchback line with 2 Geeps,5 loaded cars and a caboose.
It is not guaranteed to make it through if you add more cars to the consist because of the limited length of one of the switchbacks.

MILWCOA2Image4 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Meeting an EB at Rockdale. Behind you can see the access to the Hi-line which has been used prior to the construction of the Snowqualmie tunnel with grades up to 3%

MILWCOA2Image5 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Cedar Falls

MILWCOA2Image6 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Bagley Jct. Seen on the left is the MILW's Enumclaw branch and, across the bridge, the NP line towards Barneston.

MILWCOA2Image7 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Maple Valley and the Pacific Coast railroad alongside crossing the MILW line

MILWCOA2Image8 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Black River Jct

MILWCOA2Image9 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
All three Railroads (NP, MILW and UP lines) in Seattle.

MILWCOA2Image10 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Reaching the Van Asselt Yard

That's it for now. Will be posting later as the project progresses


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Denis Gionet
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charliechan
post Oct 7 2018, 08:47 PM
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Good Morning:

It's nice to see that the forum is alive. Thanks for all the work you do for the hobby.

Chandller



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Conductor Chris
post Oct 8 2018, 05:50 PM
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Dennis, this looks good!

Let me know if you are missing any freight cars that could be added with a BLWZT bonus.

Christopher
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dgionet
post Oct 8 2018, 07:19 PM
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Hi to all,

Thanks Christopher for the offer. No freight cars required but...

Among the consists I have created for the template, I have added today one more for the template project: Northern Pacific's Mainstreeter passenger train, the secondary passenger train to the North Coast Limited which ran up to the Early 70's and taken over by Amtrak during that time. According to documents online, the Mainstreeter used a mix of heavyweights and streamlined cars and could contain 4 or 5 baggage cars since the US postage department used the Mainstreeter to carry lots of mail. Compared with the NCL, it takes about 10 more hours to cover the same route since it is more lucrative, making more stops to pickup of leave mail, packages etc....

I have been looking up for slumbercar sleepers which ran with the Mainstreeter but found none, except for one I have seen with BLW's North Coast limited passenger train pack. Any way to have one available for the template package Christopher?

Thanks for considering.

In the meantime, work is continuing for the MILW WB mainline. As mentioned, the only pickups and setouts between Cle Elum and the Seattle-Tacoma area is at Cedar Falls. In Seattle, destination is the Van Asselt Yard and I have decided to use the Union Pacific Yard at Tacoma Jct to make it a joint UP-MILW yard, a little like Seattle's Argo Yard which hosts the Northern Pacific and the Union Pacific railroads. That means the UP-MILW Yard will be the final destination for the Cle Elum-Tacoma run.

I have considered the Tacoma intermodal yards but the problem is that the length of the sidings is no more that 9 cars per siding while at the UP-MILW, Jerry had stretched at the last minute to make it around 35-40 cars per siding and also the train must use the wye and move backwards towards the Intermodal yards. In that case using the wye could be done only with a shorter freight train. The MILW typical mainline can start with up to 50 cars at Cle Elum.

However the Tacoma Intermodal Yards will be used since there will be local runs starting from the UP-MILW Yard working around, including the Tacoma intermodal Yards.

I have started running a path which started at Cedar Falls toward Tacoma. From there, the user might encounter the following on the first minutes after leaving Cedar Falls as shown below:


MILWCOA2Image11 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
At Bagley Jct. with a NP small freight train using the MILW Enumclaw branch (shared trackage with the MILW) crossing the bridge toward Barneston.

In regards to the OR Video settings comment said earlier, I wanted to mention what type of computer resources I have: a i5 processor with 8GB of memory with a Nvidia GeForce GT740 video card. After thinking over, the video card I have may be (...or maybe not) the cause of the lower performance since this card has been bought some years ago and today's video cards perform a lot better.

Benny has volunteered to test the templates with me. Thanks again Benny for your help!

That's it for today.Will keep updating later with progress to the project.


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Denis Gionet
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dgionet
post Oct 14 2018, 03:16 PM
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Since the last post and with Benny's first report, I have made some major changes. First, I have removed the 2 COFC (ATTX & VTTX) downloads to be replaced by two TOFC downloads. They are the djr_75fttofc.zip and the zt75tofc.zip files. The two finished templates and the master template files have been reworked to replace all traces of the COFC to TOFC's.

High poly values of the COFC (about 2 to 3 times those of the TOFC) may be the reason I had some issues in terms of visual performance (some cars of the AI did not appear when passing by and also white void areas). The first two pictures show some examples of what I have encountered. All consists were modified to replace the COFC by the TOFC's

I have extensively reworked the railfill among some larger yards for the first two templates, the MILW and NP WB main templates and the master template file, from which other templates will be built from. Some yard sidings to be worked were instead used as railfill ( w/ low poly car strings-included with the requitred downloads) to cover the designated sidings. That Include the Van Asselt, Cedar Falls, both Cle Elum Yards, Auburn, the NP West Yard and the UP-MILW joint yards.

I have also corrected some shape issues from some of the downloads. That means that the corrected files will be part of the oncoming templates.

As mentioned, the first two show the issues encountered before the COFC-TOFC swap. All pictures here were taken before the Yards railfill extensive rework.



MILWCOA2Image12 by Denis

Gionet
, sur Flickr



MILWCOA2Image13 by Denis

Gionet
, sur Flickr

The following three (3) are from the MILW WB towards the UP-MILW joint yard in Tacoma Jct



MILWCOA2Image14 by Denis

Gionet
, sur Flickr



MILWCOA2Image15 by Denis

Gionet
, sur Flickr



MILWCOA2Image16 by Denis

Gionet
, sur Flickr

The remaining are from the NP WB main between Cle Elum to the NP West Yard at Tacoma with meets along, including the NP Mainstreeter at Stampede



MILWCOA2Image17 by Denis

Gionet
, sur Flickr



MILWCOA2Image18 by Denis

Gionet
, sur Flickr



MILWCOA2Image19 by Denis

Gionet
, sur Flickr



MILWCOA2Image20 by Denis

Gionet
, sur Flickr



MILWCOA2Image21 by Denis

Gionet
, sur Flickr

Will update as it develops


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Denis Gionet
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dgionet
post Oct 15 2018, 06:40 PM
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Hello to all,

Just a quick update.

I have realized too late that the UP Yard at Tacoma Jct. is a non-electrified yard. Since MILW mainline templates use the Electric EF-4's or EF-45's, it means that all MILW mainline runs will start or stop only at the Seattle Van Asselt Yard. Only MILW diesels will have the task of doing business at the UP Yard at Tacoma Jct, probably between both Van Asselt and the UP Yards. There will be many MILW templates that will be running on diesel engines, especially on local runs.

In the meantime I have been putting the final touch on the MILW EB mainline run. A test run has already begun and am providing shots between the Van Asselt Yard and Cedar Falls.

MILWCOA2Image22 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Departure from the Van Asselt Yard. Note the railfill made with low-poly car strings which add more realism and eye candy. A busy morning along the three parallel lines as seen on the next two.

MILWCOA2Image23 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Meeting the UP while leaving the Van Asselt Yard

MILWCOA2Image24 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
A triple meet with an NP coal empties and the NP Mainstreeter passenger train.

MILWCOA2Image25 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
At Black River Jct while the NP Coal empties is waiting on a RED signal

MILWCOA2Image26 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Meeting a mixed WB pulled by 6 diesel engines.

MILWCOA2Image27 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Cedar Falls Yard with railfill car strings

More later


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Denis Gionet
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dgionet
post Yesterday, 07:25 PM
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Hello to all,

Work is continuing on the project.

Here are some pictures from the NP EB main template. Two paths have been created. The first from the Tacoma West Yard to Cle Elum while the second one will start at the Auburn Yards up to Cle Elum.

The following are from the path starting at the West Yard at Tacoma

MILWCOA2Image28 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Leaving the West Yard

Pretty busy in the SeaTac area (next two)
MILWCOA2Image29 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr

MILWCOA2Image30 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr

MILWCOA2Image31 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr

MILWCOA2Image32 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr

MILWCOA2Image33 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr

MILWCOA2Image34 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Near the Stampede tunnel. Note the switchback line and its different levels where most of the trackage is graded at around 5%.

MILWCOA2Image35 by Denis Gionet, sur Flickr
Meeting the WB North Coast Limited

Will keep updating as it advances


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Denis Gionet
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