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Annie's Virtual Pre-Grouping, Grouping and BR Layouts & Workbench


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3 hours ago, Edwardian said:

Very nice, with some lovely lighting conditions

Thanks James.  N3V seem to have done some further tweaks to the environmental lighting with their latest update patch which are certainly very welcome.

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1 hour ago, simonmcp said:

The replica of Trevithick's Camborne road engine (as in "coming up Camborne Hill going down, so called as it appears to be driven from the front in reverse) also has a dead spot and the only solution is to get a few strong people to push it over that dead spot. I suspect that's not a lot of use to you on your simulator though.

Sometimes by rocking the reversing 'lever' back and forth I can get the Foden past the dead spot, but often it just won't.  I may end up having to set the engine spec up as a secret two cylinder engine or else modify the virtual crankshaft angles in order to keep the Foden on as a properly useful engine.   With the Foden set up as a proper single cylinder locomotive as it is now it sounds noticeably different to the other engines on the tramway.  By modifying things to make it start more easily it's likely that I'll lose that unique sound (sigh).

I had heard about single cylinder traction engine based locomotives getting stuck on the dead spot, but it never crossed my mind that I could actually replicate that situation.

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So I tried out a two cylinder version of the Foden's engine spec and it was awful.  The loco itself was running more or less alright, but the sound file I'd spent so much time over now sounded awful with it running too fast and the sounds being blurred together.  Back to a single cylinder engine spec I went only this time I reset the crank angles so they were no longer 180 degrees apart and were closer to the normal quartering we're all familiar with on steam locomotives.  This is of course mechanically impossible for a single cylinder steam engine and could only exist in a virtual world.

On testing the sound file sounded more like its old self again, but with a definite asymmetric beat.  Faced between having a locomotive that needs to be constantly persuaded out of dead spots to start moving and having one that starts from rest just fine, but sounds just a wee bit odd I decided to go for the second option. 

 

 

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Edited by Annie
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Been zonked out asleep since I last posted which has been annoying, but I'm awake now so I thought I'd post some snaps of the other Foden geared locomotive model I have which has also benefitted from a new sound file and engine spec.  No.01 has been assigned to Tenpenny Wharf where its ability to negotiate tight radius curves due to its pivoting front bogie make it just the engine for the job.  The only other engines I have that can handle the curves on the wharf without looking seriously untidy are the G13¾ tram engines, but the Bluebell Woods MPD foreman refuses to loan them out to the Tenpenny branch in case he never gets them back!

Due to me being nervous about running an engine or a rake of wagons off the end of the wharf any engine that works on the wharf has to be good at running at low speeds and definitely not be a jackrabbit when starting off from rest.  Reasonable brakes are an advantage as well, but not ones that defy the laws of physics with instant stops.  Foden No.01 is very good in this regard despite being slightly weedy in the brakes department.  Driving small engines like these with the steam control set is all about managing momentum with the brakes only being used to bring the engine and its train to rest once most of the speed has been washed off by careful regulator control.  It does help as well that the wharf and yards at Tenpenny are pretty much flat and level.

 

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4 hours ago, Annie said:

 

Due to me being nervous about running an engine or a rake of wagons off the end of the wharf any engine that works on the wharf has to be good at running at low speeds and definitely not be a jackrabbit when starting off from rest.  

 

 

Beautiful pictures, Annie.

 

But, yikes, what would happen if you did?

 

Would the Fat Controller be rowed out to give you a lecture, or would the computer confiscate the runaway stock until it decided you could be trusted with them? 

 

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(the No.6 thing is spreading!)

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1 hour ago, Edwardian said:

.......or would the computer confiscate the runaway stock until it decided you could be trusted with them? 

Unfortunately confiscation of everything that has left the rails is what happens James.  In the case of the wharf anything that ran off the end would float in mid air for about 30 seconds with a big orange 'X' circling above it before fading out of existence.  Other options have been asked for ranging from everything being re-railed after a set amount of time to represent a breakdown crew being on the job to completely realistic crash physics, but as far as I'm concerned it's just plain annoying since just like on the prototype it means that the fun is well and truly over.  At least I have the option of starting over again without any awful consequences.

 

Love the classic picture of Percy off the end of the wharf and in the drink by the way.  My children grew up with me reading the Railway Series books to them every night before bed so seeing the picture you posted made me smile.

 

1 hour ago, Edwardian said:

Beautiful pictures, Annie.

Thanks.  Tenpenny Wharf and the Tenpenny branch are places I very much enjoy visiting on my layout.  Perhaps they are a rosy tint view of a world that never was, but like much of my Norfolk layout they are 3d creation of landscapes where I'd like to live.  

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1 hour ago, Compound2632 said:

 

Atherstone - nice.

Yes that particular 3D model maker has made some really lovely station buildings for Trainz and his Atherstone building is a favourite of mine.  I had heard though that he'd stopped making building models for the Trainz simulator which is a real pity.

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The Aveling & Porter locomotive from the Brill Tramway.  This is another of Steve Flanders old traction engine derived models.  I've changed the engine spec and sound files over for my own ones I developed for the Foden and edited its weight so it's now correct.  Other fettling might be needed yet before I'm happy with it.  It's a smoky little devil even though the smoke files seem to be the same as the Foden's smoke files.  I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet as the tramways are getting close to the point where they have more engines than they need to meet traffic requirements.

 

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Steve also made two other Aveling & Porter locomotives, - one similar to the Brill locomotive only larger and the other one is a 2-2-0 with  impressively large diameter driving wheels.

 

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48 minutes ago, Annie said:

  I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet as the tramways are getting close to the point where they have more engines than they need to meet traffic requirements.

 

As far as I can tell, having too many locos never has been a restriction in the Model Railways world .

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1 minute ago, DonB said:

As far as I can tell, having too many locos never has been a restriction in the Model Railways world .

That's true Don.  I suppose if I wanted to get picky about the numbers of apparently extra engines sitting about doing nothing I could roll dice for each one against a numbered chart to decide if it's out of service for that day for light repairs, boiler washouts & etc.

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After getting the Brill branch Aveling & Porter properly set up i gave it a try on the farm produce run from Tenpenny goods yard to Hopewood on Sea goods yard.  As you can see compared to the 3 plank dropside wagons it's not very big at all.  It had to make a stop at Windweather Harbour to beg some sacks of coal and take on water, but otherwise it proved itself to be a good steady runner.  Being an 0-4-0 it's not as skittery as the Fodens which is certainly good, but even though the Fodens did a lot of test running along the tramways, their main purpose is to to work as shunters especially where the trackwork is a wee bit on the tightly curved side of things.

 

(Plausible excuse for obtaining more engines) For a while now Tenpenny MPD has had the loan of a Terrier, but the foreman at Windweather MPD would like it back thank you very much; - especially since the Terrier in question happens to be named 'Windweather'.  Up until now 'Windweather' has been doing the goods runs through to Hopewood on Sea so the foreman at Tenpenny MPD is in a bit of a spot.  Rumours of a second hand Aveling & Porter tramway engine being offered for sale over at Flinders Mill has caught his attention.........  So the question now arises as to whether I should go with the Brill branch Aveling & Porter, - or should I get the larger Aveling & Porter tramway engine into proper working order and choose that one?  Or should I just be plain greedy and claim them both?

 

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9 minutes ago, Annie said:

After getting the Brill branch Aveling & Porter properly set up i gave it a try on the farm produce run from Tenpenny goods yard to Hopewood on Sea goods yard.  As you can see compared to the 3 plank dropside wagons it's not very big at all.  It had to make a stop at Windweather Harbour to beg some sacks of coal and take on water, but otherwise it proved itself to be a good steady runner.  Being an 0-4-0 it's not as skittery as the Fodens which is certainly good, but even though the Fodens did a lot of test running along the tramways, their main purpose is to to work as shunters especially where the trackwork is a wee bit on the tightly curved side of things.

 

(Plausible excuse for obtaining more engines) For a while now Tenpenny MPD has had the loan of a Terrier, but the foreman at Windweather MPD would like it back thank you very much; - especially since the Terrier in question happens to be named 'Windweather'.  Up until now 'Windweather' has been doing the goods runs through to Hopewood on Sea so the foreman at Tenpenny MPD is in a bit of a spot.  Rumours of a second hand Aveling & Porter tramway engine being offered for sale over at Flinders Mill has caught his attention.........  So the question now arises as to whether I should go with the Brill branch Aveling & Porter, - or should I get the larger Aveling & Porter tramway engine into proper working order and choose that one?  Or should I just be plain greedy and claim them both?

 

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In the multiverse there is room for infinite locomotives!

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4 minutes ago, Edwardian said:

 

In the multiverse there is room for infinite locomotives!

You've talked me into it James.  I shall get both Aveling locomotives properly sorted out to become officially assigned to the Tenpenny branch.

 

This old photo of Aveling & Porter No,846 of 1872 on the Wotton Tramway has certainly caught my attention.  The surviving Aveling & Porter No.807 from the Wotton Tramway, - which I have been erroneously referring to as the Brill locomotive, - is the one now safely kept Clapham Museum after having been rescued in 1951 from the brickworks where it had been employed after it was sold by the Metropolitan Railway.  No.846 had been used for parts to keep No.807 in working condition after it had failed its boiler certificate so all in all it's a very lucky survivor.

The cab/weatherboard and what looks like some kind of cover for the engine's working parts are interesting as is the spark catcher on the chimney.  I particularly like those outside framed vans as well and now I'm wondering if I could make something like them.

 

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The two Aveling & Porter tramway locomotives with the smaller Wotton Tramway locomotive on the right hand side of the picture.  I think I'd want to fit buffers to the larger of the pair before putting it into traffic.  I did manage to solve the problem of why smoke from both locomotives chimneys was trying to do its best to asphyxiate their drivers; - the smoke attachment point had been set in the wrong direction.

 

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After making lots of mistakes and taking far too long over it I've managed to fit a set of self contained buffers to the larger Aveling & Porter tramway locomotive.  I didn't feel much like doing it, but I am glad I've done it now.  I not only had to create four new attachment points for the buffers, but once the attachment points were made there was a process of adjustment to get all four buffers in the right place and at the right height. 

Imagine if you will going outside to look at the locomotive you are fitting buffers to, taking measurements and then going into a windowless shed where you shift numbers about with a complex abacus, - and then you only really know if you've been successful when you go outside and look at the locomotive again.  Along the way I managed to misplace the textures for the buffers and had to look for them, but I did manage to set the new collision distance on the face of the buffers at the first try which was a plus.  Without the collision distance setting on the buffer faces engines and rolling stock would just ghost through each other.

 

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I did some shunting about with the A&P tram engine, wondered why it was being sluggish and then remembered that the weight setting in the config file was twice as heavy as it should be so I fixed that.  The goods yard trackwork at Tenpenny is just about completely buried in the sandy soil and there's long grass growing everywhere so I kept making mistakes because I was sleepy and couldn't remember where the trackwork went or find the point levers so I flagged it away for now.  I did do enough shunting though to tell me that it was running well and that it should be a useful addition to the Tenpenny roster.

 

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Edited by Annie
can't spell for toffee
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Forgive the bleary-eyed half-asleep thought, but regarding the single-cylinder engine getting stuck at top-dead-centre...

Does Trainz allow for geared steam locomotives (such as Shays)? 

If so, could you set up the Foden as a 2-cylinder loco, but with a 2:1 gear ratio, to bring the chuff rate back to a reasonable amount?

 

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Yes Trainz does have geared locomotives of various kinds including Shays Linny and they usually have the trigger for the chuff rate somewhere in the gear train rather than on the driving axle.  With the single cylinder Fodens and Aveling & Porters the chuffs are close as I can make them to being in step with the movements of the crosshead in the slidebars. I specially made my sound file to be a sound file for a single cylinder double acting steam engine and while I'm not exactly sure where these 3D model locos chuff trigger points are I seem to have managed to get them to work right.

 

The problem I had with the virtual piston getting stuck at top dead centre was caused by me telling the simulator exactly where the two top dead centre points were on the prototype with regard to the crankshaft's rotation.  And of course the simulator believed me and acted accordingly.  Possibly if those big flywheels really did have rotational mass it wouldn't have been such a problem, but with the crank angles set according to the prototype on the 3D model the pistons would stop at top dead centre nearly every time.

 

How I solved the problem was by changing the crank angles to a figure that would be a complete impossibility on a real world single cylinder steam engine, but in the virtual world of the simulator it was accepted and the engine doesn't stick anymore.  Because I've been working on the sound file for some time and also doing lots of testing I can hear the slight sound difference between the engine running with the prototypically correct crank angles and with it running with the fudged work around crank angles.  I think most people wouldn't really pick that the engine spec has been fudged and if it means that these interesting small geared locomotives are now running better then I don't really mind.

 

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