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Offline Lord Vetinari

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GWR Star Class?
« on: May 25, 2011, 04:14:57 PM »
I had to make for my job a sketchup model of some early train, and I thought that maybe I could do something that I could use for the pak too.

Currently, there is a big gap in the sequence of the passenger locomotives in the first half of the 19th century.
We have Patentee, which is available from 1833, 55 km/h max speed, I don't know how power works, but it can pull a 14 cars train with minimum penalty; I guess that you can push it up tu 16 cars, but not more if you don't want it to be slower that it's predecessor.
Then, nothing untill 1847 with Jenny Lind, 70 km/h, strong enough to pull a 24 cars train at full speed. Quite a leap in power and a lot of time without innovation, which slows down the development of the network.

It's hard to find data on Internet, but according to my research, the old GWR Star Class, the broad gauge one, could be a good choice to fill the gap because all the stats seem a good halfway point betwen the other two: intro date november 1838, retirement november 1871, and the North Star, the first of the class had a recorded average speed of 40 mph (64,4 km/h) and she could pull a 40 tons train (I don't know how this translates in actual kW or in Simutrans terms).



What do you think? Is the fact that it's broad gauge a problem? If it's OK, I can make png and dat for it.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2011, 12:26:34 PM by Lord Vetinari »

Offline The Hood

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 07:33:01 AM »
The main reason I didn't draw any early GWR locos is because of the gauge problem.  It's a kind of long-term aspiration to include them with separate way graphics, either as an experimental addon with way constraints, or by using the monorail slot or similar.  Feel free to make a png and dat though, and I'd make it wider than the current standard gauge tracks.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 11:16:05 AM »
The problem with broad gauge locomotives is that they have to have their own waytype. In theory, one could make broad gauge locomotives in Simutrans and not differentiate track types (ignoring for a moment the graphical complexities), but it would distort the economics, as the broad gauge vehicles would greatly outperform standard gauge vehicles for not much more in the way of purchase price, and not have the all important compensating disadvantage of greatly higher infrastructure costs.

It would be possible to have a separate waytype for broad gauge (it would have to be a separate waytype, I think, rather than a set of way constraints, as broad gauge vehicles are completely incompatible with standard gauge vehicles, but the monorail slot is free), but the real problem with this is: who would invest in broad gauge knowing it to be a dead-end technology, unavailable after the 1890s? There is no way in Simutrans to "upgrade" one waytype to another (as the GWR did in reality converting broad to standard gauge), so players who had invested in broad gauge track would have painstakingly to dig up all their existing track, and do so at a cost far higher than the actual cost of conversion from broad to standard gauge. In any event, if the GWR had known what would have become of broad gauge, they may very well not have used it in the first place. The only other possibility is to have an entire timeline of post 1890s fictional broad gauge vehicles (perhaps based on Irish railways, as they use a slightly broader gauge than the UK, albeit much less than the GWR broad guage), but that would be a very large amount of effort for a hypothetical!

The other problem is the economics of it: in the early days, broad gauge was greatly superior in terms of the speed and load capacity, but as railway technology matured, and trains became more stable, the speed of standard gauge vehicles came much closer to matching their broad gauge rivals, so the extent to which broad gauge was worthwhile greatly diminished.

Offline The Hood

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2011, 12:15:33 PM »
I was thinking more way constraints.  With a new bit of sim-exp code where replacing ways is much cheaper than building new, then upgrading broad gauge to standard gauge is quite feasible.  Either way it's a long-term project...

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2011, 12:49:49 PM »
The problem with using way constraints to simulate a completely different way type is that they're not really designed to do that. Broad gauge and standard gauge tracks would appear in the same menu; worse, it would be possible (and easy, even accidentally) to connect broad and standard gauge tracks, which should be impossible. The interface would be inconsistent with, for example, narrow gauge. The depots would be the same, and completely incompatible vehicles would confusingly appear alongside each other.

Worse still, if one were to use that upgrading feature in that way, it would apply the same discount in upgrading standard gauge to broad gauge as the other way around, which cannot be right, since it will always be easier to make the tracks narrower, but making them wider requires extra space, which might be enormously expensive; it would be the same as allowing "upgrading" from narrow gauge to standard gauge.

Offline greenling

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2011, 12:25:28 PM »
The Sketup modell from the GWR star Class looks good out.
The Problem with the gauge it in my eye no problems.
In the Simutrans.exe it the Norrow gauge be installed.

Offline Václav

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2011, 08:14:01 AM »
Lord Vetinari, that machine is of course very nice - but I don't understand sense of making of this vehicle because it seems like too weak for pulling (or pushing) of any waggons.

Offline Lord Vetinari

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2011, 10:24:41 AM »
Lord Vetinari, that machine is of course very nice - but I don't understand sense of making of this vehicle because it seems like too weak for pulling (or pushing) of any waggons.

It is weak, but not any weaker that the other passenger engines available at the same time in the game. It's actually a little bit stronger and faster.

The only passenger car available in game at that time weights 2 tons. So, a 40 tons train is quite a lot of cars. I can't find data about the actual engine weight, but since in game the Patentee is 8 tons I think it's safe to assume that since North Star is bigger but not that much, it should be somewhere near 10-12 tons, which give us a train made of 14-15 cars, more than what Patentee can pull without penalties.

The problem with broad gauge locomotives is that they have to have their own waytype. In theory, one could make broad gauge locomotives in Simutrans and not differentiate track types (ignoring for a moment the graphical complexities), but it would distort the economics, as the broad gauge vehicles would greatly outperform standard gauge vehicles for not much more in the way of purchase price, and not have the all important compensating disadvantage of greatly higher infrastructure costs.

It would be possible to have a separate waytype for broad gauge (it would have to be a separate waytype, I think, rather than a set of way constraints, as broad gauge vehicles are completely incompatible with standard gauge vehicles, but the monorail slot is free), but the real problem with this is: who would invest in broad gauge knowing it to be a dead-end technology, unavailable after the 1890s? There is no way in Simutrans to "upgrade" one waytype to another (as the GWR did in reality converting broad to standard gauge), so players who had invested in broad gauge track would have painstakingly to dig up all their existing track, and do so at a cost far higher than the actual cost of conversion from broad to standard gauge. In any event, if the GWR had known what would have become of broad gauge, they may very well not have used it in the first place. The only other possibility is to have an entire timeline of post 1890s fictional broad gauge vehicles (perhaps based on Irish railways, as they use a slightly broader gauge than the UK, albeit much less than the GWR broad guage), but that would be a very large amount of effort for a hypothetical!

The other problem is the economics of it: in the early days, broad gauge was greatly superior in terms of the speed and load capacity, but as railway technology matured, and trains became more stable, the speed of standard gauge vehicles came much closer to matching their broad gauge rivals, so the extent to which broad gauge was worthwhile greatly diminished.

I played a lot of games in the early years (that is, starting in 1820 or 1830). I thought to use the North Star mixed with the other trains just to fill the existing gap, but I think that even the different waytype option could be worth considering.

It's really hard to play in those years with timeline on, unless you cheat. All vehicles are too slow and too small, at least in Standard. Passengers and goods are generated at such a rate that no vehicle of the time can provide a good service, unless you play for a couple of decades with small separated networks. If you connect all the lines in a single network, a lot of mayhem happens. Seriously, I once tried to build a large interconnected network before 1850 and I ended up with 80.000 passengers waiting at one station even if there was no more room on the line to fit other trains.
I know that Experimental addresses this, but I can't compile it, so I never tried.
To me, it can be an interesting gameplay choice for standard: woul you choose a network that can make things a lot easier in the early years but has no future or one that is more problematic early on but can can still be used later?
It's true that replacing the whole network is more expansive in game than in RL, but you should be able to overcome the difficulties thanks to the potentially larger income granted by a train with greater load.
« Last Edit: June 05, 2011, 07:37:45 AM by Lord Vetinari »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2011, 12:59:11 PM »
Lord Vetinari,

what difficulties are you having compiling Experimental? What platform do you use? Pre-compiled binaries are available for both Windows and Linux.

As to the GWR Star Class - if it were to be used, it really would have to have its own broad gauge waytype for the reasons given above. We need more standard gauge locomotives in that era in any event, but the list of things to do is very long indeed! However, if you think that having a broad gauge waytype (in place, I would suggest, of monorail, since I am not aware of any serious monorail transport infrastructures in the UK), and you are able to develop it yourself (that includes locomotives, carriages, freight wagons, tracks, bridges, tunnels, stations, freight yards and signals), then I can't see that there would be any objection to it being included (I can't speak for the Standard version, but I'd be happy to put it into Pak128.Britain-Ex). There is a very large queue of other things needing to be done on the pakset and broad gauge is not a priority - but it'd be interesting to see it included if somebody wanted to do it!

(The usefulness of broad gauge in Standard would militate further against the suggestion of using way constraints to model broad gauge).

Offline Lord Vetinari

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2011, 01:49:23 PM »
Don't worry, by I can't compile I mean that I'm not able to do it, not that I have difficulties. I know that there is a precompiled package, but last time I checked it was a couple of versions older than the current one.

I'd be glad to do graphics in my spare time, my sole problem is that it's hard to find data. I chose North Star even if I had doubt about the broad gauge, because it was the only one I was able to find infos on.
While I was searching, I read that at about the same time the GWR developed the Star Class, Stephenson was working on some standard gauge long boiler prototypes that was more suitable for my purpose, but I couldn't even find their names, let alone the pictures.

Offline sdog

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2011, 03:52:49 PM »
We could use maglev for broad gauge and put up a way constraint so noone can leave their broad gauge tracks for a century until maglev become available.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2011, 12:09:01 AM »
Lord Vetinari,

ahh, you use Mac? Hmm - I'd really like to get regular versions of that compiled one day. Does anyone know of any good Mac crosscompilers for Windows? As to the data - I might be able to help there, as I have a book filled with data on pre-1925 steam locomotives. I also have books on railway carriages. If you want to do a broad gauge set, I can help with the vehicle data.

SDog,

the problem with that suggestion is that broad gauge would still be in the "Maglev" tab. Since Monorail is free, it seems easier just to use that.

Offline AP

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2011, 08:33:44 PM »
If broad gauge were developed post 1890 in the hypothetical model, it would subsequently prove useful with regards its higher capacities per wagon/coach. Broad gauge elsewhere is also better suited to intermodal freight with shipping containers than are standard gauge, it's more stable as well as having a better loading gauge.

That said, the 1892 date is misleading. The Railway Regulation (Gauge) Act was, the internet tells me, passed in 1846 - not much more route was was laid after that (of course, most of the key routes were already built...). And the last broad gauge locomotive in UK service was withdrawn in 1913...


Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2011, 10:42:52 PM »
If somebody would like to produce an entire hypothetical (but plausible) set of graphics for broad gauge to the present day, I don't think that anyone would be complaining!

Offline The Hood

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2011, 01:47:00 PM »
Either way, I reckon there's more in the timeline for broad gauge rather than monorail (not much of that in any serious use in Britain), so unless anyone really objects, I think we could happily use the monorail slot for broad gauge. 

Some kind of hypothetical units could be the way forward, or base them on the Irish gauge, but that's not much broader than standard.  Does anywhere else in the world go for 7ft ish broad gauge?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2011, 01:58:48 PM »
Irish units would be preferable to something outside the British Isles, but the economics would be way off as the gauge is not significantly different to standard gauge. One could use the visual appearance of Irish units (stretched laterally), but imagine that they are large enough to fit one extra row of seats in sidways (to make 3 + 2 for long distance trains, 3+3 for commuter trains, or 7 aside for non-corridor compartment carriages), and increase the weight accordingly, but that might be confusing for people who know about the real Irish vehicles. Completely hypothetical units would possibly be rather hard to imagine in a coherent way. This is not an easy problem to solve!

Offline alexbaettig

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #16 on: June 11, 2011, 04:50:11 PM »
As to making any kind of broad gauge system economic one could argue that on a broad gauge wagon probably more goods could be transported. If that made it economic I don't know. Maybe that could be the "selling argument" for broad gauge. In any case as far as I understood it Irish vehicles don't have additional seats.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #17 on: June 11, 2011, 04:55:53 PM »
Irish vehicles don't indeed - that's because the gauge is only marginally broader there. GWR 6' broad gauge is another matter entirely.

Offline Lord Vetinari

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2011, 01:53:03 PM »
Lord Vetinari,

ahh, you use Mac? Hmm - I'd really like to get regular versions of that compiled one day. Does anyone know of any good Mac crosscompilers for Windows? As to the data - I might be able to help there, as I have a book filled with data on pre-1925 steam locomotives. I also have books on railway carriages. If you want to do a broad gauge set, I can help with the vehicle data.

Well, it's settled. If there's a list of locomotives/carriages that you'd like to add to tha pak, I'll do the graphics.
I can't promise that the work will be quick or plentiful, it depends on how my job goes and how much spare time I have, but I'll do my best.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2011, 02:16:07 PM »
Lord Vetinari,

if there's going to be broad gauge, it can't just be locomotives and carriages: it has to be tracks, bridges, tunnels, signals and stations (depots can use the same graphics as for rail, although one could have different depot graphics if necessary). If you are interested in doing all of those, then I can give you some information about locomotives and carriages to be getting on with.

Offline The Hood

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2011, 03:02:53 PM »
Best to do rail graphics by taking existing blends and adjusting width of track.  It's a lot of work (I've made some narrow gauge tracks but not quite finished them), so the interim alternative is just to use existing rail graphics.

Offline Lord Vetinari

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2011, 04:27:57 PM »
Lord Vetinari,

if there's going to be broad gauge, it can't just be locomotives and carriages: it has to be tracks, bridges, tunnels, signals and stations (depots can use the same graphics as for rail, although one could have different depot graphics if necessary). If you are interested in doing all of those, then I can give you some information about locomotives and carriages to be getting on with.

I know, it was a misunderstanding. Since you said that there are a lot of old vehicles that needed to be done, I thought that you wanted to start with those before tackling the broad gauge stuff.

So, to make things straight, for a working broad gauge we need at minimum:

- 1 set of tracks
- 1 set of signals
- 1 passenger station
- 1freight station
- 1 tunnel
- 1 bridge (since it's already wider than the normal bridge, maybe we can use mine with replaced tracks? It would be one job less)

The Hood's suggestion of adjusting standard gauge graphics has merit. I'd add that a player should be able to tell the difference between the two networks even when zoomed out (I do a lot of route planning in the zoomed out view), so I'd also change the colours a bit: maybe the gravel can be a litte more brownish for broad gauge?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2011, 09:09:44 PM »
Lord Vetinari,

apologies: the misunderstanding was mutual, I think. Standard gauge locomotives from the mid-Victorian era are indeed the priority, and, if you are interested in doing those, then I should be more than happy to help with the research for those also.

As to broad gauge, bear in mind that the earlier broad gauge tracks were built in a very different way to standard gauge tracks, and therefore looked very different. Here are some links to photographs of broad gauge tracks to show the differences:

http://www.heritage-images.com/Preview/PreviewPage.aspx?id=2503322&pricing=true&licenseType=RM
http://www.heritage-images.com/Preview/PreviewPage.aspx?id=2503322&pricing=true&licenseType=RM
http://www.laluciole.net/gwr/gwr04b-southwales.html
http://www.therailwaycentre.com/Sea%20Wall%20Guide/SWhistory.html

As to the tunnels, Simutrans (both Standard and Experimental) have had for some time a system of allowing the tunnels to be separate from the ways themselves, although this has never been implemented in Pak128.Britain. It would be worth doing this, and if broad gauge is to be added, this would be a good opportunity to do it there before rolling it out in standard gauge, too.

Offline Lord Vetinari

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #23 on: June 15, 2011, 09:48:01 PM »
I didn't do much research, but I think I remember that Brunel's broad gauge tracks were bridge rails over longitudinal sleepers, right? I think one of the name for it is ladder rail or something like that.

Maybe a completly new graphic set is in order for the final version, but I think that I can try something with the current standard gauge graphics, at least as a placeholder to begin with. the resolution doesn't allow such a level of detail to show the difference between a bridge rail and a parallel one, and the longitudinal sleepers can be worked out. I think I'll give it a try. If it's too much work to look good, we'll set for a new model.

As for the trains, doing models in Sketchup is fun to me, so I'd be glad to do what you feel is more appropriate now.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #24 on: June 17, 2011, 12:34:34 AM »
Lord Vetinari,

the early tracks were like that; I think that later tracks had a more conventional appearance. The bridge rails themselves will not make any difference at Simutrans scales, but the difference in appearance of sleepers (see the links above) will. This probably can be achieved most easily by starting with the .blends of the existing standard gauge tracks and altering them. (I am not sure whether this will be possible in Sketchup).

As to producing rail vehicle graphics in Sketchup - have you found a satisfactory way of exporting them to make them work in Simutrans such that they look consistent with the existing models? There are standardised ways of doing that with Blender, but I am not sure that it has yet been done with Sketchup. Perhaps you could run a trial, with, say, one particular locomotive and see whether it can be done satisfactorily? Might I suggest starting with the simple but useful Beattie 2-4-0 tanks, information on which can be found here? The only missing information from there is the colour and the power; the colour should be the same as the LSWR M7 tank, and you will have to try to work out what the power should be from performance; however, as a guide, they should be slightly less powerful than the LBSCR A1 "Terrier" class. If you would like to do multiple liveries for Experimental (in readiness for the liveries feature), it will also need the two shades of SR green, and BR black.

Offline Lord Vetinari

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #25 on: June 17, 2011, 08:00:56 AM »
For the tracks, I'm not good at starting from scratch in Blender, but since there's already a model done I should be able to manage the changes.

For future models: it requires a couple of steps, but it's possible to import Sketchup files in Blender, so one can do the modelling in Sketchup, which is easier and quicker, then render in Blender. I did it a couple of times for my job.
You can also export raster images from Sketchup, but setting the camera at the right angle is a mess, even with references.

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Re: GWR Star Class?
« Reply #26 on: June 17, 2011, 08:41:33 AM »
Lord Vetinari,

that is interesting. Do you think that you could post a tutorial on how to import from Sketchup into Blender? I know that some others have used Sketchup for Pak128.Britain projects, and it might help them.

I shall be interested to know how you get along with the locomotive!