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Trainz in the Calico Mountains: Sunrise Canyon/Palm Borate

Trainz in the Calico Mountains: Sunrise Canyon/Palm Borate

Postby PacificCoastBorax99 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:20 pm

Good day everyone, I am currently working on a project for recreating some of the railroads in and around the Daggett/Calico area in the virtual world of Trainz Railroad Simulator to give people a view of what these railroads would've looked like if they've experienced it firsthand themselves. I am aiming for the highest level of accuracy I can get it doing what I can to match it up to photographs and reports I've gathered up about these lines.

The first one on my list will be the Palm Borate gravity railroad, which was built in Sunrise Canyon on the far end of the Calico Mountains in 1908. Palm Borate owned a small-scale mining operation at the head of the canyon which mined about 7 cents per pound out of 6 claims in the canyon. The railroad they built was about 1 and a half miles long and had a high steel trestle bridge and tunnel built to traverse the treacherous canyon. It only operated for about 10 days before the price of borax dropped dramatically and the whole operation went belly up.

Based on various reference photos I've gathered up courtesy of Randy Hees (many thanks for that mate), and a TransDEM map including Daggett and part of the Calico mountains where Sunrise Canyon is (courtesy of CheckRail, a freeware Trainz site), here is what I have of the gravity line so far.

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More progress is to follow if the project gets enough support. This will not be the final look of the mill building as I am hoping to find better buildings that match the ones in the photos. Before anyone asks, yes I will be making the rest of the Calico railroads. The Borate & Daggett, Calico Railroad (with branch to Daggett and Lead Mountain built by American Borax Co.) and the Western Mineral Railroad at Bartlett will be next on my list along with Tonopah & Tidewater and Death Valley R.R., but first I must get TransDEM maps of the Calico Mountains and Death Valley before I can go forward with those, along with custom rolling stock and buildings to match the ones shown in their photos. If you would like to help contribute to the project in any way, it will very much be appreciated.

Cheers. :)
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Re: Trainz in the Calico Mountains: Sunrise Canyon/Palm Bora

Postby Curtis Reid » Tue Mar 03, 2015 10:49 pm

Looks like a nice start! I'm buried under projects myself, but I wish you luck!

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Re: Trainz in the Calico Mountains: Sunrise Canyon/Palm Bora

Postby Andrew Brandon » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:53 am

Nic,

That is a great project. I've got some terrain textures coming out soon that you may find helpful. I've been photographing soil along the CA/NV border for several years now. Most of them are along the SPNG (one of the projects I am working on), but they will be generic enough for most desert scenes. My DLS username is: "Ferroequine", so far I believe I've uploaded the Mina NV (Yard) Dirt and Cortena (Colusa Jct) Ca Dirt to the DLS. I will be working on some Trainz projects in the coming week and I'll see about getting the others uploaded.
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Re: Trainz in the Calico Mountains: Sunrise Canyon/Palm Bora

Postby PacificCoastBorax99 » Fri Mar 06, 2015 9:34 pm

Andrew Brandon wrote:Nic,

That is a great project. I've got some terrain textures coming out soon that you may find helpful. I've been photographing soil along the CA/NV border for several years now. Most of them are along the SPNG (one of the projects I am working on), but they will be generic enough for most desert scenes. My DLS username is: "Ferroequine", so far I believe I've uploaded the Mina NV (Yard) Dirt and Cortena (Colusa Jct) Ca Dirt to the DLS. I will be working on some Trainz projects in the coming week and I'll see about getting the others uploaded.


Okay, I looked on the DLS for these textures you've mentioned to me but I couldn't find them on there. Do you have another site with links to these textures?

Anyways, I've done more progress on the route. Trackwork is complete, now working on scenery items around the line such as the company town buildings, the mill and roadways for the horse and carriage and such. Have yet to work on the mines, the vegetation and rock around the route, but it shouldn't be too long before I eventually work my way up to it...

Here's some pics of what I've done so far.

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And for extra measure, here's some photos of the virtual route compared with the photos of the real one, for those who are wondering how accurate this is:

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A rough representation, but the closest I can get to the real thing for the moment, and the quality of the route is sure to improve! ;)

And now for something completely different, how "Sunrise Canyon" got it's name!
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"Lovely sunrise, isn't it Larry?"
"I couldn't agree more, Bert."
<Mule snorts in agreement>


Until next time! :)
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Re: Trainz in the Calico Mountains: Sunrise Canyon/Palm Bora

Postby Andrew Brandon » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:19 pm

Your route looks great so far! I look forward to seeing it as it progresses.

So far only: "Dirt - Cortena, California" <KUID:476027:100055> has been uploaded to the DLS. I had previously thought a few additional work in progress textures had been uploaded, but I was mistaken. Dirt - Cortena is intended for my Colusa and Lake project, but for some reason it isn't seamless. I will be working on correcting that and finishing up "Mina Dirt" later this week. Both should be available in the DLS by the weekend.
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Re: Trainz in the Calico Mountains: Sunrise Canyon/Palm Bora

Postby PacificCoastBorax99 » Tue Mar 10, 2015 7:31 pm

Andrew Brandon wrote:Your route looks great so far! I look forward to seeing it as it progresses.

So far only: "Dirt - Cortena, California" <KUID:476027:100055> has been uploaded to the DLS. I had previously thought a few additional work in progress textures had been uploaded, but I was mistaken. Dirt - Cortena is intended for my Colusa and Lake project, but for some reason it isn't seamless. I will be working on correcting that and finishing up "Mina Dirt" later this week. Both should be available in the DLS by the weekend.


I see, I looked it up and found it. I'll be sure to keep my eye open for any more you upload. ;)

Anyways, I am pleased to announce that I have finished progress on the Sunrise Canyon Gravity Railroad. I just have to look it over one more time to see if I missed any details and I might consider a public release after my boss approves of my work and allows me to showcase videos of the routes at the museum I work at, with narratives illustrating the history of the route. Here is a few pictures of the route as it currently looks.

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It's all almost 90% accurate to the real deal (NOT including the mine, as I had no reference pictures for it and had to make speculation of what it could've look like for the route), except the mill building and the company sign, two things of which I could not find a proper building to match.

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I could try and find someone to commission to work on making models of the mill and sign based off of the ones from the photos, but for now, what I've got will be placeholders until I find more accurate models. Anyways, now that Sunrise Canyon's done and gone, next on my list to model in Trainz will be the Laws Railroad Museum at Bishop, CA. I may post pictures of it sometime soon as I have got a fair amount of work done on the trackwork and rolling stock placed in the area, so keep an eye out for it! ;)

Till next time,
Nic
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