Elvas Tower: First route tour - Elvas Tower

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First route tour Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   Genma Saotome 

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 09:32 PM

All screenshots taken in Open Rails. All structures are in their very early stage of construction -- footprint and height are correct per the Sanborn maps, no other details have been added yet.


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I tend to think of the center of the Goose Island route at the intersection of North Ave and Cherry Ave. It's not actually the center -- that's really a couple of blocks north where the Bloomingdale line, coming from Galewood Yard 5.5 miles to the west, hits Kingsbury Ave and turns south. But that's all harder to type into Google maps than "North ave at Cherry" and so with the help of the internet, the center has moved. :oldstry: The first four images are taken from the this "new" center with only the aim of the camera changing (n.b., most of these screenshots are 1920x1200 and can be viewed at that resolution by clicking on the image; a close image button will be found in the lower right corner):

Looking south towards Goose Island:
Attached Image: Clipboard10.jpg
I have very limited information on the actual track layout of the yard ca. 1950 and so absent some new discovery will have to use what I have and "wing-it" on the rest.


Turning to the west:
Attached Image: Clipboard11.jpg
The P&G plant was served by the CNW but given it's size and location (is less than 100m from the MILW tracks) it's clearly a necessary item and one worth doing well.


Turning around to face east:
Attached Image: Clipboard12.jpg
This view along North Ave.shows many industrial facilities but only a few had rail service. Models close to the MILW rails will be fully detailed and less effort will be put into those furthest away.


One more turn to look north:
Attached Image: Clipboard13.jpg
All of the labeled facilities are rail served by the MILW. Obviously the huge gas tower dominates this scene... but it's a bit of a fudge: It was built about 5 years later than my target date. :sign_sorry: An identical tower is located about a mile away and after building that model I thought it looked soooo nice I made a copy and put it here, right on the site where it will be eventually be built.
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This next image is taken a couple of blocks north of the previous set, looking NW along Kingsbury towards the spot where the Bloomingdale line turns onto Kingsbury (just south of the John Bader Lumber site).
Attached Image: Clipboard14.jpg
The "Not Built" cubes are something I'll drop in as a place holder for something I plan to insert later. Each is named for the expected model so all I need to do is move files into the route folders and it'll appear. The buildings that are present in the distance are located on Cortland Ave beyond which are the Evanston Branch (which leads to the upper right) and Deering line (goes off to the upper left). The full Deering Line (about a mile long) and a short distance of the Evanston branch (less than a half mile) will be modeled.


Jumping out to Cortland and turning around to look southeast along Kingsbury shows the same ground as above but now you can make out some of the spurs in this area.
Attached Image: Clipboard16.jpg

I have not done enough to the north of this location to include in this post so hereafter will be images taken from around North Ave to various points south.
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100m or so northwards of the North Ave-Cherry ave location, this next image looks southeast along Kingsbury to show the many industrial facilities located here in 1951.
Attached Image: Clipboard17.jpg
Both facilities in the foreground are still there, different owners, different purpose, but the buildings stand. On crossing North Ave there are a variety of industrial sites on both sides of the track... I've marked one, the ADM Soybean refinery, a facility that is long gone. Not marked is another interesting spot on the other side of the tracks: Wilson Sporting Goods, a subsidiary of the Wilson & Co meat packing company. They used the hides from its packing plants to make leather goods for sports and created the modern American Football among other contributions to sports. The meat packing brand is long gone but the Wilson Sporting Goods survives.


This nearly straight down "shot" takes in the neighborhood immediately between the MILW tracks and Halsted St. Of note is the Seng Corporation who designed and manufactured metal parts for furniture.
Attached Image: Clipboard18.jpg
Seng Co. designed and patented the metal elements that enabled reclining chairs. Seng eventually got out of the manufacturing business but its buildings at this site remain. The ADM Soybean refinery is in the foreground on the left.


Turning around to look west from this location the next "shot" takes in much of the industrial sites on Goose Island.
Attached Image: Clipboard19.jpg
The MILW yard on Goose Island will go into the open area in the foreground. All of the sites between it and the river in the background are served by rail.


Turning left from the same location takes in the south end of Goose Island, divided by the appropriately named Division St.
Attached Image: Clipboard20.jpg
Of particular note here is the Sprague-Warner division of the Consolidated Grocer's Corporation. It's basically a warehouse use to provide grocery stores with every product made (or marketed) by its parent firm. What makes it noteworthy is this: about this time they purchased a tiny Chicago Bakery to add it's products to the long list of goods sold... a little firm called The Kitchens of Sara Lee. Needless to say, they're still around.


Moving a short distance tot eh south this view looks across Halsted Ave to the east.
Attached Image: Clipboard21.jpg
Of note here is the lone 2-8-2 steam locomotive not doing very much other than giving perspective tot eh size of the various buildings. On the left is yet another site of the Peoples Coke & Gas Company. They were building a lot of gas towers in the 40's and 50's and it was only by the mid 50's that enough capacity was present that new housing in Chicago could be build for gas heat instead of coal. To the right of the gas towers is the National Tea Company Warehouses & Bakery. National was one of the early Supermarket chains, getting its start in Chicago. On the right side of the image is the north end of the Montgomery Wards warehouse. The foreground portion (temporarily in blue) was for catalog shipments, the much larger, rear building (in gray) was the main warehouse. It's still there and is an impressively large structure.


Another view of the National Tea & Montgomery Wards sites, this time looking towards the east.
Attached Image: Clipboard22.jpg


The final image of this tour is at the intersection of Kingsbury and Kinzie.
Attached Image: Clipboard23.jpg
There is a bridge here for the MILW to cross the river and proceed a few blocks south to Union Station. This path wasn't used for passenger service and there are only one or two rail served sites present, whereas on the east side of the river are two very large MILE Freight houses. We can regard this as the south end of the switching. I'll decide later if I want to model the near side of the river down to Union Station.
Attached Image: Clipboard23.jpg

#2 User is offline   inflammable 

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 03:44 AM

Whew! There's a lot of work just in your preparation!

When you go to lay tracks based on a map or aerial photo, do you try to get them 100% in the correct place, or will you get them to within a meter or so, given the constrains of the curves of the track system you're working with?

If you build to within a meter or so, does that factor in when you make the buildings? Say, if for Peter Hand Brewery, the sidings have a smaller or larger radius, will you adjust the geometry of that building to account for it?

James

#3 User is offline   Bernie 

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:10 AM

Wow, that's an incredible amount of work, and all so carefully accurate! Well done! :sign_sorry: Using the maps as ground texture certainly proved it's worth in this case! :oldstry:

#4 User is offline   wacampbell 

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 07:47 AM

With all those buildings it already looks like a dense city scene.

Great progress!

#5 User is offline   Genma Saotome 

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:15 AM

View Postinflammable, on 27 August 2012 - 03:44 AM, said:

Whew! There's a lot of work just in your preparation!

When you go to lay tracks based on a map or aerial photo, do you try to get them 100% in the correct place, or will you get them to within a meter or so, given the constrains of the curves of the track system you're working with?

If you build to within a meter or so, does that factor in when you make the buildings? Say, if for Peter Hand Brewery, the sidings have a smaller or larger radius, will you adjust the geometry of that building to account for it?

James


We're always constrained by what the track shapes will provide. MSTS centerline track spacing is about 16 ft whereas back in the day U.S. yard spacing as 13 feet and a lot of mainline was only 14 feet. And there are no MSTS shapes that correspond to standard North American turnout sizes. So yeah, I cannot achieve 100% accuracy but I can use the information I have as my objective.

I'll be using Scalerail which has a huge variety of curves and so I'm confident most things will work out fairly close to the mark.

So when confronted by an impossible situation -- and the curve into the Peter Hand facility is surely a candidate -- I will have to modify the building.

#6 User is offline   Noisemaker 

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:38 AM

Amazing work Dave! :sign_sorry: But what of Dynamic Track in the cases of odd curves and such? Wouldn't it be easier to go with that than modifying buildings and all? And know you're just sticking with the island primarily, but what about 'across the river' realism? Do you plan to surround that side of the river with backdrops and false fronts?

#7 User is offline   Genma Saotome 

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:39 AM

View PostBernie, on 27 August 2012 - 06:10 AM, said:

Wow, that's an incredible amount of work, and all so carefully accurate! Well done! :sign_sorry: Using the maps as ground texture certainly proved it's worth in this case! :oldstry:


Having de-skewed the terrain I can create markers only within Mosaic; as the modern city maps show little of the old track I had to do something and so I figured turning the Sanborn maps into tertex art was necessary so it could be viewed and "markered" in Mosaic. Now that I see the results I do not feel the need to create markers and will keep the tertex maps in place and work off them.

They're good, but not perfect. Not all of the original maps were flat when imaged so what I have in hand can have some curves in the drawn lines; the orientation on the page varies and so many map pages have to be rotated and afterwards the alignment may or may not match up to other pages.

That said, they is far better than nothing and so where the page "joints" are poor I'll just have to look at the big picture when I lay the track.

#8 User is offline   Genma Saotome 

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:45 AM

View PostNoisemaker, on 27 August 2012 - 08:38 AM, said:

Amazing work Dave! :sign_sorry: But what of Dynamic Track in the cases of odd curves and such? Wouldn't it be easier to go with that than modifying buildings and all? And know you're just sticking with the island primarily, but what about 'across the river' realism? Do you plan to surround that side of the river with backdrops and false fronts?


I don't want to use xtracks as I don't think it looks very good, so DT is not an option. As for "over the river"... yeah... an issue. I'll put in the first row of structures as they'll be in plain sight but behind them I really don't know yet what to do. Being able to see 1000m in all directions is fine for the mountains but on the flatland it's, ahh, difficult.

#9 User is offline   timmuir 

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 11:08 AM

An impressive body of work already, done in a workmanlike procedure, which is what I come to expect from you, Dave. Further progress screens will be eagerly awaited. :sign_thanks:

#10 User is offline   rfranzosa 

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 04:23 PM

Hi Dave,

One could easily get lost in that route. I'd be happy to prove that when the time comes :sign_thanks:

Excellent work.

RGF

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