Building The IRTS
Day 6 - Interactive Stations
By Alfred Barten
Now that a single mainline track is in place and operable, and the stations are positioned, it’s time to make the stations interactive. That becomes the first step in double-tracking the mainline. After that we’ll actually place the second mainline track and the yards and portals.
It’s possible to find stations that are already interactive, and it’s possible to take any station and make it interactive by adding invisible interactive station objects. I chose to do the latter because it gave me a greater choice of stations. The one drawback for me is that, despite a good selection of these objects, mainly from Andi06, the one that really works well for me is the one by andi06 that comes built-in with TRS2006. In the objects menu in Surveyor, it appears as AJS Station 1x50sQ.
My chosen object has the disadvantage of being designed for a small station, such as a trolley stop. The waiting people cluster together instead of being spread out. Fortunately, if I ever succeed in getting the larger version to work, I can easily change it out.
Positioning. The first thing to do is place the objects. First make sure they are aligned parallel to the station. You can check this precisely by selecting the Rotate object ‘R’ tool, clicking the station and noting the orientation of the station in degrees. Use the same orientation for the object, allowing for the possibility that the two may be 180 degrees different in their notation.
Position the invisible interactive station objects.
Connecting the Track. Be sure to bring the track to the object (not from the object). That way the object will adapt its track to the track style you are using. Another thing to pay attention to with third rail track such as we’re using, is to note that side the third rail appears on is dependant upon the direction in which you place the track points. When near the station platforms, the third rail should always be away from the platform. It’s just common sense. Beyond the station, it is common practice to have the third rail position vary from side to side. This helps the contact shoes to wear evenly with respect to the shoes on the opposite side of the car. Again, just common sense.
Connect the track to the object; not from the object.
Positioning the Track. Make sure the track points beyond the object are well beyond the station. Once done, select the Straighten tool from the track menu and straighten those sections. Now position the track alongside the platforms by moving the invisible interactive station objects. I find that when the track ties just touch the platform walls, the track is properly positioned for the rolling stock I want to use.
Adjust the object position to bring the edge of the ties against the platform wall.
NYCTA subway car just clears the platform. Perfect!
Setting Up the Station. A number of options can be set for each platform. These include the position and height of waiting passengers, the amount of passenger traffic, the initial group size, and peak traffic. Select the question mark (Edit properties ‘N’) tool in the Object menu and click he object. A properties dialog box appears and lets you make your selections. For the moment you can leave everything at its default setting.
Station properties dialog box.
Placing the Walkover. I’m NOT placing the pedestrian walkovers at this time because I may want to rotate a given station 180 degrees later on. I plan to have a road crossing just beyond the end of the station hat has the ramps, and the walkover at the opposite end. At this point I haven’t really decide where each crossing will be. I certainly don’t want them to all be the same.
That’s it for now. I have 12 stations to set up, so that will take some time. Once you get the hang of it, the process goes rather quickly.
Article and screen shots ©2010 Alfred Barten. All rights reserved.
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