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Northeast Corridor Development Project

Discussion in 'Community Projects & Developer's Area' started by cActUsjUiCe, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2017
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    1. Introduction
    2. Route Information
    3. Sections
    4. Google Earth Project
    5. Google Drive
    6. Playing The Route
    7. How To Get Involved
    8. Conclusion

    My name is Brandon Phelan (also known as cActUsjUiCe) and I am the leader of the "Northeast Corridor Simulator Development" group. The group currently has around 730 members on Facebook and we have been planning the development of the Northeast Corridor in Train Sim World for the past three years.

    Members of the group have created content for Train Simulator over the years such as:
    • Northeast Corridor: New Haven to Boston
    • Northeast Corridor: Wilmington to Washington
    • Keystone Corridor
    • Repaints
    • Sound/Physics Mods
    Now we are ready to create the entire Northeast Corridor for Train Sim World!


    The Northeast Corridor is located in the northeastern United States and runs from Boston, Massachusetts to Washington D.C. The route is 455 miles in length and is completely electrified with overhead catenary.

    We will be creating this route in the present day and updates will be released in order to stay current with the latest construction projects. Until additional rolling stock is created, only Amtrak services will be replicated. It may be possible to utilize existing rolling stock for other services such as commuter rail in the meantime.

    Our ultimate goal with this project is to have the entire Northeast Corridor created in a single Train Sim World route package. This is a monumental task and will take years of development to accomplish. In order to keep our goals reasonable and to maintain community interest, the development effort is being divided into several sections.

    We have chosen to divide the development effort into thirteen distinct sections. We will fully create and test each section before moving onto the next. This will allow the players to experience and enjoy a fully functional, decorated, and meaningful section while we work on the next one. Keeping each section a reasonable size will help to minimize developer burnout.

    The first measurement figure listed is the actual track length of the section. The second measurement figure is how far we will actually be laying track and decorating. This extra area is being fully decorated to maintain an immersive environment for the players. It would be a shame if all decoration suddenly ended as you approached the end of the section!

    Section 1: Boston South Station – Providence
    · 43.58 miles (End of track at Boston – West end Providence platform)
    · 44.60 miles (43.58 miles + track extending to Milepost 184)
    · Travel Time: ~40 minutes

    Section 2: Providence – Westerly
    · 43.75 miles (West end Providence platform – West end Westerly platform)
    · 44.00 miles (43.75 miles + track extending to West end curve at Milepost 141)
    · Travel Time: ~35 minutes

    Section 3: Westerly – Old Saybrook
    · 36.15 miles (West end Westerly platform – West end Old Saybrook platform)
    · 37.46 miles (36.15 miles + track extending to West end curve at Brook interlocking)
    · Travel Time: ~45 minutes

    Section 4: Old Saybrook – New Haven Union Station
    · 32.98 miles (West end Old Saybrook platform – West end New Haven platform)
    · 34.37 miles (32.98 miles + track extending to West end curve at Milepost 71)
    · Travel Time: ~35 minutes

    Section 5: New Haven Union Station – Stamford

    · 39.19 miles (West end New Haven platform – West end Stamford platform)
    · 39.83 miles (39.19 miles + track extending to West limits CP 232 interlocking)
    · Travel Time: ~45 minutes

    Section 6: Stamford – New York Penn Station
    · 36.00 miles (West end Stamford platform – West end New York Penn platform)
    · 38.73 miles (36.00 + track extending to West end Hudson River tunnels)
    · Travel Time: ~45 minutes

    Section 7: New York Penn Station – Metropark

    · 24.46 miles (West end New York Penn platform – West end Metropark platform)
    · 25.29 miles (24.46 + track extending to first curve West of Milepost 24)
    · Travel Time: ~35 minutes

    Section 8: Metropark – Trenton
    · 33.36 miles (West end Metropark platform – West end Trenton platform)
    · 34.48 miles (33.36 + track extending to Milepost 58, just over river)
    · Travel Time: ~25 minutes

    Section 9: Trenton – Philadelphia 30th Street Station
    · 32.54 miles (West end Trenton platform – South end Philadelphia 30th Street platform)
    · 33.34 miles (32.54 + track extending to Milepost 2)
    · Travel Time: ~28 minutes

    Section 10: Philadelphia 30th Street Station – Wilmington

    · 25.60 miles (South end Philadelphia 30th Street platform – South end Wilmington platform)
    · 26.68 miles (25.60 + track extending to Milepost 28)
    · Travel Time: ~21 minutes

    Section 11: Wilmington – Aberdeen
    · 38.18 miles (South end Wilmington platform – South end Aberdeen platform)
    · 39.38 miles (38.18 + track extending to South end of curve that is North of Milepost 67)
    · Travel Time: ~30 minutes

    Section 12: Aberdeen – Baltimore

    · 30.20 miles (South end Aberdeen platform – South end Baltimore platform)
    · 31.94 miles (30.20 + track extending to South Portal of B&P Tunnel)
    · Travel Time: ~22 minutes

    Section 13: Baltimore – Washington Union Station
    · 40.10 miles (South end Baltimore platform to Milepost 136 at Washington Union Station)
    · 41.67 miles (40.10 + track extending South of First Street Tunnel at Milepost 137)
    · Travel Time: ~45 minutes

    View a full route map divided into sections here: http://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1IfM8umlYZwBjqQqpMwb1pdcfqfuyJ3f2

    There's a project that we’ve been working on for the past few years that we call the "Google Earth Project". Our goal with this project is to create a fully visual representation of all the official documents we have accumulated. This information includes speed limits, signals, defect detectors, curve parameters, and interlockings. Instead of wasting time sifting through documentation, developers simply have to refer to the Google Earth Project to obtain the information they need. Here are some photos for your viewing pleasure!

    Underground track plotted at Boston Back Bay. The path of these tracks was plotted using curvature values from official documentation.

    Speed limits, signals, and mileposts in Canton Junction, MA.

    Tracks, signals, and switches in Harold interlocking and Sunnyside Yard. East Side Access elements are visible as well.

    An amazing feature of the Train Sim World editor is the ability to import a KML file and lay it over the route’s terrain. The Google Earth Project can be exported to such a file! We never anticipated having access to such a feature, but it’s going to definitely make the development process a whole lot easier!

    You’re welcome to view the absolute latest copy of our Google Earth project. Simply download the KML file and open it with Google Earth.

    Download Google Earth: https://www.google.com/earth/versions/
    Download Google Earth Project KML: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz8eG2qa_5ltUEVTNkUzQ3RXMWM/view?usp=sharing


    Since the group’s creation, we have amassed a wealth of documentation and photos for this project. All of these files are kept on our Google Drive.

    Official plans for track & signal reconfiguration at Kingston, RI. Made public via an official FRA request to modify the signals in this area.

    Feel free to take a look for yourself!

    Northeast Corridor Simulator Development Google Drive: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bz8eG2qa_5ltdF9QeXNORHhtRTg?usp=sharing

    As we develop the route, players will be able to test the absolute latest changes to the route via a "Beta branch" of our project source. We are hoping that Steam Workshop functionality will allow the players to test the latest progress each time we make changes. If not, then we will find a workaround to get the content to you!

    The public version of the route should be available on the Steam Workshop just like in the original Train Simulator. This branch will be released as stable as possible.

    Keep in mind that the beta branch will have the absolute latest changes. Test at your own risk! The route is not guaranteed to function as intended.

    There are many ways to get involved with our group and contribute to the development effort. First, I highly recommend joining our Facebook and Discord groups! This will allow you to communicate with other members and get the latest information on project progress.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NECSimDevelop
    Discord: https://discord.gg/nqktYVu

    If you wish to assist us by becoming a developer, please post in either the Facebook or Discord group. We can provide information on how you can best assist!


    We are really excited about developing for Train Sim World! It’s been a long three years of planning, but we are finally in the home stretch. Stay tuned to this thread for updates on our development effort! If you have questions or comments, please leave a reply!

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
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  2. jclogan1813

    jclogan1813 Member

    Jan 20, 2019
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    Will there be any freight operations?
  3. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2017
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    Initially, only the main line will be created (and small portions of the track that branch off). Accurate freight speed limits will be added, so players can choose to use to do freight operations on the main line. It is possible that people can expand upon the various freight lines that branch off the corridor, but our main focus is definitely the mainline.
  4. raildan

    raildan Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2018
    Likes Received:
    I wish you guys luck on this project and I hope I will be able to help eventually, somehow... may I ask how you did the Google Earth stuff, though? You say you used curvature values from official documentation, but how did you draw those curves? Asking, uh, definitely for a friend, and totally not because I have way too many route ideas.
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  5. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2017
    Likes Received:
    I am pretty busy today, but I want to take the time later to properly answer your question. Stay tuned
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  6. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2017
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    Alright now I have some time to properly answer your question. So to properly draw the curves, you need to know the following pieces of information:

    1. Where the track begins to curve (This is known as the Tangent to Spiral, or just TS)
    2. The length of the spiral
    3. The length of the main curve
    4. The degree of curvature of the main curve
    5. Total curve delta (how much the heading changes before the curve and after a curve. Lets say I am heading 90 degrees due east and enter a curve with a total delta of 45 degrees. After the curve, my heading will be 135 degrees)

    Now, a lot of math gets involved to plot the spiral in, the main curve, and the spiral out. I am not going to get into the math here, but you can do research on spiral transition curvature to learn more.

    Basically I use a spreadsheet where I plug most of the values in. This will tell me X and Y offset coordinates to plot the spirals. The main curve is easier to plot since the radius is always constant. Unless you are dealing with a compound curve which is a different matter entirely.

    Anyway, if the values in the official documentation are correct and you didn't fudge the math, you'll have a properly plotted curve.
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  7. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2017
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    Here are some photos of the tools I use and some of the plots.


    Above is the excel spreadsheet I referenced before. You just plug in the circular curve radius (this is the radius of the main curve) and the length of each spiral. The spreadsheet assumes spirals of equal length. There ARE curves with non-equal spiral lengths, but they aren't overly common.


    I'm just going to show you some of the features of Track #2 around Boston Back Bay. T.S. is that "Tangent to Spiral" I mentioned above. It's where the straight track begins to transition into the curve.

    For the first half of the spiral, the curvature is barely noticeable. But this gradual transition from straight track to curved track is necessary for ride quality and to reduce wear on the wheels. The spiral is also where superelevation is gradually applied.

    I used an excel spreadsheet (photo above) in order to plot 10 data points. These are X and Y offsets from the T.S. point. I didn't plot all 10, but I plotted 5 of them. See the red dots on the yellow line.


    The S.C. point means "Spiral to curve". This is the point where the curve radius and superelevation become constant. Again, the red dots are just some of the points I calculated.

    The C.S. point means "Curve to Spiral". This is the point where the curve transitions back into a spiral. This "spiral out" is necessary before the track can become straight again.


    The "spiral out" is the same as the "spiral in". The curve will gradually transition again to straight track. The S.T. point means "Spiral to Tangent". This is the point where the curve actually ends and straight track begins again.

    So as you can see, there is a LOT of mathematics and precision that go into this type of curve plotting. I needed to be extremely precise here due to this track being 100% underground.

    In summary, there are three parts to a spiral transition curve.

    1) Spiral In. Transitioning from straight track to the main curve. Curve gradually gets sharper. Superelevation gradually increases.
    2) Main Curve. Main portion of the curve where curvature and superelevation are at their highest values. Curvature and superelevation remain constant throughout the main curve.
    3) Spiral Out. Transitioning from the main curve to straight track. Curve gradually gets less sharp. Superelevation gradually decreases.

    Let me know if you have any questions.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2019
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  8. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Well-Known Member

    Sep 21, 2017
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    Here is a snippet of the track geometry in that area. Curve #8 is the one in the photos above.

    Track #2's figures are at the bottom. The main curve has a 9.32 degree of curvature and is superelevated at 2.75 inches. This means that the heading changes by 9.32 degrees every 100 feet into the main curve. It also means that the outside rail is 2.75 inches higher than the inside rail.
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