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To-Scale Switches and Slips (part.1), by Dr. Norbert Aust (Switchdoc)
 Read | Write  comments: 9 Posted Sun May 04 2003 3:09pm
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To finish the switch we remove the pinetree (make sure local laws of protection of the environment in your area allow a tree to be felled this time of year) and the superfluous piece of track down left. To place the additional splinepoint in the mainline we select a position where this point (hopefully) will not distrub placing of splines for the slip to come next. (Fig.16).


One somewhat disturbing feature of Trainz is, that it only generates decent circurar arcs, if straightened pieces of track are connected to both ends of it. Therefore we will produce an arc that will softly merge into the othe tracks only if we straighten the mainline to the left of the left splinepoint and the connecting line to the right of the right splinepoint (Fig.17). This effect can hardly be seen in the screenshots but if you do click for instance on the mainline track more than once, then you trigger the straightening function on and off and you will see the difference. And believe me, once you see the switch in driver mode, you will see very well, if the branch merges softly or not.


Here is the reason why I did not succeed yet to build a curved switch that was to my satisfaction. I allways would have to connect straightened pieces of track to have a tangential connection of main and branch - but a curved switch between straight pieces of track seems a little bit out of place.

The additional splinepoint in the main track to the right of the frog has the following importance:

In Trainz it is not possible to have two adjacent pieces of track staightened with the straightening tool at the same time. If you straighten one it will either not work or it will turn off the straightening of the adjacent piece of track. To maintain the straightening function to the left of the left splinepoint, we have to make sure that the track to the right of it remains unstraightened. If we would not put in this additional splinepoint then any future straightening on the main track wouldl turn off the straightening left to the switch - and branch and main would not merge smoothly. This additional splinepoint is just to disconnect the unstraightened piece of track immediately right from the merging point - making sur it will remain unstraightened and the piece of track left to it remains straightened.


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