|If you start reading terms unfamiliar, back out. This is a down and dirty explanation. And still being worked on.|
Use a Vector based drawing program
Determine Layout. How many miles do you want on one page? I draw in Millimeters and every 1 millimeter is a tenth of a mile. I set snap to Half a Millimeter. Scale currently using is 1 to 1.25. This will give you 32 miles a line. 1 to 1.25 is about as small you want to go. Anything smaller is not usable. And the maximum number of lines per page is 5 at 1 to 1.25 scale. At a Scale of 1 to 1 you have 25 miles per line with a 4 line max per page.
Figure on using 3 times more layers than you think you need. Be smart how you set up your layers. Example I have GRADE broken into 3 separate Layers. One for the Line, one for Change Point, and one for Text. Suggest you use a naming scheme that keeps them together. Like GLINE, GPOINT, GTEXT. If you don't use Layers. you are creating a lot of hard work for yourself. Editing will be a bitch with no Layers. My Mile Post are broken into 3 Layers also. MPNUM, MPLINE, MP10. Number - Marker Line - 10th of a mile. Fact is you will wish you broke things down all the way at times.
FIND and DO EQUATIONS. They can Help or Hurt, best to do NOW. Can be a big layout issue if you be one of the unlucky ones. Equations at times will allow you to cheat on room. Other times you may be screaming your lungs out. You will scream big if you don't do them NOW, and are unlucky. Equations can bit hard if you don't watch for them.
Chart Mile Post then SPEEDS. Trust me the speeds can change the Layout Fast. Do early or possibly regrets latter. Also when numbering Mile Post do it by TENS. That is 10, 20, 30, 40 then go back and fill in. That tip alone will save you hair if you spaced off and skipped or duplicated a mile post in the middle. Or if you miscalculated your layout, your not that deep into it yet and change should be easy. Don't get screwed up right up front. Gets harder to correct farther into it.
Chart Detectors, Control Points, Station Names, and what's important to you from Time Table only.
If UP Employee Download Signal List and Road Crossing list for your Sub. Keep in mind there is NO such thing as PERFECT DATA. There will be errors for one reason or another in all data. This is where it starts to get tricky. But if you are running the territory, there are no issues for verification. NONE
Below are the Paths taken on UNION PACIFIC Web
<><><><> Path to Signals <><><><>
DON'T SCREW UP on the FILTERS when asking for data. Check out every OPTION and get what you think you are getting. Know and understand the filters.
If using Track Profiles for grade, check elevation on each end to make sure it corresponds to grade being reported. Check close, very close. At times the Plus and Minus get turned around. Sometimes elevation is only clue it's astray. Contact me if you plan on using UP Excel Download of Track Profile Grades. I've written a program to check for grade errors. It catches most errors. You will need Excel knowledge. Will give very little hand holding, no time for such.
I no longer use Track Profiles for grade. I use GPS Elevation readings every 1800 feet. About 1/3rd mile Sub reading taken every 100 feet to allow for track curvature. It's a true track footage between reference points.
THE BIG FLIP. Fast simple easy flip, NO! Sorry, I wish it were. If you figure on drawing Subdivision for both directions. You MUST have TRACK drawn on it's own and separate LAYER. If you didn't figure on 12 and Tow.
Flip (Mirror) all Horizontal
You better have all your REFERECE LINES marked and figured before you ever start flipping. Lining everything back up would be a nightmare without. I use same layer as track for REFERENCE LINES. I put Vertical Reference lines on overlap Mile Post, and Horizontal Reference with main line.
My Spec's as of today and a few past.
|TIP ELEVEN||Make a tenth of a mile Layer 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 between mile post, Mine is set not to print or show on output screen. Only shows on working screen. Very handy for placement of items.
Following is a list of tools I expect to find in a good vector drawing program.