Israel Schnute's

Posts Tagged ‘trams’

The Anatomy of rebuilding a street

In Lapara, New Technology on November 12, 2019 at 6:00 am

The seasons are changing quicker than I can keep up.  I wanted to redo the city streets in the spring, but in the Astarte wing of Olde Lapara Towne, we really need to expand our parkland for this years Winterfest.  Adding more park space is in line with our current theme and mission, Lapara – City of Parks.  To do so, we are reconstructing Foxglove Parkway, and for winterfest, instead of having dual-carriageways, there will be one carriageway with just one lane in each direction.


Originally, the road had dual two-lane carriageways, plus a beautiful tree filled median.  Last winter, we had some temporary fun and built a tunnel, an overpass, and a frontage road.  The latter two removed, we kept the tunnel through the summer.  Remnants are probably found under the surface level.  Just like any large city, pieces always remain.  We filled the tunnel, and are using a portion of the original Northern carriageway for trains only.  There is a more pedestrian air with just trams running.


This series will chronicle the amount of details that flow into building a road by the Lapara Street and Design Committee, the Lapara Streets Department, along with the Lapara Transit Agency.

Several aspects of required to put in a high quality road.  There are texture considerations, and the type of road.  The size of the road.  Fixtures, manholes, poles, wires, lines, sidewalks, curbs, railings, benches, manholes, hydrants, and lights to cram in properly.  If you are on the mainland, we don’t do perfect squares and right angles.  This is where it gets fun.

Everything in town is either custom made, or heavily modified.  We have no prefabricated streets.  And, even the trains and some buildings are all heavily modified.


This post will focus solely on installing a rail-line as this is the most precise, and labor intensive aspect.  We installed a double-track line, and we need to space the tracks properly with the guiderail at the correct location, so that two passing trains will not collide while also not clipping anyone who chanced upon the sidewalk.


First, I have guilderails installed from the previous layout (thick red lines).  The right will be scrapped.  The left will probably need to be deleted as well if it isn’t properly aligned to our new track.  We use the standard SLRR gauge and scale.  More on this later.

I use an old guiderail template.  I believe other versions are still out there.  Since the SLRR uses a uniform scale, any product should work.  I drop the guiderail into place.


“Easy does it”.  Then I push it into position.  The box has to line up center to the tracks, and the top should rest just on the top of the rails.


A train built on standard SLRR gauge will rest with the wheels perfectly on the tracks.  I currently use some modify gacha trains which aren’t exactly to scale, but are very very close.  One is in Japanese narrow gauge, but you have to zoom to the trucks and wheels to figure that out.  Nobody will notice.

We move the lightest train into position and check out the alignment.  We’re looking to see if the track is in the right location, and not if the train is on the track correctly.  That is, do we need to move the tracks closer, or away from the curb?  We’re not checking the train, because, if you have enough experience, the guiderail template took care of this consistently.  So, Is the train off center?  Is it running over the curb?


This looks good.  It is very tight, but the stairs aren’t cutting into our granite curb at all, nor hitting anyone’s ankles.  The train need not be so close, but we’re trying to save some space, and a more confined space does give us much greater immersion.

Now, onto the second track.


I’ve put in a temporary old hulking BRR steam engine.  This is much bigger than any of the trams that will run.  Since the street was already measured 2 versions ago, it looks good.  The trains aren’t touching, we’re not going onto the sidewalk, and we just barely fit!

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Let’s test it with a larger tram than the two currently in the garage to get a better image.  This is bigger than the trains that will go into service.

Now we can copy the guiderail up the entire block!

Two more actions are necessary.  Connect the guide to the rest of the system, and to hook up the sensor.  We have two versions, this one we are trying to use the most.


When the train passes over our sensor, it will issue a series of commands.  I can control traffic signals, LED signs, crossing gates, and track signals with this.  On this bit of road, the eastbound track will activate the crossing gate, the westbound sensor will open the portal doors, sound the alarm bell, and change the traffic signal to red.

This sensor (pictured above) is the Westbound sensor.  It will only issue one command.  The doors will pick up the command, ring the bells, and open the doors.  Another traffic control box will pick up the command independently, and change the traffic signal to red.   And then, after a period of time, the doors will close, and the traffic signal will revert to green.  The whole procedure will be timed, how long it takes the train to cross the signal, and then enter the crossing, and how long the system should be active until it resets back.  Time and distance studies will take place at the last phase of the project.

However, right now, we need to connect our segment of track.  We have to move most of these old guides to the new alignment, and rebuild some track as well.  This looks like it will be somewhat of a loop than just a turn.


Most people aren’t familiar that there are standards on Second Life.  Over 10 years ago an SLRR standard was created, with a uniform size for trains and tracks.  Lapara Towne  has complied with this ever since.  Lapara Town borders the SLRR, and Route 1, on the Atoll.  The Atoll has the highest rating on the infrastructure efficiency index.  Over the years, I’ve noticed that nearly all vehicles follow this standard to some degree as well.  Visitors vehicles, and my own will fit in these lanes perfectly. Vehicles rarely ever top more than 9 feet if not 10 feet wide, unless we’re importing a tractor-trailer.


3 makers, one custom road, they all fit and appear to SL scale.


In the next edition, we’ll talk about the streetscape, and lighting!