Elcano Challenge - Attempted circumnavigation - Overland's Thread (Multi Class Landliner Trains)

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long weekend ahead!.. For a driver of an overland train that means one thing..


steering wheel placed back on the desk..

action group 1 and 2 toggled.. a momentary whine of the starter motor sound effect brings generator 1 & 2 fired up and brought to 1/4 idle..

her EMD class 66 derived motor idles in a sweet song like note while the higher stage growl of generator 2 putts gently along side to join the chorus

4408 II comes alive again.. her headlights burning brightly... well most of them :)

the left ditch light which seems to not want to light sometimes in the last few days.. all part of her character I guess... with 4408 mark 1 it was her front right wheel refusing to provide torque when it wanted too.. I wouldnt want it perfected... it all adds to the charm.. every machine has its personality... its part of what makes it seem to almost have a soul . much like her realworld railbound sisters

with a cloud of smoke now gathering above the locomotive.. brakes are released with a churp and a hiss.. deadman pedal depressed to complete the circuit between the wheels and the generators.. 4408 II starts to slowly pull away.. action group 5 blasts the horn for effect..

turning 45 degrees from current heading she curls around like an almost organic creature..

I check that the trains tracking nicely and nothing been left behind.. push the steering wheel gearstick forward for a few seconds that functions as throttle control.. RPMs climb... smoke gets thicker.. and 4408 II powers up the grade leaving bombo outpost for the last time to continue her journey


Ive swapped the seperate throttle on my joystick for a more realistic "deadman" pedal..

im using my steering wheel accelerator to be the link in the circuit that conneects the rover wheels to the power generation.. kept all the way too the floor as per railway practise of having to keep a pedal depressed for the train to work

it functions the same as the reverser did.. having the rover wheels permanently in gear and able to control the trains speed and torque through power generation with the generators RPM with the KSP engine throttle

if I happen to fall asleep.. the train will hopefully eventually settle to a stop or simply coast down a grade till it finds a flat spot to rest in.. leaving the generators at current throttle setting but no power being transmitted to the wheels.. a more realistic and safer approach.. as before with the joystick throttle being used as the reverser.. there simply wasnt any safety system in place.. if I fell asleep.. 4408 II would happily chug along herself.. the wheels in gear.. generators providing power undisturbed.. in all likelyhood coming to an unfortunate end

never driving in time acceleration or having the luxury of autopilot via mechjeb.. its a realistic possibility that could eventuate..

as someone who cares for both train and crew.. im very happy to have taken the step for 4408 IIs welbeing and the continuation of her mission

Once 4408 II climbs over the crest of the grade.. the newly re-enabled terrain scatter with shaders turned off seems rather pretty.. much better than the boring bland nothingness of before and much better still than the dark horrible greens experienced previously with it on...

from here 4408 IIs speed is brought to around 20m/s as I try to work out where we are and where we are headed today..


4408 II is the white dot.. thats her exhaust..


Still a long way to go.. a smallish update just to document the departure.. much more once ive completed some good driving with a noteworthy story that I hope ends up positive rather than a yet another story about having to launch another locomotive :)

ANNND!.. another beauty shot just for no reason other than I love my train :)


Edited by Overland

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Nice! So I'm sure at some point you experimented with laying track--I-beams for rails, maybe some custom structural plates that look like wood ties, etc. Maybe you even drove the train with broken wheels...they sort of look like steel train wheels with the tires off, right? :)

Not suggesting you lay track all the way around Kerbin, certainly, but curious how that worked out for you if you ever did it over a shorter distance.

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Indeed I did plan to experiment with rails :)

originally using the kerbaltown mod to place rails into the game world vs using parts.. apparently the part size limit is 2.5km ... there was a group at the time experimenting with such a thing.. more like grooves which the landing gear would follow similar to early "wagonway" mining railways.. it actually looked really good and worked how they expected.. as far as I know though no ones as yet brought the mods upto 1.02 spec sadly.. the idea never really took off.. not sure why given how fun overland trains are.. but maybe thats a personal thing :D

id love to see rail in KSP.. its very possible.. anything from guided wagonways using common wheels.. to flanged rail wheels using traditional twin rails of an accepted gauge I envision would work in KSP thanks to the physics.. very similar to how Garry's Mod of halflife 2 fame seems to have grown its own railway mods and fanbase of which I include myself :)

although having plunged into the world of overland trains and experienced the varied terrain and its challenges that come with it..

I do find myself not wanting to undertake any railbound limitations just yet.... theres something oddly calming yet different about driving an overland train with a steering wheel as we venture to the beyond as part of this elcano challenge

branchline freight operations are quite different though.. smaller locomotives.. longer trains.. admittedly slower speed too

I did find that a 20 car ore train had a mind of its own that would benefit from being guided....

even a 10 car train isnt all that runway friendly when the last 2 cars start to dance at 13m/s when accidently turning too sharply into the yard

as seen here when 37 class centrecab 3701 narrowly escapes a strangely exploding nuclear runway


the new ore system is great for creating a full network of refinery/mining industries that require trains to service them.. eventually creating their own self sustained fuel depot far outside KSC.. im hoping to sometime in the future have a smallish network of rails and dedicated trains going from the drilling rigs.. to the refineries.. eventually then onto the fuel tanks where fuel trains are loaded for transport to a larger depot somewhere between KSC1 and 2.. as much as I do love dedicated actual train simulators.. theres a joy to be had in bringing trains to another simulator.. not initially designed for it.. and with it.. having better physics than dedicated train simulators..

its a good hope for the future..one that i'd love to be a part of :)

one thing is I dearly hope however.. squad doesnt decide to add ground traffic in KSC..

either that or add larger parking spaces.. I find KSC less than train friendly for parking :)


BUT! im being "sidetracked" :) back to the mainline and more driving with pride of the fleet 4408 II soon enough :)

Edited by Overland

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I like the setup you have, and am impressed by how well your engines work. I experimented a bit with tractor-trailer type rigs, but KSP stock wheels seem to have all the pulling power of a ninety year old chihuahua. Even with ten drive wheels, I couldn't pull a 40 ton load any faster than about 23 m/s (about 50 mph); and that was across nice, flat KSC. Going uphill it would stall on a 15 percent grade...

Anyway, I look forward to the rest of your journey.

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I like the setup you have, and am impressed by how well your engines work. I experimented a bit with tractor-trailer type rigs, but KSP stock wheels seem to have all the pulling power of a ninety year old chihuahua. Even with ten drive wheels, I couldn't pull a 40 ton load any faster than about 23 m/s (about 50 mph); and that was across nice, flat KSC. Going uphill it would stall on a 15 percent grade...

Anyway, I look forward to the rest of your journey.

Thanks I appreciate it :)

yeah the stock wheels are pretty horrible in terms of torque and exploding if they're looked at the wrong way..

these are retextured reconfigured wheels.. their not as smooth as 4408s original bogeys.. but 4408 II does a fine job of ascending hills with these settings..

keep in mind though there ment to be coupled with twin turbine generators pumping out 62 units of electricity at maximum RPM.. (vs 0.5 stock) so they'll drain any batteries in seconds.. which is what there ment to do and why adjusting the RPM of the turbines effects the speed and torque :)

the key differences are



name = ModuleWheel

hasMotor = true

resourceName = ElectricCharge

resourceConsumptionRate = 62

canSteer = true

controlAxisType = Forward

steeringModeType = AutomaticSteer

brakeTorque = 120

brakeSpeed = 1

impactTolerance = 9000

overSpeedDamage = 600



wheelName = wheel

wheelColliderName = wheelCollider

suspensionTransformName = suspensionTraverse

suspensionNeutralPointName = suspensionNeutralPoint

damagedObjectName = bustedwheel

rotateX = 0

rotateY = 1

rotateZ = 0




key = 0 16

key = 10 9

key = 30 5




key = 0 180 0 0

key = 10 131 0 0

key = 15 126 0 0

key = 26 101 0 0

key = 37 32 0 0

key = 45 0 0 0



As for the minijets turned into generators.. the alternator settings are set too



name = ModuleAlternator



name = ElectricCharge

rate = 56





name = ElectricCharge

amount = 24

maxAmount = 26 // (for lights)

isTweakable = false

hideFlow = true

Generally a locomotive ment for the mainline has 2 turbines..both active during cruise at mid to high RPM with consideration for heat then adjusted accordingly.. usually one will overload before the other if not watched carefully.. when in the yard (KSC) she runs on a single turbine at slow speed.. also useful when descending a mountain and the wheels in reverse dynamic brake.. too much power generated by both turbines will cause the loco to stall the train.. when all we need is a gentle reverse of not quite full power to keep the speed in check with mild assistance from the main wheel brakes on the locomotive..

she'll also crawl home on 1 generator.. but for some reason or another.. not sure exactly why.. they do explode at times when used in the wrong way.. ive not changed anything in that regard.. its as if sometimes one of them will overheat under normal load and explode.. the recent overheat animations and orange glow help to prevent it though :)

as with 3701 shes more of a yard shunter or freight locomotive.. only equpt with a single generator.. her useful top speed is around 20 or less.. too much torque pulled though and her headlights will go out.. any beacon light switch off and need to be reset.. so slow and easy starts are usually the way to go... she only has 4 drive wheels out of 8.. the white striped tyres are motorised.. the black ones are just unpowered.. if she had full powered wheelsets its likely they'll fail unevenly causing the train to pull to one side and unsettle the train

Edited by Overland
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UPDATE - 18km Driven

Leaving where we left off last time - 4408 IIs departure from Bombo Outpost was uneventful.. where she powered up the grade onto more or less flat lands..

due to the loss of earlier 4408 and D4001 in a system crash.. we're now well behind timetable.. I noticed quite a few elcano challengers have finished their respective goals.. and while things do differ with my attempts in that im using a train.. no autopilot nor time acceleration.. the sense of.. being left behind in the wake of others has been an ever present thought

I happen to be the owner of a fine powerful locomotive.. loaded with over 2000 units of fuel and a happy crew..

theres been diversions for a smoother route with less risk.. for the welbeing of 4408 Mk2 and her crew everythings been going smoothly.. all of which im extremely proud of as a whole :)

but the course corrections. .delays in general and days missed due to illness personally in the last few weeks have all ment the enemy of a train.. Time.. played heavily

All that said.. its always a joy to drive a train in the lands of kerbin.. made all the more enjoyable by the recent increase in terrain scatter that increased trees many times over. .adding a certain beauty to an already tranquil enjoyable setting..

After roughly 10km 4408 II was shut down, brakes applied.. for a much needed quick save.. where I realised the screenshot makes a very nice signature picture for future use :)


4408 II fired up again we continoued on the journey.. the route though was now in question.. ballencing both the 4408 IIs welfare and the need to make up lost time.. do we go straight more or less north along inline with the indictator for KSC2

or do we port around things, losing possibly hours... gaining distance.. but ultimately just in numbers with the circumnavigation essentially static ..

Up ahead on the course being taken is a mountain range.. its length is great.. avoiding it would be wise.. yet cost greatly in time..


landliner trains in the past have scaled mountains to mixed success.. the most noteworthy recently being sister train 4408 with road shunter D4001 on the back providing assistance.. more importantly.. enhanced stopping power.. that ment if 4408s wheels were off the ground at any point.. D4001s location at the rear of the train took command of the situation. keeping the train under control..

it was with this configuration of 2 locomotives and train that we successfully climbed and ascended a mountain documented in this weblog on the earlier pages.. a moment of pride for my train and myself..

Unfortunately.. 4408 II lacks a second locomotive.. her wagon wheelsets futher still..are modified to not have motors at all... meaning theres no way to cheat and spread the power across the train even in an emergency..

For the first time it seems as though the absence of a KAS winch or second locomotive might put some heavy limitations on this train that her illfated though technicly superior and capable sister train never quite experienced..

Still. with this all considered.. it was decided that 4408 II simply push on and we deal with things as they come rather than think too much :)

After some really enjoyable driving.. whimsical horn blasts.. moody blues soundtrack playing in the background and the... zen... that is driving a train across kerbin...

Regretably.. the mountain... Got big..

(silverish line above the tree is 4408 II)


over a year and a half of landtrain experience.. having constructed and nursed the very first generation of this train so long ago into existence.. having seen the success .. but more common failures that follow one being adventurous trying to conquer nature with a train that in all realism shouldnt be on land without rails..

Regret set in about what I might actually decide to do..

in a purely personal moment being as attached to my trains as I am... I shut down 4408 II. for a good 30 minutes.. letting her generators cool.. and silently considered everything.. I freely admit the emotional aspect of everything wasnt in any shape or form lost what so ever... one of them epic moments in KSP that shoudlnt quite happen.. yet does..


After a good rest, a new chai latte being made and a good think about possible outcomes to top it all off.. with a deep sense of regret.. I pressed the buttons on my steering wheel that brought generators 1 and 2 to life.. revving the turbines upto full RPM.. then releasing the brake making sure that when we hit the mountain..all power was at full.. 4408 II was giving her all


Impressively she started climbing at a solid 15 to 20 Ms... no sign of slipping with the new design that ment the main traction wheels being at the rear of the locomotive arnt lifted at the front with the weight of the train behind.. a correction in 4408s original design had proven fruitful.. turbines did start to heat up but everything kept within a good range.. a quick look at the electricity resource bar indicated we had 8 units of electricity to spare that wasnt seemingly being used anywhere..

Encouraged by this the turbines were backed off slightly to prevent overheating.. we lost 2 m/s almost instantly.. it appeared atleast something was using that extra power somewhere.. I couldnt really tell where.. but it made a difference without it..


A train should never ascend a mountain like this irrespective of being on rails or not.. incidently it would seem that 4408 II was at the upper limits of her capabilities.. so with all things considered.. power was left at the current 100% setting.. eventually coming to a little semi-summit mid way up the mountain that gave the train a platform of which to pause, cool down.. and for jeb to plant a flag :)


A little glimmer of hope that we may yet beat this.. against the extensive experience in failures.. maybe 4408 II had what it took to do the impossible.. still though with the greatest faith in my train.. its an untested situation that almost in almost everything was screaming at me to simply let it go.. for a time I did consider it.. until the realisation that the forementioned modifications to the wagon wheelsets ment unlike previous trains.. rear wheels of the trailing car couldnt simply be set to steer normally and control from the back..

a descent down the mountain backwards with the brakes and steering at the rear... could be as potentially fatal as pushing on to slaughter this monster of a mountain.. theres also absolutely no room to undertake shunting operations on the side of a mountain .. to make it worse.. unlike previous trains also.. I forgot to put a landing gear strut anywhere on the train.. so when disconnected from the locomotive.. it atleast had a parking brake

.... a fine thing to realise when one has a train half way up a mountain:mad:

Once the generators cooled down.. the only thing we could do was to push on.. as with all things KSP.. things seem to go from bad to worse at the right time.. perhaps its the will of the kraken

The second leg of the mountain after the summit was steep... much more so than the previous leg attempted.. there is little in the way of a calmer path, a little less grade maybe.. but at this point with the locomotive struggling to do 5m/s... diverting the course just puts more drag on the locomotive and train.. ultimately leading to stalling which is something Id like to avoid at all costs.. much like their railbound cousins. . a land train in the same configuration as a railway train.. doesnt much like being stopped on a hill... momentum and weight is your friend..

as long as you keep it that way.. having to start again on a steep grade.. or combat increasing momentum and weight heading the opposite direction that you wish to drive.. a friend quickly becomes an enemy.. a destructive soul killing monster that will happily devour all progress and with it.. lives and machinery before its done


THEN.... it happened.. struggling to keep above 2m/s both generators in redline with the train starting to slip.. I applied the locomotive brake best I could but it didnt do much.. the only option was to push forward.. the next summit wasnt too far ahead.. now doing 0.5 m/s her wheels were slower than a seconds hand of a clock.. but with everything considered.. still making progress and something to be thankful for..

I switched to the cab momentaryly to get a better reading.. the locomotive shook as both generators detonated at the same time in a shower of sparks and fire... thankfully not harming much else.. 4408 II now had no power at all..

for a diesel electric locomotive that depends on electricity for everything from propulsion.. lights.. and...the ability to reverse engines dynamicly.. she was now just an unwilling passenger in her own demise..

For a time I considered if I could save the train.. I'd simply get another locomotive and stable 4408 II at the bottom of the mountain.. to be retrieved later by a shunter and parked in the carpark of KSC with honour..

sadly like mentioned previously.. with the steering at the back on the locomotive. .no dynamic brakes.. and a fuel train behind the locomotive still 3/4 full.. there was little I could do at all except sit by and watch everything unfold..

The first few changes in terrain were handled wonderfully.. by a mircle the train stayed upright and together... hope again was possible she'd make it through this in some form recoverable..

soon after though all hope was lost as the train gained well in excess of 40 m/s in reverse.. with the train starting to dance around..

a sudden drop in terrain ment the entire train went airborne.. backwards.. I knew then it wouldnt end well


First to hit the ground was the heavier locomotive.. detonating and seperating on impact... her design ment that the cab is unusually strong and reinforced.. designed to roll away unharmed protecting the crew in the control cab while offering the unfortunate souls in the less protected passenger car and nose compartment to the kraken in hopes of pleasing it....

Thankfully.. it did as intended and the cab flew away from the locomotive.. the train itself now twisting like a worm someone stepped on


The force of the impact was so great given the height of the mountain.. the train then erupted in a sudden almost nuclear level explosion.. that vaporised parts commonly left untouched in previous wrecks.. normally we'd have the control cab.. wheelsets complete and rolling away with their own mind.. wishing to be free somewhere else other than here.. maybe a few intakes.. for those who have been following this weblog previously.. youve seen the effect of a traditional crash in 4404s wreck early on...

This.... was different.. and the most violent train destruction ive ever had the displeasure of witnessing

Jeb's passenger pod in the nose already vaporised ..leaving just the screaming girls in the control cab.. still intact yet once again airbourne with the force of the main explosion..


When it all ended... all that was left was roughly 4 parts.. one side of a bogey with 2 wheels.. not even complete.. strangely enough seemingly survivng from the middle of the train from a tanker..

another similar bogey possibly from the same tanker, its main supports nowhere to be seen.. it must have split in half when it exploded.. blown clear of the train...

sadly.. the control cab must have hit the ground hard or been impacted by another part later in the explosion.. this thing is reinforced to survive almost anything.....

except it would seem.. this.. leading to the loss of the train.. her entire crew.. and nothing left except half a bogey and a flag on the mountain to show the world ... once.. there was a train here


its with a heavy heart that I declare 4408 II and her crew have joined the big railyard in the sky.. following a long line of landliner trains and their respective crew..

is this the end.. ? NO

In the morning freight locomotive 3701 takes up the task.. pushing on with a smaller train and crew to KSC2... her smaller lighter design means that she should be able to transported by airship or hovercraft to the current position where 4408 II was lost..

once there.. her crew will plant a flag honouring the lost train and her crew... before later resuming the drive to KSC2.. where another mainline locomotive will be waiting :)

A sad end of a chapter I admit.. but proudly there for all the world to see..

Never give up.. never surrender... there WILL be a train circumnavigating kerbin.. her wake will be littered with the wrecks of those who have tried... names of lost crew and their locomotive numbers slowly increasing..

it doesnt matter if its 4408 II... or 44100...

It will be done

Thankyou all :)

Edited by Overland
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A moment of silence for 4408 II and her dauntless crew..... while all Kerbalikind secretly wishes their own ends could be as glorious and spectacular. o/

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Thankyou sir :) your respects are welcome.. indeed its been a most epic of endings.. sad as it was :(

I took the time before dispatching 3701 to scout out the area with a plane.. Radial Trimotor 1B


likely the only aircraft that Kerbal Train Program operators actually own.. and it shows..

shes almost a relic of a forgotten time.. over engineered yet powerful... and more struts than wings.. although she has her faults.. shes a powerful aircraft that ive used in the past... able to fly on one center engine.. or twin outboard.. even known to be quite a good glider if trimmed properly

although she floats like a butterfly and lands gracefully.. its best done at KSC or a runway in general.. all terrain she is not.. her domain is the sky.. and has irony would have it.. this is her first outing to survey a train wreck..

Possibly there might be questions as to why id choose to survey a wreck and the surrounding lands looking for a more practical route by air..

when I could simply use the map view.. to that I answer its one thing to look at an orbital map.. but the terrain presents a more real and fluid presence when viewed

from an aircraft floating overhead.. and its with that ideal that Trimotor 1B took to the skies this morning


Here her first less than multi-role nature became apparent.. a scout plane with good all round observation she is not.. now needing to keep on the hud rather than use a heading and stick with the navball until the grey pixelised glitters appeared on the green lands below..


Landing was always going to be a hit or miss thing... after 3 circles around the wreck and one touch and go aborted landing it was decided she land best she could.. on no engines to glide down with flaps as close to the ground as possible..


She landed with all the grace of a dead duck... but the resident kerbal survived.. the wreck now becoming part of the scenery.. and a marker beacon for 3701 to aim for... having no death be involved.. I consider this a success.. an ever present reminder as to exactly why.... one never tries to rescue anything from near a mountain with a plane...

the very reason almost 2 years ago that the landliner trains were born .. to rescue a downed plane and her surviving crew on rough terrain that had no problems consuming other aircraft that dare tresspass


a small note: unlike her train stablemates this aircraft is actually made up of mostly stock and KAX components..

EDIT - I discovered a critical bug in the plane that I actually never encounter.. you cant get out.. despite the ample room to climb out it seems KSP thinks theres not enough room..

This has never been a problem for me as generally when its time to get out.. the planes in peices scattered similar to a modern work of art..

Ive deleted the craft file.. but incase anyone is feeling like flying in a capable craft with no bad flight characteristics - it would seem although massive and heavy in the realworld.. Airliner wings make the perfect trike ultralight :)

See here for more http://kerbalx.com/Overland/Ultralight-Trike

With that... 3701 inches closer to departure :)

Edited by Overland

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the very reason almost 2 years ago that the landliner trains were born .. to rescue a downed plane and her surviving crew on rough terrain that had no problems consuming other aircraft that dare tresspass

I had wondered how this all came to be, actually... and (1) my condolences for the 4408 and its noble crew, (2) kudos to you for playing hardcore and letting crashes be crashes!

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Possibly there might be questions as to why id choose to survey a wreck and the surrounding lands looking for a more practical route by air..

when I could simply use the map view.. to that I answer its one thing to look at an orbital map.. but the terrain presents a more real and fluid presence when viewed

from an aircraft floating overhead.. and its with that ideal that Trimotor 1B took to the skies this morning

The picture of Kerbin in the map view is actally that, a 2D map, a mere texture, and low-res at that You can, however, get long-range views of the actual 3D terrain if you zoom the normal flying/driving view way out instead of using the map view. And for that, you do need a vehicle in the vicinity. So I'm with you--gotta do recon in person.

EDIT - I discovered a critical bug in the plane that I actually never encounter.. you cant get out.. despite the ample room to climb out it seems KSP thinks theres not enough room..

Heheh, you didn't hit the ground hard enough to remove the obstructions from the cockpit hatch area :).

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Quite the opposite my good friend :) everytime ive flown that plane in the past ive landed in a similar way.. the plane fell to bits and the kerbal was able to get out of the cockpit fine.. (standing on the engine nacelle in the wreck) I only actually found the bug after trying to dismount the aircraft on the runway ...

that stock inline cockpit must have a massive bounding box on the 3d model.. if anythings remotely over the top its classified as obstructed

anyway the ultralight I replaced it with suits me much better.. although I admit she only goes a few m/s faster than a train flat out.. the only real benefit is theres no mountains in the sky.. unless the skys a tad low :)


Edited by Overland

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Whats the stall speed of a locomotive?..


So I spent the day playing around with them ultralight Regallo wing type aircraft.. Discovering the wonderful floaty calm relaxing flight of a aerosport powered skytrike..

One might say I got carried away with it.. forgetting ive got a challenge to continoue.. a torch to carry lest not the memory of achievements of those who have fallen be forgotten..

Not all was lost however. the time spent evidently came fruitful for a greater purpose :)

In the research of the day playing with all things aircraft it was found that these airliner wings have strange qualities..

Filled with fuel their extremely heavy yet have pretty good lift capacity..

Empty.. they float almost forever bringing to life the fore-mentioned ultralight that I admit ive been rather proud of.. even so much as making repeated trips to the wreck of 4408 II and scouting out outlying terrain for future use

in the past ive experimented with air-lifting a train.. sadly the mods ive created all are far too heavy for even the most capable craft.. with wheel in excess of 1 ton each.. generators.. heavy laden with fuel.. the best I could do was get one airborne with electro-hovercraft pads using the locomotives electricity generated from the turbines.. an adventure that never quite ended as hoped for anyone involved

Today.. that changed :)

A plan was hatched.. also in a strange quirk of fate.. it would seem a 44 class landtrain makes a very nice taildragger



using the experience gained from the ultralight craft I built.. 4409 herself via the use of docking ports and decouplers.. all designed to be removable... Became one with the sky, leaving the surface of kerbin.. yet this time on purpose and with great fanfare


After what seemed like an eternity flying.. one of those moments where time seemed to stand still..

it was decided to undertake experimental landing operations - having forgotten to install any type of parachute or failsafe

No deploying of parachutes here.. incidently I was to discover just what is the stall speed on of a heavy locomotive running on a radial propeller engine rigged up to a pair of airliner wings..

(why doesnt that feel odd?....)


It would seem safe landing speed appeared to be in the high 70s - with 4409 bouncing on landing.. the wing flexed... having never been in this situation before I didnt know what to expect..

once 4409s locomotive wheels with industrial strength traction and braking power settled onto the dirt, everything came to a sudden yet safe stop.. ending the first successful maiden takeoff and landing operations with a train - a milestone what never before has been achieved with such grace


decouplers were fired, radial engine was undocked from the light recess on the nose which incidently is a painted small docking port.. the engine exploding as it hit the ground

Now back on the ground - the native environment for a land train as logic would have it.. Generator 1 was fired up to aid her in shaking off all that nasty aircraft stuff


Thus ends the tale of the flying locomotive - a new delivery method to ensure that the legacy of former 4408 II and her crew lives on..

a train will be ferried out to the last position of 4408 II during the week.. likely in sections and coupled manually

Industrial locomotive 3701 once queued up to be the replacement locomotive that would carry on to KSC to meet another train now doesnt have to undertake the risk and instead remains parked at KSC in the carpark where she was last driven

Finally.. here have 4409 - All aircraft parts shaken off.. all that shows that she once flew is a few scars from strut supports.. other than that.. shes a mint condition locomotive - seen here with both generators fired up and class identification lights lit.. shes ready for the mainline to carry on the grand tradition..


44 Class Landtrain of the Elcano Challenge :D

Edited by Overland
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I personally suck at VTOLs so instead I make extreme STOL aircraft and enjoy landing them in silly places like very steep slopes and the peaks of high mountains. But they don't get anywhere very fast :).

Good luck with the flying train.

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Thankyou all :)

Its been a while between updates and for that I apologise..

driving a land train with no time acceleration or autopilot to speak of is a very challenging thing.. as such it requires alot of time, something ive been short of recently

Thankfully though as much as it does seem ive put things on the backburner.. the opposite has been true..

Ive been wrestling with the ideas above and many others.. should I fly a train to last known position or continue the tradition of taking things the hardway and.. starting again..

the decision has been a tough one..

As real life would have it.. last weekend was Rail Heritage day at central station sydney..

it reminded me of my own obligations with the elcano challenge and that to my train of which im ever so proud always... irrespective of them all seemingly going to the big railyard in the sky one way or another over the past few months.. the journeys always been memorable and something dear to me..

so with that all in mind 4409 now carries the flag of the Kerbal Train Program Elcano Challenge

4409 herself , redesigned partly on new and old ideas.. more leaning towards 4408s couplings but a more compact locomotive without the science module

Real life inspirations came rather suddenly in an entertaining way..

While on the way to work last week.. regretably while rail heritage day was fully underway.. I paused for a moment to see just what was at the end of a preserved electric train, some diner cars, sleeper cars and suchlike

as luck would have it and a touch of irony.. it turned out to be a 44 class, specificly 4490..


its quite odd how KSP bleeds into everything somehow in peoples lives, be it knowing a science fiction movies orbital dymamics are off.. able to pick apart a rockets practicality for those who undertake interplanetary flight in KSP..

or in my case.. the momentary smile that seeing 4490 brought.. hoping dearly that by the time I finish the Elcano challenge.. like 4404, 4405, 4407 & 4408 Mk1 and Mk2 respectively.. the trail of lost and rebuilt trains dont exceed anything beyond the low 20s..

While the real 44 class now near me on the platform is 4490 being formerly 90 in her class.. my 44 class get numbered going by just how many their have been.. most of which met a horrible end.. their class numbers not so much a registration in number... but more a kill counter on a bomber,

Happily though it did give some very nice ideas.. along with 4001 behind her, an RSC3 of which my former D4001 was styled as documented previously in this thread..

was a generator car.. a passenger-type car equipt with diesel generators for the trains needs..

having lost 4408 II in a catastrophic failure of generator turbines leaving the train nothing more than a runaway ending in its own demise.. the idea stuck as one that could have practical use.. auxiliary generators that could remain inactive and fired up if ever the locomotive suffered a twin engine failure.. preserving the motive power, dynamic brake (reverse) and hopefully spare the train from a fate not unlike her sister.. or....sisters that now approach 10 in number

I set about adapting this idea to 4409.. as such shes now redesigned and ready for the road..

building on the experience, loss.. and honour of those before her..

4409 is ready for the road :) hopefully underway by weekend


Edited by Overland
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Another nice train. Here's hoping she fairs better than her predecessors.

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I just wanted to wish you the best of luck with this endeavour!

I've read through your entire report at least twice and this run really made me want to actually look more closely at ground vehicles in KSP.

It also made me want to attempt the Circumnavigation challenge myself!

Best of luck once again and thank you for posting this inspiring run!

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A sad end of a chapter I admit.. but proudly there for all the world to see..

<S> (salute) Overland. There will be a 10-second hold on my next launch in honour of your sadly lost crew.

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Insert that classic sound of a record being scratched as everything comes to a halt suddenly and unexpectedly due to unforseen events..

in my case.. Radiators!... the temptations simply too great.. I lost my last train due to thermal overload.. ignoring them would be foolish indeed..

but.. alas.. a 44 class doesnt look nice with radiators. .actually quite ugly..

so its back to D400x class.. im working on a road shunter before I get back underway, seen here in prototype stages

havent given up.. like alot of us are doing in our respective ways.. updating old missions.. craft etc to include the latest updates

it all comes naturally to KSP :)


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Nearing the final testing of D4002 all she needs now is her class number written up in cooltext generator and pasted onto a flag with that Flag Decal mod..

I posted this in the radiator thread but incase anyone missed it.. if you invert the colour on the texture.. they look much better..

good for cow catchers too.. not that theres any cows in space.. I also dont know if they explode horribly or vanish into dust when hit.. so having one on the front of my locomotive might not be a good idea eventually..

we shall see :)


Now that squads added radiators, I ask nicely for pantographs, marker lights.. overhead wiring and track thankyou :)

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Now that squads added radiators, I ask nicely for pantographs, marker lights.. overhead wiring and track thankyou :)

And water towers, crossing gates and signs, depot platforms, and loading docks, too :)

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And water towers, crossing gates and signs, depot platforms, and loading docks, too :)

Kerbal Cargo & Logistics simulator.. Id be in for that :) one of these days we got to see just how well recieved it'd be.. the recent truck sims besides ETS2 arnt all too good.. ship sims are meh (no multiplayer) on ESS.. and you cant fly rockets or planes in any of them like KSP.. its still the best multi-genre game around :) but yep.. I wish they'd stop focusing on space and start adding things on kerbin ;)

- - - Updated - - -

UPDATE - Got nowhere fast.. but everything got big and dangerous..

I Fully intended to settle down this weekend and get a good 100km+ in.. regretably my new linux install had other ideas.. while its giving better performance under Lubuntu.. it seems to not like my xbox steering wheel.. the very tool thats essential to landliner train driving..

Fortunately it seems squads done something with the docking ports.. in that a 10 car train doesnt turn into a worm someone stepped on.. thrashing wildly until its death.. my logitech joystick seems to work nicely. although lacking the overall attachment a wheel brings.

infact things seem a little rigid.. but it works..

As such.. a 9 car train with 12000 units of fuel vs 2500 previously is possible.. and was taken advantage of greatly..

Seen here with an un-numbered D4002


this is where things started to fall apart.. as it seems Kerbal Space Program.. simulates weight, momentum.. overall mass in general better than any train simulator ive ever driven.. which is great if squad were to make a train simulator.. but not so much good for existing land train designs that have in recent times taken a large departure from railway inspired designs..

Trains now being 80 to 100 tons in weight with no false weight from wheels added.. the practice of having only the locomotive braked became a serious problem... trains do take a while to gain speed down hills.. but once they do.. the crew either rides to the bottom of the grade alive.. or things end badly...

and badly they did..


Setting off as normal slowly but with power to spare for that quick boost to 30m/s once we depart the runway also became a thing of the past..

trains realisticly now act more like a spring.. bunching up and giving recoil when provoked leaving the locomotive slipping either struggling to stop or having major problems trying to start..

the hill outside of KSC towards the mountains was used to test performance on a grade.. where it seems a 100 ton train running at 31m/s

doesnt need any kind of engines at all.. and happilly trotted up the mountain using the momentum from its sheer mass... settling down to 23m/s at the top of the hill with enough power to throw the locomotive and train impressively yet harmlessly into the air before settling down on flat land

sadly not all is good in this respect.. as I now have a train that steers no better than a pregnant yak!, even with all 6 wheels of the locomotive leading bogeys trying to turn

if it wernt so much trouble.. id even consider using rails.. as they're dearly needed at this point.. it seems for a moment that ive reached the limit of land-train technology.. to where they become more like their railbound cousins

This.. ended the first day dedicated to driving I had planned

On the second day things got better as everything was firmly and strictly placed back into the railway inspired box..

this gave way to logical solutions to problems with land-trains that now would not be out of place running along side steel wheeled rolling stock on rails.. infact with just a change of wheels from rubber tyred to flanged steel wheels.. theres not much difference :)

First up was Double Heading - The logical addition of another locomotive to increase traction and spread the torque across multiple wheel sets


It brought about a certain impressiveness to the whole thing as now land trains had the authority and right of way.. as trains should.. its just sad that the train and her crew are the only living things on the planet besides birds.. trees.. and a certain squid-like sea monster known to like causing havoc and destruction in infinite possibilities for its own pleasure

With now 2 locomotives. added traction and braking capability.. things became easier.. and with ease of operation came complacency..

running the double headed train around the yard (KSC) for a test run.. revealed she still steered like a prototypical train on rails.. not having the will to undertake sharp turns that a railbound train would be incapable of..

Also.. due to an error on my part.. I still haddent applied brakes on the entire train.. leading to the events that once a train was started..

stopping was something of an after thought.. and all terrain and buildings infront had to be negotiated on the fly..

This lead to the first all-terrain test of a coasting train.. as the entire train had no choice but to cross the tracks of the Launch Pad..


Explosions I expected never happened.. nothing fell off.. the train glided gracefully into a wide sweeping turn headed into the stabling area

where she was parked for the night.. for when things next resume with the Elcano challenge..


theres still many challenges to overcome.. a train is a challenge in itself especially in its current form..

at this point the Elcano challenge is still underway despite the extensive delays..

I always thought it would take a while itself.. but much like travelers and explorers in the real worlds history.. perhaps more consideration should have been given towards the craft itself.. the failures.. downtime.. repairs... death... and our old friend destruction (4408 II) all of which have ment delays..

Delays though are just that.. not an end..

So.. in short.. im still going..

slowly.. full of unexpected delays and problems.. but never surrender

theres still the whole of kerbin to drive once things get back upto operational condition :)

EDIT - lets not speak of attempting to use the train-wash :)


Edited by Overland
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Wow, Overland, you have certainly created a monster this time :). The sight of those heavy tankcars forming a "rope bridge" across the crawler track, suspended only by docking ports, and getting the whole thing across without even a flat tire, is just amazing.

As to your problem with turning, if only the engines' wheels can steer, turning necessitates bending the train, and there are 2 forces that resist this: the rigidity of the docking ports and having to skid the fixed wheels of the tankcars sideways. It seems that before, the absence of the former overcame the latter but now both are working together to impede steering. I don't think putting the tankcar bogies on free pivots would really improve matters given the new rigidity of docking ports, plus would probably cause problems with shunting in the absence of rails. Thus, it might work better if you put the 2nd engine at the rear of the train. That way, you'd have steering force at both ends that would increase the bending force or at least help rotate the whole rigid thing like a plank.

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greetings :) im on my ipod at work so i cant copy and paste your ungodly challenging name as usual G-man so youll have to settle for less on this occasion ..

a big thanks for the explaination i actually never considered the skid factor and it makes perfect sence.

I did originally have the loco on the other end but being on the end tempts destruction..not that a yard shunter centrecab could handle the train alone but she made a viable addition up front..

perhaps ill have to look into making a guardsvan on the end thats a steering car too..traditionally trains with rear and front steering didnt turn as sharp but at this point anythings an improvement :)

ill update once im home tonight from work.. seems torque settings were adjusted too.. even light engine D4002 and 3703 dont have alot of power with the same numbers as previous generations..branching into the above 500 torque now..starting to worry and steep shifts in rpm might pull the train in half and snap couplings in the field..

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Just found this series; I love it! I saw your WIP post, and noticed you're starting again.

Have you considered a drogue chute for your downhill adventures? Not very fitting for a train, but highly whimsical. :)

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