Laying mileposts along your route will change the impression to the driver a lot and it is not even difficult. There are two basic ways of placing them, the first one is good for short routes or if you have only a few miles of track, but when you get up to larger scales (say 30 or more) then the degree of error in each mile marker can mount up and you'll get a lot of people confused.
Previous advice that I'd discovered when I tried to learn the best way to place mileposts include:
- Going into edit mode and using the tape measure to draw out 1609.34 (or 1610 ish) metres on the ground. Of course this doesn't take gradients into account and as soon as there is a bend, you're left guessing
- Making an end-to-end scenario and setting a destination at the end of the route and then driving it. Where you start is milepost 0 and you have, say, 54.2 miles to destination. Milepost 1 could then be placed as soon as your destination is 53.2 miles away. This, to me, was how I did it first, but it meant going into edit mode after every mile and this took up a lot of time. If you're travelling at higher speeds, it can be even more difficult to press it at exactly the right time and, furthermore, you're never sure when between .3 and .1 miles it might feature in as the .2 miles bit is a lot. Get it wrong and subsequent mile markers can be way off further down the line.
Please don't get me wrong here, there is nothing wrong with these methods. People can, of course, do what they want with their routes. I have found a new way of laying them, to the nearest centimetre if that is what you so desire! I am assuming the reader knows how to place a milepost marker, but if not, here's how you do it:
- In edit mode, select the Object Tools menu (the house icon on the top left box) and then click Track Infrastructure (the semaphore signal icon on the middle left box)
- Press 'm' on the keyboard (or scroll manually through the list) to take you to the first item beginning with the letter m
- Find the milepost marker you need (the default ones are: Milepost Bath, Milepost Oxfo 2, Milepost Sieg 1, Milepost Sieg 2, Milepost US and Milepost York)
- Place this on the world with the left mouse button, near the track. Click and hold during placement and move the mouse to rotate it as you wish. Release the left mouse button
- Click on the nearest track and hold down the left mouse button (if needed), then drag the cursor across all tracks at this point where the milepost applies (only one track link is needed, though)
- Double left click the milepost
- On the right hand flyout (it may be minimised so mouse over the right section of the screen), there will be a text (numerical, really) field that defaults to 0. Change this to the relevant number. Only numbers can display in here - symbols, letters and other non-numerical digits do not show up (at least on the default ones)
- That's it, move on to the next one!
My new method is first to:
- Place a tall, easily recognisible object that is never going to look right when placed right next to a track somewhere in the route. I used "Chimney Brick 01" for this. Once placed, select it and then Cut it out of the world (Ctrl + X)
- With this item in the clipboard, enter the Linear Object Tools edit mode (track icon on the top left box) and select the Select tool (the dotted yellow/orange square on the second row of the top left box)
- Now left click once at the start point (can be any mile marker, but let's assume it's your point of origin, milepost 0) and move the mouse along the length of the track (mainline if others diverge) and measure out 1609.34 m (this number is displayed at the bottom of the screen, along the black bar) and be as accurate as this as you like (1610 or 1611, say, wouldn't hurt the overall outcome). Make sure you only select one track for this, as two tracks selected would double the number at the bottom (i.e. for 2 tracks measure out 3218.68 m - this gets complicated)
- Now left click at the correct distance on the track to freeze the markers in place temporarily
- Move the cursor to the side of the track, where you'd like to place the milepost
- Right click the mouse to clear the marker (do NOT move the mouse when doing this!)
- With the cursor still in the same place, Paste (Ctrl + V) the chimney object (or whatever you used) where your cursor is
- Right click to cancel another chimney's placement
- Begin the Select tool procedure again to mark out the next mile
- Repeat as necessary until your route has chimneys (or whatever) dotted along the line at one mile intervals (save regularly!)
- Once ready, select the milepost that you want and go along the route replacing the chimneys (select and delete them after placing a milepost inside it) with them, manually entering the mileage as you go
- This should create a more accurate figure for your mileposts and, from my experience, is a bit quicker than the other methods once you get your head around it
- It's unlikely, but make sure you remove all of your chimneys otherwise the route will look strange and feature unusually regularly-spaced items!
As I say, sorry to repeat the obvious if you already know about it, but this information wasn't out there when I needed it so I hope it can help someone else when they come to do theirs. They're easy to do and do add a nice immersion into the world. It's also satisfying when you lay your final one, showing you the absolute distance of the route.
originally written by Tyburn at UKTS forums, used with permission, introduction edited