Sunday, July 6, 2014

Huge Upgrade for Kitto Flora's Steam Train: Part I

I Test the Track

One morning in early 2007, when I was new in Second Life, I was riding the SL Railroad around the mainland. At one of the stops I saw a cute little steam train for sale. I believe the price was $1200L.

I bought it in black, and over the next several years picked up versions in red and green, a Yule train, and a diesel.

Sweetie and I designed an extensive route at our home at Pele, on Ansche Chung's now-defunct Forsaken sim, and we had a great time riding the train around.

Even then we tended to keep the train underwater much of the time.

The train was like a magnet for avatars. When visitors would discover it, they would teleport in their friends to fill the train.

 Note the graphics glitch in the photo above. I used to get a lot of those.

When we acquired Whimsy in April, 2008, the first thing we did (after terraforming), was work out a route for the little train. It took a day or so to lay the track and debug it, and it has run reliably ever since.

Thousand of Second Lifers old and new have made their way to Whimsy to ride our train. Every day I get about a dozen or so IMs from the train: "So-And-So is driving." It always makes me smile.

Hmmm. Twelve riders a day (being conservative here; usually two or three people ride) times 365 days a year times six years. That comes to 26, 280 trips! Amazing!

Our route is dramatic. No flat stuff for us! We immediately take riders into the hollow interior of the volcano Pele.

Much of the route, is, of course, underwater.

Shame on those who don't get free SCUBA gear from the robot concierge.

The track plunges straight down the throat of the cherished Mr. Tiki.

Whimsy's citizenry was outraged by the actions of the Whimsy Transportation Authority and managed to get construction halted-- but it was too late for poor Mr. Tiki.

Of course, there's a tunnel. There has to be a tunnel!

The ride ends with a spectacular crash. Here I am just waiting for it.

So, early this week I learned train maker Kitto Flora had been hard at work for half a year on a drastic revision of his train. What would that mean for the Whimsy train?

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