Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Grand Opening Ceremony for the Sunweaver Railroad

By Bixyl Shuftan

A few minutes after 2PM SL time on February 10, the Sunweaver community held the official grand opening of it's inter-sim railroad line. Although there have been railroads within the Sunweaver lands before, these were small private lines that circled around the property of the landowner. The Sunweaver Line Railroad by Cynthia Farshore's Farshore Industries is a much larger project, going through all six of the main Sunweaver sims from the northeast to the southwest: Pacific Waters, Sunweaver Space, Sunlight Bay, HV Community, Sunny Beach, and Sunweaver Bay.

Cynthia started the project many months ago. By early October, she had laid down a track from Nydia Tungsten's "White Vixen Enterprises" office in Pacific Waters to the border of Sunweaver Space and Sunlight Bay. By December, she had the track going through Sunlight Bay, past the Newser office in HV Community, and to the border of HV and Sunny Beach. Finally at the end of January, Cynthia laid the last of the track down next to the submarine dock at Sunweaver Bay. After testing the track and making corrections, last week she decided it was ready for opening.

"It is for fun," Cynthia admitted later on, "'cause if it was just getting around superman flying would be everything." But many people prefer going about on the ground, and some have a love of vehicles such as cars and trains. Or perhaps it's a day in which teleporting is likely to result in a crash. In either case, there's now another option besides teleporting, flying, or walking, "It ... brings life to the sims." At the start of every hour, the train departs from the Pacific Waters end, and at every half hour, it leaves from the Sunweaver Bay stop.

Several people showed up for the ceremony, including Sunweaver chieftess Rita Mariner and Shockwave Yareach whom has helped Cynthia in many projects. Most of the people had on Victorian-Era dresses and suits. The music stream was playing some steampunk-themed songs, such as "The Iron Rose" by "The Clockwork Dolls" and "Abney Park" by Victoria. Not everyone was dressed for the Steam Age. Gil Oterad showed up in a pony avatar. Shockwave wasn't sure if it was a complete mismatch, "We can use a horse drawn carriage too! (grin)" Rita joked, "The only suggestion I had for the rail line Cyntia poo-poo'd. ... tied up damsels across the tracks to be rescued." Gil went along with the joke, "We'd need mounties who are in love with their horses." Shockwave added, grinning, "And a woman named Snidely Whiplash on the tracks."

After giving a few more minutes for any late arrivals, Cynthia started the ceremony, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the Grand Opening of a mode of transportation so dearly needed in our community. This has been a labor of love, it is for you my friends and family. It was in planning for a few years but not till this last year did it move from being a dream to a reality. After all the planning and construction the Sunweaver Estates now has a full size rail line extending the full length of the sim group. Not only is it a way to get around but a way to bring life to the estates, a sense of activity that can be seen. Coupled with the airport and the highway our community has copious means of travel. Not only travel but ways to have fun exploring what the sims have to offer. In time there will be improvements and even additional routes but today we start this grand journey here."

Cynthia then turned to the community leader, "My dear Rita do you wish to say a few words?" Rita then spoke, "I have been with Cynthia from the beginning of this project of hers. I whole heartly approved of it, even though there have been a few glitches along the way." "A few?" Cynthia commented. "Theres always glitches in things," JBRaccoon added, "but that's part of the fun putting them together." Rita went  on, "I have been there to massage her shoulders, the rest I leave to the wolf. I hope that everyone takes full advantage of her efforts, from what I have seen it looks great."

The obligatory bottle of champagne to smash was then readied by Cynthia, swinging on a rope, "Rita touch the ball at the top." And with that, "Engine 97" appeared, ready to take passengers. an announcement going, "Sunbeam Limited departing for Pacific Waters in 20 seconds!" The train was painted yellow and orange, the colors of the Sunbeamer logo, which was on the sides of the locomotive. And most of those nearby quickly grabbed a seat, then it was off. There was one minor scare as one girl's skirt remained stiff as she sat, and she worried about guys seeing her panties.

There was a short stop at Sunny Beach, then the train went on to HV Community where the track was on a bridge over then water and then over the road, and made another stop between the Newser office and Brandi Streusel's store, the train announcing, "Hidden Valley Commercial District - Angels Beach Land Rentals, Brandi's Intimates, SL Newser Office, Public Cuddle Cave, The Fox Den Main Store. Departing in 20 seconds." Headding into Sunlight Bay, the train went through a tunnel in a hill, then stopped at a station between Farshore Airfield and the small mountain where the Goblin Cave is, "Fairyhill Recreation Park - sights include fairy mountain overlook, Wading fish pool, Goblin Cave Entertainment Center. WATCH OUT FOR LOW FLYING PLANES AND DRAGONS! Departing in 20 seconds."

The train soon took a turn to the north, along the east side of the sim, and came to another stop, "Farshore Airfield (public), Farshore Shipping and Import Sells, Fishing and Boating recreation area. Departing in 20 seconds." Going further north into Sunweaver Space, the train was on another bridge over the water, coming to a stop near a shopping area and a 7Seas fishing spot, "Sunweaver Mall, Zorro's Fishing Shop and pier.  Will continue in 20 seconds." Then the train continued north along the bridge into Pacific Waters and the last stop at Nydia Tungsten's WVE Office, "Pacific Waters, White Vixen Enterprises. This is the end of the line. Southbound train will be departing in 20 minutes!" It was brought up that the last car came to a stop short of the platform, making it easy for people getting off from it to fall into the water. Rita stated that Nydia and Ranchan Weidman could extend it later on.

The passengers liked the ride, Shockwave commenting, "Excellent railroad Garth. ... It worked well under load." Dusk Griswold commented, "It does work better than Amtrak." JB felt, "A  wee bit jerky, but not bad overall with all the sims it runs through." There was one slight glitch in Sunweaver Space, causing the train to twist slightly, Cynthia saying, "Yes I am aware of that little twist back there, I'll clean it later." The train also ran a little slow in Erik Mouse's Sunny Beach, due to the sim's prim count being close to full, Cynthia saying, "It's a problem with Erikland really. ... Erik at one point only had room for 100 prims."

Some of us would take the train on the ride back, and it made the stops and announcements over again. Getting to the other end of the track where the trip started in Sunweaver Bay, the engine announced, "Welcome to Sunweaver Bay, This is the end of the line. Attractions include the Fimi Memorial, Sunweaver Air Strip, the Nordenfelt Submarine first to fire a torpedo while submerged as well as the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues. The Drunken Parrot Pub, High above is the A.S. Cutlass, an aircraft carrier airship host to the Culb Cutlass with dances every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday night 6 to 8 PM SLT. You will find a LM giver at the pier as you depart. North bound train will depart in 20 minutes."

Cynthia stated that there will be improvements later, "In time, (I) will be always looking to improve this and that. Already the new locomotive and cars are in work." One small problem with the train was that it's not always easy to get on when it's moving. Cynthia plans to change that, "one of the improvements in work on the new car is an easier way to get on."

She also plans to work on a path from the station next to Fairy Hill leading to the Goblin Cave hangout. There was one possible source of lag beyond Cynthia's control, going between sims with different daylight settings such as Midday and Midnight. Rita stated the settings are up to individual sim owners, though may talk to them later about a uniform setting.

Later on, Cynthia told me two more rail lines are on the drawing board to connect some of the newer island sims, "A second line is in the planning stage for coverage of the west side sims down trough the southern most islands then connect to the main line possibly around the Goblin cave area. ... plans are very early right now. All efforts have been to get the main line done a running." She would add, "It is realized that presently there is a long wait between trains, I hope in the very near future additional runs will be added to reduce the wait times. However it is encouraged that the time be spent exploring around the sim in the mean time."

And so, the home community of the Second Life Newser now has a railroad line going through it's main sims. Hopefully it will get plenty of use from rail fans across the Grid.

Bixyl Shuftan

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