Jon Searles' photos

UV Mapping Video, 2016

20 Jun 2016 403
Originally, I had planned on using my first Blender project for Trainz as an assignment at Prague College. To my surprise, it was too long when presented live, and of questionable relevance to many students (who were my audience) who (surprisingly) were unfamiliar with some of the concepts such as UV mapping. My professor recommended that I do a presentation UV mapping instead, which while broader, can be explained in less time. Therefore, this is a video version of that live presentation, using most of the same content. Some of the content used in this presentation is from Wikimedia, some of the slides were developed in Microsoft Powerpoint, and the other applications used are available here:

Blender for Trainz Project, 2016

20 Jun 2016 509
I recently learned how to export Blender models to Auran Trainz, and built my first Trainz model, of a generic (and semi-fictional) Phillips refrigerator box. This instructional video explains how to export Blender models to Trainz. Blender is available here: The model exporter for Trainz is available here: Gimp, the image editor used in this video, is available here:

FS2004 TTools Demo Video, 2016

20 Jun 2016 470
Although I have enjoyed Microsoft Flight Simulator for years, not all of my enjoyment has been from flying the planes. I have also made numerous repaints, and added literally thousands of new AI traffic routes. I've also modified all of the built-in ones, although not always with precision. This video summarizes how to build AI Traffic files using TTools and Notepad. TTools can be acquired here:

Street Rod 2 Review, 2016

20 Jun 2016 389
I made this playthrough on the same day, and in the same studio, as the Street Rod 1 playthrough. As such, it has some of the same bugs. As with Street Rod 1, Street Rod 2 was previously a California Dreams product, but is now being developed by Marco Kleijer:

Street Rod 1 Review, 2016

20 Jun 2016 368
This is one of my favorite games of the 8-bit era, so this was actually my first-ever playthrough video (although not the first one that I uploaded). You can hear some voices in the background because the recording studio I used had a thin door. It was actually a post-production studio rather than a proper recording studio. I was also using a borrowed digital audio recorder, which I wasn't familiar with. There are also other bugs like the image not being centered. At the time, I was still learning how to use Open Broadcaster. Although it was originally developed by California Dreams, actually a Polish company, the rights are now owned by Marco Kleijer, who subsequently developed Street Rod SE, based on the car disks produced for Street Rod 1, and who is currently developing Street Rod Online. His website is here:

Trainz Klanovice-Velim Tour, 2016

20 Jun 2016 559
The team over at, headed allegedly by Asrajer, produced this Trainz 2006 route between Prague and Brno, based on the real mainline (Linky 011-230-250). The route is so long that I have used the freecam to explore between Klanovice and Velim, rather than driving the route. I already love it, but my copy is missing a bunch of assets. This is because they are missing both from the Trainz Download Station and They are: kuid:109628:25036 kuid:143730:2510220 kuid:193885:40001 kuid:193885:40003 kuid:193885:40007 kuid:193885:40008 kuid:193885:40009 kuid:193885:40010 kuid:75263:27313 Any assistance in finding these would be welcome, as would advice on how to join website (I've tried to answer the security question with basic Czech, and failed repeatedly). The specific download page for the route is:

Railsim Playthrough, 2016

20 Jun 2016 418
Railsim is one of the oldest train simulators I own, and it looks even older. However, it is still one of my favorites. In this playthrough, I try out the fictional Redwood-Blacktown commuter route (in the USA/CAN version of the simulator) with a freight train headed by 4 SD40-2 diesels. Railsim can still be downloaded from: Jens Schubert has since developed a sequel known as ZUSI available here:

2015 NRHS Convention, Ludlow Excerpt

20 Jun 2016 404
This is an excerpt of the video I took on the last day of the NRHS Convention, during the Father's Day excursion on the Green Mountain Railroad. This is a brutal cut from the original, as I needed it to be under 10 minutes, and under 30MB, so it's less than a fifth of the original cut, with the original MOD files being much longer.

Green Mountain #405 on Ludlow Bridge, Edited and C…

21 Jun 2015 403
Here's Green Mountain #405. This actually wasn't my first time riding behind this unit, as I had also ridden the entire length of the Green Mountain Railroad behind it in 1990.

Wye, Edited Version, Ludlow, Vermont, USA, 2015

21 Jun 2015 389
This was on the final day of the 2015 NRHS Convention, which happened to fall on Father's Day. As a result, a special Father's Day excursion was run on the Green Mountain Railroad to Ludlow, Vermont from Rutland. The only motive power was Green Mountain #405, an Alco RS-1, which was behind me when I shot this. The coaching stock was the same that had been used for the previous excursions that I had been on.

2015 NRHS Convention, North Bennington/Hoosic Jct.…

19 Jun 2016 284
This was the excursion to Hoosic Junction mentioned in my earlier photo from North Bennington. My camera battery started to die when we got to North Bennington, so footage beyond that point is not included. To reiterate, this excursion included Vermont Railway #301, an EMD GP40, and #311, a GP40-2LW, for motive power, and Green Mountain Railroad coaching stock. You can see Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express at the beginning.

Vermont Railway #301 & 311, Edited Version, North…

20 Jun 2015 365
This was at North Bennington on the second to last day of the 2015 NRHS National Convention, the first such convention when I didn't have a working conventional camera. This was not deliberate, as I had brough the Pentax MZ-10 out of retirement, only to see it die on the 19th of June, which was the third to last day of the Convention. I still had the cameraphone, which I shot this with, but I mostly compensated by shooting video, something I had never done at an NRHS Convention before. This was at the North Bennington end of an excursion operated by Vermont Railway diesels, both of them GP40's, which are now so old as to be almost heritage units. The lead unit is #301, which looks roughly like any other GP40, but the trailing unit is a GP40-2LW, which has a safety cab and other modifications for service on the Canadian National. Another spotting feature that it has is a lowered center radiator fan, making it look a bit like a GP35, which had me confused at first. In general, EMD diesels sold in Canada had a number of special features, both from the factory and through later rebuilds, including some of the earlier safety cabs. Today, these features are less noticeable, as during the 1990's most of the Canadian features were adopted by American railroads. In addition, many Canadian variants have ended up in service in the U.S., as here. The passenger stock was the same mix as that used for the Omya excursion on the previous day, being a mix of heavyweight and streamline stock, but all of it being owned (operated?) by the Green Mountain Railroad. As one final aside, this excursion was technically to Hoosic Junction, but North Bennington was the last station on the route, and it was here that this photo runby was done. My video camera battery also died at about this point.

2015 NRHS Convention, Omya Excursion Excerpt

19 Jun 2016 292
This was about where I discovered that the Pentax MZ-10 wouldn't be working for the convention, so this video starts as we arrive in Florence, Vermont, where Omya have a Limestone quarry and slurry plant. This excursion was operated by Vermont Railway EMD GP40 #301, and GP40-2LW #311, using Green Mountain Railroad passenger stock.

1925 Ford Model T station wagon at Mohawk Valley C…

15 Jun 2015 2 1 530
During my 2015 visit to Central New York, I saw this Ford Model T woodie wagon numerous times, but I have very little idea of its history. This website seems to be about it: However, I can't be sure, as the Model T on that website lacks a lot of this one's distinct custom features, like the cowbells hanging from the suspension. The spare tire also doesn't match the photo on the website. It occurs to me that they may have been part of the same fleet of taxis serving the Poughkeepsie railroad station. This was, in fact, the original purpose of all station wagons, hence the name. They became popular family transportation much later. The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan maintains a small fleet of these woodies so that visitors can ride in Ford's most famous and revolutionary product (the Mustang, after all, did not originate personal motoring).

Abandoned Farm Equipment in the Root Glen, Edited…

14 Jun 2015 207
This is way back in the woods in the Root Glen. It isn't clear what it is, but the seat seems to indicate a piece of farming equipment of some kind. I'm fairly sure it isn't a tractor, but beyond that, any further information would be interesting.

Abandoned Farm Equipment in the Root Glen, Edited…

14 Jun 2015 243
The Root Glen, on the grounds of Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, is named not for having a lot of roots (although it does due to the trees), but for Oren Root, a professor of Mathematics at Hamilton College who was the father of Elihu Root, who is usually the person more associated with the Glen. Elihu Root, was a Senator for New York (1909-1915), United States Secretary of War (1899-1904), and United States Secretary of State (1905-1909). Eventually he also studied at Hamilton College, as did his son, also named Elihu Root. According to this website: ...the Glen is officially named after the Root family, who maintained it until 1971, when it was fully transferred to Hamilton College

Munchen Hbf Sign Reading, Edited Version, Mannheim…

21 May 2015 428
This sign is actually only the platform destination board showing what train is at the platform, so this wasn't taken in Munich at all. Instead, this was Mannheim, where I got my bus to Prague. This put my arrival time at 1618, hours behind the scheduled time of 0927. Controversially, however, CNL457 has since been withdrawn, as DB have decided to replace all their sleepers with ICE high speed trains. However, a number of sleeper trains operated by foreign companies will remain.

Siegburg/Bonn Bahnhof, Edited Version, Siegburg, N…

21 May 2015 448
This was the sixth stop on the route, and the last before Frankfurt. Bonn is more interesting in historic terms generally, rather than having much to do with railways. During the Cold War, Bonn was the capital of West Germany.

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