I'm sure many of you have noticed, I no longer post my monthly challenges. I'm sorry about that, to those who miss them. In fact, I had hoped the community would take up the torch and run with it, but it hasn't really happened. The closest has been what niels20020 did with the Weekly Word concept - it has been a nice effort and some great results.
This challenge is different. First of all, it's an invitation for collaboration in my country, Ardisphere, rather than a challenge for you own work. It's also quite detailed and difficult. It's for ADVANCED mappers only, and especially for those obsessed with railroads.
Some of you are quite good and knowledgeable about railroads. I'm not. I enjoy thinking about and mapping railroads, but I am not any kind of technical expert.
As you know, I have been placing contours on parts of the Ardisphere. Once contours are in place, I can start to think about very realistic railroads and highways (i.e. "engineered" to match slope, terrain, etc.).
I built one a few months ago, but it was "over-engineered" and was quite baroque and implausible, and it required some excessive modifications to the contours to make it "fit." I have deleted this draft (you might still see it on some lower-number zooms on the TOPO layer, which seems to update rather inconsistently.
Your challenge, should you wish to try, is to design a contour-realistic railroad for this stretch (see map).
Actually, I'm not very well-educated about what realistic standards would be for a 1910's era railroad through this kind of terrain. So that's part of the challenge, too.
In fact, this whole challenge is Thilo's idea, more than mine, which he suggested after providing much-needed criticism of the original railroad draft I built.
1) Research what realistic standards would be for a 1910's era railroad (freight and/or passenger, if those are different). There needs to be thought about curve radii, maximum grades (inclines), maximum tunnel length, maximum cutting depths, maximum bridge lengths and heights, etc.
2) Use the TOPO layer imagery in JOSM to design the railroad (if you don't know how to use the imagery layer, I suppose part of the challenge would be to figure it out - as I said, this is an ADVANCED challenge).
3) As you draw the railroad, record elevation, incline, etc on the ways and nodes. You are free to download some of the other railroads in the Comala region that I've built to see how I do this. I recommend the Comala-Yahuas stretch, which I'm pretty happy with.
4) DO NOT UPLOAD your work - this could create problems both because there may be more than one person working on it, and because I may be working in the region on other things, and conflicts are difficult and unpleasant to deal with. SAVE your work, and upload the OSM file somewhere online so that Thilo and I can look at it in JOSM.
5) Results will be announced in September. Prizes: a) satisfaction knowing you're the best railroad designer in OGF-land; b) a certificate of recognition from the Ferrocarriles Federales (S.A.-Ardesfera) Oficina de Ingenieria, dated 1912, and signed by Presidente Selenio Quiroga.