Rail Passenger USA uses many
resources to research the passenger rail routes and station stops that
comprise our Route Guides. One of the most valuable and entertaining of
these is Google Earth.
The "Fly Me First" feature of Rail Passenger USA allows Google Earth
users to "fly" selected routes from station-stop to station-stop in
route direction. If you haven't downloaded Google
Earth yet, go to http://earth.google.com/
to download the free application.
The application must be down loaded and installed prior to running the
Fly Me First tours.
For example go to Slide 3 of
the California Zephyr Route Guide and click
on one of the fly me first links.
When the selected link is
clicked you will see a window
asking whether you want to "open or save this file". Click "Open" or
"Open using Google Earth". If you click "Open" you will download a
Google Earth ".kmz" file. Double clicking
on the .kmz file icon will download the station locations from
railpassengerusa.com and open them
in Google Earth. If you don't have any other
locations check marked in your Google Earth sidebar, you will zoom to
an overview of
the entire route.
To fly the route simply click
on the "Play Tour" button under "Temporary Places" in the Google Earth
side bar on the left. What you see and how long you stay at a station
will depend on your settings. An "almost infinite" number of settings
are available. Ray prefers the following simple settings.
Checkmarks - Set from "Places" area of the sidebar
Places/Selected Route (e.g.
California Zephyr_Train 06.kmz)
|All Other Places
Checkmarks – Set from "Layers" area of the sidebar
|Borders and Labels
Set to Default
|These are all
subject to personal preference. Hint: the
faster you fly the more bumpy the ride
"Fly Me First" Files
|On the "File" pull
down menu select "Save" then "Save
to My Places"
Have an Enjoyable Flight!