A "Virtual Railroad" Would Be Cool

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Cannonball, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Any programmers in here? :D

    I was just thinking that it would be cool if there were a program or game where you could lay out a railroad, add scenerey, and actually see trains running on it. Something with really great graphics and sound. Heck, they make flight simulators so why not a railroad simulator? Just thinking out loud but it seems like a cool idea to me.
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    There is a Microsoft program called Locomotive Engineer or something. Others will know more than I do about that. Also other virtual reality programs out there that let you build and operate a railroad. Check Model Railroader magazine and some of the railroad fan magazines for ads.
  3. 2-8-2

    2-8-2 Member

    There's a handful of train type games out there: Railroad Tycoon series, Sid Meyer's Trains!, Microsoft Train Simulator, etc.
  4. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Really? Cool!
    I'm gonna have to find one or two of these. :thumb:
  5. RonP

    RonP Member of the WMRC

    I thought you meant DCC by internet now that would be cool.
  6. Buddog

    Buddog Member

    Trainz 2006 by a company called Auran http://www.auran.com/TRS2006/index.php is really good, don't use it myself but my father who's retired has it uses it every day. He has a layout on it that he has been building for months takes two hours for a train to go full circle, graphics are amazing. The computer he has running it is super fast and he's put thousands of hours and dollars into it, but he loves it.

    I myself will stick to HO, but I like the hands on approach..

  7. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    If you're really interested in this, and are proficient with your computer, Railroad Model Craftsman had a two-part feature on virtual model railroading in the August and September 2005 issues. My computer skills :rolleyes: are well-known, but I read the articles anyway, and found the concept to be quite interesting. The author used software called Trainz Railroad Simulator, created by Auran Games, designed to run on a PC using Windows. There's more in the two articles than I can explain here, but the author recreated the Gilpin Tramway in Colorado. And I do mean recreated: the entire railroad, with all of the trackage, the same number of turnouts, all of the mines, towns, terrain, etc. The terrain was duplicated using Digital Elevation Models, obtained from the U.S. government either for free or at a very low cost. As an example of how accurate and complete this reproduction is, the author had a photo of an accident that was labelled as having been taken at a certain location. However, there were details in the photo that didn't agree with the stated location, nor did the terrain. By "flying" along the route of the virtual railroad, he was able to find the true location of the wreck and identify mill buildings in the background of the photo.
    You can recreate any railroad, if you have the time, complete with all of the towns, cities, structures, etc. Or you can pick a location and freelance a virtual railroad. The line that the author chose was only 26 miles long, and it looks like this is a fairly complex project, so you might want to investigate further before deciding to recreate the latest version of UP or BNSF. You should have no trouble obtaining the appropriate back issues.
    If you've no room for a layout, and very little money for "hardware", you could instead buy "software", and build the layout in your computer. It appears to be as complex and as time consuming as building a three-dimensional layout though, and, if you build well, just as rewarding.

  8. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Thanks guys.
    (Man this forum is quick!) :)

    I found a copy of Microsoft Train Simulator on eBay for $10.00 so I hit the BIN and I'm gonna give that a shot. I still want to build actual models but this way I can do a massive layout and not take up 3/4ths of the house. :D

    Maybe we should start a "virtual railroad" section on the forum? :D
  9. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    That would be extremely cool. Run your trains by computer!
    Railsounds through a 200W home theater speaker system! (Yes, my computer has a 200W speaker system. :D ) Switch tracks, turn on lights, activate sounds, and camcord the whole thing right from your desktop!

    I want one. :(
  10. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Ah Train Simulator, now there is something I haven't played in awhile. That is a good one to use.
  11. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    I have used "Trainz" by www.auran.com to make layout ideas for a couple years or so now. I also have used the new one in demo form because it has 'Surveyor' mode on it. Personally I think it rocks.
    If you want to have avirtual layout that is the way to go.
    You can make as many layouts as you want to. So long as you don't run out of hard drive space :D LOL

    Anyhow, that is what I use. :)

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