Trainz simulator

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by medic1772, Dec 7, 2004.

  1. medic1772

    medic1772 New Member

    I am a beginner. have never built a layout,only had toy trains that I ran in an oval.In trying to learn would the computer program Trainz simultor be helpful in planning a layout and learning about railroad operations.My dad is retired from CSX but does not want to model, says he road trains long enough.I am a Medic,but have always loved Trains.Thanks for any advice on this.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    From what I know about Trainz, I would say yes, it could be useful. I think I read that it is possible to create and run a layout sized "world" in Trainz, but not in Microsoft Train Sim.

    You might also try looking over at the Model Railroader forums, I seem to recall there was a lot of interest in sims over the summer.

  3. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

    Might I suggest one of the track planning programs? I have PlanIt3D which is a 3D CAD type program that will allow you to run trains on your completed "layout". The bonus is that when you are ready to actually build it, the program allows you to design the benchwork, wiring and just about anything you can think of. The learning curve is high but the learned skills and results are worth it.
  4. SteamerFan

    SteamerFan Member

    the trainz simulator will definatly give you a feel for how a real train operates. even let's you build vertual worlds to test things out.

    want to know how many cars a real sd40 can pull up that 2.73% grade without helpers? Tainz will do it, even stalls the engine if it's under powered for the task. Track planning software won't do that for you.

    If you're wanting to do some prototypical work and have no practical knowledge of how railroads work, Trainz will help you learn. Take what you learn in trainz and then design and build a model railroad that seems more realistic than just building one to perscieved ideas.
  5. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    Hi medic, and welcome to the Gauge.

    I'd second CalFlash and suggest a model RR CAD-program, when you really want to use it for model RR planning. (CalFlash, did you mean 3rdPlanIt?)

    I own both TRAINZ and 3rdPlanIt.

    You can have a look what is possible with 3rdPlanIt in their homepage , as well as on my website, where I have lots of pics (of my track plan and layout previews ) made with this program. It's not exactly cheap, but I never regretted that I bought it. I 'built' my whole layout first on the computer, and now I'm underway in my basement. :)

    TRAINZ is quite different. You construct whole landscapes with ground structures, trees, water, buildings, roads (with moving traffic) and LOTS of rolling stock. You can literally dowload thousands of items from the web and the result is very pleasing to the eye... BUT...
    There are a few snags. TRAINZ is a hardware hog, i.e. you have to have a FAST computer to get non-jerky movement. And IMHO it is NOT very useful for layout planning, because you hardly ever would lay a curve in a true model radius - it looks somewhat ridiculous. Even if you do, it isn't easy at all to get dimensions from your virtual railroad which can be used for the construction of a real model RR.
    It is, however, graphically a great simulation, you can build whole worlds with automated traffic and pre-programmed tasks to rain specific trains. I'd say that running TRAINZ can even become addictive and a full-time hobby in itself. This is ideal for somebody who has no opprtunity to build a real layout.

    I was a very busy TRAINZ runner until I got my basement room and started construction on my TC&W RR. Now I relegated TRAINZ for occasional late hour shifts. IMO the 3D version of (model) railroading beats the virtual RRs like TRAINZ (and MS Train Simulator) any time.


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