Route Building Diary

16th June 2015

2015 has been a lean year so far with just one route (the Duchal Moor for TS12) actually released. Have started quite a few projects, but none got much further than laying track or a bit of scenery before losing interest - sorry.

Hobby seems to be in a bit of a state of flux at present. Was eagerly awaiting the release of Trainz: A New Era (TANE) so kind of held back on doing anything significant on older versions. Sadly, being polite, TANE delivered somewhat below expectations and at present is just too buggy and resource hungry to contemplate building a route. Hopefully N3V can deliver some significant improvements in the coming months but having (apparently) dismissed some two thirds of their permanent staff I have to wonder how this might be achieved, or if the company will even survive as a going concern.

TS2015 (Railworks) would be the obvious choice, but the standard of payware content now being produced by both DTG and independent associates, with access to artists who can produce quality custom models in their sleep, kind of renders any home hobby effort irrelevant (IMHO). The TS2015 route editor continues to frustrate in some areas - notably terrain painting - and of course with the annual upgrade to TS2016 looming and a possible more fundamental change to the UE4 game engine in the future casts some doubt over the longevity of anything created in a current version.

I even got as far as reinstalling old MSTS and kicked off a couple of short routes. However it didn't take long to decide, even with the boost provided by being able to run in Open Rails, that MSTS looks and feels like the 15 year old software that it is. Memories of all the old problems - database rebuilds, vector errors etc., combined with general instability running on modern hardware renders it a tool for the devotee only.

So at the moment I'm trying to get a couple of ideas going in Trainz TS2010, set myself the task of producing a route which only uses assets built into the core game, which can be uploaded and played without any reliance on hosting or assets from the N3V Download Station (kind of an insurance policy against the worst happening, if you like). Check back in, oh let's say six weeks and hopefully I'll have an update and positive news about some forthcoming projects.

3rd October 2013

It's been a while since I updated this page so have decided to go with a clean start and sheet to describe my antics.

As you may have seen on the front page I recently completed a route based on the Raquette Railway for TS2014 (Railworks) which has been successfully uploaded to the Steam Workshop. I'm still keen to put together routes in both TS2014 and Trainz (TS12 Version 49922) and as of now the following routes are in various states of (in)completion:


Knottingley Coal - a mainly industrial route from Pontefract to Goole in Yorkshire, serving various collieries and power stations.
Ohrid Line - a standard gauge mashup of the once famous Macedonian narrow gauge line.
Alson branch - the line from Haltwhistle.

TRAINZ TS12 (This is where it gets interesting!)

The Chernobyl Line - a massive 120 mile cross country route which includes the area around the infamous nuclear power plant.
Alderney Railway - a very small Channel Isles route.
Line 39 and 44 - an attempt at a Brussels tram route.
Mullingar to Athlone via Moate - recreating a now closed Irish route.
North Sunderland branch - Chathill to Seahouses.

There may be others!

Having just completed a route for TS2014 my focus is now turning to finishing one or more of the Trainz routes - probably the Irish one - but as you can see plenty to keep me occupied!

Back to Home