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TrainPlayer Guide To Games Contents

A TrainPlayer Game is a special kind of layout set up for the user to "play" -- to follow instructions, carry out switching tasks, deliver cars to their destinations. Most of the game layouts are scripted, meaning they are programmed to automatically provide instructions, monitor progress, and give a reward when the job is done.

If you would like to learn how these games work or create some yourself, you'll find lots of reading matter on the TrainPlayer Scripting Page

To find the layouts listed below, open the Layout Chooser (File > Open Layout) and look under Games or Switches and Puzzles.  If you don't find what you want, go to the Web tab and see what is available for download.

Switch Games

Scripted Switch Games

The design intent behind Switch Games was to provide TrainPlayer users with a variety of realistic switching scenarios upon which they could build their shunting skills and for pure enjoyment. The main difference between Switch Games and traditional OPS in TrainPlayer is that with Switch Games, we use custom car labels and industry limit markers to guide your actions without requiring you to juggle multiple screens to find your switch list or car listings. Everything you need to complete the task in Switch Games is on screen for you. 

From the chart you will see that the majority of the games are rated at a skill level from medium to challenging in terms of the complexity of the moves required to successfully achieve your prize – a cherished Tee shirt! Several of the games feature multiple engines, each with their own switching assignments and others will include a scripted train which will either bring a cut of cars to you to shift about, or they are running to a scripted schedule and creating “interference” for you while you try to complete your switching task.

Layout Difficulty Level Time to Complete
Ajax Junction  2 scenarios 1=med, 2 Chall. 60+ min.total
Alcos in the Alcove Challenging 45 min.
Block Line - Switch Job Challenging 45 min.
Block Line - Yard Job Medium 30 min,
Cedar Creek Industrial Park Medium 40 min.
Clearwater Sub CSX Challenging 60 min.
CNR Port Dover - afternoon session Challenging 45 min. +
CSX Mindheim Branch 2 scenarios Medium + 40 – 60 min.
Freezer Burn Medium + 35 min
Fremont Branch 4 scenarios Medium + 1 – 2 hours total
Iron Bridge Medium 30 min.
Minnesota Transfer Railway Medium 45 min.
Orangeville South Branch Medium 1 hour
Oxbow Sub   4 scenarios Challenging 1 – 2 hours total
Palace Rd. Wharf Challenging 50 -60 min.
Port  Byron Medium + 40 – 50 min
Sebring Branch Medium + 40 – 50 min
Stearns Medium 40 min
Stratford sub Medium + 40 -50 min.
Switching Black Label Brewery Medium 40 min.

Names in bold are delivered to your local drive by the installer; others are available in the web chooser.

Switch Games were designed to be single play switching assignments.  Several have now been converted to the newer DOG system which allows for multiple repeats of the same layout but with a new assignment each time.

DOG Games

Directed Operations Generator [ DOG ] Games

The DOG games are the direct descendant of Switch Games and would not have been possible without the skills developed for those earlier versions.  The main difference with DOG games is that the number of scenarios which you can run from one layout are literally limited only by how long you wish to keep playing the same layout.  Most of the DOG games have in fact been tested out over a minimum of 4 scenarios per game to a maximum of 15 scenarios , all checked and verified.  While we have worked hard to ensure that each scenario that is offered on a DOG layout can be successfully completed, there may be some scenarios where, due to the random nature of the waybill generator we use, you will not have sufficient siding capacity to complete your assignment.  But, here’s where another strong feature of DOG games comes into play, you can SAVE your progress on your chosen layout and you can always re-start that layout from your saved position and try a new switching challenge.

For a complete description of how the DOG works, including how to use it yourself to create game layouts, see the PDF document About A Dog.


We have had a good deal of fun developing a “Dog House” of subroutines which houses subroutines called TopDog, GoodDog, BloodHound, BullDog, PuppyDog – you get the idea.  And of course, when you solve a puzzle, you win, that’s right – a DogBone!  We hope you enjoy the DOG games and that you will be howling with pleasure while you play along.

Layout Difficulty Level
Burnt Cabin – similar to the TimeSaver Challenging
Chexton Industrial Estate – UK shunting Medium
Crossroads – lots of small yards to monitor Medium
Foxfield Green – UK layout, small yard & interchange Medium
Iota – small town with an active flour mill Medium
Meafurst – small junction town Easy to Medium
Mount Brydges Branch – a busy Midwest city Challenging
Pecos Canyon Route – a narrow gauge shortline Challenging
The Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes RR Challenging
UP Switch Challenge – an Inglenook type puzzle Easy
Waterloo Spur Challenging
Windemere – a mid sized junction town Medium +

 Older Scripts and Puzzles

Switch Puzzles, Scripted Layouts, Scripting Examples

Under Layouts\Scripts and Puzzles are three subfolders of layouts with scripts developed at various times and at various levels of sophistication.  Most are enjoyable to run and serve as useful examples for students of scripting. 

Layout Description
Inglenook Sidings shunting cars into correct order in a small yard.  Beat the clock
Puzzle 1 simple chore - swap cars while obeying the rules.  Interactive or automated
Puzzle 2 2 short trains on main line need to share and pass, using one siding
Puzzle 3 circumnavigate a short wye
Standoff Puzzle 2 long trains on main line need to share and pass, using two short spurs
Switchman's Headache switching cars at an industry siding requires planning
Timesaver Challenge John Allen's famous puzzle with 5 cars and an engine.  Beat the clock
Timesaver Random Another version with 7 cars and an engine to spot.  Beat the clock
Junction Coal to Big Flats Interactive follow directions to drive a unit coal train 
Junction Coal to Big Flats fully automated version of unit coal train operations
Turtle Creek Central with script popular Kalmbach layout automated with a script running some ops
Kettle Hills & Eastern with Helper script to provide helper to push over a rugged area
Kettle Hills & Eastern with Train Meet script of a typical train "meet" order
MSRy Water Usage Scripts script to keep track of water usage for steam engines
Tremont & Cambridge RR Scripted train and junction scripts working together on the L27
LPRR - Script Generated Trains demonstrates using a script to generate cars on the La Plata
Cerro Azul RR with script popular switchback layout with simple train script
Iron Ridge & Mayville scripted demo of a sawby meet
Loading Cars using junction actions demo of a user driven JA feature to load hopper cars
Gorre and Daphetid, by Peter Lloyd-Lee scripted train to Ferry Slip, ferry sailing and cars disappearing off the deck
Kleinbahn Freider Cramer's scripted layout with OPS
PM&IRR - Speed Switching scripted hotkey functions to allow control of multiple trains
PM&IRR - SS with Physics scripted hotkey functions, with Phake Physics to simulate car mass
Midthorpe Branch (Automated Demo) fully automated version showing OPS with 7 different trains
Midthorpe Branch (Interactive Demo) drive a train while avoiding busy traffic on the main line. Follow directions!
Rheilfford Bach watch a "day in the life" of a narrow gauge railway 
Two Dollar Line scripted Hans Olson's home layout with scripted activities

Names in bold are delivered to your local drive by the installer; others are available in the web chooser.


Most offerings on this page -- the DOG system, the ops-oriented layouts, the scripts and subroutines, the text descriptions, the ideas behind the games, the artistic scenery and custom cars -- are due to the efforts of our two "resident" experts, Bruno Pigozzo in Canada and Richard Fletcher in England.  These gents continue to share their creative energies with the TrainPlayer community and to push the envelope of virtual railroading.

Also contributing in various ways were Mark Johnson, Peter Prunka, Greg Ritacco, Hans Olson.  Thank you all.

DOG Games
Scripts & Puzzles

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