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Imagine this scenario. Say it's your birthday. You turn on the basement light and discover that someone has left you a surprise -- a room-sized, scenery-covered, fully-wired model railroad, with shiny nickel track, dozens of trains, and a brand-new power pack in the corner with its green light on. TrainPlayer is designed for people who dream about scenarios like this.

TrainPlayer is a simulation of model railroading on pre-built layouts. It comes with hundreds of layouts, an infinite supply of cars, and a snazzy walnut-and-brass power pack. It couldn't be easier to use -- you just call up a layout, pick a train, crank the speed dial, and you're off and running -- yet it's packed with features so you can vary and tailor the experience in plenty of ways.

Users tell us they continue to enjoy TrainPlayer long after their high-end railroad simulations have been gathering dust on the disk.  They say they don't want to climb learning curves or spend a week getting a layout set up -- they just want to run trains.

Running Trains with TrainPlayer

Choose a layout.  We have hundreds of great layouts of all shapes and sizes, equipped with track and trains, ready to run. The collection includes our Premium collection of stunning layouts from professional railroad designers, and hundreds of fascinating layouts contributed by users. The entire set is on our website, where you can browse through thumbnail images -- click once to download your choice -- or you can have them all delivered at once on CD.

Build some trains.  TrainPlayer brings you a virtual car cabinet, with almost a thousand types of cars and locomotives and an infinite supply of each. Browse through our collections on the web, click to download the sets you like, build your own set from scratch, or kitbash using our new Paint-Your-Own cars. Just click a car to deposit it on the track. Edit trains naturally using copy and paste.

Run the trains.  It is a pleasure to operate a virtual model railroad in TrainPlayer. The control panel has everything you need to drive a train -- smooth logarithmic speed control with adjustable acceleration, realistic coupling and uncoupling, one-click or automatic switch throwing, your choice of steam and diesel sounds -- all in a stylish simulation of a classic power pack familiar to any model railroader. Run more than one train at a time. Get a running report of arrivals and departures. Choose whether a collision results in a messy crash or a lazy bounce.

Program the operation.  Teach your trains to run themselves! Turn on the train recorder, run through some operations and capture the action so you can play it back any time. Work out a set of yard operations, capture it in a script so you can show it at the next club meet.  Or skip the recorder and try your hand at programming! Write scripts using TrainPlayer Control Language, a simple set of train-driving commands you can type into a text file, then play back, rewind, edit, or extend. TrainPlayer offers a complete environment for editing and debugging scripts, and watching them execute in real time.

  • Smooth train movement.  Flicker-free display follows tracks precisely.  Smooth cornering via simulated trucks.

  • Stylish cars.  Choose from a thousand car types.  Cars are displayed in side view on the control panel, top view on the layout.

  • Car chooser allows browsing large collections of cars on local drive and on web.  Easy download a set at a time.

  • Classy control panel.  Full-featured walnut-and-brass control panel works smoothly and intuitively.  Rotate the dial or click to auto-rotate. 

  • For more compact controls, the train control toolbar has everything you need to operate: speed slider, forward/reverse, uncouple.

  • Natural coupling via bump contact.  Easy uncoupling: click to indicate where, then click to uncouple.

  • Train tree shows all trains on the layout in tree form, for easy navigation and train selection.

  • Junction window shows close-up view of switch area and allows switch throwing.

  • Easy, intuitive train building and editing.  Copy/paste can be used on cars or entire trains.

  • One click throws a switch to the next position.  Multi-position switches are possible, such as for double slipswitches.

  • Schedule window shows arrivals and departures in real time.

  • Scale clock can be run at any multiple of normal wall-clock speed.

  • Layouts can be linked together, so train leaves one and jumps immediately to the other. 

  • Invisible hyperspace routes can be used to connect layers or modules -- train on one end jumps instantly to the other.

  • Control panel offers a compact, "minimized": style for saving space on screen.

  • Yard mode operation allows speed dial or slider to control both speed and direction.  Drop speed below zero and train goes into reverse.

  • Adjustable acceleration/deceleration when starting and stopping.

  • Layout chooser offers convenient access to large numbers of layouts, both stored locally and on the web.  Collections can be browsed by thumbnail image, downloaded with one click. 

  • Tree of layout folders can be modified, for example to add a folder of your own favorites.  Folders can be dragged in from Windows Explorer.

  • Trains have your choice of horn sound.  Choose from web collection of steam whistles, diesel horns, bells.  Horn sounds on button press, stops on release.

  • Scripting of operations.  Scripting is a rich feature which allows you to develop or record, then play back, sequences of operation involving one or more trains.  A complete development and debugging environment is supplied. 

  • Zoom features.  Several methods are provided for zooming in and out to a particular location or zoom level, including zoom to a dragged rectangle.  You can zoom in very close, even on a large layout. 

  • Auto-follow.  The view scrolls smoothly as the train moves to keep it in sight.  Landscape rolls by.

  • Space bar throws the upcoming switch, i.e., next one coming up in the train's route.

  • Run more than one train at a time.  Click to select a train and attach it to the control panel, start it running, then switch to another and control it while the first continues on.

  • Create more than one view on the screen.  Each view can have its own zoom level, so you can have one window showing a close-up following the train, another showing the entire layout as your tiny train crawls around it.

  • Layout-connected sounds provide atmosphere as you travel.  Hear roosters crow as you pass the farm, or sirens as you travel through the city.  Choose from a varied set of sounds.

  • Stations.  You can define regions on the layout which have names, so that the program knows when a train is arriving or departing from a named location.  Some layouts come with pre-defined stations, or you can create your own.  Future features will take further advantage of these in operational enhancements.

  • Trains hide when passing through tunnels, shown in outline only so you can see where they are.  When going beneath underpasses, they hide completely and are clipped precisely (true on layouts with clip regions defined).

  • Turntables rotate smoothly, stop when bridge track aligns with next connection.  You choose the direction of rotation, or let the program go the shortest route.  Or specify a stopping point and the table will rotate to that one.

  • Several non-prototypical conveniences allow you to place trains easily.  One click reverses a train end for end.  Right-click a spot on the track and choose to move it there instantly.

  • Product includes the TrainPlayer Screen Saver, a Windows screen saver which fills your screen with railroading enjoyment.  Follow a train as it takes a leisurely tour through your layout collection.  Interact with it!  Keyboard commands can be used to change train speed or direction, jump to a different layout, or modify the show. 

  • Windows and toolbars offer a choice of style, from XP to Vista.  The new default is a custom TrainPlayer style in a rich brown color.

  • Tabbed preferences dialog offers convenient tuning of adjustable variables for operation and display.

  • Choose a collision mode: harmless bounce vs. destructive crash.

  • Comes with complete, highly-rated documentation in online help system or PDF file.


Running Trains


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