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TrainPlayer / TrackLayer 4.0

Welcome to 4.0, the Ops version -- operating your railroad for fun and profit!

Profit comes from paying customers with goods to ship.  The job of your railroad is to supply cars to ship the goods, engines to move the cars, personnel to run the engines, and a plan of action which gets the cars where they need to go.

TrainPlayer 4.0 Ops provides everything you need to simulate this activity except the personnel.  The paying customers are industries you create around your layout, each shipping or receiving whatever types of goods you specify.  The goods are loads you can haul in cars -- choose them from a big catalog or create them yourself.  The work orders are switchlists, generated randomly and automatically by the program to tell you what goods go where, by what means.  You (the engineer) get your work orders, hop in the cab, and move the freight.

Version 4.0 represents over a year's work, on top of two decades of TrainPlayer development.  It is a free upgrade for users of previous versions, but the full Ops system costs extra (unless you have purchased recently).  For details, see How To Upgrade below.  If you are new to TrainPlayer, see How To Buy.


Industries.  Lay the groundwork for commerce on your railroad.

An industry is a named area on the track where goods are shipped and received.  You can create these by hand, giving them your own custom lists of incoming and outgoing loads (see screen shot below).  Or, you can call up the Industry Browser and choose from a list of standard railroad industries, pre-configured with loads.  Or, you can let the Industry Generator populate your layout with a random mix of industries, created to be compatible with the cars on the layout.  Or, you can take the easy route -- download one of our many ops-ready layouts, already equipped with industries.

Loads.  Load your cars with goods.

Ops comes with a large catalog of goods you can carry in freight cars.  For open-top cars, like gondolas and flatcars, the loads have pictures, so cars look loaded in both side and top views.  For closed cars, like boxcars, loads are shown as text.  For both types, you browse, select, and edit them in the new Load Chooser, which is easy because it looks and works just like the Car Chooser.  Data behind the scenes ensures that loads and car types match, so you can't, say, load milk on a flatcar.

Switchlists.  Get your work orders from the yardmaster.

A switchlist is a set of instructions for moving cars.  It might tell you to deliver an empty hopper from the yard to the quarry, pick up a couple of filled ones and set them out on the interchange.  Each time you click Generate Ops, the program generates a random switchlist, presented as text in one window and as a grid of data in another (see picture under Ops Windows).  Your job is to carry out the indicated moves.

Waybills.  Take orders from your customers.

A waybill is an order from an industry for services from the railroad.  The Ops Generator creates these automatically, based on loads shipped and received at the industries on the layout.  As with other parts of Ops, you don't really need to deal with these or even know about them, but they are part of the real-world process and it's educational to see how they fit in.

Generators.  Let the program do the work.

Generators are new under-the-hood devices for making random choices, used by Ops in various ways.  The Station Generator populates your layout with stations having random names.  The Industry Generator creates industries to match the cars on the layout.  The Yard Finder locates track patterns which look like yards.  The Interchange Generator picks a track suitable for interchange with external roads. The Ops Generator puts it all together and creates a switchlist.

Yards and Interchanges.  Provide terminals for your freight traffic.

A typical delivery from an industry involves a series of moves and some special locations.  An empty car is pulled from a yard and taken to the industry, where it is filled, then set out on an interchange to be picked up and hauled away.  In Version 4.0, you can create yards and interchanges by hand, or let the generators find them for you, or download an ops-ready layout which already has them.

Ops Windows.  Manage your paperwork.

There is a lot of data associated with Ops, and special new windows to view and interact with it all.  These windows are dockable, interactive grids, with columns you can choose and rearrange as you see fit.  Rows are dynamically updated as trains move.  Grid contents can be printed, sorted on any column, copied and pasted into a spreadsheets.  One ops window shows the current switchlist, another shows an inventory of all the cars on your layout.

Ops Wizard.  Set it all up with a few clicks.

The easy way to prep your layout for Ops is to use the Ops Setup Wizard.  This leads you through the steps of generating stations, industries, yards, interchanges, and an initial switchlist.  You can run it once and save the results, or run it repeatedly for a new challenge every session.

Default Car Sets.  Move up to a higher class of rolling stock.

Cartoonish car pictures are a thing of the past!  Now when you click a button on the toolbar, you get a sharp-looking car from a set in the style of your choice.  The program comes with Steam and Modern sets, and you can download others -- currently we have a beautiful set of Lionel cars, and a set based on the famous Gorre & Daphetid RR.

Color Codes.  Visualize your day's work at a glance.

To aid you in understanding what the switchlist is telling you, car tops and industry areas have matching color codes.  Your work orders can be interpreted as: deliver the purple car to the purple station, the green to the green, and so on.  What makes this especially useful is the ability to turn on one color at a time, so you can highlight each move separately.

Ops-Ready Layouts.  Skip the setup and just start operating.

As part of the development of Ops, we have gone through hundreds of layouts on our website and prepared them for ops use.  Stations and industries have been created to match the layout background.  Cars have been added and balanced to be suitable for the industries.  Yards and interchanges identified by hand.

To get an ops-ready layout, go to the Web tab of your Layout chooser and look for the new column Ops.  A Y in this column means the layout is ready for you to download and operate.

How to Buy
If you are new to TrainPlayer -- welcome!  Grab a credit card and click one:

    TrainPlayer 4.0 / OPERATOR with Ops $59  Buy...
      TrackLayer 4.0 / BUILDER with Ops $99  Buy...

TrainPlayer / OPERATOR -- for running trains on pre-built layouts. Includes TrainPlayer, standard layouts and car collections, 101 Track Plans, ops, scripting tools.  TrackLayer / BUILDER -- for building and running layouts. Includes all the above plus: track tools, scenery toolkit, premium layouts and cars.  Click takes you to the checkout page, where a credit card will be required.  Purchase includes free e-mail support, free updates with bug fixes and enhancements until next major release.
How to Upgrade
If you are already a licensed user -- thank you!  You can upgrade free to 4.0 and get many new features.  For the full Ops system, there is a $29 charge*. To proceed:
1.  Click to download and install 4.0 ==> Download 4.0

 2.  When you start the program, you get a Welcome to 4.0 dialog. To upgrade to Ops, click the Purchase Upgrade button.  Or choose Purchase Upgrade from the Help menu.

*If you purchased the program recently (since 12/1/10) -- you are entitled to a free upgrade.  Send e-mail to info@trainplayer.com to request your license.

Features free with 4.0 upgrade: Industries, Loads, Yards, Interchanges, Default Car Sets.
Features in the $29 Ops upgrade: Switchlists, Waybills, Generators, Ops Windows, Ops Wizard, Color Codes.

Fine Print

Requirements.  Programs run under Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 /8.  An internet connection is useful but not essential -- you need one to browse and download content from the web, but you can run without it when using content from your disk or DVD.  Disk space: you need only about 30MB to install the program files, but will want more than that to download content from web or DVD -- around 800MB for the full premium content.

Delivery on DVD.  Products are available on DVD for a $10 shipping charge.  This includes all purchased content, so no download is needed.  To request a DVD, use the Shipping drop-down menu on the checkout page ==>

Note: Version 4.0 DVD's will be shipping around June 15, 2011.

License agreement.  Our license agreement is displayed during install and reproduced in the Readme file.  It says you are allowed to install the program on as many computers as you like, as long as you don't sell or give away the license key.

Version 4.0 Features
Yards & Interchanges
Ops Windows
Ops Wizard
Default Car Sets
Color Codes
Ops-Ready Layouts

How to Buy

How to Upgrade

Fine Print

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