TrainPlayer News, Sept 2014 -- Version 6.0

After a year and a half in development, Version 6.0 is now chuffing out onto the tracks, shiny, well oiled, and ready to roll!  The main new feature -- Advanced Scripting -- introduces a fun and challenging new pastime for the do-it-yourself armchair railroader. Also new are 50-Pixel Cars, great collections of finely-detailed cars, engines, and freight loads, together with new devices for scaling and viewing trains of all sizes. With plenty of small enhancements and a lot of bolt-tightening under the hood, it's the best TrainPlayer yet -- once again pushing back the frontiers of simulated virtual model railroading technology!

Breaking with tradition, we are charging for the upgrade.  But the price is only $19 regardless of which version you now have -- see How to Obtain 6.0.  If you are not yet a user, check the Newsletter Special below.

New Features in 6.0

Advanced Scripting

Since Version 2, TrainPlayer has offered "scripting," the ability to operate a train from a written series of instructions. Until now, the feature has been somewhat limited and not all that useful, but that changes in Version 6. The set of instructions now includes not just commands but variables, conditionals, expressions, subroutine calls -- a full-blown programming language capable of directing the most complex maneuvers. Scripts need no longer be tied to trains -- a "junction action" is a script attached to a location on the track, triggering whenever a suitable car or train passes by. Working with scripts is convenient thanks to new tools and dialogs, including Script Central, the one-stop workbench and reference guide for script developers.

Scripted layout running, with active statement highlighted.  Click to enlarge.   
  Script Central, showing Reference tab with list of commands and detail window.  Other tabs show scripts.

Users with any kind of programming experience will feel right at home with TrainPlayer scripting. Others can enjoy it without actually doing it -- either by creating scripts automatically using record/playback, or by enjoying pre-scripted layouts prepared by our team of expert authors. Version 6 comes with a folder full of demos, scripted layouts, and switching puzzles cleverly scripted as interactive games.

50-Pixel Cars

Ever since the appearance of the beautifully-detailed Chris Pedersen cars in v. 5.2, our little train-gif images have begun to look rather fuzzy and inadequate.  In 6.0 we fix this problem in a big way, introducing four great new collections of accurate and realistic mid-sized images from the Traffic web site in Germany, carefully chosen and prepared by our resident carmeister Bruno Pigozzo.  Here are some tiny excerpts:

Default Steam
Default Modern
Default British Steam
Default British Modern

These collections are delivered as default car sets, which means they automatically replace most cars on most layouts and you will see them immediately.  Also provided is a fine new set of freight loads at the same level of detail.

Artists who created the Traffic images include: Matthew Brown, Sorin Oprisan, Jerome Flaherty, John Murdock, Brian Clough, James McDonald and John Coldwell (North American); Greg Wilson, Grahame Spencer, Andrew Bonser, Francis Hedley, Tom Homer, Sorin Oprisan and Mark Waters (UK).


Version 6.0 comes with a new folder called Scripts and Puzzles, full of samples and demonstrations of what can be done with scripting.  They're fun to watch, helpful to study, and useful as a source of copyable code. 

In one subfolder are switching puzzles -- exercises to test your yard skills, scripted to become interactive games.  Open one of these and you are presented with an arrangement of cars in a small yard, instructions for where they are to be placed, and a clock.  Beat the clock and win a prize!  Puzzles include well-known classics such as John Allen's famous Timesaver, Inglenook Sidings, and others.


The scripts in 6.0 were produced by our panel of experts, who have been instrumental in designing and testing the new system as it developed over the last eighteen months.  Many thanks to Alan Crookes, Alan Conover, Peter Prunka, Greg Ritacco, Doug Parrish, and especially Richard Fletcher, who has devoted thousands of hours and e-mails to the project, not to mention a certain charming British flavour :-)

And More!  Responses to customer requests, bug fixes, enhancements like these:

  • Improved handling of freight load images
  • Car panels: dynamic resizing of car images of all size categories
  • Car notes: a script-accessible string of data can be attached to a car to use as needed
  • Revert to Saved: easy way to rewind back to a fixed point
  • Improved car and track id system, especially applies to AnyRail imports
  • Fixes in coupling and uncoupling
  • Read-only flag can be applied to layout to prevent accidental overwrite

For more see the web ==>      

How to Obtain 6.0

Version 6.0 is a free upgrade for new users*, but will require a nominal outlay from others.  It's a good deal!  The cost is only $19 to upgrade from any previous version all the way up to the top of the line package, TrackLayer 6.0, with track and scenery tools, ops, scripting, the whole works.

Whether you are upgrading from a previous version or buying for the first time, the recommended procedure is:

1. Click here to download and install the new version ==>
This gets you a demo valid for 30 days.

2. Try the new features, enjoy the new look, run the samples.  Then:

3.  Choose Help > Purchase Upgrade from the main menu.  This brings up a dialog which shows you prices and options, and gives you a one-click route to the shop checkout page.

If you are a new user, the dialog is titled Purchase Product, with prices and options for the new 6.0 products.

If you do not already have them, you can add the Chris Pedersen Car Collections for a special bundle price.  A checkbox in the Purchase dialog gives you this option and shows the price when you check it.

* New user is one who purchased for the first time in 2014.  If you are in this category, send e-mail to request your free upgrade license.  If you are a prospective buyer and find that 30 days is not enough time, send e-mail to request an extension.

Earn a free copy!  Develop a scripted layout we can post for others to download, and we will send you a free 6.0 license.  If interested, ask by e-mail.

Newsletter Special

Full Package - TrainPlayer/TrackLayer 6.0 with Chris Pedersen Cars - only $89

For a limited time, get a great price on everything we have to offer -- 30% off the regular price,  TrackLayer 6.0 includes all of TrainPlayer 6.0, track and scenery tools, the complete Ops system, thousands of layouts and cars, Advanced Scripting, and the full Chris Pedersen Cars collection.  This offer is not available on our Products page, only from this button:


Click takes you to the shopping cart page, where you can check out using Visa, MC, or PayPal.  Obtain product by download or on DVD for an additional charge.  Offer expires 2/2/2015.


  TrainPlayer Software

Questions, complaints, suggestions?  Our help desk is manned by knowledgeable old guys, interested in what you think.

4200 Arcadian Drive
Castro Valley, CA  94546 
Tel:  (707) 320-4246 
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