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"HONGZ" stands for HO scale, N scale, G scale, and Z scale.

Post your non-O scale stuff here!

since 2020 i have been doing more v scale railroading along with my usual armchair railroading

v scale stands for virtual railroading and uses computer generated rolling stock

programs like trainz , train sim world and the original microsoft train simulator are a few programs you can use

the best parts in my opinion is you don't need a ton of space or cash

TSW2 DLC'S are about 30 to 60 bucks and you may need to get a capable computer if you don't have one

i have trainz 2019 and train sim world 2 right now and plan on getting TSW3 later on.

do any of you guys do v scale railroading and what do you think of it?

here is a wikipedia article on v scale

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/V_scale_(model_railroading)

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I've dabbled a bit with Dovetail's Train Simulator. Well more than a bit strictly speaking although I haven't touched it in a while. There is a lot of interesting content and trying to operate in a semi-realistic manner.  Downside for me, is that there wasn't as much for areas or railroads that I was interested in.

Microsoft Train Simulator ("MSTS") is quite old but has a depth of freeware trains and routes second to none -- the only trick is getting the old Windows 98-era software to run on modern systems. It's possible, as long as you install it anywhere other than the Program Files default directory (because of modern Windows' "special" security there) and you have to have an Nvidia graphics chipset (unless you want to hunt down some special patches for AMD graphics drivers). Lots of headaches -- but there's Open Rails, which is a modern MSTS replacement that can run all the old routes and rolling stock. Some are dependent on assets in the old MSTS software, so all you have to do is install MSTS someplace convenient and never run it -- run Open Rails instead! Maybe not the latest "eye candy" graphics but excellent physics, and it's being actively developed.

@EricF posted:

Microsoft Train Simulator ("MSTS") is quite old but has a depth of freeware trains and routes second to none -- the only trick is getting the old Windows 98-era software to run on modern systems. It's possible, as long as you install it anywhere other than the Program Files default directory (because of modern Windows' "special" security there) and you have to have an Nvidia graphics chipset (unless you want to hunt down some special patches for AMD graphics drivers). Lots of headaches -- but there's Open Rails, which is a modern MSTS replacement that can run all the old routes and rolling stock. Some are dependent on assets in the old MSTS software, so all you have to do is install MSTS someplace convenient and never run it -- run Open Rails instead! Maybe not the latest "eye candy" graphics but excellent physics, and it's being actively developed.

i tried downloading open rails but couldn't figure it out

i remember the original MSTS and all the wrecks and derailments i did back in 2010-2011 on my mom's laptop

There really are quite a number of train simulators out there that allow some semblance or realistic behavior and 1st-person from-the-cab operation. Just to add some useful info to the thread, here's a run-down of some , including some obscure but detailed ones:

  1. Microsoft Train Simulator (or "MSTS") -- Not really the original, but certainly one of the most well-evolved. Technically, Microsoft stopped developing it just a few years after its release, but it spawned a very dedicated community that has kept it going in one form or another. Probably has the largest library of free content which outstrips the paid content by several orders of magnitude. Not always "plug and play" -- getting things working well sometimes requires learning how the sim works and how to edit text-based files to tweak things. Old software can't run on modern computers except in specific configurations, but that's fixed by its successor, Open Rails.
  2. Open Rails -- A new train simulator that's both a replacement for MSTS and one with new and more capabilities. Development and improvements are ongoing. It can run anything from MSTS, plus new trains and routes designed for its capabilities.
  3. Train Simulator 20'xx', now Train Simulator Classic, formerly Kuju Rail Simulator/Rail Simulator/Railworks -- Somewhat more modern sim than MSTS. Originally developed by the same studio (but not same programmers) that made the basic software engine for MSTS, then sold off a couple of times but stayed in production. Graphically nicer than MSTS, but often lacks the sophisticated physics that's possible in MSTS/Open Rails. Much more dependent on paid DLC; freeware is limited and often highly dependent on having paid DLC installed to leverage its assets. Has a wider range of international content, particularly British, as compared to North American prototypes
  4. Train Sim World -- Basically re-engineered Train Simulator 20xx/Train Simulator Classic running in the Unreal Engine game platform. Completely dependent on paid DLC; there are no plans for route creation tools or even a means for enabling user-created 3D models. Has a similar international content range.
  5. Trainz -- A combination of full train simulator and virtual model railroad builder. Similar to Train Simulator 20xx series in terms of realism; OK but not technical at all. Its main calling card is the relative ease of creating routes as virtual train layouts. Has a combination of paid and free DLC, but a significant portion of free content is somewhat locked behind the publisher's content management system which requires a subscription.
  6. Run 8 Train Simulator -- US Railroads only, offers in-depth technical operation of freight locomotives and signaling. Only paid DLC, and just a few US routes, but they're highly technically accurate. Until now has been focused on multiplayer operation, with individuals managing switching, dispatching, and operating locomotives separately. Most recent version finally allows full single-player operation with automatic dispatching.
  7. Zusi 3 -- German train simulator based on a tool for training train crews. Graphically, more like MSTS. Very authentic signaling and procedures for German railroads.
  8. BVE / OpenBVE and derivatives -- Originally a Japanese sim that runs strictly from the in-cab perspective. Follows the prevailing preference in Japanese train sims with a focus on keeping to a strict schedule as a challenge, although it can offer more user-created content than other Japanese train-driving computer games which are, primarily, games not simulators. It's been adapted into use for various environments, although it tends to be best for rapid-transit-style running.
  9. Rolling Line -- Free-form simple simulator that supports a lot of user-created content. Not necessarily prototypical; more about running trains for fun.
  10. Diesel Railcar Simulator -- Focused on British railcar and multiple-unit trains.
  11. MaSzyna -- Polish train simulator; very detailed and technical. Aside from needing to understand some Polish, you'll have to learn how to start up locomotives from cold-and-dark shutdown just to get moving! Plenty of free, user-contributed content. Focused, of course, on Polish railways and motive power.
  12. ZDSimulator -- Ukrainian-developed sim. Also very technical in the same way as MaSzyna; it was and is still developed as a training tool for the Ukrainian railways; the version sold to the public has been a sideline for extra income to support the main training software project. Interface can be set to English at least in part. Covers both Ukrainian and some Russian trains and routes, with some additional routes being free to download. Spans Cold War-era Soviet locomotives and equipment to modern equipment built for the former Soviet broad-gauge railways in modern Ukraine and Russia. The basic sim must be purchased, and the website was unreliable ever since the annexation of Crimea, and then went down when the Ukraine war began. The website has since been rebuilt. Not sure if purchases are working quite yet or not. Any ongoing development will probably focus on Ukrainian prototypes.


There are also even more obscure ones out there; most are more games than they are simulators. A few others, like SimRail (another entry from Poland) are in development but not yet released. There's probably a train simulator out there to support anybody's interest, budget, and comfort level with both computers and railroading technicalities.

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