Colorado Narrow Gauge for Trainz ’06:
Rebirth of an Old Favorite
By Alfred Barten
The Colorado Narrow Gauge route for Trainz TRS2006 is a new version of an old favorite of mine, the Black Canyon. That’s the three-foot gauge fictional Colorado route by John D’Angelo (aka Johnda1237), which is at the Trainz Download Station (DLS) in various incarnations, each succeeding one being an update of the previous. Apparently it’s an old favorite of others as well since the various versions have a combined download total of over 8000. Moreover, it has been reworked by HiBaller as Wild Bill, the complete version being Wild Bill II. The Wild Bill series is also at the DLS and collectively has been downloaded another 8000 times.
My first interest in Black Canyon began when I discovered and downloaded the great lineup of Colorado narrow gauge locomotives and rolling stock and accessories by Todd Hohlenkamp (aka Prowler901). I found Black Canyon was a great route for running Todd’s trains and shunting all the industries along the way. I even wrote two articles for Virtual Railroader (“Waybills on the Black Canyon,” August 2004, and “Build a switch list generator with Excel,” September 2004) describing ways to set up random switch lists.
One thing I always wanted to do was provide a way to connect the route to the rest of the world. By that I mean most railroads connect to other railroads for interchange of goods. Black Canyon was isolated, so there was no real through traffic. I made a start back in 2004, extending the route to Salida, but I never finished and since then have managed to lose what I had done. Finally I got started again.
The new version is Colorado Narrow Gauge. At the core it’s still Black Canyon, latest version, but with an extension to a Portal at each end and the introduction of interactive passenger stations, coal mining and logging/lumbering industries. The Portals let you ship trainloads of coal or lumber beyond the layout and have empty trains return. The Portals also let you run passenger trains in virtual out and back loops.
I created four sessions to illustrate each of the basic operating modes with the latter being the operation I wrote about in 2004:
Since Colorado Narrow Gauge focuses on operation, I’m including instructions here on how to set up the new interactive features.
- Interactive Coal
- Interactive Logs-Lumber
- Interactive Passenger
- Traditional Freight
Setting Up the Portals
I set up both Portals with the same configuration, which is to receive trains and to return them loaded (or empty if already loaded). I'm using the Portals for two purposes, both similar. The first is to receive loaded coal or lumber trains and to reissue them empty so they can return to their originating points to be reloaded. The second is to receive passenger trains and return them so they can essentially run continuously. It's as though the train from Ouray to Gunnison continued unseen to Salida and then returned to Gunnison, where it would go to Ouray and then continue unseen to Durango and return again to Ouray.
To set up a Portal, open the Objects menu in Surveyor, select the question mark icon and click the Portal. The Properties dialog opens. Make selections as shown.
The “Empty trains are loaded, other trains unloaded” selection is the key for our operation.
Setting Up the Coal Operation
I set up only the mine at Ouray. It involved changing the existing mine to one that could work interactively, in this case Coal Tipple TRS, which is built into TRS2006. I had to place the sidings away from where the mine piles excess coal. Unless I had been able to find the D&RGW Class 17 gondola by Ben Dorsey I would not have been able to make this work. Fortunately the cars are available at the DLS. I placed enough cars to allow two trains' worth and provided a second locomotive. That way, once the first train is loaded and sent on its way to Gunnison and beyond (i.e., the Gunnison Portal Out-Back), I could begin loading the second train.
Keep yard clear of where coal is piled.
Open Objects menu, select ? icon and click the building. The Properties dialog opens and lets you enter coal rate (of generation) and starting amount.
To set up the coal mine, open the Objects menu in Surveyor, select the question mark icon and click the mine. The Properties dialog opens. Make selections as follows:
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- Rate: 12000
- Start Amount: 1000000
Article and screen shots ©2007 Alfred Barten. All rights reserved.
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