A Christmas Gift For TS2010 Users
By John D'Angelo
It's that time of the year again! To put you in the mood, I have made a Christmas layout for folks who are using TS2010, build 44088. It's called Centerville Christmas, and the session is named Centerville Christmas 1. Since it's a Christmas gift, you have to open the wrappings to find out what's inside. My Christmas card image above isn't from this layout, but it gives you an idea of what is waiting for you when you install the route and session. I made a single CDP with the route and session included. Itís at the VR Downloads page.
I'm going to tell you a few things about your gift. First of all, every item on the layout is included in TS2010 and there are no items that will need to be downloaded. Unfortunately, the layout will not work with any earlier version of Trainz. I tried to see if TS2009 would use it and that didn't work, so just TS2010 can be used. Since I have updated my TS2010 version to 44088, you will need to be up to date also.
The track plan is based on a great little layout that is in the December issue of Model Railroader called Erie RR at Herbton by Clay Deeds. Mr. Deeds made an N-scale layout to fit a door 3' x 6'-8". When I read the article about his layout, I really thought he came up with a great double oval layout with a reverse loop that could be the basis for a Trainz layout. My version is larger and is basically a two-baseboard layout with extra baseboards for a portal and an ocean area.
The rolling stock is Canadian Pacific and the session is programmed for train movement. There are tracking cameras placed throughout the layout. When you start the session, use the DCC method of operating, choose 20:00 hours, a 32x or 60x clock speed, and medium snow falling. Place your train camera in front of the F7 and activate the tracking camera view. There will be two trains running in this session. An F7A and B diesel unit pulling the passenger train and a CP Northern pulling a freight.
Using the fast clock will allow you to see the layout in night and then day conditions. There is just one item I want to tell you about. I discovered this when I was working with the AI system, and you may already know what I'm going to tell you about, but it was a surprise to me.
It is possible to program a train to perform movements, enter a portal, return at a later time and repeat those movements. I didn't know you could do this, but it works. I programmed the passenger train to start from the portal branch, go to the Centerville Station and pick up passengers, then take the reverse loop and head out to the portal. While doing the session editing I tried placing a "repeat" mark after the portal order and darned if the train just repeated all the commands when it emerged from the portal! I thought entering a portal would kill the programming and when the train returned it would need to be given new instructions, but this wasn't the case. It just happily emerged from the portal and continued with the program. Visions of great little operational opportunities danced through my head!
I was going to write this article with screen shots of the layout in action for you, but I think a surprise is more fun.....
Actually I'm telling a lie. The terrible truth is that my screen capture program will not work with TS2010! I just get black images, no matter what way I try to run the layout. I found this out after I had completed all the construction and AI testing.
I still wanted you TS2010 users to have this for Christmas, so here it is for you, just pull off the wrapping paper and enjoy a white Christmas in Centerville.
Merry Christmas and happy holidays!
Article and screen shots ©2010 John D'Angelo. All rights reserved.
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