Creating a Living Rolling Stock Display
By John D'Angelo
I’M SURE that we have all seen in model railroading magazines those beautiful collections that folks have, and many times they will mount their rolling stock on shelves in display cases. I decided that I would like to have a similar “display case” for Trainz. I could place my rolling stock on the display and actually group my rolling stock in whatever way I wished, then save that group as a session. The above picture shows my display case showing all of Ben Neal’s beautiful locomotives. You can visit his site and collect a wonderful array of early steam equipment. Don’t forget to look at his generic collection.
A closeup of Ben Neal’s 2-6-2 Prairie.
What is great about Trainz is that you can start a project and then modify it as you go along. At first I started with the display being flat.
The flat display didn’t work out well because when the camera angled in, the collection became difficult to see. I then tried out a stepped arrangement. At first I chose the viaducts that are at the DLS by Mike Banfield (aka Mike10).
While that improved the display, I felt the scene was too busy and detracted from the rolling stock. In addition, the viaducts had raised edges that blocked views of the running gear. I finally tried out the Dockwall Rock spline that is included in TRS2006 and that was the best for my purposes.
Here is the dock wall display case that I made. I stepped dock walls upward as they went back from the front of the display. I then laid double track on each dock and finally enclosed the display with a hill background. Since the display runs the length of an entire baseboard, I can also display favorite passenger and freight trains with all their rolling stock.
This is a living display because you can load the models you want, and save that grouping as a session. You can then activate the session in Driver and then you can click on any locomotive for a closeup view. You can move the loco forward or backward, turn on the running lights, and even sound the bell, whistle or horn.
You can set up separate displays (sessions) for New York Central, Santa Fe, Pennsylvania rolling stock or any particular line that you like to collect, and then watch them in action.
“But wait, there’s more!” as the salesman said. While I was writing this article, a little bulb went off in my head. I thought, “Why not have a display that not only displays rolling stock, but also allows it to roll!” I made one more adjustment. I made the bottom two rails run in a continuous loop. You can now run any trains you would like on the bottom two tracks, now that’s what I call an active display!
You don’t have to build this display because I have included a cdp file that contains the final version of the display case for Al Barten to have available as a free download. All the scenery items are standard in TRS2006, so no further downloads are needed, though you will need service pack SP1 installed. Look for Rolling Stock Display Case at the VR Downloads page. A simple session with two Union Pacific locos is included. Have fun collecting and showing your favorite gear.
Article and screen shots ©2008 John D'Angelo. All rights reserved.
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