SR&RL 2-foot gauge simulation for Trainz
By Al Barten
In the "See if you can top this" category, a small group of virtual modelers calling themselves the Trainz Narrowgaugers has announced a major happening: an all-encompassing simulation of the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad for Auran's Trainz.
The prototype SR&RL, formed in 1908 by the merger of 6 lines that just happened to have been built in adjoining fashion, was the biggest and most famous of the Maine 2-foot gauge lines, affectionately known as Lilliputs. I've put together a summary of the component roads in a separate file.
Rich Blake's Forney #5 is the center piece of this virtual diorama I set up for this year's Christmas card.
The group, led by Peter Pardoe-Matthews, released 53 pieces of rolling stock on one day: 30 November 2003. All are available for free download at Sirgibby's Trainzone web site (http://www.trainzone.co.nz/) in seven convenient packages. Included are 3 Baldwin Prairie locomotives; 2 Forney locomotives; a railbus; an assortment of combines, coaches, freight cars; and a snow plow. Track for the 2-footers is available at the Trainz Download Station.
Brian Eckard, publisher of Woodbridge's Train Simulation Craftsman magazine (http://www.trainsimmodeler.com/) is nearing completion of a prototypical layout -- from Farmington to Phillips. Work from Phillips to Rangeley is also in progress. Brian's layout uses satellite data to create the land contours. This has the immediate effect of ensuring a sense of realism in the landscape formations.
A Baldwin Prairie heads a string of varnish over a wood trestle. All rolling stock was modeled by Peter Pardoe-Matthews. The layout is Brian Eckard's SRRL beta.
Rich Blake (a.k.a., Slugsmasher), builder of the Forneys and railbus, is close to completing a fictional layout. Rich is also close to releasing additional accessories and structures, including wood trestles, a turntable, and a pair of drive-through stations.
Phillips Station progress shot by Rich Blake.
Kingfield Station progress shot by Rich Blake.
Peter's original announcement on the Screenshots section of the Auran Trainz forum contains shots of all the basic cars and locos. All equipment is compatible with the UTC and recently-released TRS versions of Trainz.
This is a blockbuster release in scope and quality, and every attempt to be true to the prototype has been made by the builders. As far as I know, this is the first example of Maine 2-foot gauge equipment in a train simulator.
VMRJ will continue to bring you news of this project as more elements are released.
Congratulations and thank you, guys, this is truly phenomenal.
Want more pictures? Click here.
Want to know more about the SR&RL and the other Lilliputs? Here are a few first rate sources I can vouch for:
Article and screen shots (except as noted) ©2004 Alfred Barten. All rights reserved.