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Nov 2022 - Version 1.5.1

Open Rails 1.5.1 released to fix 3 bugs in v1.5.


Nov 2022 - Version 1.5

Open Rails 1.5 released.


Summer 2022

Three new UK routes are now available for immediate download here.


Oct 2021 - Version 1.4

Open Rails 1.4 released.


Nov 2020

Wagons can now be braked individually as on the oldest railways. This can be experienced in 2 scenarios - Stephenson's Rocket at Rainhill Trials and Langley Vale Timber Tramway.


Nov 2020

A detailed guide to making activities backed by videos and data files for the Siskiyou Route is soon to be published by Dale Rickert.


Apr 2020

After more than a year of work the free, restored and improved Siskiyou Route is once more available.


Apr 2019

ENG files published with accurate physics for 176 USA diesel locos.


Dec 2018

Open Rails 1.3.1 released Download it here.


Mar 2018

Geoff Rowlands found a way to model 3D controls so they can be grabbed by the handle as in this video.


Nov 2017

Open Rails trialled with Monogame instead of XNA uses less RAM and give higher frame rates.


Jan 2017 - Version 1.2

Open Rails 1.2 released.


Mar 2016 - Version 1.1

Open Rails 1.1 released.


Dec 2015 - More Access to Elvas Tower

The Elvas Tower forum plays a major role in developing Open Rails but has been closed to non-members following a dispute. We can now report that some of the Open Rails sub-forums are open again.


Jun 2015 - Great Zig Zag Railway

Peter Newell has just released (June 2105) the Great Zig Zag Railway, a steam route for Open Rails v1.0 (this 120MB download requires no other files).


May 2015 - Version 1.0

Open Rails 1.0 released! Download it here.


Apr 2015 - Demo Model 1

Open Rails first demonstration route Demo Model 1 has been published.


Dec 2014 - 3D Cabs

Dekosoft Trains has added locos exclusively for Open Rails to its range. These are GP30 diesels taking advantage of our 3D cab feature.


Jul 2014 - Web Site

The legacy graphics-heavy web site has been replaced by one based on Bootstrap which is both easier to maintain and suitable for phones and tablets as well as PCs.

You can still see an archive of the old site.


Apr 2014 - Installer

An installer is now available, so Open Rails and its pre-requisites such as XNA can be delivered in a single download.


Apr 2014 - Smoother, More Detailed Graphics

Open Rails currently uses DirectX 9 and, although this is not the latest version of DirectX, hidden away inside is a method for reducing the number of "draw calls" which the CPU makes to the GPU. Fewer calls mean higher frame rates, smoother motion and the capacity to handle more detail.

The technique is called "hardware instancing" and allows identical objects (e.g. trees in a forest) to be combined into a single draw call. The work is transferred to the GPU which copies them as many times as necessary and usually has spare capacity.

You can expect some increases in frame rate, especially on routes with many identical objects. To turn this on, tick the checkbox for
Options > Experimental > Use model instancing


Mar 2014 - Additional Languages

Open Rails becomes available in additional languages, initially eight including Chinese.

screendump listing languages


Mar 2014 - Work Starts On Timetables

A schedule of trains (or timetable) is nearly impossible to arrange in Microsoft Train Simulator as AI trains don't adhere to booked station stops. In Open Rails, the situation is better but an activity with a player train and AI traffic is still very different from a timetable.

Work has now begun on a timetable element which is an alternative to the usual activity. The timetable will contain all the details needed for each scheduled train - path, consist, booked stops etc.. Conventional activities will continue as before.

Also there is no longer any distinction between player train or AI train - any train in the timetable can be selected as the player train, the others are operated by a remote player or by the simulator.


Feb 2014

Fog is developed from just softening the horizon into a realistic effect which users can fully control.

Recent Code Changes

  • T1.5-142-ga16da1f4a Merge pull request #713 from Csantucci/CruiseControl-official
    https://blueprints.launchpad.net/or/+spec/cruise-control
    • 6ca89da0 CC: fix crash bug http://www.elvastower.com/forums/index.php?/topic/36716-many-most-trains-seem-to-crash-latest-unstable-version/
    • bc3a13b5 CC: delete obsolete parameters
    • 391e8824 CC: support further CC configurations
    • dbb06bd0 CC: introduce parameter to allow CC mode switch also when throttle is not at 0
    • 5a8da777 Fix typo in cabview control name
    • 4c52f582 Update Train Brake usage documentation
    • ff5f18d0 Generalized controls to set CC speed
    • d0539473 Add two-state controls to increment and decrement selected speed by fixed value. By Paolo
    • d2053372 Update of the OR manual
    • c00f611b Demand train brake if dynamic brake not available
    • 0488826e Do not move brake lever when applying brakes
    • 6e2f0bae Further fixes for force selector
    • 47013830 Fix combined control change by mouse
    • 6c8701f4 Fix bugs regarding force selector
    • 966a61cf Bug fix for not being able to brake
    • f281de6a Fix bug with acceleration
    • f6b292d7 Refactoring of multi position controller
    • ffc93eb8 Add parameter to set train brake increase/decrease speed
    • 8bb3bfeb Refine train braking algorithm
    • df4fde42 Further refactoring of CC class
    • 33de10b0 Some cleanup
    • 3f5e038e Fix STF parsing problem
    • b2b05f37 Adjust throttle and dynamic brake percents instead of overriding force calculation
    • 2478066c Third batch of code cleaning as required by reviewer
    • 39fb6c2e Second batch of code cleaning as required by reviewer
    • dd69c72b Fix dynamic brake force not acting
    • 5d62da58 Add Cruise Control variables to main HUD
    • 80491f58 First batch of code cleaning as required by reviewer
    • 0b1f1e68 Revert wrongly introduced debug patch
    • 637f947b https://blueprints.launchpad.net/or/+spec/cruise-control ; initiator and main contributor: Jindrich

See more code changes