After more than a year of work the free, restored and improved Siskiyou Route is once more available.
ENG files published with accurate physics for 176 USA diesel locos.
Geoff Rowlands found a way to model 3D controls so they can be grabbed by the handle as in this video.
Open Rails trialled with Monogame instead of XNA uses less RAM and give higher frame rates.
Open Rails 1.2 released.
Open Rails 1.1 released.
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.
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).
Open Rails first demonstration route Demo Model 1 has been published.
Dekosoft Trains has added locos exclusively for Open Rails to its range. These are GP30 diesels taking advantage of our 3D cab feature.
The legacy graphics-heavy web site has been replaced by one based on Bootstrap which is both easier to maintain and suitable for phones and tablets as well as PCs.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.
An installer is now available, so Open Rails and its pre-requisites such as XNA can be delivered in a single download.
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
Open Rails becomes available in additional languages, initially eight including Chinese.
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.
Fog is developed from just softening the horizon into a realistic effect which users can fully control.
X1.3.1-260-g75ae7fab1Merge pull request #305 from YoRyan/manual-timetable
498fe129Wrap the paragraph on timetable pools.
7c2ea56fDocument .weather-or files.
da8c3c5cAdd short description of timetable pools to the General section.
1987806bClarify the file extension of timetable group files.
X1.3.1-259-g9e6a5b51fMerge pull request #301 from cesarBLG/fix_explorer_path
977bae69Fix some statements which might cause wrong behaviours
51d721feSeparate min check distance for explorer mode
964c5d1fCleanup of SNCA calculations
3b2b6280Extend path up to 5 km or first signal, and clear depending on SNCA
X1.3.1-258-gade83f458Merge pull request #309 from twpol/feature/cache-build-tools
c0a0b689feat: Cache build tools to improve reliability
X1.3.1-257-gca6b873f0Merge pull request #308 from cjakeman/website-news2
cc990b91added manual braking to News items
X1.3.1-256-g6d7e5a575Merge pull request #307 from cjakeman/website-news
11c6fe21added news item for Activities Guide
X1.3.1-255-gec0879778Merge pull request #302 from peternewell/gear-steam
675f98ecAdd gearing ratio to calculate correct speed for cylinder action
ae64e7e4Remove parantheses no longer required.
c630f02eCorrect steam usage calculation