Discover > News

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The legacy graphics-heavy web site has been replaced by one based on Bootstrap which is both easier to maintain and suitable for phones and tablets as well as PCs.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

  • X1.3.1-189-gab83b4ca Merge pull request #224 from peternewell/new-steam-gear#2
    Additional Sound Events and fix for steam injector sounds in AI mode
    • 9f36ba81 Delete gearbox debugging statement.
    • 305b9a71 Factor out common gearbox sound event code.
    • 7599a4d7 Add documentation to manual for gear position sound triggers
    • 7952b194 Factor out steam injector sound playing logic.
    • c9ee7c1a Add gear position sound events to non steam locomotives
    • d15323f7 Add sound event for gear positions, and adjust injector in AI mode so that sound event only turns on of off with the injector.
  • X1.3.1-188-gdb25b825 Merge pull request #220 from Sharpe49/further-TCS-extensions
    Further TCS extensions
    • 0e82c6d2 Updated manual and added some code highlighting
    • d25eca22 Added constants for the array sizes
    • d88c1327 Added InitializeMoving function to the TCS classes
    • 5719e2b1 Added new helper class (blinker for lights controlled by a script)
    • c960dc11 Added support of TCS switch command
    • 6e21df4a Customized cabview control names can now be set at a specific position The SetCustomizedTCSControlString triggers a deprecation warning
    • 5e5e4d44 Cleanup
  • X1.3.1-187-gb90436ec Merge pull request #223 from openrails/bugfix/TrackMonitor-arrowswitch-scale
    Fix for . TrackMonitor left/right switch position not scaled.
    • 644dd3d5 Merge branch 'master' into bugfix/TrackMonitor-arrowswitch-scale
    • 93ae08d2 Fix TrackMonitor left/right switch `position not set for 100% scaling.
  • X1.3.1-186-gf1e2e819 Merge pull request #222 from YoRyan/log-speed-limit
    Record current speed limit in the data logger
    • 30356b97 Record current speed limit in the data logger.

See more code changes