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The legacy graphics-heavy web site has been replaced by one based on Bootstrap which is both easier to maintain and suitable for phones and tablets as well as PCs.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

  • T1.4-148-ge5d8f1cf2 Merge pull request #559 from Csantucci/Distributed-power-cab-display
    https://blueprints.launchpad.net/or/+spec/distributed-power: Distributed power cab display and controls
    • c7f1150b Distributed power: consider also Loco Brake in the value of BC
    • 11fd74b5 Distributed power: update OR manual
    • 83ed063e Distributed Power: compress UoM strings of load
    • e24a796e Distributed power: manage yellow colour for dynamic brake display
    • 7ff949bb Distributed Power: use ORTS_SIGNED_TRACTION_BRAKING to compute load
    • 394972a3 Distributed power: remove wrong Flow field and correct wrong load field, by mbm_OR
    • 3d3e37af Distributed Power: pass LoadUnits to GetDPuStatus()
    • 6dd7738d Distributed power: cleanup scaling issues and make DP screen page background transparent
    • 9e80053e Update Source/Documentation/Manual/cabs.rst : improve text
      Co-authored-by: Cedric GNIEWEK
    • 37a83884 Distributed power: added missing picture
    • aaeb2517 Distributed power: improve typo fix
    • ef03f09c Distributed power: fix typo in usings
    • 26bd936f Distributed power: cabview display and controls
  • T1.4-134-gf1451af10 Merge pull request #551 from pzgulyas/timetable-or
    > @cjakeman, @twpol, could you please explain the reason of discrepancy between the two above linked descriptions?
    Sharpe49 is quite correct.
    The Open Rails Triage delivers a report of the active submissions for James to monitor. I don't think it takes any action.
    The process for peer-reviewers is set out in Contributing.md
    Hope that helps,
    • 0aa1e46c Make handling the timetable-or extension consistent.
  • T1.4-132-g8ed228436 Merge pull request #566 from mbm-OR/bugfix/Fix-F5causesORtocrash
    Fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1956262. F5 causes OR crash.
    • 04d1bb7c Fix improved
    • b022de2d Fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1956262. F5 causes OR crash.

See more code changes