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The legacy graphics-heavy web site has been replaced by one based on Bootstrap which is both easier to maintain and suitable for phones and tablets as well as PCs.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

    
  • X1.3.1-285-gbe02e15a1 Merge pull request #338 from Csantucci/variable1
    Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1911908 Variable1 goes negative when steam loco runs backwards
    • b055bec2 Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1911908 Variable1 goes negative when steam loco runs backwards
  • X1.3.1-284-g1c0639cb9 Merge pull request #331 from peternewell/vacuum-brakes
    Correct issues with brake cuts power in vacuum brakes
    https://blueprints.launchpad.net/or/+spec/vacuum-brake-update
    • 88bfbb70 Remove trace statement inadvertantly left in code
    • 43d92880 Clarify code logic for error checking
    • f2295146 Fix issue with consumption showing for small ejector when not in use.
    • 16dfe6a7 Fix display equalising vacuum
    • 897f1efb Adjustments to vacuum braking to work with full vacuum level
    • 52b36344 Correct desired vacuum pressure, and checks for maximum system vacuum.
    • eecfddc2 Correct issues with brake cuts power in vacuum brakes
  • X1.3.1-283-g1796ec765 Merge pull request #328 from cjakeman/website-banners
    3 new banner images replace redundant ones
    • fee63aff redundant images deleted
    • bef17221 3 new banner images replace redundant ones
      New banner images from VAPOR3D
  • X1.3.1-282-g7040795fb Merge pull request #333 from peternewell/tender
    Add tender mass initialization if values defined in WAG file
    Forum thread - http://www.elvastower.com/forums/index.php?/topic/34745-move-tender-capacities-to-tender-wag-files/
    Trello Card - https://trello.com/c/BeNaGj09/449-tender-capacities-in-tender-wag-file
    • 045c3b8a Add manual documentation for changes
    • fc82daf2 Fix an issue if coal and water masses not specified in ENG file. Correct water calculation process for tender values in WAG file.
    • 7f2d5ef2 Add tender mass initialization if values defined in WAG file
  • X1.3.1-281-g43b7bcefe Merge pull request #321 from cesarBLG/enhance_brake_controller
    Improvements for EP and air braking systems
    Discussion: http://www.elvastower.com/forums/index.php?/topic/34527-wishes-for-improvement-of-braking-systems/
    Related trello card: https://trello.com/c/0SvMICQt/485-air-brake-and-ep-brake-options
    • 75153ca8 Add Brake Controller Notches table
    • 404feacd Add documentation for new and modified parameters and behaviours
    • ff485729 Charge brake pipe faster during quick release
    • 933fc879 Add bailoff, quick release and overcharge cab view controls
    • d31710dd Initialize brakes with EQ reservoir fully charged
    • 701d150c Correct maximum pressure applied to cylinders with EP brakes
    • 55d3f879 Fix bug causing pressure in auxiliary reservoir increasing ad infinitum
    • ffc93be5 Fix bug introduced due to min pressure reduction
    • af7240e4 Use wag parameters for graduated release. Fix dynamic brake locking throttle during blending
    • 78e0e965 Add missing initialization for slow application, and fix dynamic brake mechanical lock
    • 9f571af0 Add dynamic brake controller and speed to Brake Controller script
    • fac43c10 Add slow service brake application
    • 38175200 Correct behaviour of some brake controller notches and add missing ones
  • X1.3.1-280-g526f7baa1 Merge pull request #332 from mbm-OR/bugfix/LogFile-Warning-Message
    Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1910154. Log File generates the same header warning message.
    • b3bdf8f0 Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1910154. Log File generates the same header warning message.
    • 64001162 Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1910154. Log File generates the same header warning message.

See more code changes