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The legacy graphics-heavy web site has been replaced by one based on Bootstrap which is both easier to maintain and suitable for phones and tablets as well as PCs.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

  • X1.3.1-236-g8ed5f3852 Merge pull request #278 from Csantucci/drop-off-fix1 Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1895692
    Bug fix for False done indication on drop cars at location; by edwardk
    • 09d47e62 Removed redundant code
    • ea59e977 Update Source/Orts.Simulation/Simulation/Activity.cs
      Co-authored-by: Ryan Young
    • 192d2c34 Update Source/Orts.Simulation/Simulation/Activity.cs
      Co-authored-by: Ryan Young
    • 55c93d6c Update Source/Orts.Simulation/Simulation/Activity.cs
      Co-authored-by: Ryan Young
    • c03a91ba Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1895692 False done indication on drop cars at location; by edwardk
  • X1.3.1-235-gf556e503c Merge pull request #279 from YoRyan/manual-turntable-image
    Add missing turntable paths image
    • a2e0144f Restore missing turntable paths image to the manual.
  • X1.3.1-234-g38212ee58 Merge pull request #277 from twpol/feature/sphinx-quickstart-3.2.1
    feat: Clean up Sphinx build and configuration
    • 7eb86811 feat: Clean up Sphinx build and configuration
  • X1.3.1-233-g83406f19c Merge pull request #271 from peternewell/brakes-manual
    Manual Braking
    • 8e6d0496 Update VacuumSinglePipe.cs
    • 755218bd Update manual
    • ad672e13 Adjustment to steaming rate.
    • 109f2702 Correct issue with engine brake not applying.
    • 12dfd8b7 Further adjustments to steam brakes
    • e48d4484 Add delay to steam brake when operated by vacuum brake
    • a1c566cc Correct issue with steam brake pressure not showing up correctly in HuD and cab steam pressure gauge
    • d09943a3 Add steam brake display functionality to vacuum braking
    • 12967028 Adjustments to manual/steam brakes.
    • 05aed71a Adjust manual brakes to align with vacuum braking adjustments
    • d6eb02fa Adjust steam engine brake in manual braking module
    • cb3e9a15 make brake Pressure Gauge work in cab.
    • 0710cf2b Adjustments to manual braking
    • ebdc9a85 Add steam brake identification
    • de28e628 Added steam effectsfor steam brakes
    • 29f7da3c Adjustments to HUD, and separation of engine and brakeman function.
  • X1.3.1-232-geab06ddf9 Merge pull request #276 from peternewell/temp_rocket
    Adjustment to default connecting rod weights for smaller locomotives
    • 78f84bc5 Additional developer notes added
    • aa895306 Added extra step for Rocket locomotive which is only 4.5tons.
    • 88a93b83 Adjustment to default connecting rod weights for smaller locomotives
  • X1.3.1-231-gab6d68e3e Merge pull request #269 from YoRyan/track-at-center
    Move the tracking camera pivot to the center of the railcar
    • 94f7399e Move the tracking camera pivot to the center of the railcar.
  • X1.3.1-230-g810f1da44 Merge pull request #273 from YoRyan/manual-timetable-update
    Update timetable documentation
    • c0ac70c2 Document the #*clearance turntable pool parameters.
    • 0f14c942 Add timetable pools documentation.
    • 122c4004 Capitalize the "Control commands" header.
    • f779c6ed Document timetable group files (*.timetablelist-or).
    • 1a419e74 More timetable documentation clarifications courtesy of Rob Roeterdink.
    • d486bc92 Add missing commands and qualifiers to the timetable documentation. Text courtesy of Rob Roeterlink.
    • 08a8204a Update timetable documentation to reflect the new file extension and separator characters.
  • X1.3.1-229-gffee7841e Merge pull request #270 from Sharpe49/fix-signals-hsl
    Revert and new fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1613304
    • a6e23901 New fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1613304
    • 15c89ad2 Revert "Merge pull request #241 from Sharpe49/fix-signals-hsl"
      This reverts commit 276885daa3458e27009851a4d5950eb03eed2878, reversing
      changes made to 35d49e835bff948187fc513aee3bab426a2c5f63.
  • X1.3.1-228-g349fd039e Merge pull request #260 from cjakeman/fix-compile-warnings
    compile warnings resolved
    • 5e8f0695 refined repairs
      Refined repair for ActivityFile:Seconds and commented out ActEditor:ToolClicked
    • d1b82be1 small comment added
    • a7ba852b compile warnings resolved
      mostly by removing redundant debug statements
  • X1.3.1-227-ge3a15e3ea Merge pull request #274 from Csantucci/flipped-pantos
    Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1893565 Pantograph control sequence does not work correctly
    • 1ce67b9e Merge branch 'master' into flipped-pantos
    • 3710c1ac Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1893565 Pantograph control sequence does not work correctly
  • X1.3.1-226-g5c06f2243 Merge pull request #272 from twpol/feature/pdf-index
    build: Add index to PDFs
    • 7255765d build: Add index to PDFs
  • X1.3.1-225-g1848b2b7e Merge pull request #263 from cjakeman/timetable-briefing-ingame
    Timetable briefing ingame
    • 059795c7 restored Briefing { get; set; }
      Omitting set broke the build
    • 675e119b removed $"{}" formatting
      and restored "Start time" field but hiding any trailing command
    • c899859c refined entry in manual
      Added use of #briefing field in the #comment column
    • 53ed494e Update Source/Orts.Simulation/Simulation/Timetables/TTTrain.cs
      Co-authored-by: Ryan Young
    • 39ebd885 Revert "fix for bad track circuit"
      This reverts commit 2cecdded03aded005088fb3b9c5bb1ac7c65301a.
    • d28661d5 Merge branch 'timetable-briefing-ingame' of https://github.com/cjakeman/openrails into timetable-briefing-ingame
    • 1a7b287c added to Menu and in-game
      Optional #briefing row in *.timetable-or provides a briefing for the chosen train.
    • 8a9e6f7f added timetable-briefing for Menu
      Just copied changed files over
    • 2cecdded fix for bad track circuit
      Applies Carlo's temporary fix for
      TCSectionIndex == -1
  • X1.3.1-224-g6a50827df Merge pull request #268 from peternewell/manual-brakes
    Added Manual Brakes
    • 01ad9cce Add files via upload
    • c50ff2b6 Add manual braking function
  • X1.3.1-223-g435771148 Merge pull request #266 from cjakeman/timetable-window
    Pop to front
    • 270cafb0 Revert "added controls for timetable-window"
      This reverts commit 5125c7378837db9618cbe494d8e38f794514eae6.
    • 5125c737 added controls for timetable-window
    • 9686e250 added missing statement
      Visual Studio removed the old statement but didn't generate a replacement. Tried by hand instead.
    • 46507ba6 Pop to front
      Change WindowState from minimized to normal so DispatchWindow appears in front of graphic window, not behind.
  • X1.3.1-222-g2c7bd5583 Merge pull request #265 from Weter-ORTS/master
    Corrections & additions to Russian translation
    • f593f564 Corrections & additions to translation
      Reworked conception of key inputs arrangement in "Common" module;
      Some more strings translated, some-corrected.
  • X1.3.1-221-g9671d9817 Merge pull request #259 from YoRyan/fix-resume-couplers
    Fix duplicate couplers upon resuming from save:
    • a37e1d69 Add XML doc for the new ReadCouplersFromSave() method.
    • 37a9bc3e Fix duplicate couplers upon resuming from save: https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1892403

See more code changes