I am at a point in my TRAINZ life where I need to make a couple of decisions, and I am looking for some direction. When I first got into TRAINZ my goal was to recreate the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Maine Two Foot railroad. I have a large library of research material on this and all the Maine Two Footers. I have also had the pleasure of riding on the refurbished rolling stock at the various museums in Maine.
My intent has always been to recreate these roads as close as possible: using Maps, photos, and research materials from my library. I used the built-in TRAINZ capability to create the base layout of track, elevations, streams, lakes, rivers, roads, towns, etc, etc. I used gmax and Blender to create the unique and iconic rolling stock, structures, and industries that resulted in a very accurate route. For example, my SR&RL has every siding, branch, industry, trackside building, town, and main line as the original. My route represents over 100 miles of main line track, and takes an hour to run between the most distant towns.
Blender has allowed me to create the locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars, and work cars – some with Interiors that allow internal control and viewing. I have also incorporated many of the functions such as passenger and freight processing that TRAINZ provides. Once I finished the routes, I found as much pleasure in using the GIMP and BLENDER creation processes. In fact this aspect is currently my main focus. I have no desire to run any of the built-in routes that come with TRAINZ.
Now for the decision. I currently have TRS2010 running on an old AMD laptop, which is reaching the end of its useful life. My internet access is via dial-up. Note that the route creation was done on a more powerful PC that died a premature death. I want to update to a newer boxed version of TRAINZ --- BUT I do not want to learn a new Bender process to create content to be exported to the newest game. I have read the posts that define these new processes but at my age I am not motivated to go there.
So my friends, what is the newest TRAINZ version that will allow me to retain my existing routes and retain the creation processes that I am familiar with? Or should I just go with a newer PC and stay with what I know? After reading many of the posts, I think that TS12 might be the answer, but will leave it to the more experienced members. I have looked at the various posts on H/W , but there seems to be a wide range of options.
Since I will be buying a new computer -- what is a recommended hardware platform? I don’t think I need an in-depth discussion of the whys and wherefores. Just a recommended list that I can take to a computer supplier and walk out with a machine that will satisfy my goals. Maybe I am over simplifying this – if so – what are your thoughts and recommendations?
Looking forward to any suggestions!