Your picture looks like a Z scale model railroad.
In response to your other thread, I used to work with Schenker a few years ago. They are a great company to do business with, and from what I understand, they now run a fleet of trains throught to Mainland China for freight. Is this true now?
I agree the freight and passenger service is much more efficient and better than the US. In part it is because the railroads were beaten up terrible by the airline and trucking companies which got big subsidies in the 1950s and 60s while the railroads had to pay for everything themselves. In fact all their taxes went to subsidize the competition, and they ended up cutting service to keep up. Today things are getting better, but a lot has changed, and sadly we've lost a lot too in the meantime that will never be regained.
In Europe too people are more accepting of railroads, their added value, and more respectful of the danger that they represent. In the US, the neighbors complain about the trains making noise and ruining their property values rather than seeing the rail service as a bonus to their transportation problems. In a local town near me, Winchester, MA, the locals are complaining about Tighe Trucking reactivating a freight siding. They're complaining already that a few deliveries a week are going to cause the neighborhood to devalue and there will be noise and polution. Oh by the way, the people complaining to the newspaper are also out of town real estate agents! One of the woman complaining doesn't even live near the tracks, but is complaining anyway because she can!
Many of these people also would rather sit in traffic for hours each way to work rather than taking the trains. People here also think nothing of walking on a ROW, and the parents will blame the railroad for hitting their children who walk on the tracks. It seems that the only time they like a railroad is when it becomes a rail-trail (path) for them to jog on with the old depots becoming ice cream parlors with a few freight cars on static display.
Well, we were car minded before WWII as well. Remember the Ford Model T take off?
We were born a car loving national, all set backs and advantages included!
The operation of the railway is via a control system,basically by mechanical means, but now more commonally electronic and computerized.
In Trainz, a RR should have a purpose, at least 2 terminus, and should go somewhere, and perform a task ... and shold not just a run on to nowhere, an endless purposeless route.
One thing you have to take in account here in the States is that since the end of WWII, we have become a car centric nation. After the war, gas was cheap and plentiful, and cars were cheap and plentiful as manufacturers ramped up production. As more highways were built, especially the Interstate system Americans took to driving as their primary means of transportation. Owning a car became part of the American dream, almost a birthright. In a country where some States take hours or even days to drive through, the car became king. You could leave when you wanted, take any route you wanted, and stop anyplace you wanted. Americans love convenience and freedom and the car gave us that, beyond anything the railroads could ever do. Couple that with bad business practices by the railroads themselves, and government policies that were not conducive to the railroads benefit and it pretty much sealed the fate of the railroads.
Even today, we still would rather get into our cars as opposed to riding a train or other mass transit service. I live about 40 miles from New York City. By train it's from 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on if I have to make a connection. If I am headed into the city for a leisurely day, I will usually take the train. But if time is of the essence, I'm going to get in my car and drive and I can be there in under an hour. I can leave whenever I want, and not be bound by a timetable.
When I travel to Europe, I admire and envy even the public transportation systems. But here, it's a different story, I don't ever see it getting anywhere near the "golden days" of yore. Never mind needing the infrastructure, culturally it's just not something we would embrace on the whole, not to mention the influences of the oil and automobile industries bent on maintaining their footholds.