View Full Version : Do you have a different version of your model route for nighttime play?

November 9th, 2019, 12:10 AM
I have decided to make a modified version of my layout for night play only. The night has different sights and sounds associated with it. Not as many people waiting at train stations. Not as many cars parked at supermarkets. No lawn mowing. Boating on recreational lakes ceases. The laughter of playing children ceases. Some businesses are closed after hours. There may be curfews in public parks. Not as many farm animal sounds. No school buses or kids at school. Farm tractors won't be out in the fields plowing. The night is quieter except railroad activity at night is often in full bloom. Trains are a 24/7/365 affair. There will be a lot of commercial trucks on the road still but automobile traffic should be diminished in rural and small-town areas.

November 9th, 2019, 12:04 PM
I don't do night in Trainz because the nighttime lighting is lousy...you do have some nice ideas, however. There are some creaking crickets too that you can place around the route if you want to add to the ambiance.

November 9th, 2019, 06:50 PM
Thanks John:

I might add a croaking frog sound to my nighttime edition. I just think it exciting and spooky to see bright headlights coming in the dark. My forested areas look totally eerie in the dark. Add the blood-curdling sound of howling wolves, roaring bears and a cougar yowling. There is something spooky about the minor chords of GM/EMD loco whistles in the distance and in the night. Reminds me of my boyhood in the semi-rural dairy farm town of Novato, northern California near the EssPee line: now under Northwestern Pacific Railroad authority from Sausalito/Schellville to Eureka. They had both regional passenger and freight service then. Think back to circa 1970. I heard the trains roll through my town several times a day and even in the wee hours of the morning. I could climb up on a fence in my backyard and see the trains too. The eerie growling GP-7/9 and SW-1500 locomotives in the distance while lying in bed at night. The distinctive whine of gear-driven scavenge blowers these early two-stroke locos had. Getting louder and stronger as they approach my home about two blocks away then fading away into the night. The loud thud of couplers as they pick up and drop off cars from customer sidings as Dairman's Milling feed store and Novato Landscaping materials. The dinging of nearby RR crossing bells. I could often hear those crossing bells before I heard the trains passing by. Sometimes the spooky clang of loco bells could be heard. SP locos then had the red-wings face mask and famous gray paint scheme with white letters and SP freight trains had the SP rust-brown/orange cabooses. The SP passenger coaches carrying San Francisco Bay Area commuters looked like old gray Pullman heavyweights: the SP Geeps pulled them. SP also had RR cranes that would creep through sometimes. They were bright orange and they had a low hum that sounded like an electric motor and a distinctive horn. I'm not sure how the self-moving cranes were powered. i can't remember hearing any diesel engine sound.


November 9th, 2019, 06:54 PM
Great idea Jon! I am wondering if it is doable as a session, but it sounds like too many route layer changes?

November 9th, 2019, 10:46 PM
no, it's a matter of:

1. adding night sounds as croaking frogs and chirping crickets
2. reducing or removing static vehicles parked and people in businesses closed or with reduced activity at night
3. eliminating the horse buggy rides and stagecoach amusement rides as well as their associated sound objects as a driver yelling at the horses
4. putting a curfew on my public boating lakes and parks: pulling out people, animals and taking boats off the lake except a houseboat
5. reducing the numbers of people and cars at the train station
6. removing small children from the streets
7. eliminating my lumberjacks with axes and hand saws
8. clearing the farms and ranches of workers and quieting many farm animal sounds as bleating goats and clucking chickens
9. removing children, faculty bicycles and cars from schools
10. taking school buses and associated people off the route
11. eliminating the fall-mow lawn mower men and the lawn mower sound objects
12. closing down Norton Concrete, parking all the cement mixers and removing employees and cars from the job site
13. parking all USPS delivery trucks at the post office and taking postmen off the street
14. removing hunters and their dogs/horses from the layout and the sounds of gunfire as well: no shooting after hours
15. removing all sport fishermen from the layout
16. removing livestock herding scenes and closing all farm and ranch gates
17. removing farm tractors and combines from crop fields and stowing them in sheds
18. closing down Armstrong Medical Clinic and reducing dogs, people and cars at Groves Animal Hospital, still a 24-hour emergency facility
19. shutting down my auto repair garage
20. pulling bicycle riders off the route

Many businesses and industries still remain active at night and this list is not exhaustive:

1. Dave's Diner
2. Rob's Motel and Diner
3. all railroading activities including MOW track inspection (railroading is like the military service, the emergency sevices and the trucking industries, they never sleep)
4. all trucking
5. gas stations and diesel fuel facilities, Don's Diesel Stop
6. Campbell XX Ranch feed lot
7. loading beef onto the cattle truck at Campbell Ranch's corral
8. Davidson Intermodal station
9. American Freight warehouse
10. all highway maintenance scenes with hard hats and equipment
11. the Army Huey helicopter stays in flight
12. the forest fire scene stays active after dark
13. police and sheriffs are still arresting people and pulling vehicles over
14. Groves Campground still has people, dogs, tents and trailers since camping is a night recreation as well as a day one
15. Stover Feed Mill still operates to produce feed for local ag
16. Holt Logging Camp still loads logging trucks at night
17. Thompson Sawmill still active at night with lots of floodlight towers on the grounds

I thought of also making a winter snow version of my route as well with Christmas coming up but that would be too much trouble. I have ground splines house grass and ballast splines along the edges of my bench work since it is a model railroad and requires terra-forming. Even if white snow ground spline were available it would be a pain to replace existing ground splines with it. There is a lot of YARN roadway and no way to replicate winter conditions as ice and winter tire marks on it. No way to add snow to roofs of buildings and tops of parked vehicles.
Yes it's easy to texture paint the ground with snow and many trees go into winter mode when the Environment is set to winter months and snow is set to the proper elevation, but what about all the other objects?

Instead of my horse buggy rides I would have to have horse sleigh rides. I don't know if their is even any driveable horse sleigh content. Trainz does have working snowblowers and snowplows available.

Perhaps a Trainz edition will be invented with advanced winterizing tools to make snow-covered routes look totally realistic with ease. Some G-scale garden railroads are out of doors and get real snow and rain over them!

PS - I have heavy-haul lowboy trucks, sporting OVERSIZE LOAD signs, on the roads with escort vehicles on the YARN roads: should these be eliminated during the hours of darkness?

Perhaps, future Trainz versions will have advanced night mode tools to make certain content disappear at night auto-magically!

November 10th, 2019, 06:31 AM
... i like your storytelling vision ... it inspires me ... thankz already ...

November 10th, 2019, 12:56 PM
yes, real RR trains operate in a world full of rich sights, smells and sounds around them, things of nature and things of man both: they don't operate in a black void like outer space

November 25th, 2019, 03:01 AM