View Full Version : Route Builder Burnout

October 25th, 2008, 10:01 AM
Hey Guys and Gals

When embarking upon a project, I guess it is normal for everyone to *burnout* or just stop entirely for a time. Since most of our projects are somewhat lengthy, I was just wondering...how do you guys *get back on the wagon (or train :o )* so to speak. I feel like I'm just drained in terms of route building and there is so much more I want to do. What reinspires you to get back to your route?


Gisa ^^

October 25th, 2008, 10:06 AM
Burnout is common in any part of content creation. You could either take a break from creating or try learning another part of it (reskinning, scripting, etc.).

October 25th, 2008, 10:33 AM
Yea the same thing happened to happened to me, I started to get bored with the ho scale henderson valley route so i deleted it, now I'm waiting for some insparation...

October 25th, 2008, 10:44 AM
Yes, I know the feeling, especially with long routes like some of mine.

I usually have two or three on the go at once and if I haven't then I go and experiment on a new board - and that often ends up as a route!

I have just put some screenies on the UK Screenshots thread of a layout that started exactly that way.


October 25th, 2008, 10:52 AM
Route building can be a very intensive drain on my enthusiasm, but it's one of my favorite things to do. When I start to get burnout, I ususally return to some content creation. Routes can take hundreds of hours to build, detail and test, but it's very rewarding in the end. I got route building burnout after my AC - Cresent Mtn Div. I've done some content creation since then, ran some trains and am now about ready to start an expansion of the Cresent Mtn Div.

October 25th, 2008, 11:21 AM
Hey Guys and Gals
What reinspires you to get back to your route? :wave:
Gisa ^^

Stopping the build and running the route just for fun and then thinking did I really do that it needs changing drastically is usually the motivation to get me back to the build
Bob V

October 25th, 2008, 12:15 PM
I find that leaving it for a while works for me.
what i tend to do is just go and work on something else. I usually just end up working on what has just become a sandbox route now for a while before going back to what i was working on before.

October 25th, 2008, 12:42 PM
:cool: It is not uncommon to hear that several of our big routes, especially the DEM routes, where "cutting corners" is not desirable can take about two years to complete.

The acquisition of trackcharts, timetables, pictures from the web, satellite views from Google Earth, NASA, Microsoft Virtual Earth, etc, plus a knowledge of how much gradient to allow that locomotives could handle, then the selection of content from all sources, is a complicated project!

And then, like I did the other day, you go about deleting "extra" profiles in CMP only to find you deleted a key dependency route & now all the hours you spent building your dream are gone way past the recycle bin!

Save, save, SAVE!

Save, in Surveyor. Save or clone in CMP. Pull the route up in CMP & save out of the edit folder in Explorer to another location.

I create a folder on the desktop for all the research items including the processed TransDEM files, to fall back on.

If you do become burned out, just leave the route intact & whatever brought you to create it in the first place will bring you back...soon!

Someday, an enormous collection of routes will link many locations in many countries for everyone to enjoy!:udrool:

October 25th, 2008, 01:14 PM
I've been there too a few times. This is part of the creating process. Now that my own route is long enough, I'll setup a session and go driving and riding along to enjoy the fruits of my labor. This also serves two purposes. First to see what I've done so far to come up with new ideas, and second to troubleshoot or modify sections I've completed.

The other thing I do is to look at the real world for ideas. I'll look at maps, photograhs, take a drive to real places, and even turn a highway or road into a railroad. A boat trip down the local Merrimack River became a scene on my route. This is the line to Willows Point. The landscape seen on the left of the river is similar to what is seen from the river as you look at Amesbury.

There's a lot of things you can do for inspiration ranging from the suggestions I've made to just leaving everything alone for a bit.

Remember this is to have fun, and once it becomes a chore it's time to leave it alone or do something else to spark your creativity again.


October 25th, 2008, 01:23 PM
This is all to normal;) I have come across several of these myself. Sometimes you should just take a break from the route,perhaps build another(work on 2-3 at a time and go between them as you see fit) and that can help lower the chances of our equivelent of "writer's block" etc. Or if you are really down,then you should take a break from trainz all together for a week or so,and play other games that have long since been forgotten.

October 25th, 2008, 01:40 PM
When I've been afflicted with burnout, I've used the time budgeted for the hobby to search for resources at the library or book stores; or get out of the house and do some train watching, or ride light rail or CalTrain and refresh my memory of what real trains look, feel, sound, and smell like. That always seems to give me some new insight when I can bring myself to hit the "Load" button in Surveyor again. That's always worked for me in virtual railroading and, before, in model railroading.

Bernie :wave:

October 25th, 2008, 03:24 PM
Hang in there Gisa - like all things 'this too will pass'...

I generally have a 'main' project, but also have a couple of very different smaller projects on the go at the same time and when enthusiasm wains I play around with the other routes for a while.

I just recently got over the worst burnout I have ever suffered - three or four months where I didn't even fire any Trainz product up at all. I thought it was over, but now I am back working on my latest route with real enthusiasm again....

Andy ;)

October 26th, 2008, 09:48 PM
I think many of this get this or near it. From time to time I got tired because I had a big city project and would leave it for a while then suddenly get the urge and hammer away then another period of inactivity and so on. In one of these creative bursts I even put a dinner date with an attractive female friend on delay! Think that is one of the aspects of sims?

October 26th, 2008, 10:15 PM
I think part of the problem of builder's burnout is Content Creators are always creating better assets. I say to myself I should include this or that new item, the will is there, but the effort isn't to rebuild an existing route. So I start a new project. I am currently doing a DEM route of the Horseshoe Curve by Fishlips. I never attempted a DEM route before and I must say building in Western Pennsylvania mountains is most challenging. I spend an huge amount of time just grading the terrain. Not only the road bed for the railroad needs graded but everything needs to be graded roads, lots for houses, etc. The new challenge has really got me into route building again. Maybe a new challenging project will get you going again too.:wave:

October 27th, 2008, 04:46 AM
Can I throw my pennies worth in here? Often it is something simple that inspires you when the inevitable burn out occurs. It can be just a simple post in the forum or a new asset on DLS that gets everything flowing again.... In my case it was the thread for the Disney map.... Having visited WDW a few years ago and used the monorail, the thread inspired me to look at JFEís monorail..... with the lack of Disney assets to work with I decided to have a go at creating a theme park, then with the idea of adding an Old West Frontier to the theme park that sparked of the idea for creating a simple Old West layout...All of a sudden you have two new layouts on the go...As for the theme park, using Epcot as an idea I have a place to build various sections using assets from our brilliant foreign creators.... suddenly you have German, Japanese, and Italian areas to drive the monorail through..... No I havenít forgotten all the other countries..... you can drive straight from a dessert into the Alps via Australia and anywhere else that you can find assets to fit..... It makes a break from slogging on with my real life layout using a Dem Map and creating a real railway....Trainz becomes fun again

October 27th, 2008, 05:02 AM
I get a bit hot & cold over Trainz at times, but I usually just switch my attention to a different route (I have 5 on the go altogether), or do some content creation. I find that doing a very small mini-route can give me a good sense of achievement when I get bogged down in a big route...


October 27th, 2008, 08:28 AM
Hi guys.

Since the first days of Trainz, I never stopped editing my route and sometimes like all of you, I get bored and fed up so I go back to Flight Simulator, Test Drive, Orbiter before coming back to Trainz and it works. You need a break and do something else than only Trainz.

And now, two weeks ago, I started a new hobby as I started to buy G scale real model railroad. Fantastic scale and I'm eager to get enough stuff to make them rolling.


October 27th, 2008, 11:40 AM
I get a bit hot & cold over Trainz at times, but I usually just switch my attention to a different route (I have 5 on the go altogether), or do some content creation. I find that doing a very small mini-route can give me a good sense of achievement when I get bogged down in a big route...


This is a great idea, Paul. I would think that this also gives you a chance to try different ideas before you commit them to your larger layout.

This is what's so cool about Trainz. You can do these things without the cost and waste of materials. If the mini-route/test layout doesn't work, oh well, start from scratch and all that is gone is the time spent.


October 27th, 2008, 04:07 PM
As for me my routes are based around my area so each time i go back and visit that sspot i think about adding on and on. Thats for me anyways

October 27th, 2008, 06:02 PM
Yep, an old problem but one that happens to all of us at some point.

I see a few people here suggesting to have a couple of routes, myself personally, I have a real thing in that if I started a new route and stopped working on the current project, I'll never touch it again. I just lose interest in working on projects. I can really enjoy working on it, then all of a sudden I lose interest at the drop of a hat.

I hope I can complete my city route, I'm enjoying working on it at the moment.:)

October 27th, 2008, 06:32 PM
Hi All,

Wow so many insightful replies! :) I guess for me, the thing that was bogging me down was going back to a section I thought I had finished and having to some extra work and touch up. I want to finish something I'm proud of but I'm not at the *fun part* of the route I'm building. I still like the area though and I think taking a break for a week or so helped as well as driving about and finding mistakes.

I also found that looking at old pictures of my route in development helped give me a sense of confidence, pride and encouragement. Maybe that's why we all have one thread on here about our routes. :)

Thanks for the positive feedback and encouragement everyone! ^^


Gisa ^^
p.s. for those of you with newborn children, do you still find time to run amok in trains? My wife and I will start trying around Christmas and I wonder if I'll have enough time to do anything once a baby comes.

October 29th, 2008, 01:29 PM

Buy a laptop and you'll be able to do Trainz just beside your baby and wife.


October 29th, 2008, 04:45 PM
Hi Gisa

I find at times like this that other computer games are my friends. They change the scene for you mentally, but after a while you begin to miss whatever it was that first attracted you to Trainz and you slip back into it.

In my case, the other computer "game" happens to be Gmax, which while it is still associated with Trainz, is so very different in terms of how you have to think, that it has provided the necessary change of scene for me. I haven't done anything on my layout for 2 months now...but I can feel the thing drawing me back.

October 29th, 2008, 07:41 PM
Hehe Andrev, where I'm living, we don't have a lot of space. The same is true for anyone here...so when I'm in my apartment, I don't have to go far to get to my computer. :D

I do have a laptop but it's by no means a gaming laptop. My wife will probably sell her old desktop computer and take the laptop for herself.

I do play other games and yeah, I do find myself coming back to trainz. That's great advice DR. I guess you can't miss something if you are with it all the time right?


Gisa ^^

October 29th, 2008, 07:41 PM
If you suffer from Route Builder Burnout, simply do what I did - buy a Packard Bell computer from PC World. Every six months it will crash and you will lose all your work and have to start again.When you phone PC World they will deny you have a Cover Plan, even though you are paying them £10 a month for it.Finally, tell them to stick their Cover Plan where the sun doesn't shine and spend the £10 on something more useful, i.e booze...:mop:

October 30th, 2008, 04:24 AM
:| If you are paying for a cover program and getting nothing out of it, what is the point? Sounds like a possible lawsuit to me. Take out your receipt and the contract (if they gave you one) and raise hell and high water. See what happens...


Gisa ^^

October 30th, 2008, 07:30 AM
Gisa , if only it were that easy! It would have been me against a multi million pound conglomerate who own most of the electrical stores in the UK.Heres another one - I bought my PC (a Packard Bell 6810 SLI ) ex display for £700 as against its current list price of £1700 because of its Graphics capability.Immediately the salesman sold me a Cover Plan titled "Whatever Happens After You Buy".The next day I was setting the PC up and it packed in! I phoned PC World and they said "bring it in and we'll have a look".I did and the 15 year old kid serving said "the hard drive has gone - we'll give you your money back".Me - "Er, no you won't you'll repair to as new condition as it says in the CP".PCW - "We might not be able to repair it". Me- "In that case you will give me a new one". PCW - "We can't do that, you got it half price". Me - "Thats your problem.You shouldn't be selling faulty goods." PCW - "Well, what if it breaks again?" Me- "Then you'll repair it again!". The net result was that this bunch of shysters had to put in a new hard drive. If you want , I will tell you the story of the monitor I bought from them, which is even funnier.:p

October 30th, 2008, 08:19 AM
Man that sucks...I guess it had something to do with the deal you got? what happened to your monitor?


Gisa ^^

October 30th, 2008, 09:12 AM
I bought the Monitor seperately from the PC - its a 19 inch Xerox TFT which just looks like a black pane of glass - very smart.A few months after I bought it , it would take like an hour to "warm up".This got worse, so I phoned PC World and got through to one of their guys I had spoken to before - he was very knowledgable.He told me "ah, its a known problem with those monitors - bring it in and we'll fix it".But that would leave me with no monitor, so I struggled on for a few weeks, and the monitor got so bad that I had to leave it powered up all all day.I got sick, and phoned PCW to arrange collection.I got through to a young woman who said I was "not covered" for repairs to the monitor.I argued but she was adamant.I argued more till she eventually said she would check with someone else.Eventually I had a phone call from another PCW woman who said the "good news" was that my Monitor was covered by a "Business Cover Plan" for FIVE YEARS and I could have it collected and repaired at "no cost"!!!
She then added that her colleague had been "practically in tears" because I "would not take NO for an answer".I gently pointed out that if I had taken no for an answer I would have had to pay to have THEIR faulty goods repaired or shell out £100 for a new monitor? She rather tartly replied "Well its up to YOU to know what cover you have!" I said if PC Worlds own staff, who have all my details on a computer screen in front of them "don't know" how could I? Thus ended about 2 hours worth of phone calls. As a final irony, I was left with no monitor for a week and a half, so I went to a local junk shop and bought an old 11 inch CRT monitor for £10....the makers label on the back says "1987".....it works perfectly with no problems whatsoever.:cool: Wanna know the final instalment?

October 31st, 2008, 08:00 AM
Hmm...I guess tact is still underrated. I always thought that businesses that are large should err on the side of the customer but if you had a plan, it should be on their computer.

Might as well go ahead and tell us the rest of the story. :)


Gisa ^^

October 31st, 2008, 08:24 AM
I also had trouble with PC-World and their cover plan.
I took my computer in for a new graphic card and a check-up. I could have done it myself but as I was paying for the service I thought I might as well use it.
They told me it would be ready in two hours.
Three hours later I turned up for my computer. Believe it or not, they couldn't find it. I was asked 'Are you sure you used this branch'.
Anyway;- cutting a long story short, I finally got my computer back two days later. It was put in their storeroom by mistake, and forgotten about.


October 31st, 2008, 09:22 AM
"Are you sure you took it to this branch?" LOL..

OK, so I now had my "new" computer and an old CRT monitor which dates before the days of "Plug And Play" so it wouldn't work.I phone PCW and after battling to convince them I owned one of their computers and that I had a Cover Plan, the guy gives me a set of baffling instructions and the CRT monitor works perfectly.A week and a half later the new monitor comes back and it works fine, so the CRT monitor goes in a cupboard.
However, I bought my original PC (a Packard Bell 6052) from Dixons and luckily I kept it when I got my new PC, as the 6052 has never given any trouble in the 5 years I have had it.But it had no monitor so after a few months I thought I would set it up with the CRT monitor.......I phone PCW.:( ..."You have no cover Plan"..Arguments ensue...Apparently I am no longer covered for the 6052. Thinkling quickly, I said "in that case tell me how to configure the monitor for my new PC".PCW "You have no cover plan for that either." I get the receipt for the cover plan, I quote the date, receipt number, time , and the name of the salesman (Ken) who sold me it.They won't budge.So, when I got my bank statement a few days later, I told them where to take their Cover Plan and what to do with it when they got there.I cancelled it immediately
As a further bitter twist, I got a letter from PCW "Customer Care" pointing out that if I cancelled my CP, they "wouldn't be able to help me".
I swear every word of this is the truth.
P.S I later found that configuring the CRT monitor simply involved tapping "F5" repeatedly when I powered the PC up, and clicking "Select VGA Mode" from the options.That was all they had to tell me, for £10 a month.

October 31st, 2008, 10:47 AM
Hello Lewisner,

Please believe me when I say this is not schadenfreude, but it is a bit of a comfort to know that crummy customer service is not confined to the USA.:wave:


October 31st, 2008, 12:20 PM
Ha ha bl4882, I'm sure its not.Most companies in the UK who call themselves "British" seem to interpret this loosely as meaning "the former British Empire" so their call centres are always in India.I could start a whole website with hilarious conversations I have had with Singh, Pradeep and Raj in which their entry level English did battle with my strong Geordie dialect.One of the best ones was a half hour call to Norton Internet Security in which I tried to renew my subscription.The lady I spoke to had little or no grasp of the English langauge and insisted on spelling my address in the Phonetic alphabet BUT not the proper one - her own "made up" one.Having told her I lived in York, there was a long pause pause................"errr which country is York in?" Finally we got to the price "50 US Dollars"........I came close to losing my temper and said "Why on earth would I want the price in US Dollars when I live in England?" She replied "I will put you on hold while I get it converted to Pounds." Naturally I slammed the phone down and never renewed...Felt good.....:D

October 31st, 2008, 02:21 PM
Hi Geordie,
Talk about parallel universes, we must live in a parallel world.
Try communicating with a Welsh accent :hehe:


October 31st, 2008, 07:09 PM
Hey Scorpio, I now use Post Office Broadband after using BT (Indian Call Centre) and AOL (Indian Call Centre).The Post Offices call centre is in Ireland....well dammit, its as near as you can get....BTW all the guys who work there have names beginning with a "G"...:eek: