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Thread: Considering Retiring My HO Scale Layout and going all Trainz

  1. #1
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    Default Considering Retiring My HO Scale Layout and going all Trainz

    Hi, I just discovered Trainz and really like it. I currently have an HO scale layout that is 18' x 18' with several industries. I am getting ready to retire and will not have the room that I currently have, so all my trains must go. I am considering using some of the money from my hobby sale to build a super PC with multiple screens and buy Trainz to get my fix.

    Have any of you folks made this sort of transition? I apologize that i am a new user and may not have read as much as I should have before asking this question.





  2. #2
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    Hello,
    The track icon next to your user name should have a version name. If you have not registered your copy of Trainz (you don't say which version you have) you need to do so. Without doing that you will get little response. If you have registered your copy of Trainz then you need to contact support and have them tie your registration to your forum userid. (Compare your userid track icon to others on the forum and you'll see what I refer to.)

    Oh, and welcome. Don't want to appear unfriendly. This all has to do with forum users being legitimate Trainz users. The people here are nice, friendly, and helpful.
    Last edited by 1611mac; February 26th, 2020 at 12:18 PM.
    TRS19 SP1(Plus), 105100(plus), 106618(+beta)
    ASUS B450M-A/CSM, GTX 1060-6 Windforce


  3. #3

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    I did, albeit not intentionally. I discovered Trainz by accident at point where I'd just moved house and sold most of my 4mm scale stuff with the intention of building an N-gauge layout at the new house.

    15 years later I keep thinking about the physical layout, but it seems to have a great many limitations when I compare it to what I can do in Trainz.

  4. #4

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    Over the years I graduated from railway modelling to computer gaming (in the wider sense) resulting in an Ebay sale of the last few remaining items over 10 years ago. Lack of time, lack of space and (these days) the ridiculous cost of setting up even a modest layout with a couple of consists continue to put me off. A loss in manual dexterity and the ability to close focus without an optical migraine setting in (probably due to all the time in front of a PC screen ) also a factor.

    I do occasionally though miss, the look, feel and smell of the real thing going round a layout.
    TRS 2019 Coach Class (Former Customer)

  5. #5
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    From early childhood to present (I am now 63), I have been an HO scale model railroader wannabe. I have designed and started several layouts, but I have never had the time, skill, permanence of residence, space, or money to realize my ambitions. Until Trainz. Trainz will take up your time, but after the learning curve I believe you'll be able to create what you envision more quickly in Trainz than HO. Trainz eliminates the space, permanence of residence and money issues. I subscribe to Model railroader, and am aghast at what a decent layout would cost to build today. Plus, my modeling skills would likely never attain to what's needed to makes scenes that look like what I see in the magazine photo spreads. Plus, I'm inept at woodwork and soldering. The only real issue with going with Trainz rather than HO, in my opinion, is mastering the software to the point where you can make things look the way you really want them to. This takes a while, but these forums will usually provide all the answers as your questions arise.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by pequeajim View Post
    Hi, I just discovered Trainz and really like it. I currently have an HO scale layout that is 18' x 18' with several industries. I am getting ready to retire and will not have the room that I currently have, so all my trains must go. I am considering using some of the money from my hobby sale to build a super PC with multiple screens and buy Trainz to get my fix.

    Have any of you folks made this sort of transition? I apologize that i am a new user and may not have read as much as I should have before asking this question.





    I used to run N gauge but the expense and dust were problems. I use a single screen basically 1920 by 1080 with a 6 core Xeon Dell refurbished workstation and an RTX2070 watch the video cards and base machine as not all video cards fit all PCs. Basically 1920*1080 gives you the number of pixels, to drive three screens that gives you 3 times the pixels so use https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu_list.php an RTX 2070 has a score of around 14,000 so to give the same frame rates over three screens you need a video card with a score of 42,000 and they don't exist. A new Dell will set you back about $2,000 - $2,500 and its the high end GPU you're after. I'd go 16 gigs of memory. Dellrefurbished.com $570 currently will get you an eight core xeon with 32 gigs of memory but you'll need a GPU that fits, low height is the key here, and to upgrade it to Win 10 which is normally free. Normally Trainz is GPU bound, not CPU and the refurbished or off lease workstations are good solid machines with reasonable power supplies.

    These days I still have a 9 volt Lego train set up in the basement 8 by 4 immune to dust, but its mainly Trainz these days. I ended up more in content creation than in running using blender.

    Cheerio John

  7. #7
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    I knew a guy that sold his fathers high quality Athearn locos, railcars, platform, lock stock and barrel, to a local Model RR club member for $200 (worth $ 2500).

    I guess I have $700 worth of HO loco's and railcars, and a sectional 9' x 9' "L" easily dismantleable platform that probably cost me another $1000. I will have great difficulty ever get that much for them.

    Sold my fathers, S American Flyer set, 100' rubber roadbed track , for $200, worth at least $1000 today.

    Went to a huge hobby convention, and the vendors complained that people came, looked, picked up things, got finger print oil all over them, broke them, walked away without buying anything, and hardly made any sales in a 2 day period, to cover the table reservation cost.

    A huge indestructible layout made by a very famous collector, had chicken wire, plaster, hydrocal, cement. Took a crew with saw-zalls, and jackhammers, to totally demolishion the famous basement layout featured in Model Railroader.
    Last edited by MP242; February 26th, 2020 at 03:01 PM.
    My apologies to all. I have decided that in these horrible current events, we all need to stick together as a Community

  8. #8
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    Welcome to Trainz and to the forums, Jim.

    I made the plunge in 2004. I have an extensive collection of N-scale equipment tucked away in plastic crates. In 2000-2003 I had setup a good-sized layout, layout number 4 actually, which like the others met their demise due to a number of reasons. This time was due to some neurological issues I had which caused my hands to lose their fine motor control. I noticed that I was whiffing when painting buildings and gluing stuff initially, and chocked it up to being tired, but it got wors, and when I knocked an expensive locomotive to the floor, I gave up. It didn't help that my cats were stealing stuff from the layout and ate my wires underneath. The drop of the loco was pretty much the nail in the coffin. Just as I gave up, I discovered Trainz TRS2004 in December 2003, and the layout was packed up for good in 2004 after the spiders had moved in and took over the tunnel portals and station platforms. So today I am 100% digital. I miss the physical models but do not miss the mess, cost, and space they take up.

    My computer is about 5 years old. It has a Intel 5930 Extreme CPU and 64GB of RAM, loads of disk space (highly recommended), and a GTX1080TI video card. The system cost under $1300 to build initially. Today you can build a similar system for about the same and you have even better video cards. My 1080TI is a replacement for a 780TI I had previously. If you're wondering why I have so much RAM, I use my system for music editing as well and the high-end CPU plus all the RAM allows for very fast editing and no stuttering which is really awful when editing music.
    John
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
    T:ANE Build: 94829
    TRS2019/Trainz-PLUS: 105100

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
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    New to Trainz as well, and in the Boomer age group, in fact second-generation Model RR'er since I was in short pants. I don't have an active HO layout (not for 20 years), but still have all the stuff and my father's as well. Still may set up something, as I miss it. But this Trainz thing is great! To someone well familiar with the limitations of HO, it is great fun to just run through the scenarios of the wide variety of routes, and now I'm making sessions to try out operating. I can see trying my hand at creating a route, but that is way down the tracks.

    If storage is not a problem, why sell everything? For a few years I had a 3'x9' switching-type pike. Even a little diorama can be fun to stage photos. Point is, the selling price and hassle is sometimes not worth it, and there is something called "seller's remorse."

    I see Trainz as a supplement to RR interests (I took some photos the other day of some trackside buildings).

  10. #10

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    hihi - strange,

    sold my n-scale - worth easily 6.000 deutschmarks for 1.500 in 1991 and always felt sorry for this loss.

    Started trainz in 2004 as a substitution and started slot car racing about the same time but only in scale 1:43. Changed to 1:32 5 years ago and have about 100 cars meanwhile plus a nice track and lots of equipment.

    Still felt sorry for not having a modell railway lay out.

    Sold my car last year and decided, now its time to buy a modell railway again, this time in H0 as i have room enough in the house. Meanwhile, i have about 30 locos and lots aof cars and my house looks like a toy museum meanwhile.

    But still - trainz takes most of my free time, I could not do without i suppose.

  11. #11
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    Sold off most of a large collection a while back and went all in with trainz here as well. While there are pros and cons to both hobbies, there are times when I long for a particular HO locomotive that I once had. But then, if you really want something in trainz and have the patience to learn 3d modeling, you can just make it yourself.

    Still have a handful of HO/N scale locomotives (mostly NS) but the only time they see the the light of day is when they're posing for a new trainz creation on my desk.
    Toujours Prêt!

  12. #12
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    One thing to remember, if you start building routes, don't expect them to immediately look like the great ones that are out there. This is an art, not just a game.
    I7-8700K
    1070Ti
    PCIe SSD operation (program and build)

  13. #13
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    its a very do-able scenario. you have the scope to do things you never could with a layout. space is not a problem and you can operate and modify many existing routes before getting stuck into your own, providing you have familiar with using a PC and troubleshooting when things go wrong is see no issues. my advice is, spend as much as you can on the graphics card and have a LOT of storage space ( at least several terabytes on multiple SSDs ) and perform daily backups of any routes onto those multiple drives. make sure at least one is external in case of mishaps.
    WARNING! The Surgeon General has determined that the use of the simulator Trainz is highly addictive,

  14. #14
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    I sold my large H0 layout when I left school and although from a cost, space and practicality perspective it was with hindsight the only option I've frequently regretted doing so. Going on about model railways my daughter got me Trainz 2004 which I never really touched but also purchased Trainz 2006 some time later and from then on I was hooked. Trainz does not replace the model railway it compliments it and in the media of 3D animation you can achieve realities which you can only aspire to in the materials of railway modelling. So why the regrets, its not the layout but the late 1950 early 1960 Hornby models I which I still had. Today I have a young granddaughter who fiddles with that original Trainz 2004 on an old laptop. I think all children should be given the opportunity to build something with there hands and what would be better than her grandfathers model rolling stock as she does with her mothers dolls house and Lego. Peter

  15. #15
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    Trainz will keep you busy.
    2600K Quad-Core 3.4 GHz. 16G Ram, 2 Old Gtx 560 TI's SLI mode, Trainz First Class Ticket - Lifetime Subscription. Build 78660

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