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July 18th
Last Whistle Post

[imagination on]
Head out the window of my cab - steaming along nicely along the plains with my load of felled trees for the Lumber Mill. The thuderstorm is behind me now and the rain is clearing. The familiar clickety-clack of the rails and the steam exhaust beat is beginning to lull me into a feeling of relaxation. I'm nearly finished for the day though; I've got a cross with Train 4512, a down Forest train driven by Jake, then a clear run to the lumber mill and clock-off time! Ok, time to ease back on the regulator as the crossing loop is up ahead over the bridge. Down to 30km/h as as I cross the bridge. I wonder how the fish are running today I wonder, as I look down at the lapping water and the sinking sun reflecting off the surface. Through the hazy rain ahead I can see my signal - damn - it's at stop. Looks like Jake is going to be entering to loop first. I cut off the regulator and release some air, and come to a stop just in front of my signal. With a cursory grunt, my fireman notices that the Signals and Telegraph guys have been out today and painted the signal arm bright red again. I don't know, I kind of preferred the arm that always looked like it was going to drop off whenever it moved! In the distance I can see the headlight of Jake's train as he enters the loop - right on time too! After a few minutes, the signal arm drops; "green light" calls the fireman! Open the regulator, release the brakes and we trundle forward into the loop. As we go past Train 4512 I can see Jake in the cab so I give him a wave and a short touch of the whistle. It should be "greens" all the way to the mill now! I see the end of Jake's train is moving again so good to see that the other drivers have learnt to use junction levers ... he'll make it to the Forest without me having to worry! Out across the plains again and it's time to set the regulator wide-open. In no time flat we are headed home at a quick pace. Just can't wait to finish up and get home. Working out what all the other drivers are up to at the moment on the railway and I'm just glad that I'll be the first one finished for the day. Poor Thommo has to take a rake down to the Coal Mine and get it back to the Port before clock-off time for him! Oh well, at least I don't have to stick around and hold his hand anymore! Nice gentle curves ahead so time to slow down and look out for the distant home that's not too far away. RED! Why is it at red. Wonder if it's a fault with the repeater again - it's been playing up all week .... "
[imagination off]

I hope you picked up a few new features in TRS from that little trip! Well, I'm now in a hurry to really head home (by plane) from Auran and I'll start off by saying a BIG "Thank You" to everyone here at Auran. Everyone has been so friendly and helpful that it has been a real pleasure to work here for a few weeks. Oh, and thanks for the source code too!

To everyone hanging on with baited breath for the release of TRS, you are in for a real treat! TRS takes Trainz to new levels for both the average Trainz user who enjoys driving around his own layout, to those who enjoy running scenarios, and those who make all the custom content. TRS has great new features that are too numerous to mention, and I'm sure the Auran Crew will be releasing more detail once we get closer to release date.

The feature I want to get across in my last post from Auran is perhaps THE most powerful aspect of TRS, yet probably the hardest to understand. Whilst we have all the new features such as steam support, new water and a host of other things, if you lift up the hood over the Trainz engine, what you see is amazing! TRS gives content creators and scripters untold access to the Trainz engine that will enable us to produce content that not only looks great, but is intelligent. Signalling systems, loading docks, and a host of other features will become available due to the new Trainz Open Architecture. When a scripter and modeller combine, the effects can be quite dazzling and is really only limited by our imaginations. The most important part to me of TRS is this new "under the hood" system that opens the world to a whole new experience in Railroading. To the Trainz user, the list is endless...signalling systems that work just the way they do on your real local railway, locos that whistle when they pass a whistle post .... the list could go on forever, as we now have the tools to create new systems and features for the new worlds we will drive in.

Hang onto your hats - it's going to be a thrilling ride ........... soon(tm).

Hanging the hat up and leaving Auran!
Greg (Shutter)

PS. The new steam locos are great! My favourite was the .... ummm, and that's all there is to it!!





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