Narrow Gauge and the Trainz Narrowgaugers
The one thing that can be universally said about narrow gauge is that it's nonstandard. Its equipment has been described as quaint, cute, funky, and off-beat. Its tracks have ventured into areas where no others dared to tread, and its fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants approach to railroading is legendary. Narrow gauge railways were typically built where standard railways would have been too cumbersome or expensive, which is to say they were usually built under difficult conditions and trying circumstances.
For the most part narrow gauge railways have been used to haul minerals and forest and agricultural products from their sources to their processing facilities. Often the sources, such as mines and forests, were finite in their productivity, and the rails to these locations were temporary though temporary could mean 30 years in some instances.
Narrow gauge railways also had permanent trunk lines. At least one famous line, the White Pass & Yukon Railway, still exists in Alaska. Narrow gauge railways are also used in industrial settings, though we have not focused on this aspect.
You could say similar things about our group, the Trainz Narrowgaugers, at least as far as the nonstandard goes. We have no charter, no formal organization, no rules. We are a loose-knit group of individuals with a common interest in narrow gauge railroading and who have complementary, overlapping skills. We manage to work together harmoniously and cooperatively, though we are not always unanimous about things.
Just as narrow gauge defies the conventional or expected, the Trainz Narrowgaugers are nonconventional and sometimes contradictory. For example:
Our founder and spiritual leader is Peter Pardoe-Matthews (aka Narrowgauge), who with a little help from his friends, built almost the entire Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes roster a little over a year ago. Peter is from Adelaide, Australia; the SR&RL from the state of Maine in America.
Our leader for the Trainz Partnerz project is Rich Blake (aka Slugsmasher), who lives in Washington State, loves the western logging scene, especially narrow gauge, volunteers for the local railway museum and earns his living at sea as a Senior Chief in the US Navy.
Linda Tingvik (aka Shortline2), is our only female member. She's Norwegian, living in the Netherlands, and in love with Colorado mining scene.
Todd Hohlenkamp (aka Prowler) is known as a Colorado man from his super web site and Colorado narrow gauge models. Todd now lives and works in the Eastern part of the US.
Al Barten (aka abarten) confesses to being a closet trolley nut.
Here's a capsule summary of our members, who they are, and some of what they've done.
Mark Baldwin (markb01); TP Scripts; USA; Computer Game Designer (Empire, Empire II, Perfect General, Star Fleet I & II, Star Legions, NHRA Drag Racing, Metal Fatigue, others); Game Instructor (University of Advancing Technology, Westwood College), Gilpin History Museum; Interested in Colorado Railroads; Trainz modeler especially interested in using Trainz for historic modeling.
Information about the Gilpin Tramway and the railroads, mines and mills of Gilpin County Colorado can be seen at www.gilpintram.com. I have released a couple of fictional routes (KUID: 97302).
Alfred Barten (abarten); TP Editor; USA; Tech Writer; Virtual Railroader (www.virtualrailroader.com) and Complete WORKS IN PROGRESS (www.alfredbarten.com); creator of Trainz routes (KUID: 68330); railroad modeler (O, On30; and HO); rail historian (published articles in Locomotive & Railway Preservation, Railfan & Railroad, Electric Lines); cofounder, operator, former officer Shelburne Falls Trolley Museum; created board games (cards and dice) as a kid.
I regard Virtual Railroader as my most important contribution to the Trainz community.
Rich Blake (slugsmasher); TP Team Leader; USA; Senior Chief, US Navy; Slugsmasher (www.steammachine.com/slugsmasher); creator of the Clear Lake logging route and the Sandy River route, numerous steam locomotives, rolling stock, structures and interactive logging industry items (KUID: 86661) available at Trainz DLS and www.steammachine.com/slugsmasher; other hobbies include rock climbing, mountain and road biking, autocross car racing, model railroading, scale auto modeling, and VW restoration.
Peter Hilton (Shadowline); TP Content Creator; Australian;Manufacturer; Layouts I have published for Trainz (KUID: 51812): my version of John Allen's Gorre and Daphetid, Cumberland, UtahRG, Puffing Billy, and Rauma River.
Having lived near Puffing Billy all my life, I can see the attraction towards narrow gauge railways, which is why I asked Peter Pardoe-Matthews for help with Puffing Billy - the rolling stock and trackside structures.
Todd Hohlenkamp (Prowler901); TP Content Creator; USA Software Systems Engineer/Administrator; Prowler (www.steammachine.com/prowler); creator of D&RGW and RGS narrow gauge steam engines, rolling stock, and buildings for Trainz (KUID: 43955) available at www.steammachine.com/prowler; enjoys building sci-fi models and sport rocketry.
Charlie J. Lear (cjlear); TP route creator; Australian; Systems Specialist; has lived and breathed trains since 2 years old; created many items of scenery and rolling stock for Trainz (KUID: 62941); best work so far is the Norris Green branch for Razorback Railway.
Peter Pardoe-Matthews (narrowgauge); TP Part-Time Group Leader, gmax creator, and general troubleshooter; Australian; Retired; lifetime train enthusiast, both real and model; modeled in O, HO, and N scales; remembers trains when steam or electric traction were the only ways to travel; created for Trainz (KUID: 44700): narrow gauge steam locomotives and a couple of diesels, narrow gauge rolling stock for SR&RL, Puffing Billy, and logging lines, together with a wide range of logging scenery items, more than 500 at the last count, but has never had the time to create a route; interested in photography and computer programming.
I consider my best content to be the 2-foot gauge SR&RL set and the 30-inch gauge Puffing Billy Railway set with the highlight being the G42 Beyer-Garratt. I am also proud of the Climax geared locomotive, which was my first model.
For TRS 2006 I have built a model of the South African Railways NGG11 2-foot gauge Beyer-Garratt, and also a 3-foot gauge centre cab diesel once used for hauling copper ore on steep grades and through tight tunnels.
Robert Pearson (Rpearson); TP Engine specs, scripts and testing: USA; Naval Architect; Trainz KUID: 65931; N scale modeler; interested in steam locomotives of all gauges since a small boy; member of the Friends of the East Broad Top RR to help preserve the heritage of that 3` NG railroad; besides Trainz, mostly interested in simulation type games - Aces of the Deep, Silent Hunter I & II, B-17 Mighty 8th, Age of Sail II & PB (talk about dumb AI) and as soon as I clear enough room on the HD - Silent Hunter III.
Michael Sutton (sirgibby); TP layout building and beta testing; New Zealand; Engineer/Draughstman; TRAINZONE (www.trainzone.co.nz); creator of MURCHISON NG logging layout; creator of Pioneer house series, Nature Series 1 (river splines, animated waterfalls, Middle-earth texture set) and Nature Series 2 (cliff splines, rail-ledge splines, rock splines) (KUID: 47439).
I am keen on all aspects of model and prototypical railways but in particular early NG logging operations. While I enjoy ruining locomotives I prefer to set the layout scene for making loco running as realistic as possible.
Linda Irene Tingvik (shortline2); TP Modeler; Norwegian; Housewife; Cripple Creek Gold Mining District (http://www.cripplecreekrailroads.com); Colorado mining related models (KUID:77573); Colorado Mining related modeler/collector (Virtual & H0)
Things we like about Trainz
-It is an excellent, versatile program
-The routes that can be created are limited only by the imagination of the creator
-Virtual models of almost anything can be created for the program using the free gmax program
-The forum, where people are invariably helpful and friendly
-The Download Station containing a huge quantity and variety of downloadable routes and content
-The fact that Trainz virtual models can be widely distributed and enjoyed by so many people worldwide
-The way the Auran involve the users of their program in developing its design
-The "no need for a large house/room" aspect!
-The possibilities to model & explore virtually places/areas/trains that no longer exist
-The way Trainz allows easy modeling of our own worlds
-The great community!
Works of other Trainz developers we admire
We admire and commend the efforts of all Trainz creators for making the effort to create useful add-ons and making them available as shareware and payware. Their effort has made Trainz the enormously capable game that it has become.