Well this is my final edition of Community Express for awhile as I leave Auran this coming Friday for a week's holiday before taking up my new position. What can I say? It has been fun and I would like to thank everyone at Auran, particularly the Online Services Team and the Brew Crew for making my position at Auran as Community Development Manager so successful and enjoyable. The scale of Auran's participation and collaboration with the Trainz community just would not be possible for a development company of this size without the support, encouragement and enthusiasm of many people here at Auran. The very fact that Auran even has such a position is a testament to Greg Lane and Tony Hilliam's vision and awareness for the importance of developing close relationships with fan communities. But my biggest thanks goes to the many members of the Trainz community who have contributed their energy, passion, enthusiasm, ideas, forum posts and content. Without your participation there obviously would not be a community in the first place. This is your community and it will continue to grow over the coming months and years. The future looks bright for Trainz with the recent UK release and the forthcoming Ultimate Trainz Collection. I also know many other secret (tm)s that strongly suggest Trainz will be a huge success. But I'm not telling :) Stay tuned for more exciting developments over the coming months.
I will still be around, regularly participating in the community as a moderator and acting as a consultant/advisor to Auran on Community related matters. So feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org should you ever have any comment, questions or suggestions for the Trainz Community. I will no doubt see many of you in the chat or the forum.
In Community news this week Realsquash (Andy) is "proud to announce that DigitalRoundhouse.com is open for business! We have a few things up for sale and have some big plans for the future. We will be creating anything and everything for Trainz, including structures, rolling stock, locomotives, etc. We would like to invite everyone to come to the DR and participate in the forums and download the demo AC4400. We will continue to produce and support freeware as well as our payware release. The URL to the site is obviously http://www.digitalroundhouse.com Thanks, Andy" Great work guys at the DigitalRoundhouse, it is fantastic to see the third-party community growing and we wish you every success with your venture.
Chris Caswell, one of the regulars in the Trainz chat also contributed the following:
Struggle along 157 miles of single-track mainline though arguably the most beautiful scenery in the world. Travel though the ends of the earth... Valleys only a hand full of people have ever trekked... past tranquil streams and raging torrents... along sheer cliffs hundreds of feet high. Though it's no walk in the park you have the equipment to get you through this, a fleet of modern GE diesels built for the job.
The First climb begins only 4 miles from the North Vancouver yard, it's a simple 1.0% grade to the mile long tunnel perched 800' above Horseshoe Bay. Soon after, as you roll downgrade towards sea level, you will pass the main ferry terminal to Vancouver Island, a major hub in Southern BC. You will pass fancy homes, campgrounds, an abandoned copper mine, a world class golf course, and many other interesting trackside attractions as you curve around the coves and peninsulas along Northern Howe Sound and into Squamish. The Squamish Yard heads straight inland from Howe Sound, the last time you will be even close to sea level.
Continuing north out of the yard only 10 miles is the siding of Cheakamus. It lies at the bottom of a 24 mile climb at an almost constant gradient of 2.2%. This brings the line up to an elevation of 2100' and the world class resort town of Whistler BC.
The alpine rivers start to flow north now as you pass over this plateau and towards a 14 mile long decent at 2.0% into the small town of Pemberton... almost a gateway to nowhere in a sense. It's easy going for the next 4 miles into the village of Evans BC, which lies at the foot of another 13 mile climb that averages out to around 2.0%. Now sitting at 1600' it's time to descend down a 9 mile 1.9% grade to the village of D'Arcy.
The remaining 20 miles into Lilloet are corner after corner along a lakeside shelf only about 15' wide. Rockslides here have resulted in many trains derailing into Seton Lake.
This breathtaking route is about to begin construction for both Auran Trainz and MSTS, if you would like to learn more about the project please stop by our community at http://groups.msn.com/BCRSquamishSub Sounds like an excellent project Chris, good luck with it. We look forward to seeing it up and running in the future.
This week's Screenshotz provide a sneak peek preview of Ultimate Trainz Collection. For your viewing pleasure:
The Trainz forum waffle thread of the week goes to PikkaBird's "Ugly Yellow Thing" thread. As some of you know Pikka has been working here at Auran over the course of the past few weeks helping out with testing for UTC. He's been doing a great job. Pikka will also shortly be taking up a role as an Auran Trainz forum moderator (he is currently a community moderator) and will also be answering Trainz related emails. On the topic of moderators, you will have noticed that we recently appointed a few new community moderators. I would like to thank all the current moderators for taking on this challenging and at times difficult role. Here's a list of the current community mods:
And we also have a new Auran moderator. Mr Lane himself will be taking on the role of an Auran moderator. Congratulations Greg, I hereby arm you with the waffle cards; use them well ;)
PaintShed Competition Winners.
Congratulations to the winners of the PaintShed competition.