There are two issues which play a role in restricting many model railroaders opportunity to fully enjoy the rewarding hobby of model trains, and they are space and budget. There isn’t a great deal a model train enthusiast can do about limited space except to model in one of the smaller scales, such as the N scale. Having a limited budget is something that is shared by many, and the only thing one can do to deal with this problem is to patiently add to your layout as funds become available. However, there is a reasonable solution to these problems, and it comes to the hobbyist via the model train simulator.
The model train simulator provides the hobbyist with a way to create their own virtual model railroad with few limitations, if any at all. There are a few requirements which have to be fulfilled, and having satisfied these you can easily be on your way to creating the model railroad that you have been dreaming about. You’ll obviously need to spend a few dollars for one of the programs which are available, but compared to the cost of building a layout from scratch, the pricing is miniscule in comparison. Prices range from $19.00 to $139.95 for games or programs of this type.
Given that folks who are interested in flying airplanes can purchase flight simulators, the model railroader is now provided with the same benefit today through the model train simulator, and why not? Your imagination will certainly be satisfied as these simulators will allow you to create more than you might think, and certainly exceed your expectations.
Remember that complicated and very intricate layout you were hoping that you could build? This dream can be brought to fruition with a model train simulator. You can plan and design even the most complex of layouts that will transport your locomotives and railcars to whatever destination you wish them to travel too! More importantly, you’ll be in the drivers seat, which will allow you to enjoy the views from a first person point of vantage as well as many third person viewing angles. Even better, these views are presented in high quality 3D graphics.
If these features were not enough, you’ll also experience the sounds which are associated with real life prototype railroading that includes other life like touches such as wind, smoke, and sparks. Other features include simulated weather conditions, like rain, fog, and snow. Along with this you’ll also observe trees that sway in the wind.
The program includes a rail network editor that has a very complete network of junctions, crossovers, yards, s-shaped tracks and much more. You’ll be able to control the timing of switches, signals, and you be able to manage the speed of your trains.
Even with all of these features which are certain to engage the imagination of any model railroader, nothing will replace an actual model train layout which the hobbyist has spent many devoted and hard working hours to create. On the other hand the model train simulator is certainly worth considering. It can make up for some of the limitations which most of us have to contend with, and provide you with many hours of entertainment!
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If you’d like to find out if model train simulators are for you without spending any money, I recently discovered one that is absolutely free which will allow you to test drive this product.
With that said, however, as with all things that are available at no cost, there are a couple of limitations with this free software compared to those you pay for. This particular piece of software only offers a view that is straight forward through the cab window and cannot be modified.
However, additional train cab views and routes can be added. Additionally, other hobbyist or route builders have created as many as 300 additional routes for this program. Although this software only offers a one dimensional view, the fact is that this is a free program and will definitely give you an idea of how model train simulators perform.
The software is provided by a Japanese company and requires a little assistance to understand how to install it. I’ve included a link which is below for a YouTube video that will guide you through the process. Enjoy!
How to Install BVE 5 Train Simulator
In addition to this video there are several others on the same page which you may find useful as well as interesting.
Shortcut-here’s the direct link for the software: