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FindMySoft Editor's Review
Open Rails - Old-school train simulator
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Originally created to provide routes and other content for Microsoft's Train Simulator, back in 2001, Open Rails became its own thing after the timely demise of Microsoft's title. It can be considered a spiritual successor to Train Simulator, but a more polished and better performing one, for something of its age. It places you in the driver's seat of modern or classical trains and it lets you follow real-life train routes and transport cargo or passengers.

Installing Open Rails on a computer is a simple and straightforward task and it shouldn't take long to complete. There are no advanced settings to be made along the way and you don't have to meet any special requirements. The simulator itself is free, but you have to find and download content for it separately.

When launched, Open Rails will present a control panel, on which you can load and tweak different simulation modules. You can load one or more modules in the general settings menu, where you can also enable or disable various realism settings, like breaking couplers or curve dependent speed limits. Additionally, you can look over a long list of hotkeys and change them if you need to and perform many other tweaks.

Once you have at least one module loaded, the main control panel will be populated with a large amount of information, as well as various options. The software lets you choose a route, a locomotive, a starting and ending location, set up a timetable and more. You may also choose to drive during a certain season and in certain weather conditions.

If you are satisfied with your settings, you only need to click a Start button and the simulator will boot up. Once it is loaded, you are immediately placed in the driver's seat of a locomotive. At this point, you can start rolling right away. You can either look up a tutorial on the Internet or you can follow the game's instructions.

Basically, you have to release the brake, put the reverser in the forward position and slowly pull the throttle to start moving. If you move the throttle too far and too abruptly, you will have a thougher start, due to wheel spin. As you move on the railway tracks, you can look left and right in the cabin and you can also press certain hotkeys to switch to some exterior camera view modes.

The simulation involves various real-world situations, like stopping at stations, loading and loading passengers or cargo, following the rules of the road and slowing down before tight turns, manipulating railway switches and much more.

If you are a train enthusiast and you miss Microsoft's old Train Simulator, then Open Rails is something you should definitely try out.

You can load various simulation modules. Locomotives can be controlled like the real things and they behave like in real life. The simulator works quite well on modern systems and there are no compatibility issues to encounter.

The game's engine and graphics are a bit outdated.

You can download Open Rails free here.
About the author: Frederick Barton
Frederick is a software review editor at FindMySoft. From gadgets to software.
You can follow him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter

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Open Rails Editor's Review Rating
Open Rails has been reviewed by Frederick Barton on 08 Nov 2017. Based on the user interface, features and complexity, Findmysoft has rated Open Rails 4 out of 5 stars, naming it Excellent
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