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Friday, April 27, 2007

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TrainPlayer Brings Model Railroading To Macs
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | 5 comments

TrainPlayer Software recently announced the release of Macintosh versions of its TrainPlayer and TrackLayer software products for model railroaders. Mac OS X users can now operate virtual trains on hundreds of prepared track plans, including all of "101 Track Plans for Model Railroaders," the classic layout book by Linn Westcott. With the TrackLayer module, they can also draw and operate their own plans on the computer.

TrainPlayer simulates operation of a model railroad layout. Each track plan is equipped with a layer of electronic track, a user-modifiable assortment of trains, and a control panel resembling an old-fashioned power pack. TrackLayer is an add-on module for drawing track, curves, switches, and turntables. The typical user starts with a track plan scanned from a drawing or magazine or prepared in another program, then traces over the track lines using TrackLayer tools.

The Mac version of the software has been under development for nine months. The project involved developing a new framework and user interface from scratch on the Mac's latest platform, Cocoa, then adapting the railroad logic to be shared with the Windows version. The result has a Mac-like look and feel on top of a solid railroad operation engine.

The Mac version has been in beta testing for over two months, and has received good reviews from the testers. Most found it easy to use, Mac-friendly, and fun. There is very little model railroad software for Mac users, so many have been eagerly awaiting the release. Says Dave Reichley: "I've been checking your website almost daily since January in hopes of being able to download Trainplayer for Mac." Dick Nelson calls it "a fantastic variety of layouts for less than the cost of a decent model locomotive."
Four pricing levels are available: TrainPlayer ($29.95; includes ten Westcott layouts); TrackLayer ($49.95; includesTrainPlayer and ten layouts); TrainPlayer Deluxe ($59.95; includes all 101 layouts); and TrackLayer Deluxe ($79.95; includesTrainPlayer and all 101 layouts). Products are available for purchase online via credit card, for immediate download or delivery on CD by mail. Purchase of any product comes with access to a large collection of track plans and car collections on the web.

The current Mac release requires OS X 10.4. A version for 10.3 should be released soon.

For more information, visit the company's web site at the link below.

TrainPlayer Software
TrainPlayer Mac

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