Free & open source game of
rail & business simulation

April 30, 2007

FreeTrain Forum Now Online

Filed under: News — charlie @ 12:18 pm

We now have an official forum, powered by phpBB and kindly provided by the people over at

Sign up and get discussing your favourite rail and business simulation game. ;-)

April 29, 2007

Work on the UI & Plugin Pack

Filed under: News — daniel @ 1:31 am

We have recently been joined by Steven Hoefel, a contributor to the TTDPatch project. He has already done some excellent work on adapting the UI to the English translation as well as other tweaks to the game. He has uploaded screenshots of his progress to his personal photo album. See for example this nice shot of FreeTrain’s scheduling system in action! His changes are not in SVN yet, but he has promised to bless the community with a meaty patch soon.

Elsewhere in the news, I have begun work on bringing the “Additional Plugin Set” to the non-Japanese speaking crowd. This is a package containing practically every plugin ever made for FreeTrain, all nicely packaged and documented. The unpacked archive takes up a whooping 124 MB of disk space and contains no less than 233 plugins! These plugins introduces a host of new trains, structures and other goodies. I haven’t had the time to look through them all, but I’ve seen airport terminals, university campuses, and roller coasters, just to mention a few. All this content will take a while to translate, so please be patient! :-)

April 16, 2007

It’s Alive!

Filed under: News — charlie @ 3:36 am

Daniel [himasaram] and Chiname [c477] have combined in spectacular fashion to breathe life into the translated version of FreeTrain.  It lives!  It runs!  Check out this screenshot as evidence.  :-)

April 14, 2007

Major Progress + New Developer

Filed under: News — daniel @ 9:40 pm

There have been some major changes to our source repository since the last post. First out, Charlie located an unofficial FreeTrain branch “FreeTrainEx“, a while ago, featuring a large array of new features that we just couldn’t go without. For this, we have been busy merging the two the last week.  What’s even better, the maintainer of this branch - C477 - has joined the development team! He is currently busy overseeing the final touches to the translation.

We are all working hard to bring you the highest quality and most enjoyable FreeTrain experience there is!

April 8, 2007

Translation complete!

Filed under: News — daniel @ 1:33 am

Good news: I just put the finishing touches on the English translation of FreeTrain! However, since this translation was made without being able to build the modified source to check that the translation fits and makes sense, it is in its current shape without doubt far from perfect.

Right now, I am struggling with getting this to build with SharpDevelop 2.1. Anyone familiar with C# development in general and SharpDevelop in particular, should feel extremely free to give a helping hand!

In the meantime, let’s drool over this gargantuan screenshot of a FreeTrain game in progress…

April 1, 2007

Translator’s diary #5

Filed under: News — daniel @ 7:37 pm

After a major push this weekend, with red eyes and sore wrists as a result, all plugins are completely translated!

Mostly building sets, you will be able to spot a few famous Japanese landmarks in FreeTrain, including Tokyo Station, Shinjuku Mitsui Building, and Osaka Castle.

As of translation work, only the tools/ directory remains. Now, if we only could get this thing running..!

March 30, 2007

Translator’s diary #4

Filed under: News — daniel @ 5:48 am

It’s late, so I’ll make this brief. The latest batch of plugins contained mostly road and rail related features, including rail signals and utility poles (called “electric poles” in the source; but that didn’t sound quite correct to me.) The largest plugin, however, was org.kohsuke.freetrain.soccerStadium that not only implements a huge very nice-looking stadium building, but also a pro league minigame! I can’t comment on how it plays, but you will be competing against heavy-weighters such as Tokyo Verdi, Katori Antlers, and Shohoku Bellmare. =)

March 29, 2007

Translator’s diary #3

Filed under: News — daniel @ 6:10 pm

This time I translated a large number of ‘light’ plugins. A bulldozer plugin that allows you to level terrain; a host of plugins that adds various foilage to the world: rivers, creeks, farmland, rice paddies, and forest; plus background music and train bell plugins.

The plugin covers the world with cute trees common to the Japanese scenery: cedar, camphor, ginkgo, pine, maple, and beech. Trees change with the seasons, so each kind of tree has four ’skins’ for the four seasons. See this screenshot from the official site for a nice view of some trees in spring.

FreeTrain’s background music consists of a few MIDI tracks with a separate plugin for making use of original A-Train 4 music if you own the original game.

The train bells all have distinct onomatopoetic names in Japanese: piririri, porororo, puu, and pii. However, I could not think of good English translations, so I simply called them Bell 1-4. Listen to the wavs in and let me know if you can come up with something better!

March 28, 2007

Translator’s diary #2

Filed under: News — daniel @ 6:59 am

I might just make this a periodical corner. Translating the plugins gives me a good idea of what functions and features FreeTrain has. My latest commit translated another three plugins:

The first plugin, with the ambigous name ‘lib’ seems to add support for what is referred to as “dummy cars” as well as various road extras such as rail crossings, signals etc. The second one, ‘lib.halfvoxel’, allows you to create split voxels. I couldn’t figure out exactly what purpose this serves, but as soon someone gets the game running, I guess it will be evident. The third plugin called ‘land.477′ is a more straightforward one, making three kinds of commercial agricultural buildings available: large and medium farmhouses plus plastic greenhouses.

March 26, 2007

Translation update

Filed under: News — daniel @ 5:22 pm

The translator speaking! After five days of intensive work, I have been able to complete the translation of the core game. Now, the truth is that the core of FreeTrain is quite bare-bones, containing little more than basic rail-laying functions (as well as a host of error messages.) The meat of this game is in the extensive range of plugins available. Translating the plugins is probably what will take some time and effort!

Now, I have done two plugins so far, both of them adding financial features to FreeTrain: and financial.stockmarket. The bank plugin adds some banking services such as money lending and a savings account, while the stock market plugin allows you to invest in the stock of various (fictional) Japanese companies. What will you choose: a safe bank deposit with low interest rate, or investing your hard-earned money in the stock of growth machines such as Handa Motors, Matsushika Electric, or Itsubishi Heavy Industries. =)