Free & open source game of
rail & business simulation

May 22, 2007

Second Core Release

Filed under: News — daniel @ 3:59 am

Our second release of the FreeTrain package is now available for download. Among the features are an improved main toolbar and a functional “structure type tree” that makes building structures a breeze! This release also fixes some crashes within build dialogs when no appropriate plugins were loaded, as well as a number of minor tweaks and fixes.

May 16, 2007

Release of PluginsExtra Package

Filed under: News — daniel @ 6:42 pm

After weeks of translating, the 233-member package of plugins has now been released and is available for download from SourceForge!

It adds hundreds of trains, structures, terrain features, and countless of other goodies to the game. The sheer density of content in this package will blow your mind! Try it out today!

For installation instructions and technical details, refer to the release notes.

Remember that this is a first release, so it is expected to contain typos, untranslated parts (especially train descriptions), and other glitches. Please report any weirdness you stumble upon to our bug report forum.

May 14, 2007

Tutorial on How to Create a Hilly Map

Filed under: Info — daniel @ 7:15 pm

You might have noticed that you always end up on the same boring, flat map every time you start a new game of FreeTrain. Since raising and lowering land to create a more interesting one is a terribly tedious task, you might be interested in the new tutorial on how to create a hilly map I just posted on the discussion forums.

Don’t forget to check out all the other amazing tutorials in the Help Playing section of the same forums!

May 10, 2007

Translator’s Diary #7

Filed under: News — daniel @ 5:55 pm

Translating the description texts for the trains is an educational experience. The amount of details is sometimes stunning, and is a testament of the plugin authors’ love of trains. You learn all about formations and facilities, which lines they operated, when they were introduced and taken out of service, and what purpose they served, just to mention some.

Did you know, for example, that the 911 Shinkansen locomotive was the fastest and strongest Japanese diesel locomotive ever. It was able to haul 16 cars at 130km/h, but was never used in practice because of security concerns. Or that Japanese National Railways 157 Series was used as the emperors personal train, running on routes to the Imperial Villas of Nasu and Izu until it was replaced by the 183 Series in 1983. Or that JNR’s DD54 20 Series codenamed “Blue Train” was praised during its heyday as a “hotel on wheels.”

In fact, all these train descriptions is what’s stopping us from finishing up the translation of the plugin pack. To get a release out there sooner, I might translate only the train data of the remaining plugins, leaving the descriptions for later. Do you support this idea, or would you prefer to wait for a complete translation?

May 7, 2007

Forums Back

Filed under: Info — charlie @ 4:03 am

After a bit of downtime at, our forums are now back online.  They should be more reliable from now onwards.

May 6, 2007

Translator’s Diary #6

Filed under: News — daniel @ 10:18 pm

With the help of c477 and Steven Hoefel, the translation of the ‘Additional Plugin Set’ is going ahead at a breakneck speed. All structures have already been translated, so what remains is the majority of train plugins. There are dozens of them, though, and contain in total well over a hundred different trains, so it’s no easy task. Almost all are Japanese trains, but there are also a lesser number of American, French, and Italian ones.

Elsewhere in the news, FreeTrain has been steadily climbing in rank at Before the first release, our rank hovered around 20,000 but soon after the release, it jumped to 683. As of writing, it has climbed to 384 putting us among the top ten simulation game projects, ahead of heavyweights such as OpenTTD!

May 1, 2007

Building Construction Tutorial

Filed under: Info — charlie @ 4:12 pm

Since the first release is still a little rough around the edges and some things are not too obvious, Steven has kindly posted a tutorial on how to construct buildings in the forum.

The First Release

Filed under: News — daniel @ 7:12 am

The first release of FreeTrain English is now available for download from the SourceForge Files page! A big thanks to Charlie Goodwin, c477, and Steven Hoefel, whose hard work has made this release possible.

This is a Windows-only release and requires the .NET Framework to be installed on your system.

Since this is our first release ever, it is expected to contain mistakes and glitches. For a list of known bugs, see the release notes. Please report any other bugs or glitches to the developer’s mailing list or the discussion forum (follow the links to the left.)

Happy FreeTraining!

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! :-)