Version 1.3, © 1995-2001, Challenge Products

OVERVIEW OF FREIGHT TRAIN - On your IBM Compatible PC (Windows 9x) you will: (1) Run way freight trains on a short line railroad; (2) Follow switch lists to set out and pick up cars on-line; (3) Respond to track signals and whistle posts; (4) Communicate with dispatcher for clearance; (5) Clear main for higher priority trains.

FREIGHT TRAIN includes: (1) Scrolling plan view of simulated 4.8 mile railroad; (2) Side view of current train shown at all times; (3) Operate with mouse, button bar or keyboard; (4) Railroad sounds on Sound Blaster or PC speaker; (5) An automated demonstration of typical way freight, (6) Windows 9x version.

FREIGHT TRAIN is a railroad oriented PC game. It is based on moving a way-freight train from one terminal to another, switching freight cars along the route. The train is viewed from a top or plan view but the screen also includes a side view of the train consist. Cars are coupled and uncoupled, track switches are aligned, and the engine with train is moved along the track, all with use of keyboard keys or mouse cursor and buttons.

CAR SWITCHING WORK - As the train moves down the track, the visible portion of the railroad shown on the screen will scroll since the railroad is much wider than a screen. Simulated communication with the railroad dispatcher provides clearance orders at interlocking signals for various purposes. Engineers must observe whistle post signals at grade crossings. Success in the game is measured by accruing "Pension Credits" by appropriately spotting the cars, moving to the destination terminal without excessive penalties, all within the operations day of a simulated 12 hours.

FREIGHT TRAIN is distributed on an auto load CDROM. if compatible hardware is found, the install program will establish controls for a mouse and Sound Blaster card. A PC speed parameter is developed based on the speed of the PC. Later, train operating speeds can be increased or decreased by adjusting this parameter.

GAME OBJECTIVE - FREIGHT TRAIN is a PC program designed to offer the challenge of way-freight train switching while observing many of the rules and regulations of a real railroad, as well as offer lot's of fun for train crew novices. The game objective of FREIGHT TRAIN is to: (1) Assemble a departing train of railroad freight cars in the yard at the WESTON terminal, then, (2) move the train eastbound along simulated tracks dropping off and picking up freight cars at industry locations, and subsequently, (3) break down the train in the yard when arriving at EASTON terminal.

While moving down the railroad line, you will be required to observe track signals of various kinds and communicate with the Railroad Dispatcher for clearances and authorities. All this represents the "way-freight" trains of the real railroading world right on your PC. The measure of your success in meeting these objectives is the number of Railroad Pension Credits you earn by the end of your train assignment. Credits are earned and lost based on your train crew's performance. At the end of the game, your Pension Credits will be evaluated and given a qualitative rating of GREAT, GOOD, FAIR or POOR based on the complexity of the assignment.

The SWITCH LIST identifies all of the car switching moves required for the current train operation. Each car to be moved is shown on a separate line. Up to 8 cars may be referenced. The car movement will be shown as one of three possible actions: (1) "SETOUT" which means the car is to be included in the train leaving WESTON yards and set out on a designated industrial track along the mainline; (2) "PICKUP" which means the car is to be picked up at the industrial track location and brought to the EASTON yards; and (3) "XFER" which means the car is to be included in the train leaving the WESTON yards and brought all the way to EASTON terminal.

SIGNALS AND THE DISPATCHER - There are several instances where the train crew must communicate with the Railroad Dispatcher. The dispatcher is the railroad employee responsible for train movements on a railroad and so issues orders at various times. Radio communication to the Dispatcher is simulated through the use of two buttons on the Button Bar. The train crew's request is audible as two short blasts on the diesel horn. When the Dispatcher issues clearance, a single air-line hiss will be heard and the applicable track signal indication will be changed for clearance. In a number of situations communications (and error messages) are issued by the Dispatcher to the train crew. These are shown in white in the message area at the bottom of the operations screen.

PC EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS - FREIGHT TRAIN was developed to run on Windows 9x based PCs (IBM Compatible) with VGA color graphics and optionally make use of a Microsoft Compatible Mouse and Creative Lab's SOUND BLASTER (original or subsequent updates.) The program requires 4 Meg of Windows available memory. The complete system of programs and files can be contained on 1.4 M of Hard Disk space. More space is desirable if many games-in-progress are going to be saved.. Operation on a 386-33 or faster PC is desirable, however FREIGHT TRAIN will run successfully on a 286 based machine. PC speed is determined at installation time in order to adjust performance on various speed machines.

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View Sample FREIGHT TRAIN Screen

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