Model trains are a fantastic hobby with the potential for hours of creative fun and a challenge of the mind to build something sophisticated and beautiful. But, where do we find the time in today’s fast-paced world? Well, 3D Train Studio has created an app that allows you to simulate virtual model railroads in 3D that you’ve always dreamed about. Simulate it with 3D Train Studio and then build it! The possibilities are endless as the program has thousands of components that allow you to create the most realistic miniature worlds you can imagine. This entry to our cool app contest was made using Embarcadero Delphi on Windows, and it is our winner for February 2017.
The 3D Train Studio app is a community-driven effort with developer railfans contributing more 3D components every week. The focus lies on the comfortable and clean interface, which makes it enjoyable to build complex model railroad worlds with ease. On the technical side, 3D Train Studio utilizes a lot of different technologies. These technologies include a self-written 3D engine capable of rendering thousands of 3D objects in real time with abstraction of the underlying graphics API (supporting Direct3D 9 and 11), sound processing with the help of the FMOD library, integration of a web service written in PHP for accessing the online catalog (via XML-RPC), multi-threading with the support of a custom written task manager, custom VCL components for implementing a smooth image viewer, XML processing, multi-language support (currently English and German) and a clean separation of UI, logic and data (MVC) all hosted on the Delphi, Object Pascal platform.
The 3D Train Studio is available as a free download and enables a fast and easy start into model railway planning and simulation. The standard version contains sample layouts and over 5000 tracks and components. There is also an optional activation of the professional version, right from the application by paying a reasonable fee.
There are tutorials on the 3D Train Website and a series of community-produced videos available on YouTube. The company is out of Germany and a lot of the content is in German, but you can still see a lot of very cool 3D Trains on the videos.