About This App

What Is TrainCrew?

I have long wanted to use technology to improve the immersiveness of model railroad operations. This tool does just that.

TrainCrew allows you to simulate the tasks performed by a train crew while performing their duties but haven't traditionally been modeled by model railroaders, or able to be represented while operating model train layouts.

Represented tasks include work with air brakes (performing brake tests), handbrakes (setting and releasing), locomotives (inspections and tests) and combinations of those.

Each of the represented tasks includes interactive elements that replicate the real actions that railroaders perform with form elements, count downs and sounds. By including countdowns to replicate the time taken, model railroad operators are forced to slow down and better mimic the pace of real railroading. Timing generally represents a 4:1 fast clock, which does a good job of slowing things down but not boring operators.

This app started with the ideas from Lance Mindheim's "How To Operate a Modern Switching Layout" book. I then found a great example in the PDC BNML Conductors App, which has been extended and genericized.

This toolhas been developed by Ed Kapuscinski, owner of Conrail1285.com and is released under the GPL. It is available for download on Github.

How To Use TrainCrew

There are two ways to use this tool. The first, and easiest, is simply to visit this website on your device (computer, smartphone, tablet, etc...). This site will generally be up to date with the latest version of the app and the features that the owner (Ed) finds useful for his ops session.

Alternatively, you can download the source code for the app from its Github repository, and set it up in your own web hosting environment.

Contribute to TrainCrew

TrainCrew is intended to be an "open" project that involves a community of users and contributors to make it as fun and useful as possible.

If you use TrainCrew, and you experience a bug or have an idea for improvement, you can add an "issue" to the Github issues page with your idea or issue.

If you have some experience with HTML and Javascript, you can directly contribute to the project by cloning the Git repository and following the GitHub workflow. More information about contributing to a project like this can be found on Github's Guides site.

TrainCrew is all flat HTML pages that use Bootstrap and Jquery for layout and functionality. This makes it easy to host and easy to develop.