No announcement yet.

Ghosts and Zombies...


  • Ghosts and Zombies...

    Click image for larger version  Name:	capture_400744.jpg Views:	0 Size:	26.1 KB ID:	2289696 No, that isn't an error on our site.

    Have you ever seen a store that runs “Going Out Of Business” and “Everything Must Go” type sales, but never actually closes?

    I’m starting to think that way about our friends at

    While I gave open praise for the eight months advance notice of the site’s closing, I do have to say the ending is turning out to be nowhere near as organized.

    For whatever reason, they’re approaching two months now running in “Zombie Mode”, in that the main pages remain up and appear to be active, but bits and pieces are starting to fall off and smell bad…. Emails are bouncing, nobody can download (including premium members) and if you try, you get that error message from above. The forums have been going largely unmoderated for months, and yet, they're still accepting paid memberships as of two weeks ago.

    My mom was very fond of saying, "sh!+ or get off the pot…." which perhaps isn't as civilized as some would prefer, but that sort of gets to the point here.

    Granted, my mom was one with very little patience for indecision, and clearly passed that on to me.

    My advice: rip off the band-aid and pull the plug already, or support your site and it's users…

    The upside of having those eight months is that there have been many individuals who harvested essentially the entire file library, and some have made it available in various repositories. As such, we've received a mass upload of just over 21,000 files.

    Our plan was to eventually integrate the library’s catalog after some time had passed. That assumed the site would indeed close as was stated. But now, users of the site are trapped in a place where where the site’s not working yet is still here. Reminds me of some former co-worker who essentially quit but never left….

    Rather than wait for the zombie apocalypse to work itself out, it's time to put parts of our plan in motion. On Halloween, no less.

    As of earlier this week, all of the file listings from the UKTS library were merged into our catalog, and can now be searched by our keywords and sections, as well as the file ID that was used over at UKTS.

    Over a third of the content that was made available is for Railworks and Train Simulator Classic. For those that prefer to have a non-Steam DLC experience, there is now a huge variety of content available to try.

    Personally, I'm half tempted to go buy a copy of TSC so that I can sample some of that older TS2013 content. I've never dabbled in those simulators myself, but I know many of you have and do. If you haven't, perhaps this is a chance to try it out as well.​

    Looking ahead a few months, there will no doubt be some cleanup needed. I've already identified a few cases where there are two copies of the same file in the catalog, and it will be an ongoing exercise to eliminate those duplications.

    I've also had one author contact me to have their 50+ reskins removed from the library because they weren't the ones who uploaded or authorized the file. As has been a long-standing practice here, if an author requests a file to be pulled from circulation, it will be pulled, no questions asked.

    However, there is a balance we need to strike between preserving history and rewriting history.

    While distribution of those files will no longer be available, they will maintain their place in the catalog. It’s likely that three or four years from now, someone may try to find out what file XYZ is referring to, and it’s my position they should have the ability to see what the file was, and who created it. It won't change the fact that the file is unavailable for download or viewing the content of the zip archive, but in a best case scenario, keeping the catalog entry may point them towards the original work those files were sourced from.

    With my owner hat off, and my content creator hat on, I have to say I'm a little bit puzzled that somebody would put forth the time and effort to produce a work, share it with the general public for free, and then intentionally let it disappear as though it never existed.

    It's one thing if the work no longer meets your standards and you have replaced it, which happens quite often. It makes no sense to let work disappear simply because somebody else made a business decision to close down their website.

    Regardless, pulling back content is a choice every author can exercise if they wish.

    As part of the effort to bring those files over and merge into the catalog, there were a few “behind the scenes” changes made which will benefit everybody who contributes to the file library.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	capture_400742.jpg Views:	0 Size:	4.9 KB ID:	2289700 Instead of an all or nothing solution, there are now three options available for authors to select which will give them greater control over what they share in the library:

    View Contents will allow for the previewing of the contents of a zip file – there’s little reason why this should ever be turned off, but if you’re retiring a file, this is an option. Download determines whether or not the file can be downloaded. Paid File is there for those who are donating items which are intended only for First Class members. More on that in a later update...

    It's been a rather large effort for folks to collect and distribute the remnants of the UKTS library, and I'm glad that it was able to be preserved albeit in a less organized way than had been presented by several others and myself months ago.

    The forums have been largely archived by the Wayback Machine at and I know that some of the files may be available there as well. They just won't be searchable or cross indexed nearly as well as what we're doing here.

    The preservation of these files will come at some cost -- the size of the data used by our live storage as well as our offsite backups increased by between 15 and 20% with the addition of 21,000 files. Some of that will be reduced when the duplication is mitigated, but in the meantime, the file cabinets just got a little fuller.

    Click image for larger versionName:	capture_400745.jpgViews:	0Size:	6.0 KBID:	2289701 If you'd like to help offset those charges, the best way to do so is to become a subscriber. If you're a subscriber already, and would like to do a little more, there's now an option available on our Giving Page to help contribute towards the added storage.

    I know there might be some strong opinions as to what we're doing, but it's consistent with what I've been saying for months -- preserving our digital history is important, and part of this site's primary mission along with providing a repository of content that users old and new can use to make their gaming and simulation experience better, and providing a place for discussion and tutorials for those who want to learn more than what's in the manuals.

    Lastly, and as always.... thanks to those who continue to support this site and its mission with their time, works, and contributions.
    Last edited by eric; 11-01-2023, 12:57 AM.
      Posting comments is disabled.



    Latest Articles


    • Feather River now available
      by eric

      Ah, the 3DTrains Feather River Route.

      It's iconic, and visually one of the best routes ever created prior to OpenRails...

      And, it's back!

      We're hosting the file here at Trainsim to help our our friends at 3DTrains, who have been without a sales site for over two years now.

      There's an Information Page with details on the route, how to purchase, and how to install. This is one that I missed out on, and will be adding to my collection. I hope ever...
      Posted 04-15-2024, 03:56 PM
    • State of the Site -- March 2024
      by eric

      It's Anniversary Week!

      Looking back a few days, March 8th marked the one year anniversary of separating Trainsim.Com from its previous owner, and ending a negotiation which had started five weeks earlier.

      But that's not the only anniversary at hand...

      Tonight, March 12th, marks a somewhat more significant milestone -- the one year anniversary of moving onto our own servers, and thus having total control over our collective destiny as a community.
      Posted 03-11-2024, 11:09 PM
    • It's Been A Year?
      by eric

      It's been a little over a year since FlightSim sold off Trainsim, and what a year it's been.

      Rather than rehash that, I just wanted to take this time to thank a few people.

      First of all, Nels Anderson for starting and funding the site, and Rick Frerichs for literally keeping it running during those two plus decades. Rick wrote the original software used for the file library, and it performed flawlessly up to the day we moved from the FlightSim servers to our own servers....
      Posted 03-05-2024, 11:43 PM
    • State of the Site - February 2024
      by eric

      And just like that, NFL football is over for the season. Those of you who don't follow football closely may not understand the emptiness that sets in following the end of the regular season (especially for those whose teams don't make the playoffs), but for me, watching football is a block on the weekend where I am guaranteed to get mostly uninterrupted time to concentrate on programming fixes and other things Trainsim related because our household watches a lot of football... Congrats to the ...
      Posted 02-12-2024, 01:16 AM
    • Bundles of Bundles
      by eric

      A number of routes old and new have been bundled recently, which means you can get all of the required items in a single zip if you're a First Class or FastPass member. To view the list of current routes and other files that are bundled, Click here With the new track pieces for older routes available, you might want to rediscover a few of the older gems including the various Milwaukee Road "Lines West" such as the RMD East, RMD West, Idaho and Coast divisions. Or maybe the Pacific Electric o...
      Posted 02-07-2024, 06:02 PM
    • State of the Site -- January 2024
      by eric

      I'd say we are off to a very good start to the year... The last few years, I've been out of meaningful NFL football to watch by the first week of January, and able to spend more time doing other things. This year, my Packers shocked the world and knocked out the #2 Dallas Cowboys, making it to the Divisional Round officially as the youngest average age team in NFL history and the first #7 seed to advance to the Divisional Round... Unfortunately, this past weekend they lost a close game to the...
      Posted 01-14-2024, 12:23 AM