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RailDriver Steam Controls Anyone?

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    RailDriver Steam Controls Anyone?

    I'd like to see the makers of the RailDriver control console make controls/gauges that are designed exclusively for steamers. Features include 4 to 5 model variants of each control (since each control is different from steamer to steamer)(example, a "Johnson Bar"-style reverser instead of a rotary-style one, customized vacuum braking for Scotsman) , a splitter to plug in up to 35 controls/gauges into 1 input, a splitter so thses controls won't block other gaming peripherals of yours, and alterable gauges so you can change units of measurement (example, MPH to KM/H, LB/IN² to KG/CM² to KPA). What I need is input if it would be a good idea or if any changes are necessary.

    RE: RailDriver Steam Controls Anyone?

    The development of such a unit would almost certainly depend on the number of sales for the present unit just to start with. Personally I won't be buying one because I play with the real controls but you can buy one if you want. It might help.

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    Craig Scott
    Chief Casino Express Design Engineer


      RE: RailDriver Steam Controls Anyone?

      The RailDriver Controller does control a steam engine. We designed the reverser to give a variable position front to back not just 3 positions as needed on the diesel. While we modeled the look of the controller on modern Engines like the Dash 9 or SD80 we tried to maintain functionality for all engines.

      Personally I like steam, the fun of MSTS for me was to discover how to actually run a steam locomotive. I actually built the first controller in my shop as a steam controller. It had a miniature Johnson bar and instrumented fire door. It was hand made from scrap ABS and polystyrene.

      The difficulty is as you state, every steam locomotive is different. To satisfy everyone we would need several models. The cost of plastic tooling (the molds) is very large.

      We are intending to develop "build your own" kits. We supply the USB interface, some potentiometers, a gauge kit and the software. You would then be able to "scratch" build the cab of your dreams. It could be any size and any style.

      To this end we have made a working duel needle gauge. It runs on USB and is the first step into providing the components for the “scratch builders”.

      Michael Hetherington


        Thanks for your response, Michael. I do run steam about 90% of the time - maybe a little less if you count Galloping Geese - and I've put off buying a RailDriver for a long time, but there is one in the back of a FedEx truck coming my way and I appreciate your commentary.

        No matter what, the operation of a set of dedicated levers HAS to be better than pushing computer keys!
        Herb Kelsey