Minecraft Traincraft

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Always Improvising
Heyo fellas. So my friend convinced me to start playing Minecraft, despite my year's worth of reisisting. He made a very convincing argument:


Anyone familiar with Minecraft will know that the point of the game is to mine. Dig into the ground, get the goodies such as iron ore, etc., and make stuff to survive in a hostile world.

The standard game already had minecrarts to help you, and user-placeable tracks to go with them.

Instead of using minecarts, the Traincraft mod allows you to run full-blown trains. As Minecraft is a game originating in Europe, the locomotive selection is pretty much half Euro and Russian, and half US loco's. The strange part of this is that seemingly most of the rolling stock to go with them are cars from the US, but the game is not specific enough to care about coupler types.


They are rather cutesy looking, but I have definitely been having my share of fun with my new virtual model railroad. If you had to figure an actual gauge for these trains, it's about 2 1/2 to three feet. (Each minecraft block is supposedly one meter cubed.)

The quick rundown of stock is as follows:
GP40 Alaska Railroad
GP7 Duluth, Missabe & Iron Range (best as I can guess, see pictures)
SD40-2 ATSF warbonnet (Unfortunately the graphics on this loco are screwed up. Only one side displays properly)
American 4-4-0
American Mogul
American Forney 2-6-0
USFL98 (Unfortunately this one does not look as good as other steamers, and has no matching tender.)
Extensive list of american rolling stock including three types of tank cars, grain hoppers, open hoppers, three boxcars, stock car, flat cars, log cars, lumber cars, woodchippers, gondolas, cabooses, passenger cars, intermodal car and piggyback car.

German BR80 tank engine
German BR01 steam loco
German KoF Diesel
German V60 Diesel
Matching passenger, mail and freight cars to go with these.

British steam locomotive
British diesel shunter

USSR 0-5-0 steamer
USSR VL10 Electric loco
USSR CHME3 diesel loco

There's several other electrics and steam locos I didn't mention.


Now, the locos DO require fuel, and the amount of cars strung up to them does affect their top speed. Players can use the train cars to carry items they pick up in the game, but stuffing 400 pieces of cobblestone into a hopper seems to affect the car's weight also, although not by much.
Also with Creative mode, you can pick up animals and monsters with the stock car. Random villagers may also board your locomotive (if empty) or passenger cars if they stray onto the tracks.


Yes, there are sheep in my stock cars.

Now, unfortunately there are some parts of the mod that are, in fact, broken. Traincraft is a fairly old mod for Minecraft, and used to work better a few years ago. Format changes to the core game have resulted in no sounds for the locos, no smoke/exhaust, and automatic loading systems will no longer load or unload the train cars. Honestly in my couple weeks of playing with this stuff, none of these missing aspects have bothered me. The trains are sometimes prone to strange visual glitches, but otherwise work fine.

If you also get ahold of the mod called Railcraft, you can get fancy new tracks to use, a tunnel boring machine, as well as user-defined signal blocks! They're quite picky and do not like curves, but clever use of signal relays, control boxes and receiver boxes mean you can work around it as I have. Minecraft also allows you to build some fantastical bridges and tunnel systems.



I won't get into the 'crafting' side of Traincraft, as building a locomotive is VERY extensive and you need a lot of materials to make one.

Also in my version of this mod, I am not able to craft anything. The train crafting tables are broken and sadly will not produce anything, which sucks because as far as I know all of the american locos can be crafted with different paint schemes.

Diesel fuel can be crafted using coal and sugar cane and placing it into a mod-included Distillation tower (I haven't made sense of this yet either..) and electric trains can use batteries and other electric generators included in other mods. (IndustrialCraft comes to mind here)

Some stuff about Railcraft signals:

Like I said, you cannot have a signal block which goes around a curve track. The signals are set up to only read a straight line of track between eachother, but using "distant signal" relays can solve this problem.

I'll also point out passing and holding sidings here, which are made with signal blocks.


In this picture, the GP7 is approaching me after just having rounded a curve inside the tunnel. The top signal on the dual-head shows the status of the track the loco is on (duh). The light just below that shows the status of the far track around the curve. On the left side is the signal block that controls the passing siding. Trains leaving the tunnel have to take the passing siding, as the approach to the tunnel is downhill.


So, the signal controller boxes automatically trigger the switch to divert exiting trains onto the passing siding. If the main line is occupied beyond the passing siding, the controllers also activate a special track that stops the train in place until the main is clear.

I am working on a couple other parts of my railroad that take advantage of automated traffic control, including one really nasty junction on the other end of the tunnel pictured above.

Before I forget! I mentioned the Railcraft mod adds a bunch of special tracks. All but two require a Redstone power source (magic electricity) to operate. These include coupler and uncoupler tracks, booster tracks (increases speed) elevator tracks (not applicable to trains) launcher tracks (not for trains) and a large variety of tracks which stop trains when unpowered. If I knew how to work the detector modules and tracks included in Railcraft, I could probably build something similar to a hump yard..

Anyway I seem to be rambling on, now. To wrap it up, this has been, and still is, a blast to operate. I love the traffic control features provided by Railcraft, and riding BNSF SD70's through the mesas around my tower is alot of fun.

It's not entirely perfect, but it is definitely fun.
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Always Improvising

Something of an update (Since I see people have been looking at this!), it's possible to change the train colors. I was just too stupid to figure out how!


As you can see there's a variety of large road names available for the american diesels (SD70's in the back, GP7's in the middle and GP40's in front) Not pictured is a Canadian National paint scheme available for the SD70's and SD40's. (I am really hoping they fix the SD40's textures in the next version. I would use them all the time, as SD40's are one of my favorites and in Traincraft they 40's have a Burlington Northern paint scheme that no other loco has.)

There's one GP7 paint scheme I can't figure out, and it's the one next to the CSX SD70. I've never seen it before.

I also don't know for sure what the front GP7 is, but it strikes me as being Nickel Plate Road.

You can also change the colors of the intermodal containers and piggyback trailers, as well as the american 440's, Moguls and Forney, along with some other locos.


I would also like to mention that the creator of Traincraft and another modder are back at work, updating Traincraft and fixing some of the broken stuff:


Near the end of the video, they demonstrate their re-designed track machine. It's pretty cool.
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Guy with the Green Hat
Model Railroading rule #2: No matter what creative endeavor you are about to undertake, it is possible to put a train in it.

I saw a few videos about this on Youtube not too long ago. Very cool, for sure. Keep up the good work, looks like fun. :)

Now, when ya going to build the D&RGW in minecraft narrow gauge? :D


Always Improvising
Model Railroading rule #2: No matter what creative endeavor you are about to undertake, it is possible to put a train in it.

I saw a few videos about this on Youtube not too long ago. Very cool, for sure. Keep up the good work, looks like fun. :)

Now, when ya going to build the D&RGW in minecraft narrow gauge? :D

D&RGW eh? Sorry to tell you, bro, that being a Minnesotan I am a fan of BNSF, so most of the paint schemes I choose are BNSF or ATSF (Or DM&IR in the GP7's case). Minecraft also has only one gauge of track, but I am sure that using the smaller steam engines, someone could make the illusion of narrow gauge (Compared to the SD70's and such anyway)

In fact I am trying very hard to find a place on our map that would let me mimick one of my favorite routes; the double-track line along the Mississippi river in Minnesota. I've come close, but not close enough. I'd also like to have a few other things, such as a few four-way cross tracks and a track that crosses another via a bridge.

If anyone wants to see pictures of something specific, I have no problem posting more! I know I didn't show much of the european and russian trains..
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Always Improvising
Okay, so I mentioned there was an update for Traincraft in the works. Well, it's been released.

The mod's creators have fixed up a lot of the mod's features, including sounds generated by the trains. Locomotives now have horn/whistle sounds that are user-triggered as well as engine growl and chuffing. The train cars also have their sounds restored, and now the players will experience a pleasant mechanical rumbling sound as a train rolls by.

Tank cars can now be loaded and unloaded automatically with machines featured in Railcraft (I did say these two mods are inseparable..), but when I tried Item Loaders (For everything not liquid), they did not seem to want to work. Although the Item Unloaders worked just fine when I rolled a hopper car over them. I've alerted the mod creators about this.


One tank car is unloading its oil load into the tank, while the tank cars in the consist are being loaded.

Another aesthetic feature that has returned is locomotive consists. Double-heading and all of that fun stuff. We all know ONE GP40 can't haul 15 loaded stone cars across the mountains, so now you can string up "helpers" (They don't actually lend any helping power, it's only for looks.)


Also there's a few things that have been added or changed


In the back are a trolley car, a re-designed UK Shunter, a BR E69 electric, and the re-designed Track Builder machine.

In the front is a Work Train for mobile crafting, a Lava Tank car (slag car, obviously), and a re-designed passenger coach.


Track-laying train works the outlying marshland

I should also point out that prior to this version, it was impossible to set multiple trains running and keep them running on their own without your supervision. Playing multiplayer with other people tends to help, but trains would get to an unloaded section of the map and simply stop until a player got close enough for that section to load.

So because of this, any railroad built tended to be pretty quiet.

Now, the creators have included a Chunk Loader tool to add onto trains. This keeps them running even through map sections the player is not near to, so you don't have to chase it to keep it going to the next village. It will go there even when you're a kilometer away. I actually tested this myself last night by sending a long Intermodal train on its way down the line to a village I found, which loops back to my base of operations. The train made the entire trip on its own with no problems. This adds the possibility of automatic traffic for players to set in motion for a little bit of realism and some challenges (Avoid crashes)
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Always Improvising
I will see what I can do for ya, jack. The map I am using is one I made myself. It will require about half a dozen mods for you to play it, but if you have the Technic loader it would make it much easier since the program will automatically download and configure my mod pack for you. I am currently at my family's place so I can't help you much at the moment, but when I am home I will make a post in this thread with a link to the Technic loader and instructions on how to access my mod pack through it. If my fellow model railroaders have interest in the mod pack my friend and I made we would be more than happy to share it. I'll post a few helpful tips too.
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New Member
well i have used the mindcrack pack on feed the beast (its like technicpack but mindcrack wont work for me on technicpack) so i already have the mods:p


Always Improvising
Oh. I got ya. Sadly no, the first images I posted are from my friend's server. He and another person started that map, and I joined in later. I may have built stuff on it, but I consider it to be their map, not mine.

Besides that railroad, being my first, was very rough and screwy. I didn't exactly think everything out.

I am actually working on my third railroad. My friend has added a new mod to our pack that creates new villages. Each village has its own culture and "race", and architectural style. My railroad currently connects Japanese villages, Norman villages, Mayan villages and Hindu villages (and of course, vanilla MineCraft villages) with eachother. (Although the villagers don't care and don't board trains, of course.) So I have a nice trans-continental network going to many different cities and towns through some pretty cool landscape.

I have to admit I am missing the red mesa biome as seen in my first batch of images. Nothing was cooler than watching UP, ATSF and BNSF trains running through that landscape.

This one still needs some refining and some details, and I still haven't built everything I want to yet (Like a space center, and a military base..) but I am happy with it.





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Always Improvising
So all the pictures in my previous post? That world is now dead. I had a train freak out when caught on a bad switch, and the game crashed. The save file is now corrupt.

New railroad in the works. I think this time I will periodically duplicate the world file in case that happens again..


New Member
So all the pictures in my previous post? That world is now dead. I had a train freak out when caught on a bad switch, and the game crashed. The save file is now corrupt.

New railroad in the works. I think this time I will periodically duplicate the world file in case that happens again..
oh ok im sorry i was really looking forward to playing with my friends on the map but i understand


Always Improvising
I admit I'm a bit puzzled by the crash, but there's nothing I can do to fix it either. It's very disappointing since I spent a lot of time fortifying the central rail hub to keep monsters out.


Always Improvising
Started a new one, and I am frequently backing it up in case it crashes. Won't lose this one!

This one I have actually named. I call it the Saint Pierre and Northbranch. Most of the railroad is infrastructure is complete, and I am working on some interactive industries.




Saint Pierre station. This is the largest station on the route, and serves both the east/west main and the north-reaching branchline.




The central yard and branch line interchange are also located near the station.


This freight depot is actually based on one I saw a project article about in this month's Model Railroader.


New Member
woah dude when did they add all this? is this still the mindcrack pack by the way great job so far im making german ww2 railroads with flans mod and trains mod maybe i'll take some pics soon but it wont be as good as yours because i cant do all that fancy stuff like you :p


Always Improvising
I don't use MindCrack anymore. This is all done with a Technic modpack my friend put together, containing RailCraft, Traincraft, Flan's mods and several others.


New Member
So a while back i read this post, and being a college student with little space i decided to build a full railroad line. The map itself can be downloaded at the traincraft website under the EMPIRERAIL title i think. http://blog.meansoft.si/?p=166#comments

fell free to check it out! it takes about 45 minutes to go from one end to the other and along the way there are many different stations, and industries in which you can fiddle in.
heres a link with some photos and a little bit more stuff ive been working on recently


like i said however, the map is available fo free hee hee. and its pretty dope. took me about half a year to construct. so enjoy!
i didnt have railcraft at the time or tech it so alot of the loading is imaginary. but its still a cool map to play with trains on.


Always Improvising
No, I am not dead. Still hauling the digital payloads.

I seem to be cursed when it comes to Minecraft railroading, though.

Saint Pierre and Northbranch? A modpack update killed it. I can no longer work on the map file.

The next successful railroad I had after that eventually began to sag under its own weight, and I retired it.

And then last one was killed by a harddrive crash.

There is some good news here, though. The TrainCraft crew recently uploaded the following video to Youtube to show off some new and improved track.


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