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About the program

The program “Eisen Bahn + Land schaft” ( BahnLand for short) was initially conceived as an “interactive railway game” and later extended to include the screen saver feature. Accordingly, the focus of the program is on the compilation of trains and their interactive control in the landscape.

Calw in the Black Forest (screenshot reduced to 50%)

By creating train lists and assigning them to landscapes, scenario sequences can be generated, whereby the individual scenarios are presented in a fixed or random order, each with matching train sequences. This functionality will ultimately be reflected in screen saver mode.

The program is mainly operated in the three function windows Scenario Scenario , Tensioning and Scenario Sequence , which are described in more detail in the following sections.

By using the same size scale as MM screensaver and Traffic Screensaver (one pixel on the screen is square with Edge length 10cm in reality - other programs such as Railway32 , Train Side View and TrainKit use this scale), it is possible, even for those programs created vehicles in BahnLand and vice versa. Zoltán Szabó presents a vast collection of vehicles from various authors, each in all the image formats required for the programs mentioned in his Vehicle Picture Collection available for download.

Landscape Scenario

As a template for a BahnLand scenario both landscape photographs and drawings can be used, which contain one or more railroad tracks and show them from the side. By the scale “1pixel = 10cm” one obtains for a screen with 1024 pixel width a landscape picture excerpt, which corresponds in the reality about 100m route length.

The sections of track can be one or two tracks, whereby the train direction (left-hand traffic, right-hand traffic, track-change operation) can be determined individually. Furthermore, several sections visible in the program window can belong to one and the same route, which are traversed by the train in succession. In the case of so-called “serpentine” journeys (eg on the Gotthard route at Wassen with three simultaneously visible sections), the trains passing by are alternately visible from one side or the other.The program BahnLand turns the individual vehicles by 180 degrees (if the respective graphic contains two different side views) and reverses the order of the vehicles in the train as seen by the viewer.

The scenarios in BahnLand can also contain inclines. The information about the slope profile is stored in the respective section of the BahnLand scenario and allows the program to automatically determine the inclination of the individual vehicles according to the route profile at the current vehicle position. In multi-unit vehicles (e.g., a steam locomotive), the vehicle image itself is provided with additional information to help the program identify where within a grade change the vehicle must remain “stiff” and where it may be “kinked”. This results in “realistic” motion sequences even with “strong” gradient changes.

In dialog mode, a train can be individually selected for each section of the route and started in an explicitly predefined direction. The train can be braked during its journey at any point of the section partially or to a stop and accelerated forward or backward. For automatic operation, a breakpoint can be defined for each route on which the train should take a break. The smooth deceleration to a stop and then the gradual acceleration up to the initial speed then also takes place through the program.

Train formation

In the train formation window you can display the existing vehicles and from this you can “compose” your own trains by simply dragging the single vehicles with the mouse from the vehicle selection field (main window) into the vehicle upper display window pulls for the train to be formed. In the main window you can view the vehicles on the left side as well as on the right side.

When setting up the train, you must know that the trainfront always points to the left. Otherwise, the vehicles can be inserted at any point of the turn with the left or right side facing the viewer. It is also possible to remove a single vehicle from the train (simply pull it down with the mouse) or move it within the train and turn a single vehicle 180 degrees. Use the scrollbar to move the entire train, with the (animated) wheels turning as well.

All information about a vehicle is always summarized in a single vehicle bitmap, including, if any, both sides of the vehicle and also different phases of movement. Likewise, here are hints about “target kinks” for driving on gradient changes deposited (see also the corresponding comments in the section “Scenario Scenario”).

For each train, it is possible to specify whether and how the locomotive (s) should be relocated when the direction changes. In addition, each train can be assigned to a train group and to a train type that can be used in conjunction with the settings in the landscape scenarios to determine, for example, whether a train should stop at a station (passenger train) or pass through (express train, freight train) or a train Track without catenary for electric locomotives is “taboo”. In this way you can drive on certain “routes” restricted also trams, cars and the Transrapid or even fly planes, take off and land.

If a move is compiled, it is stored in an internal list. Together with other train compositions, it can be saved in a train list file and then assigned to a landscape scenario. In automatic mode, the program then lets the trains drive through the landscape in random order - even with random train encounters on double-track routes.

Normally, the creation of vehicles in the selection window is limited to a specific file directory. By a “clever” arrangement of BahnLand single vehicles in a “suitable” directory structure, however, you can also view the vehicles summarized sub-directory across specific selection criteria. Some concrete examples are: vehicles of a particular draftsman, all vehicles of a certain private railway, all type E 4-axle open freight wagons, all Austrian electric E-cars of era 4, all color and inscription variants of the Regio Shuttle RS1. In this way, in particular vehicles of the same type, but of different authors, compare directly in a window.

Scenario Follow and Screen Saver Operation

The third BahnLand program window is used to compile scenario sequences for fully automatic operation. Here, lists of landscape scenarios are compiled, with each landscape image being assigned a list of train compositions. Upper and lower limits can be used to determine in which frame the number of trains that should roll through the currently displayed landscape before switching to a new landscape image is to be moved. The landscape images can be selected either “in order” or “at random”. The train sequence within a landscape scenario is always random.

If the BahnLand program is installed as a screen saver, this fully automated process is used.


A detailed handbook on the BahnLand program is available on the BahnLand homepage (see below). In particular, it describes how to create or adapt your own vehicle images and landscape scenarios for the BahnLand program.

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en/bahnland/start.txt · Last modified: 2018/09/12 15:28 by bahnfrank65