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Downloading BAHN 3.59:

Translating the Game into English.

Other People's Systems...

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Too much info? Go directly to [What is BAHN] [Recent Updates] [BAHN Links] [My Layouts] [References]

What is BAHN?

BAHN is the brainchild of German programmer Jan Bochmann (Click here to see his web page). BAHN is shareware designed to allow you to build a scale model of a subway system, a streetcar system, a railroad system, or a combination of these, running it to speeded up time. This page is dedicated to the promotion of BAHN. Here you will find everything you need to download and run this software, access to documentation, and access to models others have designed.

Jan has made a number of improvements to BAHN in the past three years, making the program even more enjoyable for everyone. For one thing, there is an English language version of the game to go with the original German. New mapping features and use of extended memory allows for larger and more complex layouts. Although the nature of its graphical interface is such that you will have to take some liberties with your track plans in order to make your system work, BAHN still runs to scale and operates to time. The graphics may be not what you've come to expect on Railroad Tycoon II or Sim City 3000, but it's a more accurate model of the real world than any program I have seen and that, in my opinion, makes up for the simple graphics.

I've proven to myself that the game is fun and addictive. Caveats aside, I assure you that BAHN is a wonderful game to play. What more could anyone ask for?


Recent Updates

August 10, 2000:Michael Marriott has added another BAHN layout to our website, this time a simulation of what Edmonton's system could have been in the year 2000. It's a great layout, with nicely designed trolley bus graphics. You'll find it in the Prairie Provinces page. Also, on Jan Bochmann's home page, there's news on BAHN 3.70, which is in Beta testing. Sadly, I've not been able to keep my layouts up to date...

July 1, 2000: Michael Marriott has added another layout to our collection. This time, the Edmonton Radial Railway, circa 1908. Check it out in the Prairie Provinces page.

June 1, 2000: Unfortunately, I have had too many other commitments to make time to work on my BAHN projects. This is why there have been no updates to this web page for so long. This isn't to say that a lot hasn't happened. We're now at a new web site, with no more obnoxious host banners, and Peter Marriott has successfully created a simulation of Edmonton's current trolley bus network. Check it out in the Prairie Provinces page.


Suggestions on How to Build Better BAHN Simulations...

  1. Earlier, I complained that sixty and thirty degree tracks weren't available in BAHN, making curves and other track that wasn't at 0, 90 or 45 degrees harder to model. I take that back; it may be harder, but it is not impossible. With a careful combination of vertical, horizontal and diagonal trackage, which gets easier with experience, you can construct realistic looking curves of any type to scale. They may not look realistic right on the screen, but hit ALT-M and L, and you'll be impressed by what you've done. It would be nice if the cars using these curves didn't look as though they were shaking their passengers to death, but that's a minor complaint. Constructing curves to scale is much easier if you have a grid on your map to measure from, which duplicates a grid on BAHN. Measure the distance from points on the grid to various points on the curve, and copy that information into your BAHN simulation. Build up a series of dots on your simulation corresponding to points on the curve, connect the dots with track, and smooth out the joints. Now you have smith looking curves!
  2. I am impressed if a BAHN layout runs uninterrupted with all Dispatch messages activated under the Options-Messages menu. Some dispatcher messages are essential, such as when it notifies you of a head-on collision, but others are routinely turned off, especially the one that notifies you that a terminal time point has passed, without a train available to depart from it. I am hard-pressed not to brag that you could run my later simulations with all messages selected, and not get a call from the dispatcher. This requires you to co-ordinate your train movements to your terminal time points, but it can be done. Use a spreadsheet and construct a timetable. Run a car through the route and calculate at what time the route reaches each time point. Set your desired frequency, and calculate when the following cars will have to leave which time points in order to maintain it. If you don't know what the schedules are, make your best guess; if you have schedules available, so much the better. You can control the frequency, the length of the round trip, by increasing the layover time at certain time points. Set up the terminal time points to correspond with the time points on your spreadsheet. From this, you can identify when a car must leave its depot, and what time that car should turn back to its depot. This is, in my opinion, quite an improvement on the set-the-frequencies-put-out-the-train-and-hope-for-the-best method of scheduling that I employed in my earliest layouts.
  3. Please consider writing up a text file describing your layout in detail, and including it with your simulation in a zip file. Tell us more about the layout you've designed; we are interested in hearing about it.

And Finally, a Thank You

Jan Bochmann has filled a niche in creating software which allows us to simulate, to scale and to time, any rail-transportation system we want. For me, it's a wonderful and addictive program -- I like building systems, I like playing with timetables, and I like making things work. I'm a mediocre model railroader, but BAHN has allowed me to construct my most complicated layout yet, and it works. Thank you Jan, and keep up the good work!

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