March 18, 2009 | Comments Off on First Class Ticket pricing woes

First Class Tickets (FCT) are a sort of premium subscription to the vast Trainz Download Station (DLS). What you get are a faster download speed and unlimited downloads. Without it, the speeds are restricted to about 4 Kbps and a limit of 100 mb per day.

It kind of makes sense as bandwidth costs money but the pricing structure is where i am having a real issue with. Initially when you bought the previous versions of Trainz, you got a 6 month free subscription. The 2009 version came with only a 3 month subscription. The previous prices for a years subscription was a do-able $10. I had renewed it every year for three years. Last week when i decided to renew my subscription, found that the years subscription had doubled to $20. Even the 6 month was up to $14.

The strength of the Trainz brand is access to the free user created content at the DLS. $20 is a big roadblock for most of us. I would ask Auran to re-evaluate the pricing structure and give Trainz fans some break. Going to the original $10 structure would be great. There is no way i am going to spend $20 on this.

So, in the meantime this is my plan to get third-party content for Trainz:

Scenery like trees, grasses and structures
Before going to bed, select only the items you want and start the download. At 4kpbs, it would be done by morning.

These are not doable. Routes may contain custom content and the Download Station will them go to look for them and then download each one. So, in a complex/detailed route you might hit the download limit. One to two baseboard layouts should be fine though.

Rolling Stock
I prefer to look for sites that host content externally. I will be updating my list as i find some good ones. For a start, here are a few of them:
US Locomotive Works: Great collection of US diesels and boxcars.
RRMods: Some are donation ware/payware they also have free diesels/boxcars.
iBer Trainz: You will find items under “Categor√≠as” on the right side.

Note: If you do download from them, please backup your downloaded files or burn it to a CD. These sites are up now but we dont know if they will still be around in a couple of years.

So, between these sites and selectivley downloading smaller/better stuff from DLS, i can get by not paying $20. Another way to look at it is you wont be filling your hard drive with thousands of trainz content that you think you might use one day.

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