The Roundhouse Podcast

019: Historic Railroad Simulation – Paul Charland

Train 61 arrives in Johnstown to begin work on the Fonda Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad.

Train 61 arrives in Johnstown to begin work on the Fonda Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad.

Train simulators are often thought of as means of replicating modern railroading, but how can they be used to convey railroad history?  Content creator and route builder Paul Charland (Fonda Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad, Dominion Atlantic Railway) talks with us about recreating shortlines in Microsoft Train Simulator.


Norfolk Southern has completed repainting a Union Pacific DDA40X diesel locomotive for the St. Louis Museum of Transportation.  I definitely hope to photograph this when it is moved back to the museum!

I paid my first visit to the Lincoln Funeral Car in Wellington, Ohio this past weekend.  Click here to see what the inside of the car looks like!

Route Builder and Content Creator – Paul Charland (3:18)

Paul did not grow up using computers, but once he received Microsoft Train Simulator (MSTS) as a gift one Christmas he began to learn more about train simulation.  Previously a model railroader, he turned to train sims since they required no physical space.  His first project was the Fonda Johnstown & Gloversville route, a shortline railroad in New York state which hauled leather gloves.

Paul has now created five separate routes, and he provides a look at what went into the creation of each.  He shares his approach to 3D Modeling and explains how he believes train simulators serve as a means of historic preservation of both railroads and the communities they serve.

Question of the Day (44:20)

What routes or railroads have you discovered through train simulators?  Let me know and I will respond to your comments in our next episode.

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7 thoughts on “019: Historic Railroad Simulation – Paul Charland


    There cannot be enough good things said about Paul and his wonderful shortline routes, the attention to detail, the atmosphere, they are self contained train worlds of time gone by. Really excellent work, anyone with an interest in virtual railroading should explore these superb examples of how to build a route.

  2. Luke

    I have discovered more about the Western Pacific through the Feather River Canyon Route. I was never a major WP fan until i bought this route now the WP is one of my favorite class one railroads before it was merged into the Union Pacific. Hoping some day for a nice CB&Q route to come out.

  3. lucas leighton

    im hoping for pan am railways district 1 to come out on trs12 which will have all the roster, and mec, b&m, bml, mma, bar,cmq, emry,nbsr,mnry,and it will have all the lines in maine past and present.

  4. Logan Stout

    Like you, I had never heard of the Fonda Johnstown & Gloversville, but it was not until I saw your episode of At The Railyard about it that I realized what it was and I am glad I can experience what it was like.

  5. Richard

    Paul, Thank you for the tip of the hat for the Lehigh & Hudson River route. You created a very nice activity pack for that route. I’m also glad I was able to help you beta test some of your routes, they have all been top notch. On a side note, the correct pronunciation of my last name is “Shy-Ree” (Shirey) As I’ve said before, the student has surpassed the teacher. I understand why you don’t want to make the switch to Rail Works Train Simulator, but I think you should still give it a try.

    Rich S.

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