Next Multiplayer Session 4/2/11 is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


New Member
Hello Again:

We will be holding our next multiplayer session this coming Saturday 4/2/11 and the route will be the CSX Kingsport Sub from Elkhorn City, KY to Erwin, TN.
We will be broadcasting the operating session live from our website:

Just click the link and go to the live audio feed. You do not need any software or anything fancy to hear all 16 main lines trains plus the MOW rail train working the line. We start at 1 pm eastern and run until about 10 pm eastern. Our channel will broadcast everything on the main line.

Two other quick notes: We will be hold in and engineer training class starting on 4/7/11 for all players with MSTS who would like to learn how to participate in one of our operating sessions. Training consists on two class plus qualifying runs to get you fully prepared for our prototype operating sessions.

Also, since we are looking for owners of TRS software to join a training class as we will begin running sessions on this simulator as well very soon. I see a number of members here have this software. If you would like to join in a TRS training class for engineers and run in a TRS session please let me know via PM here.

Lastly, just to explain a little more about what a session is like, I have written a quick overview in a Q&A format. So here goes...

About Multiplayer

What is multiplayer?

Multiplayer means that two or more engineers operate trains on the same route. Unlike the single-player activities you may already be accustomed to, multiplayer sessions involve more than one person operating their trains at the same time. Just like in real life, communication among dispatchers, engineers, MOW personnel, and yardmasters is what keeps the railroad running.

While many people unfamiliar with multiplayer define it simply as the ability to see the other train, there are many other aspects to a complete the multiplayer experience such as realistic operations including dispatchers, yardmasters, and maintenance-of-way personnel, in addition to the operating crews. In actual multiplayer sessions, which VRMA has designed and hosted, you see another train less than 10% of your total running time which is prototypical from my experience as a former engineer/conductor. Realistic operations are what make a session truly outstanding.

How do engineers communicate to dispatchers and to one another?

We use Teamspeak2 for all voice communications in our sessions. This is one of the most popular and most stable programs that allow for two-way communication. Teamspeak2 allows for voice communication similar to radio technology used by real railroads.

Multiplayer Sessions

How do I become an engineer in a multiplayer session?

New engineers first go through our engineer training program consisting of two classes of two hours each. You then participate in smaller mini operating sessions that have fewer trains and shorter runs than a full session. If you successfully complete your two qualifying runs, you progress to running in a regular operating session.

We offer training for engineers of all skill levels to get the most out of whatever sim they run. Training covers a wide range of topics from proper train handling, to blocking cars in a train for set outs and pickups, to track authorities, working with Yardmasters and MOW people and more.

For more information on joining our training program, please keep an eye out when classes are announced here or at You can send me a PM here or at VRMA to reserve your seat. Space is limited in each class and once slots are gone you will have to wait for the next class.

What are the benefits of the training sessions?

All of the training sessions are designed to increase your knowledge about the typical duties a person in a specific role would encounter on the railroad. In the engineer training you learn all the skills that you will need to successfully complete your chosen run. This includes train assembly, making pick-ups and setouts, proper blocking of cars and much more. You will learn a wide variety of skills that are guaranteed to improve your train sim experience. We also offer training for other operational positions such as Dispatcher, MOW, Yardmaster and more. These sessions are 100% free.

If I am an engineer, what software will I need to join a multiplayer session?

Other than at least one train simulator, you will need a way to communicate with others in the session such as Dispatchers and other crews as outlined above. Teamspeak2 is completely free to download and use. Our servers are set up to use Teamspeak2 and you will need to have a working microphone for your computer.

What paperwork will I need to join/use in a session?

All paperwork used in multiplayer sessions, such as track warrants, signal location charts, and signal rules/indications will be provided to you by the session coordinator before your multiplayer session begins. VRMA does this in every session we host as well as providing training to help all interested parties become qualified engineers. There are many aspects to running in a session with up to 30 other trains that you cannot learn unless you either work for a railroad or have proper training. If you are interested in training and becoming a part of our operating sessions, please PM here and I will provide you all the information you need to get started.

How do I choose a train for a multiplayer session?

Before every session, a callboard is posted on our forum with all of the available trains to choose from. You must successfully complete our engineer-training program as outlined above before you can bid on trains in a session. Once you have picked a train, you can create your consist using the information provided on that train. This is one of the many areas we cover in training for prototypical operations. Choosing the right engines and cars to represent your train on a given railroad route at the chosen time period requires skill. We show you how to do that in our training program.

What are the positions other than engineer in a multiplayer session?

Other positions in our group include dispatchers, yardmasters, trainmasters, road foremen of engines, and maintenance-of-way personnel. We provide complete training for all other these positions as part of our operations. This is because our goal is to match actual railroad operations as closely as possible. If you choose to host you own sessions, you can choose the types of roles you want in your sessions.

All senior roles in our group are earned by coming up through the ranks with extra board engineer as the starting point for all members. Only members with substantial actual railroad experience can bypass the initial qualification process in our sessions.

Can I listen to a multiplayer session without participating?

Yes, you can. We frequently broadcast our sessions live in real time and will soon be adding an archive of past sessions at

You will not need a microphone or any new software of any kind to listen to any of our sessions. You will hear all communications between all participants in the main channel for the session, Frequently, where routes have more than one dispatcher or yard crews are working, we place them on separate channels on our server to minimize radio clutter for main line trains.

What routes do these multiplayer sessions take place on?

We host multiplayer sessions on a variety of routes from around the United States and Canada. This includes both freeware and payware routes. In order for a route to be chosen, it must be an accurate representation of the actual railroad so that an effective operating schedule can be developed for the session. We hold full operating sessions (8 hours or more) as well mini sessions (4 to 5 hours) depending on the length of the route and traffic volume. All sessions are announced right here in this forum as they are scheduled. We average 50-60 session each year.

About the VRMA

Our group is known as the Virtual Railroading Multiplayer Association. This is a group of train simmers who love the hobby of V-Scale railroading. We are continually looking for new and innovative ways to make every experience in each session as close to actual 1:1 operations as possible.

Our goal is to offer people the chance the take part in the most realistic multiplayer sessions that technology can offer. We want our crew-members to feel as though they are working on real railroads across North America. Before every multiplayer session, we do extensive research on the prototype railroads and rail lines to ensure our sessions are as professional and as close to real life as possible. These sessions are designed to be immersive, realistic, and fun!

If you are interested in prototype operations done for you, then please take a moment to listen to one of our sessions or sign up for training classes as they are announced here in this forum.

Does VRMA use MSTS, Trainz, or Rail Simulator/Railworks?

At this time, VRMA's focus is on creating multiplayer sessions using Microsoft Train Simulator. We are actively looking at hosting multiplayer sessions using Trainz Railroad Simulator (TRS) and Railworks (RW).

To get TRS or RW onto our schedule we need a group of 12 or more engineer trainees with those simulators to sign up and complete the training program. Our experience with all simulators has shown that those who try to come directly into the sessions without understanding the paperwork, rules and regulations of a working railroad get frustrated and leave. Once we have a solid group of TRS or RW engineers trained, we will add sessions for these players to our schedule.

Listen to a session and see if multiplayer is right for you. Then sign up for a training session that first your schedule. Training is required regardless of how long you have had your simulator just like hiring on an actual railroad. There is a huge difference between running solo or even in small group activities to being one of 20-40 trains running in a session.

Do I need to join VRMA to run in one of your sessions?

Membership in VRMA is not required to participate in our sessions. All announcements for operating sessions and training classes will be posted here in this forum and at VRMA. There is no cost to join VRMA and all announcements are posted there first before they are posted anywhere else.

If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a PM and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Thanks for your time,

Nick C.
Superintendent of Train Operations, VRMA


New Member
Hello all:

We will be broadcasting this session live tomorrow directly from our website:

Just click on the audio link, press play and you are there. Broadcast starts at 1pm and goes until last train reaches its final destination around 9pm. All times are eastern US time zone. If you are interested in learning more about multiplayer operating sessions, this is the place to be tomorrow. The route for tomorrow is the CSX Kingsport Sub. We have 12 freights plus rail train and MOW on the schedule for tomorrow.

If your are interested in learning more about how you can run in one of our operating sessions, I will be holding a live Q&A this week 4/6/11 at 8 pm eastern time. (Details on link for that broadcast to follow).

Also we will be starting another new engineer training class this week on 4/7/11. If you are interested in attending the training classes, please send me a PM.

Hope to see you tomorrow live on the broadcast...



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