My apartment is about 100 feet away from train tracks; everyone else thinks it's annoying when a train flies through, blaring its horn. I think of it as a bonus. Maybe it's the fact that I know that the train is carrying enough energy on it for a small nuclear explosion, but I just think the damn things are neat.
The other day I was stopped at an intersection and a 3-locomotive diesel Conrail SD40-2 train was just starting to go through it. I counted 156 cars. I'm probably off by 1 or 2, since I got pretty dizzy trying to stare at one spot while a train was flying through my view at 60mph.
I love racing trains too. On my way home from work, I cross a rail crossing (different from the one I mentioned above), which is about 6 miles from my apartment. The track follows the road I take, so I can go the rest of the way, following the train whenever I get stopped at the crossing, and when I pull into my apartment, it's rolling by.
I got Microsoft Train Simulator the other week. Oddly enough, it's not published by Microsoft, but by Activision (*shrug*), and it's fairly old. And it's pretty boring too. All you do is pick a route and a train, increase your throttle, and then wait 1-2 hours to reach the other end of the line.
It's kind of cool when you have a 50-car load and 2 diesel engines, but when you're limited to 50mph, it gets boring real fast.
So being the clever killer diller that I am, I got into the configuration files and changed the maximum speed of the Dash 9 diesel to 500mph, and doubled its force output; while I was at it, I added another 50 cars to my manifest, and another 4 Dash 9 engines.
6 engines, 100 cars.
Unfortunately, the cars generated so much friction that I still couldn't get the train to go past 90 mph (I only doubled the force; I probably should have made it even higher), so I got bored, and unlatched all of my cars, and set the throttle for full.
I got up to 506 mph in this 6-engine train. About 20 miles from the end of the line, I realised that I hadn't increased the braking power of the engine at all, so I immediately turned the throttle to idle, turned the reverser on full, and increased throttle to full again (essentially full throttle backwards), turned on the dynamic brakes to full, and applied the air brakes as well.
At 3 miles out, I realised I was in trouble. I was still over 350mph, so I threw the emergency brakes too. Didn't help.
3 miles later, I hit the end-of-track barrier at 326 mph, flew right through it and hit the side of a small hill; which in turn chucked all 6 of my engines about 10 storeys into the air, and right into a skyscraper in downtown Baltimore.
That was pretty funny.
"Sometimes you just have to make your own fun." - Ernest Pazera, GDC '04