3D Ultra Lionel Traintown

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3D Ultra Lionel Traintown
3D Ultra Lionel Traintown Deluxe Title Screen.PNG
Title screen for the 2.0 version of Traintown
Developer(s) Sierra Attractions
Series 3D Ultra
Platform(s) PC
Release date(s) 1999 (original), 2000 (deluxe version)
Genre(s) family, railroading, puzzle

3D Ultra Lionel Traintown is a 3rd person railroading game by Sierra Entertainment. It consists of train layouts, some of which the player can edit. Some of the locomotives include: Union Pacific EMD SW1500 switcher, an Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway F3A diesel locomotive (usually used to pull passenger trains), a generic 2-8-0 Consolidation steam locomotive, and a 1950s passenger railcar.

Gameplay[edit]

A view of gameplay on Traintown, on the living room setting

There are six job bins, starting with tutorials, followed by Caboose Washer (easy), Hobo Bouncer (average), Grease Monkey (hard), Fire Stoker (very hard), and Whistle Blower (intense).

Each job bin contains 12 jobs. The last one is a special unlockable job that can only be done if all 11 prior jobs are completed. The exception is the Tutorials bin, where all jobs are available at any time. The unlockable jobs are themed somewhat festively, and usually have an animated cutscene at the end of some sort (e.g., a circus, the Colosseum).

Most jobs involve the basic concept of picking up and delivering loads via different freight and passenger cars. However, some are completely different. The "School Daze" series involve moving numbered freight cars to make valid addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations at six difficulty levels (kindergarten through 5th grade). The "Sister's" jobs involve sorting freight cars coming down the track into the right siding at six different levels. Three different jobs are like a game of concentration, in which the player tries to match the loads in the cars as quickly and in the fewest guesses as possible. The job "Dung Wars" is like a game of pick-up sticks, "The Gallows" like hangman, and the challenging "Tower of Power" like the Tower of Hanoi game. In "Sort of Tricky", the job is to unscramble seven anagrams before time runs out, although bonus time is given for each completed word.

In the Tutorials bin, there are five guided jobs which teach different steps in the road to becoming a successful engineer. The next four jobs are free-play train parks with unlimited time and loads. The last three in the Tutorials bin are build parks, where it is possible to lay out track however the player wants, with a few limits, and then play on it like a free-play level.

Also, there are seven different base areas for layouts to be set up in. They are: Oak Valley, a generic wooded plain; Cactus Valley, a sprawling desert; North Pole, a wintery world filled with holiday decoration; Living Room; Backyard; Planet X, a rarely used layout on a moon-like surface; and one on a piece of yellow notebook paper, used for the School Daze missions.

Jobs[edit]

If the job has a time limit, it will have a number of minutes in parentheses at the end. For example, (5 min).

Tutorial[edit]

In both versions, this job bin is for begineers.

Tutorial: The Basics

  • Just as it sounds, a guided tutorial explaining how to drive a locomotive, switch tracks, and couple cars together.

Tutorial: Loads and Deliveries

  • A second walkthrough mission, detailing how to refuel, pick up loads, and deliver loads.

Tutorial: Signals

  • The third guided mission, which teaches players how to change signal lights and place flags to stop or reverse trains without touching them.

Tutorial: Special Track

  • This fourth walkthrough tutorial teaches the player how to use a turntable, Bascule bridge, and a rotary dumper.

Tutorial: How To Fix Hazards

  • The last actual tutorial teaches players how to fix natural hazards, such as plowing avalanches, fixing broken switches with a handcar, and moving animals that are in the way via the whistle. This tutorial has a time limit (5 minutes)

Train Park: Cactus Valley

  • A free play park based in the desert.

Train Park: Backyard

  • A large free play park based in a backyard.

Train Park: Living Room

  • A free play park based in a living room.

Train Park: Oak Valley

  • An elaborate practice park, complete with twin Bascule bridges and a coal pier, the latter of which does not appear anywhere else.

Build Park: Cactus Valley

  • A custom-build park based in the desert.

Build Park: North Pole

  • A custom-build park in the snowy Arctic Circle.

Build Park: Oak Valley

  • A custom-build park in the green Oak Valley.

Caboose Washer[edit]

Burger Time

  • A simple first job, in which players load a refrigerator car with hamburgers and deliver it to the furniture factory.

Santa's Helper

  • A slight bit more complicated, but quite straightforward still, involving delivering reindeer and Santa's sleigh to Santa's workshop.

Fish to Fry

  • Less simple than the past two, this job has players utilize a turntable to load up with fish and heating oil to deliver to the angler's club for a fish fry.

Think, Think, Think

  • The first job not to involve train driving at all, it is a simple matching game.

Tee Time

  • The objective is to deliver golf balls to the mini golf course prior to a visit by the queen, but an underfueled locomotive and a drawbridge create obstacles.

What a Mess

  • In a small but somewhat complex layout, the objective is to deliver RC cars and toy elephants back to the toybox from the living room floor.

Sister's Picking on Me

  • Possibly as payback for staying up later than her, the player's little sister has taken all of the trains and is sending freight cars down the line toward a three-way switch under the player's control. The job is to sort the cars down the right line. If one is put in the wrong siding, it's immediately game over for that job, and the mission must be restarted.

Spaced Out Invaders

  • Aliens are beginning their attack on Planet X, shooting lasers at the track. The goal is to bring the Queen of X to her secret fortress down the line, repairing track destroyed by UFOs to get there. In the original version, an extra section of track allows the player to begin the mission without taking the crane, which is required to fix any broken track. Thanks to the near-impossibility of completing the job without the crane, the passing track was removed in the Deluxe version.

School Daze: Kindergarten

  • Adding to the educational element of the game, this job is to devise an addition equation using three numbers.

The Mayor's Bad Day

  • Mayor Phatt has broken his chair, and it's up to the player to bring him a new one, as well as his favorite lunch (cookies).

Dodge Ball

  • The schoolkids need the player to get some new dodgeballs for them since theirs went flat. However, getting there is dodgeball in itself: commuter trains come at the player from each side of the screen on the rail lines between the starting point and the destination.

A Day at the Circus

  • This job is only accessible if all 11 jobs are completed prior. The goal is to simply deliver all the pre-loaded goods to the circus, then get some passengers there, and the player gets to watch a cutscene of a circus.

Hobo Bouncer[edit]

Sister's Little Game

  • Same rules as the previous Sister's mission, but with more sidings.

Cool Summer Evenings

  • The objective is to deliver the pool balls from the ball factory and the sweaters from the depot up to Bill's pool hall. This job is the first non-tutorial to be timed (5 minutes).

School Daze: 1st Grade

  • Another math-related job, this time using more numbers to make the equation.

Strange Sightings

  • UFOs have reportedly been witnessed in the area, destroying track. Players must use the repair crane to repair the track and let the passenger liner through to the station, but they must be careful of the alien lasers. (5 min)

Mind Over Matter

  • Another matching game, but with more cars to match (5 min).

Batch-o-Cookies

  • Mama wants to bake some delicious cookies, and needs the player's help. The player must load up grain and milk and run it over to the flour mill, then take the cookies through the tunnel. Navigating onto the sidings is the challenge here (8 min).

Mouse in a Maze

  • Crazy Uncle Tim has built a maze-like layout for the player to navigate. The goal is to get the milk to the end before it curdles (5 min).

Sister's Little Tantrum

  • The sidings are in a more complex formation for a longer and more difficult sorting game than before.

The Gallows

  • A simple game of hangman with only six guesses to spell out a word related to the game itself (5 min).

A Questionable Bar-B-Que

  • A straightforward task of delivering steaks and manure turns difficult because of a strange layout (5 min).

Rush Hour

  • A trainload of elves can't make it to the station due to a broken switch. Unfortunately, the repair handcar is on the other side of many tracks that have trains driving on them. The objective is to get the handcar across all of the lines without crashing (5 min).

Ms. Liberty

  • In this unlockable job, the assignment is to build a model of the Statue of Liberty. Given $215, the player must be frugal, since each load costs a little money. The price of the load varies, so the player must study price trends and load up when the price is right. The goal is to deliver all the sets of loads without going bankrupt, and see the celebratory animation afterwards.

Grease Monkey[edit]

School Daze: 2nd Grade

  • Another math-related job, now including subtraction as well as addition. The goal is to use all the numbers to make two valid equations to pass.

Recycle Mania

  • A cleanup crew has collected oil from a spill on the lake. The objective is to recycle the oil, and all the other trash lying around, to make steel and keep Oak Valley green (15 minutes).

Where's the Cargo?

  • An extensive matching game, with 72 cars to match and a short time limit (4 minutes, 5 minutes in Deluxe edition).

Sister's At It Again

  • Little Sister's layout is more difficult now, so players must keep on their toes and sort correctly.

Unfinished Connections

  • A layout has yet to be finished, so it's up to the player to use the least possible track to get the rural industries running (6 minutes in Deluxe edition).

Codename: Sema4

  • As a secret agent for TrainTown, the player has been assigned to control the semaphores for a busy intersection. Players must survive for a minute to pass, then it is possible to go for a high score. The mission is infinite, though, and is stated as impossible.

#1: Ground Breaking

  • The number 1 signifying that it is part one in a series of six jobs, this job kicks off Mayor Phatt's plan to put a tourist attraction at the east end of Oak Valley. The goal here is to clear and fix the track, then maneuver the loads to the stations where they are needed.

#2: A Bridge Too Far

  • The construction site of the tourist project is going smoothly, but they need the player's assistance to deliver loads. The job is to deliver all the loads, and construct a bridge over the lake as well.

#3: Striking Miners

  • The limestone quarry workers are on strike, and won't work until they get ice cream. The objective is to deliver the loads around the valley, including ice cream to the workers, to get the construction project back up to schedule.

#4: Logistic Hair Raiser

  • Overnight, some hoodlums scattered the freight cars hither and yon. Players need to round them up and then get all the loads to where they need to be on time.

#5: Uncivil Engineers

  • The construction project is almost done, and the player needs to get all the loads to their delivery sites. However, there's a couple little issues: there's a plethora of one-way track placed by the civil engineers, and the cars are scattered across the layout again, both problems making for a lengthy job.

#6: Opening Day

  • Now that the tourist attraction (a life-size replica of the Roman Colosseum) is finished, the job is simply to deliver all the loads to it for the grand opening. After the player gets all the food, supplies, and passengers to the Colosseum, a celebration occurs.

Fire Stoker[edit]

School Daze: 3rd Grade

  • In this quiz, multiplication and division are added to the mix. However, it is not required to use all the numbers this time. Players need to do one of each type of problem to make the grade.

Tunnel Vision

  • The new engineer doesn't know the track, so is just speeding on through the difficult tunnels. The tunnels don't match up on parallel tracks, so the job is to direct the newbie through the tunnels to the station (5 min).

Dung Wars!

  • The farmer and his cows wish to play a game like pick-up-sticks with the player. Starting with a line of 22 manure cars, it is possible to uncouple 1, 2, or 3 cars at a time. Whoever takes the last one gets homemade ice cream.

Urban Sprawl

  • The west end of Oak Valley is expanding quickly, but the rail line isn't placed yet. Players can build their own layout to connect all the businesses together, and then deliver all the loads from place to place.

Sister's Last Stand

  • Sister promises that this sorting job will be the last (her word means nothing), but it's difficult. Now, the cars are sorted by letter, with a slightly different type of layout. The objective is to outsmart the sister once and for all!

School Daze: 4th Grade

  • This quiz requires players to use all the numbers and all four of the equations to pass. It's timed, so players must keep busy. Completing an equation gives a bonus time of 5 minutes. (7 min).
  • Most of the time, thanks to odd arrangements of numbers, this mission is almost impossible. This is likely the reason the job was taken out of the Deluxe version, and the previous "5th Grade" job now labeled "4th Grade".

Explosive Connections

  • In this job, the objective is to sort the explosive loads (oil, diesel fuel, dynamite, and nitro) onto the right sidings without getting into the sidings. If the player uncouples the needed freight car on the hill, it will automatically roll quickly to whichever siding the player is switched to. If a car travels to the wrong siding or crashes, the mission is failed, and the results are potentially devastating. (5 min).

An Engineer's Dream

  • The player's dream: the player is on a handcar in a darkened area. The only way to uncloud the area is to drive along the tracks into the undiscovered territory. The goal is to get to the highlighted zone at the end before the time runs out to complete the job (11 min).

SwitchMaster 5000

  • The player must test the new system, the Switchy5000. This state-of-the-art system prevents players from controlling the switches; rather, it switches track whenever a train drives over the switch. The job is to outsmart this computerized system by navigating two trains to their respective load drop-off points (5 min).

After a Winter Storm

  • A destructive blizzard recently rolled through the North Pole, and some track has been destroyed. The job is to repair what's missing, and then deliver all the needed loads to save Christmas yet again (12 minutes).

Runaway Train

  • A runaway train carrying presents is going to run through Santa's village, and the player needs to stop it. The goal is to get it to the hill without crashing into another train.

Monkey Business

  • In this special unlockable job, Santa has commissioned the player to build a model of the Eiffel Tower at the Pole. This job is similar to the Statue of Liberty job in that it has several stages of construction, but the player doesn't have to pay for loads. Players must get limestone to the cement plant to make cement, and unload iron ore into the rotary dumper to get steel. After delivering all the loads to the construction site, player can watch the show (22 min).

Whistle Blower[edit]

Pesky Termites

  • Termites have ravaged the railroad ties, destroying track and making train travel difficult. The only way to stop this is to get old Rheinfelder's lumber mill running again. The track will be destroyed randomly in random places, and it's irreparable, so players must be careful (7 minutes).

Lunchtime

  • It's lunch break at the freight yard, and the food is sitting on a nearby line. Problem is, the line to get there's a long and difficult one, and it's blocked and broken in many places. The goal is to repair the line to the freight house and get lunch to where it needs to be (20 min).

Tower of Power

  • This job is a real puzzle. The player must move the numbered train from the top rail to the bottom rail, without changing the order of the cars. It is only possible to place smaller numbers next to larger ones, and only one car can be moved at a time. The objective is to figure out this ancient Eastern puzzle to clear the job. In the original version, the number train has five cars; the Deluxe version only has four, making the job take less time to complete.

The Night Before Christmas

  • December 24, Christmas Eve: Santa isn't quite ready yet for his voyage! The player needs to help deliver all the loads in the confusing layout, and avoid getting hit by the passenger liner that comes periodically. (20 min).

Nightmare on Oak Street

  • The track in Oak Valley needs maintenance badly, but several high-priority deliveries of limestone need to be made. The player must fix broken track and clear natural hazards when possible to get all loads delivered on time (18 min).

Sister's Revenge

  • The player's sister has broken her promise and returned to cause trouble. This sorting job is an expansion of the last job like it, where cars must be sorted by letter. A combination of skill and luck will get the player through the sister's final challenge.

More Switchy5000

  • The player gets to face off against the Switchy5000 yet again. It makes deliveries difficult by switching the track automatically when the player drives over it. The objective is to get all three loads to their needed delivery points as quickly as possible. (10 min).

School Daze: 5th Grade

  • Time for a final exam! The player must use all numbers in all equations, as usual, but must watch out for the number trains that could cut trains off (15 min).

Ice Cream Social

  • Cactus Valley is suffering a record heat wave, and ice cream seems to be the way to cure the citizens' displeasure. The goal is to make ice cream by delivering all the required loads, but the player needs to be quick so the ice cream doesn't melt (8 min).

Expensive Christmas Trees

  • If the player has ever wondered why Christmas trees are so high-priced, this job offers a firsthand experience as to why this is. This job is on a huge layout at the North Pole, and all of the switches are controlled by the Switchy5000. The objective is to utilize the switcher diesels if needed, in order to get the load of trees into the tunnel at the end of the maze (20 min). This job was removed in the Deluxe version.

Sort of Tricky

  • This job lives up to its name. The objective is to unscramble seven game-related anagrams. Bonus time is given when a puzzle is completed. (8 min)

A Festival of Knights

  • This is the final job. Fittingly enough for a final job, it is epic in length. At Cook's Castle down the line, the knights are ready for a great battle. It's the player's job to get them the loads they need to win (and party afterward).

There are seven parts to this job, each based on a previous job. They are listed below, along with the previous job they are taken from.

  1. Roll the explosive loads into their respective sidings and send the Cook's Castle loads to the locomotive at the bottom (Explosive Connections).
  2. Create 2 math equations using all the given numbers (School Daze).
  3. Solve the 3 word scrambles (Sort of Tricky).
  4. Navigate through the hidden track maze (An Engineer's Dream).
  5. Get the handcar across the heavy traffic to fix the broken switch (Rush Hour).
  6. Match all the loads in the boxcars in the required amount of guesses (Mind Over Matter, et al.)
  7. Rearrange the nine Cook's castle loads (dodgeballs, logs, sheep, grain, heating oil, Easter Island statues, toy elephants, cookies, and steaks) to deliver them when needed (most other jobs).

Finish all these tasks, and the game is complete.

Sequel[edit]

3D Ultra Lionel Traintown Deluxe is the successor of 3D Ultra Lionel Traintown.

Differences[edit]

Things that have changed[edit]

Job bins[edit]

There are seven job bins, one more than its prequel. This new job bin, Layout Tinkerer, allows the player to make train sets, add places, and add trains (locomotives and train cars).

Backgrounds[edit]

Several new backgrounds were introduced here, too. These include a kitchen, a basement workshop, and a New York City-esque urban area.

Objects[edit]

Some locations were added as well, such as office buildings and a UFO crash site.

Creating Train Sets[edit]

The large curves found in jobs like "Recycle Mania" are placeable in Layout Tinkerer, allowing for more realistic layouts.

Quated Concepts[edit]

Phantom Engine[edit]

A new Phantom Engine, a space-age-themed diesel engine that runs at about the speed as a passenger liner was introduced.

Toy Trains[edit]

Three toy steam engines, based on the Little Lionel line, have also been introduced. The three engines are black, red, and blue, and, surprisingly, work and sound exactly the same as the standard steam engine, though they move a little slower. A new "Toy Car" freight wagon is introduced, along the themes of the toy engines, which can hold any load.

Short Flatcars[edit]

Another new wagon, the "Short Flatcar," was also introduced and is used only for the purpose of carrying letters and numbers, replacing the refrigerator cars in the School Daze jobs.

New Jobs[edit]

To accommodate the new features, some new jobs were added to each bin. Other previously existing jobs were moved, deleted, or modified. For example, the job "Runaway Train", previously in Fire Stoker, was changed to Whistle Blower. The new jobs are as follows:

Tutorial[edit]

Train Park: North Pole

  • A massive free-play level at the North Pole.

Train Park: Kitchen

  • A free-play level in the kitchen. Contains several trains, tunnels, and some cows blocking the track.

Train Park: Basement

  • A free-play level in the basement workshop, utilizing toy trains instead of realistic ones.

Train Park: Big City

  • A free-play level in the big city.

Train Park: Purple Moon

  • A free play level on a distant moon, utilizing the phantom diesel as the engine.

Caboose Washer[edit]

Cows from Udder Space

  • In this unique job, space-helmeted cows are falling from the sky onto the lunar surface. The player must use the stock cars to catch as many of them as possible before time runs out (5 minutes).

Show Time

  • The Big City Theater is opening today, but the concessions haven't arrived. The goal is to deliver the popcorn and soda pop to the back of the theater, then bring the people to the front entrance to enjoy the show.

Hobo Bouncer[edit]

Fill 'Er Up

  • The player's snide older brother took all the fuel from the locomotives (except for one switcher), and the objective is to deliver all the food to the right location to help Mom with lunchtime. The player must use the diesel to fuel up the trains and run them through to the right loading zone.

Clock Watcher

  • To pass the time at the railyard, engineers are having a contest to bring the right letter to the correct loading zone quickest. The goal is to sort out the cars as quickly as possible.

Grease Monkey[edit]

UFO Rescue

  • A UFO has crashed in the center of town. Some of the track has been destroyed, and so has the spaceship. Alien language is incomprehensible, so the job is to deliver random loads to the crash site in hopes of getting something the aliens need. If they don't like it, they will send buddies to shoot another piece of track. The player needs to bring all the loads they like so they can take off again and leave the city be.

Locomotion Commotion

  • Possibly invented as practice for "Sort of Tricky", this job has the player unscramble one word with no time limit. There are several different layouts and words to try, so it's a job to do again and again. Another unique thing about this job is that the music changes depending on the layout.

Fire Stoker[edit]

Dummy Delivery

  • Some loads of crash test dummies have been recalled to their factories. Unfortunately, these are on the other side of the line. The player must use the hump to roll the dummies across the busy traffic without getting hit. The objective is to get all nine into three different loading zones to succeed (5 min).

Short Order Cook

  • The player's mom is hosting dinner for the guests, and needs help. The goal is to load up on raw meats and buns, then drive them through the tunnel and get them turned into delicious hamburgers and hot dogs, then bring the milk, ice cream, and strawberries to the blender to get some milkshake, and finally serve all of the needed food at the table.

Shuttle Shuffle

  • The ski resort shuttles have gone haywire and won't stop unless they hit a red signal. Thus, the player has been put in charge of managing the intersection so the shuttles don't crash. Like "CodeName: Sema4" before it, the player must survive for one minute to pass. However, it is now a 3-by-2 intersection, which is more difficult.

Rocky Road

  • There have been very many rockslides at the North Pole. The player needs to use the plow to clear them. If it sounds easy, there's a catch: dynamite cars are running loose throughout the layout. If they hit some rocks, a time penalty is given, and if the player get hit by one, the mission is failed. Avoiding the cars is easy, but keeping them out of the way of rocks is the challenge.

Whistle Blower[edit]

Pet Sitter

  • Pico the Tyrannosaurus Rex is hungry, and he'll eat anything. However, some things aren't good for him, and won't make him grow. The objective is to feed him his favorite foods and he'll grow to be a big, nice pet. If he doesn't like it, he'll shrink (20 minutes).

Day Trader

  • The circus needs some interesting loads that the player doesn't have. The player must run the three different loads through three different tunnels. Each time this is done, the load will get traded for something else. The goal is to figure out a pattern to get the three loads needed to win.

Critical reception[edit]

3D Ultra Lionel Traintown Deluxe won the 2000 Family Game of the Year award from the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.

Trivia[edit]

Upon inspection via Windows Media Player of certain copies of the original 1999 version of the game produced after 2006, the songs of soundtrack are named as after songs from The Killer's album Sam's Town. The soundtrack thumbnail as shown in WMP is the actual album cover of Sam's Town. This is a shout-out.