new rail 1
MSTS rail leaves something to be desired. A little bit of improvement can be had by gradient-shading the rail graphic so the rail form doesn't look so square. Viewable texture is hard to see on MSTS rail, partly because the surface area is so small. Both texture and color are even harder to see on the sides of the rail, as the usual daytime overhead lighting conditions prevent it, causing the sides to be very dark.

New Rail 1

To make the sides of the rail have contour under overhead lighting conditions, the sides must be lightened considerably when using the color gradient. This works well except for very early morning lighting conditions (7 am), and very late afternoon lighting conditions (5 pm) when the light shines directly at the sides of the rail. At these times the rail sides take on a light gray or almost white look. Luckily, the time window causing this effect doesn't last long. Hopefully MSTS2 will improve on the MSTS1 rail. This is my rail version, and is available on the site. Search for the file