Trainz

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Editor's collection: Trainz 1.0 (Lower left corner) through most major English Language Retail releases up to Trainz 2012. Missing important releases in this picture: Trainz UTC (lost), Trainz Classics 3 (TC3) and Trainz 2009 (bought by software download).

Trainz in Brief[edit]

TRAINZ is a series, a family of 'virtual reality' Model Railroad Simulators—each full version something of a step up in complexity and capabilities from the previous release and each more complicated and involved than the average computer game since the simulators are user extensible and game software cannot be used to create new worlds and rules about how things work in the new world. Trainz strength is that it can and does—it has an active user base working to expand the product abilities and user options as well as the game companies programmers.

Trainz 1.0 and the Microsoft Train Simulator (MSTS) were released within months of one another in 2001—one released by a small company headed by Trains enthusiasts (and veteran model railroaders), the other by a large corporation with deep pockets—but the well funded one never had a second release, the other grew and progressed into a family of released retail versions and having over a million registered users serving a true world wide market.

The game system is extensible and has a large active user base creating new content and capabilities in true co-operative international effort. Unlike a typical dwelling, want-a-be model railroaders don't need modeling skills, a whole basement and ages of time to satisfy the itch to do model railroading, or drive realistically modeled locomotives—the game play feature which many casual users first focus upon. The new user starts with a dozen or so debugged ready-to-run railroads and can quickly learn to drive and operate a wide variety of realistically modeled locomotives from inside these bundled virtual worlds, many lovingly modeled on actual railroads. If these get uninteresting, there are now over 2,500 other routes the new user can download as freeware to chase away boredom. For those with creative bent, even the new user can soon begin to learn how to make their own customized routes by modifying those already available and following well written .pdf file manuals, now augmented by a TrainzOnline website with additional how-to. There are even versions that run on tablets computers running the iOS operating system from Apple, and on tablets with Tegra graphics support running on the Android system. Many Trainz releases can be bought online and downloaded, or by CDROM/DVD in most game software retailers.

Since 2001, the game has been updated and released in several versions—almost annually with major releases about every second year. These run under various operating systems such as MAC OS X, and various Microsoft Windows versions, each release featuring new extended content and evolved features bundled (as a starting point) with each retail version release.

Trainz was developed over 3–4 years by Australian game developer Auran Pty. Ltd, and when released the input of interested model railroaders quickly lead to a succession of improvements and extended capabilities. This became a pattern, accumulate major changes whilst setting up the evolution and making incremental changes and bug fixes through service pack releases, each making a stable code software step. Trainz service packs unlike many commercial packages are free, and so the improvements continued steadily through releases in 2005. In 2006–2007 Auran over extended developing a different computer game and Trainz survived now re-managed under N3V Games which renewed Trainz development leading to the "World Builder Edition, TS2009 and has continued to grow and evolve beating back several competitors over the ensuing decade plus.

Multilingual language support has been built into Trainz since Trainz 1.3, increased in the best selling TRS2004 and expanded in the hugely popular TRS2006 (TR06) release in 2005. Next followed a handful of releases including three in English based on the TR06 technologies which focused enclosed content featuring regional routes of interest, albeit with some changes to unimportant graphics (skins) but some incremental alterations of data definitions portending events to come: (TRS2007 and 2008 expanded the product's language offerings and added Europe and Eastern European routes; Three English releases known as Trainz Classics (TC1&2 and TC3) were English offferings partnered with third party content creators and also offered slightly new technologies (V-2.7 & V-2.8, game engine advancements are usually first included in an English release), TS12 (Trainz Simulator 2012) is the latest Microsoft Windows installment in the franchise and was released in April of 2011. Since its release, the game has attracted a large fan base due to its compatibility with third party user-created content (Train Cars, Buildings, Locomotives, Track types, trees, bridges, etc.) for which access and support in a huge database called the 'Download Station' is provided for by the developers.

About this Book[edit]

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As of Mid-June 2013, this book will be entering a second stage of reorganization and of being updated for newer software and newer Trainz technologies.
 • Pardon any detours this might cause in your travels down in information superhighways, but difficulty in overcoming copyrights restrictions has left many a fine article needing images as 'never written' —because images of software screenshots are an area where the Wikimedia Foundation is a bit hard headed and unrealistic. A strange position indirect contradiction to an entity with an Educational Mission.
 • In particular, our overhaul is going to provide pages especially valuable to new users. Check back or set your browser to notify you of page changes here, for this page is the only 'table of contents' in the book.

Amongst the renovations in the works:

  • Many pages in the main category will be getting moved into separate sub-categories by 'page focus', so for example articles and tutorials about creating content will be in Category:Content pages in Trainz; General reference pages (e.g. the list in the next two sections) may end up in Category:Trainz-computing ref pages but may just stay in the main pages category Trainz.
  • An asset upgrade (error fixing tutorials how-to) is pending soon.
  • A set of skills building tutorials for beginners and intermediate Trainzers has been planned and put together since mid-April, and will soon take place as well.
  • General reference information pages may be placed into a separate category, but one sure thing is all the pages of this book will soon get a series of navigation sidebar links (i.e.: see some Wikipedia reference articles) allowing navigation to source references in the Auran/N3V Games TrainzOnline reference Wiki and across applicable topics here.
In short, a face lift and ease of use series of changes is going to make this a much better reference for new and jaded experienced Trainzers alike!

Casual browsers and new Trainzer wannabe's should read the next two section for there is information there that the tutorials will assume. They'll also remind you to read it, so bite the bullet! You can address most questions to the general Trainz forums, or contact one of the authors listed if it is about the pages in this Wikibook. FrankB

Getting Started[edit]

A Brief Description Of Trainz[edit]

Installation[edit]

Some Essential Do's And Don'ts[edit]

Tips And Tricks[edit]

Driver[edit]

The Driver aspect of Trainz permits operating virtual trains on modeled railroads. It is the simulation of routes and can be both interactive and automated. All editions of Trainz are supplied with at least one route and driver session for immediate use.

Surveyor[edit]

The Surveyor aspect of Trainz provides tools for creating the world and the rails for virtual railroads. While in surveyor, the size of the layout, the weather, the landscape and all your assets can be experimented with until your route is ready to drive.

Asset Management[edit]

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Main page: Trainz/Introduction to assets
If you are just browsing the internet trying to get a glimpse of Trainz, or are a new Trainz user, the link above leads into the first chapter below as a set of linked pages, and should be read first.

Managing your assets becomes essential when your 3rd party and DLS content begins to build up. With more than 100,000 items available from the DLS, and built-in content shipped with every edition, the amount of faulty/missing dependencies or items requiring updates or attention quickly becomes a mammoth task to deal with.

Asset Creation[edit]

This HO scale locomotive with it's rich authentic detailing took man-months of development, and so do many Trainz assets. One is in plastic made using 3D CAD planning and likely involved CAM to create the molds. A Trainz traincar asset creator uses 3D graphics modeling software that is a sub-genre of a full up engineering CAD package, but with an orientation towards creating visual simulations — so professional packages (cost thousands, Autodesk's 3dsMax is $3,600 US and up![1]) are oriented for advertising and so an architectural firm can sell it's concept; this CAD package variant lends itself to Trainz needs, but the components in both engineering and graphics CAD modeling are much the same, one builds with pieces that can be defined in 3-space (3D).
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March 31st, 2014 - On re-organization into multiple divisions...
Most of these 'in-depth' pages about intermediate and advanced Trainz topics will soon be relocated in the new division: Trainz Asset Management & Creation ('Trainz/AM&C, while advanced Content creation will be relocated to the division Content Creation). Other materials will be moved to references and even dated material will be kept in the Appendixes.

Many users of Trainz that take up route building as a pass-time eventually choose to become content creators, even if it is to only customize a class or three of traincars and reskin them to their target railroad world.

This can be seen by the popularity of the DLS and the large number of contributors that bootstrap themselves into a usable level of content manipulation, or creation using 3D modeling software now available as freeware such as Blender. There is a steep learning curve associated with content creation and often many ways to produce the same result. Creating content can be incredibly rewarding but the road to a completed model consisting of many component pieces may be long and frustrating. The harder the fight, the sweeter the victory.
It may surprise many new Trainzer that there is a significant number of veteran Trainzer who rarely drive or operate Surveyor beyond testing a new asset—their is a lot of joy and satisfaction in creative activities and their is always high demand for someone to make this or that spedial asset for the large route building groups of Trainzers who also Drive very little.

Scripting[edit]

The implementation of scripting in Trainz has added increased flexibility and interactive possibilites with assets, particularly with animated objects. Scripting in trains adopts the TrainzScript language and requires a basic understanding of programming to follow.

Other Information[edit]

Additional Resources[edit]

Introduction

Trainz · Introduction


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