The Trainz Driver GUI module is the active gameplay mode of Trainz, and it may surprise the new user—probably the least used of the three main Trainz run-time modules. Most avid Trainzers prefer and enjoy the many seductions of the creative side of the hobby to the entertainment side, not but we do drive, just not all that often.
Yet Driver skills will come into play as necessary skills if you do want to play, and some of us play so much we buy fancy expensive video cards able to drive three widescreen monitors, and expensive console controllers which mimic a real locomotives cab controls.
Trainz Driver is the part of the Trainz program suite that allows you to control trains on a layout and is the 'really doing things' (missions) or interactive 'Gameplay' part of the software system, and the part the new Trainzer first becomes comfortable with.
Trainz Operations can be as simple as driving a light engine around a circle of track or as complicated as operating a large marshalling yard, with many different trains arriving for you to manage. Driver game play adventures are called Sessions or Scenarios (older, phased out in forthcoming Trainz: A New Era expected late 2014) and are the scripted activities which puts you into the cabin of the locomotives and usually require you to perform to some "task and standard" (keep to a schedule, this type is frequently scored, so you can beat your former best) or sort and place traincars in the correct places (Switching scenarios) and many combinations of these in problem solving.
- Camera view, Camera position, Camera mode
- Camera location, directional angles from that co-ordinate axis, and zoom are how we see inside the Trainz virtual world—they define a viewpoint from which we observe, all generated by the graphics engine. They place us within the game graphics.
Driver has four camera viewpoints or 'camera modes':
- selects an Internal camera— there most often will be more than one; you know you're in an early loco model when there aren't at least five. Use + to select by toggling between them.
- selects an External camera, this is attached to the consist somewhere and moves with the train, use / to select which traincar the camera follows by scan-toggling between them. This mode normally starts on the engine so will move the camera towards the rear of the Train. This is also the camera mode in Railyard.
- selects the Tracking Camera mode. This is a camera in a fixed location the route designer places in the world with a viewpoint to showing the Train externally either at a fixed direction & angle, or which stays in place, but stays focused on the train and rotates (tracks) to stay locked on the targeted car. Use + as in camera mode 2 to view a different anchor car.
• The Mouse, mouse wheel, and keyboard arrow keys , , , & are used to position, zoom, and move this camera about including through objects.
• Use and drag the tool pointer (cursor) right, left, up or down screen away from screen center to slide the camera around, or rotate the view angle. (Surveyor Options settings dependent, customize to suit self: two controls pan and rotation)
• This lets us use and clicks using the 'mouse pointer' (tool tip) to operate junctions, turn valves, turn the DCC Mode dial, operate slider controls, and generally toggle or select button options, and like actions.
selects the Free Camera mode, and is arguably the feature which lead to Trainz successful growth. This is also the Camera mode used in Surveyor and it's focal point is always at the center of your display.
There are four main camera modes available in Driver to allow you to enjoy your train from any angle. The camera control buttons are situated on the top right of the Driver screen, just below the game time, current speed and speed limit indicators. They are, from left to right, Cab View, External View, Tracking View and Roaming View.
- Cab View seats you in the cab of the locomotive, and allows you to operate the cab controls when in cab mode.
- External View allows you to view your train from any angle, but the train remains in the centre of view and the camera revolves around it. To select a different vehicle simply click it.
- Tracking View allows you to watch your train from any of the tracking cameras placed around the route. These are essentially fixed viewpoints placed in surveyor; they don't move but can pan depending on the type of camera used. When the selected train is not in sight of any tracking cameras, the view reverts to external view until it is in range of another.
- Roaming View is available in TRS2004 and later versions, and allows you to move the camera in any direction using the arrow keys, without being anchored to anything. It is possible to zoom in and out using this view, but not to pan or tilt; the pan and tilt is the same as your last External View.
Train Control Modes
In Driver it is possible to control trains in two ways: either DCC mode or Cab mode. When launching a driver session you are asked which one to use, and Driver then operates in your chosen mode for the remainder of the session.
DCC mode essentially operates like a model train set - to move your train you get a circular dial where moving it clockwise is forwards and anticlockwise is backwards. The further away from the 12 o'clock position you move the dial, the faster your train will go in that direction. DCC mode is designed to operate with a less realistic physics model than Cab mode, and is useful for people who wish to have a play with a layout or manage a lot of trains without getting too in depth with one particular locomotive.Picture of DCC mode
- CAB meaning Cabin Mode
- The more realistic and more challenging of the two driving modes in Trainz.
Train consists in CAB mode operate very differently for the full physics of each traincar is simulated, as is the delay for the air brakes systems to begin to have effect, wheel slippage on the Locos, and a host of other Real World physical modeling that is one of the attributes of Train simulators where once, 'for a long while,' Trainz software separated itself ahead of other competing packages.[notes 1] Picture of Cab Mode
In Cab Mode the user can operate the driver's controls inside the 3D virtual cab by Click-N-Drag with the mouse, as well as use a superset of the hotkeys that are available in DCC mode; most of which operate similarly but with a few important differences, and there are a few other differences driving locomotives with Diesel, Diesel-Electric, Electric, and Steam Loco prime mover technologies.
Cab mode involves operating locomotives from their cabs and pulling levers and pressing switches for reversers, regulators, brakes and other controls, just like on a real locomotive. Instead of the DCC dial you get the Heads Up Display, which displays useful information such as throttle position, brake position and brake pipe pressure. Driving locomotives in cab mode is discussed in detail elsewhere in this Wikibook.
Managing Multiple Trains
At the bottom left of the Driver screen in TRS2004 and above is a portrait of a man. He is the driver for your train. If you have placed multiple trains then you can click on your driver's portrait to show the drivers for the other locomotives in the session and select them and their trains.
To operate two or more trains simultaneously is relatively straightforward - of course the easiest way is to simply set each locomotive up to run and leave them to it. The problem with this method is that the locomotives will simply travel until either the session ends, you stop them manually or they derail - they will not obey switches, signals or buffers. This is where your drivers come in handy.
The most effective way to run multiple trains in a session is to give orders to the drivers. The long rectangular pane at the bottom of the Driver screen shows the orders for the currently selected driver. The symbol closest to the driver's portrait is his current order, with other orders progressing from left to right across the pane. To assign an order to your driver simply right-click in the order pane and choose an order from the menu. The most common orders are 'Drive To', 'Drive to Trackmark', 'Drive Via Trackmark' (In TS2009 and later the word 'Navigate' is used instead of 'Drive'), 'Load' and 'Unload'. When carrying out orders. the drivers will drive the train, keep to the speed limits and obey signals. They will also change switches (turnouts/points), provided that the path is clear and that no other driver is already in control of them. The degree of success to which drivers execute their orders is largely dependent on how effectively the layout is signalled and tracked. Whilst carrying out orders the driver is in control of the train - the DCC control or HUD is inaccessible. To go back to manual control tell your driver to 'stop train'; He will bring the train to a standstill and the DCC control or HUD will reappear.
Switches (also known as turnouts or points) are controlled by a large set of arrows over them, the current selected path (left or right) is shown by the green arrow. It is possible to have a maximum of 3 diverging tracks from a switch, and in that case there are three arrows. Click the set of arrows to select which path to take. By default, no current version of Trainz uses with animated turnouts with blades due to the way that track is laid in Surveyor. Hpwever third party-created animated turnouts are available from the DLS, although they work in a slightly different way. If you click a switch and the direction does not change, there could be one of three reasons why:
- 1) Your train is standing too close to or on the turnout and therefore the switch cannot be changed in case of derailment.
- 2) You are not clicking in the right place. Particularly with later versions of Trainz and in areas densely populated with switches, you may find that the wrong switch is moving. Try readjusting your camera angle and try again.
- 3) The switch is currently under the control of an AI driver because his path takes him in that particular direction and he's close by. Find which driver is causing the problem, tell him to 'Stop Train' to regain control of the switch and the tell him to 'Continue Schedule' once that you are clear. If you obey the signals of a layout that is well signalled, this problem should be rare.
- From TS2012 upwards a yellow padlock icon indicates when a switch has been 'locked' by a train - either because a manually controlled train is too close or an AI driver has called a route across it.
Although not technically a control, signals are of course worth mentioning as a basic feature of Driver. Trainz features two basic types of signal, the modern colour light and the traditional semaphore. Signals are generally placed in 'blocks', but this is covered in more depth elsewhere in this wikibook. A feature of Driver is that if you hover your mouse over a signal aspect, Trainz will explain why the signal is showing that aspect. This is especially useful when a train reaches a signal at 'danger', as you can hover your mouse pointer over the signal to find out why it is at danger. Driver will then say for example, 'block is in use by another train'. If you then click on the red aspect, Driver will take you to the cause of it; for example in this case Driver will focus on the train currently fouling the block. The same system also works of the line is closed - Driver will take you to the closed turnout so that you can change it if required.
Map View shows a 2d birds-eye representation of the layout and all consists on it. It is useful for learning a new layout or navigating a complex one. The Map View button on the bottom right of the Driver screen.
In TRS2004 and later, the active industries send a waybill to the awaybill screen when they get below a certain stock level, this show you where products are most needed.
- DCC Mode dse
- (simulated) Digital Command Control. The simpler of the two driving modes in Trainz. The term comes from the world of model railways where DCC chipsets automate railcar behaviors, but really applies to the 'dial type controllers used in electric powered Model Railroad. In Trainz, the term refers to a simulated dial controller or the 'power pack' that will be somewhat familiar to anyone that has played with a typical (non-Lionel) model railroad such as H.O. Scale trainsets from toy and department stores.