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Fundamentals for Trainz Trainees
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 Mouse use
Contributing author: fabartus


Surveyor is the built-in world editing tool of the three Trainz Graphical user interface operating environments. Like the Windows application Content Manager the three GUIs draw on the Trainz local data base for asset information. Most versions of Trainz include the Surveyor module - the notable exceptions are the few "driver only" introductory products such as the 2005 release Trainz Driver. The Route and Session Creation pages provides details on the fine points of how build routes and their associated gameplay sessions using Surveyor, whereas this module will focus on the basics with a number of examples of how to get skilled so you can fly on making your own dream railway with a different method: we're going to provide some projects and start you out modifying a stock route the way most of us learned to get good with Surveyor.

P train grey.png
The first thing to realize is Trainz protects you from boneheaded gaffs, and will automatically clone a built-in route should you enter one and modify it. Thereafter, it will be listed in your local content in CM with your own Trainz KUID as part of it's identifier. This forced SAVE AS protects you from overwriting the release version's stock content.
  • It does not protect you from over writing yourself. Do a save as BEFORE making major changes to your route and practice suffixing a version to the name. You can weed them out later as per Removing Unwanted Assets.

Tools and modes[edit]

Surveyor has seven major tools that are accessable via hot key combinations and mouse click combinations and from the earliest Trainz Beta 0.9 release until the latest, these differ only in the sixth tab which until layers were introduced in TS2010 was for World control settings like clouds, water appearance, season of the year, time of day and the world origin. Most of these are intermediate controls that for now either will already be set up (since we're going to Look, modify, learn not create from scratch.

  • For now suffice it to say the world controls have been moved off the F6 tab and put into the surveyor options menu in favor of a new powerful mode tool, the Layer association tab/tool on the F6 tab instead.
  • This tool let's the user associate assets on either a session definition (Navigation waypoints called trackmarks, things a session Rule might test like triggers and rolling stock in consists) which are integral to making up a given scenarios needs) or on the 'route/map/layout' (track, scenery items, landscape features, interactive industries like train stations, yards, switching, and so on and so on).

Trainz Community tutorials[edit]

Trainz Community tutorials

The Trainz community is international and we would be remiss if we didn't point out that there is much to be learned from selfless Trainzers who have put together educational tutorials ahead of our efforts. Since both the user interface (UI) and the capabilities in Trainz modules (which have remained markedly stable!) have evolved only slowly many tutorials written for Trainz from the earliest days still have much to teach the newcomer and experienced Trainzers alike.

Please enjoy mining these gems for the many golden nuggets and insights they contain:

  1. HOW TO SIGNAL AHEAD OF A LIFT BRIDGE, By Jytte Christrup —Step by Step Surveyor tutorial on signaling.
  2. Track Laying and Troubleshooting, By Chuck Brite, "A Tutorial For New Train Simulator Surveyors" —About a dozen Step by Step Surveyor how-to tutorials

Editable Items[edit]

Surveyor allows the manipulation of the following aspects of the game:

  • Routes
  • Ground Height
  • Ground Textures
  • Water
  • Route Layers (see below for layer details)
  • Sessions
  • Environmental Conditions
  • Session Rules
  • Session Layers (see below for layer details)
  • Customised Initial Junction Directions
  • Customised Map Object Properties
  • Per-Layer
  • Map Objects (Scenery, etc.)
  • Scenery Splines
  • Track
  • Trackside Objects
  • Trains

Content Search Filter is a powerful tool that allows you to selectively filter the items you want to find.

The Filter is opened by clicking on the Funnel Icon on the top menubar.

For example, typing "red" in the Filter Window will then show only items containing the letters "red" in the Objects panel, Trains panel on the right hand side.

Don't forget to reset your filter when you have found what you are looking for.