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Fundamentals for Trainz Trainees
Trainz | Introductory Trainz  | Trainz AM&C | Creation | Appendixes  |  References  • Containers • Kinds • Tags • Index • Grps • Vers
 Mouse use

Trainz Notations[edit]

This special glossary page will assist the new reader in getting the gist of Trainz-speak. It is a terse set of other terms that are usually more fully elaborated on in the Glossary and at times, given topic pages all their own for in depth exposition.

Keypress notations[edit]

Many Trainz functions are accessed using the mouse or hotkeys. The later change depending upon which module of the software suite is active, though commonality of purpose is preserved from application to application when there is overlap. Mostly there isn't.

Standard Abbreviations[edit]

  • in this book —means may see elsewhere, but this is what is meant here.
  • general shorthand —means seen often on the web forums too.
  • Kc:, Kd:, Ks: Keys, usu. Hotkeys respectively in CM, Driver (DVR) or Surveyor (SUR)

Terms and Acronyms[edit]


Term Meaning Comments, clarifications, or notes
  ..\pathspec    path from
reference folder 
 usually used to signify a sub-folder (the 'local root directory') of the Trainz install directory so '..\TS12\bin and '..\bin would mean the same in usage context.
'..\TS12' means what ever the '..'=initial_pathspec is the way you installed Trainz (i.e. where TS12 is installed on your computer). See also pathspec and namespec below.
  ALCO        American Locomotive Company - a popular locomotives - engine manufacturer, many designs of which have been subsequently used as prototypes for digital and physical Model Railroading models.
  Asset-X        Freeware asset fixing tool when used with TARDIS scripts to update and fix assets in conjunction with PEVtools freeware.
  baggage car        when rails were king, luggage and freight carrying cars.

  Built-in asset
  or (BI)  
  or Built-ins   All the built-in items of your Trainz release version. These are found in .JA files which are configured for rapid upload into the game and tightly organized. Certain items, such as thumbnails are stripped from the JA's which are mandatory for uploading an asset to the DLS, where the thumbnails are used in web pages and/or downloaded to the cache for views in CM. Consequently, such images are not part of any cloned asset.
  CAB file    compressed Asset Base
 or CABinet files 
 CAB files are a software term of art for a library of files that may be and usually are options in the install. Microsoft Windows and many other applications allow user customization by adding or deleting components, such as Microsoft Media Player, accessibility assets like magnifiers, internationalization customizations for languages, audio text readers for the hearing impaired, and even system utilities like disk maintenance applications. Trainz CAB file analog is the JA files, which contain all the installs' base assets distributed with the specific retail release.
  carriage        a popular prototyped passenger traincars - usu. by a manufacturer
  CC or
 Content Creators   Those wonderful people that freely give a great deal of time and painstaking devotion to providing digital models for Trainz.
 These are: Route builders, Asset makers, Scripting specialists and Session writer's—which activities take a big chunk of time and they ought be appreciated for fueling Trainz for over a decade now.
  CM    Content Manager Utility data manager, Trainz Windows application to download, upload, archive, sort, and manipulate assets, including cloning and editing. CMP became 'CM 2.0' in TRS2009, and then CM 3.3 later in it's 4th service pack - since that upgrade, all CMs display the new asset Trainz-build version (v#.#) in the title bar.
  CMP    Content Manager Plus   Older initial all in one CM Windows application introduced in v1.5 and up versions of TRS2006 and the 3 Trainz Classics.
  CSAR    Computing  term  Conditional Search and Replace. See SAR in the glossary for details and distinctions.
  EDR    Extended database repair   Selecting EDR from the CM ALT+F7 hotkey or options menu launches the big brother of the QDR, which forces a full thorough database self-audit, including checking installed assets, and record like ..UserData\Originals, backups and etcetera.
  • It takes quite a while as a result, so if tempted, make sure you have no plans for the computer for up to half a day; comparatively the EDR takes a much greater time, even with no added content on a system, for it not only rebuilds the assets.tdx index file but also rechecks validity of content, looking for faults.

In particular, disable anti-virus and Mal-ware checking and especially disable any auto updates which might reboot the system with disastrous results to Trainz. Best run overnight, verify your scheduler apps don't interrupt and that your scanning security utilities are disabled--the EDR is internal, and no scanning of files is in any ways useful, but just slow things down stealing resources and processor cycles from Trainz--which will be pushing your processor to the limits!.

  • [Ed-note:' Disabling internet connectivity has been reported to speed the process considerably.]Ø
  EMD        a popular prototyped locomotives - engine manufactured by General Motors Electromotor Division
  Error Fixing        Process, usually of running PEVtools to update some extractable data types and upgrade an asset with concurrent edits to the assets config.txt files.
  enumerated    strictly
 Enumerated types strictly define legal values, and proscribe undefinable values, which generate an error. category-region tag and category-classes are data fields which must satisfy enumerated values checks. Boolean values must only be a 1 or 0, or similarly generate errors.
  filenamespec     Operating
system path  
 reference to folders hierarchy in Windows; C:\TS12\UserData\editing\$dummyScreenshot.jpg for example has a pathspec, a filename and is when all together a 'filenamespec' combining both.


Term Meaning Comments, clarifications, or notes
  Any Trainz
code build  
 Each or any Trainz version on a particular computer and it's Hard drives in it's own local root folder. This author has a version for each hotfix and Service Pack of each Retail release version since TS09-SP1 and each are an 'install' since SP2, SP3 and SP4 all differ. Repeat as needed for TS10 and TS12!
 instance or
 an occurrence of something...  In computer science a selection specification of several possibilities
 usually in Trainz a product amount by class of product. e.g. a flat car might hold upto seven pallets of general goods; each being an instance of general goods in one instance of it's queues container—where the second usage refers to a choice in model construction of several different queue product types which might be enabled for that traincar.[1]
  GUI    Jargon: 'Graphical User Interface'   The three 'run-time' module we can view the Trainz virtual world or models within. They are Driver, Railyard, and Surveyor. (Content Manager is a Windows application, as some would argue are the Loader, Launcher, and Main Menus screens.) Technically all are GUIs, but control is either Trainz or Windows, so there is a teensy-tiny distinction.
  keyword    computing term   A 'Reserved word' meaning enumerated and given special scope and legal use. containers, kinds and tags are all keyword enumerated types which signify particular handling when processing their data value fields.
Abbrv: HKey  
 A Hotkey in computing is also known as a keyboard shortcut, and are usually a Key-press combination where multiple keys are pressed at the same moment, or a Operations key that is built into the software and changes or accesses some other mode. One 'almost' universal sequence ALT+F+something in Windows Apps will bring you to the File drop down menu to Save..., save As..., Open, etcetera. So Hokey gives FILES (a mode change, launch mode entry to file operations). Another two well used: Win+E - Opens Windows Explorer; ESC suspends browser page build operationa... canceling loading that link you really didn't mean to click.
 JA file  Compressed Asset Base file type   The standard Auran Compressed Asset Base (CAB file), which includes all the built-in items of your Trainz release version. JA files are configured for rapid upload into the game and tightly organized. They may be ported version to version within certain limitations. TS09 JAs, TS10 JAs can be added to TS12's bag of tricks. TANE is expected to have similar capability, otherwise route and session assets that took many man-months to create would not be forward-compatible, a hallmark of Trainz since its earliest days.
 kuid reference or 
 referenced kuid
  enumerated data type   KUIDs data field of a tag listing a sub-asset (dependency) used to build the current asset in a config.txt file tag or container. Specific data key-words (tags) will specify a kuid reference, which must then also be listed in the asset's kuid-table (identifying independent asset dependencies).
  image file     graphics files   data in image form, Trainz handles BMP, JPG, TGA, and GIF image file types. For others, see File formats
  mail car     A class of rolling stock    when rails were king, valuables and small freight (Sears and Roebuck Mail-orders!) carrying cars commonly the target of robbers like Jesse James and his crew, since they frequently carried money or bullion!
  minimap    Ks: CTRL+M 
 Kd: M 
 In Surveyor, opens a map less than full screen size that one normally sizes and positions in the lower LH corner as preferred using LMBHd. It shows the surroundings from the centered-cursor/camera position, and a key feature is it selectively allows one to see labels not otherwise displayable in Surveyor or Driver (e.g. Names of triggers) Alternatively, also M in Driver, only.


Term Meaning Comments, clarifications, or notes
  NAMCON    naming convention   Naming conventions are just guidelines as to how a name is formatted. Is it better to make a username of the form: 'PRR 40' Boxcar' or 'Boxcar, 40ft PRR'? These vary CC to CC, and within any organization producing co-operative output.

  named parameter
 or explicit parameter 
     A name in scripting encoding and decoding languages (such as wikimarkup language which builds this page) which has limited scope and which is a specific temporary keyword in passing a value to another process. Both the passing routine and the deciphering or called code must evaluate the term the same, and such parameters are case sensitive. The analog in general computing is a variable which must be declared of a specific type. In the scripting application, the typing is handled solely by context and interpretation, while in the compiled computer languages, the typing corresponds to allocation of physical memory and the typing also constrains the types of operations allowed on the data.
  pass parameter        A computing software term referring to sending a value into another part of the software as an input, normally a function or module which then further processes the passed data.
alt: PEV-tools   general use, Asset updating freeware suite that in later Trainz can fix many error conditions, generate shadow meshes and convert old fashioned v1.x PM to IM mesh files. See Setting up PEVtools and PEVtools pages.
 placeholder parameter or
 dummy parameter or
 dummy keyword 
 computing term
 A dummy or placeholder is a reference made in a sequential order, so one who's data is evaluated in that 'place' in a 'read order'. Many Trainz containers and especially Trainz's sub-containers defining data for initializing an array are placeholders usually represented by the set {Ph: 1, 2, 3, ..., nn}, for all trainz data definitions values are pairs of the form 'keyword' (whitespace) 'Data'.
 Asset Root
 asset's root or
 asset's root
 local Install's ..\editing subfolder of any Trainz installation usually where Content Manager opens a sub-folder in the Trainz' Installation's ../editing sub-folder;
or sometimes means a users or CC's archived source folder before importing it into his uploader CM Installation.
In each case the folder defining all of that asset.
Note: Many veteran Trainzer's, esp. CCs keep a second (backup) or third (plain jane) Trainz install to test dependencies on a 'bare' version before uploading.
 Root folder
 local root or
local root folder
  Installed subfolder of an
hard drive  
 Where you let the installer software put a Trainz version when adding the software to your computer. Conventions were C:\Auran\subfolder and later C:\N3V, or D or F hard drives (HDD) with like names. Some put Installs directly off the root of the HDD such as for example: 'F:\$TS12-SP1+hf3' or 'D:\TS09-SP2' , both actual folders on this computer at the moment!)
Hot user tip: Putting Windows and Trainz versions on the same HDD will slow things down, as will installs on the same HDD as the Windows TEMP (cache folders) directory.
  QDR    Quick Database Repair   Selecting QDR from the CM ALT+F7 hotkey or options menu launches the little brother of the Extended Data Base repair, which forces a quick partial database self-audit, including cross-checking installed assets, filenames, and inventory check it's references to the record like ..UserData\Originals, backups and etcetera.
  • It takes a short while (10-30 minutes) but may reconnect files in Assets.tdx, 'open for edit' or those you may have added in other folders as a result; comparatively the EDR takes a much greater time, even with no added content on a system.
  pathspec     Operating
system path  
 reference to folders hierarchy in Windows; C:\TS12\UserData\editing\$dummyScreenshot.jpg for example has a pathspec, a filename and is when all together a 'filenamespec' combining both.
 fm SAR 
Term (Jargon) 
 lit.:Conditional Search and Replace and Search and Replace, (aka, 'Find and Replace'); variant GSAR=Global Search and Replace (all or nothing, more risky that you may change something you shouldn't than one by one. Use REGEX to narrow risk significantly.
 Set notation
{xxx: val-0, val-1, val-2, ..., val-nn}  
 list of 'xxx' typed things are:... values list   example: {tag: category-era-0, category-era-1, category-era-2, ...}
  String array    Wikibook term
special container
 data class name 
 Several Trainz legacy tags or keyword's which had numeric suffixes for each declaration have been superceded by defining those values within a quoted string and delimiting (separating) them from the next by use of a semicolon ';' . (See name-xx, category-region-xx, category-era-xx etc. versus username-xx explanations.)
  structure or
 data structure 
 data structure   A computer science term referring to the way data is organized internally in a piece of computer software. Trainz containers and Kinds are higher level Trainz data structures, while simple tags are simple keyword-value paired data values with proscribed enumerated keywords, having a corresponding 'key meaning' in the self-definition of a digital model (Assets).


Term Meaning Comments, clarifications, or notes
  TAD    Trainz Assets
 Where all the goodies bundled or off the web are kept in your Trainz Installation to feed CM, Driver, Surveyor and Railyard. Today's Trainz run a program called TADdaemon in the background to handle multi-tasking activities, including internet interactive gaming.
  TADdaemon    TAD + daemon   A Database transactions manager added to Trainz in TS09-SP4 and the TS10's.
 • The most important thing to know about TADdaemon is you need to give it 30-45 seconds (to finish it's bookkeeping needs) and completely shut down after closing any Trainz install completely—and esp. before rebooting or powering down the computer![note 1]
 • The second, is that if still active, that 30+ seconds long window is designed to give you time to quit CM and Launch the run-time GUI's, in which case Trainz has a handle on the current database state and will load much faster
 English jargon: something unsettled yet   lit. To Be Determined or To Be Determined Later, this later form carrying the connotation the tabling of some issue or feature is both by design and intent.
 • Many societies, whether they be business, government, or social, know the best way to eat an Elephant is one bite at at time.
Starting is half-done is a truism in allocating scarce time resources, and many decisions can be deferred (such as what might go into blank lines on this table) until a fuller picture of needs is determined.
  TBS    The TrainzBaseSpec   Fundamental parent data defines of any asset KIND which every self-defining asset or element needs to bootstrap itself in Trainz. The TBS contains the set of defines which are common to and legal in all assets.
 {{Trainz CC}}
or TCC  
+ 'Trainz Routes'
 Formal retail release name of Trainz Complete Collection, ca. 2006 — an omnibus 3CD collection with TRS2004-SP4, TRS2006-SP1 and Trainz Routes (extra content CD).

  TLC    American slang   lit. Tender Loving Care—here in the TWB, generally meaning or referring to: 'something' (an asset, usu. a route or session) which needs a lot more work to be acceptably up to the societies grade and standards!
 • A corollary: Don't put things up on the DLS which aren't up to snuff! Share things you are proud of while learning with Dropbox or other cloud services, but don't stress the communities patience with you, nor damage your reputation with premature uploads of junk!
  TLCP       in this book, shorthand for the controversial and user community disliked Trainz_Life-Cycle_Policy, or at least the heavy-handed implementation of it requiring assets being uploaded to conform to a higher trainz-build level than necessarily (formerly a tech-level tracking system, now perverted to become a retailing tool) needed by the asset's configuration and component parts have need of. Many if not most assets, not requiring or using a tiddly change in the Trainz script libraries, the data models work fine with much lower TB values. Auran/N3V is merely hoping to force people to upgrade to newer generation Trainz releases—so dictating they must buy new computers and video regardless of age, financial circumstances and personal choices.
         in this book, shorthand
  Trainz 1.x    Trainz 1.3   The 2001 simulator which wouldn't quit despite Microsoft's wishes. Surveyor is the tool that makes Trainz special and the versions today look much the same with some different skins/themes and a few improved Surveyor tools options like layers, Pick lists and other incremental changes.
         in this book, shorthand TBD
  Trainz UTC     Trainz UTC    formal release name of 'UTC', Trainz: Ultimate Trainz Collection, version bundled and upgraded Trainz 1.3, with scenarios introducing TrainzScript and some extra routes and content. Scenarios scripts lead to Scripting and Trainz interactive features (railcars and industries).
         in this book, shorthand TBDL
  Trainz Routes        A 2006 or 2007 CDROM extra content release of numerous small routes when Auran, impoverished by Fury was desperately trying to raise cash.
         in this book, shorthand
  TR04     TRS2004    in this book, shorthand, often also T'04
  TR06     TRS2006    Seen some on the forums since TS10 and TS09; in this book, shorthand; often also T'06
or TC1
or TC2  
  TC1&2    general shorthand, most widely distributed together so grouped; means Trainz Classics 1&2 release with a North American flavored Railroading Theme.
  TC3     TC3    in this book & general shorthand for Trainz Classics 3 release with a British Railroading Theme.
  TS09     TS2009    in this book & general shorthand, also:
TS2009: World Builder Edition
  TS10     TS2010    general shorthand also:
TS2010: Engineer's Edition
  TS12        general shorthand also:
TS2012: 10th Anniversary Edition

 or WB  
 Trainz Wikibook   lit. Trainz Wikibook—this resource so many have taken time to put together for the Trainz societies.


Term Meaning Comments, clarifications, or notes
 unary value  
 Math and computing term   A unary (lit. from Latin: un+ary), is a single term, or a parameter (variable) "consisting of, or affecting, a single element or component; monadic "[4] as opposed to binary, trinary, or quadary elements. Even placeholder parameters in Trainz are always binary operators, a tag and a value. Pass parameters in Wikimarkup templates although placeholders or named parameters, are always unary--they have only the one part.[5]
  UTC    Trainz v1.5 Ultimate Trainz Collection   general shorthand for the important version that introduced scripting in Trainz, which in TRS2004 gave Trainz interactive railcars and industries.

File Types in Trainz[edit]

Animation, for example a steam locomotive's connecting rod movements, or water movement on a river or lake.
Bookmark. Used to track and record the current camera position in Surveyor.
Content Dispatcher Pack. A file used by Auran and some other content creators to distribute additional assets. A CDP file can contain one or more assets.
Content Dispatcher Pack Archive. An archive version of the CDP format, used by Auran to place an asset off the main database into axillary data bases controlled by the user, while keeping the asset in a loadable form. Archived assets are no longer selectable when building a route or session, but because they are still indexed, an asset which needs the dependency can still load it. Use primarily to put aside assets needed in something you want to run, but would never use in creation. Example: A North American Trainzer might archive all the Non-American rolling stock and locos, or signs or architectures not likely useful in any route he may build.
Content Dispatcher Pack 2. A new version of the CDP format, used by Auran and some other content creators to distribute additional assets for Trainz Classics.
Used to store the program's configuration details. This is a widely used file type, but the format is specific to each program.
Cache file.
The terrain file that contains the topographic details of a map. This is the file that is produced and replaced when creating a map from DEM data.
GameScript source file.
GameScript encoded file.
GameScript library file.
GameScript template file.
Indexed 3D mesh.
Jet Archive. Contains compressed copies of multiple assets.
Kinematics. Associated with animations such as pantographs.
Progressive 3D mesh. Obsolescent after TRS2004, but still in many older DLS assets.

SRT Files are the mesh files for displaying SpeedTree items such as trees or grass.

SpeedTree was developed by IDVInc. N3V Games are licensed by IDVInc to use the SpeedTree format in TS2010 and TS12.

The SRT file contains all of the geometric and texture mapping data needed to render a tree object as well as data for wind movement animation.

N3V Games provides no editing or manipulation programs for SpeedTree files. Third-party SpeedTree creation may be undertaken under license between the content creator and IDV Inc. Reverse engineered files from the UDK version of SpeedTree are prohibited for Trainz use under the terms of the IDVInc license.

The game has session-wide adjustments for the wind movement effect in the environment section of Surveyor.

A 2D texture which can be applied to a surface of a 3D object. Generally BMP, JPG, and most often the preferred TGA file types.
Usually found with a .GND file, contains information about the trackwork of a layout.
Trackside Object. The variations in a layout that are required for a specific scenario, for example extra trackmarks and triggers.

Other terminology[edit]

This part of the Notations and terminology page describes some of the more common train-related, content-creation-related, and general computing terms used in the Trainz environment. Users are encouraged to add their own common terms to this page in a similar fashion. Please keep in mind that this site is dedicated to Trainz content creation, and terms which are meaningless in this context may be removed.

New Trainzers will find a wealth of general knowledge and terminology in the English language Wikipedia Glossary of rail transport terms, the Train and Trainz articles, and on the Trainz Wikibook and it's Trainz Wikibook glossary.
 Mouse use

General Train Terminology[edit]

A note about general train terminology: even among nations where English is the official language, there are differences in terminology. For example, in England, the part of track known as a "sleeper" is called a "tie" in North America. An English railroader speaking of a "bogey", and an North American railroader speaking of a "truck" are likely talking about the same thing.

  • In Advance Of - Signalling term. A signal is said to be 'in advance of' something, if a driver stopped at that signal would have to drive forwards to get there.
  • In Rear Of - Signalling term. A signal is said to be 'in rear of' something, if a driver stopped at that signal would have to drive backwards to get there.

Trainz Terms[edit]


  • TAD - Trainz Asset Database.
  • CM - Content Manager.
  • LOD - Level-Of-Detail.
  • IM - Indexed Mesh file format.
  • PM file - Progressive Mesh file format; this is an obsolete mesh file format that is no longer supported.
  • LM file - Config file representation of the LM.txt_file a text file format used by Level of Detail meshes.
  • TNI - Trainz Native Interface.

Supported File Formats[edit]

Content Creation[edit]

Aa to Bz[edit]

  • Alias - An asset which takes it's mesh from another asset, but replaces one or more of the original textures with locally provided ones. Commonly used to reskin an asset.
    • Note: Trainz 2009 (version 2.9) onwards do not accept aliased assets in Content Manager, though they still work in the game.
  • Alpha blending - The process of using an opacity setting or texture alpha channel to allow partial transparency. Alpha blending is a hardware operation, however by itself blending does not combine well with a traditional hardware depth-buffer technique.
    • The end result is that multiple overlapping layers of alpha blending will not be rendered in the physically correct order without some alternative non-hardware-accelerated techniques. Such techniques should be avoided due to the associated performance losses.
    • In short: use alpha blending sparingly, and do not apply an alpha-blended material to polygons which could do without.
  • Alpha masking - The process of using a texture alpha channel to "mask out" parts of the texture, allowing arbitrary see-through areas on the texture. Unlike alpha blending, alpha masking does not allow semi-transparent areas - each resultant texel is either fully textured, or fully transparent. Alpha masking is a fully hardware-accelerated technique, and so acceptable.
  • Asset - A single item of content in the Trainz environment, consisting of a config.txt file and any associated resource files.
    • Sometimes, even frequently,... used (incorrectly) interchangeably with 'content'; technically, content is an asset included in a route or session—until then an asset is an potential content item.
    • Each asset is uniquely identified by its KUID. An asset may reference any number of dependencies which are required for correct operation.
  • Blender - A free Modeling tool with similar functionality to the commercial MAX software.
  • Bogey - Asset type used to represent wheels and suspension components. Used for anything that needs to rotate as the train moves along the track (e.g. wheels), or move (by rotation or translation) to match the angle and position of the track (e.g. subframe and suspension components). In the US this is normally referred to as a truck, and in the UK as a bogie.
  • Bump mapping - Another term for Normal mapping.

Ca to Md[edit]

  • Cab / Cabin / Interior - Asset made to represent the inside of an object, typically a Vehicle.
  • Content Manager - Program for querying and editing the Trainz Asset Database.
    • Common tasks performed with Content Manager include downloading, uploading, installing, editing, archiving, error trapping (testing for, generation of) and removing content.
  • Dependency - An asset which is required by this asset in order to function properly.
  • Dependent - An asset which requires this asset in order to function properly.
  • Geometry - A three-dimensional mesh, without any related textures or material properties.
  • GMAX -A 3D modeling tool originally produced by Discreet for use in producing game assets. While still available, the software has not been in active development for some time, and is not considered to be a state of the art tool for Trainz asset creation. See also 3DSMax.
  • Indices - Each triangle has three indices. Each index is a reference to a vertex. (Vertices can be shared between multiple polygons).
  • KUID - Unique identifier for a specific Trainz asset. Consists of Creator ID, Content ID and Version number fields.
  • KUID Table - The kuid-table container of an asset's config.txt file. Used to specify dependencies.
  • Level-Of-Detail (LOD) - A technique where an object (typically a mesh) is built with a number of variations which look as close as possible to identical, but which trade off quality as distance from the viewing point increases and that aids rendering performance to differing degrees.
    • TheAuran_JET graphics engine selects between the various levels at runtime based on metrics such as distance from the observer.
    • For textures, mip-mapping serves a similar purpose without requiring manual attention.
    • All medium-to-high-detail meshes should supply LOD variants. LM.txt_files are used for LOD on moving/animated models.
  • Material - A named object with a specific material type in combination with its necessary parameters and textures.
  • MAX / 3D Studio Max, or obsolescent Gmax once bundled with early Trainz retail releases - The commercial Modeling tool used and supported by Auran.

Me to Qz[edit]

  • Mesh - A three-dimensional model used in the game environment. The word mesh is often used to refer to a specific game file containing the three-dimensional geometry without related properties such as the model's textures.
  • Mesh Library - An asset which other assets use. These assets refer to the mesh library by KUID, using a 'mesh-asset' tag in their mesh table. Nothing special is needed for an asset to be a mesh library, it just has to contain mesh files.
  • stitching Mesh stitching - A runtime optimization process which combines multiple individual mesh instances into a single draw call for performance reasons. This results in higher performance with no visible changes.
  • "mesh-table"_Container Mesh Table - The mesh-table container of an asset's config.txt file.
  • Mip mapping - Process to reduce texture detail for objects in the distance, or at a sharp angle to the camera. Used to avoid problems with aliasing (flicker), which can occur where the texture is of comparable or higher detail than the display equipment.
  • Model - A three-dimensional definition of an virtual 3D object, built in a special modeling package such as Blender or Max. The word model is often used to describe the concept of a three-dimensional object including properties such as its textures.
  • Normal mapping - A more advanced form of texture mapping which allows per-pixel control over the lighting conditions on the target geometry. Among other benefits, this technique allows a content creator to define small bumps and grooves in a surface in addition to simple coloration.
  • Obsolete - An asset is obsolete if it has been replaced by a newer version with newer technology models and definitions, breaking the asset in part for a new trainz-build value (version).
    • A container type or tag in a KIND is obsolete because the programmers say so—because they have a real need to change the data structure in a new Trainz advance, normally without warning the user community first.
  • string-table container - The string-table container of an asset's config.txt file. Used for localization strings (i.e. anything that will be displayed to the user).
  • Pixel - One individual point on a texture image, consisting of red, green, blue and alpha components (e.g. a texture size of 512 pixels by 512 pixels). May also refer to one individual point within a display (e.g. a display size of 1024 pixels by 768 pixels).
  • Polygons - In modeling terms, a polygon is always a triangle. (Please note, this is different from the 3DSMax definition).

Ra to Tq[edit]

  • Render call / Draw call - A single hardware rendering operation. This is an important concept when performance is a concern, as there is a substantial performance overhead to each draw call. By minimizing the number of draw calls, the same scene can be rendered at a notably higher frame rate. Each draw call associates one material with some quantity of vertices and indices.
  • Route / Layout / Map - Asset created in Surveyor, consisting of a textured landscape and one or more Layers containing scenery objects, splines, trackside objects, Vehicles, etc.
  • Scenery / Map object - A scenery object is an instance of an asset that is placed in Surveyor at a given location and orientation.
  • Session - Asset created in surveyor, which extends a map by placing on it additional layers of objects - commonly Vehicles, but any scenery object, spline, trackside object, etc, can also be added. The Session also contains all the saved script data from any asset in the combination of map and session.
  • Specular lighting - Lighting effects that vary dependent on the angle of incident light.
  • Spline - A continuous linear 3D model such as a hedge, a fence, a road, or a track. Splines are placed in Surveyor as a series of spline control points and the geometry is built in a smoothed path between the control points.
  • Texel - One texture pixel, once mapped onto a 3D Model and rendered in a scene. Does not correspond to one screen pixel.
  • Texture - A two-dimensional image used for texture mapping.
  • Texture Sharing - When two or more meshes in the same asset (which may be a mesh library, and thus used by many assets) use the same material and texture. Trainz can then use mesh stitching to render them in the same draw call, with corresponding performance improvements.

Tr to Zz[edit]

  • Trackside object - A trackside object is a specialisation of a scenery object that is placed attached to a spline. When the spline is moved, the trackside object is also moved.
  • TrainzScript / GameScript - Used interchangeably, these terms refer to the Trainz scripting language.
  • Trainz Asset Database - Contains all the metadata information about Trainz content. Editable throughContent_Manager and TrainzUtil.
  • TrainzUtil - Command line tool to query and edit the Trainz Asset Database.
  • Trainz Native Interface - TBD
  • Triangles - Three vertices (or specifically, three indices) form a triangle. The triangle is the basic unit of a mesh geometry.
  • Vehicle - All assets which can be placed into a train (consist). Includes locomotives. Not to be confused with road cars, which are actually Trackside objects (as they are attached to roads).
  • Vertices - The individual three-dimensional (x, y, z) coordinates that form the corner points of triangles in a mesh geometry.

Notes and Footnotes[edit]


  1. As a transactions manager TADdaemon also allows one to run CM and even multiple times the same CM safely whilst Driving or running Surveyor!
     • The CM's filter tabs will 'interact' and have a mild conflict, but if one sets a static filter up on the first, and a different filter up on the second, Surveyor and the CM's co-exist quite handily.[2] (Just don't count on that first CM's 'Current Search' to be unchanged if you refresh!)
     • See also Forum thread: Validating-why-N3V-keeps-loosing-customers-and-what-to-do-about-it


  1. definition
  2. Conclusion of observations by informal but systematic "TS12 Stress Tests" by Computer Engineer Fabartus, June of 2014.
  3. Dec2013 email from James Moody to Fabartus on Trainz technical matters for the N3V Wiki and WB.
  4. unary. The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Denis Howe. (accessed: September 18, 2014).
  5. Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): via, "unary," in The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Source location: Denis Howe. Available: Accessed: September 18, 2014.