Trainz/Glossary

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This glossary includes terms related to using Trainz. For general real railway terminology and computer/Internet terminology not found here we suggest using resources such as Wikipedia.

See also File Types (File Extensions).

Aa to Bz[edit]

AI Train OR AI Driver
Artificial Intelligence 'Driver' manned Train. A train which is controlled by a program, script, commands, scenario, etc and not by the user. In many ways AI trains are the Trainz equivalent of the NPC's (Non-Player Characters) found in many computer games.
Asset (or also 'Content')
Any object used in Trainz, for example a layout, a tree, a signal, a locomotive or a pantograph; each has their own defining folder and Config.txt file ini file defining how the data in the folder is to be processed and classified by Trainz run-time software. There are many more Assets. Each asset has a KUID unique to its build level and attributes.
attributes
a general computing term that refers to any distinction one might make in describing a data item or process.
A single letter in a Trainz ini file (configs) can radically change how Trainz processes it's associated data. That letter (See category-class at N3V) is an attribute of the allowed (enumerated, meaning specifically specified and allowable) values is an attribute of the data.
A passenger car has different attributes from a Locomotive and a freight car, and each has their own set of virtual and physical attributes one wants modeled realistically.
Further, realistically and correctly aren't equivalent in modeling, one tries to be as correct as possible, but rendering a coupler in Solidworks CAD/CAE software leaves one with an object so densely defined in graphics polygon meshes, that graphical rendering in real time simulator operating (Driving, Surveyoring) as to take many computations so as to be unusable—it is more correct, but effectively useless. Modeling a Trainz object that is efficient means correct often needs to take a back seat. Heavy Consumption by an object of valuable computing cycles bog the simulation down when detail is used to excess. Many Trainz spline objects (instant forests, grasses, etc. have this issue, for they were not carefully designed to account for rendering loading.)
Also one can 'slide through' a virtual object and see the backside of the traincar or house, so unless a passenger car or loco cab designed with an interior mesh set, the attribute of being 'inside' is an obvious model versus a highly detailed 'roomlike' interior.
Auran, Auran Games Pty, Ltd,[1] Auran Holdings Pty, Ltd[1], Auran Developments Pty. Ltd.
The Australian games software company which developed and published Trainz and it's graphics engine Auran JET. Trainz marketing, development, and sales is now controlled by N3V Games Pty Ltd,[2] and Auran[1] is (from 2008 to present) more of a holding company now, but still owns Trainz franchise rights similar to the way the James Bond movie franchise has several levels of organization and ownership rights. We Trainzers deal with N3V games now, and let the Lawyers worry about the rest.
Behavior
Another name for a Rule in sessions programming or asset development contexts. Rules are 'scriptlets' which are dynamically loaded when an Session asset uses one.
  • On the technical side, "behavior" is an enumerated type specified of one possible allowed values as the parameter of the kind tag in a config.txt file specifies that the asset is a Rule.

Ca_to_Ez[edit]

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 Trainz software separates itself ahead of other competing packages.
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; a few of which operate similarly but with important differences.
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':

  1. 1 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.
  2. 2 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.
  3. 3 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.
  4. 4 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.
     • The Mouse, mouse wheel, and keyboard arrow keys , , , & are used to position, zoom, and move this camera about including through objects.
     • Use RMBh 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 LMB 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.


CCP for Content Creator Plus

This is an asset creation and update utility sometimes run independent of other Trainz run time software. It can be used from within CM to edit a config.txt file, but is relatively unforgiving should you be Error Fixing or just upgrading an asset. Proper use for new Trainzers would be to increment the KUID/kuid2 of a self-created Route or Session with a suffix. Otherwise learn to hand edit in Notepad++ or similar text editor. If you're already so familiar with the nuts and bolts of Trainz so as to be making assets, you'll be more familiar with CCP than most.

  • .cdp, *.cdpa and *.cdp2 files
Both cdp file types are registry entries in Windows operating systems, and if you run multiple versions of Trainz the one entry that might bite you with a careless click of your mouse (annoying, but not fatal). The *.cdpa files are library assets you have decided to archive in a specific folder; these are tracked and managed by the originating CM/CMP program.
Further information: Trainz/Trainz file management, Trainz first-steps, and Running more than one Trainz version
CM or Content Manager formerly CMP. Since little was changed with either TC3 or TS2009, 'CMP' became 'CM' on the forums.
TS2009 or one of it's four Service packs and in versions since, CM displays the Trainz-build version for which it creates new assets—generally the ceiling limit which can be used in that installation without resorting to fiddling edits like in Asset modifications, Downgrading content.
The asset management system in Trainz versions which acts as a upload and download manager, data base manager, data base and DLS browser, archive manager, update controller, and editor launcher.
CMP and Content Manager
The name of the asset management system introduced as the major change advancing TRS2004 to TRS2006 and also continued in the various TRS2006 spinoff releases such as the three Trainz Classics (TC1, TC2, & TC3), TRS2007, TRS2008 (both Europe only regional releases).
Config.txt files
Each asset has a config.txt file which defines the top level attributes of the asset and specifies many of its properties, including how the software interprets and processes the data linked and controlled by such files. No asset in Trainz exists without a config.txt file. Config files identify how to process the other lines in the file, and may initialize parametric data that is unit or type of asset specific variable. Further, config files provide origination, targeted region and era, licensing, author and contact information within the data set.
DCC Mode
(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.
DEM or Digital Elevation Map or Digital Elevation Model.
This refers to software generation of terrain of Trainz boards based on national digital data bases such as the USGS topological surveys.
TRAINZ RMBH+drag dropdown menu showing asset with Dependencies and Dependent Assets.jpg
Dependent relationships — Dependent assets and Dependencies
An asset which is required by another asset in order to make it operational is a dependency; the asset (which requires it such as a layout needing a crossng gate or building, track, etc.) is a dependent asset. For example a locomotive requires (amongst other things) an engine spec.
DLS or Download Station.
N3V/Auran's huge repository of additional assets for Trainz, most of which has been created by interested third parties — the program's users.
Driver Command
An instruction which can be given to an AI train in a Driver session. Driver commands can be specified when the Session is created in Surveyor, or by the user when the Session is running.

Fa to Jz[edit]

FCT
First Class Ticket. An option sold by Auran which provides access to DLS without the normal download speed and allowance restrictions.
GameScript
The programming language, based on "C", used to create scenarios and scriptable assets for Trainz.
gmax
A third-party freeware program which can be used to create 3D models for use in Trainz and other programs.
HOG
Hand Of God. A utility and associate textures which can be used to import terrain data into Trainz.
HUD
Head Up Display. That part of the screen which displays information such as your current speed.
IND
The standard Auran interactive industry system (which includes passenger stations).
Jet
In the context of Trainz, the game engine developed by Auran and used by Trainz. Unrelated to the Microsoft Jet database system.
Just Trains
The company which distributes Trainz in the UK.

Ka to Po[edit]

KIND
Trainz kind tag or keyword establishes the ground rules for parsing the rest of the terms contained in a Trainz config.txt file and therefore the software operations thereafter invoked in processing the whole data set (i.e. the whole folder contents including the asset's config.txt file) representing a virtual object (Trainz Asset).
KUID
'Koolthingz Unique IDentifier'. A unique database reference number for an asset, extended to track multiple versions in the KUID2 form. The heart and soul of Trainz upgradability, and modular design of assets, as each asset has it's own unique kuid code, so one can specify a component (bogeys) or entire Traincar from another, and selectively replace either in a new asset (re-skin or modified truck). Most Trainz assets specify list of dependencies—other component assets which are assembled by the various parts of the software suite to make up a renderable and useable asset in a kuid-container.
KUID2
A updated and update tracking modified version of the KUID format which allows a version number to be specified. A <kuid:xxx:yyy> is the same as saying <kuid2:xxx:yyy:0> (Zero revisions or version zero, meaning the original)
  • This allows data items (Trainz Assets) to carry an inherent version code for the asset. This will not generally match the Trainz-build code identifying the software technology levels, but indicates previous versions history.
  • Assets having a higher suffixed code in the KUID2 override or replace older assets, given both the assets in the data base. Having an early version is not necessary but CM will list the missing chain of revisions as missing dependencies, a software bug to those who resent the contamination of that facility in CM or 'feature' kept as is by the programmers, in any respect reducing the utility of using CM to identify what a user is missing, and causing users to spend time manually figuring out what is really what.
LARS
Logistics And Resource System, a commodity/freight transportation system for Trainz created by Lars Ljunberg. The forums at Auran and especially at TrainzProRoutes cover LARS in depth, and many DLS assets these days supports the conventions.

Layout
The terms layout and route are synonymous, but "map". is a Trainz Kind definition in a routes' config.txt file. The term 'Layout' is physical scale Model Railroading lingo for a Route.
LMB
LMB - Left mouse button. This abbreviation is widely used in the Auran documentation and beginner's how-to. It is used here in Beginners tutorials the same way.
LMBH
LMBH - Left mouse button+Hold down.
LMBH-d
LMBHd - Left mouse button+Hold down+Drag.
  • Variants of LMB actions will also sometimes include /pressing+holding the Shifting keys [CRTL] and [SHFT].
LOD
Level Of Detail. A (newest) system of displaying graphical meshes which displays more distant assets with less and less polygon mesh details (model vertices, so less calculations) just as the eye sees them. This is the newest Trainz graphical implementation, eventually expected to replace .im (Indexed meshes) which replaced .pm (progressive meshes after Trainz UTC, v1.5) graphics techniques.
  • Trainz versions currently support all three methods and are likely to continue doing so, but new assets should be made with LOD or IM technology.
Merscom
The 3rd party licensed software publishing company which distributed many CDROM/DVD Trainz releases in the USA.
Mesh
(loose, slang, term of art) or more correctly a Polygon mesh: A 3D graphics object representing a mathematical model of a wire frame which when rendered as the visible face provide a virtual surface, on which virtual textures can be applied. Mesh surfaces and polygons are usually combinations of triangles.
Mocrossing (Motorcar crossings)

Level crossing (US English: grade crossing). Mocrossings like "map" are a defined data (enumerated) type or Kind in Trainz, requiring mandatory definitions of child-tags and containers. (See Kinds).

Auran Paintshed
Paintshed.exe is a UTC/TRS2004 standalone asset repainting program that is mostly obsolescent that allowed users to take Gmax or Autodesk's 3dsMax generated mesh objects and in a process known as reskining and apply a different textures to the rolling stock assets faces, which it unwrapped and presented as if laid out in various pane views. This utility allowed a propagation of the number of available livery or heraldry types (appearances, color schemes) to be applied to the same basic widely available traincar classes as soon as someone developed the basic traincar. These class assets will appear in CM/CMP with a paintshed icon indicating there is a base skin covered by the overlying textures. This can sometimes be visibly seen when the game slows as it is redrawing a traincar, the first texture set is momentarily visible, then the paint job reskinned textures. Now dated, the same effects (reskinned assets) can be achieved through a number of manual processes using graphics software to modify the 'wrapping' texture.
Polycount
The number of polygons an assets has, which will largely determine its effect on Trainz' performance. The more polygons the computer has to calculate and draw in a given frame, the lower the display speed (frame rate. All the CM/CMPs have a RMBh+drag drop down menu with an entry that will give an assets polycount. Newer assets using LOD meshe sets dramatically reduce the number of drawn polygons and concurrent texture complexities the farther an object occurs, dropping needless calculations for mesh refinements one would never detect at such distances.

Pp to Sb[edit]

Product
Anything 'consumed or produced' by an Trainz industry, including passengers which are "consumed" and "produced" by Trainz passenger stations. There are whole families of products and interactive traincars to carry same to enhance the realism of Trainz operations. See TrainzProRoutes' LARS industries for example.
Profile
An 'enumerated value' in a Kind tag denoting a session asset config.txt file and beginning the typing of the related data definitions. This is the name (technical) assigned to the tag kind for a Driver session found in config.txt files.
  • Specifically, the enumerated string value "profile" given as the assigned parameter of the kind tag in a config.txt file specifies that the asset is a Driver session and defines to the software that it should parse looking for other tags and containers within that ini file and data groups within the folder.
Prototypical
A layout or other feature which is intended to fairly accurately depict reality—opposite of a fantasy place or route which is a fictional or fanciful place or route. Full up accurate prototypical modeling is a painstaking and difficult taskmaster. Modeling well generally involves compromises between art and faithfulness to a set of prototypical places, such as trimming down a long distance to make driving more fun on the modeled route. The modeler may strive for accuracy or playability but in the event, not many will drive three hours ot get to the next interesting place, so a good balance is sought most often by the best modelers.
PTP
Pro Train Perfect... sometimes referred to as TRS2008 or TRS2007 (which others may mean the French, Italian, Greek, Spanish language release); the edition was published in Eastern Europe in a partnership arrangement with Pro Trains, a long established model railroad industry company. Hence, Trainz PTP in English slang means the name under which a Eastern European Language version of TRS2006 was sold in Germany, Poland, Hungry, and Russia other such Eastern European countries.
Rail Driver
A physical control panel manufactured by P.I. Engineering which can be attached to a computer and which mimics that of a real locomotive.
RMB, Right Mouse Button
This abbreviation is widely used in the Auran documentation and throughout this document for a single right button click and release.
RMBH, Right Mouse Button and Hold
This abbreviation is widely used in the Auran documentation and throughout this document meaning hold the right mouse mouse button and hold.
RMBHd, Right Mouse Button and Hold while dragging
This abbreviation is widely used in the Auran documentation and throughout this document. Many auxiliary operations in Trainz, both in Surveyor and CM use right mouse button drop down menus.
RS Part
Rolling Stock Part. A dependency required by a rolling stock asset, such as a bogie (US English: truck), coupler, chassis, or body.
Rule
A command in a Driver session encapsulated in a little graphic rectangle with icons representing (fronting for) a re-entrant scriptlet. The scriptlet may be thought of as a subprogram, takes definitions when it needs to associate some route or consist element Test a state), or values such as scoring. The inclusion of Rules and their parameters is specified when a Driver Session is created in Surveyor, and in it's Session Editor.
Rule editing
Many Rules open an entry applet when 'edited' (Programmed or specified would be more accurate, but that's the Session editor button's label) after added to or when encountered in a Session sequence. The editing of a Rule is the session designer/editor's way to define parameters to pass into the runtime interface in the Driver GUI Module. See also: Session Editor, List of Driver Rules.
SAR, CSAR, GSAR
Computing Terms (Jargon)   lit.:  Search and Replace, (aka, 'Find and Replace'); and Conditional Search and Replace; variant GSAR for Global Search and Replace (An all or nothing SAR, far more risky that you may change something you shouldn't than searching and deciding one by one. Use REGEX to narrow risk significantly. Notepad's Replace All is GSAR, Notepad++'s File Search and Replace can be, especially if no REGEX conditions are specified.

Sc to Zz[edit]

Scriptlet
GameScript coding associated with an asset such as a rolling stock item or an industry. Not all assets have scriptlets.
SP or Service Pack
A free software update to an applications program or operating system. Unlike most genre software (games) Trainz has both longevity and complexity so has had a long history of intermediate improvements and bug fixes after the user community thoroughly vetts a new release.
switch or junction switch (or points) and frogs
switch motors and/or switch levers.

A junction switch is the selectable divergence or convergence of one line to two lines where the frog or points is shifted by a manual lever or throw, and sometimes automated by a switch motor. Switch levers may be indicating or not, meaning they show a different appearance when switched or unswitched. A succession of switches forms a diverging ladder, which may or may not reconverge in a merging ladder on the opposite side of a switch yard (Also possibly known as a freight yard, classification yard, transfer yard or sorting yard).

KIND_TrainzBaseSpec, or 'The TrainzBaseSpec'
The Trainz Base Specification is a common set of data items which either may or in other items, must be specified to define any and every Trainz asset, including routes and sessions.
TDH
Trainz Download Helper. A sub-program of Trainz prior to TRS2006's CMP used to download and install additional assets. These tasks are now done in CMˌ.
Texture
A 2D image which can be applied to the sides of a 3D mesh. Newer Trainz technologies utilze advanced mesh features such as AlphaMask= statements in *.texture.txt ini files.

Trainz Objectz
A third-party freeware asset management utility for TRS2004, which didn't have Content Manager Plus to manage asset file management duties. CMP/CM replace much of it's functionality, but lack some of it's other nice features and capabilities. Now obsolete outside '04 installations. It can be found and downloaded at www.tafweb-trainz.co.uk/trainzobjectz.html#download
Trainz Railways
The name used in the UK for the first (regionally released) Trainz Classics which bundled TRS2006 (no Sp, so V2.5) and TRS2004 and Trainz 1.3. Confusingly, Auran reused the title with Trainz Classics 1, 2, and 3 with post TRS2006-SP1 (v2.6) releases (V2.7, v2.7, v2.8)
Trainz Railwayz
The name used in the USA release for the original (regionally released) Trainz Classics. (See 'Trainz Railways' above.)
UTC or Trainz UTC
Trainz Ultimate Trainz Collection (v1.5)... An 3CD version of Trainz 1.3, with extra content CD's and PaintShed (v1.4), eventually superceded by TRS2004 (v2.0). UTC introduced Scenario's which later became the more generalized Sessions most commonly seen today. TS12 is the last Trainz release that will support Scenario loading.
Virtual Railroader ezine
Virtual Railroader was an important monthly ezine modeled on various Model Railroader magazines and the Kalmbach Model Railroading books specializing on how-to and informational articles on Trainz railroad simulators, simulator models, resources (prototyping information) and is still a valuable resource to experienced and beginning Trainzers alike. While editor Alfred Barten ceased monthly publication.

Notes and References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. a b c Trainz UTC CDROM box art, 2003, Cosmi Finance, LLC, www.cosmi.com, accessdate=2014-0414
  2. Self-descriptions
Appendixes
Steam locomotive components

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