Trainz/Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006
TRS2004 and TRS2006 shared much the same games graphical GUI screens, giving some the impression there were few advances between the release of TRS2004-SP4 and TRS2006-SP1. Taking the time to peruse the list of new feature feature improvements listed below will soon disabuse the reader of that notion. Additionally, TRS2006 was far more capable in dealing with newer graphics card technologies, and it's proven code came to anchor a host of special releases as Trainz released new versions in an increased panoply of languages (French and Eastern European language support and content in TRS2007 & TRS2008) and regional focused versions (The Trainz Classics).
While the displayed graphics engines (Auran JET 2) may well have appeared identical, TRS2006 in operation and operation features clearly eclipsed its best selling ancestor when it came to allowing longer routes, session scripting, and much improved interactivity between software and user. TRS2006 included over 50 session rules, which far eclipsed TRS2004s roster. The Content Manager Plus module (CMP) and it's filters, the ability for user keyword searching make the release a very different and more capable offering, yet preserved the type and region filters introduced in Trainz 1.x simulators, whose elimination many blame for slow tool switching in post-TC3 releases.
- It must be noted that many of the features we take today as Trainz 'Look, See, and Feel' were standards introduced or which have been modified (mainly with new skins) from features introduced in TRS2004–TRS2006 user interfaces. The newer Content Managers have differed little from 2006's CMP in general looks and features (until the Trainz MAC releases and TANE) brought decoupled multiple Windows to Content Manager searching and selections[note 1].
- The release, it must be understood spawned a whole family of individual game releases using much the same Game Code Software—differing only in the Content software bundled into such releases such as Trainz Driver, Trainz: The Complete Collection, with slight upgrades as N3V Games took over development in the Trainz Classics (TC1 through TC3), as well as various European only regional releases TRS2007 and TRS2008.
- None of those was fundamentally different in the treatment of the data model (TC3 excepted in Loco's and faults generation),
- nor used a amazingly advanced game engine, different features, or file system—all of which would come with the TS's: 2008's: TS2009 (4 SPs), TS2010 (4 SPs), and TS2012, (1 SPs, plus possibly a second one rumored to be belatedly arriving in 2015 at some unknown date[note 2]).
Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006 (TRS2006) set new standards of realism and immersion in operating a virtual railroad. TRS2006 shipped with fully realized routes that include a wide range of activities users could immediately enjoy. Run long haul freight services, highspeed passenger runs or challenging yard operations as you serviced a huge variety of interactive stations and industries.
TRS2006 significantly enhanced the driving experience with improvements to the physics engine, adding to the challenge of keeping your train performing efficiently.
With thousands of items available for free on Auran’s Download Station including hundreds of locomotives and extra routes, TRS2006 included a new asset management utility, making it easier for users to access and organize their content.
The Trainz tools and rules system were also greatly improved to give you more flexibility than ever before in creating your own railroad experience.
New Features from TRS2004
Major additions to the physics engine include wheelslip and coupler breakage. Combined with several other modifications, these add to the realism and provide a more challenging experience for the virtual driver. Physics can be customized to affect all locos or only user defined classes of loco. Physics can even be set to change based upon triggers placed in a map.
Couplers can break when too much force is applied when accelerating (expansion); or when too much braking is applied (compression). Careful use of the throttle and brakes is needed to prevent couplers from breaking. Use of the Coupler Breakage HUD can allow drivers to monitor coupler forces and take the necessary steps to prevent it from occurring.
Wheelslip occurs when too much power is applied and the train’s driving wheels lose traction. This typically occurs on steep gradients and in wet conditions. Gentle use of the throttle in combination with sanding of the driving wheels is required in these difficult situations.
iTrainz in-game Messaging
iTrainz allows for messaging between players while playing routes with the iTrainz Chat Rule enabled. Simply add users to your Friends list and you’ll be informed when they are online. Once the ONLINE CHAT Rule has been added to a session, a player can open the Contact List window and add as many contacts as they wish.
iTrainz Chat feature list:
- List filtering – View everyone that you’ve added to your contact list or just the contacts on your “Friends List”.
- Friends List – add your buddies to your personal list.
- Block List – add contacts to this list to prevent them from contacting you.
- Multiple Windows - Supports multiple windows allowing you to speak with as many people as you want at the same time.
- Broadcast message - Send the same message to everyone in your contact list that is online.
iPortal (Player to player gameplay)
An iPortal is a variation on the existing portal, except instead of sending a train within a single map, the iPortal allows players to send trains from one iPortal enabled map to another player’s map, even if the receiving player is offline! An iPortal is placed into a map in surveyor and it’s settings entered through a dialog box.
iPortal feature list
- Send trains from one player to another.
- Send a train from one map to another map on the same computer.
- Trains can be sent to offline players.
- Multiple trains can be sent to the same iPortal.
- IPortal settings can be changed without restarting the session in order to send to multiple players from within the same session.
Content Manager Plus
Content Manager Plus combines the abilities of several tools formerly run as separate executable applications into one executable, giving rise to the plus since it replaced a primitive data base manager—making it far easier for users to access and organize their content, download, upload, and search—though the latter is much improved in TS09–TS12 and TANE. Users now have the ability to browse Auran’s extensive download station of over 45,000 assets without needing to be online using a browser and running a download manager or obtaining assets by manual ftp launch.
- Extensive Search functionality - Powerful new abilities allow users to filter through a user’s content to create custom search filters, which can then be used in Surveyor.
- Download New Content - Select the items you want from the list of content on the Download Station, then drag and drop them in to the Download Helper panel. Downloads can be paused and resumed or aborted at any time.
- Keywords - Add a keyword to one or more pieces of content and then use that same Keyword in Surveyor to locate them.
- Archive Maker - Backup your Custom or Downloaded content to archives to free up hard drive space.
- Upload Created Content - Budding content creators can use CMP to upload their content to the Download Station. Combined with the checking abilities of CMP this allows for more error-free content to be available to every TRS2006 user.
- Asset Details - View an assets detail to learn more about it. This can even be done (in a limited fashion) before you’ve download the content.
- User Rating - Give content a rating between 1 and 5 stars. These ratings can then become part of any searches.
- Quick View - View Trains in Railyard, or Routes and Sessions in Surveyor quicker through this one click process.
Content Creator Plus
A new tool designed to help content creators create error-free content is included with TRS2006. Using the tool, the creator is able to generate the necessary config files so that their content is able to be uploaded to the Download Station for other people to access and play with.
- Upgrade Content from previous Trainz products - CCP assists users in upgrading config files from previous versions of Trainz to utilize the new features in TRS2006.
- Extensive Error Reporting - CCP provides extensive reports of on any issues or errors that it finds with any content.
- 3D model previewer - CCP contains a rudimentary 3D Object preview window where models can be previewed.
Paintshed, the easy-to-use train re-skinning tool, has been incorporated into CMP. A user can now clone one of the Paintshed Templates, make their own creations and it will be instantly added to the game for them to use. Paintshed templates include both Loco and Wagons with multiple paint patterns for each. Text and Logos can be placed anywhere.
Surveyor Search Filter
Powerful new search abilities in Surveyor expand the ways in way a user is able to locate content, search filters include:
- Geographical Region - Over 200 countries are included
- Author – sort by name or User ID
- Era – sort by a content’s Era
- Keyword – sort by the built in, or user assigned keywords
- Category – All assets are categorized in a logical manner
- Save Filter Support – User created filters can be saved for later use
The in-game view camera can now be placed within passenger cars, giving the user the experience of riding along a train as a passenger.
User Interface Enhancements
Several areas of the games user interface were improved upon to add functionality and to increase the amount of information being displayed.
- Loading Screens – Loading screens now give users information about the many features of the product along with handy hints and tips.
- Driver Menu Improvements – The Driver Session and Surveyor selection screens have been
redesigned allowing for easier navigation of installed routes and sessions. Scenarios have been incorporated into the Driver Menu rather than having a separate screen.
- Mini-Map Functionality – New functionality includes the ability to give trains orders as well as query industry and train information. This provides the player with the ability to play a session from within the mini-map.
Backdrops are an asset that can be placed on a map they are always rendered regardless of the view distance settings. This enables builders to set up landscaped horizons such as mountains and skyscrapers quicker and with less impact to the frame-rate.
Cab Control Hud
Replicating elements from the popular RailDriver controller, the Cab Control HUD is an on-screen interface which allows users to control a train via the use of levers rather than the keyboard.
A tutorial system designed towards helping new users understand how to play the game has been incorporated. A player can learn to drive diesel and steam trains, assign commodities to wagons, transfer drivers between trains, issue orders to drivers, couple and decouple wagons and much more.
Improved Session Making Support
Several new rules were added for session makers to use including many rules designed to allow session makers to make more intuitive sessions with tighter control over player interactions. Some of the more useful rules included are:
- Set Junctions Rule – this allows you to set the state of one or more junctions
- Coupler Breakage HUD – This rule allows users to add on screen display representing the forces applied to the Couplers. This is used in conjunction with the new Physics Rules.
- Enable / Disable HUD Icons – Deactivates on screen display functionality to streamline the functionality within sessions.
- Online Chat – This is the new in-game Messaging functionality.
- Set Camera / Wait for Camera View – Add more in game cinematic camera work to a session and have rules triggered by those camera changes.
- Trigger Check – A more feature laden version of the Trigger Rule from TR2004, this allows for multiple triggers and train filtering.
- Vehicle Physics – Adjust the physics of all trains. Coupler strength, wheel slip and Cabin sway parameters can be adjusted globally, or limited to specific to train types.
- Other rules provide the following abilities:
- Couple to
- Decouple From
- Monitor junctions
- Set junctions
- Disable HUD Icons
- Disable Menu Options
- Flash HUD Icons or Panels
- React to user interface clicks
- Verify the contents of a vehicle/industry queue (products)
- Monitor camera views
- Set camera views and targets
- Restrict coupling/decoupling on vehicles
- Manage browser sequences
- React to derailments
- Modify the physics parameters of any locomotive/vehicle individually
- Show/hide/disable interface components
- Message pop-ups
- Verify a driver's command list
- Control the mini-map and what it shows
- Change the size of junction arrows
- Expanded Script Support - A large number of additions have been implemented that allows scripters to make deeper and more interesting sessions and to include more custom content such as different track sounds and images for interactive industries.
Animated Turnout Support
TRS2006 provides support for animated turnouts, giving track work a more realistic appearance. Examples are included in the game.
TRS2006 supports NaturalPoint’s third party device: TrackIR Pro3. Move your head and your view responds independently of the mouse.
Expanded Schedule Functionality
Trains can be given schedules with set tasks. These tasks include abilities such as coupling and de-coupling, with the result being that trains now have the ability to perform even more realistic operations.
Additional Features / Functionality Additions:
- Editable Track Sounds
- Fixed Track additional Editing capabilities
- Camera Viewing Height increased
- Scalable Junction Arrows
- Settable Trigger Radius Size
- Relative Height Readouts in Surveyor
- Mass Importing of Content (including from TRS2004)
- Mini-map Invisible Track Support
Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006 included 26 built-in routes[note 3] and nn Sessions, but only three scenarios which with a need to used TrainzScript, was going out of fashion as more and more rules scriptlets were added to Trainz and the Session capabilities.
- USA - Marias Pass Approach – Amtrak Empire Builder and BNSF freight operations between Shelby and Cutbank. Numerous industries make for many activities to keep drivers busy on the slopes of the famous Marias Pass. The full Marias Pass route is available from http://www.hp-trainz.de/, for a price. The full version travels the entire pass from Shelby to Whitefish via the pass itself, as well as the Kalispell Branchline. Locomotives include SD40-2s (in BNSF and BN colors), F40PHs (in Amtrak Phase IV and, quite bizarrely, Pacific Surfliner, a paint scheme never worn by the F40PH), and GP38-2s owned by the Columbia Falls Aluminum Company as switcher locomotives for their aluminum plant near Whitefish. Locomotives from the DLS and payware sources like Jointed Raill and RRMods can provide for a much, much more realistic experience. Rolling stock from around the DLS and web complete your experience.
- UK – Hawes Junction – a branch line off the Settle-Carlisle route that runs through some picturesque Yorkshire landscape. A range of era’s are modeled with activities that include steam and modern diesel. The full version is available in Trainz Classics 3 and as a TS2009/2010/12 expansion pack. Check out http://www.rail-sim.co.uk/ for more of this creator’s content. This demo version includes three locomotives: the LMS 4F 0-6-0, the LNER A3 Pacific, and the BR Class 37, plus a smattering of wagons and BR Mark 1 coaches with (not so detailed) interiors. The full version adds tank engines, mixed traffic engines, smaller and larger diesels, and the full route from Settle to Carlisle (including Skipton so you'll have a legitimate terminal).
- Canada – Toronto Yards – a shunter’s dream in this historical recreation of the extensive CN/CP yards in Toronto in the late 1950’s.
The time period allows both diesel and steam locomotives to ply the rails and makes for some intensive activities. Features both the Canadian and Super Continental passenger trains, plus Budd RDCs, plenty of box cars, F and E-Units, Geeps, Alco and GE switchers, and the CN U2g 4-8-4 Northern. http://www.trha.ca
- Australia – Wadalbavale to Karrah Bay – this north NSW “impressions” route goes through some typical Australian landscape.
Set in the late 1960s-early/mid 1970s, the typical activities revolve around mail and light freight deliveries as well as the famous “Silver Comet” passenger train.
- Germany – Dresden to Nuernberg DEMO – a combination of modern regional and local freight and passenger services including the famous ICE train. This is a section of the full route released by Blue Sky Interactive. http://www.bluesky-interactive.com
- Highland Valley Industries – A classic and fictional route map set in the North American Rockies used as a tutorial route and a spin-off of one of the earliest Trainz maps packing a wallop in just four map boards. An oval double-track main circles the perimeter while a single-track spur ascends in a spiral to a mountaintop 'Highland Valley' yard. Along the way various interactive industries can be serviced as shown in the demo/tutorial 5 session. Two mines, a lumber company, timberyard, steel mill and various scenery industries such as passenger stations, a railroad-ties plant and flour mill are spotted about ready for conversion to interactive, where they are not already. Converting the scenery industries to interactive versions has given many an Trainzer a fun leg up in learning surveyor skills.
- Australia – Razorback Classic – the “living railway”! Register with the Razorback website and get a constant stream of well-developed activities that track your progress. Think of it as a Driver career where your performance determines the tasks you are set! Check out more Razorback content here.
- Spain – Iberia Interior – a Spanish “impressions” route that captures the flavor of the Spanish landscape around Madrid. A wide range of passenger/freight activities utilizing 1970’s to modern day rolling stock. Check out IberTrainZ’s content here: http://www.ibertrainz.eu
- USA – Northbay County – steamers from yesteryear rumble along narrow gauge rails hauling lumber along a scenic frontier line. See more content from the Trainz Narrowgaugers here:
- MagLev – Zip along at 500 kph (350 mph) suspended above the landscape on a magnetic cushion. The train of the future!
- Modula City Demo – a light rail passenger route set in a busy fictional urban setting. This route gives you a taste of what is available from the creators at Trainzland. The full version is available in Trainz Classics 2 and is built-in to TS2009/2010. http://www.Trainzland.com
- USA – Tidewater – Utilizing iTrainz iPortal technology, send trains from one user to another using the North and South sections of the Tidewater map. Also, take on the challenge of starting the Big Boy up a steep grade and perform some shunting exercises. The full route is also built-in.
Notes, Footnotes & References
Config.txt files are endemic and ever present in Trainz assets, for no asset can be defined without this type of Computer Science container. The keyword-value_of_key pairing must always be kept in mind in editing or creating Trainz content. The TrainzBaseSpec contains values and containers which are most common in asset defining config.txt files.
- At the same time, an advanced look at a TANE Beta release in late March 2015 showed much work need be finished or running CM was going to be another N3V abomination. Among other flaws, it had few user hotkeys, including those most often needed and was unwisely menued with line titles totally changing Trainz traditional nomenclatures.
- N3V's notoriously bad at keeping the community, even the content creator community advised of pending changes. They are nearly as reluctant to officially herald work in progress, even when they've begun, as a supposed SP2 for TS12 is alleged to be in the works from emails to Version Manager, James Moody, Jan-Feb 2015.
- 2015-0221-TRS2006 on install of Trainz TCC-02 List of 26 built-in routes British Midlands, <kuid:-1:100000> British Midlands 2, <kuid:-3:10172> City and Country USA, <kuid:-1:100927> City and Country USA 2, <kuid:-3:10174> Demo Modula City 2004, <kuid:60349:100002> Electric Commuter, <kuid:-18:1004> Hawes Junction, <kuid:69379:100411> Highland Valley Industries, <kuid:-3:10173> Iberia Interior 4, <kuid:86311:697992> Industrial Wasteland, <kuid:63015:100019> MagLev Project 2006, <kuid:45707:100030> Marias_ Pass Approach, <kuid:46162:25103378> Northbay County, <kuid2:44700:800045:1> Outback Australia, <kuid:-1:100835> Outback Australia 2, <kuid:-3:10176> PT_Dresden-Nuernberg Demo, <kuid:151900:500530> Queensland, <kuid:-18:1006> Razorback Classic, <kuid:46435:600060> Robe River Iron, <kuid:-18:1001> Robe River Iron, <kuid:3801:20000> Rosworth Vale, <kuid:5562:20011> The Black Forest, <kuid:-1:101233> Tidewater North, <kuid:47119:1015> Tidewater Point Rail, <kuid:9000:100341> Tidewater South, <kuid:47119:1013> Toronto Rail Lands 1954, <kuid:70337:678419719> Wadalbavale Line, <kuid:61119:9092751> Winter in the Alps, <kuid:-1:100858>
- List: • British Midlands,<kuid:-1:100000>
• British Midlands 2,<kuid:-3:10172>
• City and Country USA,<kuid:-1:100927>
• City and Country USA 2,<kuid:-3:10174>
• Demo Modula City 2004,<kuid:60349:100002>
• Electric Commuter,<kuid:-18:1004>
• Hawes Junction,<kuid:69379:100411>
• Highland Valley Industries,<kuid:-3:10173>
• Iberia Interior 4,<kuid:86311:697992>
• Industrial Wasteland,<kuid:63015:100019>
• MagLev Project 2006,<kuid:45707:100030>
• Marias_ Pass Approach,<kuid:46162:25103378>
• Northbay County,<kuid2:44700:800045:1>
• Outback Australia,<kuid:-1:100835>
• Outback Australia 2,<kuid:-3:10176>
• PT_Dresden-Nuernberg Demo,<kuid:151900:500530>
• Razorback Classic,<kuid:46435:600060>
• Robe River Iron,<kuid:-18:1001>
• Robe River Iron,<kuid:3801:20000>
• Rosworth Vale,<kuid:5562:20011>
• The Black Forest,<kuid:-1:101233>
• Tidewater North,<kuid:47119:1015>
• Tidewater Point Rail,<kuid:9000:100341>
• Tidewater South,<kuid:47119:1013>
• Toronto Rail Lands 1954,<kuid:70337:678419719>
• Wadalbavale Line,<kuid:61119:9092751>
• Winter in the Alps,<kuid:-1:100858>