THE HISTORY OF TRAINZ by GREG LANE
2010 Route Building Competition Winners TARM Joe Folcoâ€™s Western Maryland Thomas Subdivision Route Waybills Screenshots in 3D QuickShadows (Tutorial) Starting a User Group Free Colour Picker Red Alerts ARN and MFX Features for Multiple Product Queues
Volume 1, Number 5
Trainz Community News - Volume 1 No. 5 June, 2010
Contents 3 Why Not Start a User Group in Your Area? 5 2010 Route Building Competition 7 Maryland Thomas Subdivision - a Route by Joe Folco 11 The History of Trainz 12 Gallery of Trainz Cover Art Intro Charlie Lear’s Introduction 13 The Gallery 14 27 Tools For Asset Repair QuickShadows 31 TARM Tidbits - Trainz Asset Repair Management 34 Making Stereo Pictures From Trainz Screenshots 40 Are We There Yet? 42 TRS2006 Manual - An Apology 43 Red Alerts 45 ARN and MFX Features for Multiple Product Queue 47 Letters to the Editor 48 Prototype Freight Operatons In Trainz - Waybills 53 An Easy Way to View Forum Posts 55 Pixie - Free Colour Picker 56 Screenshot of the Week
Editor: John King email@example.com
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This Month’s Cover Part of the TRS1 Community Edition CD cover.
I think I’ve said it before, but I’m about to say it again. When the first 24 page bumper issue of TCN was published in February, we thought we’d never see the day when the magazine would exceed that size again, or even get close to it for that matter. Well five months down the track we’ve continued to expand to the point where the last two issues have more than doubled the size of issue one. With the material we have available, the magazine could easily grow to 100 pages every month, but the human factor says that’s an impossible task to consider or maintain. This issue has no less than seven contributors compared to two in issue number one. What will happen if the TCN really becomes popular and people begin asking us to publish their material? It can, and probably will happen, but how will we ever cope. As editor of the TCN, I volunteered to compile the newsletter, but that was in the days when we expected it to be a 8 to 12 page publication. Issue One was 24 pages, simply because we had a backlog of material, but now we seem to have enough content to keep us occupied for several months. Being a volunteer organisation that offers the TCN free to the Trainz Community, it isn’t easy to employ another staffer to take on some of the workload. We have to ask for volunteers, then we have to wait for them to - you guessed it - volunteer! Well we’ve been lucky enough to attract some new contributors such as Greg, Dale, David and Joe, but we still need people to come forward to volunteer with other projects like getting the web site running. Ian Woodmore is an extremely hard worker, but he’s also a hard task master. He has my name pinned to several major projects that will help secure the future of the Trainz Community, but they’ll be impossible for me to consider unless the TCN is drastically reduced in size, or someone comes along to offer a helping hand. This issue is running a few days late simply because I’ve been on the road for the past four months. Granted, I’ve been back in my home town for two weeks, but I’m currently house sitting a friend’s pets until the 20th July. Working from someone else’s home is difficult enough, but then having Windows 7 collapse half way through preparing the June issue was the last straw. To continue the way we’re going, we definitely need a few extra helpers, especially someone with experience in desktop publishing. From my point of view, it would be pure bliss to have someone who can take over the reigns once in a while to give me a break, or even help in preparing material submitted by our contributors. Don’t wait to be asked. Please volunteer now!
Trainz Community News
Community Comment by John King
Why Not Start a Trainz User Group in Your Area?
hile travelling to Cairns from Melbourne recently, I was able to spend a day in Brisbane, the home of Trainz and meet a couple of Trainz identities. I caught up with Ian Manion (Vulcan) of Ianz Trainz . Ian and a small group of local Trainzers meet every month to chat about their favourite hobby, and to spend a few hours on their laptops learning gMax, Surveyor and other Trainz related activities. Ian insists that small user groups such as his are by far the best way to learn complex programs like gMax, because all the tutorials under the sun will never tell you what someone slightly more experienced can tell you in five minutes. Having been involved in a couple of user groups way back in the early 80’s, I know how right he is. I just wish I lived in Brisbane and not 2000 km away, because I’d be joining his small group and benefitting from their collective knowledge.
Page 3 post for your area (say within 7 miles or 10km radius) please don’t start another post - simply PM the person and tell him or her that you’re interested. If you do make the first post, encourage people to PM you.Then let others know that someone is interested by going back to your original post and adding their user name as a possible starter. Once people see a few names appearing, they’ll be more inclined to contact you. If you already have a few Trainz friends in your area, get their permission and add their names now. The PM facility on the Forum allows you to bulk PM, thus making it very easy to keep everyone informed, but you can always add additional information to your original post if you wish.
Setting up and running a user group As soon as you can, establish a venue and a date for your inaugural meeting. Not everyone may be able to attend, so you may consider holding two meetings, one on (say) a Wednesday night and the other on a Sunday during the day. Usually one meeting a month is ample as they tend to come around quite quickl. H o w e v e r, h a v i n g t w o meetings on different days, gives people who can’t attend one, a chance to attend the other. The meetings should be informal, but it does help to have a team leader to keep things under control. An agenda is also a good idea, so that everyone knows well in advance what the meeting will be about.
On the way home, I remembered reading that at least one person in Cairns is a Trainzer and to my knowledge, he constructed a route based on the famous Cairns to Kuranda railway. I’ve already started a thread in the Trainz Forum called Starting a User Group in Your Town, hoping that I’ll meet him and other Trainzers from Cairns. I’ll also write to the Help Desk to see if they’ll start a special forum so that people can start threads for their own area and encourage other Trainzers to respond. A user group can consist of just two people, but obviously more is better. Just having a fellow Trainzer nearby to chat with over a cuppa would be good, but being able to meet up with several, would be fantastic.
Finding people in your area The first thing you can do, is add a post to the aforementioned forum thread. If someone has already made a
Most user group meetings usually follow the same pattern. They have an hour of informal discussion, so that all the chit-chat can be dispensed with. They then settle down to a specific task, which may be learning gMax or Surveyor. Obviously, one or two people will know more than others and they’ll end up being the tutors. That’s not a bad thing, because they will also benefit from the lesson. Students always ask curly questions, which often finds the tutor rushing rushing home to brush up on gMax themselves.
Staying on track To keep the group running smoothly, you must avoid people playing with Driver at all costs. Treat it as if someone is playing a game on their mobile phone while you’re trying to conduct a meeting. However, Driver
Trainz Community News sessions can always be on the agenda to give people a chance to show others how to use it properly. The thing is, don’t let individuals drift off to play trains. Try to make the few hours you have together entertaining. If you use the same venue every month, always be prepared. If you alternate venues, make sure that people don’t try to outdo each other by oversupplying supper or other distractions, such as a TV blasting away in another room. Taking a small plate of sandwiches or cake isn’t silly. Encourage the slow learners and try to help anyone who’s struggling. In some user groups, a few people may come along because they think they have a captured and captivated audience that they can impress for hours on end. Just make sure nobody takes over and give everyone a chance to be heard. As conveyor, it’s up to you to ensure everyone is contented.
Keep it manageable If the group grows too large, you may have to form a small committee and elect a chairperson. Six or seven people sounds ideal, but whatever you do, don’t try to become the largest user group in the land.
Page 4 Don’t make the newsletter too large or you’ll find yourself up late every night trying to get it finished.
Encourage and enjoy Once your user group is established, people will be eager to join. Make it known that new members are always welcome and follow up any new inquiries. You may wish to set an age limit for your group and younger people may like to form their own group, either at school or on weekends. The one thing to remember is that user groups like any other Trainz activity, must be an enjoyable experience. Promote Finally, established user groups may like to join Trainz on the Road. I’m not sure if it’s still an official project of Auran’s, but you can always promote the hobby at an exhibition, or even a local computer games store.
Once again, don’t sit there playing Trainz and force potential Trainzers to walk away. If any existing Trainzers discover your display, you can always encourage them to join your group.
Consider writing a small monthly newsletter to remind members about the venue, date and subject for discussion.
Good luck, and don’t forget to write a letter to the Editor if you suussfully start a group. Skidmark22
Trainz Community News
2010 Route Building Competition By John King back. I refused to become involved in the judging because I had been communicating with all four finalists on a regular basis throughout the competition.
fter five exhausting months for all involved, the 2010 Route Building Competition is finally over and itâ€™s time to announce the winners. Before I do however, I must thank everybody who made an effort to create a route for the competition, even if they fell by the wayside somewhere along the line. Of the 30 starters, just four managed to make it all the way to the end. All four have produced a fantastic route and they need to be congratulated and rewarded for their supreme effort. Unfortunately, there can be only one winner and one runner-up. A panel of five judges were selected by Woody (IllinosCentral) when he started the competition back in December and I felt it fair to use them even though Woody had resigned from the Competition Committee some time
Regrettably, only two of the five judges managed to return their voting slips on time. They each voted for different routes, making the results for first and second place a tie. Due to my commitments with ths magazine and the yet to be opened Trainz Community web site, I was unable to spend any more time on the competition and a decision had to be made. I contacted all four finalists and it was mutually agreed that instead of awarding first and second prize, we would declare the competition a tie and award all four finalists a package equivalent to the value of second prize. In doing so, the value of the prize pool actually increased, but each of the sponsors accepted this. I think this was the fairest thing to do under the circumstances, because that way, everybody at least gets something.
Trainz Community News
The following sponsors have generously donated prizes for the 2010 Route Building Competition.
2010 Route Building Competition Web Site and Gallery I’ll continue to leave the Competition web site and gallery accessible to the public for the time being despite the shocking visitor numbers while the competition was running. I really thought that a competition such as this would have generated far more interest, but nether-the-less, the gallery in particular was hardly visited by anyone other than the competitors, a few Trainzers and myself. That was despite plenty of vigorous promotion on the Trainz Forum and this magazine. Visitors were invited to comment about the hundreds of screenshots, but sadly nobody took the time to comment or offer any encouragement. I think it’s a sign of the times and it’s very sad indeed.
Congratulations to (in alphabetical order): ŸAlex (jadebullet) ŸDavid (IamKJVonly2) ŸLeon (skidmark22) ŸNick (niartcar) Each finalist will receive their awards in the next few days. Screenshots of the finalist’s routes appear throughout this issue of the magazine, but every screenshot can be viewed at the official 2010 Route Building Competition web site: http://digital-junction.com/2010/gallery/ I also wish to thank the judges, especially those who got their results in on time, and send a special thanks to Mike from JointedRail who supported the competition as a sponsor. For those of you who followed the competition from the outset, you will recall that it got off to a shaky start. A similar competition held in 2009 was beset with problems and I’m not sure if this one was ever a good idea. I initially offered to assist IllinoisCentral as a backroom administrator, but I quickly found myself doing most of the work until I eventually ended up doing everything. Sadly, I had other commitments involving the Trainz Community and running the competition gave me more headaches than I care to remember. In my opinion, running a competition where people have to devote many hours every week to stay in the running is
The web site itself was never meant to be a public area, although the public was invited to visit. I’ll leave it up purely for historical reasons, but I’ll probably take it down in six months if there’s on continuing interest. If you wish to look, the web site link is: http://digital-junction.com/2010 not a good idea unless the prize pool makes it all worthwhile. Many of the people who signed up were still at school and they quickly discovered that devoting the hours necessary to create a route by a certain time wasn’t that easy. I’m not to sure that there should be a “next time”, but if there is ever going to be another competition, I believe it should be based around existing routes or existing assets. In the same way the Screenshot of the Week competition allows competitors to submit screenshots from existing routes, any other Trainz Community competition should follow a similar path. Maybe an Asset of the Month competition would generate interest. By creating a simple competition, nobody will kill themselves trying to meet a deadline, and the Trainz Community themselves would be the judges. In conclusion, I’d like to thank everyone who supported me and everyone who supported the competitors. Hopefully we can now close the books and all begin to relax. I think we deserve it! John
Trainz Community News
Western Maryland Thomas Subdivision This route was constructed using TransDem to generate the terrain in three separate maps, and then merging them to form one map. Rails, roads, and waterways were laid out using TransDem's UTM tiles. There are over 400 miles of right of way, not including branches and spurs. The route has almost 2800 baseboards, and the CDP file is around 88 MB. It is designed for TS2009, but will also work in TS2010. Industry wise, the WM Thomas Sub is primarily a coal and timber route, providing 180 Protolars PL industry tracks (including 151 PL Coal tracks), and 25 Multiple Industry New (MIN) industry tracks.
Narrative by Joe Folco
his narrative is a description of the construction of The Western Maryland Thomas Subdivision, and a brief history of the railroads included in it.
The route includes approximately 100 miles of the Thomas Subdivision between Cumberland Md, and Elkins W VA, 47 miles of the Durbin Subdivision between Elkins and Durbin W VA, and 85 miles of the Greenbrier Cheat & Elk Subdivision from Cheat Junction (app 22 miles from Elkins) to Webster Springs W VA In addition it also includes about 15 miles of the C&O from Durbin to Cass W Va., and ten miles of the Mower Lumber Co's trackage. (Better known as the Cass Scenic Railroad). For those who aren't aware. The Thomas Sub and the B&O's West End Division (CSX Mountain Division if you prefer) paralleled each other crisscrossing the North Branch Potomac for 28 miles from Cumberland to Luke Md, at this point, I decided to extend the B&O to Grafton W VA so that the Seventeen mile, Cranberry, Cheat River, and Newburg grades could be included. Construction wise, the Thomas Sub is very similar to the Cumberland to Connellsville that is currently on the TPR download depot.
The WM Thomas Sub took 28 months to complete, and I enjoyed every minute of it. If you liked the Cumberland to Connellsville, you'll like the Thomas Sub. Starting at the WM Knobmount Yard, we head west to Cresaptown Md and the Cresaptown Rail to Barge Facility. Coal is brought to the facility by the WM, and loaded onto barges for delivery, downriver, to the Potomac Park Coal Co, where it is unloaded from the barges and delivered to the B&O. Continuing West, the next town we come to is Westernport Md. At Westernport, the WM branches off North, for about fifteen miles, on the former Cumberland & Pa RR, serving ten mines, an industrial park, and a cement plant. About a mile West of Westernport, at Luke Md, we arrive at the Westvaco Paper Co. Westvaco was the WM's largest customer, receiving over five thousand car loads of woodchips a year. There is an interchange here with the B&O. Crossing the North Branch Potomac, we pass under the B&O's tracks, and start up the West Virginia side of the river, but then cross back over to the Maryland side again. In 1970, the US Army Corps of Engineers decided to build the Bloomington Dam and flood a prehistoric lake
Trainz Community News
about eleven miles west of here. They paid the WM to relocate eleven miles of track past this lake. I had already laid the track on the West Virginia side of the river when I came across an aerial map of the area showing the dam and the new lake, so I also relocated the track, and left the original roadbed as a 4X4 vehicle road. Beyond the lake, the railroad crosses back over to W VA side and continues West past the towns of Kitzmiller, Gorman, and Bayard. There are numerous coal mines in this area. In 1962, the Virginia Light and Power Co started construction of a huge power plant at Mt Storm, about fifteen miles from Bayard W Va, Again, a dam was built, and a former prehistoric lake was flooded to provide cooling water for the plant. A rail line was extended to Bayard and interchanged with the Western Maryland to provide coal.
Heading South after crossing the bridge over the Tygart Valley River, the Belington Branch heads to the right and proceeds app. Fifteen miles to the town of Belington, where it interchanges with the B&O coming south from Grafton, and ends in a portal. There are five coal mines on this branch. Going directly South from Elkins brings you to an industrial park, and beyond that the line ends in a Portal. This was the original eight mile branch to Beverly, which I decided not to include. Now, back at Elkins, after crossing the bridge, the Durbin Sub takes a turn to the left and travels East for six miles where it enters a curved tunnel (the prototype
Continuing west, we arrive at Thomas W Va. Again, there are numerous coal mines in this area. A branch line goes several miles to Davis W Va, where it services four mines, some small industry in Davis, and a lumber mill. Heading West, we start down a ten mile stretch of the Black Water Canyon, with a ruling grade of 3.07%, to Hendricks W Va. At Hendricks, there's a lumber mill on the other side of the river.
Continuing West, we come to the town of Parsons W Va. The Gould Co maintained a large leather tannery in Parsons. On the other side of town, you'll find The Kingsford Charcoal Co. I created two Protolars PL CDK industry tracks for these industries, Pl Leather Products, Pl Charcoal Briquettes and the following five Products. Charcoal Briquettes, Animal Hides, Hemlock Bark , Chromium Sulfate, and Finished Leather. These seven items can be found on the DLS under my Kuid 73500. Leaving Parsons we climb a long grade to Montrose Yard Here the WM stored the overflow from Elkins. Heading West for several miles, we come to the town of Elkins W Va. Elkins had a small yard and a large car repair facility. It is the largest town on the WM Thomas Sub. Also at Elkins the Thomas Sub ends and we begin the Durbin Subdivision. But let's hold off for a while and explore the Belington Branch.
was actually "S" curved), leaving the Tygart River Valley and entering the Cheat River Valley, heads South along the Shavers Fork through the towns of Faulkner, and Bemis for fifteen miles to Cheat Junction. Here the railroad makes almost a 180 degree turn, crosses the GC&E Sub on a 90 degree diamond, and heads up the other side of the mountain to Tunnel #2, where it turns South and continues fifteen miles to the town of Durbin W Va. At Durbin the Subdivision ends and the WM interchanges with the Chesapeake & Ohio Coming up from Ronceverte W Va. Fifteen miles below Durbin, on the C&O, we come to the town of Cass W VA. At Cass I've included about ten miles of the Mower Lumber Co's former logging railroad. (Better known today as The Cass Scenic Railroad,)
Trainz Community News At Durbin, and also at Cass, I've provided a lumber mill, and three logging camps, using Slugsmasher's SS MLOG dry sort yard. Back at Cheat Junction, heading west, we begin the Greenbrier, Cheat, and Elk Subdivision which runs approximately seventy miles to the Town of Bergoo W Va. Some of the curves on this line are so sharp that when the Western Maryland purchased it, they had to install guard rails on them. About thirty miles from Cheat Junction, we arrive at the town of Spruce, which was once the main center of operations for the GC&E. There were no roads leading to Spruce. Access was only by rail. Here I've provided two coal mines, a lumber mill, and three logging camps, using Slugsmasher's SS MLOG dry sort yard.
Page 9 about twenty miles to Bergoo W Va. Along the way there are two large mines, Golden Ridge and Bergoo Mine #4. At Bergoo you'll find the Hylow Mine just south of the town. Bergoo was the western terminus of the GC&E, and the point of connection with the West Virginia Midland which ran from Bergoo to Webster Springs W Va. The WVM was later acquired by the Western Maryland. About six miles before Webster Springs, we arrive at the Barton Lumber Co. Again, I've provided a lumber mill, and three logging camps, using Slugsmasher's SS MLOG dry sort yard. At Webster Springs you'll find a small yard, an engine yard with a turntable, and two coal mines.
Webster Springs Engine Yard Heading west for several miles, we climb a 3% grade to the summit at 4066 ft. Before abandonment, this was the highest standard gage mainline railroad east of the Mississippi River. Another eleven miles of sharp curves, and we arrive the WM's Laurel Bank yard near the small community of Slaty Fork. In the 1950 the WM moved their operations from Spruce to Laurel Bank, and Spruce became a ghost town. (In1998 the West Virginia State Rail Authority (WVSRA) purchased the former Western Maryland RR from Elkins to Bergoo from CSX. Excursions are currently being run from Elkins to Spruce and back.) At Laurel Bank, there are two coal mines located on Slaty Fork. Leaving Laurel Bank, we head west for
I've successfully tested the route in TS2009, and TS2010 Following are the computer specs: Desktop 1 running Win XP Sp-3 Intel Core 2 Duo 3.16GHz E8500 processor Nvidia GeForce 9800 GT graphics 512 MB memory 4 GB ram Desktop 2 running Win XP Sp-3 AMD Athlon 64 3700 San Diego 2.21GHz processor Nvidia GeForce 7600 GT graphics 256 MB memory 2 GB ram Dell 1720 Inspiron Laptop Running Windows 7 Home Premium Intel Core 2 Duo 2.00 GHz Nvidia GeForce 8400m GT 256 MB memory The 2 desktops are homebuilt.
Trainz Community News
Route Description The Western Maryland Thomas Subdivision is the route of the Western Maryland from Cumberland Md. to Webster Springs W Va., a total of 214 miles. The route is a terrain generated map, using TransDEM and USGS DEMS. The Thomas Sub also includes 124 miles of the B&O's West End Division from Cumberland MD to Grafton W VA. The CDP file is approximately 88 MB in size, and contains
2680 baseboards. The distance between Cumberland and Webster Springs is 214 miles. Running under AI, the WM takes six hours and forty five minutes to travel 214 miles from Cumberland MD (Knobmount Yard) to Webster Springs W VA. The B&O takes three hours and ten minutes to travel 124 miles from Cumberland MD to Grafton W VA.
The route can be downloaded from Trainz Pro Routes: http://trainzproroutes.com/downloads/index.php?act=view&id=1503 All dependencies are on the DLS, (Some dependencies have to be downloaded manually), with the exception of the following which are on the Trainz Pro Routes Download Depot, and Slugsmasher's site, as follows: Proto Lars Mega Pack http://trainzproroutes.com/downloads/index.php?act=view&id=486 Proto Lars Marker pole http://trainzproroutes.com/downloads/index.php?act=view&id=485 Proto Lars Icon http://trainzproroutes.com/downloads/index.php?act=view&id=484 Wallingford Depot http://trainzproroutes.com/downloads/index.php?act=view&id=1325 Slugsmasher's SS Steam Donkey 1( kuid2:86661:144034:1) http://www.steammachine.com/slugsmasher/ss2_downloads_main.htm Look under "Structures and Industries The route shows two missing dependencies: kuid2;126773:21003:2, and kuid2;126773:21005:2. These are TransDEM textures. If you don't have TransDEM installed, they will show up as missing dependencies in Content Manager. I tried to eliminate them in Surveyor by clicking on "Delete Missing Assets", but this created some serious problems, so I left them in. They are not necessary to run the route. If you have TransDEM, they will not show up.
YouTube Videos Click on the following links or copy them into your Browser to watch the following videos of The Western Maryland Thomas Subdivision: Trainz Western Maryland Thomas Subdivision Trainz WM Coal Barge Video Part 1 Trainz WM Coal Barge Video Part 2 Trainz WM Logging Video Part 1 Trainz WM Logging Video Part 2 Many thanks to Joe Folco for allowing us to publish details of this excellent route.
Bergoo #4 Mine
Trainz Community News
Part 1: How it Started by Greg Lane
t was a humid rainy day in Townsville Australia. I was visiting there and staying with a friend over the Christmas holidays but as luck would have it a cyclone had formed off the coast and I was stuck indoors. My friend was an avid model railroader and with not a lot of outdoor activities to do I settled down and started reading his numerous copies of the Model Railroader magazine. After going through most of his collection I picked up an Athearn catalogue and started flipping through that. As I did I was really taken by how cool the idea of collecting all these loco’s and rolling stock would be. But then, like many, I thought I have no space, no real way to set it all up and just not the time to make the huge layout that was so cool in my dreams. I went through a number of other manufacturer catalogues and then went back and flipped through the remaining Model Railroader magazines. I was very impressed with the layouts and just how the act of building the layout seemed to be just as important as running it. Maybe I’m slow, but after about three days of this the idea hit me that no one had made a model railroad game for the PC. Of course at the time I was still self employed as a network contractor and programmer and I knew no one to whom I could pitch the idea so it remained on the back burner, stuck in my mind as something I would love to do one day. Then, a few years later, at a New Years Eve party (at the start of 1995) myself and my good friend Graham Edelsten decided to form a computer games company. At first we called ourselves ‘Australis Microprogramming’ (which we both thought was a little long) but it stuck for a
few months. Then one day I was reading a very old Sci-fi book and there was a picture in it with some text below it that said “An Auran deep space attack craft...” There is was... I jumped on the net, no one had the domain and so Auran was born. In 1997 we released ‘Dark Reign’ to much critical acclaim and then we began work on Auran Jet, our middleware games Engine. It was about this time that I started thinking about a train game again. I really liked the idea of a collectable game and so my initial idea was to actually have a game that featured real loco and car numbering and actually make those available for purchase individually, much like I had seen in the Athearn catalogue. The concept (of collectable things) was called ‘Koolthingz’ and it was my idea to produce a number of products that all had collectable items, like a model train set, a toy car set (much like Hotwheels) etc. Of course many of you may now realise where the ‘K’ in KUID comes from, it was a Koolthingz Unique Identifier. Also of course the products would end in a Z (Trainz, Carz and Boatz). However after pitching this idea to the Trainz community (that was already strong and growing rapidly) it was not, shall we say, well received. People wanted to own an unlimited number of items and not be tied down to just a limited set that had to be purchased. So that idea was shelved and we moved onto the Trainz business model that was used at launch a couple of years later. However, before the Trainz project got under way I needed to hire a team. I also had some very strong design goals for the product, perhaps the largest of which was that I wanted the designing element of the product to just as strongly represented as the driving element. To date so many other products that I had seen in the market
Trainz Community News featured map making tools that were clumsy, not integrated and made solely for the design team and ‘in house’ use. I felt that was a mistake and that Trainz needed a fully integrated and super easy to use tool so that anyone buying the product could make a layout and drive a train on it.
Page 12 vision for Trainz was I feel second to none. George, who was the lead programmer, had already experienced fame with a great 8-bit/16-bit title called ‘Zool’. Any oldies like me out there with an Amiga may remember that game... it was great fun.
So with that idea in mind I set out on a world trip to interview and recruit the team. Because of my desire to have a powerful yet easy to use map editor I decided to make the team lead an artist and not a programmer (no offense to programmers here... I’m one J ). But I felt Trainz needed a very ‘arty’ design tool that was designed by artists. I felt doing that by putting an artist in charge that’s what I would get and I was so happy with that decision in the end.
So with a team of about 8 we set out doing the initial design work and programming for Trainz. However one final, and very large, piece of the pie remained to be filled... namely community involvement. I was 100% convinced that the community at large would be the key to the products success. I knew that to model every loco and every piece of rolling stock was well beyond Auran’s limited resources and I also knew that the passion the community had, if it could be harnessed, would take Trainz to next level.
My two initial hires were both from England, Steve and George. Steve was a great artist, really good lead and had really strong design skills and his implementation of my
So, in part two I’ll go into some detail on how community involvement worked and how we went about integrating 3rd party content into my vision for Trainz...
ver the next dozen or so pages we present what we consider to be a comprehensive collection of artwork used on various releases of Trainz throughout the world. We realise that we may have missed something, and that’s why we’re calling on people to bring the collection up to date. (See page 21 for details) We wish to Thank Charlie Lear for allowing to reproduce his web site where he and a group of colleagues documented every known version up to and including TRS2006. Read Charlie’s introduction on the next page. The cover art for all versions and add-on’s after TRS2006 have been added to the collection by John King. You can still visit Charlie Lear’s web site “A Brief History of Trainz by clicking the following link:
Click the following link to go to the TRD Trainz Versions gallery, or if you’re reading this offline, enter the URL in your browser address bar and select Trainz Versions from the menu on the top left of the TRD home page. http://trainzresources.com We hope you enjoy this wonderful collection of Trainz cover art and Charlie Lear’s interesting introduction. If you can add any additional information, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Disclaimers: All opinions expressed in Charlie Lear’s section of the gallery are those of Charlie Lear. Charlie’s comments were written in 2006 and reflect the situation at the time. We’ve changed all present tense comments to past tense where possible, but his opinions may not take the current situation into consideration.
Please read them in a historical sense.
The images on Charlie’s site are larger, but as previously mentioned, only go to TRS2006.
Comments and opinions for the section TRS2007 up to the present time are those of John King.
Charlie’s catalogue has also been reproduced in the Trainz Resources Directory with his permission. However, material from TRS2007 through to today has been added by the TRD team and the descriptions aren’t as as comprehensive.
Please keep in mind that Auran has introduced a Trainz Life-Cycle Policy which basically means that they won’t be supporting any version of Trainz before TRS 2006.
The TRD catalogue is similar to the listings on the next dozen or so pages, but the images are slightly larger.
Although many Trainzers still use and swear by earlier versions of Trainz, we recommend to people thinking of purchasing the program for the first time, that they should seriously consider purchasing TS2010.
Trainz Community News The following essay appears on Charlie Lear’s web site as an introduction to his gallery of Trains cover art up to TRS2006 which appears on the following pages. I first heard about Trainz in late April, 2002. I dropped a few birthday hints and was rewarded with my very own copy on 9 May 2002. I've been intimately involved / obsessed with the damn thing ever since. Trainz started life as a downloadable set of files, first going beta on 24 September 2001. A very rare CD of version 0.9 was shipped out to some testers. (See image below) Trainz 1.0 was sold online from the Auran shop from 17 October 2001 for early December availability. This was known as the "Community Edition" as Auran's tribute to the online community that had built up over the previous year, assisting greatly with product development and testing. A US publisher, Strategy First, had rights for distribution of the retail version of Trainz as of Q1 2002. A service pack had been released by then so all retail boxes were Trainz version 1.1. The rest, as they say, is history. Auran has had an unfortunate track record with overseas publishers of Trainz. Rights to new versions have been signed to different publishers, however agreements remained in place for the existing product at the time. A legacy of this is the continued availability of old versions, which are still being produced and sold legally as "new, factory-sealed" by various publishers - but long past their use-by date.
Trainz Beta Version 0.9 This is the first limited Edition Beta Tester’s release of Trainz. The message on the front cover reads: Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Antoine de Saint Exupery
The message on the back cover reads: Dear Beta Tester, This is just a simple note to thank you all very much for your assistance in helping us to make Trainz the kind of game we have all been waiting for. We recognize and acknowledge your contribution to this project as being both significant and necessary. As such, we
Page 13 A quick search on Ebay for "trainz" reveals that almost all the available product is old and deeply discounted. Before buying Trainz, check Auran's website to ensure that you are looking at the current version. As at June, 2010 TS 2010 is the current version. Dates and details will be added below in due course. TRS2004 UK deal signed with Just Trains TRS2004 North American deal signed with Oteeva 26 June 2004 TRS2004 French deal announced by Pointsoft 31 August 2004 TRS2004 German deal announced by Pointsoft. Many thanks to:
ŸBruce Kennewell ŸTorsten Thomas ŸTim Leeuwvander ŸChris Hucklebridge ŸAaron Roach ŸAlberte Zato ŸRamon Pelles ŸJan Valkenburg Ÿ Tom Green Charlie Lear have come to think of you as part of the Trainz Team. You have before you, a very important task that will, no doubt, require a great deal of patience and skill. There will be surprises along the way and many of you will discover various problems and shortcomings. We believe however, that we have provided a 'feature complete' Beta version of the final product for your assessment and trust that you will enjoy the experience of Beta Testing with Auran. We trust you to provide useful feedback to ensure that we will develop the best product of the highest quality for the benefit of everybody. From all of us at Auran, THANK YOU!
Read On . . .
Trainz Community News Trainz Beta 0.9 - The one that started it all. It is significant to read the full cover art - it has some valuable messages for the Trainz community of today.
Page 14 Trainz v1.1 Trainz v1.3 Original worldwide release packaging. This version may still be sold in the USA, with an additional Service Pack 3 CD included. Sp3, apart from bugfixes, saw the introduction of the Trainzscript programming language and scripted user activities called "Scenarios". Avoid due to its age.
Trainz Community Edition the first generally available release. Note the sub-title: Model Railroading On Your PC.
Trainz v1.1 - The Castellano (Spanish) version of Trainz Retail may still be available from Friendsoft. Avoid due to age.
Greg Lane initially perceived Trainz to be a Model Railroad simulator, but it was quickly adopted by a wider audience.
Trainz v1.1 - Original German release packaging. A similar artwork layout and colour scheme was used for the first USA release.
Trainz v1.1 - Halycon (NOT Halcyon!) Media released Trainz 1.1 in Germany.
Trainz Paintshed v1.0 - In early 2002, Auran released the Trainz and MSTS versions of Paint Shed, a tool to permit easy reskinning of models supplied as part of the pack. Paint Shed is a brilliant utility and most people's introduction to creating content for Trainz. Unfortunately poor documentation and perceived difficulty prevented content makers from coming up with more Paint Shed templates for other rolling stock - a great pity. MSTS Paintshed v1.0 - An almost identical utility was sold for MSTS, which has done good business over the years and may still be available off the shelf.
Trainz Community News MSTS Paint Shed - More information required about this item
MSTS Addon 1.0 - A number of the models made for Trainz also made it into an add-on pack for MSTS. Like Paint Shed, it may still available on retail shelves.
Trainz v1.3 - This was the Australian budget-title released after TRS2004 was on the shelves. It includes SP3. Avoid.
Trainz v1.3 - The same title in slightly different packaging.
Page 15 Trainz v1.3 - Another budget release, this time from the UK and again well after TRS2004's availability. Includes SP3. Avoid.
Trainz v1.4 - Service Pack 4 was SP3 with extra language capability. This is the Polish release, distributed by CDProjekt. Earlier sales in Poland used the standard blue Trainz 1.1 box.
Trainz UTC - Trainz v1.5 Trainz v1.5 Trainz - Ultimate Trainz Collection (a bit redundant for a title!) This was a major update to the original Trainz title. By this time the code had settled down and creators were making a large amount of content available from the Download Station. Some people view this as the "purest" version of Trainz, in that it most closely follows the original idea of a virtual model railway. Includes Trainz Paint Shed, a tool for creating your own paint schemes on an assortment of rolling stock. Until UTC, Paint Shed was a separate product that could be purchased and downloaded direct from Auran. Trainz UTC is a great game, but because of its age, avoid.
Trainz UTC - Trainz v1.5 Australians got a version with a Queensland Railways loco on the front, and the inside cover extolled the virtues of having your favourite Aussie trains.
Trainz Community News Trainz UTC - Trainz v1.5 - This is a re-release of Trainz UTC for the UK market. It was being heavily promoted as a new game. Avoid.
Trainz UTC - Trainz v1.5 Halycon Media still had the license for Trainz and shipped their own stylish version of UTC to Germany.
Page 16 Trainz UTC - Trainz v1.5 Genius Interactive of Taiwan released this version of UTC for the Chinese market. The box cover had details in Chinese script, the actual game is still the English language version.
Trainz UTC - Trainz v1.5 Seven months after the retail release of TRS2006, Auran announced that Aladdin Software would be publishing the Indian version of Trainz UTC and Trainz 1.3. UTC I can understand, given that a lower required PC specification will open it to more potential customers, but surely it was time to retire Trainz 1.3?
Trainz UTC - Trainz v1.5 Akella Publishing released the Russian version of UTC.
Trainz UTC - Trainz v1.5 Immediately prior to TRS2004 being released, Strategy First showed their displeasure at not gaining the distribution rights by dumping Trainz UTC. They bundled it with an average game, Rails Across America, and Trainz Paintshed (which borders on false advertising since it was included with Trainz UTC anyway), and sold the 3-pack as a bargain basement title.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - Trainz Railroad Simulator 2004 was a landmark release for Auran. It took the "model railway" aspects of Trainz UTC and added elements of prototype operation, plus more gameplay in the form of interactive industries and "artificially intelligent" nonplayer drivers. This release was rushed to market in order to meet Christmas 2003 distribution deadlines and it showed. There have been four service packs for TRS2004. SP1 was released as soon as it could be in late 2003 to fix the most troublesome bugs. SP2 came a short time later to introduce interactive passenger industries, which were widely promised but could not be reliably delivered in the first release. SP3 was a "migod, what were they thinking!" horror that caused more problems than it fixed. It was superseded a short time later by SP4 which took TRS2004 to a stable level of functionality and extra content.
Trainz Community News
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - The UK version was released by Just Trains, in conjunction with the National Railway Museum in York. A huge complaint by a lot of European Trainz users is Just Trains' insistence on copy protection which requires the CD to be inserted every time you play the game.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - This is the German retail version of TRS2004. It has a note that it is officially licensed by the DB.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - Retail boxes in Australia gained an extra sticker proclaiming the inclusion of 15 Aussie locomotives.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - Akella Publishing released TRS2004 in Russia - quite a nice box.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - In the USA, Oteeva distributed TRS2004. This was the standard retail pack.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - This box was never released, it was put up as a contender during the beta phase. Pointsoft used it in their press release for TRS2004.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - The French retail version of TRS2004.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - The Polish retail version of TRS2004 by CDProjekt. Essentially the US box with a red PL sticker.
Trainz Community News
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - The Czechoslovakian retail version of TRS2004 by CDProjekt. Similar to the Polish version, with an "Includes Paint Shed" sticker on the top right.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - With the launch of TRS2006, Anuman Interactive re-released a French budget version of TRS2004 called TRS Classic.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - The Italian retail version of T R S 2 0 0 4 . Tr a i n z I t a l i a . i t recommends buying direct from Auran.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 Friendware's Spanish release of TRS2004 came out with SP1 included.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - The Swiss retail version of TRS2004 by Pointsoft.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2.2 - This was the UK version released by Just Trainz which included SP2 to give it interactive passenger capability.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2 - Released in anticipation of TRS2006, CDProjekt were selling a budget Czechoslovakian version of TRS2004.
TRS2004 - Trainz v2.2 Trainz v2.2 Pointsoft's German retail pack of TRS2004 Deluxe Edition. This was version 2.2, patched only to SP2 "Passenger Pack" level.
Trainz Community News TRS2004 - Trainz v2.2 - Budget release by Mastertronic in the UK to anticipate the arrival of TRS2006. It contained a rebranded 2 disc, SP4, v2.4, build 2370, set containing TRS2004. It was otherwise identical to the Just Trains distribution (including copy protection).
TRS2004 - Trainz v2.4 - For the Christmas 2004 market, Auran released a version of TRS which included SP4 and two extra CDs with country-skewed content from the Download Station. Deluxe Edition was then the preferred TRS2004 product and if was sometimes being discounted due to the introduction of TRS2006. In terms of what was in the box and what was on the DLS, this was definitely the best-value Trainz available at the time,
TRS2004 - Trainz v2.4 TRS2004 Deluxe Edition in Spanish (Castellano) by Friendsoft.
Page 19 TRS2004 - Trainz V2.? - More information is required about this item.
TRS2006 - Trainz v2.5 - The renamed TRS Engineers Edition, was released in September 2005. It is an incremental upgrade to TRS2004, with a number of bug fixes, a number of new bugs, a whole new utility to manage downloaded assets from the Download Station, and a huge amount of third-party content. Much of the extra content was not new, as it had been included as dependencies of the new routes developed by Trainz Partner groups. The game was supplied on five Cds. While the majority of users had no problems with the game, some were having a lot of teething troubles. Fortunately it coexisted on the same PC with TRS2004 so you could have the best of both worlds. Editorâ€™s Note: Auran wonâ€™t be supporting TRS2006 after September, 2010
TRS2004 - Trainz v2.4 TRS2004 Deluxe Edition for Switzerland.
TRS2006 - Trainz v2.5 - Auran also released a Limited Edition DVD version, in a metal case and with a larger manual (printed in colour). Available only from the Auran website. In common with the Franklin Mint Philosophy of 45 Firing Days (eg as many million limited edition plates as can be churned out by multiple factories running 24x7), Auran have announced a second and possibly third re-run of the original once-only never to be repeated get-in-before-sold-out Limited Edition.
Trainz Community News TRS2006 - Trainz v2.5 CDProjekt's Polish edition. Very stylish addition to the box art!
Page 20 TRS2006 - Trainz v2.5 - The first of two competing French releases of TRS2006. This is by Anuman Interactive.
Editorâ€™s Note: If anyone has larger images of of the two covers below, can you please send us copies?
TRS2006 - Trainz v2.5 - Just Trains' UK release of TRS2006, on both CD and DVD. Maintained the same copy protection as TRS2004, you had to leave the disc in the drive. Interestingly, this example is also a DVD version - not to be confused with the Auran (un)Limited Edition. Purchase from the Auran UK co-ordinator to get the unrestricted version.
TRS2006 - Trainz v2.5 - Trainz v2.5 TRS2006 was released in German by BSI (BlueSky Interactive). BSI had a somewhat mixed reputation as a supplier of payware add-on packs for Microsoft Train Simulator (MSTS) under their ProTrain label. With the demise of MSTS2, BSI began throwing their considerable retail presence behind Trainz, to be promoted as ProTrain Perfect, and were developing further payware routes for it. TRS2006 - Trainz v2.5 - The Dutch version was sold in November 2006 by Easy Computing. This is a pre-release image of the box.
TRS2006 - Trainz v2.5 - The second was by Simware Simulations. This version with the DDA40X on the cover was available in both French and English.
TRS2006 - Trainz v2.5 Simware also released on 7 November a special French edition called TRS2006 Gold. It included bonus content described as the most famous SNCF trains. Interestingly, both this and the above Simware release claimed to include TrainzMap, which wasnâ€™t released at the time..
TRS2006 - Trainz v2.5 Merscom's North American retail release was scheduled for January 2006.
TRS2006 - Trainz v? - A russian release presented in a CD Jewel Case - More information is required about this item
Trainz Community News TRS2006 - Trainz v2.5 - A very interesting release by Just Trains in the UK. Rather than being an add-on pack, Train Driver was a cut-down version of TRS2006 with just the route and rolling stock (five steam locos, a Hymek and a DMU) for the West Somerset Railway. Twenty sessions were included. We'd be interested to hear from anyone who has this version and can fill in more details.
Editor’s Note: We have reached the end of of Charlie Lear’s online catalogue. The following listings have been Added to the catalogue on theTrainz Resources Directory by myself. As you can see, there isn’t very much information about each release, simply because I don’t know a great deal about them. I was hoping for some input from members of the Trainz community, but six months down the track, I’m afraid I’m still waiting. If you have any details you can supply about any listing, if you have a copy of Trainz that isn’t listed, or you can help us get stuff in the correct order, please contact us. Our email address in on page 2 on the bottom left. As this is a community project and a reference for all Trainzers, we want the listings to be as accurate as possible. Please send as much information as you can:
ŸImage of CD/DVD cover (Full size please) ŸTrainz version ŸLanguage or Country ŸDate of release (if known) ŸShot description of unique features (ie includes Paint Shed) ŸWe’ll acknowledge your contribution. Thanks.
Page 21 Soon after the release of TRS 2006, Auran progressively released a series of Cd’s called Trainz Routes. The Cd’s don’t seem to be available from the Auran Store any more, but they were packaged with the Trainz Collection set (see Pag 23) I saw a new copy of the Trainz Collection in a Dick Smith (similar to Radio Shack) for under $20, but you can probably pick the packs up on eBay for a couple of dollars each. They originally sold for AU$10 (approximately U$ 8.50) each
Trainz Routes Volume 1 -
ŸBox Butte & Meg’s Despair ŸChalkdale ŸMars ŸModelbahn ŸRegional Passenger Transit
Trainz Routes Volume 2 -
ŸRestormel Castle ŸCanada Impressions ŸSubway ŸLiverpool AMRA ŸTER - North Eastern Fall
Trainz Routes Volume 3 More information is needed about this release
TRS2006 DVD - More information is needed about this release. Trainz Routes Volume 4 More information is needed about this release
Trainz Community News Trainz Classics One - The Australian release of Trainz Classics First Edition.
Page 22 Virtual Railroad Collection This russian release in a CD Jewel Case contains Trainz Classics One, Virtual Railroad Professional 4 and Train Driver.
Editorâ€™s Note: I canâ€™t find any packaging for Trainz Classics Second Edition. Does it exist? Trainz Classics One - More information is needed about this release.
Trainz Classics One - The Polish release of Trainz Classics First Edition.
Trainz Classics One - More information is needed about this release.
Trainz Classics One and Two - Russian release in CD Jewel Case.
Trainz Classics Third Edition -Australian release of Trainz Classics Third Edition
Trainz Classics Volume 3 More information is needed about this release.
Trainz Community News TRS2007 - More information is needed about this release.
TRS2007 - More information is needed about this release.
Page 23 TRS2008 - French release More information is needed about this release.
TRS2008 - Russian release in a CD Jewel Case. More information is needed about this release.
TRS2007 Deluxe Edition This Edition also includes a Trainz Expansion Pack. (see Page 26) More information is needed about this release.
TS2009 World Builder Edition Touted as the World Building (Route Building) section for the soon to be released TS2010 Engineer’s Edition which would not include Surveyor. That didn’t seem to be the case. TS2010 was released as a full package containing Surveyor. TS2009 is considered a standalone game with less features than TS2010.
Trainz Collection Released in 2007, the Trainz Collection contained the following:
Ÿ TRS2006 Ÿ Trainz Routes 1, 2, 3 and 4 Ÿ TTS2004 Ÿ Trainz Ultimate Collection Ÿ Trainz Paintshed
TS2009 - This version was released in the UK by Just Trainz.
Trainz Community News
TS2009 - More information is needed about this release.
Carbon City - This is the Auran Store release of Carbon City. See details below.
Marias Pass 2009 - (From the web Halycon Media web site) This is Halycon's second add-on for TS2009. Marias Pass is a detailed implementation of the famous American route across the Rocky Mountains. The graphic elements have been adapted for TS2009 and 3D objects are provided with high resolution textures.
Carbon City - (From the web Halycon Media web site) In an area of about 10 km2 Carbon City has everything you would expect in a big city: Overpasses, construction sites, Airport Shuttle, buildings and green areas. Create Your own routes for trams and carry passengers to over 180 stations. Fast graphics with fine detail for TS2009.
Settle and Carlisle - More information is needed about this release.
Trainz Simulator Treez - A selection of trees to suit TS2009. More information is needed for this item.
Murchison 2 - More information is needed about this release.
TS2010 - More information is needed about this release.
Trainz Community News
TS2010 - More information is needed about this release.
U n c l a s s i f i e d - Tr a i n z Railways - More information is needed about this release.
TS2010 - More information is required about this Polish Release.
U n c l a s s i f i e d - Tr a i n z Railways - More information is needed about this release.
TS2009 - More information is needed about this release.
U n c l a s s i f i e d - Tr a i n z (Unknown Version) - More information is needed about this release.
TS2010 - More information is needed about this release.
Unclassified - Trainz Driver More information is needed about this release.
Trainz Community News
R a i l ro a d L i n e s - M o r e information is needed about this release.
Tr a i n z D e l u x e - M o r e information is needed about this release.
Trainz Expansion Pack - More information is needed about this item.
Unclassified - Trainz Driver More information is needed about this release.
Trainz Community News
his is the third in a short series of articles where I describe the use of the tools I have written to bring assets up to date for TS2009/10.
Introduction The QuickShadows tool is provided to the Trainz community for the generation of shadow meshes without having to use 3DSMax, Gmax or Blender. Many rolling stock items downloaded into TS2009 show errors caused by missing shadow meshes. In these cases a shadow mesh in the form of a simple rectangular box mesh should be sufficient to give the shadow effect and to satisfy the requirements of the Content Manager program for an error-free asset. QuickShadows uses the source mesh bounding box as a method to make the rectangular box for shadow mesh. The mesh dimensions are independently scalable in the length, width and height directions. The program reads the source mesh and creates a shadow mesh. The resulting mesh is fully self contained and needs no textures. Or alternatively, the program can create a full copy of the original mesh with all texture references removed. Again the mesh is fully self contained and needs no textures. QuickShadows.exe creates a temp.XML file which is then converted to IM by Auran's TrainzMeshImporter program. Auran's policy of having their own software make all game content is thus maintained. The TMI is included in the installer program. The rectangular box shape should work for the shadows of passenger cars, box cars, gondolas, some diesel or electric locos, steam tenders and so on. Steam locos will usually require a detailed shadow mesh which can also be created by enabling the Full Shadow option. For the box option, the size of of the box is calculated from the main (default) mesh for the rolling stock item. The box created can be scaled and moved independently in all directions (length, width, height) to allow a best-fit result to be achieved. Use the scaling and displacement factors to ensure that no part of the shadow mesh pokes through the skin of the object. The shadow mesh (shadow.im) is created in the same folder as the parent mesh and requires no textures. It uses
the "m.notex" material that takes its colour from the light settings in the material. So no 3D modelling or image manipulation programs are required to make the shadow. The shadow mesh may be moved within the asset folder structure (eg to a shadow folder) and, of course, the shadow mesh will need to be specified in the shadow container in the mesh table of the config.txt file. Refer to the Content Creators' Guide for Trainz Classics for advice on asset folder and file layouts. CCGTC can be downloaded from the Auran web site.
Using QuickShadows Installation If you don't have this program, please download its installer program (PEV_QuickShadows_setup.exe) from my PEVSoft Download page. http://www.members.optusnet.com.au/~villaump/pevsoft.htm
Run the installer and the QuickShadows will be loaded on to the Program Files area of your C: drive, along with a desktop icon and an entry in the PEVSoft folder of your All Programs menu. TrainzMeshImporter.exe is included in the setup program. It may require a further download from MicroSoft (See below) If you have TS2009 or later, you should create an 'OpenWith' macro in Content Manager to allow you to run QuickShadows directly from the Content Manager. If you have installed Trainz 2009/10 in the default folder then you should have a folder named â€˜C:\Program Files\Auran\TS2009\bin\CMPData\tools' In this folder create a new folder named 'OpenWith' (one word). Use NotePad to create a DOS batch file with the name "QuickShadows.bat" (or similar) with the following commands: (See shaded box on top of next page.) To use the program, select one or more items in Content Manager 2, then right click to bring up the menu. Select "Open With", then click on "QuickShadows.bat". The selected items will open for edit and shadows meshes will be added for all of the meshes found during the trawl.
Trainz Community News
@echo off "C:\Program Files\PEVSoft\QuickShadows\QuickShadows.exe" -trawl %1
Opening a File The program can open .pm and .im files only.
If the "Full Shadow" option is NOT set then the program will make a box shadow mesh.
To Open a File, start the program and click on the File menu. Click on Open and the open file dialogue box will be displayed. The file extensions are filtered so only the correct types can be opened. When opened the mesh file is checked for validity and the program shows a notice suggesting you press the Make Shadow button to proceed. The Exit option closes the program.
Making a Box Shadow When opened from a short cut, the program will await a file open instruction from the user.
For a shadow mesh to be successful it needs to not protrude through the skin of the parent (or default) mesh. For the box mesh, independent scaling factors are provided for length, width and height. Because the shadow mesh box size is created from a bounding box for the parent mesh it is highly likely that the mesh will be too large. Use the scaling factors to reduce the size. A Scaling factor of 1.0 is full size.. Use decimal fractions (eg 0.8) to reduce size. A hidden scale factor is included so that the shadow of a rectangular object is slightly smaller than the object, This is intended to prevent any rendering conflicts that can cause the dreaded phasing effect in the game.
Click on the File menu. Click on Open and the open file dialogue box will be displayed. The file extensions are filtered so only PM's or IM's will be visible. Select a mesh to make a shadow for.
Press the "Make Shadow" button and shadow.im mesh will be created. When completed the program will tell you that the shadow.im file has been created.
The program will confirm your mesh choice and show a notice suggesting you press the Make Shadow button to proceed.
body1.im selected to make a shadow mesh Press the â€œMake Shadowâ€? button to proceed
If the shadow mesh is offset from the main mesh when you view it in Trainz, the box shadow can be moved using the X, Y, and Z Displacement values. These values are in metres.
Trainz Community News
Page29 When completed the program will tell you that the shadow.im file has been created. The full shadow mesh is created in the same folder as the parent mesh. It does not require any textures. It's up to the user to place the shadow mesh in an appropriate folder and make any changes needed in the config.txt file.
Trawling For example, if the shadow is too low, you can move it up by entering a positive value into the Z Displacement box. This is common where the parent mesh has a small portion that is higher than the remainder of the mesh, eg a post. Note that this feature is only available for the box shadow. The "Zero All" button can be used to make all displacements zero. Note that the displacements default to zero when ever the program is opened. These values are not stored for later use. Files opened by double clicking in Windows Explorer can automatically have a shadow mesh created if the "Auto Make" option is SET (checked). The program will close automatically after a short pause if the "Close on Done" option is SET. The shadow mesh is created in the same folder as the parent mesh. It does not require any textures.
Making a Full Shadow As in the box shadow option, after opening the program will confirm your mesh choice and show a notice suggesting you press the Make Shadow button to proceed. If the Full Shadow option is SET, on pressing the Make Shadow button a Shadow mesh will be created using the geometry of the parent mesh, but with all animation and texture details stripped out.
Trawling is the process where the program searches a folder and ALL of its sub folders for mesh files that require a shadow mesh to be apended. It is similar to the search function in Windows explorer, except that when it finds a mesh file it processes it without asking any questions. I added the trawling facility to QuickShadows to assist the team doing asset repairs for TS2009/10. There are many old rollingstock assets that don't have shadows and thus show an error in Content Manager . So if you have faulty content caused by the absence of shadow meshes (as flagged by CM) you can use the CM search filter for faulty content and open it all for editing, then apply the trawling process to the editing folder. To use Trawling you must launch this program from the command line with the -trawl switch, or launch from the Open With menu (right click) in Content Manager . Select one or more items in Content Manager , then right click to bring up the menu. Select Open With, then click on QuickShadows.bat. The selected items will opened for edit and a shadow added for every PM, and optionally every IM, found in the search. Please be aware that only one shadow mesh per folder is created. If a folder contains a number of meshes, only one shadow will be remain at the completion of processing that folder. When trawling you can stop the process at any time by pressing the "Stop Trawling" button. The files processed are listed in the main text box as the conversions progress. The program keeps a log (named Trawl_Log.txt) of files found and shows the actions taken on each file. The log is accessed from the File menu and clicking on View Log. The log file accumulates data every time trawl is started. The Log should be deleted after large trawl conversions. A delete option is included in the File Menu.
Trainz Community News
Launching from the Command Line The program can be launched from the command line to automatically make a shadow mesh based on a .PM or .IM mesh. If the command line parameter is a mesh file the program will automatically open that mesh and use its dimensions to build the shadow mesh. If the command line parameter is a folder the program will open in that folder and wait for the user to select a mesh to process to make a shadow. Use the File Open menu to select a mesh.
Page 30 The option will be ticked (checked) when set. This option has no influence on trawling.
Close on Done The program will close on completion of the shadow making tasks if the Close on Done Option is set.
Full Shadow The program will make a shadow mesh using the geometry of the parent mesh, but with all animation and texture details stripped out. It is a black only version of the parent mesh. When this option is not set the program makes a box shadow.
Trawl for IMs
Refer to the readme.txt file with this program for instructions to use the program as an Open With tool in Content Manager .
Setting this option will make the program add shadow meshes to IM files as well as PM files, when trawling.
However because the shadow is a bit hit or miss, I think it's better to run the program from a shortcut and look at the result in the game. You will most probably find that you have to displace the mesh to get the best result, and this cannot be done from the command line.
Program Options The following options are provided to customise how the program works.
Auto Make To make the program add shadows to PMs (and IMs) when started from the command line, set the Auto Make Option. Jadebullet
The QuickShadows program will not operate if the TrainzMeshImporter.exe is not in the QuickShadows.exe application folder. A notice to this effect is displayed for a few seconds before the program closes. Also, TrainzMeshImporter requires some Microsoft C++ 2005 SP1 runtime files, and if these are not present the TMI will not run, or may freeze. Refer to the program help if the TMI is not working correctly. A link to MicroSoft is provided in the help for downloading the runtime files.
Trainz Community News
TARM TIDBITS by Ian Woodmore
TARM Target Dates revised There’s a lot going on in Project TARM at the moment but not much I can show you as yet. In the May issue of the Trainz Community News I advised that there would most likely be a delay in getting some of the TARM services up and running. This unfortunately is now a reality. Several factors conspired to gang up on us and slow our progress. During the Auran Server Upgrades access to some of the Auran facilities was severely limited. I needed to access Planet Auran to use Community Search as part of gathering information on Authors and their Country of Residence. In the process I discovered that there were some bugs with the Community search facility and other aspects that limited its usefulness. Then various postserver upgrade troubleshooting was necessary to determine why Content Manager was not updating from the daily DLS index lists (otherwise known as the dump list). I won’t bore you with the long list of calamities that occurred in March and April. Suffice to say that the contingency plan we had made to take care of delays was overwhelmed.
absorb the Trainz Resources Directory website. Common features will be rationalised to give the Trainzer customers a modern user-friendly experience.
TRAINZDB This is a development project to provide database services for TARM. Initial offerings will be TARL and MADE. TARL will be the repository for the sanatised config files resulting from repairs to legacy assets and their updating to TS2009 and TS2010 by achieving compliance with Trainz specifications. MADE will concentrate on the Missing Assets dilemma.
As a consequence we have decided to aim for a September 2010 go live date.
I’m sure you have read Peter Villaume’s (PEV) column with interest and I hope you have downloaded his tools. Get yourself familiar with their operation because we want you to be power users by September. By then many TARM repair procedures, as part of TARG, should be available on the new website. Peter has several more articles for the Toolman series. This month he is covering Quickshadows and soon we will see an article on his latest tool Attachment Maker.
In the March issue of Trainz Community News we introduced you to the top level projects that we were working on such as TARL and MADE. These have been further detailed in several articles in subsequent issues.
This is a new development project to provide a Trainz Community customisable toolbar. Do you suffer from toolbar bloat in your browser? You would like to have all things Trainz available in one place. Well we believe we have achieved this. I was inspired by the possibilities of using a similar technology to that of the Trainz Webs toolbar but I wanted to expand on what could be included with particular orientation towards TARM services. I’m working on a prototype built in the Conduit Toolbar Wizard, and several Trainzers are beta testing for me.
JohnK has been away for nearly 3 months working remotely from the depths of the Victoria hinterland with limited communications coverage. This meant he could not start development of the new website and the databases that will run TARL and MADE. Now that John is home in Queensland these two projects can start in earnest.
So far I have provided the following functionality:
This is a development project to provide the Trainz Community website based on Joomla. Not only will it be the home of Project TARM and its services, it will eventually
ŸHome Page - Provision for access to the new Trainz Community website when it’s up and running. This also links you to the Trainz Community Newsletter.
Trainz Community News
- A search facility based on Google with highlighter. ŸRSS - An RSS feed. ŸAuran – Ability to access all Auran services similar to Trainz Webs offering. ŸExternal Website - Ability to access many external Trainz websites based on the TRD Trainz Community Websites listing and via Web Ring. Priority of inclusion to sites with downloads that may fill some of the Missing Assets requirement or have useful tutorials. ŸTARM - Provision for quick access to TARM Administration, Policy, Plans, Projects and Initiatives hosted at the Trainz Community website. ŸTARDIS Provision of access to MADE, TARL and TrainzAuthor databases. ŸTRAINZLIBRARY – Provision of access to documentation for TARG and TAUP programs; tutorials, CCGs and User Manuals; and ŸWiki Navigator - A Wiki Navigator that provides a one click access to specific TrainzDev Wiki information. ŸTOOLMAN Toolbox – Initially provision of links to free downloads of useful utilities. Followed by ability to launch Tools, Utilities and Applications installed on your PC. These include facilities for the following TARM Projects and Initiatives:
ŸTRAINZARCHIVER – Backup and Copy facility using Rich Copy 4.0 ŸTRAINZCATALOG - To be determined. ŸTRAINZCONVERTOR – PEVs Images2TGA and PM2IM. ŸTRAINZCREATOR – Blender. ŸTRAINZDOWNLOADER – Free Download Manager (FDM). ŸTRAINZEDITOR – Audacity Audio Editor, and NotePad++ Text Editor. ŸTRAINZICON – IcoFX Icon Editor, and a Custom Trainz Icon Library. ŸTRAINZLATOR – IM Portal. A multi-lingual Translation Portal. ŸTRAINZMAPPER - To be determined. ŸTRAINZPRESENTER -A means of presenting Trainz related screenshotz and videos as well as tutorials and podcasts from the web and your PC. Possibly Cooliris 3D Wall. Access to You Tube etc. ŸTRAINZPRODUCER – PEV’s Attachment Maker and Quickshadows.
– TBD. Early days yet but hopefully a script maker and editor. ŸTRAINZTOOLBAR – Use the Trainz Community Toolbar, customise it or build your own. ŸTRAINZTUTOR – Initially WINK Tutorial Maker. Ÿ TRAINZVIEWER – PEV’s Mesh Text Viewer and Trainz Mesh Viewer.
ŸAlerts - An Alerts facility. Future enhancements being investigated:
ŸCommunications – Communication by text, Chat, eMail and Private Message with emphasis on Train requirements. ŸSimulator - Ability to launch Content Manager and CCP and possibly the game.. ŸProvision of Toolbar customisation by the User. In other words a Trainz Community specific toolbar that has sufficient flexibility to enable you to customise it and switch off all other toolbars thus achieving a cleaner browser look. Initial offering will be for Internet Explorer and works in WIN 7 and IE8. Other browsers and operating systems are possible but have not yet been explored but it looks like Firefox and Safari browsers are starters. The next three projects expand on the TOOLBAR features we are offering.
TRAINZLATOR Trainz is played in more than 50 countries. Bear in mind that at least half of the Trainz Community do not speak English as a first language, many not at all. Similarly, English speakers that are not fluent in another language would like to converse and communicate with other non-English speaking Trainzers as well as translate articles and tutorials. This project is about enhancing the Trainz Community’s ability to do just that. The Tranz Community Toolbar builds in access to the IM Translation Portal which provides a multi-lingual service based on Google with Online Translation, Text to Voice, Spell Checker, Dictionary, Virtual Keyboard, email, and a Russian Decoder converting to Cyrillic characters. One disadvantage with the online translator is that the free service limits translation to 1000 words per translation. This probably is the same for other translation services like Google, Bing/Microsoft, and Babelfish etc. Another is that you lose some formatting
Trainz Community News like indents and linefeeds but peculiarly retain bullet points. However, we could workaround these limitations I think or see if the developers could extend the functionality. We still have a need to translate documents longer than 1000 words such as the Newsletter, Trainz User manuals, Content Creator Guides and Wiki, plus TARG repair procedures. As online translators donâ€™t particularly like PDF JohnK is going to progressively convert the Newsletter issues to HTML. This will enable machine translation to be used. Depending on the success of this venture, other TARM documentation will be offered in HTML format either in English or in several languages. Not a perfect solution but a stepping stone until we can find a better way of translating documents from one language to another and finally getting a mult-lingual Comprehensive Manual for Trainz.
Progress to Date: The IM Translation Portal is working in WIN 7 IE8 accessed from the Trainz Community Toolbar.
WIKI NAVIGATOR The idea for the Wiki Navigator grew out of Trainzersâ€™ frustrations in trying to glean information presented in a Wiki format. These people have grown up with the printed book, and electronic books predominantly in PDF format. They have a need to print out whatever information they desire so that they can peruse it off-line. Whether we like it or not Auran is wedded to an on-line Wiki as part of their
Page 33 TrainzOnline initiative so that relevant information and help can be provided in-game. The Trainz Community Toolbar can access TrainzOnline and the Wiki in your standard browser, but also enhances navigation by direct links from the toolbar to pertinent information. The initial offering will be pre-ordained to meet TARM requirements but can be modified based on user feedback. Progress to Date: The Wiki Navigator is nearly complete.
TRAINZPRESENTER I was looking for a means of accessing Trainz screenshots, playing video and tutorials as well as organising web material whether it was on a website or a PC. As many tutorials use You Tube access to that video service was necessary. It needed to have Flash capability and in future be extendable into 3D Vision.
Progress to Date: We are investigating the use of Cooliris 3D Wall for both web, PC and Mobile. The Desktop version is currently working in WIN 7 IE8 with access from the Trainz Community Toolbar.
Next month: I will discuss more of the TARM projects and initiatives that we have instigated in an endeavour to improve your Trainz experience and enjoyment.
Trainz Community News
by Ian Manion (Vulcan) with an foreword and additional material by John King
ver the past year there have been a few threads on the Trains Discussion Forum about making 3D (Stereo) images from screenshots. Although it’s possible to get spectacular results, it’s not just a matter of making two copies of a screenshot and making one red and the other blue.
Then there are different kinds of stereo images. There’s the typical red/blue or red/green images we associate with those terrible post war horror movies, or more recently, Journey to the Center of the Earth. These images are referred to as Anaglyphic 3D images and they’re probably the ones you’ll create when working through Ian’s tutorial, simply because they’re the easiest to make. Anaglyphic images tend to work better with monochrome or black and white images because the coloured lenses act like filters and make some colours look very pale.
Ian’s tutorial shows you how to make your own viewer from bit’s of scrap timber, but obtaining the lenses may be a bit of a challenge. I’ve actually used Ian’s viewer with stereos he’s created himself, and the results are excellent. Another way of watching Trainz in 3D is by using a set of Nvidia 3D glasses with a special 3D monitor manufactured by Samsung. In Australia the Monitor retails for around $400 and the glasses will set you back another $200. The supplied software reads the 3D code created by gMax within Trainz itself to produce stunning colourful 3D in real time. The software doesn’t work on every game, but it works with Flight Simulator and I assume, MSTS.
Anaglyphic 3D glasses can be purchased from several sites on the Internet, but I obtained mine by purchasing a cheap children’s 3D story book at a discount book seller. The best 3D images amateurs can produce are Stereos. like the ones our grandparents (if you’re over 60) watched a long before moving pictures were perfected. If you’re really lucky, you might find a viewer in graandpa’s old trunk, but the best bet would be to track down a Loreo Stereo Viewer at a large camera house or eBay. They should cost around $50, (Lots more in Australia)
Ian Woodmore uses this gear and he’s promised to write an article or two as soon as possible after th the Trainz Community Web Site has opened. If you have any success creating your own images, please share them with us by sending a letter to the editor (that’s me) and please include a few images. If we get a good response, we’ll create a special suppliment in a future issue of the Trainz Community News. John
Trainz Community News
This tutoria together with larger images, can be found on the Ianz Trainz Web Site. Please Visit Ianâ€™s site because it is without doubt, one of the most informative Trainz sites on the Internet.
Page 35 I had obtained a pair of lenses that focused at about 230 mm and made my own viewer to suit, see below:
by Ian Manion (Vulcan)
Introduction Have you seen stereo pictures and wondered how to make them? Well it is quite easy to make similar pictures from Trainz Screenshots. Of course not everyone can see the 3d stereo effects from pictures, but they are just another interesting facet in recording your work using pictures. You might like to try the following ideas. The tutorial explains what equipment you need, how to make the pictures, and gives ideas to make other stereo pictures with a digital cameras.
Background and Equipment There are two main types of stereo pictures, I will cover those using viewing lenses or glasses made from red and blue translucent material, commonly know as "Cellophane". The first type is the side by side images, viewed with a viewer using an optical lens for each eye. These viewers may be available, the images need to be sized to suit any viewer you can acquire. The picture consists of two images as below, each taken from a slightly different angle to make the stereo effect. It is normal to take an image with a camera, and to move the camera sideways the width to match the spacing of the eyes, about 80 mm (measure a pair of spectacles), then take a second image. Of course you can use wider spacings than that, it will enhance or exacerbate the stereo effect, experiment.
The second format for stereo pictures is the familiar red / green haloed images, anaglyphs. These images are overlaid on each other, as shown below and require a different colored lens for each eye to create the stereo or 3d image. The picture is of the rail bridge found in the Maglev map in TRS2006, if you have the red / green glasses try them out. Move your head from side to side.
A viewer for such images may be available at toy stores, but can certainly be found on the internet. It is not difficult to make your own from suitable materials. The design would be as shown below, using the red lens over the left eye.
Trainz Community News For the first type of stereo imaging, with separated images, it is just a matter of taking two images, arranging them side by side and printing at a suitable scale. For the Analglyph images, you need software to combine the two images and "tint" them to the correct colors. This is available, a free program, StereoPhoto Maker by Masuji Suto is excellent. You will also find a number of other interesting programs on the web page reference above. Two files are in a zip, just extract to a directory of your choice, there is no install program or procedure required. When you wish to use it, just open that directory and double click the stphmkre.exe file to start the program.
Page 36 time you save a jpeg file, you lose more picture quality, unless you have the quality set for the highest file size, so generally save only the final result as a jpg file. If you do not have Photoshop or Paint Shop pro for picture management, a useful free program for this file conversion is IrfanView. Move the files to your Stereo picture working directory. Open the StereoPhoto Maker program. There are a number of ways to load pictures, for this example we need to load both the left and the right picture together. You can do this from the drop down menu, but you will find the al;ternate icon in the Top Menu useful, use the Open Left and Right Image.
Capturing the Two Images from Trainz Decide on a view in Surveyor or Driver that will show the stereo effect to best advantage. The bridge from the Maglev map is a good example. You need to capture two screenshots, spaced a little apart. In Surveyor, you will find it best to generally compose the image, then hold the Alt key down while typing fly on the keyboard in TRS2004, or using Alt u in TRS2006. This puts you in a viewing mode, and removes the compass amd menus. If you use the Alt o keys, you can remove the spline circles, and the red and green arrows above rollingstock for a clean image. You can then move the viewpoint reasonably accurately using the cursor keys, the PageUp and PageDown keys, and the mouse scroll. Take a Screenshot by pressing the Print Screen key, this will be the left hand picture (decide on a standard, take the left shot first then the right shot to make it easy to identify later). This is automatically copied to the clipboard and to the Screenshots directory in your installation of Trainz. Press the Right Cursor key to move the viewpoint a short distance to the right, it is not possible to specify an exact distance, but a quick tap on the key is sufficient. Do not use any other keys. The viewpoint will smoothly move to the right, so take another screenshot, this will be the right hand image. For the second picture it is important not to tilt the viewpoint otherwise the picture pair will be misaligned vertically, requiring adjustment later.
Working with the Pictures Find the pictures, in the: C:\Program Files\Auran\TRS2006\ScreenShots directory for TRS2006, they will be tga format and the resolution and size will match your Trainz display settings, and could be quite large. Convert the pictures into bmp of tiff files preferably, so you do not lose any quality, remember every
You will be presented with a file load dialogue box. Hold down the Shift key and click on the left picture them the right picture, then Open. This loads both files together, ready for editing. Note that Trainz increments the number for each Screenshot, and you know that the first picture is the Left hand picture. You can swap the left and right if necessary, during loading. In the example below I am using high quality jpeg files.
Trainz Community News
The picture below shows the StereoPhoto Maker program with two pictures taken of the Maglev Station, loaded together, note the different viewing angle of the right hand picture due to the sideways movement between Screenshots in Surveyor, which will give the 3d effect.
Because the alignment is accurate from the Screenshots taken in the manner described, you do not have to correct any tilt or vertical misalignment. These pictures may be printed or saved as is, to suit the side by side viewer, you will of course need to decide on a size to suit the viewer you might have available.
Anaglyph Creation To make the colored Anaglyph picture, you can open the Stereo drop down menu and choose an option to process the two pictures into one, the Optimized option has been ticked below, the red/cyan color may better match your glasses, the Ghost-reduced option might be useful, experiment.
The two images are merged into one by the program and given the characteristic red ghosting colors.
Trainz Community News
Page 38 handrail is in the foreground, and only slightly out of alignment. Choose the alignment mode icon in the top menu (or Ctrl a), then click two points in the left diagram then the same two corresponding points in the right diagram, follow the order shown. Cross hairs will indicate your choices. When click 4 is completed, the images will be moved or rotated automatically so the chosen points align in each image. As you see these images are very close to correct as is.
Taking Stereo Pictures with a Digital Camera It is important to keep the two images aligned, to minimise adjustments later. You can of course take the left picture, then move your head and the camera to the right about 80 mm, then take the right picture. It is difficult to keep the camera aligned correctly, so a tripod with a sliding bracket is a good way to achieve this. I have used the bracket below to mount the camera on a sliding shoe in the aluminum channel, for table top model pictures. It is quite easy to move the camera the required distance (slide the shoe), but a similar bracket mounted on a rigid tripod would be used for outside photography, for best results. Even so, there will usually be some adjustment required to align the pictures. The StereoPhoto Maker program makes this quite easy. There are a number of controls that align the pictures.
Adjusting Images Adjustments may not be necessary for the images from Trainz, the alignment is quite good. For other images, after loading the two images, adjust the important foreground parts of each image. In the picture below, the
The background may still be out of alignment, but it is important to choose critical foreground points to adjust. If you choose one point in the foreground and the other in the background, the program will try to "take out" the perspective difference in the pictures, by straightening the images incorrectly. You may also choose the Drop down menu from the Top Adjust menu to select different ways to adjust the images, choices are shown below. If the images seem to be incorrect after this process, undo the operation and retry. Notice the tree in the foreground cannot be aligned correctly (seems to be a couple of typos in the menu )
Trainz Community News
Page 39 easier on the eyes. Use includes books, magazines, images and the internet, but not usually used for 3D movies.
Red / Green These use a green colored lens for the right eye. Red / Green lenses provide a brighter view and improve 3D image quality for anaglyph images produced in grayscale. Use may also include books, magazines, images and the internet, again, not used for 3D movies.
References StereoPhoto Maker - the program to create the images in the tutorial http://stereo.jpn.org/eng/index.html
Issues ŸYou should save the stereo pictures in both formats, the side by side one and the Anaglyph format. If you need to redo the Anaglyph, you will need the separated images, you cannot re separate the Anaglyph images to get the original separated images back. ŸPictures with predominately red colors do not make good colors in Anaglyph format, as the red lens filters out the colors. ŸIf the stereo image is saved from the StereoPicture Maker program as jpeg files they can be viewed correctly in other programs, like ACDsee, however loading the saved file into Paint Shop seems to change the colors, destroying the stereo effect. You can copy the image directly from the program and paste into Paint Shop to retain the correct colors. The better procedure is to use other higher quality file formats.
Summary The StereoPhoto Maker has many options to make the pictures, it is very versatile and easy to use. The pictures used in these examples are only early experiments, I am sure they can be improved by experimenting with the processing options. Please experiment to achieve the best results.
Anaglyphic 3D Glasses Red / Cyan These are the most commonly used, showing a brighter 3D image but may interfere with some colors in images. Typical use includes movies, books, magazines, images, the internet and games.
Red / Blue These use a blue colored lens for the right eye, making 3D images look darker, but improving image color and can be
IrfanView - free Graphic creation and Image manipulation program http://www.irfanview.com/ Dr. Imre Zsolnai-Nagy from Hungary has excellent stereo picture examples and tutorials http://www.freeweb.hu/conversion3d/index.html Trainz 3d shots at the Trainz Forum - Samples of Anaglyphic experiments. http://forums.auran.com/trainz/showthread.php?t=54335 3D Discussion -Trainz Forum http://forums.auran.com/trainz/showthread.php?t=50227
ChromaDepth is another kind of 3D that places colours at different levels, thus producing a 3D effect. Results can vary. ChromaDepth Primer - Click on the ChromaDepth Prima link in the menu to see a sample page. http://www.chromatek.com/ Oregon State University - More discussion on ChromaDepth http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~mjb/chromadepth/ Using ChromaDepth - Discussion Paper http://web.engr.oregonstate.edu/~mjb/chromadepth/chr omapaper.pdf Editor’s Note: Ian Woodmore advises me that a number of manufactures will be releasing 3D digital cameras later this year. Have a look at the Fugi FinePix 3D W1 to get an idea of what the future holds: http://www.fujifilm.com/products/3d/camera/finep ix_real3dw1/
Trainz Community News
Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet? is a regularly updated diary of achievements, current projects and future plans for a small group of people trying to repair damaged assets in the Download Station and establish a community of supporters for all Trainz versions. You can show your support by subscribing to the Newsletter or joining the community as an active member. For a list of abbreviations and their meaning, please refer to the last page of this Newsletter. We suggest that you print the list and use it as a reference as you read this and other articles in the Trainz Community News.
Milestones The major moments in Project TARM development.
Dec 2009 Release of TS2010 SP1 build 41615 heralds the initial validation baseline against which all repairs are judged.
reworked config files in final stages of checking prior to uploading to TARL. Ÿ10,000 Missing Assets named and the start of the RUMMAGE. ŸFirst TARM Tidbits and Red Alert articles published.
ŸStart of TARL and MADE database development. ŸAdded 11,000+ assets from European external websites.
ŸUpdate to TS2010 SP2 build 42287 in progress. This is the new validation baseline.
ŸApproval by David Drake for repaired config files for all or any of his ~10,000 assets to be hosted on TARL at Trainz Community website.
ŸPlaying catch up of February and March tasks. ŸProgress on database design and development. May 2010
Ÿ Playing catch up of February and March tasks
Stage 1 Completion Date Jun 2010 – Sep 2010 Tentative target for TARL, TARG, MADE and TrainzAuthor to go live at TCW. Due to significant delays caused by the server updates and inability to download new assets during March and April, this target will have to be revised. There are only so many hours in a day in which to catch up. Be assured we will do our best to bring these milestones to fruition as soon as possible.
Ongoing Activities Every Month ŸProgress red flag repairs. ŸProgress yellow flag repairs ŸImprove compliance with CCGTC and Wiki. ŸCategorise defects via keywords. ŸFind some missing assets. ŸProgress repair procedures. ŸPrepare articles for Newsletter. Work in Progress CONTROL
downloading a significant quantity of DLS assets for use in CONTROL version of Trainz. ŸThe unavailability of Auran servers during Mar/Apr slowed this activity as did a number of SP2 patch issues. ŸAnticipate that this task will be completed by end June 2010. ŸCONTROL assets are unmodified and contain the original defects. ŸThese are used for comparison with the TARL repaired versions to ensure that repairs are relative to what other Trainzers will see.
ŸProgressing priority repairs. ŸProgressing opportunity repairs. ŸUpdating statistics. KEY CADDY
1 released to Trainz Community through Newsletter.
Trainz Community News
ŸModified to meet Auran Life Cycle Policy. ŸExpanded TARP ŸIncorporates TAUP. ŸIncorporates TRAINZLAW. ŸIncorporates HOSTING. MADE
ŸInvestigating missing assets on DLS/FTP servers. ŸAwaiting Trainz Community website development. ŸAwaiting database development. TARG
ŸDeveloping repair procedures. ŸIncorporating TRAINZLAW requirements. ŸMaking provision for automated repair procedures. ŸMonitoring changes to Wiki. TARL
ŸProgressing repairs. ŸAwaiting Trainz Community website development. ŸAwaiting database development TARM
impact of Auran Life Cycle Policy on Project TARM.
ŸIncorporating Auran Life Cycle Policy needs. ŸDefining TAUP update categories. ŸModifying repair procedures. TOOLMAN
ŸBeta testing PEV's Tools. ŸIncorporating use into repair procedures. ŸPublishing Mr Toolman series of articles in Newsletter. ŸInvestigating automation of repair and update. TRAINZCCP
to Community for suggestions on improvements.
ŸDetermining required improvements. ŸIdentifying bugs. TRAINZDB Ÿ Development of MADE and TARL databases. Ÿ
ŸFaultfinding server update problems.
ŸEvaluating asset availability. ŸIdentifying DLSStuck assets. ŸInvestigating DLH Obsolete/OOD issues. ŸInvestigating File Access Error issues. TRAINZTOOLBAR
ŸResearch and design of a Trainz Community Toolbar. ŸDevelopment and testing of prototype. See TCN article in TARM Tidbits.
ŸSurvey of config file tag license and assess impact on TARM. ŸIntroduction of TRAINZLAW Initiative. ŸKeywords defined and incorporated into Key Caddy. ŸKeywords being progressively added to repaired and updated config files.
ŸDetermining changes needed. ŸWorking with Auran on changes
to Community Search facility. ŸBug fixes on Community Country search.
ŸDevelopment of new Trainz Community website. TARDIS ODOMETER Marks the monthly progress of Trainz and the elimination of defects shown in my Content Manager. This will be different for each Trainzer. Mine relates mostly to DLS in toto (275GB) but also includes additional assets from European websites. Priority is the reduction of red flags. Reduction of yellow flags and improving compliance are on an opportunity basis. Builtins increased with instal of Treedemo add-on to TS2010.
Total assets shown in TAD Builtins for maxi TS2010 Obsoletes Out of Date
173,273 24,256 19,670 208
Faulty Warning Missing Dependencies Missing Assets
3,992 25,686 4,157 >10,000
Trainz Community News
Tracks the progress in developing and writing the repair procedures and associated tutorials, tips and tricks. Repair Schemes:
Required Draft Ready Loaded on website
TBD 40 10 0
TARL ARCHIVER Indicates progress in populating TARL database. Auran Life Cycle Policy will increase this. Under review. Auran Life Fixes required 31,208 Cycle Policy will increase this. TARL ready TARL Loaded Total
21,554 0 ~30% of Total assets non52,762 compliant with CCGTC and wiki
TAUP CHRONICLE As a consequence of the Auran Life Cycle Policy I have decided to utilise some updates as a means of repair, and to achieve convergence with CCGTC/wiki compliance as part of future proofing. Some TAUP procedures are the best solution for repair. Totals below are tentative and incomplete as review is still under way. Indicative only. Will be progressively revised.
Last month I said we would make available a copy of the TRS2006 Manual, suitable for printing back to back on A5 paper. This was subject to permission being granted by Auran and N3V games. Due to circumstances beyond my control, I havenâ€™t had time to make a request to Auran. Now that Iâ€™m back in Cairns, but not yet home, I should be able to contact them in the next week or so. Thanks for your patience. John
Update initiative Bogey Transition Boolean Correction Category-Class Correction Category-Era Format Update Category-Region Format Update Mesh-table Update Obsolete Tag Removal Opacity Correction PM Conversion Shadows Texture Conversion Third Party Tags Thumbnails
Total Required Total Achieved ~5,000 0 <200 168 Maybe 1,000 35 >50,000 3,417 >50,000 3,417 >30,000 222 Maybe 2,000 Most <100 5 ~5,000 3,802 >1200 442 ~8,000 ~8,000 ~500 0 >50,000 ~10,000
MADE RUMMAGE The increase by 11,000+ assets from European websites was a mixed blessing. So far I have found 268 missing assets, but at the cost of having 1,000 more. No work in this area during May 2010.
Await development of MADE database.
Missing Assets Found
Trainz Community News
a. Logon Problems new servers
e. View Dependencies
Logon problems and a host of secondary issues should have eased after Auran cutover to the new servers. Unfortunately, this was not the case. If you have any specific issues related to logon raise a ticket at Helpdesk, but also let us know.
There has been a change to the coding to correct missing assets data. While one problem was fixed, another involving obsolete and out of date assets remains.
b. FCT and the 100MB limit
You may experience rolling of the TABS in CM Main View and be unable to stabilise the display. The rolling is more likely to occur if you have a large number of TABS loaded in Main View and/or lots of other CPU hogging activities running at the same time as Trainz. Close any other applications. You may also have to use Windows Task Manager or Performance Manager to exit CM and then re-launch immediately. I eventually gave up and did what is a rare event for me. I reinstalled with no problem as long as server is available. I wonder if this problem is related to tab selection where the order is changed to put the selected row at the bottom of the tabs. For me this is counterproductive. I name my tabs in a certain way so that I can group like custom filters for ease of operation. I want my tabs in alphanumerical order permanently. I believe this problem would then disappear.
There is a bug in TS2010 SP2 but it has probably been there since TRS2006. CM sometimes refuses to recognise FCT and limits your download to 100MB. It may, as a consequence, also indicate by red banner that it is unable to contact Planet Auran. Usually can be cleared by exiting CM and immediately re-launching without waiting for TADDAEMON. This problem has reduced considerably during May.
c. EDR and Location unknown. After carrying out an Extended Database Repair (EDR) ALWAYS exit CM, wait 60 secs for TADDAEMON to finish housekeeping and then re-launch CM. After a few minutes any assets in location unknown should be resolved and return to correct category (usually DS or Obsolete or Out of Date). This action will only be successful if you are able to logon to Planet Auran. Please note that TS2010 should carry out database repair automatically, and you should not have to do an extended or quick database repair manually except in extreme circumstances.
d. File Access Error (FAE) File access errors have been prevalent in a number of builds up to and including TS2010 SP2. This results in about 8-10% of downloads staying open after a download of any sort and requires you to go to Open for Edit folder and commit. You may have to repeat this several times for some stubborn assets. This fault occurs randomly and is very difficult to trouble shoot. Auran is aware of the issue and may have found the cause. A hotfix is being thoroughly tested. After downloading 100,000+ DLS assets there were no instances of FAE. You may see an occasional FAE in CM error messages if a filepath or filename is incorrect.
f. Main View Tabs
Problem continues to occur randomly when initially launch CM.
g. DLS Dump List not updating After the Auran servers upgrade many people have experienced inability to download assets from the DLS. The date reported varies but this may be due to a misunderstanding. Each time you logon TS2010 TADDAEMON purges the cache/internet folder, then waits for the latest dump list which should start to appear within a minute. Despite the fact that the compressed .gz file has today's date the .txt file inside, which is the actual dump list or part of it, is the one to check. There may be more than one .gz file. Find the latest .txt file. For many this is showing a date stamp of 7 or 8 March10. This problem affects all Trainz versions. TS2010 is now working OK. TS2009 and earlier builds have a different format dump list and this fault persisted for many weeks after TS2010 was working correctly. Terry has now corrected some script errors at the server which appear to have cleared the problem for TS2009 and earlier. However, there may still be some lingering issues.
Trainz Community News This was a bug at the server and re-installing Trainz or any of the other tricks to jolt it into action did not work. Problem has now been cleared.
h. WARNING !! Change of purpose for local folder Many of you may backup your 'local' folder as insurance in case of loss or corruption or a computer problem, This is where all your downloaded assets are. Right! Wrong. For TS2010 this is NOT so. I made a terrible mistake thinking that the 'original' folder was duplicating my 'local' folder and in a mad two hours I deleted 107GB (70,000 assets) from my installation. Now I have to download those again which will take me months. My stupid mistake in not checking thoroughly enough, but with so little information in the documentation?? In TS2010 the folder structure was changed as part of preparation to separate the program from the 'userdata'. A good move. Hence you will find a number of folders that were in the Trainz root folder now grouped under a folder named 'userdata'. So that you are quite clear where your assets are: 1
Builtins are kept in ja files and these are always in the 'builtin' folder. If you have add-ons mounted they are also ja files and reside here.
Original copies of assets downloaded from DLS or imported from *.cdp files NOW reside in the 'original' folder permanently.
They will only be duplicated in the 'local' folder if you modify them.
Which then leaves me in a quandary. When you OFE/commit an asset, a green triangle icon appears signifying a modified asset. Does that mean I will get a duplication in 'local' folder? From my observation the answer is no. Otherwise my 275GB instal would be 550GB. Similarly, the search filter 'Location local' still operates the same way as before but includes assets that are builtin, original and local. We can separate Builtins from the rest of the 'Locals' using the 'builtin false' filter. Does the 'modified true' filter now reflect the 'local' folder and 'modified false' the 'original'? For backup purposes you need to backup: 1 2 3 4 5 6
Local folder. Original folder. Asset.tdx from the Trainz root folder. Assets.bku from the bin/cache folder. Trainzoptions.txt if you have customised it. KeywordsDump.dat from Trainz root folder.
Page 44 In a large installation it may be better to mirror these. Note the 'Trash' folder contains a copy of assets that CM could not resolve during validation. The originals still exist elsewhere in TAD, or from wherever you downloaded. You can delete these if you are not using them for fault analysis.
I. Don't delete assets.tdx and assets.bku files to rebuild database For those of you transitioning from legacy Trainz versions to TS2009 and TS2010 you may have employed the technique of deleting assets.tdx and assets.bku to force TRS2006 or TC3 to rebuild the database, unless of course you had installed that excellent Steve Forget utility called 'TADMON'. In TS2009 and TS2010 you do not need TADMON. A TS2010 utility called TADDAEMON performs similar functions. TS2009 has a similar function. Nor do you delete the assets files. While the assets.tdx and assets.bku files will be restored and rebuild you will lose your password and User ID. In any case, database repair is now automated and should not require your intervention. You may notice that repair seems to run more often though.
j. Blinking video and audio interruptions A momentary blinking of video with accompanying audio drop out or distortion occurs sometimes. The blinking lasts less than a second and repeats randomly. If using multiple monitors the mouse focus moves away from your work and moves to the primary display. It is more noticeable during downloading assets and particularly when Commit occurs. It does not appear to cause any corruptions on its own, but has the potential for the user to induce an error if in the middle of a repair or edit. This is extremely annoying. No workarounds. Looks like something Auran will have to fix.
k. Feint text in some Main Menu and Main Menu Options panels This is more likely to happen in DirectX. Go to Launcher Options Advanced Options Miscellaneous. De-select 'Vertex Offset'> Please subscribe to the Trainz Community News. It shows us that you find the magazine worthwhile and it encourages to strive even harder.
Trainz Community News
Adapting ARN and MFX Features for Multiple Product Queues by Dale W Pattee (bsnteng) BSnT Services, Inc.
his article is to explain the changes and modifications that I have made to two of the TrainzProRoutes, Wulf_9's creations. These two creations are his ARN & MFX libraries. The ARN is his Automatic Random Numbering system for railcars and the MFX is his Multi Effects library for adding smoke and sound to traincars. Both of these libraries come with sample, local config and script files. Although he did send me the source for his earlier MFX library so that I could add a new function to it and update the version number, it's the changes that I have made to the local config and script files that I'm going to cover here.
The background for making the changes to the local MFX script file is that it did not support multiple product queues and the MFX library defaults loaded traincars in subsequent Driver sessions to black and rumble. Not good for a load of lime. While the second problem is an annoyance, the first has more impact on the performance of a train consist in the simulator. Real railroads use a form called a wheel report to list the traincars in a consist with the traincar's tare weight and loaded tonnage as well as the total of the two. The purpose of this tonnage list is so the appropriate front end horsepower can be assigned for the route grade and other conditions. The first problem is a result of the fact that Auran's TS04 API does not include a method for finding out what product is in a vehicle's product queue after it's loaded if there is more than one product queue. The second problem is a result of not saving the product's information between one Driver session to another. The solution to both of these problems turned out to be quite simple actually ! Since the loaded product is known
Multiple queue loading
Multiple queue unloading
Trainz Community News at the time of loading and is part of the industry's product report, all I had to do was create a global string variable to copy the BeginLoad() function's product kuid to and then use it in the BeginUnload() function. This replaced the traincar's single product queue search in the BeginUnload() function. These functions are in the traincar's local MFX script file. The only other thing that I had to do was to create a new global boolean variable called IsLoaded. I set this when a traincar is loaded and reset it when it is unloaded. The Idea is to let the traincar's local script file know, in other subsequent Driver sessions, that it is not empty and that it's BeginUnload() function will be processed. The next order of business was to save these two variables, the product kuid string variable and the IsLoaded boolean variable while in the current Driver session so that they could be copied back in subsequent Driver sessions. I did this by creating two soup (database) variables and use Soup GetProperties() to save the two database variables and SetProperties() to restore the script's global variables for processing in subsequent Driver sessions. The purpose of making the changes to Wulf_9's ARN local script file to convert from Automatic Random Numbering to Assigned Running Numbers was to allow the user to keep track of traincar numbers and assign them using the Trains tab Edit Properties panel. All I did was write an initialization function, Initialize_Numbers(), to see if the traincar already has a running number, if it does, this function leaves it alone. If not, is gets a number from the config file that, right now, is
Page 46 all zeros. It then sets a global boolean variable named 'done'. The init() function, which is run when Trainz first starts up or as traincars are added to a layout (when it compiles everything), then runs a second function NumMonitor() which, if 'done' is set, does nothing but if 'done' is not set it checks every three seconds to see if you, the user, have used the Trainz/Edit Properties panel to enter a running number. After that the number is fixed for that traincar and it's three second cycle is terminated. The Initialize_Numbers() and NumMonitor() functions use the Trainz API function GetRunningNumber() to see if the traincar has an existing number and Wulf's library sets the traincar number. These changes, and code for Wulf_9's ARG, Automatic Running Gear, library are in the script file in the Developer's kit as well. I use this for the animated airbrake air hoses. Rather than show snippets of script code here, showing these changes follow this link to the TPR site to get my version of the MFX library and the Developer's Kit containing config and script file examples. There is also a README file included in the Developer's kit that explains this and a lot more for the user. www.trainzproroutes.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=6969 Word of Warning: The library and Developer's kit have only been tested and verified on TS04/06. I've tried to create a Version 1.09 that uses the extensions container instead of a string-table but I've not been able to get it to work without errors.
More information about scripting can be found on the TrainzOnline Wiki: http://online.ts2009.com/mediaWiki/index.php5/Scripting
Trainz Community News
Page 47 Is there some reason for using the current format? Perhaps you should run a poll and see what your readers think.
Edited by John King
Peter <narrowgauge> Editor’s comment:
Kudos on your May issue, what a great job. Below are some suggestions that I had in mine. Please don't take this as criticism, but only as suggestions to aid in readability. 1. Have an alphabetize supplement for Three Letter Acronyms (TLA) and 4 Letter Acronyms. You do in a lot of cases do spell them out but it would be nice to have one centralized source. 2. In the publication itself, which is in PDF format, use the Adobe book mark feature for the table of contents. This would aid in navagating the document. 3. Have again a supplement, as an index monthly of TOC of previous issues.
It was just something running through my mind and something I haven’t worried about since. The publishing industry uses different formats for newspapers, books and magazines because perceived audiences have different attention levels. We’ll probably stay with this current format because it saves space. Oddly, a two column format can hold much more material per page than a single column. We will consider going to A4 because it really is a universal standard. With the current American Quarto format people can still print It out on A4, but there’s a lot of waste paper at the top and bottom. Thanks for writing Peter.
These suggestions most likely add to your already work load, but I think they would be useful. Again thanks for all the work you have done. I sure hope you all don't "burn out". Bill Editor’s comment: 1. I’ve run out of time this month, but future issues will come with an Acronym Sheet that people can print out and keep handy. 2. I don’t use Adobe. I just can’t afford it. It’s a great idea, but the best I can offer is to hyperlink the Table of Contents. I did that last month, but quite a few copies were downloaded before I did it. 3. Great idea. I hoped to do it this month, but also ran out of time. I’ll do it next month and add all back issues.
As mentioned in the Editorial on page 2, the July issue of the Trainz Community news may be a little smaller. This is mainly due to the TCF team’s workload and responsibilities leading up to the September opening of the Trainz Community web site. Two items that will definitelybe appearing next month will be: Joe Folco’s popular Cumberland to Connellsville Route and: Josh E Harvey’s tutorial on texturing a locomotive.
Thanks Bill John First thing first, I like your publication and hope it continues. I applaud your dedication. I noticed your comment about changing to a three column format, please do not do this. Two column format is bad enough and I would plead with you to go to the normal single column format. Two column format is visually tiring and inefficient, if it was better, then books would be formatted the same way.
See you Next month!
Trainz Community News
Prototype Freight Operations in Trainz by David A. Petersen
perations in railroading can be described as those activities that are directly related to the delivery of people and goods. This article will be devoted to explaining the components, details, nuances, overall concepts, little know facts, and an occasional opinion related to the delivery of goods, otherwise known as Freight Operations. Freight Operations includes interface with industries, making up trains, getting them across the railroad and getting the cars to their final destinations. It includes the design of yards and mainline track and specifying motive power and rolling stock Some of the topics I will address in the next few months will be Railroads as Common Carriers, Shippers and Loading, Yards, Make-up and Movement of Trains, Delivery and Special Handling. From time to time, I will also discuss a specific industry, its shipping/receiving requirements and how they will affect the operations of a railroad. Railroads are unique in that they usually have two customers involved in every transaction - the shipper or Consignor and the receiver or Consignee. Occasionally there are times when one company will be both shipper and receiver. Business for the railroad begins when the shipper contacts the railroad freight agent requesting an empty car to ship a product to a customer. From this conversation two documents are drawn up. The first is a Bill of Lading which is supplied by the railroad and filled out by the shipper to indicate the railway's acceptance of a consignment of goods for delivery to a specified customer. The second document is the Way Bill which details the movements of the shipment. This is the document that drives all of operations.
The Way Bill Way Bills exist as several types: a memo waybill which does not include any shipping charges, a revenue waybill which includes shipping and other charges and special handling waybills such as livestock waybills which include feeding/watering or other special instructions. A Waybill is made for each car used to make the shipment. Each waybill contains at least the following information. ŸDate of Order - date the Bill of Lading and Way Bill are created ŸShipper's Name - name of industry making the shipment
ŸPoint of Origin - town, track (and spot if needed) where empty car will be placed, or if shipper is using a private car stored on their property, the location where the loaded car is to be picked up. ŸConsignee's Name - name of industry where car is to be delivered ŸDestination - town, track (and spot) to where car will be delivered ŸConsignment Load Description - description of commodity that the car contains ŸCartype Required - American Association of Railroads (AAR) car type ie: box, tank, flat, etc ŸCar Routing - shipper may have a preferred route for the movement of his freight beyond the reaches of the originating railroad. Reasons may vary. They may have an agreement with a specific railroad for movements in a specific area. They may prefer one railroad over another due to a railroads reputation for on-time delivery or better handling, or one of the Directors of the desired railroad is a cousin to the shipper's brother-in-law. If the shipper has no preferences, this information will be filled in by the traffic department based on interchange agreements the railroad may have with other railroads. Typically, the originating railroad will try to carry the car as far as possible on it's trackage. ŸCar Registration Marks and Number - railroad abbreviation and car number as found on the side or ends of the freight car. ŸDate Loaded ŸCar Rates and Charges - a statement of the delivery charges and other costs such as demurrage or special handling charges such a weighing. Once the WayBill has been generated, it goes to the traffic department to have a specific car assigned to it and to complete the routing information. Here the car may be assigned to a specific train. This would happen if the car required specific handling: Ÿ perishable goods would be put on a through freight also know as a hot shot, fast freight, time-freight or symbol freight. Continued on page 52
Trainz Community News
way bill scans obtained from http://www.greenbayroute.com - Andy Laurent Collection.
Trainz Community News
타 livestock train 타any other special
train the Traffic department may
create. It must be kept in mind that no two railroads did everything the same. If the XY&Z railroad did it one way, the management of the AB&C railroad may think they can improve by doing things a bit differently, and so it was and still is today. Also, things change over time. Railroads are operated much differently in some respects today than 50 years ago. And 50 years before that they were different still. So, if you are interested in accurately simulating a particular railroad's operations, you need to do some research into the era and the road. My favorite era is the early 1900's. Motored vehicles such as trucks were not readily available and most all freight transportation was by rail. This included all express and LCL (less than carload) shipments. Including these aspects of operations makes things a little more complicated and for me, more fun to figure out and make happen.
How waybills define freight operations Freight operations consist of moving the freight cars in an orderly and efficiently manner to their destinations. This also involves returning the empty car so it can be used again. Once waybills are filled out and cars have been assigned, those cars need to be found on the railroad and delivered to the shipper. After a period of time for loading, usually no less than 4 hours, mostly 1 - 3 days,
Huron Central Yard
Page 50 occasionally 2 - 3 months, the car needs to be picked up and put into a train that will move it towards its destination. A large percentage of prototype traffic is destined for a location that is on a foreign road. This means the car needs to be taken as close to the destination as possible on the home road and then it will be transferred to another railroad where it will continue its journey. There may be instances where 4 or more railroads are required to move the car to its destination. This transfer process is called an interchange. See the NYC Waybill illustration on the previous page. On this waybill, the car is picked up at Pierson Hollowell Co at NYC station number 5172 which is Lawrenceburg Indiana. From there the NYC takes it to Benton Harbor, where it is interchanged with the C&O. The C&O then takes it to Kewaunee where it is interchanged with the KGB&W who then pass it to the AH&W for delivery to Algoma Plywood and Veneer Co. At each interchange point, the receiving railroad stamps the waybill with the date. Along the way, depending on the railroad and the era, the car may be switch in several yards from train to train. Some of these switching operations can take 24 hours or more, depending on the yard and how efficiently it is operated. So modeling true prototype operations can require multiple days of operations. Multi-day operations and the switching process will be discussed in future articles. Continued on page 54
Trainz Community News
way bill scans obtained from http://www.greenbayroute.com - Andy Laurent Collection.
Trainz Community News Operations in Trainz When creating an operating session in Trainz, the only waybill information that is essential for display is the car identification and its current destination. With this data accessible somewhere on the screen, meaningful freight operations can be achieved. To set up an operations system, you need to know how many empty cars each industry will need per day, week or month and the destination for each. In the past, real world industries would stockpile their resources to make sure they are not at the mercy of common carrier railroads to meet their just-in-time needs. That has changed somewhat today with unit trains that supply some industries. However, the bulk of freight still moves in single or small number of car lots that do not get unit train treatment. Unfortunately, Trainz Waybill system does not come close to simulating the prototype use and functioning of waybills. In operating a railroad, you don't really care about the production and comsumption rates of your industries that you are forced to mess with in Trainz. The Trainz Waybill system, in true computer game fashion, forces you to compete against the clock to get commodities picked up and delivered in a race against the clock. Since this is not what Prototype operation is about, I do not use the built-in waybill system. I do use an interactive industry or two, but only for the animation of the loading/unloading process. There are some Waybill systems that are available for model railroads that can be applied to Trainz. Some more successfully than others. It takes a lot of coordination between the two systems. When a
Page 52 session is saved, the results have to be transferred to the other system. This can be more work than many want to put into modeling operations. I use a system I have developed that assigns a Waybill with a series of destinations to each freight car on the route. So, when I begin a session, a car in the yard may be assigned as a load to an industry. Once it is delivered there, its next destination may be an interchange track or an eastbound freight as an empty. When a train enters my route via a portal, every freight car is automatically assigned a series of destinations. This allows me to sort the cars in the yard as needed and to make up trains that will have a specific purpose. Those trains can then be run either under AI control or with me at the throttle. This is the essence of Prototype operations. The size of your railroad can be limited by trying to model operations. It is difficult to be switching more than one yard at a time. AI works for running the trains, but doing meaningful switching work using AI is outside the scope of this system at this time. I prefer to model a portion of a busy railroad where I can do some switching and some way freight operations and have all the through freights and passenger trains and possible servicing the interchange tracks run under AI. My waybill system, CMTM System, - stands for Car Movement and Train Management. From time to time I will be writing an article specific to that system. And I may mention it from time to time in this series of articles, but the primary focus of this series will be to explain prototype operations and how to apply them to your Trainz railroad. Switching at the Yard Throat
Trainz Community News
An Easy Way to View Forum Posts
he Trainz Forum can be a bit overwhelming if you just log in and start wading through the 33 forums and the countless number of threads they contain.
If you only patronise a couple of forums such as General Trainz, Screenshots and Trainz Community, you may be missing out on a wealth of information because it’s appearing in the forums you don’t visit. By using a few features, you can quickly scan all threads in all forums that have been posted or updated that day. Instead of being faced with hundreds of posts, you’ll be presented with a few dozen which you can scan in a matter of minutes. I’ll repeat it again - That’s every new post in every forum. All 33 of them. Here’s how easy it is:
Find your way to the Trainz Forum:
Log In Don’t forget that the forum will remember your username password if you click this box:
You will be presented with a list consisting of threads containing new posts (bold) and a list of threads where no new posts have been added since your last visit (medium), or since you marked the forums read. It’s rare to get more than four or five pages of new posts.
Click the Quick Links menu item near the top right hand side.
Click Today’s Posts on the drop-down list.
Trainz Community News
This closeup shows that there have only been four new posts (bold) since I last visited the forum:
This is what Today’s Posts will look like once you’ve clicked Mark Forums Read.
Give it a try and see if it helps you. There are other things you can do, but I’ve found this one to be the most reliable.
Once you’ve read all the new posts (bold) and maybe scanned the old posts for safety, select Mark Forums Read from the drop-down box on the Quick Links menu.
Also have a look at Backyard’s sticky post in the Trainz Community forum. you may find his suggestions suit you better: http://forums.auran.com/trainz/showthread.php?t=21513
More Tips: If you’re asking a question in a new thread, please use the question mark. (?) This lets other forum users know it’s a question and not a comment. Please use the subject line to describe your question or comment. Just asking Help or Read this is not only rude, you’re likely to be totally avoided by seasoned forum users. I never read threads that say Help, What’s this, Why, or Please read. In fact I never read any threads unless the subject is descriptive. I’m not alone!
Trainz Community News
Software of the Month
Page 55 This is a segment from the forum And this is my colour match
ixie is a tiny little program (12kb) that allows you to see the Hex, Html, RGB, CMYK and HSV values of whatever happens to be under the tip of your cursor.
When you start Pixie, the little box above, which is shown full size, will stay wherever you place it on the screen. The area shown in red will change colour as you move your cursor around any where on the screen. I do mean anywhere! If you have an image of a Union Pacific locomotive and you want to match the colour to use elsewhere, Pixie will accurately identify the colour for you. It’s the same as an eyedropper tool, but not every program has one of those. I use Pixie for dozens of reasons. If I’m visiting the Trainz Forums for example, and I want to know what colour is used in the theme, Pixie will show me:
Pixie is available from Nattyware. It’s perfectly safe, super fast and uses about 12kb of memory. I use it about 20 times a day. http://www.nattyware.com/pixie.php
Other Options There are several free colour finders available on the Internet and one called PointAndSee has several features you may find handy. PointAndSee uses a Graphic User Interface (GUI) so it may appeal to people who find Pixie a little bland. The tradeoff is size however. PointAnd See is a couple of megabytes compared to Pixie’s 12kb.
Pixie tells me the RGB colour I want is 226,235,245. Most word processing, paint draw and web design programs have a colour picker, so all I have to do is open it and select the colour:
The finder on the top left is a small magnifier. I actually found it useless because it just shows a smudgy 2x view of what’s under the cursor. If it actually showed individual pixels, I could be inclined to usePointAndSee myself. If you’re interested, but still not happy, just do an Internet search for colour finder. Most are free. PointAndSee is available here: http://www.pointandsee.co.uk/
Trainz Community News What the Abbreviations Mean CCGTC - Content Creation Guide for Trainz Classics DLS - The Trainz Download Starion TARM - Trainz Asset Repair Managment. This project covers the following: MADE - Missing Assets Directory and Exchange. A list of missing assets that will form the basis for finding Missing Assets. RUMMAGE - is what you do when looking for something you have lost. In this case Missing Assets. TARG - Trainz Asset Repair Guide. The ABC of Trainz repair. TARL - Trainz Asset Repair Library. A repository for repaired config files. TrainzAuthor - Lists all authors that have TS2010 SP1 built-in assets, or that are faulty, obsolete, out of date, have warnings or missing assets.
Screenshot of the Week Screenshot of the week is a little competition held in the Screenshots section of the Trainz Forums. Each week a theme is selected and forum members are invited to submit a screenshot appropriate to that theme. People are not asked to create a route or diorama, but merely enter any of their screenshots that suit tthe theme. Any member can vote for first and second place and naturally, the screenshot with the highest number of votes at the end. No prizes are awarded, We’ll only be publishing the winning screenshot, but as there is often a draw, there may be more than four or five winners each month. However, due to to minor problems
Page 56 TRD - Trainz Resources Directory web site. http://www.trainzresources.com Wiki - The Trainz Wiki web site http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Trainz
A full list of Abbreviations (Acronyms) will appear next month . Print it out and keep it handy.Then you’ll always know what all the jargon is about.
duringa change of convener, we can only present one weekly winner for May. The competition originally run by Michael Evans, is now being run by Kris (PereMarquette1225fan) in Michael’s absence.
Week Ending may 24, 2010 The Screenshot of the Week theme for May 24, 2010 was branch lines. Any type of branch line related stuff was accepted. The winning image came from WCL. You can view the full-size image by clicking this link: http://forums.auran.com/trainz/showpost.php?p=61503 0&postcount=15