General questions & Suggestions


New member

*Sorry for long text, Skip to questions if you'd like!*

Recently got bitten by the sim bug again, and this time it wasn't DCS and flying Mirage's and Warthogs. The old man threw me back into the MRR loop recently, and due to my housing arrangements, I can only do a small HO Switching module.

So.... I decided to fire up TS12 since first time in probably 4 years. Past week I been relearning the editor and everything, looking at all the new routes (mostly all are T:ANE :( sadly).

But I have to say the DETAIL on some routes now is AMAZING. Sure we had nice routes back 6 yrs ago. But I was looking at videos of the Penn and Berwind by Jointed Rail and saw the videos of it being made on YouTube. My god. T:ANE looks beautiful, and his level of precision and fine art was blowing me away. I loaded up the small layout I was building to compare. Then I deleted over half of my scenery. Replicate how he did, and now I am almost speechless in the older engine of TS12 even.

The video if curious.

The detail and fine art of placing the 3D models, brings me back to my ArmA 2 / 3 days of Mission editing. I loved to script in ARMA LUA and make life like with its 3D editor. I now have fallen into the trap of Trainz building.

**Warning: mini rant:**
I have to say one thing before i go on. **THIS IS NOT 2004 ANYMORE**! The First Class Ticket needs to be a thing of the past!! Downloading 2 kbp/s in 2018. is robbery. Server and Bandwidth cost are much lower these days than back in 2004 when the system made sense. Now days, this is just nickle and dime your customers. After a week of only having the assets I had, and the ones of JR or other sites where I could get the asset + dependcy all in one place, without having to use DLS. Last night I was fully ready to bite the bullet on a FCT despite me 1000000% disagreeing with its business practice still. To log in and find in my account, I had a 3 day FCT and a 30 Day FCT waiting for me. No clue where they came from, promo, 6 years ago, no clue. Activated it, and spent last night just downloading every thing I could for my Era/Liking. It would of taken a WEEK without a FCT to get those 2GBs. This is 2018. I cry a FCT is still a thing in this year. **END RANT**

So now I have a FCT. My question(S) to you all is...

- What is the most detailed route that has blown you away. Looking for some what new routes (not older than TS12) and have a level of standard in its detail and scenery. Like those found in JR? Not looking for Steam Era either. I like to model Norfolk Southern, CSX, Conrail, in the Northern VA area, and Southern MD/Cumberland/Sand Patch. Looking for freeware, not into paying for payware on such a old build. When TR19 comes, then I will change my mind. Quite frankly, the DLS is still a 2000~ level system, and is just garbage to view and find new exciting routes. The preview image 99% is crap, and looks nothing like the route. No further pics to view, no real detailed descriptions, and most of the time are people just uploading routes that look like a 5 year old made it during after lunch recess.

- I been running into a few issues of getting routes off Jointed Rail (freeware) and 99.99% is complete, minus a few missing industries and paint textures.(is their Content pack just for locos and rolling stock, or are some key route assets in the payware too?) I have all that is needed on the DLS and their site. Yet still I had to go in and manually replace all the dotted line track in 'Whitehorse Route'. I had no missing dependency, yet the track would not show. Last night was a learning experience of Delete and Add. Honestly quite easy when you get the hang of it, and also a teaching process for me for future track laying. I google'd how to fix this, with no real results of end product that worked for me. Is there a for sure way to fix that issue for net time?

- AI. I still struggle a bit understanding the AI in Trainz. At times it seems brain dead simple, and at other times it seems very complex with its ordering and trackmarkers, way track was laid, etc etc. I am looking for a ELI5 answer (explain like im five). I'd like to be able to start my train from the yard, tell AI to just drive the route on the main, hit a portal, go in, wait X minutes, and shoot back out at the start. I messed with a few commands, but none seem to be doing what I want. I want mainlines to run (unit coal and hot shots) and then myself play switching. Autopilot command? How do I get them to throw the junctions without me having to micro manage it? Example. A meet is coming. Train A pulls into passing track, halt at signal. Train B zips on main. How can I tell train A when he on the siding, to close his switch behind him, and open in font of him, and reclose after his EOT has gone by? **Sorry for complex / long question on this one*

- Module Layouts. I like to make layouts that are basically huge HO layouts in modules. I took some of Jointed Rails freebie ones, and merged them to create a 'U' sized layout of Coal module, Grain module, then a sea side switching module, all linked with a mainline, that will run around a big loop if I expand or for now Portals. Any good 'Module' layouts on DLS that I can add too? I have Grain and Coal covered.

- VRE & MARC. I am struggling to find proper good VRE & MARC assets. I found a loco on DLS, but Bi Level cars are no where to be found, anywhere on the net it seems.

- This Connly girl. What happened to all her assets and why? Seemed her assets were loved, then they disappeared and seems now its 'frown upon' to link her old assets.

- Norfolk Southern BP-4 #999, I cannot get this to show in-game. I have all the assets needed, but its red in-game with zero warning in Content Manager. At a lost for words on this one.

- Worth it to get T:ANE? Or hold for T19 in few months? Some of the T:ANE ONLY routes are really making me drool. Is there big improvements to QOL in T:ANE over 12? The Pick List looks to be the top improvement for me for route makers. Then whats the big QOL over T:ANE in T19?

- Also i played in DCC mode for so long, because I always thought Cab was meh in Trainz. But man, do I take that back. it was cool at first few days just getting them to run on my complex tracks and switching, but then when I started to build mountains and grades DCC was just stupid. Cab makes them grind their gears and really struggle. Quite honestly, I wasn't expecting the physics model and enginefiles to play like they do. Its pretty realistic at times depending on train length and grade and headend power. Was quite impressed. Not a question, more just an observation.

- Added on question. How should i be saving my route. Should I be playing trains down and quick drive, because I do like to edit my mistakes quickly. Or should I be saving them on a Session save, etc etc. Or is it just fine to plop em down and just save and play? Or should I be having none down and everytime I press quick play place down a consist. Is it also okay to leave cars on the route and save, or do these start hammering performance and map load times the more that is down? EX: Cars in industry tracks. I don't really do 'sessions'. I just load the game, edit route, make my edits/new additions, when feel done, quick drive, drive a bit, notice a flaw or area want to expand, and esc and back to edit. Rinse and repeat.

I 100000% apologize for the face full of text. I wanted to make this all at once, after few days of tinkering and brain storming and self research, before I finally came here and to the Trainz forum for answers on things I just cannot get/figure out.

Big thanks and cheers!

*note, xposted from Reddit as well*
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Well... If you can still hold on with Trainz 12, I would suggest you to keep waiting until TRS19 is released, as the graphics in comparison with other Trein products are stunning.
Whew ... I just dozed off in the middle of reading all those multitude of questions :sleep:

TS12 is nice ... T:ANE is better (but requires a 64bit PC)

You need one on one, real time IM, to get all your answers, I could try to help you out ... look me up on Skype
Free Skype UN: cascaderailroad
If there is a sale and you can get TANE at a good price, it wouldn't be a bad idea. It would be a sort of stepping stone to when you do go for 2019. You can sewe what content can be brought over without errors and what may need to be tinkered with. for instance, any routes you have in TS12 that you would want to bring forward will need to have all the speedtrees replaced as TANE necessitated new speed trees.
I'm probably only able to answer one or two of your questions, but in terms of the FCT this still exists as the costs of running the Download Station have to be met from somewhere and sales of games isn't likely to be enough (bearing in mind development/staff costs have to come from somewhere as well).

In terms of the connly girl, I'm guessing you're talking about connxy. If so, I believe there was some issue involving her content elsewhere that means it all got removed (but that's only from my very limited knowledge).

As for the Norfolk Southern BP-4 you mention it sounds like it may be faulty. In Content Manager it's usually possible to right-click an asset like this and use View Errors and Warnings (or in older versions View Errors) which will bring up a list of what is wrong with it.

In terms of the saving, I usually don't bother with Quick Drive as from experience it doesn't always keep the session commands given to the trains. It's usually better to save a session along with the route (once you've created it it's possible to overwrite it with updated versions) then exit Surveyor to play that session.

Haha, thanks guys for the replies. Yeah I do apologize for the face of text, but it's something you either write short try to summarize, or just write it out whats in the head, I choose the later and maybe a mistake :p

T:ANE is $40 for everything atm, but then I did some more looking into the tech of TR19, and yeah... that Nvidia Turf and other things that can make grass 10000% easier... Yeah, I'll wait for Early Access to finish and pick that up. I don't support Early Access titles, and sad to see this Dev now is using the excuse of 'Early Access' as well.

My PC is more than enough for anything this dev pulls.

6700k @ 4.7 Ghz
860 EVO SSDs
SLi GTX 970s

The only slow/terrible part is the old software and its janky code and memory and being 32 bit. (for TS12 that is).

EDIT: Posted same time as Shane, Thanks for the answers Shane! Yes that was the name i was thinking.

I also just had a scare of I guess last night in my 3am hours of fixing track, I saved to a session and not route. Woke up today to Edit Route and find no trees or objects! Load up all my saves and nothing. Load up the latest saved session and there they are! Merged the Session layer to Route layer and hopefully that fix. Also named it "DONT BUILD HERE RUN TRAINS ONLY IDIOT" for a session so I don't end up editing track. I kinda wish that whole system would be changed, as in my Google search for an answer came up with this is a very common problem/confusing a lot of people. Who will work for hours, forget to not save or save to the wrong thing and bam, its all gone. Mini panic attack was had today...
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This Connly girl.
Actually it's connyxy. There was I seem to remember a explanation on her website as to why she was giving up Trainz, think it was more a case of abuse of her copyright, nothing she did, best leave it at that.
Just a TIP to avoid losing your hard work. Place all your track and assets in your route first (e.g. Edit Route). Then when your route is complete, create a Session and name it. From that moment on 'Edit the named Session' and install your drivers, consists and rules. When you save, save the session and route. Nothing gets lost.