Helpful Tips & Tricks for Tainz Users!


Narrow Gauge Enthusiast
Hey there! I have recently started a text file where I've been making a record of any tips and tricks related to the use of Trainz software to help me remember them in future, and that got me thinking. I've noticed that some users have created, learned, or been told useful tips or tricks that can be very helpful, but there doesn't seem to be a single place where Trainz users can easily share that information with other members of the community. So, in the interest of creating such a place, I figured I'd create this thread as a place where we can all share our knowledge of how to get the most out of Trainz, whether it be content creation, route building, session programming, third-party tools, etc. I'm going to start off with some of my own knowledge, but I also want other people to feel free to chip in and share their own knowledge so we can turn this into a repository for as much of our collective knowledge as possible. Hopefully, we may even be able to get this thread stickied for easy access in future (if someone can help me learn how to do that, please PM me - or feel free to initiate the process yourself!).

That said, here are the tips and tricks that I have collected so far:

  • A mouse with adjustable DPI is a tool that can make life easier when you need to place objects very precisely. Switching to a very low DPI (e.g., 1,000) allows you to have much more precise control when moving or rotating objects in surveyor, making it easier to get the exact placement you need/want. Having a mouse with a DPI button or a linked app that can change the DPI is required to make the process easily usable, otherwise it's probably not worth it.
  • The plateau tool can be very useful for fixing parts of your mountains with jagged dips or rises. Just select a good height off of nearby terrain, then drag the selection over the affected area to smooth it out. This is also good anywhere you need to smooth out an abrupt or jagged part of the terrain on your route.
  • Another way of smoothing rough patches (or hillsides) is to lay down a series of splines over the area that needs work, and then use the 'fill spline' tool in the advanced tools section to bring the terrain up/down to match the spline. Using the 'fix vertex height' tool can also help you to better control the end results you get with this method.
  • If a dependency is missing from one of your assets and needs to be removed or replaced with a different one, use the Content Manager to open the asset's config file in a text editor. This will allow you to find the KUID for the missing item, and you can then delete or replace it without needing to save a new version of the route or session as part of your own content. I prefer to use Notepad++, as it has a search function that allows me to quickly and easily enter the KUID for the missing dependency and find it's location in the config file for editing.
  • KUID Finder (an online website) can help you locate missing assets for your downloaded content. Really, this site is a HUGELY beneficial tool - use it.
  • Certain bridges may not allow you to attach them directly to modern procedural track when you go to place them - I believe this is mostly an issue with older assets. However, many of these bridges can be placed without attaching them to pre-existing track, and then you can drag the end of your procedural track onto the connection point for the bridge and it will auto-attach to it.
  • Wayback Machine (an online website archive) can help you gain access to freeware content from third-party Trainz websites that are no longer active and are thus no longer available to access through normal methods.
Thanks Vince, I posted some similar stuff years ago which over time gets lost on the Forum. Hopefully this thread might gather interest from Forum users, not only to pin their tips, but to also ask for tips. Well done Vince, great idea.
@fierogt, I just used 1,000 because it's the default lowest setting on my mouse - I could change it, but I just haven't had a need to lower it further yet. :hehe:

Bob, thanks for the support! I'm also hopeful that this thread can hopefully become just such a place!
Correction on the bridges:

It's not just Pro-Track that bridges can't connect to by dragging the bridge to the track. This has to do with how the bridges are created. A bridge is considered a different entity and is actually related to tunnels by default. Connecting the track to the bridge works with these but not the other way around. Some bridges, however, such as the bridges created by Colorado71 are created as track. By creating them as track, they can be connected either way. The caveat with these bridges is they will bend and twist instead of remaining straight as they should in most cases. As you know, there are advantages to this caveat because there are places where we want to curve the bridge rather than have it as a straight piece. This is the same behavior with road bridges because roads and road bridges because roads are considered tracks and the road bridges are treated the same as track tunnels and bridges.

The only difference between tracks and bridges in TS12 SP1 and up is this tag in the config.txt

istrack or isroad. These are binary options meaning a 1 or 0 value follows. isroad 0, means the spline is not a road, and will actually need an istrack 1 to function properly.

This is also true of power lines, grass splines, and fences.
Thank you for the clarification, John. I was not aware of the specifics, as I have never delved very deeply into the coding and scripting parts of Trainz, so I was only aware of how to use them rather than why they acted as they did.
While using my prefered editor notepad++ I found no highlighter for .gs.
For now I use the C++ highlightung language.
First it was necessary to set the language for every .gs fuile separatly. But then I found a way to add .gs to the notepad++ preferences:
Settings => Style Configurator ...
Chose Language C++ and then ad "gs" (without period) to User ext.:
After restarting the editor the .gs files will highlighted.
Hope its helpfull to someone.