My experience upgrading my existing T:ANE route to TRS19 standards

I have started the conversion process for my Cattaraugus Creek & Lake Erie routes and am finding them even more difficult then the Progressive was to do.

The difference is that in the Progressive route the terrain was more or less flat. In the Cattaraugus Creek & Lake Erie routes the terrain is rolling and more like you would find in the real world. This is causing me substantial headaches mainly due to the interaction between the 3D PBR ground textures and road splines and road junctions. These are the ones I use in most of my routes:

<kuid2:453099:1055:4> Road 2 Lane WDLine
<kuid:453099:100095> Road T-Junction 90 Degrees (WL) +DA +G.

The road splines and junctions that worked well in a 2D texture world don't work so well in a 3D texture world. I find a lot of the road splines and junctions have the 3D PBR grounds texture popping up in them as shown in this screenshot:


The issue seems to be that the existing roads and road junctions I am using are not high enough in cross section to work well with these 3D PBR ground textures on terrain that isn't absolutely flat. I am experimenting with different types of YARN compatible roads to see what works well. As an example I am testing <kuid2:480583:100020:2> EM YARN L2 DL1 +Sh, 55mph high traffic that handles the textures well but because of the higher cross section and no end caps doesn't look so hot when connected to the road junctions as seen in this screenshot:


It may be that we need all new roads and road junctions that are compatible with YARN and the new 3D PBR ground textures.

BTW, to a lesser degree I am also running into this same problem with rail track splines, even the new TRS19 track. The only solution to this for the tracks is to either to raise the vertexes or to fiddle with the texture or terrain until the track displays correctly.

If anyone has found roads and road junctions that work well with the new 3D PBR textures please let me know.

Looking pretty good, wish I was there yet. Be a while like 2000 hours before I finish it. I do another friend wants to help so I maybe under 2 years as love trains just like me. I have to fix what my 6 cats did. RJ Artim "Bob"
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Based on experiments this morning it looks like YARNish assets from both of these specific authors below seem to be able to deal with the TRS19 3D PBR ground textures issue I have mentioned in an adequate way. Unfortunately in my case, it will mean completely replacing my existing road network (items by Gawpo50), unless that author updates his items to deal with the TRS19 3D PBR height issues.

Notes: There may be others as well, but these are the two I have found this morning. Replacement of the road was done entirely by the Bulk Replacement utility in Surveyor. The intersection has to be replaced manually.




Before replacement screeshot with Gawpo50 assets


After replacement screenshot with streadway YARNish assets


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I was having that same problem with track on my route. I read on here somewhere that when that happens paint some 2D paint over the road, like dirt and it will make it right again. On my tracks I used a 2d ballast and all the grass and stuff was removed from the track area. That could however, be a lot of repainting depending on how much roadway you have.

Based on my own personal experience the painting method sometimes works, but often doesn't. It is also hard to control where the 2D paint goes at times which causes it own share of issues with other nearby 3D ground textures.

I am redoing my platform and it will be done in about 2 years. I also got me a guitar learning. Strange for and old guy ;) Bob
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After some experimentation I decided to make my own road and intersection YARNish variants to deal with the 3D PBR ground texture. I have uploaded the following to the DLS and they should be available for download in about 24 hours or so:

<kuid:439337:102417> SAP YARNish Asphalt 4 way Intersection L2 -4Si +4Sh, 09sp4
<kuid:439337:102412> SAP YARNish Asphalt T-Intersection L2 -3Si +3Sh
<kuid:439337:102403> SAP YARNish Asphalt Road L2 DL1 -Si +Sh 55MPH
<kuid:439337:102421> SAP YARNish Dirt Road L2 DL1 -Si +Sh 25MPH

Here is an example screenshot showing the road with the four way intersection over a 3D PBR ground texture with no adjustment of the road by me:


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Whooom, maybe I should talk to you more. You have the most set of routes and trains I have seen. Plus your a nice guy. Bob
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Bob --

The textures that I use. For use under the track I find I have to use the minimum scale setting. Otherwise I find the texture cover the rail surface. Even with some of the built-in textures the 3D effect is so pronounced that even at minimum scale setting the rail gets covered.

It is possible to paint the grass in like a texture,
by adjusting these dials and using the terrain up tool.

But agree with everything said, have to admit though seeing your own route after the upgrade is worth it :)

Another challenge to upgrading my routes has been the limited number of TRS19 procedural tracks available for use. These are the types I looked at:

<kuid2:661281:44083:11> TRS19 Track 1 Procedural - Seasonal
<kuid2:661281:44169:3> TRS19 Trk Jarrah 2 - Procedural - Seasonal
<kuid2:661281:44177:3> TRS19 Trk Jarrah 3 - Procedural - Seasonal
<kuid2:661281:44214:1> TRS19 Trk Jarrah 4 - Procedural - Seasonal
<kuid2:661281:44223:1> TRS19 Trk Jarrah 5 - Procedural - Seasonal
<kuid2:661281:44275:1> TRS19 Trk Jarrah 6 - Procedural - Seasonal
<kuid2:661281:44294:1> TRS19 Trk Jarrah 7 - Procedural - Seasonal
<kuid2:661281:44099:9> TRS19 Trk Jarrah Procedural - Seasonal
<kuid2:506034:575634:2> UA track wooden #6-R65-2000 brown
<kuid2:506034:575635:2> UA track wooden #7-R65-2000 gray
<kuid2:506034:582678:5> JR US track #1-132 (wide ballast)

Initially I chose and used <kuid2:661281:44099:9> TRS19 Trk Jarrah Procedural - Seasonal on my first upgrade (ie; the Progressive Route) but it appears, now that I have looked further into the issue of TRS19 available rail types, this is not a U.S. rail type, despite being listed as standard gauge in each of the config.txt files.

All of the TRS19 Trk Jarrah track types appear to use Bull Head rails based on a close look at the cross section of the rail in Surveyor. This type rail is only used in the UK based on the information I extracted on this subject below:


The following use the Flat Bottom Rail with rail spike with base plate used commonly in the U.S.

<kuid2:506034:575635:2> UA track wooden #7-R65-2000 gray
<kuid2:506034:535051:2> UA track concrete #4-R65-2000 no ballast
<kuid2:506034:957523:3> UA track concrete #1-R65-2000 gray
<kuid2:506034:535049:2> UA track concrete #2-R65-2000 brown
<kuid2:506034:575634:2> UA track wooden #6-R65-2000 brown
<kuid2:506034:535050:2> UA track concrete #3-R65-2000 brown dirt
<kuid2:506034:535052:2> UA track concrete #4-R65 rails only

<kuid2:506034:4357297:5> JR US track #3-132 (narrow ballast)
<kuid2:506034:578257:9> JR US track #1-132 (narrow ballast)
<kuid2:506034:582678:5> JR US track #1-132 (wide ballast)
<kuid2:506034:578260:11> JR US track #1-132 rust (narrow ballast)
<kuid2:506034:578523:7> JR US track #1-100 new (narrow ballast)
<kuid2:506034:4357296:5> JR US track #2-132 (narrow ballast)
<kuid2:506034:4357298:5> JR US track #4-132 (narrow ballast)

One advantage of the UA and JR tracks are that they come with separate build 4.6 ballast textures as follows:

<kuid2:506034:795625:2> UA track ballast brown
<kuid2:506034:795624:2> UA track ballast gray
<kuid2:506034:7880073:6> JR US track ballast

A pretty limited selection of modern era TRS19 standard gauge procedural track to choose from for U.S. routes!

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None of the JR or UA track you mention is procedural. JR have yet to produce procedural track and PBR ballast textures for the DLS.
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None of the JR or UA track you mention is procedural. JR have yet to produce procedural track and PBR ballast textures for the DLS.

My first step in trying to find a better track was to look at all the build 4.6 track items that came with TRS19 and compare their appearance to that of real U.S. track.

The list I came up with, shown above, is what I narrowed the track down to yesterday after several hours of going through the TRS19 built-in items. The next step, which I was planning to do today, was to test the track for procedural functionality as I wasn't sure if these TRS19 4.6 track items were procedural. Well I guess I don't have to do that now based on your report (and thanks for that, which saved me time!).

So basically at this point the only track available that is both build 4.6 and procedural is not U.S. standard gauge track at all right? I've looked at the DLS build 4.6 track items and also don't see anything that is modern either, unless I missed something?

Any recommendations or suggestions?

Unfortunately not at this stage. We'll just have to wait I suppose. Roads I can do but I'm not so sure about procedural track that looks good, is US in design and is frame rate friendly.
Unfortunately not at this stage. We'll just have to wait I suppose. Roads I can do but I'm not so sure about procedural track that looks good, is US in design and is frame rate friendly.

Actually, since procedural track is built on components, it might just take rail and fasteners only to make a variation of the TRS19 built-in procedural tracks. The ballast and ties would remain the same I would think. Of course their would be LOD requirements to meet for both the rail and the fastener. I might be wrong here though.....

Well I just upgraded my Cattaraugus Creek & Lake Erie 1950s - TRS19 route to fully TRS19 standards. This was second upgrade effort and my first medium to large size route that I upgraded and I have to tell you that it was a lot more work then I ever thought it would be. It some ways it might have just been simpler to create a new route from scratch.

Many of the issues were the same as for my effort with the Progressive route but greatly magnified due to the size of this route. One of the issues that took a great deal of time was upgrading all of the bridges to PBR texture standards along with the round house/turntable and the coal power generation industry. Admittedly doing this was not really required but I wanted the bridges and those two structures to look really good and match the PBR scenery. The learning curve for how to do this in PBR took some time. Why upgrade old structures? The new PBR based structure are superior to the old ones in that they handle light and shadows much more realistically and look much better texture wise.

Some lessons I learned with upgrading the old structures and bridges to PBR standards:

1. Parallax does not work well with structures. My recommendation is do not include the height map in the parameters file. It is the height map that provides the parallax effect.

2. Old texture atlases don't work all that well in a PBR environment. As an example I had an atlas image that had brick walls and windows on it, among other things. To make the window pane portion of the image transparent I could not use the or m.pbrmeteal materials. The material only works with glass and nothing else. If you have a texture that has anything other then glass on it then it will treat everything as if if were glass. In the end I had to use the legacy m.tbumptex for the walls since none of the new PBR materials allow for a portion of the image to be transparent. N3V really needs to implement a PBR material that handles texture that have areas that are transparent or semi-transparent in a manner similar to the old m.tbumptex. For best results with PBR structure textures consider having an individual texture for each element of the structure rather then one overall atlas texture. While not as efficient this will give you better control over how each element looks in PBR.

3. Night mode is more difficult to do in the PBR environment, mainly because of the transparency issues I noted above.

Other things:

1. Trying to lay down large amounts of TurfFx and Clutter is very time consuming. It took a while to come up with a uniform and efficient way to do this. I finally ended up doing the following as part of a multiple pass system:

a. In your first pass apply TurfFX grass centered on the track with a radius setting of 7-1/2 or 8 in height up mode in the topology tab. The 7-1/2 setting equates to a 100 meter diameter.

b. In your second pass use a radius setting of 2 centered on the track in height down mode to clear grass from the track and ballast.

c. Use a very short grass between adjacent tracks or where you need short grass. Here is what I used:


2. There are bugs with the TurfFx system in Trainz. As an example I created a long seed grass using their recommended settings and the next thing I knew it was on applied to the entire route without my having done it. I ended up having to delete that TurfFx layer to remove it. Another thing I experienced was that when I was applying TurfFx grass some existing TurfFx grass kept disappearing in Surveyor forcing me to have to re-lay it down once again. This seems to happen when you exit from an editing session and come back later to pick up where you left off. This got rather frustrating but I kept with it only because the TurfFx adds so much to the overall appearance of the route.

3. Expect to have to replace your old YARN road system with new YARNish roads. Some old YARN roads are not high enough to work correctly with the PBR parallax ground textures and you will see the texture poking up through the road. I ended up basically making my own YARNish variants in order to get this right and you can find these on the DLS as "MSGSapper" content. Same goes for parking lots as well.

4. Any surface that has transition angles over 30 degrees will see a "sliding effect" when PBR parallax ground textures are used on those angles.

5. Replacing old track, or T:ANE procedural track, with new PBR based TRS19 procedural track is going to require you to make adjustment almost everywhere the track is in order to make it look right. This is often due to interaction with the PBR parallax ground textures or height issues with the new track ballast bed.

To see how this all turned out just download my Cattaraugus Creek & Lake Erie 1950s - TRS19 route from the DLS. For details on this route see:

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Someone asked me not to long ago to post my experiences with upgrading my T:ANE routes to TRS19 standards. Now that I have completed upgrading my first T:ANE route, the Progressive Rail Jesse James Line, I thought I would take the time to let you all know what I experienced and the challenges I had to face. Because of all the new features in TRS19 this upgrade was not a minor one so much as it ended up being a complete overhaul of my old route.

Basically upgrading a route from T:ANE to TRS19 standards, which utilizes all the new features of TRS19, will involve the following major tasks:

1. Replace all the T:ANE procedural track with TRS19 procedural track.
2. Replacing all the old 2D ground textures with new 3D PBR ground textures.
3. Delete all the old scenery splines.
4. Add TurfFX effects.
5. Add Clutter effects.
6. Replace older structures and content items that don’t look good any more.
7. Cleanup glitches caused by the new features.

Here are some of the things I faced and experienced during this overhaul.

1. 2D and 3D ground textures don’t mix well. Because of this I ended up having to create from scratch well over 70 3D PBR Ground Textures in order to replace all of the 2D ground textures on my routes. BTW all these textures are now available for everyone’s use on the DLS.

2. 3D ground textures cause problem with road splines and track. I found that after replacing all the 2D ground textures with the new 3D PBR ground textures I had to go around and fix various roads and tracks where the PBR ground texture appeared to go over the spline instead of under it. The solution was to manually paint a 3D PBR ground texture over the spline which restored the road or track to the way it should look. Why this happens I am not sure, and it is kind of tedious to deal with.

3. Sharp edged terrain presents problem when applying the new 3D PBR ground textures. After applying the 3D PBR ground texture you will notice a “rolling effect” as you approach or move away from the sharp edge terrain. No real cure short of trying to adjust the edges as best you can – and that is not always possible. I expect this will be a real challenge for mountainous terrain routes such as my “Loops” route.

4. Track replacement when quickly and smoothly. I used the bulk replacement utility in surveyor to replace all the old T:ANE procedures track with the new TRS19 procedural track which looks better and has 3D ballast. The only downside is there is no matching 3D PBR ground texture for the ballast used in the “TRS19 Trk Jarrah Procedural – Seasonal” track and I was not able to successfully create a completely matching 3D PBR Ground Texture that could do it, and I am not sure why.

5. Learning about how to create PBR Textures from scratch and utilize TurfFX and Clutter effects presented me with a fairly steep learning curve compared to past Trainz versions. I have since passed on what I heave learned, tips and tutorials to help others in this forum.

6. Applying TurfFX and Clutter effects, while looking great, is tedious and a real pain at times as you are constrained to only applying it to a “selected area” rather than just being able to paint it, as you do with ground textures. The selected area is constrained to the grid direction and is hard to apply to curved areas that go against the direction of the grid. Bleed over of the effects beyond the selected area is often hard to control so the effects often end up where you don’t want them which forces you to have to come back and delete them. N3V really does need to make application more flexible and easier to apply – preferably in a way similar to paint and with better more selective and finer control.

7. Clutter and TurfFX effects allow you to delete scenery splines. As an example, I was able to completely eliminate all scenery splines, such as grass and weeds, as you really don’t need them anymore. This boosted performance and more then compensated for the application of TurfFX and Clutter effects based on my tests.

8. The old TRS2004, or earlier, animated and non-animated structures and content items don’t look good with the new 3D effects and you may need to replace some of them as they are beginning to show their age. N3V really does need to upgrade some of these items to bring them in line, appearance wise, with all the new features. Examples are: Hyde Pulp Mill, forestry, Lumber Mill.

If you have multiple routes that you need to upgrade, I would highly recommend that you start with the smallest one you have first, before moving onto the larger ones. This will allow you to learn what works well and what doesn’t.

After going through all of this I have to say that the effort involved is worth it as the route, once converted to TRS19 3D standards, will look absolutely stunning compared to the old 2D version. TRS19 really is a giant step in the evolution of Trainz and moves us from the 2D ground textures and effects to a fully 3D world in appearance.

Bob –

This is the best description I’ve seen about steps to upgrading from TANE to TRS19. Thanks!
Bob –

This is the best description I’ve seen about steps to upgrading from TANE to TRS19. Thanks!
Good Day Bob,

Your tenacity along with well written instructions accompaniment should stand the test of time as others consider venturing to upgrade their old Routes.

Xmas well be here soon, and just wanted to say, it has been a banner year with all the Assets you've made for us.
Good Day Bob,

Your tenacity along with well written instructions accompaniment should stand the test of time as others consider venturing to upgrade their old Routes.

Xmas well be here soon, and just wanted to say, it has been a banner year with all the Assets you've made for us.
Thanks for the kind words and Merry Christmas to you and your family!