New with Trainz

Start with the tutorials for basic operations. Then watch these forums for questions you have, or post your own questions on the appropriate forum. Lots of folks willing to help! There is a Trainz Wiki as well, but I have found it often confusing more than enlightening. Welcome to Trainz!

Hello Teeny Tiny Deer, (I saw them in the zoo)

I like TS19, it is much confusing, but so worth it, and I like it a lot !

I am still learning, more and more each day :cool:
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Welcome to the forums and to Trainz. Trainz is an addicting railroad/railway simulator, which if you are a model railroader will allow you to build the route (layout) only dreams are made of. What started out as a model railroad simulator back in 2001, became a full-fledged railroad simulator in the late-2000's and more so now than ever with ever-increasing environmental controls, and more complex operations. Even if it is billed today as a railroad simulator, many of us still think in model railroad terms and even the built-in base terrain is called a baseboard as it harks back to its origins.

The program is broken up into three main parts that work more or less together in various ways.

Located on the Launcher, is access to two different aspects of the program (we don't call this a game!). Manage Content will bring up access to the built-in content as well as assets you have downloaded, or installed manually from third-party locations. There are basically four kinds of assets - DLC or purchased downloadable content from N3V, Built-in as it comes with the program, Download Station (DLS) - freely available assets made available by the community and downloadable directly into the program via Content Manager, and finally third-party assets. These are things you download and install manually from other sources such as fan sites such as Jointed Rail who makes a lot of the DLC found for sale via N3V's store. ( Assets are anything you install and use whether it's a telephone booth, a fire hydrant, trees, houses, cars, or even a locomotives and railroad cars.

Clicking on the Start Trainz button will give you access to the routes. N3V has recently, in the past couple of years, changed the interface substantially and that now includes access to other content, but we will skip that and discuss routes and sessions, which was the main point of this interface originally. Routes are the railroads and sessions are the operating sessions where you drive the trains. Like others here have said, I too recommend taking a look at the tutorials and the Wiki. There's a lot of information in the newly created and refined How To section on the wiki that will give you instructions on route building, and session operations.

Like any hobby, as this has become for many of us, the program can be as complex as you like it to be. For many of us, for example, route building is the thing we enjoy the most. With nearly unlimited resources, many of us have built routes that are 100's of miles long. Like model railroading, this doesn't happen overnight, and many of us including myself have ongoing routes that we started many years ago. My original route started in December 2003 or early January 2004. The basic core is still there with many parts having gone through substantial changes, but the theme is still there and there are still parts that are original.

The good part about virtual railroading is there is no mess. Wives and family can't complain about the plywood and plaster all over the place, and replacing a switch and track doesn't mean wasting money and materials in the process. The routes also don't take up much physical space, and the cats can't sleep in the tunnels and eat the telephone poles. As I said, this is a world we could only dream of, and for those of us who started as kids with a model train set, this truly is stuff that only dreams are made of.

Other aspects of the hobby include sessions, script writing, and model building. these are where the trains are driven. Some people will only build routes and barely drive. I do a bit of both, mostly simple driving sessions as I engulf myself into my little world I've built. It's quite a thrill the first time seeing your own world from a railroad engineer's point of view. For others, it's a whole challenging world making the uncooperative, at times, AI (AUI Artificial and Unintelligent beings), work more like they should and less like an attempt to herd cats. At your fingertips today, are interactive industries such as coalmines, power plants, factories, and passenger stations.

There are those that specialize on programming and writing scripts. The scripting language is a powerful combination of Java and C++. If this is your thing, give it a try. There are many, many things that can be done, and lots of people will assist you with this. To me this is like the wiring of a model layout.

And finally model building using 3d modeling tools and programs such as Blender. If it wasn't for the content creators, who have spent countless hours building the models we use, we wouldn't have what we have today. The DLS, for example, contains well over 500K assets today. This does not include third-party sites found worldwide. This is many, many polygons, textures, and meshes, hand made by countless people, mostly volunteers and fellow modelers who enjoy the hobby. There is one thing that needs mentioning here. N3V themselves does not do much content creation and 99.999% of the content comes from third-party contributors and the community. N3V, however, will support content they sell through their store.

Anyway, the thing is the program is as complex as you want to make it. If you want to sit down and drive a built-in session, go for it and enjoy other people's work, or download a route and give that a try. If you want to build something new, give it a try. Remember there's no mess and only your time is lost. In fact if you try route building at all, plan on scrapping your first route since that should be a trial. And finally have fun. When things get a bit much, take a break and do something else.