Sessions for the Shortz & Kerl layout


Well-known member
I've had a surprising number of PMs curious about the absence of "Chuck and Joe, this is the Dispatcher ... " sessions for my two layouts included in the TMR17 release.

To satisfy the C & J fans I've just uploaded four sessions for the Shortz & Kerl (my original name was "Shortz & Kerliez but N3V decided better) layout. Essentially they are the ones I worked up with my original submission to N3V, with alterations to make them work in this final release. I'm releasing them on the Download Station because they do not comply with N3V's "pop-up and bubbles" format for sessions.

I also prepared documentation to go with the layouts and sessions which has not been included in TMR17. Rather than let the work go to waste I've attached it below:


When running the sessions I generally set the Max Draw Distance to 3500m. This setting may not show the brick walls in the far distance but it gives good frame rates.

Known Issues:

In a layout of this complexity constructed in a relatively short time frame by one person it is inevitable that there may be errors in the layout itself. My apologies for this. I would be grateful if I could be notified of errors so that they can be corrected.

The layout:

Smoke-stack USA. Rust. Dirt. Grime. Decay.

This is a fictitious model railroad.

The Shortz & Kerliez Railroad was an electrified short line that began freight services in the early part of the Twentieth Century, linking Port Shortz with the Kerliez Iron Works.

The railroad expanded and prospered over several decades as numerous industries established themselves around the port and the iron works. Like many other traction lines in North America, the railroad closed in the late 1960s.

This model Trainz layout represents the Shortz & Kerliez in its hayday. On the layout there are many interactive industries. Many of these industries are interdependent. For example, logs arriving at the Port are sorted at the Dry Sort Yard, which then supplies logs to a timber mill that supplies lumber to a crate manufacturer that, in turn, supplies wooden crates to several industries. The Farmall Tractor Company requires steel from the Kerliez works and components from local industries.

In addition, a Class 1 railroad drops off and picks up freight cars on the Transfer Track.

There is also a small locomotive depot and a MoW yard.

Lighting is provided for night time operations.

This route should appeal to those who like driving locomotives in either Cab / Advanced or DCC / Simple mode, those who enjoy switching operations in a relatively confined but realistically portrayed environment, those who like interactive industries and freight cars, those who just want to try a new item of rolling stock and those who enjoy model trains.

Standard Operating Procedures:

The switches have been configured so that the switch is in the straight through position when the switch stand target disk is side on.

All movements can be made as switching movements, with the locomotive at either the head or the rear of the train. The locomotive must not be placed in the middle of the consist.

The line speed is 40 mph.


In the the Map View, all interactive industries have the prefix “IND”.

Freight cars will load or unload when spotted between the yellow markers.

It is assumed that the Player is competent in accessing the Map View (“Ctrl-M” in Driver), can pan and zoom the map view, and can use the map to monitor the position of AI trains. It is also assumed that the Player is competent in using the external 4-key view to scout ahead to set switches and to monitor the location of AI trains.

Sessions can be paused by pressing the P key. When paused switches can be set, the Map consulted and the external 4-key view used.

In sessions “Help” (the red/green indicators at switches) has been set to off. To toggle “Help” on/off, press “Ctrl-H”.

Other trainz will be circulating around the layout. The route taken by these trains can be seen in this video (full screen / 1080p):

At crossing loops the AI trains will always take the right track. You should give the AI trains priority and time your moves from one yard to the next so as to not impeded the AI trains. It may be necessary to reset switches to help the AI trains on their way if you have changed the setting of switches for you own purposes.

An AI consist takes about 25 minutes to circulate around its route.

There is nothing more frustrating than almost completing a session only to have a corn field meet with an oncoming AI train. Before attempting any heroic manoeuvre involving AI consider making a save session first.


At the beginning of each session you are given the option of using Realistic (Cab) or Easy (DCC) Mode. You are encouraged to use the former.

The “User rules menu” / “QuickDrive” (top right) allows the control type and environment to be changed. This includes selecting Realistic or Easy Control, the weather, and setting the time of day.

In the sessions the Dispatcher or the Yard Master sets you a task. The task involves a number of switching movements and these movements can be completed in any order. You may to choose to do all or just some or even none of the task.

Sometimes a few minutes planning will save many minutes out on the road, so give some thought to how to best complete the task. Setting up the freight car cuts in the correct order can, for example, save considerable time later.

You may be asked to load or unload freight cars at various locations. The locations can be found in the Map View.

You may be asked to leave freight cars at various locations for loading or unloading.

There is no scoring or evaluation. It is up to you to evaluate your own performance.

The session may finish with an instruction to sign off or to contact the Dispatcher. This represents the end of the task to be undertaken.

Sessions may take up to 60 minutes or longer to complete.

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Session 1 -- Gondola Shuffle

Over in the yard are three gondolas. Use them for the following tasks:
Supplying steel coil to Tubemakers.
Cement to Boots Concrete.
Concrete pipes to the Dockside.
When completed, return the gondolas to the yard and sign off in the Depot.

As an experienced engineer with an experienced train crew you may choose to do these tasks in any order.

Session 2 -- Oiling the Wheels

Chuck and Joe, this is the Dispatcher.
Sunrise should be in about 30 minutes.
A Class 1 will drop off a rake of five black tank cars in the Transfer Track.
Once it has cleared the yard, pick up and load the tankers with crude oil at Oil Dock 2.
Unload them at the refinery, Conoco 1.
The white empty tank cars standing at April Fuels are for loading with diesel at Conoco 2.
Leave one white tanker for unloading at each fuel point at:
By & Large Lumber Mill
The Cement Plant
Coldwater Fasteners
Farmall Tractor Factory
Kut n Paste
As an experienced engineer with an experienced train crew you may choose to do these tasks in any order.
Make sure the empty black tankers are spotted on the Transfer Track for a Class 1 to pick up later.
As an experienced engineer with an experienced train crew you may choose to do these tasks in any order.
Dispatcher out.

Session 3 -- Freight Car Deliveries

Chuck and Joe, Yard Master here.
This afternoon, after the Class 1 has cleared the yard, the Dispatcher wants you to run the steel coil over to ACME 1, the TOFC to Teamsters TOFC 1, the wheat to Anchor Flour Mill 4 and the contents of the box car to ACME 1.
Use the ACF hoppers to take flour from the Flour Mill 1 to the Rising Loafer Bakery.
Use the flats and gondolas, together with the empty flats on the upper level, to load tractors at Farmall.
Spot the loaded flats and gondolas on the Transfer track. A Class 1 will pick them up later.
Return to the Loco Depot and sign off.
As an experienced engineer with an experienced train crew you may choose to do these tasks in any order.

Session 4 -- “I’m a lumber jack ... ”

Good morning Chuck & Joe, Dispatcher here.
Over in the yard you will find a rake of four log flats.
Load them with pipes at Tubemakers Load, and unload the pipes at the Port, at Port Dock Side 2.
Reload them with short length logs at the same location.
Dump these logs at the Dry Sort Yard and then reload with longer logs for delivery to the By & Large Lumber Mill.
Reload with lumber from the Mill and deliver the lumber to Case n Crate 2.
They have a shipment of crates waiting at Crate 2 for dispatch to Kut n Paste.
Leave the flats at Kut n Paste for unloading.
Contact me for your next turn.
As an experienced engineer with an experienced train crew you may choose to do these tasks in any order.
Dispatcher out.

With this version of T:ANE it is possible that freight cars may not load or unload at interactive industries, or may load or unload the wrong commodity. In this case, use the method show in this video:

And finally:

In the sessions the rule “Central Portal Control” is used to generate the AI trainz. In the session layer CPC can be accessed in the Rule menu, top left of the screen, to configure or edit the consists emitted by the portals, the selected drivers and the frequency at which consists are emitted.

One of the most interesting features of Trainz is the interactive industries and freight cars. In the layout I’ve used, almost exclusively, variants of “Multiple Industry New”. On youtube I have posted several videos illustrating how to configure the MIN and freight cars to carry commodities. Search youtube with “philskene” as the author.
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