Trainz Guidez - tips on using some of the guides I've made


since 10 Aug 2002
Ever since the early days of Trainz, I needed help in placing objects in Surveyor and thus were born the various guides that will be discussed here. Now that TANE is just around the corner, I will be revisiting them to make them compatible with the new standards. So without further ado:

blog lat-long.jpg

When you place the built-in World Origin object in your map and program it with the appropriate world coordinates, you can then locate other objects based on their world coordinates too. Since the real world is more or less a sphere and a Trainz board is flat, there is probably some distortion but over short distances I never worried too much about that. Once a Lat-Long marker is placed, you can push it around and the local coordinates are updated in the display on top. The small ellipse around the base is the range of the error. It shows how far you can move the marker without the display changing.

As a route is developed, there are times when I don't have the exact object I want so in order to reserve a place in the map, I can place either a pin or a flag. Each can be be labeled to remind me what they represent.

They are also used to mark limits, future development and other areas of interest.

As tracks are placed there are times when I need to align two distance points on the map. For that I made my Angle Guide. It can be rotated in any direction around the yellow column. The 5 colored bands are sized to fit between standard gauge tracks. The 4 solid colored bands are spaced 4m apart to help with the spacing. The central band is bi-colored to help distinguish it from the others. Every kilometer, there is a text marker indicating the distance from the yellow column.

In previous Trainz versions, the end of the guide was more the 5 km from the start. In TANE beta testing, I have only been able to reliably make it 2 km long before it fails to display. This will be tested again once TANE is released.

When placing two tracks parallel to each other, keeping the spacing constant is always a challenge. For that reason, the various track guides were made.

The tracks are attached to the guides and move with them as they are moved. To made a long section of parallel track, place two guides close to each other and join them with some track. If each track is placed in the direction the trains will drive, all signals and other trackside objects will also be correctly oriented. Then move the two guides apart, the track will stretch between them.

The pins are Surveyor only objects here so they are not visible in Driver, only the short trackside posts can be seen when in Driver. One of the posts has a coordinate panel that displays the latitude-longitude of the center to the guide if you have also placed a World Origin object and programed it with the appropriate coordinates.


They have been made in 2, 3 and 4 track versions with a track spacing of 3.5m, 4m and 5m.

Line side cameras make for dramatic views but knowing what they will show can be a bit of trial and error. Thus were born the camera guides. First the static camera guide. It is a semi transparent cone that defines the limits of the static camera view. When a train is inside the cone, it will be seen by the camera. The camera should be placed at the pointy end of the cone, facing the large end. The center of the camera's view should be aligned with the aiming bar that can be seen in the above image

A view of the camera end and the camera placement point.

A view from the inside.

When you see a big green globe in Surveyor, there is a tracking camera at the center. When a train is within range, i.e, inside the globe, the camera will follow the train. If you arrange it for the track to always be inside one or another globe, the hand off from camera to camera will be uninterrupted.

The boundary where a train will be tracked. In this view we are outside the guide so the tracking area in in green.

From the inside, the tracking area is not shaded. Also in the view is the location where you need to place the camera - it is the little green ball.

Since the tracking range is 360 degrees in all directions including up and down, the higher you place the camera, the smaller the area where a train will be tracked. If you raise the camera high enough the tracking area will reduce to zero.
Hi Martin --

First time I come across your blog -- Well done -- I use many of these tools especially on the Marsz Layout, which I can easily get lost in! :hehe:

Take Care
after a long hiatus, we continue.

If you don't want to use the spacing guides with the red invisible track, which become part of the installed track, you could instead use either the guide 5t 4m spacing KUID2: <KUID2:70337:23015:2> or the Guide 5t 5m spacing KUID2: <KUID2:70337:23002:4>. These only align your tracks visually and do not become part of your track.

Note: while oldies from a previous era, they still work fine in TRS22