Trainz, Love Hate relationship


New member
Currently using TRS2006 Limited edition. Although I love this program so much that I persist trying to get a decent layout built, dispite their hearbreaking distruction when Trainz self distructs. We are not talking about the violation page when the program kicks out to desktop, which is just an annoyance that is recoverable, we are taking about a complete wipeout requiring Trainz to be deleted from the computer and reintroduced. In the past year this has been done three times.

Perhaps readers might understand my degree of frustration that has driven me to make this post if I relate the following tale where I lost everything including other programs. Let me begin by stating that my computer is a homebuilt, with Trainz in mind, using a AMD Athlon 64 FX on an ASUS motherboard and a speedy video card.

For several months of problem free operation and while testing out a layout of sufficent size to take over a minute to boot up and running it for about an hour the screen of my computer went black and the computer refused all efforts to recover. The computer would not restart past the four warning beeps to indicate a memory chip failure. I replaced the memory chips. Still no response. I replaced the WD2000 Hard drive with a Patriot 64, still no response. I removed the battery on the motherboard for a few seconds to refresh the BIOS. The computer comes alive again but of course there is now no operating system due to the replacement of the Hard drive. Rebooting Windows we are up an runnning again. After going through the Windows secutity hassle because of the new hard ware, Trainz was reintroduced into the computer.

Now it what was on my mind is just how could Trainz scramble the BIOS of the motherboard. I ruled out a virus as at the time of the crash had not been on the internet for several months. Not being a programmer I shall leave it up to the experts to fathom the plausability of a Trainz fault scrambling BIOS .

Happy that Trainz was again functioning I proceeded with the content manager to deactivate all the content that I would never use. This of course takes hours to do. Having completed this task I began to rebuild my layout till it was time to retire for the day. The next day I called up Trainz and nothing happened. The CPU was going full tilt (98%) but could not acivate Trainz. At this point my frustration with Trainz had reached the boiling point and I seriously considered a divorce, consigning it to the trash bin, but my love of the program finally drove me to retry.

After purging Trainz from the computer and reintroducing it, it is working and I feel safe to build again. So this is where I am today, with a layout under construction and the desire to purge all that clutter of tacks and objects and layouts that will never be called upon but warry to do so.

As to the question regarding further purchases from Trainz, this is seriously in doubt. The fees paid to the download station are wiped out when the program crashes and all that has been downloaded using the download ticket is gone.

What I desire from the program to motivate a future purchases:

1) Train whistles that are loud enough to be hear at a distance, currently they cant even be heard from the rear of the train. The whole sound driver portion of the program needs a serious rebuild.

2) The ability to rename content so that the user can find the desired object, rather than trying to remember what is "a95DC4566a" or a "ma132pt2" is.

3) elimination of defective content from the built in objects sent out with the purchase of the program. example: "C83" which has no corrisponding object.

4) the lack of standardized stopping points to for loading to take place. Some are centered and others at the end of the objects track.

5) a standard signal system for industries. Currently one must experiment with placing signals near industries. The AI knows where the industry is and switches tracks to get there but does not recognize the stopping point and continues on passing the target and remains clueless that it has done so until stopped for a while by traffic ahead and the alternate route search is triggered at which it will reverse and sail past the target again in a neverending cycle of back and forth.

5) A Trigger for monitoring the output of an industry so trains can wait at a siding till there is sufficient cargo to match its load capacity.

6) A download ticket that reactivates should a failure take place, requiring a new install of Windows. My guess is that this can be monitored by reading the install date of a windows component or more generously its own Trainz install date.

7) I find the alternate route search by the AI drivers to be somewhat of a greater hazzard to a smoothly running layout than a help. It would be nice to make it as an option for a trackplan rather than a default.
Sorry to hear that your experience is somewhat mixed. I have had trs 2004 for nearly two years now and have yet to seriously get involved in a layout, even complete a scenario. Having three kids and being time poor with work etc I find all my trainz time is spent finding missing dependancies, rolling stock parts and the like, downloading content and sorting it out via Trainzobjectz.
I understand what you mean about content you will never use but to go through and delete it all would take me too long so I don't worry about it.
I have yet to work out how rolling stock works, what loads they carry, how lars works etc etc....but i'm learning. I guess i'm still a noob after two years but don't tell anyone!
Even after my computer dies, trainz crashes or eventually when it's time to reformat the hd, I'll sit down and do it all over again. One day I'll get to that layout and it will be great when it's finished. Who cares if TRS 2050 is out by then...
Welcome to reality, I sometimes find it helps to leave the computer and go and read a book or something.

Trainz does improve over time but it seems a haphazard journey sometimes.

Cheerio John
I find it fasinaiting and so frustraiting there is so mutch you can do with it and so much to learn and I think to some extent we are all still lerning.

I have dilemmer, you just can't stop adding more and more bits to your route, it,s like a diseas, an adiction, untill it's too big for your computer to handle.:confused:

will there ever be a computer fast and big enough to taim this monster:udrool:
I think it's highly unlikely that TRS2006 caused the problems described in this thread. It sounds much more like you have a simple hardware issue and Trainz is simply stressing your hardware much more than any other program you run, hence making the problem more likely to occur.

I had similar problems running an Athlon XP2 with ASUS mobo and running Empire Earth. The computer would run fine most of the time but try to play EE and it would come up with random memory errors. I blamed it on the cheap RAM I'd used so I bought some new sticks from Crucial and with these the machine wouldn't even boot (and yes they were the right ones... transferred them to another machine and still using them now). In the end I discovered that running the system with the original memory sticks configured in non-interlaced mode kept it stable and although this theoretically costs me some performance at least it doesn't crash! This machine runs TRS2009 pretty well by the way.
I would say too that your PC failure was most likely caused by some other hardware or component failure. No program (apart from a virus) ever scrambles a BIOS nor causes a hard disk failure. These things happen any time at random, yours might have been just coincidental.

A virus for example could have been hiding for some months in a program or file (.exe, .dll or whatever) which could have been called up with a different process some months later but I guess this is not relevant now.

Re losing all your d/loaded content, do what I do, either archive all your content for later reloading whenever needed, or d/load CDPs only and save these somewhere else so you ALWAYS can reinstall these, back up all your TRS stuff onto another hard disk (external/internal). Not to a partition on it, a separate hard disk for back ups as if you lose your hard disk, you also lose ALL partitions on it! Or back up all your content on CD/DVD or whatever else. DVDs are so cheap now it is almost criminal NOT to use this media for backing up. If you should lose a hard disk, your content is still available after a re install of TRS06. Isn't this how every one else backs up anything on his/her PC? If not, this should be mandatory!

If you had TRS04, a simple copy of the whole program on to another hard disk would have restored all routes, all content etc. Btw, this ONLY works with TRS04. How do I know? Well, I did this several times after I also had component failures on my PCs in the past, I even transfered (copied) my main TRS04 program on to another PC at home via networking.

Re your First Class Ticket, this is as far as I know recorded at the DLS and in your profile at AURAN, hence this should not have been a problem at all. If it had been, a simple request/query to the HelpDesk would have fixed that.

The purpose of the scrambled names in TRS06 and subsequent versions of TRS is I hazzard a guess, to prevent too many people to copy anyone else's content (by making it harder to look for it). But in my humble opinion this does NOT prevent others to look for any installed content and their files, my question too would be, why code this in the first place into the program as ANY extra code could/might/will introduce extra bugs or unwanted behaviour.
My opinion only!

TRS04 did not have this "scramble" of installed content, how easy is/was it for a content creator, new or otherwise, to examine someone else's content to see how it is/was done. Configuration text was one instance which was easy to find and look at (for example).

Re your other "grumbles" of how this program should work, I agree with you on all points there but having said that, TRS09 is relatively new, so new in fact, I haven't got my ordered DVD yet, although I have been advised today it had been dispatched and I will get it within 3 days to 3 weeks. Hooray! :clap:

As TRS09 is relatively new as said, I will also wait for future updates of its new and old features and hope one day TRS09 will get to the same stage of operation my trusty TRS04 was after 4 SPs.