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handlaidtrack
December 13th, 2009, 03:56 PM
:)Hi everyone. Itís been exactly one week since I got Trainz2010 working on my computer, and some things are progressing well. I finally got the hang of laying track, including complex things such as double slips (Iíll attach some screen shots if I can figure out how). One thing I learnt, is that every turnout must have a straight section leading into the points, even if itís only a few inches long. Another is that zooming in close right overhead and placing the little white circle so that it just touches the outside of the adjacent rail, gets the track spacing about right for a British mainline. Iím still working on where to put it for secondary tracks adjacent to main lines.

Close examination of the screenshots shows that I havenít quite perfected it yet, but there are some techniques that Iíve read about that may help if I can get them to work.
(1) One tutorial talked about using rulers to ensure that a track is straight. This works well in certain circumstances, but Iíve not been able to find out how to extend an existing ruler without turning it. Just moving the end does not work as itís impossible to keep the alignment. The tutorial talked about adding a ruler and then extending it for miles without losing the previously established angle.

Some other things Iíd really like to know how to do are:
(2) Change turnout settings in surveyor mode (so that when I enter driver, everything is correctly set to normal),
(3) Move the surveyor viewpoint accurately in small increments. At the moment, I struggle to get just the view I want, because just the slightest touch sends the viewpoint whizzing around out of control. Surely there has to be a way to just move the viewpoint a hair. Iíve tried playing with the speed settings but it doesnít seem to make any difference.
(4) Is there a way to mark a piece of track as ďfixedĒ so that when I add a new splinepoint, it doesnít shift off to the side or twist out of shape?
(5) Is there a way to get a global overview of a layout in surveyor, as it is in driver? Iíve found that even on maps 3-4 boards long, itís difficult to get a good view of the overall picture, or to immediately zoom in on a desired point two boards away. On large routes, it is a real pain to navigate to a distant point.
(6) Is there a good tutorial on digging tunnels? Iíve read odd references to it in places, but donít recall ever reading how itís done.
(7) Is it possible to select a few boards from an existing route, and add them to another route, without having to delete all the unwanted boards? There are a few sections of the ECML route that I want to study in detail to see how things are done, but its so huge that takes half an hour to navigate to a section Iím interested in. Furthermore, itís so large that I cannot save additional copies of it to mess with Ė Trainz just crashes whenever I try. By the way, has anyone else looked at this map in driver mode? It has several thousand unused baseboards tacked on in all directions. In some places, the route is 20 or more boards wide. Surely this slows down the system, and contributes to the inability to save!

It seems that Iím not allowed to add attachments to a post, so Iím not able to show everyone the screenshots I talked about earlier Ė oh well.:(

Sourdough
December 13th, 2009, 04:06 PM
Although you can't ad attachments, you can post screenshots....you just have to use a url such as Image Shack or Photobucket....:cool:

chefbyte
December 13th, 2009, 04:10 PM
Some other things I’d really like to know how to do are:

(3) Move the surveyor viewpoint accurately in small increments. At the moment, I struggle to get just the view I want, because just the slightest touch sends the viewpoint whizzing around out of control. Surely there has to be a way to just move the viewpoint a hair. I’ve tried playing with the speed settings but it doesn’t seem to make any difference.



Use the shift key pressed down and then use the arrows keys to move around the site



(4) Is there a way to mark a piece of track as “fixed” so that when I add a new splinepoint, it doesn’t shift off to the side or twist out of shape?
(5) Is there a way to get a global overview of a layout in surveyor, as it is in driver? I’ve found that even on maps 3-4 boards long, it’s difficult to get a good view of the overall picture, or to immediately zoom in on a desired point two boards away. On large routes, it is a real pain to navigate to a distant point.Use the Map in surveyor or if you know the name of what your going to look at use CTRL F and type the name in the search box




(6) Is there a good tutorial on digging tunnels? I’ve read odd references to it in places, but don’t recall ever reading how it’s done.

ando06's website has one , see http://www.ajsmith.nildram.co.uk/trs/pdf/tunnel%20kit.pdf



(7) Is it possible to select a few boards from an existing route, and add them to another route, without having to delete all the unwanted boards?
Use Merge route options in the menus



By the way, has anyone else looked at this map in driver mode? It has several thousand unused baseboards tacked on in all directions. In some places, the route is 20 or more boards wide. Surely this slows down the system, and contributes to the inability to save!
Yup and according to Auran having all those down the side does not affect the game

SuperFudd
December 13th, 2009, 04:54 PM
(2) Change turnout settings in surveyor mode (so that when I enter driver, everything is correctly set to normal),



Sure. A 3 fork thingy in the "advanced" track tab? Then save.



(5) Is there a way to get a global overview of a layout in surveyor, as it is in driver? Iíve found that even on maps 3-4 boards long, itís difficult to get a good view of the overall picture, or to immediately zoom in on a desired point two boards away. On large routes, it is a real pain to navigate to a distant point.

I think map toggle is Ctrl-M.

Mick_Berg
December 13th, 2009, 05:39 PM
Originally Posted by handlaidtrack http://forums.auran.com/trainz/images/newforum/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://forums.auran.com/trainz/showthread.php?p=531918#post531918)

Some other things Iíd really like to know how to do are:

(3) Move the surveyor viewpoint accurately in small increments. At the moment, I struggle to get just the view I want, because just the slightest touch sends the viewpoint whizzing around out of control. Surely there has to be a way to just move the viewpoint a hair. Iíve tried playing with the speed settings but it doesnít seem to make any difference.



Use the shift key pressed down and then use the arrows keys to move around the site


Jeez, I've had Trainz for four years and I only found out about that just now!!:o
Mick Berg.

handlaidtrack
December 13th, 2009, 11:35 PM
Although you can't ad attachments, you can post screenshots....you just have to use a url such as Image Shack or Photobucket....:cool:

I've not done this before. Can you talk me through it please?

JCitron
December 14th, 2009, 12:08 AM
I've not done this before. Can you talk me through it please?

1) You need a web-host such as PhotoBucket or Image Shack to start with.

2) Upload your picture to the WebHost.

3) A URL will be produced to share your file.

4) Copy and paste the URL to your picture/shared file.

Your picture or link to it will be hosted on Auran's forums.

I'm glad you're having some good results with the track laying. This takes time, but once you get the hang of it, everything will go pretty well.

John

handlaidtrack
December 14th, 2009, 12:10 PM
This is the first time Iíve ever tried uploading pictures, so hopefully this test works.
Here are three screenshots of my tracklaying test. It is only a test in order to practice a few things, and will not become a part of a proper route.
http://s920.photobucket.com/albums/ad47/mpeterll/Trainz%20Screenshots/

The other picture demonstrates a problem Iím having with landscaping. The new version of Trainz is supposed to be using a 5m grid instead of 10m, and Iíve seen this demonstrated with a 5m wide single-track cutting. Well, my system doesnít seem to want to use the 5m grid. In this example, the track falls close to a grid line, so the resulting cutting is 20m wide at the base. How do I activate the 5m terrain grid?

cascaderailroad
December 14th, 2009, 12:20 PM
Probably the best tools in tracklaying is using "Hold Shift" key to keep tracks from joining like magnets, and in your Trainzoptions File: entering in the line: -surveyorfov=55 (adjustable up to =185 for a super wide angle view).

Your complex switch interlockings look very prototypical !

Most mistakes people make is radically long stretched out switch's...and too many tracks crossing switch points, or overlaping frogs, or extremely too tight radius and kinked curves.

Other common mistakes is concrete ties on backwoods branchlines, and complex billion dollar track plans, (as backwoods shortlines usually cut corners on spending the big bucks, having little money for complex trackwork, and precious too little narrow real estate on which to lay a right of way). Alot of branch lines had extremely bumpy, up and down track also.

clam1952
December 14th, 2009, 01:31 PM
This is the first time Iíve ever tried uploading pictures, so hopefully this test works.
Here are three screenshots of my tracklaying test. It is only a test in order to practice a few things, and will not become a part of a proper route.
http://s920.photobucket.com/albums/ad47/mpeterll/Trainz%20Screenshots/

The other picture demonstrates a problem Iím having with landscaping. The new version of Trainz is supposed to be using a 5m grid instead of 10m, and Iíve seen this demonstrated with a 5m wide single-track cutting. Well, my system doesnít seem to want to use the 5m grid. In this example, the track falls close to a grid line, so the resulting cutting is 20m wide at the base. How do I activate the 5m terrain grid?

Right clicking on the Topology bottom left button, the one you use to add boards with, gives you Ground extend Options, use the arrows to change it from 10m to 5m Grid then click the tick. After that you need to left click on the base board whereon it should change, takes a little bit of getting used to to get it right.

handlaidtrack
December 14th, 2009, 10:24 PM
Your complex switch interlockings look very prototypical !

Thank-you cascaderailroad for the compliment. That comes from observing the real thing. Of course, some of my turnouts are a bit on the short side Ė which comes from years of building models in spaces that are too small.
I donít know exactly what Ėsurveyorfov does, but Iíve played with different settings and it seems that a value of 70 is about the highest I can go without obvious distortion.

Now on to adding platforms and station buildings... Iíve used a suggestion I read about somewhere and placed samples of every platform and canopy I can find on a single board and tacked it onto the side of my route. Iím about to do another board for buildings, but first have some questions about platforms.

1) How does one add a ramp to the end of a platform that isnít provided with one?

2) Does anyone know of a good single-sided narrow platform with ramp, suitable for a British steam-aged layout? The one Iíve been working with on a test layout is ďPlatform Stone 28í 1tĒ (author ďbrookĒ, kuid:84912:37002). Unfortunately itís way too wide for what I really want. Examining it closely shows much heavier mortar lines between every 4th row of paving slabs, suggesting that it is actually built up from three 9í wide sections and a 1í edge piece. Thus, there may be 10í and 19í versions available somewhere, but Iíve been unable to find them.
Iím using two single-edged platforms back-to-back to make an island platform with one straight side and one curved side. Such platforms normally taper to about 10í (or even less) at the end. I could possibly use ďMS PlatformĒ or ďAJS PlatformĒ if I knew how to add end ramps, even though they are still slightly too wide and donít have blank fill-in pieces.

3) Is there a way to use the straighten tool on platforms and canopies? I notice that ďMS PlatformĒ is listed under track, and can be straightened, but this is the only one. All the others (including ďMS Platform wideĒ and ďMS Platform doubleĒ) are classed as buildings, and cannot be straightened. I wonder if itís possible to re-assign platforms and canopies as track objects. That way, it would be easy to follow the exact alignment of the track by placing spline points in the same places and straightening the relevant sections.

4) This one is not really about platforms exactly, but about canopies and buildings on platforms. When selecting an item already on a map in order to duplicate it, is it possible to have the elevation and orientation angle copied as well? This would be especially time-saving when using multiple buildings side-by-side to make a single large one.

Before closing, Iíd like to express my gratitude to all those who have helped to answer my questions over the last few days, even though Iíve not mentioned everyone individually. I feel like such a leech with little opportunity to give back. Iím wondering if it would be a good idea for me to compile a condensed list of all the answers into a cheat-sheet and post it on the tips thread. This might be one way I could show my appreciation, and it could help others who are following behind me.

knight42
December 15th, 2009, 02:08 AM
1) How does one add a ramp to the end of a platform that isnít provided with one?

Take a look at andi06's statio kit - it's at the same website as the tunnel tutorial above. He has some great tools for automatically creating platforms and ramps, and his Invisible Stations are good too.


2) Does anyone know of a good single-sided narrow platform with ramp, suitable for a British steam-aged layout? The one Iíve been working with on a test layout is ďPlatform Stone 28í 1tĒ (author ďbrookĒ, kuid:84912:37002). Unfortunately itís way too wide for what I really want. Examining it closely shows much heavier mortar lines between every 4th row of paving slabs, suggesting that it is actually built up from three 9í wide sections and a 1í edge piece. Thus, there may be 10í and 19í versions available somewhere, but Iíve been unable to find them.
Iím using two single-edged platforms back-to-back to make an island platform with one straight side and one curved side. Such platforms normally taper to about 10í (or even less) at the end. I could possibly use ďMS PlatformĒ or ďAJS PlatformĒ if I knew how to add end ramps, even though they are still slightly too wide and donít have blank fill-in pieces.

See above. Andi's Station Kit will do what you need, I use it all the time.


3) Is there a way to use the straighten tool on platforms and canopies? I notice that ďMS PlatformĒ is listed under track, and can be straightened, but this is the only one. All the others (including ďMS Platform wideĒ and ďMS Platform doubleĒ) are classed as buildings, and cannot be straightened. I wonder if itís possible to re-assign platforms and canopies as track objects. That way, it would be easy to follow the exact alignment of the track by placing spline points in the same places and straightening the relevant sections.

The Straighten track tool works on spline objects.


4) This one is not really about platforms exactly, but about canopies and buildings on platforms. When selecting an item already on a map in order to duplicate it, is it possible to have the elevation and orientation angle copied as well? This would be especially time-saving when using multiple buildings side-by-side to make a single large one.

You might be able to use the Copy buttons on the Tools tab to do this - they will copy objects in an area and you can paste them elsewhere. From memory, use the red rectangle button to draw an area on the board, then use the button to the right of it to paste the contents of the area you drew. The buttons underneath let you chose whether to paste textures, objects and ground elevation.


Before closing, Iíd like to express my gratitude to all those who have helped to answer my questions over the last few days, even though Iíve not mentioned everyone individually.

You're welcome.

ray_whiley
December 15th, 2009, 02:38 AM
There is a range of UK platforms on the DLS under my KUID 275817 - look for 'Platform UK SG' - single sided and island, through and terminus, various widths. Those with the suffix 'x' to the name have surveyor only markers to show the centreline of the adjacent track; those without this suffix have updating track attached. Also available are platform modules, both single sided and island, lengths 5m, 10m, 25m and 40m which snap to track to give the correct spacing platform edge to track for UK standards. These modules also include right and left hand slopes and there is also a matching spline to make platforms of any length between these slopes. All were made for Trainz2004 which I use so I don't know whether they would be usable in your version. Incidentally, I have also made available a similar range of platforms for NG24 track.
Ray

handlaidtrack
December 16th, 2009, 12:49 AM
Ok, so after another very long evening of messing with platform objects, thereís both progress and disappointment at the same time. Iíve downloaded all the platforms I can find and none of them quite work, although the AJS station kit is by far the closest. Here are two views of a test station I built using the AJS kit.
http://s920.photobucket.com/albums/ad47/mpeterll/Trainz%20Screenshots/?action=view&current=AJSstation.jpg
Just like the earlier track laying tests, itís not meant to be part of a route, just a test bed that contains most of the potential problem areas Iím likely to encounter. I have an extra wide platform to put buildings on, and a narrower than normal platform (next to the long train), just to see if it could be done. There is also a pair of platform ends placed where the approach tracks between them are not parallel. The big thing I really had to do is tapered platform ends. Someone else asked about this in another thread, so if anyone knows who that was, refer them here.

One of the unfortunate things with there being so many people producing content, is that none of it is fully compatible with anything else. Everybody produces platforms of different styles which really canít be mixed in the same station, unless of course one is attempting to show the history of how the station has evolved over time. Also, the canopies are all different widths, and none of them seem to be the correct width for any of the available platforms (see how the LBSCR canopy falls off the back of the platform at the extreme left).

Most big-city terminals have platforms that taper at the ends, generally to a width well below the official minimum. For example, some of the platform ends at Waterloo are so narrow that thereís only just enough room for a signal post at the bottom of the ramp. By using the templates in a non-standard manner, Iíve been able to get a bit of taper at the platform ends, but no where near enough. Note the two platforms either side of the long train. These are both as narrow as they can be without having the backs of the overlapping platforms stick out. This coupled with the necessary 10 meters of straight track on the ramp template results in a rather forced alignment and an unfortunately sharp curve within the platform tracks.

Is andi06 still out there producing Trainz objects? If so, Iím wondering if he would be willing to produce a half-width platform (to allow proper tapered ramps), and ideally another one about halfway between the two current widths (approximately the width of most of the available canopies). This second one is not absolutely essential, as two standard width overlapping platforms could be used in this situation.

Another pitfall Iíve found, is that with so many spline points on the templates, itís very easy to drop an item on the wrong spline, and then it seems to be impossible to undo the error without exiting the program and going back to a previous version. Notice the extra piece of track in front of the locomotive, and the platform Ďbridgeí behind the single coach as examples of this. Part of this stems from the fact that Iím rather pushing the limits of these templates. As the RH view in surveyor mode shows, I had to use 4 separate ramp templates in close proximity, resulting in a very high density of hidden spline points, just waiting for me to drop something nearby. In retrospect, I should probably have used the stand-alone ramp former for the outside platform, as I could then have avoided the straight section of track and moved the ramp further away from the double slip where it would have looked better.

One more question at this time... is there a template that gives the correct spacing for 4 tracks Ė two in the middle at eleven-foot-something, with wider spacings for relief lines on either side? The two center tracks are fairly easy to eyeball because the white circles are just the right size to use as a gauge, but I find the outer spaces are rather hit-and-miss.

knight42
December 16th, 2009, 06:56 AM
Another pitfall Iíve found, is that with so many spline points on the templates, itís very easy to drop an item on the wrong spline, and then it seems to be impossible to undo the error without exiting the program and going back to a previous version.

Read the documentation - you use the Spline Eraser spline object to get rid of unwanted splines attached to templates.

andi06
December 16th, 2009, 07:26 PM
kuid:122285:3492 is a standalone ramp former which doesn't have any track attachments. You can use this to form tapers.

You can use various combinations of Way Gauges which come in 3.5, 4 & 5 metre spacings to set up multiple tracks. Either leave them in place (which will allow you to move or rotate the track assemblies) or delete them once you have set you alignments.

handlaidtrack
December 16th, 2009, 11:15 PM
Thank-you andi06 for the reply.
Iíve already experimented with that ramp former. I can taper the platform ends, either with the ramp former, or using pairs of ramp templates (as I showed in the picture I posted yesterday). The following close-up picture shows the results.
http://s920.photobucket.com/albums/ad47/mpeterll/Trainz%20Screenshots/?action=view&current=TaperedRamps.jpg

The one on the right is fine for country stations where land is cheap and there is plenty of room.
However in big city terminals where space is at a premium, every extra yard of platform counts so the platform ends are generally very narrow. Additionally, the difference between the overall width of the parallel platform, and the ramp end, is not sufficient to allow for correct geometry with the shorter turnouts that would typically be used in the cramped slow-speed approaches to a busy terminal. Keeping the platform ends 17í or more wide, adds at least 2-3 coach lengths to the terminal area, which equates to acres of extra very expensive land.
The left version shows what happens when the platform is tapered down to an appropriate width. Obviously, the Ďwingsí sticking out the sides in the narrow ramp make this unworkable. This is why I asked if you would be willing to produce a half-width platform compatible with your existing kit.

Those ďway gaugesĒ are exactly what I was looking for. Using a 3.5 to join two 5ís together gives the 4-track combo I want. Best of all, once theyíre snapped together, I can move or rotate all three as a single unit.