September 15, 2008 | Comments Off on Trainz modelling tutorials

Gmax software is used to create structures and models for the Trainz simulator. Gmax, is free but has a steep learning curve. I gave up on my first attempt but recently found some great user-created tutorials that i can go through to give it one more try.

Start with Ianz tutorial on setting up Gmax. He also teaches us about creating backdrops. TaFWeb has also an excellent tutorial about preparing an image for Gmax.

However, the newest, Jytte’s tutorial is the best for newbies. He takes us through each step with detailed screenshots which makes it very simple.

Since i love scratchbuilding structures in the model world, with the help of these tutorials i decided to give the virtual world a try once again.

Note: Please printout or save these tutorials to your local drive. These are personal sites and hopefully they will be still there when you need them but just in case…

September 2, 2008 | Comments Off on Trainz Route: Niedergemunden

Trainz allows users to create really long prototypical routes. But, if the long route is well detailed and includes a lot of vegetation, it crawls on a non-high end pc. And also, i loose patience if i have to drive a train for more than 20 minutes without arriving at the end. Are we there yet?

Because of these reasons, i tend to look for smaller routes. Today, let me showcase Zwabberaar’s micro layout called Niedergemunden.

This small layout, fits in one baseboard and offers a lot of shunting possibilities and is very nicely detailed. It has a lot of grasses and trees, a town with rows of houses. It has a terminal passenger station and 2 multi-industries. You can setup any product at these industries. The “world” connected to this layout is a portal.

Industry…grain loading?

Industry…General goods

However, there was a slight problem with a couple of double slips in the layout. Because the individual arrows to switch the points are very close, its difficult to select the one you want. To solve this problem, i used AI command, Go To Trackmark… It worked like a charm.

Double slip. Tough to switch

On the whole, i really loved Zwabberaar’s layout. The route and all the objects in it is free and available at the Download Station. If you are into operations or shunting and have half-an-hour to spare, you will love this route. Give it a try.

I made a movie clip [YouTube High Quality link] of a simple shunt at Niedergemunden. Enjoy!

September 1, 2008 | Comments Off on Trainz CMP problems and solutions

CMP or Content Manager Plus is a standalone program that comes with Trainz 2006. It allows you to connect to the Trainz Download Station and download/install user created content, which is the best part of owning Trainz.

However, CMP, has a mind of its own. There are times when it just doesn’t work. Here are a few things you can do to get it to work. (This is for Trainz 2006 version)


Updating the Trainz Asset Database. Please wait…

  • On launching the CMP, if you see this message and you have been waiting 10-15 minutes, press the ESC key to bypass the updates.
  • If this does not work, go into Task Manager, Process tab and kill the Launcher.exe and ContentManager.exe. and then try again.
  • Now, if this does not work, you need to do something drastic. Go into C:\Program Files\Auran\TRS2006 and delete the assets.tdx file. Sometimes this get corrupted but dont worry, Trainz will rebuild it.
  • In my case, even this did not help so i did the final step, go to the cache folder (C:\Program Files\Auran\TRS2006\Cache) and delete all files/folders in there.

After this when i launched CMP, it took 5 minutes to update and then everything began to work as it should. I downloaded some new routes and will be showcasing them in a subsequent post. And while CMP’s working, i better go and get more fresh content…

August 1, 2008 | Comments Off on Trainz 2009

Here we go again! The next version of Trainz 2009 has new screenshots showing the comparison between the tracks in the various versions. The feature comparison also gives us a better idea of what being planned.

I own all versions from the UTC to TC1 and 2. Skipped on TC3 because of compatibility issues with older versions. We always heard that the next version will be the “best ever” so i am a bit jaded. The tracks looks good and the smallest texture brush will help us in route detailing. But, they should fix the Content Management System for us to download stuff. I know, TRS 2009 has “Improved CMP to quickly and simply manage all your assets” as a feature but like i said, let’s wait and see first.

July 15, 2008 | Comments Off on Couple of Simulator Updates

Trainz Classics
For those who are interested, the third volume of the Trainz Classics has started shipping. It is also available via digital download. The price of both format is $25.99.

I am not sure if i will go for it yet. I use Trainz 2006 and feel let down after purchasing the earlier Classics. As it was not compatible, i could not bring over my favourite locomotives and scenery from Trainz 2006. However, I really like the screenshots and new features of Classics 3. I also like passenger operations. So maybe?

Subway Simulator
A new ingame video has been posted. It runs for about 3 minutes and is around 65MB. I extracted a 20 second clip as a teaser. I really love the lighting effects but i dont think my current pc configuration will be able to handle it. Anyway, enjoy the teaser and then download the whole video.

June 17, 2008 | Comments Off on Trainz Classics 3 on Pre-Order

Trainz Classics Volume 3 is now ready for pre-order and the scheduled release date is 23rd July.

Some of the features that caught my eye are:
New steam physics and characteristics including better smoke, sound and locomotive controls, Exciting new Semaphore Signalling system and Realistic Passengers. This will also have an impressive collection of British Locos.

But the only thing, holding me back is the lack of backwards compatibility. Trainz 3 is a stand alone and there are some tweaks to bring all your old (TRS 2006) content into it but its not perfect. I like the Settle-Carlisle line and might just got for it.

April 22, 2008 | Comments Off on Darjeeling Himalayan Trainz

The Darjeeling Himalayan Railway Trainz team created a very detailed and authentic route from Sukna to Darjeeling. All the buildings, foliage and objects were modelled after the prototypes. The route is DEM-based and can be downloaded for free from DarjeelingTrainz.

Here, we catch a charter train as she struggles her way from Kurseong towards Darjeeling.

March 17, 2008 | Comments Off on Darjeeling Himalayan Railway for Trainz

Finally its here! It took almost 3 years for the DHR team, from around the world, to recreate the Darjeeling route for trainz. It is around 45 miles long. The trainz version covers Panchanai to Darjeeling and it approx 4 hours long. The DHR team created all the content for this route. This includes the locos, passenger cars, houses, vehicles, people, trees, car beeping sounds and lots more. I spent half-an-hour and the number of custom content were astounding. Check out the screenshots to get an idea of the scope of this route. Congrats to the team!

The route is free and the total size is around 550MB broken into many zip files. You have to be a registered Trainz user to get the zip file password. Downloading and installing takes some time. Register at their forum to get detailed instructions and support.

Have fun while chugging up the Himalayas!

March 9, 2008 | Comments Off on Trainzoptions Customizing

Located in the root of your Trainz installation directory (mine is at C:\Program Files\Auran\TRS2006) is a configuration file called trainzoptions.txt

Mine looks like:

-DepthBits=24
-StencilBits=8
-fullscreen
-Jet=bin
-cabinfov=80
-driverfov=55

-freeintcam
-DefaultAutoMip=none

There are three parameters that i add/change to customize my trainz experience. These are:

-freeintcam
adding this will allow you to use the arrow keys to move the view when you are driving in the CAB mode.

-cabinfov
-driverfov

The default values are cabinfov=65 and driverfov=55. This lets you adjust the field-of-view in the CAB mode and in the Driver sessions. The bigger the number, the wider the view. I did some test with the numbers to show you how it affects the view. Click on the thumbnails to get a bigger image.

-cabinfov
      
The 95 setting was a bit skewed for me so i kept it at 80.

-driverfov
      
Note: The larger the value in the driverfov the more performance hit you will face. So if you have a fast PC and lotsa memory then go for it. I have kept it at the default but when i take screen shots i switch to 85.

March 4, 2008 | Comments Off on Trainz Marias Pass Route

I had been thinking of getting the Marias Pass route for trainz for some time now. HP-Trainz are about to release a plus pack for this route. This will be free to the owners of the Marias Pass route. When i saw the detailed cab view of the F40PH engine, i knew i had to get it now.

The route is DEM based terrain and covers from Whitefish to Shelby. All stations and important objects have been modeled after their prototypes.

The route comes in a 400MB zip file. All files are included in it. Installing via the Content Manager (CMP) took some time. I thought my CMP has crashed but please dont be impatient. Let it do its thing. The route comes with many session but i tried the passenger run from Whitefish to Shellby. Estimated time to complete this session was 3 and 1/2 hours. I stopped at Essex and decided to share my views.

The route is well detailed and has lots of trees. Ground texture was done very realistically. Surprisingly, i still got a good frame rate and enjoyed the ride. Ambient sounds included the birds in the trees and the countless babbling brooks.

I know, there are many like me who cringe spending more than 20$ for a Trainz addon, but this route is well worth it. If you are into freight operations, there are many industries along the route that you could service. Some sessions are also included. In addition, the soon-to-be-released Plus pack with the detailed F40PH engine and additional session makes a great buy.
Price is 14.90 Euros. [More Screens]

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