Last modified on 21 September 2014, at 15:04

Trainz/Using wide screen monitors

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Windows default installation paths common in Trainz include either \Auran\ (old style) or \N3V\ so please adjust the meaning and your understanding accordingly.

This page aims to explain certain optimization changes which can be applied for an optimal video display using the Trainz initialization file, Trainzoptions.txt' or in the Trainz Classics releases Trainzclassicoptions.txt which will be found in the simulators local root directory under ...\Auran such as for example ...\Auran\TRS2006. One nice and important thing which is consistent across all Trainz versions, all of which have separate configuration files for all assets, is the standard of using a .txt file as a configuration default type, allowing easy user adjustments.


Trainz — TRS2006

This note in general is applicable to TRS2004 / TRS2006 / TC / TC2 / TC3 / TRS2007 / TRS2008 and TRS2009. (TRS2007 and TRS2008 were releases specific solely in Continental Europe). The main aim of this page is to set up the video to take advantage of the highest resolution video mode that is native to your monitor.

These settings override the conservative 'one-size-fits-all' initializations the installer will generate when it runs the hardware tests at the end of the installation initialization. This test does not have a means of telling the what modes the monitor is able to support, hence start up figures error on the side of figures which should work on all systems.

Tip: NOTE: The following method has been found not always to work.

Post-TS2009 releases

Newer Trainz releases are able to access a database, detect the type and capabilities of your monitor through Microsoft Windows, and automatically optimize the configuration files for normal maximums for your system. These values are no longer solely controlled in settings of the TrainzOptions text files, but now through Launcher > Options > Display.

Native or True ModeEdit

about Native mode of the monitor

Two common native video ratio system defaults have emerged as standards in recent years, 16w:10h (ratio: 4 H : 2.5 H) and 16w:9h (ratio: 4 W : 3 H) such as for example: 1440x900 heights ratios to widths (e.g. a common 16:10 native mode is 1440x900, so 1440/900 = 1.6 = 16/10).

  • Wider and narrower aspect ratio monitor initializations are supported, especially for the width for example—provided you have the video card setup to handle it— can be extended to window across 2–3 multiple monitors, in which case the figures below would retain their height, but sum to the total width in pixel count of the 2-3 monitors put together.
  • This would give a gamer style wrap around 'cockpit' effect (left+center+right), but if and only if, running Trainz non-windowed. Since consulting CM and other software is desirable even when route building, this mode is likely used only when putting finishing touches on a route in Surveyor or when settling in for some serious Driving in Driver.
  • The key is to search on line for announcements of the release or technical specs for your monitor model, and thereby learn what it's maximum native mode resolution (also called True Resolution) is claimed to be.
  • Newer monitor technology in the 16:10 class might support dynamically adjusting for a wider higher resolution screen above the native mode at the expense of performance of the overall video system.
  • The more pixels the Graphics card and microprocessor have to calculate will slow actual graphics whole screen performance.
  • OTOH, a 1680 pixel width monitor stepped down to 1440x900 height to 'height-match' settings for a second wider screen monitor has caused some Windows apps to incorrectly mis-figure where the base usable area of the windows 'expand to full page' mode should place the bottom; these apps coverup the taskbar in when windowed to full screen in both XP and Windows 7!
P train grey.png
An annoyance at times, but a survivable experience if your priorities suggest that is best for writing tutorials for the Wikibook.

Adjustment descriptionEdit

Placing the two following lines into the configuration file will configure for a widescreen 16:10 ratio monitor 1440x900.

Example: How to use resolutionsEdit

Make this 'Entry' in the Trainzoptions.txt file
Native monitor mode should be entered in a dash prefixed width and height tag line with the appropriate equality as shown below:

Field of View adjustmentsEdit

Adjusting the trainzoptions file to reflect the resolution of a wide-screen monitor is only half of the job! To show the view correctly you need to modify the field-of-view (FOV) to accommodate the increased horizontal size. This will enhance playability as well. The values you need to use are:


These values are good for any 16:10 aspect wide-screen monitor. Monitors which are 16:9 aspect will need the following different values:


Adding these lines to your trainzoptions file will display everything correctly apart from the main menu screens which will appear to be stretched horizontally. You will be able to tell the setup is correct easily in Surveyor as follows:

  1. Enter surveyor and load a small route.
  2. Open the Mini-Map using the keystroke sequence [CTRL][M]
  3. Use the cursor pads left and right arrows to rotate your viewpoint and observe the circular centering ring of the minimap. It should remain and appear as a near perfect circle, in the map center, not elliptical or squat looking like a tangerine.
  4. The above test does not validate the FOV figures.

The Process, step by stepEdit

First, open the Trainz directory. The next thing to do is to make a backup. You can do this first by Left Click on file (select it LMB), CTRLC (copy); next, Left Click on the folder background to deselect the file, then CTRLV (paste) back into the same folder which will create new file named 'Copy of filename.txt' or 'filename.txt (Copy)', depending on which version of Windows you are running.

Edit the original text file using Windows Notepad or another text-only editor such as Notepad++ by double left clicking to open it. If your system has not defined notepad as the default text editor it will offer a list of optional programs including Notepad.

  • You might want to Check off the click box to Always Use this program to open files of this type and open the file.

Tip: If you use Trainz 2004 then you can simply use the editor in TrainzObjects to add the necessary info. In whatever editor, cursor or mouse click to the below the bottom line and add or fix up the lines as need. Save and Close the editor. Launch Trainz. You should be good to go.