Trainz/AM&C/Running more than one Trainz

< Trainz‎ | AM&C

The new Trainz user is well advised to scout the bargain websites and's 3rd party partners and try to acquire various older Trainz releases. This is because the bundled content in a Trainz release varies quite a bit in the main, based on the routes bundled with the release, and there are many routes with dependencies on the DLS you may want to explore that will be calling for said assets. Each is worthwhile passing time with, as is, but getting a set really allows exploration of Trainz capabilities and an appreciation of each's Trainz era. Running multiple Trainz at once is entirely possible and workable with the computers in this day and age. Two Gigs of memory are bargain machines, and Terabyte drives are now cheap, whereas a Trainz install generally fits easily inside 4-5 Gb, even with thousands of added assets. The data bases are really pretty compact, since not only data compression techniques are in play, but so is the fact an asset in the data base is binarily organized into only a few small files. A source asset folder uses many small files, each requiring a minimum disk footprint of at least 4 kb (on small drives, below 250 Mb capacity) and 8 kb/file or 16-32 kb/file on larger drives on 32 bit computers. Most computers today have been 64 bits, which enables the minimum file footprint to shrink back once more, and drives have grown enormously in the past decade, so space is no longer any limitation, nor has memory space for a long time.

Trainz Asset Maintenance and Creation
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 Mouse use

Further, many Auran coded assets (still) fall into the category: "Not on the DLS", meaning if they were used in the many (more than 2,500)[note 1] routes uploaded to the DLS, you are in the same state as looking for third party content that is not on the DLS: getting the hated Unknown asset error message in the Task Completed pop-ups when finishing downloading in the DLH.

In other words, Trainz stubbornly refuses to know about it's own published assets if the code hasn't been added to the DLS, and prior policy was damn little would be added after N3V took over management of the DLS and development of new releases. Predicting whether 'it' will be 'there' is much like 16th century weather forecasting-- look out a window and hope for the best.

Fortunately, negative experiences over porting data into TANE and the resulting widespread furor, caused N3V Games to rethink its content distribution policies, since very few routes and sessions had completable dependency lists with Auran authored assets remaining not-available on the DLS.

Many common assets were tied directly to Auran's original work with meshes and scriptlets geometrically increasing the number of broken assets when the new TANE base data included mainly newly composed data types, albeit compliant overall to the old (more basic) capabilities and data sets of the TS09—TS12 era TrainzBaseSpec even as TANE's promised features were evolving many Kinds by adding necessary new tags and values to support new features. Subsequent to their rethink, N3V Games made a huge effort to put up working older era source content and eventually also provided a way for Content Creator's to upgrade their legacy content so many large DLS assets require (routes and their sessions, many legacy rolling stock assets accrued over nearly two decades of busy Trainz enthusiasts efforts.)

A similar mostly-compatible-but-not-so-capable-some-new-values needs were seen with speedtrees, spline consolidations between the TC's (TBV 2.7--2.8) and TS09—TS12 (TBV 2.9-3.7), especially changes to support in particular, seasonality and speedtrees. Basically new features and capability always impose some changes in data needs, whether new things can be written to ignore non-definitions in older Kind-config assets, or whether the kind need all be updated, is the question. To be fair, N3V Games, while still stone-deaf on many user features, has realized breaking data with upgrading capabilities is a poor second to maintaining as much historical fidelity as possible, keeping beloved assets enabled in new software releases.

Handling Problems

One sure solution is open Task Manager using SHFT+CTRL+ESC and select the Processes TAB, find the TL\TADdaemon process and LMB-click, then RMBH+drag to Open File Location (Folder), which if you have your Windows titlebar set up as recommended to show your folder pathspecs, will reveal which folder copy is active.

If you run more than one version of the same Trainz release, there is sometimes difficulty remembering which you launched. This is particularly vexing when running TS10-SP3 or SP4 and TS09-SP4, both of which tag the Content Manager with their common TBV '3.3'.


  1. 2,500 contributed routes as of 14:51 hrs EDST on May 9th,‎ 2014