Trainz/Essential Hints

  • DO backup any assets that you've created yourself or downloaded to external media such as writable CD's or DVD's if your hard disk space is less than 20 Gbytes. Otherwise use the folder renaming technique below.
  • DO follow the instructions precisely when installing service packs. Keep in mind that this is likely the most complicated and sophisticated software product you will ever own or even touch. It is robust, but while upgrading relatively weak as it reconfigures itself. Consider: Microsoft Flight simulators are simple in comparison, for they do not need to detail hundreds of objects in the near view at any time, but only draw far off low resolution objects in comparison. A very different ball game. Similarly, Office suite software, for all their size and features are not also upgrading a database and trying to update several hundred thousand assets.
  • SP1 for TRS2006 is particularly unforgiving of the slightest divergence from the instructions; and in general:
  1. it is best to rename any used install ('dirty') directory (HDD space permitting),
  2. then reinstall Trainz again,
  3. and then upgrade. It is unpredictable what added downloaded content will crash an upgrade, so best to avoid your assets at all while upgrading and save your valuable time. Otherwise you may be starting all over again and then following this recommendation.
  • Other later versions have been known to give trouble as well; particularly TRS2009 and TRS2012. It is always best to give an upgrade the least data to chew over, and usually far faster.
  • These issues seem to involve the validating assets stage of an upgrade when various user added content is present beyond the ability of the updater software to fix automatically,
  • and further, updates simply run much faster on a clean install. With a stable data base, ContentManager will then import assets without conflicting references to built in content, and will update your local assets with newer dependent assets when available on the DLS.
  • When service pack upgrades don't work, you likely won't find out until the installer makes a final checksum error check, which is likely several hours later in versions after TRS2009-SP1.
  1. It is very important, when updating or installing, turn off virus and Anti-Mal-ware software. This is best done by running msconfig, shutting off their ability to launch, then rebooting. See the \Installation page for details.
  2. It is also an excellent idea to disable your internet access while updating or installing, and officially recommended by customer service for certain product service pack installs.
  3. Don't be alarmed or surprised if a service pack update takes 5-7 hours. Best to start it and go to bed.
  4. After installing the Hot fixes and Service Packs,
    1. rename that directory by putting after the suffix '-SPx' for a clean install, so that 'clean copy' is available should there be another upgrade cycle.
    2. Copy that renamed folder into a new folder with that original name (This reconnects the registry and the shortcuts).
    3. At that point, you can import content from your original install, or take a Drive to verify things are working (recommended as best).
    4. This process safeguards both your time and your data should anything go wrong. (renaming the directory effectively backs up your original data and version, which is still runable. It's CM will need be run from a shortcut or from in \bin directly. The new version will be taking over certain registry paths.)
    5. After you've got a stable new version (best to wait a week or so), the original directory can be deleted entirely, leaving the clean copy and the 'dirtied' copy with all your downloaded content. Many people keep and run various versions without deleting them as a newer version will have newer tighter technology demands, and generally, generate more errors. Having a version with a lower version number means creating content under it will be available to more other users.
  • DO download and install the free third-party assets management program Trainz Objectz if you own TRS2004. (CM took over much of this functionality in TRS2006's improvements.)
  • DO take time to familiarise yourself with ContentManagerPlus.exe (CMP) if you own TRS2006 or Trainz Classics, called just ContentManager (CM) in newer releases by reading the .pdf manual and /Getting around in CM. CMP and CM have an abstract computer database design looking much like a spread sheet program that many users find difficult to comprehend at first.
  • DO check the version of the asset (e.g. v2.5) is lower than the software release you are running. The software version level and build code are both listed on the lower right corner of the GUI Launcher screen, letting you choose Surveyor, Driver, or Railyard. Installing a new asset created with a newer version in a older version (e.g: installing a version 3.2 asset in a version 2.5 game) may cause errors. TRS2006 will complain about it. Later releases may prevent it entirely. If something looks or works strange, the asset has higher technology than the version you are running, and will need be tweaked backwards, or replaced by a older version from the DLS.
  • DON'T worry if you find Trainz somewhat overpowering at first. There is a great deal to learn. Try concentrating on one area of the program which interests you most. Do run through the Programmed Instruction tutorial series if you are a new user, they have been written to ease you into greater and greater knowledge of the powerful program you have now in your hands, and written to make the learning fun!
  • DON'T move Trainz to another folder or another hard disk after it has been installed . Doing so will break the program's internal links and registry entries. <--- Wrong! Trainz can be moved to any location without any problems! Only the individual filter settings of the CMP/CM2 are lost and have to be made new. Trainz has no internal links. It only has to be made sure that the folder structure is not changed.

DON'T use the Undo facility in Surveyor in TRS2006. There is a known unfixed bug which causes it to sometimes corrupt layouts.

DON'T worry if the sound doesn't work properly in TRS2006. There is a known unfixed bug which affects some hardware configurations.--->

  • DON'T be surprised if there any many missing assets reported with Trainz Classics. This version of Trainz lacks many of the built-in assets that were provided with TRS2004 and TRS2006.
  • DON'T worry if you cannot download from DLS at the weekends even with a First Class Ticket. DLS often seems inoperative over the weekend for periods due to high traffic demands. Que up your download and wait. When a FTP channel is available, the Download Station server will switch you in and your download will start.

DON'T be afraid to use the discussion forums provided by Auran and Trainz fansites. They are the best way of discovering solutions to problems.

Trainzoptions.txt · Tips And Tricks