Trainz/Surveyor Hints

Some Essential Surveyor HintsEdit

Add a new baseboard
Move the camera so that the space where the new baseboard is required is visible. Topology > Advanced > Extend - then left-click off the edge of the world in the space where the new baseboard is required.
Add spline point, and stay in spline adding mode
Ctrl-click in Spline Add mode
Add spline point, without reference to previously existing track or roads, or their spline points
⇧ Shift-click in Spline Add mode. This is useful if you don't want your new spline to 'snap' to a nearby spline point.
Adjust height of ground to railway track or road level
Smooth Spline - levels the railway track or road between two spline points, then raises or lowers the ground so as to meet the track or road, forming an embankment or a cutting. Apply several times if necessary.
Adjust height of railway track or road to ground level
Remove Gradient - lowers or raises a section of railway track or road so as to lay precisely on the ground below it. The ground can have been previously raised or lowered. Spline points may need raising very slightly afterwards so as to prevent short sections of track or road disappearing under the surface of the ground.
Alternate wireframe view
Trainz contains an alternate wireframe view, that uses less resources and also shows all the ground polygons. Press Alt+W to activate; Click the wireframe button or use Ctrl+W to show the wireframe; Use Alt+W again to switch back to the standard wireframe.
Camera initial position
Allocate an AI driver to a locomotive, so as to make the camera default to an external view of that locomotive when the driver session starts.
Copy and paste
These operations can sometimes have disastrous results when used on large layouts. Therefore perform a save before using them.
Double track
All connections, including junctions with other sections of double track, must be made via sections of single track.
Fly mode
Fly mode is an alternative camera movement mode in Surveyor. To invoke Fly mode in UTC/TRS2004 press and hold Alt and type "fly" (without the quotes). In TRS2006 press Alt+U. In Fly mode navigate with the cursor keys and turn with the mouse. To return to normal mode, press the Esc key. See also Walk mode.
Level crossings (known as grade crossings in US English)
All level crossings are listed in "Objects - Object Mode", but under various names. After placing a level crossing, attach tracks and roads as appropriate to each of its spline points. Road traffic is controlled and barriers operate as trains pass.
Positions of objects at junctions
The signal for trains approaching the junction from BACK and going to LEFT or RIGHT, then the junction lever, then the spline point at which the tracks diverge, then along each branch and pointing in the other direction the signals for trains approaching the junction from LEFT and going to BACK and the signal for trains approaching the junction from RIGHT and going to BACK.
All roads are listed in "Objects - Spline Mode". Roads are created in the same way as railway track. (Similarly for other spline objects such as fences, power lines and rows of trees.) Bridges carrying roads can be created in the same way as bridges carrying railway tracks. There are a few road tunnels available but they do not appear to behave as true tunnels. The Straighten Track toggle will also work on most other splined objects such as roads and fences.
Rotating Objects
To precisely rotate an object, hold down the Ctrl key while moving the mouse.
This is a highly complex subject in its own right and therefore described elsewhere.
To make spline circles disappear
In pop out menu select a non-spline category (for example Tools - F5) and press Alt+O (the letter, not zero). Or, if you want to see only the rail spline circles and not the scenery spline circles, then select the Tracks tab and press Alt+O. Likewise, if you want to see the scenery spline circles without the track spline circles, select "Objects - Add Spline" (S) and press Alt+O.
To make the pop out side menu disappear
Press Ctrl+Space.
To move a track marker or trigger past a spline point or onto a different track
Change from Track > Trackmark to Track > Trackside mode (and then click the "Move" button).
Track alignment at junctions and between curved sections
Straighten Track - use this toggle to make the track's curves smooth. (The Straighten Track toggle will also work on most other splined objects such as roads and fences.) For best results at a junction, use the Straighten Track tool on a short stretch of track immediately before and immediately after the main through track of the junction.
The Undo button routine is suspected of having a bug which sometimes causes it to corrupt a layout. TRS2006 is particularly suspect in this respect. Therefore avoid using the Undo button, or do so only to an extremely limit extent and check before resaving a layout.
Vegetation hint #1
On an out of site area of the layout, create a suitably textured area with a random clump of vegetation (trees, plants, bushes, etc as desired). Give one of the trees a name such as "Trees" so it can be readily found. Then copy and paste this area wherever it is required. Stagger the paste in a brickwork fashion and rotate each time to avoid repetition.
Vegetation hint #2
To delete vegetation, copy and paste a blank area of baseboard onto the area with the unwanted trees (etc).
Vegetation hint #3
The apparent variety of vegetation types can be increased by varying the heights of trees, grass, etc.
Walk mode
Walk mode is an alternative camera movement mode in Surveyor. To invoke Walk mode in UTC/TRS2004 press and hold Alt and type "walk" (without the quotes). In TRS2006 press Alt+Y. To return to normal mode, press the Esc key. Walk mode allows the user to explore the layout from a person's point of view. This feature automatically triggers the Alternate wireframe view: see above. See also Fly mode.
Water height
In "Topology", add water over the relevant squares, then adjust the water level. Separate water areas on the same layout can have separate water heights, but this is somewhat tricky to achieve. It is probably best to paint all the separate water areas (making sure they do not join) before adjusting any of their heights. It is possible to create canal locks, crater lakes, dams and "Lake On The Mountain" effects.
Some additional Surveyor features (each of which may only be available in some versions of Trainz)
  • Alt+CARZ allows you to ride a car. The compass will disappear, in which case you should click on a car to ride. After some amount of time the ride will end automatically for some reason. Use the Esc key to manually cancel.
  • Alt+LUCYINTHESKY generates a variety of sky colours and patterns.
  • Alt+MMMG generates random terrain and textures.
  • Alt+SMITE Makes lightning strike the ground. This makes the terrain under your cursor to lower, and this also makes the terrain have new textures. Press Esc to cancel this mode.