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See also File Types (File Extensions).

Trainz General Glossary of terms

Trainz Annotated Reference Pages
TOC | BeginningsFun | AM&C | Creation | InBook Refs ORP Refs:  • Index • Containers • Kinds • Tags | Appendixes  • Vers
 Mouse use

This glossary includes terms related to using Trainz. For general real railway terminology and computer/Internet terminology not found here we suggest using resources such as Wikipedia, and the TrainzOnline reference page Terminology.
Yard Panorama view from cab of Driver #2 (Left bar of stacked AI Driver faces); TRS2006 bottom line shows "Driver Command" Icons of a scripted task for the AI Driver. The leftmost icon is "Wait for Trigger" event, at which case the next Driver Command becomes active.
In point of fact, this page and that of Trainz/refs/Notations act as linked focused lists of FAQs like FAQs provided on less complicated websites, but alphabetically arranged instead of being organized by frequency of questions asked. The reader is urged to familiarize themselves with both information resources, and revisit often and at need, for the snippets of explanatory information here shorten many a page. For that reason, both are linked on nearly every page of the Trainz Wikibook. This information is generally FUNDAMENTALS.

Aa to Bz


AI Train OR AI Driver
Artificial Intelligence 'Driver' manned Train. A train which is controlled by a program, script, commands, scenario, etc and not by the user. In many ways AI trains are the Trainz equivalent of the supporting NPC's (Non-Player Characters) found in many computer games.
API or Application Program Interface
See API on Wikipedia - Several Trainz modes use specific input screens, API's to control things. In the Launcher module, the Launcher Options menu is probably the most important. A bad settings choice therein can prevent the run-time GUIs from running.
 • In Surveyor there is a different Sessions Option Menu to select various edit mode controls and video display optional rendering modes. The Options drop-down also opens several dedicated API's doing only simple tasks, such as the 'Edit Route' API which enables the user to apply name changes, alter the text description (i.e. description) block data, allowing similar edits to the kind profile's description via the Session editor.
 • Other Surveyor run-time GUI options menus are settings for adjusting mouse and cursoring modes to move around the virtual world, one to control the simulated environmental factors (weather, time of day, etc.), and the graphics settings in the Surveyor (Ctrl+O) and Driver Trainz modules.
 • The CM Options menu is a third (hotkey Alt+F7) which allows access to many of the same interface control and data definition tabs as the main options menu


Asset (or also 'Content')
Any object used in Trainz, for example a layout, a tree, a signal, a locomotive or a pantograph; each has their own defining folder and Config.txt file (a ini file) defining how the data in the folder is to be processed and classified by Trainz run-time software. There are many more types of assets. Each asset has a KUID unique to its build level and attributes.


a general computing term that refers to any distinction one might make in describing a data item or process.
A single letter in a Trainz ini file (configs) can radically change how Trainz processes its associated data. That letter's value is an attribute of the data. (See category-class tag which is an attribute of the allowed enumerated legal and acceptable asset types. (enumerated types —an 'enum' for short—meaning specifically specified, listed, pre-defined, and legally acceptable. By contrast an unenumerated type of data element can take on far more unpredictable values.)


A passenger car has different attributes from a Locomotive and a freight car, and each has their own set of virtual and physical attributes one wants modeled realistically.
The most obvious and perhaps easiest to change attribute is color, often implemented in many older Trainz assets as a simple texture of a single color.


Further, realistically and correctly aren't equivalent in modeling, one tries to be as correct as possible, but rendering a coupler in Solidworks CAD/CAE software leaves one with an object so densely defined in graphics polygon meshes, that graphical rendering in real time simulator operating (Driving, Surveyoring) as to take many computations so as to be unusable—it is more correct, but effectively useless. Modeling a Trainz object that is efficient means correct often needs to take a back seat. Heavy Consumption by an object of valuable computing cycles bog the simulation down when detail is used to excess. Many Trainz spline objects (instant forests, grasses, etc. have this issue, for they were not carefully designed to account for rendering loading.)
Also one can 'slide through' a virtual object and see the backside of the traincar or house, so unless a passenger car or loco cab designed with an interior mesh set, the attribute of being 'inside' is an obvious model versus a highly detailed 'roomlike' interior.


Auran, Auran Games Pty, Ltd,[1] Auran Holdings Pty, Ltd[1], Auran Developments Pty. Ltd.
The Australian games software company which developed and published Trainz and its graphics engine Auran JET. Trainz marketing, development, and sales is now controlled by N3V Games Pty Ltd,[2] and Auran[1] is (from 2008 to present) more of a holding company now, but still owns Trainz franchise rights similar to the way the James Bond movie franchise has several levels of organization and ownership rights. We Trainzers deal with N3V games now, and let the Lawyers worry about the rest.


Another name for a Rule in sessions programming or asset development contexts. Rules are 'scriptlets' which are dynamically loaded when an Session asset uses one. Sessions are essentially collections of such scriptlets which include basic decision making and branching operations, enabling program behavior based on conditions sensed in that particular map—a virtual digital world.
  • On the technical side, "behavior" is an enumerated type specified of one possible allowed values as the parameter of the kind tag in a config.txt file specifies that the specific asset is a Rule.
  • Driver Commands are special cases of Session Rules which are designed as simple actions to be performed by the limited capabilities of the Trainz AI Drivers.


Built-in asset or Built-ins (BI)
All the built-in items of your Trainz release version. These are found in .JA files which are configured for rapid upload into the game and tightly organized. Certain items, such as thumbnails are stripped from the JA's which are mandatory for uploading an asset to the DLS, where the thumbnails are used in web pages and/or downloaded to the cache for views in CM. Consequently, such images are not part of any cloned asset.




CAB meaning Cabin Mode
The more realistic and more challenging of the two driving modes in Trainz.
Train consists in CAB mode operate very differently for the full physics of each traincar is simulated, as is the delay for the air brakes systems to begin to have effect, wheel slippage on the Locos, and a host of other Real World physical modeling that is one of the attributes of Train simulators where Trainz software separates itself ahead of other competing packages.
In Cab Mode the user can operate the driver's controls inside the 3D virtual cab by Click-N-Drag with the mouse, as well as use a superset of the hotkeys that are available in DCC mode; a few of which operate similarly but with important differences.


CAB files
A software publishers standard Compressed Asset Base (CAB) system files (which includes all the optional built-in items of its release version), and are usually hidden away somewhere you don't think to look. Think of them as a Bank you can access to get money (features).
  • Windows applications which are optional (accessibility add ons, Language extensions, Windows Media Player, Disk defrag and Disk checking utilities, etc.) are kept in the Windows CAB files.
  • JA files are Auran/N3V's semi-compiled analog of CABs configured for rapid upload into the game and tightly organized. Your releases built-in assets are in the JA files.


Camera view, Camera position, Camera mode
Camera location, directional angles from that co-ordinate axis, and zoom are how we see inside the Trainz virtual world—they define a viewpoint from which we observe, all generated by the graphics engine. They place us within the game graphics.

Driver has four camera viewpoints or 'camera modes':

  1. 1 selects an Internal camera—there most often will be more than one; you know you're in an early loco model when there aren't at least five. Use [+] to select by toggling between them.
  2. 2 selects an External camera; this is attached to the consist somewhere and moves with the train, use + / - to select which traincar the camera follows by scan-toggling between them. This mode normally starts on the engine so - will move the camera towards the rear of the Train. This is also the camera mode in Railyard.
  3. 3 selects the Tracking Camera mode. This is a camera in a fixed location the route designer places in the world with a viewpoint to showing the Train externally either at a fixed direction and angle, or which stays in place, but stays focused on the train and rotates (tracks) to stay locked on the targeted car. Use ++- as in camera mode 2 to view a different anchor car.
  4. 4 selects the Free Camera mode, and is arguably the feature which led to Trainz's successful growth. This is also the camera mode used in Surveyor and its focal point is always at the center of your display.
     • The Mouse, mouse wheel, and keyboard arrow keys , , , & are used to position, zoom, and move this camera about including through objects.
     • Use RMBh and drag the tool pointer (cursor) right, left, up or down screen away from screen center to slide the camera around, or rotate the view angle. (Surveyor Options settings dependent, customize to suit self: two controls pan and rotation)
     • This lets us use LMB and clicks using the 'mouse pointer' (tool tip) to operate junctions, turn valves, turn the DCC Mode dial, operate slider controls, and generally toggle or select button options, and like actions.
  • The precise way the keys and mouse pan, rotate, and slide in Free Camera mode are set by two slider (essentially click boxes) in Surveyor options in the run time Driver or Surveyor modules.
  • Which of the four combinations you use are matters of preference or may be selected for superiority during a specific kind of task when world building.




CC or Content Creator
Those wonderful dedicated people that put in the hard work to make a good looking and often difficult digital model suitable for Trainz. Content Creation can take a highly skilled modeler from an hour for simple assets such as a house to six to eight months for a locomotive.
CCP for Content Creator Plus
This is an asset creation and update utility sometimes run independently of other Trainz run time software. It can be used from within CM to edit a config.txt file, but is relatively unforgiving should you be Error Fixing or just upgrading an asset. Proper use for new Trainzers would be to increment (promote) the KUID or kuid2 of a self-created Route or Session with a suffix. Otherwise learn to hand edit in Notepad++ or similar text editor. If you're already so familiar with the nuts and bolts of Trainz so as to be making assets, you'll be more familiar with CCP than most.


*.cdp, *.cdpa and *.cdp2 File types

Auran/N3V 'Content Dispach Packs', a proprietary compressed file format in which Trainz assets are stored, archived, and transmitted.
All three cdp file types are registry entries in Windows operating systems, and if you run multiple versions of Trainz the one entry that might bite you with a careless click of your mouse (annoying, but not fatal). The *.cdpa files are library assets you have decided to archive in a specific folder; these are tracked and managed by the originating CM/CMP program.




commit or committing assets
Adding an asset into or back into the TAD

When an asset is made ready to use in the Trainz assets database (TAD) it is prepared by Content Manager including being compressed and organized for quick loading by the run time GUIs. Textures pieces are combined into .texture files, the mesh and configuration data combined in an .chump file, and the whole transformed folder contents filed away in the Trainz install's ready files, since TS2009, those are placed in the UserData subfolder.
The asset at some time in the past, originated in a source folder, which was often retained in a TRS2004 subfolder as an archive. This version was useful to Content Creators in particular, as it used an open folder structure to file assets. This made them available to the CC to grab an example snippet of config code like a container, or mesh-table, cutting down on their long hand typing and proof reading. The same folder is useable in newer Trainz releases including CMP or successors. The archive (source) folder with all the parts was provided as a pathspec to the CM and it read the folder to put it into that version. After it is later opened for edit, when CTRL+M[note 1] the asset line is highlighted (selected) the commitment process is reversed, and the compressed files are replicated. THEY ARE NOT the original files, they are copies—replicates that underwent a double conversion.

Since each releases strategic pre-processing and compression and the way it was organized to be quick to be loaded into a run-time software module differs, and fast loading processing includes stripping out unneeded data for operations such as non-displayable data strings —and sometimes when commanded by a texture.txt file, even drops binary instructions unnecessary for using the file.
  The resultant highly processed file or files are then saved together as a set in a location internally indexed and stored in the TAD. A similar process is used to build the Trainz JET CAB files (JA files) containing the built-in asset library for that release.  

  • This process is called committing the asset, and once the asset is committed it is entered into the Trainz Asset Database Index (assets.tdx), its files are processed for rapid loading and put away, and any kuid associations in its obsolete-table and kuid-table are updated and linked into lists of dependencies, dependent assets, and the system that tracks obsoleted and replacement assets 
  • The inverse operation is called Opening the asset for edit—for which there are four different ways selectable in Content Manager (assuming at least one PEVtool is installed under the menu dropdown 'open with' mode.), three of them by hotkey sequence.  

CM or Content Manager terms formally both preceded and then replaced their ancestor TRS2006 (2005) upgrade: CMP:

These are asset management system in Trainz versions which acts as a upload and download manager, data base manager, data base and DLS browser, archive manager, update controller, and editor launcher. They also handle asset importation, validation, and opening assets for editing or for re-committing when needed. The ContentManager.exe in TRS2004 was quite different and far less capable, only performing a small part of succeeding CMP & CM decedents could do. From TANE on, CM's functions remain, but operations and appearance vary considerably — which differences are generally an vast improvement.
  • TS2009 in its first Service Pack and in versions since, CM displays the Trainz-build version for which it creates new assets—generally the ceiling limit which can be used in that installation without resorting to fiddling edits like in retrograding content.
  • Since little fundamentally changed after 2005's release of CMP save incremental fiddles, after the TC1&2, TC3 era 'CMP' gradually became 'CM' on the forums long before TS09 was released by N3V making the term 'CM' official, apparently and sensibly dropping the 'plus' since it was now four years later. In the TS2009TS2012 releases, the Windows titlebar suffixes version numbers (initially showing 'Content Manager 2.0'—TS09, SP0-SP3; but SP4 is numbered 3.3 (matching tech level TBV 3.3, like TS10-SP4 which began release versions with its CM 3.1). Both TS09 and TS10 were in parallel development for around a year.
    TS09 was brought out when N3V had trouble developing the new software technology they wanted fast enough to release as TS10 and TS12's 'AURAN JET 3' game engine. TS09 was brought out as a stepping stone, initial release being a souped-up and improved TRS2006 with better graphics and faster performance. This better used multicore CPUs, and the TS10-TS12 optimizations were aimed at even better improvements in offloading the CPUs onto the newer and more capable video cards that now supported advanced features Trainz used to use main processor time supporting. These built-in functions reached a limit in TS12-SP1, so N3V begat TANE with 64 bit processing.


CMP or Content Manager Plus
The name of the asset management system introduced as 'Content Manager Plus' (CMP) that was the major change advancing TRS2004 to TRS2006 and also continued in the various TRS2006 spinoff releases such as the three Trainz Classics (TC1, TC2, & TC3), TRS2007, TRS2008 (both Europe only regional releases). CMP begat 'just plain' CM in TS09, though were given numbers: CM 2.0, CM 3.1, CM 3.2, etcetera matching the TBV assigned the software build.[note 2] User Interface features also differ slightly between some versions[note 3], but has to the annoyance of the user community, often had too few convenience upgrades.


Config.txt files, config.txt file, and config.txt files
Each asset has a config.txt file holding the TrainzBaseSpec which defines the top level attributes of the asset and specifies many of its properties, including how the software interprets and processes the data linked and controlled by such files. No asset in Trainz exists without a config.txt file. Config files identify how to process the other lines in the file, and may initialize parametric data that is unit or type of asset specific variable. Further, config files provide origination, targeted region and era, licensing, author and contact information within the data set.  


CSL lit. - 'Comma-Separated List'
— Multiple lines of CSV in a file, so a list of CSVs.
CSV lit. - 'Comma-Separated Value'
In most contexts, CSV and CSL are equivalent forms of text files which have the ability to mix alphanumeric and numeric data that are usually formatted data records (in a data base sense) of some sort.—wherein one line contains mixed types of data elements. Many applications programs, especially data base and spreadsheet Apps — utilize CSL formatted data (which can be edited with a text editor) to import or export data as a portable means of data transfer, or for backup.
Example: The usual example of a record is: names, street address, house and unit numbers, postal codes, phone numbers etc. in a address book type of 'record') divided by a text delimiting character, normally a comma.
  • Trainz CM elements can be copied and pasted into a text editor on many screens, and main screen data is listed as a two column list of CSL separated pairs; The Asset's Username and Kuid tag values from the TBS standard requirements.
  • Pasting the two columns into a spreadsheet App (e.g. Freeware Open Office's 'Calc') allows one to make a record of missing dependencies and re-cut only the Kuid column out into a editor. A simple search and replace (SAR) can remove the newline codes and replace them with commas—giving a potentially long list of kuids one can feed back to CM in the search API to find out if any are now on the DLS, AND, perhaps more importantly, said lists can be doubled or tripled in a good editor, and 'upgraded' by incrementing the kuid to the next kuid2 formatted Identifier quickly, as maybe the original has long been replaced and the list of dependencies (The kuid-table lists these, and sometimes does not get updated past the initial <KUID:xxxxxx:yyyy> format. CM does not know information about <kuid2: … :1> replacements, like those with obsolete-table entries, until they are in the local database, but will find most in a versions check. (TANE & TRS19 seem to be better in this regard than TS12 and earlier releases)
  • Other character codes can be used to separate elements in such lists,[note 4] but Trainz outputs CSL's of asset filename and kuids by cut buffer capture from the Content Manager Main View or Download Helper.
  • Further, CSV's that are all kuids is a valuable work around for the much asked for feature to have the ability to import and export the Pick List in Surveyor or CM, thus enabling and enhancing the ability to pre-select or work with a defined list of assets for the route building or session writing that is on the days agenda.
  • CSV lists, or CSLs are often used to port data from one computer application to another as a sort of 'Least common denominator' that virtually all technical software supports in some way. Hence CSLs can often be used to export data from one application to another which won't normally interface well because they are competing products.

For Examples, See references in Trainz.  



DCC Mode-DCC Mode
(simulated) 'Digital Command Control'. The simpler (and easiest) of the two driving modes in Trainz with less realistic operating physics models.
  • The term 'DCC' comes from the world of model railways where DCC (digital command and control) chip sets automate railcar behaviors, but really applies to the 'dial type controllers used in electric powered Model Railroading, especially H.O. scale model trains retailed in department stores many are exposed to growing up.
  • In Trainz, the term refers to the Driver mode containing a simulated dial controller for the 'power pack' of a Model Railroad that will be somewhat familiar to anyone that has played with a typical electric model railroad such as H.O. Scale trainsets from toy & department stores, model shops and (non-Lionel) Model Railroading specialty stores (see e.g.


TRAINZ RMBH+drag dropdown menu showing asset with Dependencies and Dependent Assets.jpg
DEM or Digital Elevation Map or Digital Elevation Model.
This refers to software generation of terrain of Trainz boards based on national digital data bases such as the USGS topological surveys.


Dependent relationships —see also
Dependent assets and Dependencies
An asset which is required by another asset in order to make it operational is a dependency; the asset (which requires it such as a layout needing a crossing gate or building, track, etc.) is a dependent asset. Content Manager allows us to list both dependent (also 'dependant') assets, such as a session which requires a map and various railcars; comparative to a few dozen or so items in a session's config, the kind map of a route could and often does contain (require) thousands of dependencies and those assets may require others building block asset kuids as well. Only the first tier of such needed assets is listed in a config.txt file.
  • CM's RMBHd dropdown menu 'View Dependent Assets' reports the crossing gate is used by five routes.
  • A 'dependency of a locomotive' will show it requires (amongst other things) an engine spec. The same asset when using 'View Dependent Assets' may list out 15-30 locomotives needing it be present.


  • A diff or Difference is a (type of) workhorse utility comparison program found on most every computing platform used as a tool for Comparing two or three data sets for differences. One of the early progenitors was literally a program called DIFF, so the tool name has become synonymous with the action of looking for differences. 'COMP' was another seed program copied into various computing environments that spawned clones on new platforms.
     Examining the differences between two folders or files using a comparison App like (Freeware) Kdiff3.exe (works well in all Windows OS versions) which can compare and illustrate variations between files or folders. Diff is the common computer jargon because there is a Unix, VAX, DEC10, and there was a 3rd-party MS-DOS utility of the same name. Some Diff utilities only compare pairs of files, others directories, and a third class, like kdiff3.exe either.

KINDs (type asset groups)
and containers

DLS or Download Station.
N3V/Auran's huge repository of additional assets for Trainz, most of which has been created by interested third parties (3rd Party Content Creators) — the program's users.


Driver Command
A form of Trainz Rule effective only in sessions applying to (usually) a single AI Driver as an instruction (or sequence of such followed one after the other) which can be given to an AI train Driver in a Driver session.
  • Driver commands can be specified when the Session is created in Surveyor to give AI Drivers programming (task instructions), or by the user (to an 'assistant' AI Driver) when the Session is running.
  • In contrast, 'The Rule', "Driver Command" enables the session writer to control which Driver Commands are available in the session to command AI Driver actions.


slang but commonly used term meaning the details of how a locomotive behaves. Formally, locomotives are defined using the kind Engine which is the exact meaning of what is meant by the term in many usages, but the meaning may also be to kind Steam-engine definitions, and is often applied to containers and Kinds of component assets (dependencies which are independently defined and included by reference (kuids) in higher level assets.


meaning specifically specified, listed, pre-defined, and especially acceptable values, generally understandable as part of a set with specific meaning and scope. Enumeration is a computer programing term wherein a constrained set of allowed values is meant and only those in the set are allowed; all others will cause an error, be rejected, or perhaps cause unpredictable behavior if the software does not protect against such occurrences—a primary reason enumeration is employed.
 • Each of Trainz' keywords are all enumerated data identifying what sort of operations the following value will be legal doing, or which container follows on the next line, etc.
 • It might be said stacked enumeration predominates in Trainz configs— tags are enumerated parts of enumerated kinds which enumerate sets of legal keywords and their expected type of data be assigned therein — the enumerations specify what is legal and expected in such configs.
 • Aside from those established by data collections types, kind and references, the TBS enumerates commonly found or needed Trainz tags and containers (container name tags) which are legal in any asset definition. Most of these are optional.
 • A Kind, a kuid, and at least one outside file referent keyword-data pair is the minimum definable asset. Neither username, nor description or category-this, that, or the other is required, as like author, organization, and so forth, they help us humans discriminate about an assets applicability or make connections Trainz run-time software simply has no use for itself.


Fa to Gz


FCT the Planet Auran 'First Class Ticket'.

An optional license sold by Auran/N3V's Simulator Central which provides unlimited-per-day downloading access to DLS with a much faster (up to 100 Mbps) FTP link than the normal free download speed (ca. x < 50 kbps) and its 100 Megabytes per day allowance restriction.
  DLS Way     Speeds     Data Limits

  No FCT     Slowish   Fd < 30–40 kbps   100 Megabytes daily limit; may be forced to wait for connections;
  FCT     'Guaranteed Fast'     Fd > 50–99 kbps     NO daily limit; priority connections to Server and DLS



Operating system reference to file's name and possibly it's relative location in a contextually specific directory (folder).

Main coverage: filespec
Trainz has a mighty tradition of content creators giving generously of their time and effort for the greater good by creating 'Freeware assets'. While access in most cases to good assets is liberal—Trainz content is not unprotected by copyrights, even though an asset is readily shared on the Download Station or other third-party Trainz fan-sites without direct charges.
 • Each asset also has a license tag inside its config, which most often amounts to a Creative Commons-Share-Alike license (CC-by-SA-##) of one sort or another. The Wikimedia commons has extensive CC-by-SA information and license classes breakouts.
 • Many prohibit the use of the asset or any of its components in any Payware, again a Creative Commons classed license. Some are fully copyrighted Payware only.
 • Some is effectively unlicensed, but international law adjudges even those assets intellectual property, and under copyright protections.
 • Bottom line, if you want to use a part of someone's creation as a basis for a new asset:
 • A) FIRST -- obtain WRITTEN permission or don't upload it.
 • B) You must credit those parts used with attribution to the owner.


The programming language, based on "C" and using a *.gs or *.gse extension, used to create scenarios and script able assets for Trainz. This is not 'strictly' the same as TrainzScript, which is its parent technology (involving a stand-alone TrainzScript application to code the script), before evolving into a more generalized and wide open computer language editable and compiled in part by Content Manager and in part in the runtime GUI's.
 • TrainzScript by way of contrast, is the technology that arrived first in Trainz 1.3, matured in UTC which showcased nine built-in Scenarios (kind Activity) also bundled in the TRS2004 releases; each release from v1.3 allows these semi-compiled 'Scenarios' that are no longer supported past TS12. TS12 published the last Gamescript 'KIND Activity' asset by N3V/Auran in it's new-old version of the venerable Banks Heath map, upon which they also base three of the TS12 Driver Tutorials.
 • GameScript compilations had dynamic capabilities that were not initially available as well in the newer Trainz Sessions, but for most of which, have since been duplicated in the nearly-a-thousand[note 5] DLS downloadable Trainz Rules.


A third-party 'promotional' program distributed with Trainz 1.0–TRS2004, (bundled, but not freeware) which can be used to create 3D models for use in Trainz and other programs. Gmax and the copyrights thereto are now owned by Autodesk and the full up professional package 3dsMax 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software (Auran/N3V's choice in developer's software) is available for those with several thousand spare dollars to spend.[3]
  • Trainz went away from the limitations of Gmax during the TRS2004 era, converting to the newer more capable IM files standard where textures references can be embedded as part of the mesh index, unburdening the game engine in many respects. Monochromatic textures are represented by RGB values in a proper IM, for example, so one properly made won't generate the warning: "Warning: The texture 'texture name' is a uniform color." in content manager, and such assets load far faster and have less HDD and game memory overhead as well.


GPU or Graphics Processing Unit
As can be read about in the link preceding in detail, a graphics processing unit (GPU), also occasionally called visual processing unit (VPU), is a specialized electronic circuit designed to rapidly manipulate and alter memory to accelerate the creation of images in a frame buffer intended for output to a display. Modern graphics cards (video cards) have specialized built-in graphics functionality, which the newer generations of Trainz have taken increasing advantages of, unburdening the CPU for other executive tasks.


Ha to Jz


Heraldry (colors and logos)

Heraldry is the proper term for a operating railroad companies 'color scheme' and 'Logos', extending to the fonts used on the labeling of it's assets. Prototyping railcars involves searching for definitive specifications on such graphics designs before skinning the vehicles.


HOG or Hand Of God.
One (older) 3rd party map making utility and associate textures which can be used to import DEM terrain data into Trainz. See also TrainzDEM, a similar payware utility of moderate cost that has been systematically updated for TS2012 and TANE Trainz map generation.


HUD, or Head Up Display
That part of the screen which displays information such as your current speed.


The standard Auran interactive industry system (which includes passenger stations).


Install or Installs or Installation
A Shorthand notation, meaning a setup for running Trainz software—an specific installation of Trainz, especially in contexts relative to that version's root (main) folder in the local machine's folder hierarchy. Used here in the Wikibook as a reference to 'a particular Trainz version's 'root folder,' whatever version it may be. Many veteran Trainzer's keep more than one Trainz, and more than one Trainz setup— one with Payware and one without, for example, so assets which are illegal to copy to the DLS aren't mixed in with those that are.
  • Similarly, many long time Trainzer's have more than one Trainz retail release around and up and running[note 6] &nbsp  


.JA files & .Tzarc files
The standard Auran Compressed Asset Base (CAB system files (which includes all the built-in items of your Trainz release version). JA files are configured for rapid upload into the game and tightly organized. They may be ported version to newer version within certain limitations.
  1. This eases porting assets like maps and sessions to new versions which would not necessarily have the same mix of built-in assets as the older CAB library.
  2. This allows route and session assets that took many man-months to create to be easily forward-compatible, a hallmark of Trainz since its earliest days.
  3. TS09 JAs, TS10 JAs can be added to TS12's bag of tricks.
  4. TANE and TRS19 have similar capability, but for DRM security reasons involving illegal duplication in Eastern Europe, the new Trainz releases use an encryption as well as packing algorithm in reading and writing database files. The new files are given the extension .TZARC.


Jet, Jet2, JET3
In the context of Trainz, the game engine developed by Auran and used by Trainz. Unrelated to the Microsoft Jet database system, the Auran JET game engines were marketed as a separate product to other game companies from the late 1990s when Trainz was under development, and for a time consideration was given to adapting it to actual train training simulators.
  • The JET2 engine was shipped with TRS2004TS2009 (and mostly debugged in the four service packs of TRS2004).
  • TS10 and TS12 are said to be running the JET3 engine, which is as far as Auran/N3V can take a 32 bit graphics rendering engine.


Just Trains
The company which distributed Trainz in the UK on CDROM and DVD. UK releases by law have to have CD/DVD in the drive locking DRM. This practice has fallen by the wayside with N3V hosting its own download service and offering FTP managed downloading via, among other partners.


Ka to Lz


KIND - Kinds
The value assigned to the Trainz kind tag is a keyword off a specific tightly defined list, each of which tells Trainz software how to process the data presented within that config file. The kind (list in the TrainzBaseSpec) establishes the ground rules for parsing and processing the rest of the terms contained in a Trainz config.txt file. The kind therefore sets up all the software operations thereafter invoked in processing the whole data set (i.e. the whole folder contents) representing a virtual (asset) object. Some of these kinds require external reference conditions be included in the asset being built. These present as a kuid (value) as the listed value of a tag--value pair. Since each kuid requires a kind definition, such kinds include one or more parts independently defined as assets.


KUID - format= <kuid:xxxxxx:yyyyyy>
Main topic coverage: KUIDs
lit. 'Koolthingz Unique IDentifier' - Trainz' unique database reference number for an asset, extended to track multiple versions in the KUID2 form. The heart and soul of Trainz upgradability, and modular design of assets, as each asset has its own unique kuid code, so one can specify a component (bogeys) or entire Traincar from another, and selectively replace either in a new asset (re-skin or modified truck). Most Trainz assets specify list of dependencies in the mandatory kuid-table config entry—other component assets which are assembled by the various parts of the software suite to make up a renderable and useable asset in a kuid-container.
  • In the above, the xxxxxx represents a content builder's Auran identity number, so all assets by an author have that same code (some few have registered two or three). The 'yyyyyy' is the author's serial number for the assets. Trainz generally starts a new users first asset, normally a route he's cloned by modifying it with a subsequent save as 1001.
  • An author's kuids are not necessarily sequential, nor contiguous. Early in the Trainz era a kuid classification system was promulgated so that a CC's content had a base and range which created groups by type and identified by the number range which type of asset was indexed. This system is still in use today.


KUID2 - format= <kuid2:xxxxxx:yyyyyy:z>
Main topic coverage: KUIDs
A updated kuid with a built-in update tracking code; a modified version of the KUID format which allows a version number to be specified. A <kuid:xxx:yyy> is the same as saying <kuid2:xxx:yyy:0> (Zero revisions or version zero, meaning the original)
  • This allows data items (Trainz Assets) to carry an inherent version code for the asset, with a limit of 127 revisions. This data version code will not generally match all the Trainz-build codes identifying the software technology levels, but instead indicates the asset has previous versions in its history. Tip: Previous versions can be tested in CM by the RMB+drag drop down menu to see other versions. Those known to the DLS will be shown.
  • Assets having a higher suffixed code in the KUID2 override or replace older assets automatically, given both the assets in the data base; this is the proper way of replacing an asset, though N3V has abused the obsolete-table container in the past to do the same thing. The changed kuid this causes means one's only recourse is to check for all versions of an asset when it might be your trouble.
  • Having an early version is not necessary but CM will list the missing chain of revisions as missing dependencies, a software bug to those who resent the contamination of that facility in CM or 'feature' kept as is by the programmers, in any respect reducing the utility of using CM to identify what a user is missing, and causing users to spend time manually figuring out what is really what.


Logistics And Resource System, a commodity/freight transportation system for Trainz created by Lars Ljunberg. The forums at Auran and especially at TrainzProRoutes cover LARS in depth, and many DLS assets these days supports the conventions. The LARS system greatly expanded the variety and types of industrial products or loads available in the game milieu. Many LARS assets will include the LAR abbreviation, and can be reconfigured to incorporate additional product types with minimal config edits.


Launcher or Launcher Menu
and the Options Menu:
Main topic coverage: Launcher

The Launcher (terminology goes back all the way to Trainz 0.9-UTC) is the EXE file used by most to fire up Trainz. In N3V Games versions, this is generally a install's root folder file Trainz.exe. In the TRS's, individual exe files were named TRS2004.exe, TRS2006.exe, TC.exe, and TC3.exe, giving rise to the shorthand names one sees referring to said versions. Since Trainz UTC was effectively a fourth service pack of Trainz, having exe files named the same was never a problem, one had to be very odd to want both installed[note 7]. Why would anyone on the forums use: 'Trainz Railroad Simulator 2006' for 'TRS2006' ?

The Launcher Menu
Generally gives the computer-ignorant a simple path to other modules, so the main entries (Manage Content, Options, Goto Website, and Start [by any names, they've changed a bit now and then]), do just that, navigate with a pretty screen to other modules of Trainz. The Options button however, has certain settings which optimize things in modules, register your copy with the authorities and allow one to control graphics modes and updating.


In the Trainz communities the terms layout and route are synonymous, but "map" is a Trainz Enumerated tag value, identifying a config as a Map Kind definition in a routes' config.txt file. The term 'Layout' is physical scale Model Railroading lingo for a Route.


Level crossing
See Mocrossing


.LM files or LM.txt files

.LM.txt files are INI files like .texture.txt files in that in the folder, both have the .txt extension and pass processing How-To to the Run time software on rendering the asset. For both, the config.txt 'call' or referencing line's quoted string value MUST NOT have the '.txt' extension—the extension is suppressed unknown reasons (perhaps for speed), and is clear to the parser by context; but if specified, will generate a fault in CM's validation of the asset's files.

  • Both are defacto include file types used by the run time GUIs and Trainz's Game engine (Auran JET && TANE's forthcoming) to build the asset with specific data elements predefined for that aspect of the model.
  • The file LM.txt files (See the link) set forth the programmable parameters of the LOD meshes.


..\libraries subfolder

The libraries folder holds the C-like TrainzScript languages standard include 'header' files referenced in user scripts. Asset Kinds, class organization and asset sub-types are closely intertwined in the world of scripted assets, as most rolling stock is now-a-days.

LMB - Left mouse button (implicit meaning a single click). This abbreviation is widely used in the Auran documentation and beginner's how-to. It is used here in tutorials the same way.


LMBH or LMBh - Left mouse button+Hold down. Usually as part of a drag to move or shape operation in Surveyor, or controls operations in Driver.


LMBHd or LMBhd - Left mouse button+Hold down+Drag.
  • Variants of LMB actions will also sometimes include /pressing+holding the Shifting keys [CRTL] and [SHFT].


Level Of Detail. Trainz preferred and newest system of defining and displaying graphical object's meshes which displays more distant assets with less and less polygon mesh details (model vertices, so less calculations) just as the eye sees them.
  • Trainz versions currently support all three methods and are likely to continue doing so, but new highly detailed assets should be made with LOD technology while individual low poly mesh .IM technology should only be used for assets designed to be viewed at a distance.


Ma to Po


Five track Grade Crossing in Lawrence, MA at head end of a small yard. mainlines are to the right.
Triangular polygons make up most meshes in Trainz.
The 3rd party licensed software publishing company which distributed many CDROM/DVD Trainz releases in the USA. Auran typically had a 3rd party company produce and distribute releases on a particular continent.


(loose, slang, term of art) or more correctly a Polygon mesh: A 3D graphics object representing a mathematical model of a wire frame which when rendered as the visible face provide a virtual surface, on which virtual textures can be applied. Mesh surfaces and polygons are usually combinations of triangles.


Mocrossing (Motorcar crossings), Level crossing, Grade crossing,
by any cultural name, kind mocrossing, which pretty much covers everything with tracks and splines joining forces, such as some surprises like piers.
Also — 'most often' abbreviated Xing
Level crossing (US English: grade crossing). Mocrossings like "map" are a defined data (enumerated) type or Kind in Trainz, requiring mandatory definitions of child-tags and containers. (See Kinds).


Corporate speak/Jargon term of art for Literally Naming Convention.

Nightmode, asset-type with nightmode
nightmode is an attribute of assets involving the correct definition of several tags & containers in its config files to specify what happens after dark, which parts are lighted constantly, which are intermittently random, and which are on a few hours after dark, then go out until the next day's night.
  • Nightmode capability also requires a proper set of meshes and textures for displaying the object in the darkness of night time conditions.
  • When an asset has nightmode, it has one of three types of generated light 'periodicity behaviors', a night mesh subcontainer and corresponding coloration and aperture textures defining the locus and shape of the individual lights.


Paintshed or Auran Paintshed
Paintshed.exe is a UTC/TRS2004 standalone asset repainting program that is mostly obsolescent that allowed users to take Gmax or Autodesk's 3dsMax generated mesh objects and in a process known as reskining and apply a different textures to the rolling stock assets faces, which it unwrapped and presented as if laid out in various pane views. This utility allowed a propagation of the number of available livery or heraldry types (appearances, color schemes) to be applied to the same basic widely available traincar classes as soon as someone developed the basic traincar. These class assets will appear in CM/CMP with a paintshed icon indicating there is a base skin covered by the overlying textures. This can sometimes be visibly seen when the game slows as it is redrawing a traincar, the first texture set is momentarily visible, then the paint job reskinned textures. Now dated, the same effects (reskinned assets) can be achieved through a number of manual processes using graphics software to modify the 'wrapping' texture.


Placeholder, placeholder parameter, or dummy parameter

All Trainz data is organized in key-word + data value pairs (see ACS Text Format), we call tags and data; at least until an aggregate data type is needed in association with such a key-word. These aggregate-types in Trainz are containers and kinds, and each has characteristic paired curly-braces ( '{' and '}' ) around the internal contents. Within, some key-words are enumerated types, and define particular parameters, others define sub-containers and many are commonly found (by convention) as 0 based number sequences after programming index practices. These are dummy parameters, where their place and order (hence placeholder) matter while their name does not.

For example, consider a short thumbnails container with two placeholder parameters 0, and 1:

   width 240
   height 180
   image "$Screenshot (240).jpg"
   width 512
   height 512
   image "$Screenshot (512).jpg"

In the above, within each thumbnail sub-container width, height and image identify keyword-data ACS Text Format data pairs. The outer key-word is paired with the whole container, but each subcontainer could be named anything (like 'a' or 'b' and 'first' or 'second' etc.), for it is not used in referencing the data. Hence it is a place-holder parameter, holding it's key-word 'rating' by how it's used, but not used as a handle to access the data itself. In short, such placeholder parameters are throw-aways in the internal processing of the data, and any non-white space string followed by the opening curly brace is all that the parsing software requires to further allocate and put away the values of the image, height and width parameters which have relationships to one another within such sub-containers (which are associated groups of data).  

The number of polygons an assets has, which will largely determine its effect on Trainz' performance. The more polygons the computer has to calculate and draw in a given frame, the lower the display speed (frame rate. All the CM/CMPs have a RMBh+drag drop down menu with an entry that will give an assets polycount. Newer assets using LOD meshe sets dramatically reduce the number of drawn polygons and concurrent texture complexities the farther an object occurs, dropping needless calculations for mesh refinements one would never detect at such distances.


Pp to Qz


PEVtools, by PEV, listed under PEVSoft
PEVsoft is a registered Windows 10 software source satisfying the credentials checks of anti-malware software. This keeps Windows from constantly asking whether to trust the software every time it is used.
PEVtools are important utility programs which unpack, process, and to an extent, improve assets. These are covered extensively in Trainz Asset Maintenance and Creation (AM&C), on the forums, and in tutorials for fixing assets. The key PEV written utilities are:
  • Meshviewer2.exe   —   Opens either *.pm or *.im meshes and renders them into a three dimensional manifestation of the digital model. It produces screenshots on command for the many assets that did not get one in early incarnations, and displays the mesh using compressed or uncompressed textures (*.textures vs texture.txt and TGA file or other legal raw image types.) It allows examination of the overall size parametrics of the mesh, including poly-count. It will display a wire mesh view of the object, animate animated objects, and show texture names and their locations. It further displays missing textures as a clear bright white surfaces with their names, allowing substitute textures to fix and repair the deficient asset. It is equally valuable from Trainz 1 through TRS19 file folders once the data is opened for edit.
  • About 99.875% of the time, only Meshviewer2, a good text editor, and Images2TGA are needed to address data tweaks and repairs bringing an asset into compliance with (the moving target of the) newer or fussier data model incarnation.
  • Images2TGA.exe   —   Takes *.texture files, and referencing the mesh file they map on, produces updated texture.txt files with imaging features introduced in TS2009, such as (primarily) AlphaHint commands.
  • Most JET3 based (TS09-TS12) scenery objects and splines, and compatible assets in general — with only a relative few new features capabilities being exceptions — can be retrograded to be compatible with the JET2 based TRS06—TC3 releases in large part by simply commenting out the AlphaHint command lines with a prefixed '//' (so called, "hack, hack") comment on the line. This is because most all the data model required data forms checked for in the TSxx series and after, were actually defined whilst Greg Lane was still heading up the programming team of the original Auran, during UTC and TRS2004 data model development. N3V maintained most backward compatibility except for their treatment of once legal key words, which they stupidly call out as a fault instead of ignoring.
  • PM2IM.exe   —   Takes *.PM (Progressive mesh) files used into the UTC days, and converts them to an Indexed Mesh (.IM file) used since by Trainz mesh exporters.
  • Both Images2TGA and PM2IM have special 'curative' capabilities (content illegalities) when used directly in Windows mode to open a file, which are beyond the scope of this page. Normally they are run inside a batch file in command line mode, which can process a great many file folders at once in a process PEV calls trawling... visiting each folder and sub-folders in succession.
  • Quickshadows.exe offers several different modes of producing more or less complicated shadow meshes to add shadowing to older assets which had none. It also has a direct windows mode, but it is primarily used to establish output type and options for batch mode operations. This tool was much more needed in 2009 than now, for now assets lacking shadows are very rare.

Product (as in 'Cargo' for rolling stock)
Anything 'consumed or produced' by an Trainz industry, including passengers which are "consumed" and "produced" by Trainz passenger stations. There are whole families of products and interactive traincars to carry same to enhance the realism of Trainz operations. See TrainzProRoutes' LARS industries, or for example, search in CM for traincars by Davesnow and majekear, and compare the different mix of products each defaults their vast output of different flagged rolling stock kind traincars to carry.
The Kind keyword tagdenoting a session asset config.txt file defining a Trainz KIND, of a 'Driver Session's' config.txt file. A kind profile config defines the parameters of a session, within which it is an 'enumerated value' augmenting the legal tags summed with those of the TrainzBaseSpec.
  • Specifically, the enumerated string value "profile" given as the assigned parameter of the kind tag in a config.txt file specifies that the asset is a Driver session and defines to the software that it should parse looking for other tags and containers required by that sort of asset. Sessions folders prior to TRS2010 did not have many dependencies listed inside their kuid-tables, and their string-tables were relatively uncomplicatedly small. With the addition of Layers in TS10, profile folders expanded the numbers of file types the profile contained, and their kuid-tables grew dramatically as session creators could add features to the base route solely for that type session. This required session data to augment map data with such special purpose defined parametrics, mounted assets, or even session only assets.
Prototypical, prototypes
A layout or other feature (e.g. rolling stock asset, signs, signals, etc.) which is intended to fairly accurately depict reality based on a prototype operating company railroad or scenery asset (i.e. buildings)—the opposite of a 'fantasy route' which is a fictional or fanciful place or route. Full up accurate prototypical modeling is a painstaking and difficult taskmaster. Modeling well generally involves compromises between art and faithfulness to a set of prototypical places, such as trimming down a long distance to make driving more fun on the modeled route. The modeler may strive for accuracy or play ability but in the event, not many will drive three hours to get to the next interesting place, so a good balance is sought most often by the best modelers.
 • See also: prototype in Notations


PTP or 'Pro Train Perfect'
Mid-2000's French-German publisher of one of two licensed European only versions of TRS2006, both as an Auran authorized pre-Trainz Classic of sorts. The TRS2007 edition was published in Eastern Europe in a partnership arrangement with Third Party Content creators & publishers Blue Sky Interactive, a long established model railroad industry company, and featured German, French and Polish content. It is sometimes incorrectly referred to as TRS2008 — by which 'name' others, more correctly, should in fact, mean the French, Italian, Greek, Spanish language release by another publisher/distributor (somewhat later in 2007). Techincally, neither TRS2007 nor TRS2008 is officially correct, just Slang Examples of The Community wagging the Auran Dog.
 • Hence, Trainz PTP in British English slang means the name under which a Eastern European Language version of TRS2006 was sold in Germany, Poland, Hungary, Russia, and other such Eastern European countries.
 • Similarly, Trainz Railroad Simulator and Trainz Railway Simulator or Trainz Railroads and Trainz Railways all have a certain amount of legitimacy as software publishing agreements in the day were generally regional exclusive contracts. As late as 2021, one publisher with marketing rights is still selling new Trainz UTC and supposedly, Trainz: The Complete Collection[note 8] new in the wrapper CDROM based software.[note 9]

Ra to Rz



Rail Driver
A physical control panel manufactured by P.I. Engineering which can be attached to a computer and which mimics that of a real locomotive.


ride along
A Ride Along is one style session which does not require operation by the Human Intelligence Driver (You), but is written so everything is automated using the AI Drivers (A misnomer in the dialect of advertising hyperbole: 'Artificial Intelligence' Driver, the simulator, in other words following a script set up by the session writer.


RMB, Right Mouse Button
This abbreviation is widely used in the Auran documentation and throughout this document for a single right button click and release.
RMBH, Right Mouse Button and Hold
This abbreviation is widely used in the Auran documentation and throughout this document meaning hold the right mouse mouse button and hold.


RMBHd, Right Mouse Button and Hold while dragging
This abbreviation is widely used in the Auran documentation and throughout this document. Many auxiliary operations in Trainz, both in Surveyor and CM use right mouse button drop down menus.
rolling stock
Effectively assets written as kind traincar.
Rolling stock' is a category search menu line in CM, and a railroading term of art meaning any 'revenue producing vehicle that rides the roads rails. In general, but differing by applicable corporate traditions and culture, it is not a term used often for Maintenance of Way (MOW) vehicles. Trainz groups MOW vehicles in Rolling Stock, just as it does Locomotives. {{TTip|To sort without seeing locomotives set CM's or Surveyor's search filter for 'Category:Rolling Stock + And Not + Category:Locomotives'


RS Part
Rolling Stock Part. A dependency required by a rolling stock asset, such as a bogie (US English: truck), coupler, chassis, mesh, or body. Many rolling stock assets are reskinned 'alias taged' meshes of other rolling stock assets referenced by Kuid in the alias keyword or (now, more often by) mesh-table tags.


Rules and Driver Commands
See also: Rule, and main topics: Rules & Driver Commands
A command likely first seen in a Driver session encapsulated in a little graphic rectangle with icons representing (fronting for) a re-entrant scriptlet in Trainz extensible GameScript language. Behind the scenes, the framework, tasks, testings, and scoring are handled by interactive rules defined by the session writer CC. A list of useable 'Driver Commands' is defined early, in the 'initialization parts' of a session, so will vary when driving different sessions. Various rules represent program flow controls, status reporting and testing components, and display outputs to the CC writing a session. There are well over 1,000 rules on the DLS.
  • To the session writer, the scriptlets are building blocks and possess 'hooks' that allow dynamic digital interfacing with the virtual world's map elements.
     • Session Rules often allow definition and value initialization of other parameters hooked into run-time software.
     • To a rule writer CC, a rule is a stand-alone asset, written to fulfill a general need or allow a certain sort of task dynamically within the gameplay of a session. These often operate more effectively with specific assets made by the CC or one of his associates. They can be sorted by category in CM.
  • The scriptlets may be thought of as a subprogram, which in each instance can take various definitions or associations which the session runtime software needs. These code defined hooks are needed to associate a route or consist element to a Test of a state, or track values such as scoring in dynamic gameplay. The inclusion of Rules and their parameters is specified when a Driver Session is created in Surveyor, and in it's session editor API.
     • Driver Command rules are commands placed in a AI Driver's command queue (list) that are executed in that order.


Rule editing
Many Rules open an entry applet when 'edited' (Programmed, defined, initialized, or specified would be more accurate, but 'edit' is the Session editor button's label) after added to or when encountered in a Session sequence. The editing of a Rule is the session designer/editor CC's way to define parameters to pass into the runtime interface in the Driver GUI Module, possibly to directly change of some element (e.g. junctions, signals states) in a Trainz mapor get from the map rendering game software by the setting up of an association a 'variable' for a software state-check, or to keep a counter style score.

Sa to Sz



Computing Terms (Jargon)   lit.:  Search and Replace, (aka, 'Find and Replace'); and Conditional Search and Replace; variant GSAR for Global Search and Replace (An all or nothing SAR, far more risky that you may change something you shouldn't than searching and deciding one by one. Use REGEX to narrow risk significantly.

Notepad's Replace All is GSAR, Notepad++'s File Search and Replace can be, especially if no REGEX conditions are specified.

Scenarios and Sessions


scenario and main coverage: scenarios

Scenarios were modular interactive scripted software element add-ins (Kind 'Activity', now not supported) which acted as a adjunct to Trainz Driver, and provided the first game experience offering task challenges, scoring, and switching operations. Scenarios were the first kind data type (Asset) which operated AI Driver driven Trains creating traffic users had to interact with and avoid. They'd a crude ability to load and unload trains 'off-camera', add or dissolve other consists, enabled distribution of traincars and operations involving the same during the same gaming session, which was most importantly, not just driving around doing things one made up in one's own head, but were actual demanding activities and tasks. They were however, fairly difficult to produce and debug as they had to be written 'Off-line' on a separate editor utility App, while their replacement, Sessions (Kind 'profile') has access to route information, since it's got a drop down in the Surveyor Module API.


This sort of activity, challenge, contest, or pastime is much more typical of a sophisticated organized contest held by a high-end model trains railfan group or club. The best of these Activities offered scoring, and you were able to try to better your previous best-provided you kept track of your previous scores. Auto-score recording is a relatively new Trainz capability. From TR04-TS09, a bevy of new commands and session rules proliferated, greatly expanding the capability of the sessions, assigned the Kind 'profile'.[note 10] Trainz improved on that in TS10 & TS12, and added prompting rules and many conditions which could be tested, making today's driver scenarios (Sessions) capable of far more complexity than yesteryear's scenario 'kind activity'. Sessions supplanted use of scenarios as the TrainzScript module was now directly integrated into the game in TRS2004, whereupon the session editor became an important part of Surveyor.
 • Support for Scenarios will not be continued after TS12's service packs.


 Trainz Sessions are scripted Driver activities that create an interactive game play episode with tasks, conditions, and standards set by the Session creator. They are of references and always have a dependent relationship to a host references asset— a virtual world also called a route or layout. Sessions were introduced in TRS2004 (late 2003) as a better, easier user friendly replacement for scenarios. Both are scriptlet collections, but Sessions are more flexible, can be modified and debugged far more easily since they are written using the Session editor in Surveyor, so were integrated into the game where map features are visible, and so easier to make than scenarios which used a separate TrainzScript editor module—where the virtual world was not visible, nor was its data. The session editor is still lacking much that could be improved in usability, but since TRS2004, it has been at the heart of Trainz driving scenarios, whilst the old scenario.


In Trainz, a scriptlet supports the Trainz Game engines by extending or simulating functionality of some asset or action. Scriptlet code is always embedded in each interactive traincar or Trainz Industry—once realism features unique to the software system. Generally, a scriptlet is attached within an Asset where needed (by those 'pesky' KUIDS and references thingys (You'll deal with soon enough!) and in Asset source [code] folders in script files) and then each is executed whenever it is requested by the game engine or other scriptlet calling it into action. Scriplets are basically interpreted language code modules, which are relocatable, often re-entrant, and take and give out parametrics acting as subroutines doing one task, which can be strung together in different combinations, giving flexibly different results. This last part means they perform computer like function functioning such as defining, allocating, tracking, modifying one or more variables, and event threshold tests in the scriptlet then triggering some other action when a conditional test of circumstances is met. This is branching behavior, altering programmed event flow into a new subroutine or sub-program. All this Jargon means that scriptlets are the heart of the flexibility and smarts in much of Trainz, spread over several dozen different important functional areas. Gamescript is an (0bsolete) Auran Scripting language introduced in the third Service Pack of the first Trainz release, Trainz 1.3 and expanded with its successor, Trainz UTC. coding associated with an software system asset such as a rolling stock item or an industry to create interactive effects in Trainz. Not all assets have scriptlets which are used to create dynamic interaction between associated digital (virtual reality) elements or such virtual reality elements and users in Trainz Driver. For example a coal mine and hopper car train are one sort of such paired digital elements, whereas operating a lever or control in a cab is such an associated digital element and human interaction. Further scriptlets, such as Rules (above) allow setting up scoring in gameplay, dynamic or triggered control of map states, sensing of conditions and in general gamescript programs are needed to marry a virtual object with a virtual action/behavior.


A sight glass is a measuring device showing the actual meniscus level of a liquid within a larger reservoir, a large tank. In steam locomotives and commercial boilers in general, a sight glass assembly, and sometimes several assemblies arranged at different heights (tank depths) will be mounted on the side of the tank through a pair of emergency shutoff valves. Piping exits the valve into an elbow terminating in a compression fitting which squeezes the ends of a thick glass tube—the sight glass proper is the glass tube through which the liquid level in the tank can be followed, since fluids flow until they reach their own level. Generally, the whole assembly is referred to as a sight glass, and meaning of assembly or part will be discernable by context.


String (computing) or string value
Computer term using coding associated with an text standard. Various 'alphabets' code glyphs differently, but most English glyph symbols are representable by ASCII codes and the supersets of unicode which extends the symbols available.
This is an example of a Built-in (canned) route with a problem when surveying it (snooping) before Driving it.


String array (or string list)
Trainz uses several semi-colon delimited ASCII values listed in a string as a container to bundle variable length sets of enumerated codes rather than use separate variables for each. Indeed, such string arrays displace and supercede earlier data model keyword forms (Contrast category-era with 'category-era-XX'). An more important good common example is the category-region tag which takes paired enumerated country codes (possibly ISO two letter codes, or at least very similar) and which 'list' places where that asset might be appropriate.
  • On point, today's (TS09 standards) category-region tag replaced individual tags such as category-region-0, category-region-1, category-region-2, category-region-nn on separate lines.
  • Use of string arrays generally simplify and shortens config.txt files, but at the cost of imposing a specific format and/or enumerated type for values. That said, such types tend to be human-centric and have importance more to classification sorting of assets than utility and importance to the game runtime software.
Junction Switch example of a manually operated switch-stand with Target indicators (showing it's open-closed state), the grooved cross-over rail called a frog, and the hinged-tapered track-arm-and-tips called points.
A new Switch Motor on the MBTA Commuter Rail Mainline x-over MBTA Commuter Rail trackage, Lawrence, MA yard viewed from River Street Grade-Xing.
(formerly p/o B&MRR, now part of Pan-Am Rail)
Aerial view of a switch yard in Chicago, Ill.


SP, SPs (Service Packs)
Main coverage topics: Service Packs, and Service Pack (in Notations)}.
A free software update to an applications program or operating system. Unlike most genre software (games) Trainz has both longevity and complexity so has had a long history of intermediate improvements and bug fixes after the user community thoroughly vetts a new release.


Switch or Junction switch (or points), turn-out and frogs
switch motors and/or switch levers.

A junction switch (model railroading's 'Turn out') is the selectable divergence or convergence of one line to two lines where the frog or points is shifted by a manual lever or throw lever at a switch stand and sometimes automated by a switch motor.

  • Switch levers may be indicating or not, meaning they show a different appearance when switched or unswitched—historically in many cases by a semaphore arm, or more often now, an trackside 'switch stand flag' (or target) or 'indicating light' before the junction.
  • A succession of switches forms a diverging ladder, which may or may not re-converge in a merging ladder on the opposite side of a switch yard (Also possibly known as a freight yard, classification yard, marshaling yard, transfer yard or sorting yard, depending upon the local countries railroading sub-culture).


Switching Scenario

Switching problems Driver Sessions (older tech: Scenarios) are Driver mode game play 'puzzle' challenges presenting the driver with a list of tasks involving shuffling traincars in between various locations in some stretch of trackage. The assignment instructions will likely use terms like consist, pick, cut, and set out; all terms used in different railway cultures to break apart, gather, and position a group of cars where wanted.
  • The trackage may involve a mainline [2nd image, that yard is on the opposite side of the two tracked mainline; only the mainline has expensive switch motors controlling their junction points], often with an prohibition the switch engine driver must avoid using it, or has to use the main line only in a limited manner (time window), or the action can be off on a sleepy rail spur with little or no other traffic to dodge.
  • The action may take place in a number of little industrial yards or spurs spaced out over several miles along a stretch of track with a set-out siding along the local mainline tracks or might involve a major railyard [3rd image, (e.g. a 'Marshaling' (British) or 'classification' or 'switch' or 'sorting' yard] with a complicated 'switch ladder', numbered tracks and lead track or tracks arrangement and only specific assigned tracks and junctions, the driver is allowed to use (or limited to using).
  • Most will require some degree of human controlled switch operation [{1st image, the switch stand shown connects to the mainline from a small yard], and involve an odd car or two which are inconveniently ordered, so complicate the operations. And as a kicker, many will score your efficiency, and deduct points every time you throw a junction lever - whether that one was the one you intended to change, or not!

Ta to Tz



Trainz Asset Database, TAD

There have been nearly half-as-many different Trainz Asset Database organization methods as there have been Trainz releases. They share two attributes in common. A planned permanent storage data folder schema and structure, and an index file providing quick reference location of the right file folder and its contents. The index file itself is sometimes called the TAD, and most have had the filename assets.tdx through the years. In the trs2009 release, N3V introduced the TAD Daemon—the TADDaemon which operated behind the scenes as a transactions manager actually offloading responsibilities from Content Manager and Surveyor into another background utility 'TrainzUtil.exe'. TrainzUtil was the software which actually does the low level tasks like opening a file set, parsing for errors and communing with the DLS.


'TADdaemon.exe' is a Trainz transactions manager that gates and manages reading and writing to the TAD (Trainz Asset Data Base) and runs in the background after launching in all versions after TS2010-SP0 and TS2009-SP3 which were under concurrent development. Among other things the TADdaemon allows multiplayer operations, running both CM and the runtime GUIs such as Surveyor (those two together rock!) at the same time (preventing the lock ups and crashes sometimes afflicting the TRS2006 family simulators doing the same dual mode operations).
  • The Launcher MenuOptions Button → Developer TAB → click box: "show data base process windows" will display the ongoings inside the TADdaemon, and this can sometimes be useful in troubleshooting.


Words, Tags, Key words, or equivalently, 'Tag names'
Main pages: data model, Index of Tags & Containers


The Trainz Data Model has evolved and incorporated (and discarded) many tags and containers, so called 'reserved words' of its data definitions over the years. On the whole, it has actually changed astonishingly little when given an overall survey. Of those we can class as discarded and (foolishly) Made Illegal the most prominent among these are the words once found in virtually every asset, those which would today be recognized as part of the TrainzBaseSpec definitions which can occur in any and all types of assets. A new user is almost certain to encounter:
asset-filename, category-era-nn, category-region-nn, company, name-xx,region, origin, thumb, type, and a few others less common, since they are found only in certain kinds of asset definitions such as engine sounds, etcetera.

A new user is ALSO almost certain to encounter a few things (ignorable faults) N3V programmer also decided to be intolerant about which they justified as never being part of the official data specifications (ignoring years of general practices in thousands of assets, AND accepted and recognized "Good Coding Practices" in their profession):

class, REM "" (block comments), // and ; prefixed lines (i.e. in-line comments), date, size, weight, height, tonnage, & other like measures—See an Auran defined PRR Boxcar config.txt file for a list. Eliminating comments in a data file is just plain stupid. No more need be said.
Unwisely, the N3V programming team responsible for TS2009—TS2012 chose to force thousands of users to spend their time deleting tags and values which the read-in process of the data fault checking program could do in microseconds. They stubbornly STILL remain clueless of how this pisses off their customer bases, and their managers and CEO apparently never considered how simple ignoring such tags is to a competent programmer. A similar tyro-mistake given impulse ('forever momentum', now) with the same application, is what CM 2.0 and up do with a mis-matched quote-pair. The S/W Team never learned the trick of parsing a quote-dependent file both frontwards and backwards, and verifying the line count matches. Again a few microseconds of code runtime, a minor cost to users, which only need be written ONE TIME, and forever be part of the read-config process before processing kind tags and actually validating any data. If you as a new user, see validation of an asset produce and arm-length long list of errors, you will find the problem is a missing or extra quotation mark! Bet on it.


TBS, KIND_TrainzBaseSpec, or 'The TrainzBaseSpec'
The Trainz Base Specification is a common set of data items which either may or in other items, must be specified to define any and every Trainz asset, including routes and sessions.


TDH or the Trainz Download Helper.
A sub-program of each of Trainz' Content Managers, since TRS2006's CMP introduced it; The TDH in TANE and TRS19 is there, but built-into the menu.
  • In the Content Managers modules through TS12 (and excluding TRS2004's ContentManager.exe, which only managed local content with a screen similar to CMP/CMs main Windows) exhibits as the top Pane (a resizable drag N drop Window) along the left side of Content Manager programs from TRS2006—TS12.
    The DLH is used to download and install additional assets by selecting them from the main CM window (listing assets selected by the Search Pane controls, in this example's case, one showing DLS Content, which line(s) are then accrued. When the user (or his network!) is ready, he clicks on a button under said DLH pane, starting the communications exchange. The DLH also has a Stop button.
    Today's TANE and TRS19 releases use a similar method, without resorting to drag and drop, 'then later' launching a communications link, as they are always communing with the N3V server unless one disables the internet, so two click & drag menu items will either 'Download This Version' or 'Download' (meaning it will have the server search for the most recent, presumably most updated) kuid it can find and return THAT.


Texture files ('*.texture') and texture.txt files
A source 2D image which can be wrapped about or applied to the sides of a 3D mesh 'virtual surface' is called a texture (see also: " Texture_mapping). The preferred file type for mapping textures in Trainz is the scalable raster graphics TARGA (TGA file) format, though BMP and JPEG file formats by extensions as textures are also supported.
  • The extension Dot-texture as a file's extension like (*.texture) often found when opening an asset for edit are composite binary files containing image processing header instructions and the graphics texture image. These are decodable into the texturename.texture.txt which holds imaging instructions (now editable and mutable once in .txt format) and its associated source files (*.bmp, *.jpg, or *.tga) using the PEVtool Images2TGA.
  • Newer Trainz technologies utilize advanced mesh rendering-texture mapping techniques and feature instructions such as 'AlphaHint= statements' and other esoterica (unknown in all the TRS-Trainz releases) but which have extended the prettiness of Trainz graphics. These processing instructions are found in texture.txt files—a type of ini file providing additional instructions. Each mesh-based Trainz asset will have at least one texture.txt file per mesh, and usually more—and Trainz KIND texture assets, both environmental .


TH or the Trainz Helper.

Trainz Helper was a *.exe module part of TRS2004 (and possibly back to Trainz 1.3) that established a link to the Server which became known eventually as the Trainz Download Station.{{BullR ]} These tasks were later (i.e. mostly, since 2005) done in CMP's TDH 'Trainz Download Helper' collapsible API Window, which was one of the left pane drag and drop data management tools integrated into CM and CMP until TANE changed the user interface look, see, and feel.
 • Today's TANE and TRS19 releases use a similar method, without resorting to drag and drop, so two R-click menu items are 'Download This Version' or 'Download' (meaning it will have the server search for the most recent, presumably most updated) kuid it can find and return THAT. Download also grabs dependencies and dependencies of any dependencies, all the latest pertinent versions.


TLCP – main article is Trainz/N3V Life-Cycle Policy
The controversial recently adopted policy of ending support for a release version four years from the date of first release, vice four to six after the software is stabilized by the last software upgrade.
  • A second effect of the policy is assets created to an older version are not accepted by the DLS upload software checks, creating an artificial and unnecessary version creep and requiring a route developer to upgrade from a version he's perfectly content with.



Main article: trackmarks

Trackmarks appear in surveyor and on the Map view (when enabled) as little three-D diamond shapes. In the Earliest Trainz releases they were used so that users could manually place consists on the Map before Driving a session, and morphed in Trainz 1.3 into waypoints which a script could use to designate routing through-points or stops for AI trains. With the advent of the TRS's, two variant trackmark types were added to the original red trackmarks (violet and yellow) used respectively to assign a track-class priorities (1st–3rd) and Track Direction markers, both biasing routing choices by AI trains. In the latter case, the directional indicate a path can only be navigated in one direction (one way streets, in effect) by AI Drivers.  

A third-party freeware asset management utility written for the popular TRS2004 by famed content creator Terry Franks (tafweb, #1942, whilst on in years Terry has 305 built-in items in TS12 and hundreds in earlier releases!). Many believe TrainzObjectz inspired Auran to evolve its content manager.exe for TRS2004 into TRS2006's Content Manager Plus to manage asset file management duties similar to TrainzObjectz and consolidate several Trainz 1--TR04 utilities into the same software module. TrainzObjectz performed fault checking on the library of assets, and provided most of the data management functions for Trainz—TRS2004 releases when installed. It enabled instant editing of flawed configs, and reported on orphaned parts of assets, sessions, and not only reported missing dependencies, but would prompt to ask the user if they wanted to download them now, and do so when enabled. This feature (one step missings corrections) was not re-introduced to Trainz series until TANE's redo of the Content Manager. In 2005, CMP was integrated in TRS2006, which many believe to be modeled on Trainz Objects, and replaced much of its functional utility in TR06 and up, but lack some of its other nice features and capabilities. Now obsolete outside UTC and 'TR04 installations, it can still be found and downloaded at[4], where today it can be used to manage librarys of open assets like those used in Trainz 1—TRS2004 installs.


Trainz Railways
The Marketing name used in the UK by a distributor-publisher (Auran partner) for the first (regionally released) Trainz Classics which bundled TRS2006 (no Sp, so V2.5) and TRS2004 and Trainz 1.3.
 • This corresponded to the principal software mix of the US & AU release Trainz: The Complete Collection—but the Wikibook does not know whether or if Trainz PaintShed and Gmax were also included in the British Release.
 • Confusingly, Auran reused the title with Trainz Classics 1, 2, and 3 with post TRS2006-SP1 (v2.6) improvements in releases TC1, TC2, and TC3 (V2.7, v2.7, v2.8)


Trainz Railwayz
The name used in the USA release for the original (regionally released) Trainz Classics. (See 'Trainz Railways' above.)


Ua to Zz

UTC or Trainz UTC
Trainz Ultimate Trainz Collection (v1.5)... An 3CD version of Trainz 1.3, with extra content CD's and PaintShed (v1.4), eventually superceded by TRS2004 (v2.0). UTC introduced Scenario's which later became the more generalized Sessions most commonly seen today. TS12 is the last Trainz release that will support Scenario loading.


Virtual Railroader ezine
'Virtual Railroader', under editor/publisher/Trainz-enthusiast Alfred Barten, was an important monthly ezine modeled on various Model Railroader magazines and the Kalmbach Model Railroading books specializing on How-to and informational articles on Trainz railroad simulators, simulator models, resources (prototyping information) and is still a valuable resource to experienced and especially to beginning Trainzers alike. A must perusal for any with ambitions to build a route, or do any content creation![note 11]

Notes and References



  1. TANE and TRS19's ContentManager's hotkeys are controversially, mostly different. N3V shopped out software development and didn't properly specify historic keys be maintained, nor apparently, the historic ability for a user to map and remap keys to his/her liking. Some believe this is a MAC influenced unwanted change, but only N3V knows the truth.
  2. On differences between CMPs and CMs... CMP in TRS2006-SP1 introduced enhanced validation (fault checking), and the incremental CMs (and the TC's CMP's too) each differ in the kinds of faults they detect, and sometimes in the error messages they present on identical inputs of asset source files.
  3. Example of User Interface features changes between progressive CMs: Both TS09 and TS10's have a convenient 'Local Content' search filter menu selection, while TS12 has 'Installed' which sometimes needs additional search keys to do the same tasks; TS09 defaults to showing local content, but TS10 & TS12 default to All Content--trashing searches with DLS stuff mostly not wanted to see. There are others--TS09 offered ability to overwrite already installed assets when importing, useful for updating a bunch of assets from an archive library, but TS10 and TS12 default to not updating an asset-so require a manual delete, then re-import if a bunch of assets have been batch upgraded. These differences should be user controllable modes, but N3V dictates, and the users time gets wasted accordingly.
  4. Indeed, the Valuable CDP contents listing utility, "CDP Browser2.exe" outputs columns of data separated by pipe characters ('
  5. Note: On the Rules count on the DLS... This ballpark number is almost certainly inflated by superseding versions with higher KUID2 codes-or obsolete-table entries. Or perhaps the difference from expectation is a multiple of native language internationalizations. A reliable source, Pware (who has been writing instructionals and help for rules and commands in the Trainz Wiki) places the true count at a bit over 100 commands and rules. This corresponds will with experiential observations using various grade releases Session Editors to use the things!
  6. For example, the computer this note is being typed upon has multiple installations of Trainz: Trainz 1.3, Trainz UTC, TRS2004 (SP4 only), TRS2006 (x2, SP0+SP1), TC1&2, TC3, TS2009 (x4 SP1–SP4), TS2010 (x4, SP1–SP4), TS2012 (x3, SP0, SP1-hf3, SP1-hf4). Years after this initial note, TANE x2 and TRS19 (just installed) also live on its three hard drives.
  7. ... on Odd installs: Or a computer engineer, like the author trying to get his facts correct!
  8. New Trainzer Alert-check e-bay and Craigslist for this offer, and spend the $30 or so, for it gives you register-able versions of UTC, TR04, PaintShed, Trainz Routes, and TRS2006 in one package. These are runnable fun packages, and the included content is relatively free from protections, meaning you can learn content construction from the open source examples within each of the three. TR04 has nine scenarios as well as quite a few built-in maps. Similarly, so does TR06 with three scenarios but more sessions, and between the two, a mess of content is available to explore and adapt. Trainz Routes has numerous small to medium 3rd Party routes that again are fun learning experiences, and again have loads of extra content.
  9. In similar measure, TurboSquid is still licensing gmax, once bundled with Trainz 1, Trainz UTC and TRS2004 under a similar never ending publishing rights contract. Trainz affectionados who can sweet talk an old Trainz Content Creator pack mesh exporter for gmax can still create some usable content!
  10. If you want to rename a session on a favorite route, once cloned, changing the quoted username string tag-value gives you direct control, within allowable naming boundaries.
  11. While editor Alfred Barten ceased monthly publication, the website continues to generate revenue and pay for itself and he intends to maintain the site active so long as his 70s+ health holds up. Per Email discourse with Fabartus, Summer-Winter of 2013, with permission to use contents in this effort as well.


  1. a b c Trainz UTC CDROM box art, 2003, Cosmi Finance, LLC,, accessdate=2014-0414
  2. Self-descriptions
  3. Autodesk's 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software from their website††.
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    † Suggested Retail Price SRP (i.e. List price) price / accessdate= 2014-0904 †† Source: Company's Buy Autodesk webpage
  4. Site and Downloading validated and checked active summer 2013 -- Fabartus