Track Laying and Troubleshooting
A Tutorial For New Train Simulator Surveyors
Updated September 1st, 2009

Welcome. This article is intended as tutorial on track laying and troubleshooting for folks new to Auran's great train simulations. It is written based on TRS2004 and TRS2006, but most of the principles should apply to later Trainz versions, such as Classic and TS2009. The articles assume that you have at least some experience playing with Surveyor and understand the basic tools. Illustrations are shown using USA track arrangements and signaling, ie: running on the right side, etc.


Heres the disclaimer: Im not a technical guru like some Trainz folks, but I have spent thousands of hours playing with Surveyor. A lot of that time has been spent beating my head against the wall when things dont work the way I think they should. :-) From that experience, Ive learned that most--but not all--problems result from incorrect track laying and/or incorrect signal placement. This is especially true when youre running a lot of AI trains.


So, here are some tips that might save you grief. These are my ideas and, of course, there are probably other ways to get the job done that work equally well. Suggestions for changes or additions to this text are welcome and if the article proves to be of value, well add additional material.


The Tutorial is now divided into a number of separate pages to make loading a bit faster and to make it easier to find a specific section. If you are newcomer to Trainz, however, I strongly recommend that you read the text in the order presented. Its like a math course; each new section builds on the material presented earlier.


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Table of contents


Part 1 - Working With Track and Switches

Every track section has a direction

Parallel tracks


Splines and switch levers

Using signals with switches

Editing your track may be a source of trouble

Troubleshooting track problems


Part 2 Making Your Turnouts Look Nice

Doing it on the level

Using the vertex height tool

Dealing with turnouts on a grade


Part 3 - Controlling Train Speed Through a Switch

A great solution to the problem

Programming the ISS

Using the ISS in a multiple switch junction


Part 4 - An Introduction to Signaling

Signal aspects

Basic signals

The 02 signals

The 02 caveat

The 01 and the 03 signals

Installing and testing signals

Signaling with diverging routes


Part 5 - Working with signals

Cornfield Meets

Dealing with AI issues

Working with signal blocks


Part 6 - Installing bridges

Bridges on level ground

Elevated bridges


Part 7 - An introduction to portals

A portal is a stargate

Basic portal setup

Portals can create new trains

Setting a portal to accept trains

Important considerations when using portals


Part 8 - Sometimes 35 is faster than 60

The effects of caution signals on train movement

The importance of distance between signals

Approach and departure signals

The rules are different on two-way single track


Part 9 - Using the ruler tool to keep your track straight

The ruler tool can do more than measure distance

To keep track straight, you need a reference that doesn't move with the track

Looking down from directly overhead

Using the Guide Angle tool

Part 10 - Installing a Turnable and Operating it Under AI Control

Installing Andi Smith's 24 track turntable

Adding a new driver command and a new rule

Operating your turntable locos under AI control

Using signals, and an engine house or a roundhouse with your turntable

Part 11 - Installing and Using Trackside Cameras

The camera detection radius

Installing a Static Camera

Installing Tracking Cameras

The key principle in muliple camera placement

Part 12 - Signalling Crossing Tracks and Double Track Junctions

Signalling diamond crossings

Signalling double crossovers

Integrating the Invisible Speed Signal for crossings

Signalling double track junctions

Part 13 - Creating a Milepost System for Your Route

Determining where to put mileposts

Placing mileposts and signals in a tunnel

Part 14 - Bells, Horns and Fooling the AI

Using dummy junctions to improve train movement

Adding automatic bells and horns at your passenger stations

Using the Invisible Speed Signal to slow passenger trains at a station

Using trackmarks at portals

Improving signal operations at a divergence

Case Studies in AI Train Operations

Operating multiple AI trains is a challenge.

Case 1 Multitrack portals

Case 2 Trackside Industries


To return to the Midwest Central home page, click here.

This tutorial is Copyright © 2009, Chuck Brite. The text and pictures presented may not be copied or posted elsewhere. You may link to this page, but posting elsewhere is prohibited.

This is a private fansite and has no connection with Auran, Ltd. Trainz and TRS2006 are (c) 2006.
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