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The Endless Possibilities of Trainz

What I like about Trainz is the endless possibilities. In addition to operating

trains on the built in routes, one can build one’s own route: reproduce a

prototype railroad or creating a route that is completely imaginary. One can

build hundreds of miles of track, sculpt and scenic the terrain, add streams,

rivers, lakes, oceans, trees, shrubs grass, roads, buildings even interactive-

industries. One can choose the time of day, or night, the weather, even the color

of the sky and the type of clouds. All of this from built in features of the Trainz

program or from the addition of assets, at last count 178,617 (DSL May 1, 2011),

created by other modelers and available through the Content Manager (CM), a

part of the Trainz software. Or one can also create one’s own 3-dimensional

assets including locomotives, rolling stock, buildings, flora and fauna with such

programs as GMax or Blender. The possibilities are endless.

Then, one can operate trains in Digital Command Control (DCC) mode, increasing

or decreasing speed and reversing direction as if operating a model railroad with

a variable transformer or Digitrax throttle. Or, one can operate in Cab mode

carefully adjusting the fire, boiler pressure, throttle and breaks to the demands

of the track ahead while conserving coal and water. Or, with rules provided by

Auran (N3V), one can create sessions to operate trains in an artificial

intelligence (AI) mode. With Trainz Simulator 12 (TS12) one can even operate

over the Internet on the same route with other engineers through multi-player


However, all of this requires some acquisition of expertise much of which is note

provided in the manuals. For example, the 64-page manual for TS12 is only an

introduction to installing and operating TS12. Even the tutorials provided deal

only with operating trains.

For the beginner to acquire the necessary expertise to fully take advantage of

Trainz is a part of the Trainz journey. To the extent that my experience may help

other “Trainzers”, in particular the beginner, I have listed some of the plethora

of websites where routes, forums, asset downloads, web links, manuals and

tutorials may be found.