How to Manage Backups

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The information in this Wiki Page applies to TANE, TRS19, Trainz Plus and TRS22. This guide will explain automatic and manual backups in Trainz.

Main Points:
DotPoint.JPG Trainz will automatically backup your current route and session in Surveyor while you work. You can set the number of backups created each day
DotPoint.JPG You can use Content Manager to manually create backups of routes, sessions and assets as often as you need
DotPoint.JPG Both the manual and automatic backups can be restored to Trainz by Content Manager
DotPoint.JPG You can backup all your user data (built-in assets, DLS downloads, DLC purchases, your own creations)


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Automatic Backups vs Manual Backups

  Automatic Backups Manual Backups
  • set and forget - no need to remember to perform the backups
  • backups are stored in a set location
  • automatic restore after a crash
  • you control where the backups are stored and for how long
  • you control the backup file names
  • any assets can be backed up, not just routes and sessions
  • identifying the exact backup file to restore may not be easy
  • only routes and sessions can be backed up
  • last 7 days of backups only are kept
  • you have to remember to perform the backup
  • you have to remember where you stored the backups
  • manual restore after a crash

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Automatic Backups

Creating Automatic Backups

In Summary:
DotPoint.JPG Only a set number of backups are created each day
DotPoint.JPG Only 7 days of backups are kept

This is a Set and Forget operation. You simply tell Trainz how many backups you want created each day and the program takes care of the rest.

Steps.PNG Steps:

Launcher Settings Tabs

  1. To set the number of backups, select Trainz Settings from the Launcher and then click the Dev tab.
  2. One data entry box in this tab will be named Daily backups to keep and it will have a default value of 7. Set it to the number of backups you want each day.
DotPoint.JPG Launcher Settings Tabs If you are working on developing a new route or session then 7 daily backups could be a suitable number.
DotPoint.JPG Launcher Settings Tabs If you are making minor changes to existing routes or sessions then 3 or 4 daily backups could be a suitable number.
DotPoint.JPG Launcher Settings Tabs If you are not working on any routes or sessions then 0 daily backups could be a suitable number - but remember to reset this when you do need the automatic backups again.
Stop.PNG If you set 0 daily backups then there will be no option to restore your route/session to the latest automatic backup after a crash

Large Number of Daily Backups Small Number of Daily Backups

Tick more backup storage space is needed
Tick shorter time between backups so less work could be lost

Tick less backup storage space is needed
Tick longer time between backups so more work could be lost

Only the last 7 days of backups are kept and this number cannot be changed.

Restoring Automatic Backups

Stop.PNG The following method has been reported as not working in the SP4 builds of TRS19 and Trainz Plus

A bug report has been submitted

The automatic backups are stored in a backup folder in your Trainz local data folder. The location of this folder is held in your Launcher - Trainz Settings - Install tab.

DBR EDBR31.png

Steps.PNG Steps:

DotPoint1.JPG Open The Backups Folder:

  1. using Windows File Explorer, open your local data folder and then open the backups folder.
  2. the backups that have been created during the past week will be listed by their dates using the YY-MM-DD date format.

  DotPoint2.JPG Identify the Backup to Restore:
  1. open the backup folder for the date that you want. A list of backup files and folders created that day will be shown.


  • if you know the time of the backup then sort the entries by date. Some entries, as shown above, have randomised names and will have to be sorted by date.
  • if you know the kuid of the backup (it will be the same as used by the route/session) then sort the entries by name.

  DotPoint3.JPG Restore the Backup To Trainz:
  1. open Content Manager
  2. drag and drop the selected backup folder from Windows File Explorer into Content Manager
  3. the item will be shown in Content Manager as Open for Edit. Select the item and Submit it.

More details, including tips on troubleshooting, can be found in the Trainz Knowledge Base at WikiLink.PNG Restoring Backups

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Manual Backups

In Summary:
DotPoint.JPG You control the number and frequency of backups
DotPoint.JPG You control the backup location and filenames
DotPoint.JPG Assets, not just routes and sessions can be backed up

Creating Manual Backups

DotPoint.JPG Manual backups are stored as .CDP files
DotPoint.JPG Many assets can be stored in a single .CDP file

Steps.PNG Steps:
  • open Content Manager and use a search filter to identify the assets to be backed up. Some examples:-

DotPoint.JPG Today Filter to show all assets that have been altered today.

DotPoint.JPG Launcher Settings Tabs to show all installed routes that are yours.

  • highlight the asset or assets (more than one asset can be included in each backup file).
  • right mouse click on one of the highlighted assets and select Export to CDP.

Export to CDP

  • select a drive, folder and enter a backup filename.

Restoring Manual Backups

DotPoint.JPG Simply drag and drop the backup CDP file or files into Content Manager

Steps.PNG Steps:
  1. open Content Manager
  2. open Windows File Explorer and locate the backup folder
  3. highlight the .CDP file or files to be restored
  4. drag and drop the file or files from Windows File Explorer into Content Manager
  5. if the assets being restored are already installed in Content Manager then their status will be Open for Edit. Submit the assets.

Restore from backup

Backup Plan Basics

DotPoint.JPG If you are using a manual backup method then devise a simple backup plan and stick to it

The most important parts of any backup plan are:-

  • make regular backups - how often will depend on the complexity of the project
  • keep duplicate sets of backups including on offline storage
  • keep previous backup sets, not just the latest ones - how many past sets you will want to keep will depend on factors such as available storage
  • have a simple but consistent file naming system to be able to quickly identify the backup you need to restore lost work

NotePad.PNG Sample Backup Plan:
  • on a drive that is always attached to your system create a Project Backups folder
  • in this folder create another folder named Today

Online Project Backups folder

  • use this folder to store your regular backups for today. For example, when you take a break and exit from Surveyor, start Content Manager and backup the current project (e.g. a route, a session or both) to the Today folder

Todays Backups folder

  • name each backup using the name of the project and the time as shown in the example above
Question.PNG Why Keep Separate Time Backups For The Same Day?

Suppose that after your first backup of the day, at say 07:52, you decided to make some significant changes to your route. The later backups made at 12:30 and 14:10 included this change. By 17:00 you decide that this major change is not working and you need to return the route to its starting state. If your only backup was the last one you had made at 14:10 then you could not restore the route to its starting state.

  • at the end of each day copy the Today folder to another drive (external or internal) into a folder also called Project Backups
  • rename the Today folder on the 2nd drive to a format that identifies the date of the backups it contains (using the yyyy-mm-dd format) as shown below

Offline Project Backups folder

  • copy this renamed folder to an external detachable drive into its Project Backups folder - this will give you a second backup copy
  • when starting work the next day, delete the contents of the Today folder on your main drive and make the first backup of the day using the project assets in their initial state for the day
Question.PNG How Long Should You Keep The Daily Backups?

The ideal answer is until after the project has been finished but in reality it will depend on your available storage space.

  • Once the project has been completed then the backup folders and files can be deleted
  • If there is insufficient space to keep a large number of backups, then delete the oldest backup folders first
If a decision is later made to restart work on the route (e.g. to update it after a new version of Trainz has been released) then it would be considered to be a brand new project and the backup procedure can be restarted from that point.

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Backing Up and Restoring Picklists

DotPoint.JPG Picklists have to be exported and imported as text files

Picklists cannot be backed up manually using .CDP files. They must be exported as text files.


Detailed instructions on backing up and restoring Picklists as text files can be found on the Trainz Wiki Page at:-

Backing Up All Your User Content

DotPoint.JPG You can backup ALL your installed content including built-ins and DLC

You can make a backup copy of all your installed content (buildings, tracks, rolling stock, trees, routes, sessions, etc, etc). Everything you have downloaded and installed from the DLS and other web sites, all the built-in content and all your DLC packages. Also included will be all the screenshots you have captured and your automatic backups. In short, everything but the program "executables" and utilities that form the Trainz program itself.

All of this data is stored in your Local Data Folder.

Stop.PNG Be aware that this could be a very large quantity of data that could take a lot of time and space to backup

Steps.PNG Steps:

DotPoint1.JPG Locate Your Local Data Folder:

The name and location of this folder is held in your Launcher - Trainz Settings - Install tab. The name and location can vary between installations as in the example shown below

Data Folder location

  DotPoint2.JPG Determine the Size of the Folder:
  1. Use Windows File Explorer to locate this folder in its drive as shown in the Local Data Folder information above
  2. Right Mouse Click on the folder name and select the Properties menu option
This will display the folder statistics - there may be a delay while the data is collected and displayed. In the example shown below, the Local Data Folder is just over 69 GB in size

Data Folder propertiesData Folder size

DotPoint.JPG You will need to find a storage device or location, such as an external drive, that has more available free space than the folder is using

  DotPoint3.JPG Copy the Folder:
  1. Close the Properties Window
  2. Right Mouse Click on the folder name and select the Copy menu option
  3. Open the Destination Drive and select (or create) a suitable backup folder
  4. Right Mouse Click on the backup folder and select the Paste menu option - this could easily take a long time (even hours) depending on the size of the data

PencilTips.PNG For very large Local Data Folders the backup process can take hours to complete. Windows File Explorer is not the fastest nor the most efficient method of copying large sets of data files. It may be worth your while to use a specialised file copying utility that can perform the task faster while still providing intelligent copying and data checking

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This page was created by Trainz user pware in January 2020 and was last updated as shown below.

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