Route and Session Basics

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The information in this Wiki Page applies to TRS19 and Trainz Plus. This page is intended to provide you with an overview of the properties and features of Routes and Sessions when creating layouts for Trainz. More detailed descriptions of these various features plus instructions on getting you started with creating Routes and Sessions can be found in the Trainz Wiki How To Guides - a link is provided at the end of this document.

Contents

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What is a Route?

A Route (also known as a "Layout") consists of most of what you will see on the screen when using Surveyor and Driver. A Route consists of two parts:-

  1. Route Data and
  2. Route Layers.


DotPoint.JPG When you save a Route, all the items in the Route Data and Route Layers will be saved


 Route Data: 

This covers all those assets that are "painted" into the Surveyor environment with a brush tool.

Route Data

Route Data consists of:-

  • Landforms or Terrain - baseboards and ground height
  • Water
  • Ground Textures
  • TurfFX and Clutter - found in the Effects Layers


 Route Layers: 

Layers give you a way of organising or grouping the assets displayed in your Route. All scenery assets are held in layers.

Route Layers

Route Layers have those scenery items that you want to always appear. Route Layers contain:-

  • Track and Track Objects (such as signals, switches, bridges, tunnels, speed signs, etc)
  • Most (or all) scenery items
  • Rolling Stock (including locos) -  Note:  In TRS19 Platinum Edition and Trainz Plus it is recommended that all rolling stock be placed into a Session Layer
  • Lineside and Fixed Cameras
  • Trackmarks, Triggers, Direction and Priority Marks
  • Measuring Rulers
LinkWiki.PNG

A detailed description of Layers can be found on the Trainz Wiki Page How to Use layers

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Loading (and Creating) a Route

Creating a New Route

On the Driver/Surveyor screen the Route options are shown as a set of buttons at the bottom of the screen.

Create a New Route

Click  Create Route . This will start Trainz Surveyor and open the New Route Dialogue Window.

New Route dialogue window

It is strongly advised that you enter some details before clicking the tick icon to create the new route. This will save you time and hassle later.

Route Details
 Route name:  Enter the name of your new Route (keep it simple)

 Session name:  Enter a name for your new Session (again keep it simple)

 Geographical region:  Select a region from the drop down list
NotePad.PNG Notes:
DotPoint.JPG You do not have to add the name of a Session but when you save a new Route without a named Session a default Session will be automatically saved with the name Default. This can later cause confusion if a multitude of different Default Sessions appear so it is recommended that a unique Session name be entered at this point.
DotPoint.JPG A Session can always be deleted later if you have no interest in creating one for your Route but a Route without a Session does have some disadvantages - see PageLink.PNG What is a Session? and PageLink.PNG Deleting Routes and Sessions below.
DotPoint.JPG Setting a Geographical region sets some basic features of the Route - such as its latitude and longitude (only used to determine the season of the year), the altitude (in metres) of the first baseboard, the number and types of moving road vehicles (if any), the default junction switch lever. If none of the installed regions are suitable you can download others from the DLS or create a region of your own - see WikiLink.PNG How to Create a Region Asset

Loading an Existing Route

You must first find and select the Route to load from those already installed. At the top of the Driver/Surveyor screen the Route search options are shown as a set of buttons.

Route Search

Type:  ROUTES  is the default selection. No need to change this.
Source:  PURCHASED  is the default selection, Click and change to  MY CONTENT  for a Route you have created (or already modified) or to  INSTALLED  for one you have downloaded from the DLS.
Region:  ALL  is the default selection. You can select a particular geographic region if required and IF the Route had a geographic region set when it was created.
Search: You can narrow down the list of Routes by typing the first few letters of its name (e.g. SA) as shown in the image above.

This will produce a display of thumbnails at the bottom of the screen.

Existing Routes

Click on the thumbnail for the Route you want to load, then click on the  EDIT ROUTE  button to load the Route into Surveyor.

Edit Route

Editing a Route

DotPoint.JPG When a Route is loaded or a new Route is created all the assets you add will be automatically placed into a Route Layer

When you create a new Route (with or without a named Session), or load an existing Route without a Session, and start adding scenery assets they will automatically be placed into a Route Layer. See WikiLink.PNG How to Use layers for more details.

Any ground textures, water, effect layers (turfFX and clutter) you add, or terrain changes (including new baseboards) you make, will be added to the Route Data.

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What is a Session?

DotPoint.JPG A Session is always a part of an existing Route - you cannot have a Session that does not belong to a Route

A single Route can have multiple Sessions, or none, but a Session must always belong to a Route. To put it into Trainz terminology, a Session has a Route as a dependency.

In general the Route provides the physical structures (or "hardware") while the Session provides the services (or "software") for the Route. While you can easily have a Route without creating a Session, it could be a very limited (or even a boring) experience.

DotPoint.JPG If you create a Route without a Session then ALL the active industries and rolling stock, time, environmental conditions, etc, will revert to their original (default) values. There will be no AI drivers and drivers will have a very limited set of available commands for manual driving

A Session consists of two parts:-

  1. Session Data and
  2. Session Layers.


DotPoint.JPG When you save a Session, all the items in the Session Data and Session Layers will be saved


 Session Data: 

Session Data are often the "invisibles" that control the operation of a Session.

Session Data

Session Data contains:-

  • Drivers (names, AI commands and assigned locos)
  • Driver Commands - those available for AI and manual driving
  • Session Rules
  • Environment Settings (weather, lighting, time of day)
  • Industry Settings (commodities consumed and produced)
  • Consist Settings (commodities carried)
  • Consist Locations (TRS19 Platinium Edition and Trainz Plus only)
  • Switch Settings (left or right) - but the default switch direction is stored in the Route


 Session Layers: 

Session Layers have those scenery items that you want to appear in that particular Session only.

Session layers

Session Layers can contain:-

  • Scenery
  • Rolling Stock (including locos) -  Note:  In TRS19 Platinum Edition and Trainz Plus it is recommended that all rolling stock be placed into a Session Layer
  • Trackmarks, Triggers, Direction and Priority Marks
NotePad.PNG Notes:
While it is possible to add track and track objects (bridges, tunnels, turntables, signals, switches, etc) to Session Layers it is not recommended. These fixed assets should be placed into Route Layers.


DotPoint.JPG Session Layers can be left empty


LinkWiki.PNG

A detailed description of Layers can be found on the Trainz Wiki Page How to Use layers


NotePad.PNG Notes:

Scenery, Rolling Stock, Triggers and Markers (Track, Direction, Priority) can be used in both Route Layers and Session Layers. Assets placed in a Route Layer will appear in all Sessions that are based on the Route. The vast majority of (if not all) scenery items will be placed in Route Layers. Assets placed in a Session Layer will only appear in the Session where they have been saved.

Examples of assets that would be placed in a Session Layer instead of a Route Layer would include:-

  • products waiting at a factory for pickup in an industrial Session
  • signallers holding lanterns in a night Session
  • trackmarks and triggers that are only required in one Session and not in all Sessions
  • crowds of onlookers alongside the track in a Session recreating an historic steam train run, together with
  • historic rolling stock in a vintage train Session running on a modern Route
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Loading (and Creating) a Session

Creating a New Session

DotPoint.JPG To create a new Session you must first create a new Route or identify an existing Route

A new Session can be created in two ways:-


Method DotPoint1.JPG Automatically when a new Route is created. Follow the steps shown in the section PageLink.PNG Creating a New Route above by entering a Session name for the new Session.


Method DotPoint2.JPG From an existing Route (remember that a Route can have many individual Sessions). The first step is to locate (but not load) the Route as described in the section PageLink.PNG Loading an Existing Route above.

Once you have selected the Route from its thumbnail, click the  VIEW SESSIONS  button.

View Sessions

Then click the  CREATE SESSION  button. If no Session exists for this Route then this will be the only choice available to you.

Create Session


Both methods will load the Route into Surveyor and create a new Session with all its values/parameters set at default levels.

Loading an Existing Session

Method DotPoint1.JPG The easiest way to load an existing Session is to use the search tools at the top of the Driver/Surveyor screen.

Session Search

Type:  ROUTES  is the default selection. Change this to  SESSIONS .
Source:  PURCHASED  is the default selection, Click and change to  MY CONTENT  for a Session you have created (or already modified) or to  INSTALLED  for one you have downloaded from the DLS.
Gameplay:  ALL  is the default selection. There is no need to change this
Search: If required you can narrow down the list of Sessions by typing the first few letters of its name.

This will produce a display of thumbnails at the bottom of the screen.

Existing Sessions

Click on the thumbnail for the Session you want to load and then click on the  EDIT SESSION  button. This will load BOTH the Route and the Session into Surveyor.

Edit Session


Method DotPoint2.JPG Select the Route first as described in the section PageLink.PNG Loading an Existing Route above. Then click the  VIEW SESSIONS  button.

View Sessions

This will display a list thumbnails for all the Sessions in that Route. Select the Session thumbnail you need and then click the  EDIT SESSION  button.

Edit Session

Again, both the selected Route and its Session will be loaded into Surveyor.

Driving a Session

To start Driver simply select a Session as describd above but click the  DRIVE SESSION  button.

Driver Session

This will load both the Session and the Route into Driver.

Editing a Session

DotPoint.JPG When a Session is loaded or a new Session is created from an existing Route, all the assets you add will be automatically placed into a Session Layer

When you create a new Session, or load an existing Session, and start adding scenery assets they will automatically be placed into a Session Layer. See the Trainz Wiki Page WikiLink.PNG How to Use layers for more details.

Any changes made to the Session Rules (including drivers and their commands), the Environment Tools, Industry or Rolling Stock settings, will be added to the Session Data.

There are also other changes that will be added to the Session Data.

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Saving a Route and a Session

Routes and Sessions are saved from the System Menu on the Surveyor screen.

Save
DotPoint.JPG Selecting  Save  or pressing  Ctrl   S  will save the Route, or the Route and the Session, with the previously entered name(s) when they were loaded or created. You will be asked to confirm both the names (and can change them) and the Save command.

DotPoint.JPG Selecting  Save As...  will save the Route, or the Route and the Session, with the previously entered name(s) when they were loaded or created. You will be asked to confirm both the names (and can change them) and the Save As command.

NotePad.PNG Notes on Saving:
DotPoint.JPG If you decide to create a new Session and leave its name as Default then a new Default Session will be created to add to any others that may already be present in a Route - this is possible because they will all have different <kuid> values. This is why it is not a good idea to use Default as a Session name.
DotPoint.JPG Many scenery assets actually have their properties stored in the Session Data even when the assets themselves are in Route Layers. Editing the properties of these assets is considered to be a change to the Session and will result in a Save command requesting that the Session be saved as well as the Route. You can decide whether or not to save the Session.

These assets include:-

  • junction switches - the left/right switch direction is stored in the Session (but the switch default direction is stored in the Route)
  • industries - the commodities and quantities loaded/unloaded are stored in the Session
  • industry enabled wagons - the commodities and quantities carried are stored in the Session
  • consist locations - this is stored in the Session (TRS19 Platinum Edition and Trainz Plus only). See the Trainz Wiki Page WikiLink.PNG How to Use the UDS Interface for more details.
  • named route objects - while the name is stored in the Route, adding or changing the name is treated as a change to the Session
DotPoint.JPG It is possible for Trainz to request that the Route and/or Session be saved when no obvious changes have occurred. This can happen when a Route/Session with an earlier asset build number has been loaded into Surveyor. For example - loading a Route with an asset build number of 3.7 (from TRS12 SP1) into TRS19 SP3 which uses asset build number 4.8 for all its Routes and Sessions.


Saving a New Route and Session

If you have created a new Route and select Save or Save As..., then you will be presented with the following Save Route Dialogue Windows.

First Save First Save As
In both cases the name of the Route that was entered when it was created will be shown and you can change the name, even in the Save option. However, there is no option in either case to change the name of the created Session.

Saving an Existing Route

DotPoint.JPG If you have loaded the Route only and not the Session and HAVE NOT edited any Session Data or Session Layers, then selecting Save will produce the following Save Route Dialogue Window.
Save Route with no Session
  • The Overwrite existing route and Do not save session options are automatically selected. The Route will be saved (Overwritten using its current name) but no Session will be saved.
  • You can select the Save new route and session option and enter a new name for the Route. The Route will be saved with its new name (the original Route will not be changed). A new Session will be created using the name Default and it will be added to the new Route. Because you did not originally load a Session, the Session will be saved with the Default values for all settings.
  • You can select the Overwrite existing route and Create new session options and enter a new name for the Session. The Route will be saved (Overwritten using its current name). A new Session will be created using the name you enter and it will be added to the Route. Because you did not originally load a Session, the new Session will be saved with Default values for all settings.
DotPoint.JPG If you have loaded the Route only and not the Session and HAVE edited Session Data or Session Layers, then selecting Save will produce the following Save Route Dialogue Window.
Save Route with Session
  • The Overwrite existing route and Create new session options are automatically selected. Enter a new name for the Session - it is not recommended that you leave it as Default. The Route with be saved (Overwritten using its current name). A new Session will be created using the name you enter and it will be added to the existing Route.
  • You can select the Overwrite existing route and Do not save session options. The Route with be saved (Overwritten using its current name) but no Session will be saved. Any changes you have made to the Session Data or Session Layers will be lost.
  • You can select the Save new route and session option and enter a new name for the Route. The Route will be saved with its new name (the original Route will not be changed). A new Session named Default will be saved and added to the new Route.

Saving an Existing Route and Session

DotPoint.JPG If you have loaded a Route and a Session and have edited the Route or the Route and the Session then selecting Save will produce the following Save Route Dialogue Window.
Save Route and Session
  • The Overwrite existing route and Overwrite existing session options are automatically selected. Both the Route and Session will be saved (Overwritten using their current names).
  • You can select the Save new route and session option and enter a new name for the Route. The Route will be saved with its new name (the original Route will not be changed). A new Session will be created using the same name as the original Session and it will be added to the new Route.
  • You can select the Overwrite existing route and Do not save session options. The Route with be saved (Overwritten using its current name) but no Session will be saved. Any changes you have made to the Session Data or Session Layers will be lost.
  • You can select the Overwrite existing route and Create new session options. Enter a new name for the Session. The Route with be saved (Overwritten using its current name). A new Session will be created using the name you enter and it will be added to the existing Route.


DotPoint.JPG If you have loaded a Route and a Session and have edited the Session (Data or Layers) only and not the Route then selecting Save will produce the following Save Session Dialogue Window.
Save Session
  • The Overwrite existing session option is automatically selected. The Session will be saved (Overwritten using its current name). The Route will not be changed.
  • You can select the Create new session option. You can enter a new name for the Session or use the suggested name which will include the date, time and Session runtime. A new Session will be created using the entered name and it will be added to the existing Route. The Route will not be changed.


Saving a Route and Session Using the UDS

TRS19 Platinium Edition and Trainz Plus have an additional feature, the UDS (Unified Driver Surveyor) Interface, that allows you to quickly switch from Driver to Surveyor and back to Driver again without having to restart the Session from the start. You can edit a Route and Session while in Surveyor and then switch back to Driver to continue the Session where you left it.

This powerful ability does come with a warning. If you save the edited Session before switching back into Driver then all the moving consists will be saved in their new positions. Other changes, such as the status of Session Rules, will also be saved in new states. See the Trainz Wiki Page WikiLink.PNG How to Use the UDS Interface for more details.

Most of the problems users seem to be experiencing with the UDS, judging from the posts in the Trainz Forums, is when saving their edited Session before switching back into Driver mode.

DotPoint.JPG Using Driver Mode involves driving consists (either manually or through the AI) and activating rules. These will change the Session Data
DotPoint.JPG Overwriting the Session will save changes to the consist locations and the Session Rules


NotePad.PNG Notes:
An important change that has been introduced by the UDS is that train vehicle placement is now saved as part of the Session, even if those vehicles have been placed in Route Layers.
PencilTips.PNG For this reason, in TRS19 Platinum Edition and in Trainz Plus it is strongly recommended that all consists be placed into a Session Layer and become part of a Session instead of the Route


When you are in Driver Mode at least one of the consists will probably be moving. Some of the Session Rules may have already been completed while others may still be running or waiting for events (e.g. triggers to be activated). If, after switching to Surveyor Mode, you then choose to save using the Overwrite existing session option then you will be replacing your original starting Session with a new one with the consists saved in their new positions and the Session Rules saved in their new states. So when you later load and restart the Session things will not be the same as they were in the original or starting Session.

 Unless you have a particular reason for overwriting the original Session  then the recommended save options are:-

DotPoint1.JPG  Do not save session

UDS-DoNotSaveSession.png
This will only save the Route using its existing name. This will save any edits that you have made to the Route Data and the Route Layers.

DotPoint2.JPG  Create new session

UDS-CreateNewSession.png
This will save the Route using its existing name. It will also save the Session using a new name you enter in the text box below the option (Stage 3 in the example shown). The original Session will not be altered. This is useful when you want to test out changes to consists, industry settings, Rules, driver commands, etc but do not want to destroy the original Session.

If you have have NOT edited anything while in Surveyor and select  Save  then you will be shown the Save Driver Session dialogue window to save the Session in its current state as a Driver Session (also called a Game or Driver Game). This is exactly the same as pressing  Ctrl   S  while in Driver.
alte=Save Driver Session
The Driver Session will appear in the Select Session menu for the Route. Loading it will resume Driver at the point where it was saved.

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Exiting Surveyor

If you exit Surveyor after editing without saving then you will be prompted to Save.

Unsaved  Route  Unsaved  Session 
Exit Route Save Exit Session Save
DotPoint.JPG Selecting  Don't Save  will exit Surveyor without saving. Any changes you have made will be lost.
DotPoint.JPG Selecting  Save  will exit Surveyor after saving. You will be prompted to select what to save as described in the section PageLink.PNG Saving a Route and a Session above
DotPoint.JPG Selecting  Cancel  will cancel the save command and return you to Surveyor.
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Saving and Loading Sessions in Driver

Saving Driver Sessions

DotPoint.JPG Driver Sessions (sometimes called "Games" or "Driver Games") are "Game States" saved while in Driver Mode

Driver Sessions save the "state of play" in Driver - the position of consists, the commodities and levels in rolling stock and industries, the state of the Driver Command queues, Session Rules, clock time, etc. Once saved, the Driver Session can be loaded back into Driver to continue the play at the point where it was saved.

When you are in Driver select  Save  from the System Menu or press  Ctrl   S .

Save Menu

This will display the Save Driver Session dialogue window showing the name of the current Session with a date and time stamp (shown left below). If you click the Tick then this will be the name used for the saved game. Alternatively, you could enter your own unique name (shown right below).

The space below the entered name will display any other saved Driver Sessions for that Session.

Save Driver Session Save Driver Session

Loading Driver Sessions

Saved Driver Sessions will be shown with their Sessions for a selected Route. The section PageLink.PNG Loading an Existing Session shows two different methods of displaying saved Sessions and their Driver Sessions.
Method DotPoint1.JPG will display ALL the saved Sessions and Driver Sessions which may be a very long list.
Method DotPoint2.JPG will display ALL the saved Sessions and Driver Sessions for a selected Route, which should be a much shorter list.

Using Method 2: select the Route first and then click the  VIEW SESSIONS  button. This will display a list thumbnails for all the Sessions and Driver Sessions in that Route.

Load Driver Session
NotePad.PNG Notes:

Where a Route has multiple Sessions and Driver Sessions they will all be shown by their thumbnails with no way of telling which Driver Sessions belong to which Session.

It can also be difficult to tell which thumbnail is a Session and which is a Driver Session, especially if you have removed the date/time stamp Trainz automatically adds to the name of a Driver Session. A simple way to tell is to click on a thumbnail to see if the  EDIT SESSION  button is still visible. If it is not, because Driver Sessions cannot be edited, then the thumbnail is for a Driver Session.

Option Buttons for a Driver Session Thumbnail
Driver Session

Where there is only one session in a Route, the Session will be the first thumbnail shown in the list followed by the Driver Sessions. Note that the Session is selected by default.

Select (hightlight) the Driver Session you want to load and click the  DRIVE SESSION  button.

Driver Session

This will load the Driver Session, the Session and the Route into Driver.

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Deleting Routes and Sessions

All the Surveyor and Driver screens for loading Routes and Sessions have a  DELETE ...  button as an option. Selecting a thumbnail and clicking  DELETE ...  will delete the selected thumbnail and the Route/Session it represents.

Warning:
Stop.PNG If you delete a Route you will also delete all Sessions (including Driver Sessions) created using that Route
Stop.PNG If you delete a Session you will also delete all Driver Sessions created using that Session


DotPoint.JPG Deleting a Driver Session will only delete that Driver Session, not the Session or Route it was created from


If you need a more selective way of deleting Routes, Sessions and Driver Sessions, then use CM (Content Manager) from the Trainz Launch Screen. Select the Filter Routes & Sessions.

CM list of routes and sessions

The Type column will identify each entry as a Route, Session or Misc. Misc in this case means a saved Driver Session.

You can delete Routes and/or Sessions individually but if you delete a Route by itself then its dependant Sessions and Driver Sessions will be shown as faulty with Missing dependencies. Likewise, if you delete a Session by itself then its dependant Driver Sessions will be shown as faulty with Missing dependencies.

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Trainz Wiki

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This page was created by Trainz user pware in September 2021 and was last updated as shown below.


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