How to Use Track Triggers

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The information in this Wiki Page applies to TANE, TRS19, Trainz Plus and TRS22.


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What are Track Triggers?

DotPoint.JPG Track triggers are track markers that are invisible in Driver Mode but visible in Surveyor Mode. They are used to activate Session Rules and some Driver Commands

Track triggers can be programmed to respond when a train (any train or a specific train) passes over them in Driver Mode. The response comes from executing a set of Session Rules that have been attached to a WikiLink.PNG Trigger Check Rule (or a similar rule) or a Driver Command that is monitoring the track trigger.


Shown at left is a Track Trigger placed on a track in Surveyor Mode. It is NOT visible in Driver Mode. The "5.00m" shown below the trigger name is the trigger detection radius

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Route or Session?

DotPoint.JPG Track Triggers can be placed in a Route layer or in a Session layer

NotePad.PNG Notes:

DotPoint.JPG Placing Track Triggers in a Route layer (e.g. in the same layer as the track) means that they will be available in all Sessions created using that particular Route.
DotPoint.JPG Placing Track Triggers in a Session layer means that they will only be available in that Session. This can be useful if two or more Sessions are being created and you want to use different Track Triggers in each Session.

LinkWiki.PNG Information on Route and Session layers can be found at:-

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Adding a Track Trigger


Steps.PNG Steps:

A Track Trigger is placed on the track by:-

  1. clicking the Track tool,
  2. clicking the Trackmark Mode button,
  3. selecting the Trigger object from the list of installed objects,
  4. clicking the Add Object button,
  5. clicking the track position where the track trigger is to be placed.

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Configuring a Track Trigger

As soon as a new track trigger has been placed, its properties window will open on the screen. It will be given a default name and assigned to the currently active layer.


DotPoint1.JPG Name the Trigger:
  • To change the track trigger name click on the name box, delete the highlighted default name and enter a new name
  • To change the assigned layer click on the layer box and select a new layer
  • Leave the "Bound Layer" at <none>. (See the Trainz Wiki Page WikiLink.PNG Using Layers for information on layers)
  • To confirm the changes click on the Tick.PNG icon on the bottom right of the window

  DotPoint2.JPG (Optional) Set the Trigger Detection Radius:
Track triggers have a "detection radius" that controls how close a train has to approach to trigger the event. The default radius is 20 metres. The smaller the radius the closer the train has to be to the track trigger to be detected. This radius is set in the Advanced Properties section of the Tools window (shown below).
  1. Click the Advanced Tab to open its properties
  2. Enter a new radius value in metres
  3. Click the Set Trigger Radius button
  4. Click on the track trigger to assign its new radius

PencilTips.PNG A small radius should only be used for slower moving trains. Short fast trains may pass over a small radius track trigger without being detected.

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Creating a Track Trigger Event

Track trigger events are handled by the Trigger Check Rule (or a similar rule) which is added to a Session in the WikiLink.PNG Session Editor.


More information on the Trigger Check Rule can be found on the Trainz Wiki Rules Page at:-


DotPoint1.JPG Open the Session Editor:

To add the Trigger Check Rule to a session:-

  1. Open the Surveyor Main Menu in TANE (shown below left) or the Surveyor Edit Menu in TRS19 and later Trainz versions (shown below right)
  2. Select the option Edit Session from the drop down menu list
EditSessionMenu.JPG SessionEditMenuSP1.png

  DotPoint2.JPG Add the Trigger Check Rule:
In the Edit Session window (shown below left):-
  • Click the Add button

In the Rule Selection window (shown below right):-

  1. Scroll down the list to select the Trigger Check rule
  2. Click on the Tick.PNG icon
EditSessionWindowX.JPG RuleSelect.JPG

This will add the Trigger Check rule to the session.

  DotPoint3.JPG Open the Trigger Check Rule Properties:
With the Trigger Check rule highlighted (shown below):-
  • Click the Edit button. This will open the rule properties window

  DotPoint4.JPG Configure the Rule:
For this example we will leave all settings unchanged and simply identify the track trigger to be used.

In the Trigger Properties window (shown below):-

  • Click the Add trigger link

More information on the settings and options in this rule can be found on the Trainz Wiki Rules Page at:-

  DotPoint5.JPG Select the Trigger:
The Trigger Selection Window will list all the Track Triggers in your layout.
  1. Select the trigger you have just added
  2. Click on the Tick.PNG icon at the bottom of the selection window
Once the trigger has been added to the rule, click on the Tick.PNG icon in the Trigger Check properties window to accept the change.

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Adding an Instruction to the Trigger Event

To test your trigger event you will need to add at least one rule.

Adding a Child Rule


DotPoint1.JPG Add A Message Popup Rule:
When you are back in the Session Editor window:-
  1. Make sure that the new Trigger Check Rule is selected (highlighted)
  2. Click the Add button to add another new rule
  3. Scroll down the rule selection window to find and select the Message Popup rule
  4. Click on the Tick.PNG icon
The Message Popup Rule should now appear directly below the Trigger Check rule. It will display a red cross because it has not yet been configured.

  DotPoint2.JPG Indent the Popup Message Rule:
The Message Popup Rule has to be indented so that it becomes a Child of the Trigger Check Rule and is controlled by that rule.

With the Message Popup Rule highlighted:-

  • Click the Indent (right arrow) button.

This should indent the Message Popup rule one level inwards (as shown below).


This Message Popup Rule is now a Child Rule of the Trigger Check Rule and will only be executed after the track trigger has been activated by a train.

Configuring the Message and Testing


DotPoint1.JPG Open the Message Popup Rule for Editing:
With the Message Popup Rule highlighted and indented (as shown above):-
  • Click the Edit button. The Message Popup Rule properties window will appear (as shown below)

  DotPoint2.JPG Configure the Message:
Set the properties as shown:-
  1. Check ON Close previous message popup windows
  2. Select Option Button Custom text
  3. Enter a short text message

More information on this rule can be found on the Trainz Wiki Page at:-

  DotPoint3.JPG (Optional) Add a Message Icon:
  • Click the link click here to set (shown left) and either
  • Scroll down the Texture Asset Selection List (shown below) to find a suitable icon, or
  • Simply type "icon stop" in the text box to use one of the builtin icons.
  • Click on the Tick.PNG icon
  • click on the Tick.PNG icon to exit the Message Popup Rule and return to the Session Editor

The completed Message Popup Rule

  DotPoint4.JPG Test the Trigger:
  • Exit the Session Editor
  • Add a consist to your layout a short distance from the track trigger (but further away than its radius), save the Surveyor Session, and then test in Driver Mode

Another example of using the Trigger Check Rule can be found in the Trainz Wiki Page WikiLink.PNG How to Use Message Popup Rule (Applications).

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Alternatives to the Trigger Check Rule

RulesWiki.PNG There are other rules that can be used in place of the Trigger Check Rule and triggers. A few possibilities are listed below:-
  • Directional Trigger Check Rule - identical to the Trigger Check Rule but adds the ability to test the train direction. Requires the use of a special Directional Trigger. For an example of its use see the Trainz Wiki Page WikiLink.PNG Controlling Signals in Sessions.
  • Trackside Check Rule - very similar to the Trigger Check Rule but provides some different options.
  • Navigation Points (see the How to Guides link below) are more complex but provide more advanced controls and options.
  • Multiple Resource Check Rule - monitors and acts on changes in multiple industry or multiple wagon resource (commodity) levels.
  • Resource Verify Rule - monitors and acts on changes in a single industry or wagon resource (commodity) level.
  • Timecheck Rule - triggers an event at a set time.

CommandsWiki.png There is a driver command that can be used in place of the Trigger Check Rule.
  • Wait For Trigger - forces an AI controlled train to wait until a specified trigger has been activated by another train.

Related Links


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This page was created by Trainz user pware in May 2018 and was last updated as shown below.

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