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Consists Tutorial: TS2009

In Service Pack 2, we introduced a number of new features into TS2009. Today, we wish to explain how to use the new Consists functions. This will be followed by a tutorial on how to use the new QuickDrive rule in the near future, of which will make use of the consists function described here.

First of all, what is a consist? In railway terms, this is one or more railway vehicles on the track. For example, a consist may be made up of a locomotive followed by 4 or 5 passenger carriages and then a ‘guards van’/‘caboose’, or it may be just a line of five wagons coupled together sitting on a siding out in a yard, or even just a single ‘light engine’. In Trainz, this means much the same thing. One or more vehicles ‘consisted’ together.

The new consist system is essentially the same as previous versions of Trainz, in terms of making use of it. If you are using a fast speed internet connection like o2 mobile broadband, you can quickly visit this site while you are setting it up if you need help. To gain access to it, simply go into surveyor and then to the ‘trains’ tab. At the top of this menu, you will find a pair of ‘buttons’. The left hand one is for ‘vehicle mode’ (single traincars), the right hand one is for the consist tools. Click on the right hand one to bring up these consist tools.

The ‘consist’ menu consists of 2 main areas, the control buttons and the ‘consists’ listing. To select a ‘consist’, either type in the name at the top, or browse the listing. There are also options to rename and delete existing (custom) consists. Built-in consists cannot be deleted anymore, however they can be disabled in Content Manager V2.0.

The consist ‘controls’ work the same as any of the other tools in TS2009:WBE’s surveyor. To use the tools, click on its icon first. The icons are as follows:

The Add Consist tool Use this to add a consist to the track. Simply click on the track where you want the consist to be placed.
The Move Consist tool Use this to move the consist around the layout. To move the train, use the 'drag and drop' method my clicking and hold the left mouse button on the train then dragging it to where you want it, then letting go of the left mouse button.
The Rotate Consist tool Use this to rate the complete consist by clicking on one of the cars.
The Get Consist tool This allows you to create new consists, by clicking on a train that has been placed on the layout. More on this below.
The Delete Consist tool Use this to delete consists from the map, by clicking on the consist.
The 'Decouple' tool This is for decoupling two traincars (to ‘split’ a consist), To use, click between the train’s cars (on the couplers) to de-coupled them. A two red ‘coupler’ icons should appear when you are able to decouple the cars.
The 'Change Heading' tool Use this to change the ‘heading’ of the train/consist. This tells Trainz (and the AI) which end of the train should be used to go ‘forward’. This has the same effect as changing cabs, or telling an AI driver to change direction.

Now to, the next part is the Get Consist tool. This requires some more explanation on how to use it. You first need to create a train (consist) on the layout, using the ‘vehicle’ tools to place locomotives and rolling stock onto the layout. Once you have created a consist, and given each alpha number equipped ‘traincar’ a number (these are the visible numbers on the trains, mainly found on locomotives), select the ‘get consist’ tool, then click on the consist. This will bring up a window for you to name the train. Give it a name, then click on the tick to save the consist. This will now appear in the consists list, so you can place the train at a later date using the same numbers. Please note that consists will not save the current ‘loads’ in the train.

You can also import your old consists by using the 'trainzutil' program.

So, I guess you are all now asking “whats so new?” This is a good question, and one that does require some extended explanation. The updated consist system now stores consists as ‘assets’ rather than in a single text file. Each consist will have its own kuid number (like trains, buildings, and layouts), and uses a standard config.txt file. This actually allows you to create consists outside of surveyor, as well as save the consist to a .cdp file to share with friends. The consists will also store the ‘number’ (that is set in the alpha numbers) of each ‘traincar’ that is listed. This would allow prototypical consists to be recreated, such as the first train to run to say Darwin, or even a specific freight train that you saw when out and about. However, in some cases where a vehicle is fitted with a random number script, this function can be overridden by that script, however this will not always be the case. The new consists system also allows you to add and remove consists for use in the QuickDrive rule.

To put this simply, it means you can create a consist, and then save it to share with your friends. Or you can download a consist from the internet to use. And of course, it allows you to add consists to the quickdrive rule, which will be described in a quickdrive tutorial soon...

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