Bus Driving in Trainz
By Alfred Barten
Living my early years in New York’s borough of Manhattan, I was first a bus fan before discovering trains. I loved to watch the buses on Lexington Avenue from our 9th floor apartment. I even built a construction paper fleet of buses from a pattern I developed and turned my bed into a bus, which I would then drive from one end of Manhattan to the other.
Now there are several bus driving sims on the market, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. But why not see what Trainz can do? I asked myself. The answer is “Quite a lot.”
Simulating buses in Trainz is essentially the same as simulating trolley cars, except the track is invisible and there are no overhead wires. With that in mind, I began a search for what was available. I then built a small demo, which is available at the Downloads page on the Virtual Railroader website.
There are three, maybe four basic elements needed:
I’m happy to report that all are available. There are several road systems to choose from and I chose the one developed by Mike10 for TRS2004. I downloaded all 27 components from the Trainz Download Station (DLS) and laid them out on a baseboard to see what I had.
- Invisible track
- Road system
- Drivable bus
- Invisible, interactive depot/stop (if supported by the bus)
Mike10’s road system includes 27 components, all available at the DLS.
I then set up a simple round-the-block layout on the same baseboard to see how well the system worked. First I laid out the roads; then I placed the invisible tracks over the roads.
Invisible track has long been available for Trainz and probably comes as part pf the package now (it’s hard to tell – I have several on my system and don’t really know when or how I got them). I used the one that displays in Surveyor as a big fat red line. I also set it 0.08 above the baseboard level to account for the thickness of the street.
Invisible road is displayed in red.
There are a number of drivable buses available for Trainz. I chose the two Greyhound Americruiser buses by Jack Straessle (aka jjslll54) because they represent North American prototypes, have cab views and support interactive passengers. The one thing they don’t have is animated doors. The two buses are essentially the same. One has US livery; the other Canadian. I placed the US bus on the CW route and the Canadian bus on the CCW route and set it up for AI control. BTW - Content Manager PLus (CMP) thinks the Americruisers have or are broken assets. Never mind. They work just fine.
I used the AJS Station 1x50sQ invisible passenger stop for the bus stops. I found some quirks in setting up the AI bus. First, when I sent the AI bus to the stop, the bus stopped way short of where I expected it to stop. I fixed that by using track marks and sending the bus to the track mark instead of the stop. The bus still doesn’t stop at the track mark, but at least the track mark is adjustable, so you can find the right place by trial and error.
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Article and screen shots ©2008 Alfred Barten. All rights reserved.
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