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TANE - New external Beta ready for testing

By Tony_Hilliam, February 24 2018

It’s time for another big update on our Trainz A New Era progress and we’re pleased to announce we’re now ready for external Beta Testing of our next update.

For those of you who receive the weekly newsletter, you’ve seen a number of quick updates on our progress. This post will provide a more in-depth look at what we’ve been up to for the past 4 months or so (since the last major integration from our development) and how you can become part of the Beta Testing process.

You can register for this round of Beta Testing below (and testing will begin in the coming days).


This update brings a range of fixes to various user-facing issues, as well as a large number of under-the-hood updates and optimisations that allow us to maintain a synchronized development branch (which in turn makes fixing bugs across various versions of Trainz much more efficient):

  • Hills no longer cut off at 500m height differential from the camera
  • Thumbnails now in sync with description in CM
  • Revert some AI changes that resulted in trackmarks being missed
  • Make additional tweaks to improve AI (see below for more details)
  • Fan animations now working after returning to a saved session
  • Optimisations for PFX heavy routes
  • Fix rulers drawing in the wrong position when the render origin changes
  • Fix for rulers not appearing in some situations
  • Fix the missing stars in the skybox
  • Tweak the skybox speed
  • Resolve missing wheels for certain .lm assets
  • Resolve pre-caching running when it isn’t required
  • Possible fix for a random “baseboards set to 0 height” issue
  • Fix potential hang when merging routes
  • Fix to world origin height and reset issue
  • Set Path Rule now starts child rules
  • Possible fix for light pool issues
  • Minor shadow improvements
  • Various FBX exporter updates
  • Various mini-map texture improvements
  • Fix crash in Preview Asset when seasonal asset not configured
  • Updates to patcher
  • Various legacy script updates to support streaming
  • Fixes to VR locos not puffing smoke
  • Several isolated crash fixes
  • TNI integration (which includes preparations for Raildriver support)*

*Note: Raildriver support is not present yet, but underlying systems are in place

Driver AI

We’ve spent a great deal of time over the past 6 weeks looking into various AI issues and making some changes. There is no doubt that in SP2 HF1 some users experienced erratic behaviour from the Driver AI that they had not seen previously. We’re keen to ensure the reliability returns for SP3 and this will be one of the main areas we would like our beta testers to focus on in this next testing cycle.

One AI fix related to a specific change late in the beta cycle (which fixed a bug with the AI not gaining access to a block that it should have access to).We’ve reverted that change, which means the AI behaviour in this specific case will be as per SP2 (and the unintentional AI side-effects resolved).

Please note that throughout this AI review we’ve identified some additional issues that we want to fix, as well as some long-standing shortcomings with the AI (such as approach speed to certain operations like negotiating a red light). The best solution overall is to rewrite a large part of the AI code and implement debugging tools. This is obviously a significant amount of effort (in the region of several months work) so we will need to wait until we have the time to both implement and thoroughly test these major updates.

Tips for Setting up your AI

While we're looking at Driver AI, here are some links to articles and tutorials that will help you get more of an understanding about how to best setup your route to use AI and also the new Interlocking Tower functionality for even greater control.

AI Tips - Part 1

AI Tips - Part 2

Setting up an Interlocking Tower

Interlocking Tower Tutorial

Enhanced Interlocking Tower

Rebuilding your Name Object Table

As part of the review we also identified that another of the Driver AI issues related to the “NamedObjectTable”. Each asset such as a trackmark, signal, junction etc has an internal ID stored in this table. In previous TANE versions (both live and beta) there was potential through merging routes or layers, using copy/paste (or possibly other processes) to scramble the data in the NamedObjectTable.

We’ve resolved the causes of these data problems as well, so they shouldn’t re-occur, and we’ve now enabled users to rebuild their data by using the “Delete Missing Assets” option in the Surveyor Main Menu. By rebuilding the NamedObjectTable, any items missing from the NamedObjectTable will be added, and any items that shouldn’t be there will be removed.

NOTE: Before you use the “Delete Missing Assets” tool you should understand that the changes cannot be undone (so as good practice, take a back-up first). If you have items that you require in your route that are currently disabled or not installed, then using DMA will remove that association. Of course this also removes the “missing dependencies” status of the route.

As a side-note, we’ve noticed people using Compact Route to try to fix “unknown” issues. This is a specific fix for large routes and you should not use “Compact Route” unless you understand that this will also remove any association between your route and sessions.

Beta Testing Registration

Since this is the first external Beta Test with this new version of TANE, we’ve reset the Beta access listing (i.e. everyone will need to re-apply to become a tester for this next phase of testing.

Any existing TANE owners wishing to take part can click on the link below and complete the Registration Form. We’ll then add you to the Beta list and provide you with the details to access the new build in the coming days.

Please note that this beta test is not for Trainz “Next” which will begin testing a little later down the track once we’re close to release of that version.

Beta Test Registration Form

Click above to register.