Friday, 21 September 2012

Train Simulator 2013 - Hot Keys

With the release of TS2013, route builders now have various keypresses at their disposal, although some may have actually been in previous releases. :)

TAB - Align To Track

As any route builder will know, many objects need to be aligned to the track. This could be catenary, AWS ramps or things like location cabinets. Previously, things had to generally be placed in a manual fashion, with steady rotation and manipulation, a time consuming process. This new tool makes the process somewhat easier.

In the first screenshot, I am in the process of placing an AWS ramp on a curved section of track. As you can see, it is not in alignment with the curve of the track and would normally require some manipulation in order to put it in the correct position, usually after the initial placement.

We now have a new keypress at our disposal which all but eliminates this old method. After selecting your desired object that you wish to place and holding it over the track surface, simply press the TAB key and this will automatically rotate the object to align directly in the centre of the track. Then let go of the TAB key and the object will drop to ground level enabling you to make your placement.

The tool isn't by all means perfect, from what I can gather, it cannot differentiate between track directionality so in some cases will require a 180 degree rotation to make it face the other way. However, this rotation is also now easier and will be explained below.

As mentioned above, this tool is also useful for other items, in particular when placing single pieces of catenary. Again, select the item you want and hover it over the track then use the method above. This then lines it up correctly and can then be moved over to the edge of the track in one go.

Other Features


When rotating an object, the previous features would allow you to move up/down/left/right or tilt and manipulate the object using the yellow tracking ball, the latter being particularly fiddly. In TS2013, further features are added and can be seen in the screenshot below.

As you can see, in addition to the older deatures, we now have two further methods of adjustment denoted by the red and green axis circles. These make much easier work of tilting objects on their axis.

Further to this, one way of having greater control over the manipulation of these objects was to hold down the shift key whilst making your adjustment. This made the process move much slower and allowed for fine tuning. However, when rotating an object for example, there was never an indication of degrees which in turn made it difficult to rotate an object an exact number, 90 or 180 degrees for example.

Now, when rotating an object you can use the CTRL key. This enables the object to be rotated in small increments which allows you to place objects at direct angles such as 90 or 180 degrees. An ideal solution for the situation above with the AWS ramp, where it may be facing in the opposite direction.

Further Hot Keys

Not deserving of a full section and not requiring pictures to explain, these are still highly useful and noteable.

Ground Level Camera

Ever created a route or scenario where there are dramatic changes in elevation? If so, you will know as well as I do that when moving from location to location using either the 2D map or markers that you can end up either several hundred feet above or below ground. Or maybe you are starting a route, place some DEM and end up in the centre of the earth? This then requires you to either fly up or down, not a dealbreaker of course but an unneccessary waste of time. When in one of these locations, simply press Ctrl+Shift+Home* and this then automatically adjusts the camera to ground level.

*  Home is located on the right of the keyboard above the "End" key. This is not the Windows Home key.

Field Adjustment

In previous incarnations of RW/TS, when adjusting a field such as co-ordinates, brush size or brush speed, a click on the numbered field would automatically highlight the entry in blue and enable you to either delete or overwrite with your new value. In TS2013, this is not the case, however, you can now simply hold the SHIFT key before clicking the field. This will enable the field to highlight the same as before.


  1. Thanks for this Darren... great stuff!

  2. I'm sorry, I can hold anything above the track and press Tab again and again, but nothing happens? What do I wrong??

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