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How to Name your Trains



On a real railroad, trains have names. Now you can do the same in TrainPlayer. This clinic will aid you in setting up switching moves, identifying car and train locations and give YOUR railroad that prototype feel.

First, a few definitions:

TRAIN: TrainPlayer uses the standard AAR definition of a train – one or more engines, with or without cars, displaying markers.  A “train” need not have cars coupled to the engine, but cars without an engine are NOT a “train.”

CUT: two or more cars coupled together and not coupled to a train.

In TrainPlayer, both trains and cuts of cars may have names.

CONSIST: The collection of cars coupled to an engine or a word or short phrase describing the same. A consist composed of a single type of cars, e.g. flat cars, will be described as “Flat” in the Consist column of the grids. A consist composed of multiple types will be described simply as “freight.”

Next, a few rules describing how TrainPlayer treats names for cuts and trains.

1.       When you first open a layout, any old style names from previous versions are erased.

2.       When you name a train, you are actually naming the engine – the only component a train requires.

3.       The name of a train does not change when cars are coupled to it or uncoupled.

4.       If all the cars are uncoupled from an engine, the engine retains the name of the train.

5.       Cuts of cars may be named in the same manner as trains. The name is specific to the cut of cars.

6.       If a named cut of cars is coupled to a named train, the train name is preserved.

7.       If a named cut is uncoupled from a train, its original name returns. This rule allows a train to move a cut of cars around a    yard without erasing the name of the cut.

8.       If a named cut is coupled to unnamed cars, the cut name is lost.

9.       If two named trains are coupled, the new train takes the name of the LONGER train. For example, if “Helper 2345” is coupled to “The Denver Flyer” with ten cars, the resulting train is  called “The Denver Flyer.”

10.   When two named trains uncouple, each retains its original name. Thus, when “Helper 2345” uncouples from “The Denver Flyer,” its name returns.  

11.   Copying and pasting a named train or named cut produces a named train or cut whose name is the original name plus a number. Copying and pasting “The Denver Flyer” gives you “The Denver Flyer1.”

These rules are less confusing than they seem at first reading. They will be easier to understand with the diagrams that are set out below.

How to Name a Train or Cut:

The simplest way to name a train is to right-click on the engine and choose “Name” from the drop-down menu.


           When you click on “Name,” a dialog box will appear. Simply type the name of your train and press Enter


Note that the Cars grid updates to include the new name

You may also choose to name a train by right-clicking on any of its elements and choosing “Properties,” then choosing the “Train” tab. This accomplishes the same result, but takes more steps.

Naming a Cut of Cars

The process for naming a cut is remarkably similar to naming a train. Right-click on any car in the cut and the drop-down menu will appear. Choosing “Name” will produce the dialog box:


Note the subtle difference. The box is entitled “Cut Name” rather than “Train Name.” Once again, type in your chosen name and press Enter or click “OK.”

Once again, the Car grid updates:

Note also the “Consist” column. Since all the cars in this cut are identical AAR codes, the consist is named “Hoppers.”

As with trains, you may also elect to create cut names through the Properties dialog. In all cases, the Switchlist grid will update if the train or cut is involved in the current set of orders.

Examples of Train Naming

Our little test layout at the start: Two named trains, a named cut and some unnamed freight cars:


Next we couple the Yard Goat to the Hopper String. Note the name of the combined train:


 When we uncouple the Yard Goat, the cut regains its name:


Next, we couple the Yard Goat to the Freight Extra. Think of it as adding a helper engine to climb a grade. The combined train takes the name of the longer element:

        When we reach the top of the grade and the helper cuts off, it regains its old name. The freight train keeps its name as well:


Now we’ll use the Yard Goat to make up an outbound train, coupling to both the named Hopper String and the unnamed cut of reefers. The combined train takes the Yard Goat name:

Suppose we take this new train down the line and deliver the Hopper String to the Power Plant. The Hopper String regains its name and the remaining train is still the Yard Goat:

If we then take the reefers to the Dairy and drop them off, the cut reverts to its unnamed state. Of course, the Yard Goat keeps its name:

As with any new system, there’s one “gotcha!” If you create a new ,unnamed train with multiple engines on the lead and then name the train, the name is attached to the LEAD engine. If you cut off that engine, the name goes with it and the remaining train is unnamed.

Of course, we DO have a solution. Name the original train BEFORE adding that second (lead) engine. In that case, the name goes with the train and the lead engine, when cut off, becomes nameless:

If you’ve read all the way here (or at least scrolled through), then you should have a good idea how the new feature works. The BEST way to learn it is to USE it.

Have fun!


How to Name your Train or Cut

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