Building a
Double Slip Switch
By John King
- johnk -
Trainz Resources Directory 2009
To Page 2
I wrote this tutorial just after the first release of Trainz somewhere around 2002. The program has progressed a long way since then, but the procedures shown here will still apply. As I haven't had time to re-write the tutorial, I'm presenting it here with exactly the same photos and text used in the original. Please consider this as you follow the tutorial because some of my comments about keyboard shortcuts and other issues may no longer apply.

I'd also like to thank the folks at Trainz Luvr for hosting the tutorial over the years. This copy was on my original Trainz site that was closed down when I changed ISP's many years ago. I eventually located a copy on the Wayback Machine, so it may differ from the Trainz Luvr version in a couple of places.  

At the controls of a beautiful 1/6th scale model of the 4-6-2 Edward Henty at Campbelltown Miniature Railway, Narre Warren North, Victoria.
When working with this and any other tutorials written by me, we'll try to use the computer keyboard instead of the Surveyor menus wherever possible. This will allow us to achieve some level of productivity because using the menus definitely reduces your output. Unfortunately there seem to be some minor problems with some of the Trainz keyboard shortcuts, so don't hesitate to use the menus if you're not getting the required results. One such problem is the insertion of splines. The (I) "Insert Spline" shortcut only works under certain conditions.

Because Trainz is a complex program, I strongly suggest you design your first switches or turnouts for testing purposes only. Once you've done one, the rest will be easy. For example I was able to build my second double switch in a matter of minutes. The first one took almost an hour.

When I refer to the cursor keys, I mean the ones closest to the right hand shift key. This also applies to the Page Up and Page Down keys. As far as I'm aware, the Number Pad cursor keys are ineffective.
Building the Double Slip Switch:
Firstly, the double slip is probably the most complicated switch on any railroad system. It's ideal for confined areas, it looks complicated and works great. I'm not going to tell you why a double switch would be used on a layout, but if you have a chance, try to put one somewhere.

Here's what the finished switch will look like when viewed from close up. Neat, complex, but fully functional. And what's more, it's a cinch to build!

Okay, let's start!

Use the Page Down (PD) key to Zoom out. Don't go too far or the track may not appear. Play around with the Page UP (PU) and (PD) keys at all times to give yourself the best viewpoint.

Use the Up Cursor (UC) and Down Cursor (DC) in the same manner to create a level working area as in Step 1.

To move the compass, use the Right Mouse Button. By placing the cursor on the compass and holding the (RMB) down, you can move the compass wherever you like. Alternatively, you can pace the mouse pointer at a certain place and click the (RMB). The compass will then settle in that location.
Setting up the work area:
These few simple tips will enable you to scoot around the site like Superman.

Next Press (F4) or click on the Track Tab. This will open the Track menu. Now click the Advanced button (See location of cursor opposite) to expose the Advanced menu. You may now close the menu if you wish by pressing (F4) or clicking on the Track tab.
Step 1 - Create a Diamond Crossing

Press (T) to select the Track option
Press (A) to lay track.

Using the mouse (LMB) click near (1) and complete the track section at (2) by clicking again. From now on, you know how to do this - right?

Repeat the exercise and create a diamond crossing. Make the sections long because we will want to test our switch with a loco and maybe a couple of cars.
Step 2 - Adding some splines

Press (I) to insert splines.
(If this doesn't work, you may have to select the Splines Button in the Advanced section of the Track menu)

Now place four splines at points (3) (4) (5) and (6) making sure  that they are  NOT one on top of  the  other as  clearly
shown. If the splines are too close, strange things may happen. If they do, just press (Control Z) to clear the problem and space the splines further apart.

Step 3 - Creating a by-pass

Press A to lay track.

Place the cursor in the middle of Spline (4) and click the (LMB). Drag the cursor away from the main diamond and click (LMB) to finish the track section at point (7).

You could double click here to continue laying track but it's not important.