Subway Construction Set

9 months 2 days ago #6 by ProTrainz
Previously available via CD, later at (I believe) the download station, here is the complete documentation to the Subway Construction Set.

Subway Construction Set

I’ve designed the subway construction set (hereafter referred to as SCS) to enable users to quickly and easily assemble a semi-realistic subway system loosely based on that found here in New York City. More information on the NYC Subway can be found at I say loosely based, as any project designed to accurately model the NYC Subway system is beyond the scope of this product, and at this juncture, beyond the scope of Trainz to be able to run it. The NYC Subway isn’t a static item. Things are constantly being added, subtracted, altered or replaced, and have been for the last 100 years. Many stations feature several different types of support pillars, tilework, ceilings, fare control, restrooms, benches, and a myriad of other things which make the system not only unique, but difficult to model, and that’s within the same station. Expand that system-wide, and it grows exponentially.

Originally built as 3 separate and distinct systems, and later merged into one, even the length and width of the cars (and the stations they service) vary. For the sake of simplicity, SCS station platforms are designed to accommodate 10’ wide cars. Using 9’ wide IRT cars will result in a 6” gap between the cars and the platforms, which is visually acceptable in a simulation, especially one where you hardly ever see the cars from the platform.

What follows is a simple guide to the SCS, its pieces, and some of the things which can be achieved with it.

1. Subway background
2. Basic Construction Pointers
3. The Pieces
4. Construction
5. Construction Example
6. Signaling
7. Operation
8. Phase II

All SCS assets are completed and tested, including tracks, tunnels, stations and platforms. Some new platforms have been included, and tunnels have been changed to provide more consistency in appearance. All items have had thumbnails added to allow for Download Station distribution and full TRS2006 compatability. All items have TRS2006 keywords added.

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9 months 2 days ago #7 by ProTrainz
Replied by ProTrainz on topic Subway Construction Set
1. Subway background

Generally, there are two types of subway track, double-tracked and quadruple-tracked. Double-tracked is used mainly for “local” lines, where trains stop at every station. Quadruple-tracked is used for “express” lines, where some trains will stop at every station, and some do not. It is possible on express lines to have stations with only local stops, or both local and express stops. There will usually be a few local stations between express stops, however there are prototypical exceptions to this. Single track is used primarily for connections from one line to another and where routes diverge. Since all NYC Subway lines are point-to-point routes (with the occasional exception of the Rockaways Wye and South Ferry & non-revenue City Hall loops), allowing a place for trains to cross over to tracks running in the opposite direction near the end of each line is usually required. Crossovers from express to local tracks (and vice-versa) are also common, especially prior to where other lines diverge from a common trackage. Many express routes only run during rush hours, or daytime, and run off-peak as local service. While not necessary, designing your route with such crossovers will increase your operational capabilities.

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9 months 2 days ago #8 by ProTrainz
Replied by ProTrainz on topic Subway Construction Set
2. Basic Construction Pointers

First, a few pointers which should help you in designing your subway. Design your route on paper first. Since your subway will be created almost entirely out of splines, connecting them in the proper order and orientation is critical. Where possible, start from one end of a line, and work to the other.

Stations are constructed out of several different pieces. First is an "invisible" station item, found in the "Scenery" tab. All such items are named "Subway * Station *" (where the asterisk may contain another name). Then add the appropriate "Start" and "End" pieces for the type of station you're building (named "Subway * Platform *", also found in the "Scenery" tab). Connect the Station and Platform Start and End with whatever Subway no 3rd rail track you'd like, and the Station and Platform pieces will automatically use that track as well. 3rd rails are already placed in the correct locations. Now you need to build the rest of your platform. In the "Scenery" tab, under the "Spline" section, you'll find several "Subway * Platform *" sections. Click on the invisible station to add a platform section to it. Then click on the end of the invisible station to add a spline between it and either the Start or End piece. Where available, different platform sections may be joined together to create different platform options, however this only applies to the 2 track station at the moment. In Phase I of the SCS, there is only one type of tunnel which actually has initiators and terminators (named Subway Tunnel). Because of that, at this time, it’s the only tunnel which can be used to make your subway emerge from the ground, or enter back in. During design, all pieces were originally made this way, but it presented serious shortcoming, especially when attempting to connect single tracks. Removing the initiators and terminators enabled single track connections to any of the tunnel pieces, except for “Subway Tunnel” (they’ll connect to it, but it’ll make a hole in the ground where they do, no matter how far below ground the connection is). When placing track, take note of where the 3rd rail is located. 3rd rail track can be laid with the rail in either orientation, based on where the start and end of the spline are. This is extremely handy for locating switches, platforms, etc. on above-ground lines. There is also matching track with no 3rd rail, which can be used for crossovers and switches. Generally, the 3rd rails should be placed to be furthest from any passenger platform where possible.

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9 months 2 days ago #9 by ProTrainz
Replied by ProTrainz on topic Subway Construction Set
3. The pieces

Here is a brief description of the pieces of the SCS, and what they’re generally used for

Track (found in the track section of surveyor, in the “Subway” region)

Subway track 1 line – single line track with a walkway including 3rd rail and tunnel, suitable for connecting 2 track sections to 4 track sections, 4 track express stations to 4 track sections, and several other things.

Subway track 1 line NC – The same as above, except with “no clearance” signs along the wall with no walkway. Generally used at station approaches and areas where the type of tunnel changes to alert trackworkers of this.

Subway track 1 line Gap – Similar to the two above tracks, but with gaps along the wall with no walkway through which the adjacent trackage can be seen. This should only be used when placed next to another piece of track or tunnel. Due to the way the track is constructed, it isn’t necessary to line up the gaps on both tracks.

Subway track 1 line-Walls – This track is similar, but with straight walls with no walkway on both sides. When connecting to a 4 track piece, generally this track will be used on the center two tracks

Subway track 1 line-Walls NC – The same as above, but with “no clearance” signs along both walls.

Note: The above 5 tracks all include tunnel sections and can be connected underground.

Subway track 1 line R – This can be used to adapt track with a walkway to track without, as it has a piece which merges the two at one end. Must be kept short to not repeat.

Subway track 1 line L – The same as the track above, but with the adapter piece on the other end/side.

Subway track 1 line 1 side – This can be used to branch tunnels off from existing ones.

Subway 3rd Rail – Standard 3rd rail track on gravel bed

Subway no 3rd Rail – Same as above, without the 3rd rail. Suitable for switches and crossovers.

Subway 3rd Rail Cement – 3rd rail track on cement base

Subway no 3rd rail cement – Same as above, without the 3rd rail.

Subway 3rd Rail Cement 2 – 3rd rail track on cement base with safety cutout. Not extremely useful, but added for completeness.

Subway no 3rd rail cement 2 – Same as above, without the 3rd rail. This allows passengers to get below the level of the ties if trapped on the track when a train is approaching. Mainly used in stations.


Subway Tunnel – Basic 2 track subway tunnel with initiator and terminator, no center supports. Should only be used to connect to above ground tracks, and underground 2 track tunnels.

Subway Tunnel 2 – 2 track subway tunnel with center supports

Subway Tunnel Out – 2 track subway tunnel without center supports, and 3rd rails placed on the outside of the tracks. Used for areas with switches and crossovers.

Subway Tunnel 4 – 4 track subway tunnel with center supports

Subway Tunnel 4 In – 4 track subway tunnel with no center supports between inner 2 tracks to allow for switches and crossovers between 2 center tracks.

Subway Tunnel 4 Out - 4 track subway tunnel with no center supports between outer tracks to allow for switches and crossovers between “express” and “local” tracks.


Subway platform – Standard 2 track side platforms.

Subway platform 2 – 2 track side platforms without roof supports. Mix and match with above platform to create different looking stations.

Subway platform exit – 2 track side platforms with turnstiles and token booths. Add at one end, both ends, or center of your station.

Subway platform start – Use to start your 2 track side platform station. This connects to all 2 track tunnels, and the first 3 subway tracks.

Subway platform end – Use at the other end to finish the station.

Subway platform 4 local – side “local” platforms with 2 center “express” tracks

Subway platform 4 local start – Begins local station, connects to any 4 track tunnel, or appropriated subway track/tunnels

Subway platform 4 local end – Same as above, but ends the station.

Subway platform 4 – 4 track subway platform with 2 side platforms and a center “island” platform for the “express” tracks.

Subway platform 4 start – For above platform, must be connected via appropriated subway track/tunnels (ie., straight-wall track/tunnels on the center 2 tracks, walkway track/tunnels on the sides)

Subway platform 4 end – Finishes above station. Both ends have stairway exits from station.

Subway Island platform - Island platform with the tracks on either side of it

Subway Island platform Start - Start piece for the Island platform.

Subway Island platform End - End piece for the Island platform.

Subway terminus 2 - Endpiece for a 2 track terminus.

Subway terminus 4 - Endpiece for a 4 track terminus.

Invisible Stations

Subway Station - Standard 2 track station with platforms on either side.

Subway Station 4 - Standard 4 track station.

Subway Station 4 local - 4 track station with platforms on the outer sides.

Subway Island Station - 2 track station with a platform in the center.


Subway sign – 5 nameable mosaic station name signs, can be placed along one side of station. Repeat for other side.

Subway sign 2 – Same as above, with different mosaic pattern/color.

Subway sign hanging – Hanging station name signs suitable for “island” platforms.

Subway sign hanging 2 – The same as above but in a more modern style

Signals & Switches (found in Trackside section, Subway region)

Alstom Model 5 – Standard transit switch machine on gravel base

Alstom Model 5 Cement – Same as above, but with cement base

Signal Side – Subway 3 aspect signal which mounts to standard wall of 2 and 4 track tunnels, and Subway track/tunnels with walkway.

Signal Side Narrow – Same as above for use in narrow Subway track/tunnels without walkways.

Signal Pole – Subway 3 aspect signal which is mounted on a pole, useable for express tracks, switches, crossovers, etc

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9 months 2 days ago #10 by ProTrainz
Replied by ProTrainz on topic Subway Construction Set
4. Construction

Due to the way that Trainz is designed, only tunnel (and platform, which are actually tunnels) pieces with similar track offsets can be connected to each other. This means that 2 track pieces can only connect to 2 track pieces, 4 track pieces (including 4 track local platform pieces) can only connect to 4 track pieces, and the 4 track platform pieces (the one with side platforms and a center express island) will connect to nothing except each other (ie., 4 track platform start, 4 track platform, and 4 track platform end). Additional pieces which will be introduced in Phase II will be mentioned in a later chapter. In order to transition between different types of tunnel section, “Tunnel Track” must be used.

These are normal track sections which include 3rd rail and are surrounded by “Tunnel” walls. While they look like Tunnels, Trainz sees them as tracks. This allows them to connect to anything. Take care to not confuse these with the Subway tracks which only include the track (as these will not have walls when placed underground). The single “Tunnel Tracks” come in 2 main varieties, one with a side walkway, and one without. 2 variations of each are included, both with “no clearance” signage and without. Track which allows a transition between the two is also included. In addition, a variety which has periodic gaps in the wall on one side is included as well. This is designed to be laid alongside other track (usually of the same type, but laid in the other direction) to simulate sections of the subway where such construction can be found. Because of the way the piece is designed, it is not necessary to align the gaps between adjacent pieces, as any gap will show an opening onto the adjacent track. Most SCS pieces are designed so that the track is visible from above, which allows the easy placing of switches, signals and rolling stock. “Tunnel Track” pieces are only visible from the inside, which facilitates placing them in close proximity without worrying if the wall of one extends into the adjacent piece (as any overlap will be viewed from the “outside” and hence be invisible).

You can build your subway either on ground level, and then sink it to the proper depth when finished, not sink it at all if it’s all on ground level (however if you do this, any piece which dips below ground level will show the ground through the tunnel, and the ground will show at the edges of each tunnel), or build it below ground by turning off the terrain via the button on the toolbar. I find it easier to design on ground level and then submerge rather than working below ground, but YMMV.

By using the “Tunnel Track” pieces, diverging routes can be created which run up, down, over and under other tracks. Generally one track (or set of tracks) will dip down a bit while the other tracks rise above, which keeps the track grade as minimal as possible. Prototypically, grades up to 4% can be common, anything more should probably be avoided as potentially unrealistic, though the NYCMTA subway rolling stock are designed as multiple units (each car is an engine) which offer superior performance on grades, as well as fast acceleration and braking. In addition, by using the “Subway track 1 line 1 side” track, routes may be diverged from inside the tunnel. The way to do this is get your tunnel which you plan to diverge down to a “Subway track 1 line wall” track. Add a section of the “1 side” track to create an opening for the divergence. Continue on with the standard wall track (you can adjust the spline points as necessary later). Add a piece of the “1 side” track at the beginning of the first one to make a switch. Add the “wall” track onto that, and adjust the spline points to create your divergence. An example of this can be found on the “A Subway” demo layout.

Stations are usually long enough to allow running 8 car trains (10 car trains on IRT routes). 2 Trainz grid squares (10m each) is approximately 1 carlength for BMT/IND rolling stock which is 60’ long (newer stock is 75’ long, but hasn’t been constructed yet for Trainz). Each platform section is 20m long. By mixing platform, platform 2 and platform exit sections, many different appearing stations can be constructed. In Phase I, express stations only have exits at the ends of the platforms. Additional options will be available in Phase II. Station name signs may be placed along the station walls (1 set for each wall) and can be named via the “?” button in Surveyor. There are also “hanging” signage available for express and island platforms in both old and new styles, which can also be named in the same manner as the wall signs.

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9 months 2 days ago #11 by ProTrainz
Replied by ProTrainz on topic Subway Construction Set
5. Signaling

Signaling at the moment is very rudimentary in the SCS. 3 aspect signals are available in 3 different formats, wall, wall narrow, and pole. Additional signal types are planned for Phase II, though these will require scripting to function similar to prototypical signals. Generally, signals should be placed prior to any switch which may prevent forward travel. For a switch which allows either a diverging route or forward route, there’s no need for a signal (as the control tower should have it set correctly, and if set incorrectly, still will allow the train to pass without any possibility of derailment). In the future, signals which indicate both the status of the forward and diverging route will be included. Signals should also be present before and after each station platform. In prototypical operation, these are actually 2 aspect signals, as they either indicate stop or caution, never proceed. Occasionally mid-station signals are used as well, but in Trainz this would serve no actual purpose. Signals may also be placed in long tunnel sections between stations.

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