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MSTS - Helpful Facts and Links - Part 01 (Introduction)

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MSTS - Helpful Facts and Links - Part 01 (Introduction) Empty MSTS - Helpful Facts and Links - Part 01 (Introduction)

Post  rufuskins Mon 28 Jan 2013, 10:49 am

This is the first in a series of posts that are meant to give a simple history of MSTS and point people to the various links considered vital to maximising the performance of MSTS.

Microsoft Train Simulator, and referred to as MSTS, is a train simulator for Microsoft Windows, released in July 2001 and developed by UK based Kuju Entertainment.

The original basic simulation allowed players to operate a train on various routes in Europe, Asia and the United States. Players need to stop and start the train, couple wagons, using the computer keyboard or a hardware addition such as Raildriver to operate the controls. Sound effects are enabled.

Unfortunately the original version contained a number of bugs. For example the "front coupling bug", where the locomotive's front coupler would not work, the "white void bug", where the route scenery disappears, leaving a white void, and the "end-of-the-line bug", where the locomotive, if it crashed through the last buffers on the route, would fall into an empty void. There were also issues with the signalling and AI dispatching. The game can also be unstable with some tendencies to hang/crash without necessarily giving a reason, and display error messages incorrectly and/or at the wrong times. In many instances, out-of-place error messages, usually for missing files, can cause an undesired crash at the wrong time. The MSTS 1.2 patch addressed some of these issues.

You could go here for the original “blurb”.

You could go here for the various additional downloads that are referenced in the Steam4me installation guide

Here’s an interesting internet page.

When MSTS was first released it more or less coincided with the release of MS Windows XP operating system (XP), but as with any piece of operating system software it didn’t stand still and XP was superseded by Vista, then Windows 7 and currently Windows 8. Thankfully those in the know have enabled us to run MSTS in all of these operating systems, albeit with the necessary computer dexterity!

A well known simmer in Europe was brave enough to delve into the inner workings of MSTS, and came up with a number of improvements that removed many of the infamous “bugs”, and that improvement download can be found here.

Another well known issue was the lack of “capacity” for running MSTS once you had installed several additional routes into MSTS – especially the larger ones.

However a well known simmer from down under came up with a programme that allowed you to store away from MSTS any routes, stock, etc. not required for a spell of train driving. That software is known as TrainStore and can be downloaded from several links, in particular TrainSim and UKTS .

Perhaps the biggest bonus that actually came with MSTS was the ability to design and construct your own routes, and the results of this are available worldwide – either as ”payware” or “freeware”. Within MSTS there is also the ability to create activities, and these too are available on a worldwide basis. In addition software is available that allows the creation of virtual railway models that are to an extremely high standard, and we have been lucky that many simmers have freely uploaded their model efforts for the rest of us to enjoy.

The available routes, stock, activities, etc. are available at various sites on the internet, but perhaps the main ones are as follows:-

UKTS - where a wide range of routes, stock and activities are freely available for the UK railway scene, and cover most eras.

TrainSim - where a wide range of routes, stock and activities for the US railway scene are freely available, and cover most eras.

Steam4me - where a wide range of routes, stock and activities for the Australian railway scene are freely available. In addition there is an extensive range of MSTS tutorials located here, and Yuri Sos is to be congratulated for his efforts in setting these up.

I will add further posts indicating those add-ons, such as New Roads in forthcoming posts.

Please feel free to comment, in particular where my facts may not be correct.


Last edited by rufuskins on Wed 27 Mar 2013, 1:20 pm; edited 8 times in total (Reason for editing : General amendments to create a tidier post.)

ALEC - Supporter of MSTS and TSSH!


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