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Getting Started In MSTS

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#1 laming


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Posted 27 June 2009 - 12:28 PM

NOTE: Edited and updated with new links 12/06/11

I've recently had the pleasure of helping several newcomers get into MSTS. In an effort to have a thread that has most of what is truly needed to get MSTS up to date and modified for most routes, the following tutorial is the result!

Before we start: What are your system specs? Hopefully it is robust enough to handle MSTS with most of the graphic eye candy selected. Some commercial and freeware routes are pretty intense and require some computer horsepower to run well.

Next: Get the basic MSTS program installed as per the instructions. Once installed, go into the sim and select a train to run on a route. All you're doing here is insuring that the program is installed properly, loads and runs as designed. Fret not that the routes don't look too hot, nor that the trains don't behave like you think a train should. (The default stuff has REALLY GOOD brakes, for example.) That and more you can address later.

Okay, that's it for the basic MSTS installation. I will now be walking you through the update process in view of an MSTS installation that is aimed at US content.

Let's begin to update your basic MSTS installation with Microsoft's Official Patches:

Click this link:


Once opened you'll be on the updates page of a fantastic MSTS resource website in Austrailia.

First you need to download the two updates you'll want. They are:

(1.) MSTS v1.4 Train Simulator Update

(2.) MSTS v1.4 SD40-2 Content

IF you also want to add the additional European Content, then look for and download the following:

(3.) MSTS v1.4 Class 50 Content

After downloading, install #1 first. Then install #2. (And #3 if you choose to.) The installers are set up to install the updates in the DEFAULT MSTS location. That is, the location the MSTS discs place it during the installation process. If you have a CUSTOM INSTALLATION and it is NOT where default installation is... then you'll need to point the updates toward your MSTS installation.

(Note: The DEFAULT install path is: C:/Program Files/Microsoft Games/Train Simulator)

Once you click and the exe files do their thing... that's it! Now, go into MSTS and make sure it loads and you can run a train. Check out your new SD 40-2. It's pretty nifty.

This concludes your first tutorial. :-)

#2 laming


    Robber Baron

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 12:37 PM

EDIT: Updated 12/06/11

Okay... back to updating your MSTS install with the latest goodies...

Next you will install "MSTS Bin".

MSTS Bin is a project that a Czechoslovakian V scaler undertook and has accomplished a TON with it. Here's a brief list of SOME of the things MSTS Bin fixes/addresses:

* Better in-game memory managment resulting in smoother play and the ability to load and run larger, more complex routes.

* Cab swapping from one coupled engine to the next (provided said engines are adapted to such).

* The ability to swap cab ends on a double ended engine.

* Enhanced features for model builders such as opening doors, raising/lowering pantographs, etc.

* Front coupler fixed.

* F9 Uncoupling window fixed to display train properly and function properly when front coupled.

* All MU diesels have dynamic sound. (Instead of lead unit only.)

There are many more, but this will suffice.

Now that I've whetted your appetite, here's where to get it:


(I personally am still using release 1.7.102222. Haven't taken the time to update.)

BEFORE you install, look inside your main Train Simulator folder and make a copy of the file "train.exe" and "launcher.exe". I have never had to revert back to default after an MSTS Bin install... but I've been told to make copies of those... so I'm passing that bit of info on to you.

Once you download the MSTS Bin version of your choice:

Unzip the MSTS Bin zip file, then click on the installer. When the installer asks you, select:

* ENGLISH if you speak English! (Duh)

* Sound enhancements

I do not install the transparent driving aids, I find them harder to read and distracting. Your call.

That's it for MSTS Bin!

Now, once you get MSTS Bin installed, and after you've played with the default content included with MSTS as much as you want... when you're ready to try your hand at some 1893 railroading... I just happen to have a recently released route that can fill that bill nicely! biggrin.gif

All for this installment. Next up will be XTracks and NewRoads.

#3 laming


    Robber Baron

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Posted 27 June 2009 - 12:49 PM

EDIT: Updated with new links 12/06/11

Lastly, as for the scope of this tutorial series, we'll add XTracks and NewRoads. Doing this will allow you to add-on many, many routes built using the above add-ons.


So many routes now use XTracks, that you might as well consider it a "must have". That so, let's go get it and install it! First, hit the link below. It will take you to another page on the excellent Austrailian MSTS website. READ THE EXPLANATIONS CAREFULLY so you get the version you will need. The different XTracks "packs" have to do with whether or not you intend to build/modify ROUTES. This is not something you have to decide NOW... you can always go with the basic XTracks end user install... and LATER should you decide you want to try your hand at route building/modifying, you can return and get the additional XTracks Route Developers Pack.

Here's the link to download the XTracks Pack version you decide upon:



Again, many of the freeware routes need NewRoads to operate correctly. IF you download a route that requires NewRoads, it is available here:


Again, read carefully and select the NewRoads you need. IF you intend to be only an END USER for quite some time, then only download the end-user packs needed for NewRoads route to operate properly. IF the time comes that you want to use NewRoads in a route you are going to build or modify, THEN you can go back and select the additional stuff required for such.

Welp... this concludes the first of this tutorial. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the VSC General Forum below!

#4 laming


    Robber Baron

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Posted 08 February 2010 - 08:19 AM

Updated 12/06/11

Concerning the above:

Thank you to Steam4me's webmaster Yuri Sos!

His site is simply one of the best for MSTS, bar none!

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