Questions about MSTS


Southern Serves the South
Is it better than Trainz?
Does it work for Windows XP?
Is it worth buying?

I like to know this information before I buy it from
1.Its possible its better than trainz.
2.I heard it can but cant be used to its full potential since the new directx or whatever is only compatibile with windows vista.
3.In my eyes I might get to so it might be worth getting as you can see the crews moving about! However you might need a very powerful computer.
Which MSTS? If we're talking about the one that is actually released, the answers Gandalf0444 has posted may not be entirely accurate.

For MSTS1:

1) This is an incredibly subjective question, and only you can find the answer to that. Personally, I don't see any problem with owning and running both simulators.

2) It will work fine under XP, however you cannot save anything when using a limited user account. This is an issue with many older programs, but they all work fine with an Admin account.

3) Depends on the price. In the UK it [MSTS1] costs around £5, which is throwaway really and you can't go wrong unless it's truly awful. Personally, I think the sim is worth more, though some would disagree, but for the price of a decent lunch it's not bad.

BidMod's opinions.
Last edited:
Before I type... DON'T START THAT MSTS FIGHT AGAIN!... Thank You

1. Depends on what you like, its a whole lot harder to make routes in MSTS then in Trainz. I would say Trainz is for fun (which is good) and MSTS is a simulation.

2. I had MSTS running on an XP laptop since 2002, no problem

3. Shure, the price is cheap.

Ok here are the answers to a few things people might say,
1. "There is no Content Download area" (like our DLS), Well there is but its not run by microsoft
2. "The graphics suck", I belived that until I found a replacement texture add-on.
and there are many others,

I'd say go for it.

Edit: I'm not saying Trainz is bad
I switched from MSTS to TRS2004/06 because of the ability to haul actual cargo and build my own routes.

In MSTS you can actually build your own routes, but it is very difficult. If you are looking for superior graphics, and uber-realistic physics (ie your looking for a train to drive rather than an entire railroad to manage) then MSTS might be for you.

If your looking for a mix of everything, than stick with the TRS series (or maybe Rail Simulator, I've heard good things about that as well).

I hope this helped!
MSTS has generally better graphics, even on built-in stuff, but TRS is WAAAAAAAY more interactive. MSTS, you basically just drive the train. TRS, you can do industrial stuff, or run a passenger train, or just let the AI have fun while you toil away in the yard (or the other way around!), or...well, you get the point.

Actually, I just ran out of stuff to say (lol).
Quite a few of us have it sitting on the shelf. Technical name for this is shelf ware, the box looks pretty mind you.

Cheerio John
For those who want to try MSTS1, you should also do a search for MSTS BIN project. It is a patch for the Microsoft licensed release with the Microsoft last Patch already installed. It has been a continuous project for unofficial developers to eliminate as many remaining bugs or to add features which could possibly be accomplished within the limitations of the program. It requires a fully licensed and updated MSTS1 for installation.

Having seen some screenies from MSTS, where the rails look like square steel billets to me, not profiled rail as in TRS, I don`t agree that the graphics are better.

And I`d like to see any loco in MSTS beat LieLestoSbrat`s 9F or the Merchant Navy loco for that matter.
You're right John. My MSTS has been on the shelf for almost four years now. They really shot themselves in the foot when they abandoned support of it (and upgrades).

Having seen some screenies from MSTS, where the rails look like square steel billets to me, not profiled rail as in TRS, I don`t agree that the graphics are better.

Terrain and rails are indeed better in TRS, but I think the locomotives actually look more realisitic in MSTS. I dunno, that could also be due to the 3D rendering program and paint-job.

It really all depends on what your tastes are. Myself, I'm a TRS2004/06 kinda guy. ;)
Note it would be better if people not say which is better, but only to compare each

Diesel9, sure get help to & ask questions, but in the end it's up to you to decide, nor am I going to say which is, or is not better.

ALL simulators (including real models), have their good & bad points. It also depends how good the item for ANY simulator/model is made, and the work/detail that is put into it.

If you have the time, go to a model show, if the model show has a simulator stand.

I'm not sure if this issue has been fixed with MSTS1 with a version of MSTS BIN or with another download somewhere, but in MSTS1, for each activity, you only have one weather setting, where as Trainz, you can have various weather conditions, in the one session.

Driving Trains
Not sure if this has also been solved with MSTS BIN or not, but with MSTS1, you can only drive one locomotive. And if it it's a double ended loco, you can't swap cabins, although a version of MSTS BIN can allow you to swap cabins - and nope, I haven't figured out how do that yet.

In Trainz, you can move the driver to another loco, you can drive different trains in the same session. In MSTS1, at the moment, although you can have a passenger or two, you can't actually load passengers. At times, MSTS1 passenger cars look empty, even in inside shots.

Viewing Trains
In MSTS, you can quickly go from the front of the train to the back, where as in Trainz, you have to go back one carriage at a time, until you reach the end carriage, not very good if you have a very long train, unless you use CONTROL+FIND, and then you need to find the end vehicle in the list, and make sure it's the right vehicle first.

Roaming Camera views
In MSTS1, when you press "4" for what is similar to Trainz roaming camera, you get different positions. For example you can get two different roaming views at the one spot, unlike Trainz, where for each spot, you only have the view that each roaming camera shows.

In MSTS, you can make an activity, you can test the activity & the timetable without actually running the activity. In Trainz, you can't test the activity or timetable, unless you actually play the Trainz activity. Depending on the detail the activity contains, making an activity can be hard or easy, be it MSTS or Trainz.

To Blackwatch: Just as in Trainz, MSTS can have good & bad track. A lot of default track in BOTH Trainz & MSTS looks too cartoonish, (ie: the rails look flat).

But in the end, all a simulator really is, is just a set of dots on a computer screen.
Last edited:
I agree that the graphics in MSTS are very smooth, although much of the content is dissappointingly undetailed and looks like shoddy work from MS.
However, has hundreds if not thousands of highly detailed content and routes for download which outshine the original content by miles (although adding content is a troublesome process). This, coupled with the advanced driving physics, make MSTS really ideal for a person after the TRUE train simulator.

MSTS's downside is it's very complex route-building tool, evident from the fact that you have to go through many processes before you even begin to lay your first track. Also, MSTS lacks interactivity or even people on the platform and drivers in the cabs, which sometimes when you come to think of it, driving in MSTS is a very lonely affair.


Trainz, on the other hand, is pointed more towards route interactivity and a user-friendly surveyor tool and content creator. Objects, trains and even the track are more detailed than MSTS, this, coupled with a central download site (our awesome DLS) makes Trainz ideal for people who likes to run their own railway other than driving a train itself.

ps. I heard Microsoft is coming up with something like Train Simulator X. I can't find much details on the net, although Microsoft claims it's being built on the Flight Simulator platform. Perhaps this one's not going to be a dissappointment?

Nicholas. =D
Last edited:
Theres also more content in MSTS the trainz as in MSTS the trains are just pictures floating down the track. You could use any picture of a real engine and add it to the sim which is why they look so real. You can also use GMAX and that kind of stuff.
Is it better than Trainz?
Does it work for Windows XP?
Is it worth buying?

1) Without a doubt MSTS is far superior to any Trainz product ever released anywhere! When it is running between random system crashes, black screens and reboots it far out shines any other train simulator every made, even the professional ones that cost thousands of dollars each for a license! The first tip off is the two dimensional cab, as opposed to Trainz 3 dimensional cab, that right there shows you the superior workmanship involved.

2) Oh, Lordy yes, it works splendidly in XP, and XP is a robust OS anyway that can handle the numerous reboots, resets and errors you may encounter! I would recommend XP anyway, due to the intuitive navigation, which you will be using to download scads of content from various sites, plus you can play pinball while you wait for entrance to the main download site, unless you buy a membership (going from memory here, so it may have changed). Certainly the value involved far exceeds that of a First Class Ticket, particularly if you don't try to download anything during peak service times!

3) Yes, I would recommend buying it post haste! The little mini poster is pretty cool, even if it is out of perspective. In fact, I would buy as many copies as they have to offer....corner the market on those suckers, maybe you can become the controlling stock holder of MSTS games, and then raise the price through the roof!


Oh, yeah, I almost forgot......using MSTS gives you bragging rights as nicky9499 has pointed out "MSTS really ideal for a person after the TRUE train simulator." You do want the TRUE train simulator, don't you? Why bother with a toy train simulator like Trainz?

Now, if you will excuse me, I have to extract a file from this locomotive thingy here, and then run it through TGA tool so I can eventually reskin it.
Just my two cents.

1. I seem to have more fun with MSTS but I only have the built-in routes.
2. MSTS was made for Windows 98. XP can handle the reboots and crashes but sure as hell, my computer can't. When I had WIN98 I couldn't use snow as it just kept crashing. But after an installation on my new computer (this was four years ago) I could use EVERYTHING without fault.
3. It is pretty good apart from the stop-and-never-start-again fault on the Northeast corridor route (which I assume would have been fixed) and is worth the money. Sadly it doesn't seem to available retail in Australia anymore so I can't give you a local price.

A Note:
I got this game when I was eight, used the damn thing to death and it was very addicting for me. I got it when it was still AUD$90 new and I got it second hand for AUD$15.