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Installation Questions from the FAQ

Which platforms does Open Rails run on?

Open Rails works well on Windows PCs from Windows 7* onwards (including Windows 11). It does not work on Windows XBox, Windows Phone or non-Windows platforms.

* Windows 7 requires Service Pack 1 (SP1).

32-bit or 64-bit Windows?

Open Rails is currently a 32-bit program that will run on either 32-bit Windows or 64-bit Windows. When run on a 64-bit Windows system there are some benefits as follows.

Programs compiled for 32-bit Windows are always limited to using a maximum of 2GB of memory. Many current PCs, especially 64-bit systems, have more than this. Fortunately it is possible to compile a program, for 64-bit systems only, which can use up to 4GB of memory and this is called a Large Address Aware (LAA) option. The downloads include both the usual version and the LAA version and you choose between them in the Options form.

What hardware does Open Rails require?

  • Processor : 2.0 GHz (32 or 64-bit)
  • Memory : minimum = 0.5 GB, recommended = 4 GB
  • Hard drive : 50 MB (but models require lots of space. The 6 routes in Microsoft Train Simulator require 1.4 GB)
  • Graphics : any compatible with Windows 7 upwards. (more than 0.3GB graphics RAM recommended)

Do I need Microsoft Train Simulator installed to use Open Rails?

You do not need Microsoft Train Simulator installed in order to use Open Rails.

When Microsoft Train Simulator is installed, then Open Rails can safely make use of all the Microsoft Train Simulator content as it does not change any Microsoft Train Simulator files.

Most non-Microsoft Train Simulator routes, activities and rolling stock make use of some Microsoft Train Simulator content, usually sound files, textures and cab interiors. If products designed for Microsoft Train Simulator are used on a PC with Open Rails but not Microsoft Train Simulator, then they are likely to work but some sounds and textures will be missing. Such files will be listed with warnings in the Open Rails log file.

How can I recognise add-on products for Microsoft Train Simulator that require Microsoft Train Simulator files?

Add-ons designed for Microsoft Train Simulator may rely on files from the Microsoft Train Simulator product. For instance:

  • Routes provided with an Install.bat file that copies shapes and textures from the routes on the Microsoft Train Simulator CDs.
  • Locomotives that re-use cabviews or sounds from the locomotives on the Microsoft Train Simulator CDs (see folder TRAINSET).
  • Rolling stock that have sound management (SMS) files that refer to wave files from the Microsoft Train Simulator CDs (see folder SOUND).

If I install Open Rails, will it change my Microsoft Train Simulator files?

No, Open Rails does not modify any Microsoft Train Simulator files.

Does Open Rails suppport RailDriver?

Yes; this cab controller from P.I.Engineering is suitable for Open Rails and support for it is built in to the simulator. Installation instructions are included in the installation download (and also from this webpage). Eric Conrad has posted a detailed review on his MSTS Roundhouse blog which provides valuable advice for using this product.

Does Open Rails report data back to its creators?

Not at the moment. Data on how Open Rails is used will be very helpful for the project but, if we wish to collect usage data, we will inform you beforehand and you will always be able to opt out.

Recent Code Changes

  • T1.4-28-g98f46f681 Merge pull request #516 from twpol/feature/unstable-debug
    feat: Build Unstable Version as debug
    • 14985833 feat: Build Unstable Version as debug
  • T1.4-26-g325d2e210 Merge pull request #517 from cjakeman/contributing1
    Strengthen Contributing guidance
    • dc566d59 Strengthen Contributing guidance
      Ensure community discussion of new features by requiring forum thread prior to ORMT approval.
  • T1.4-24-ge94de6895 Merge pull request #518 from cjakeman/key_assignments
    Added rules to policy page on website
    • 59424c1d Added rules to policy page on website
      See http://openrails.org/contribute/team-policies/
  • T1.4-22-g883b49b52 Merge pull request #512 from Sharpe49/fix-hill-start
    Fixed dynamic brake being applied during standstill when dynamic brake blending is enabled
    • b76931fd Use absolute value since SpeedMpS can be negative
    • 3aae6406 Fixed dynamic brake being applied during standstill when dynamic brake blending is enabled
      (which blocks throttle during hill start)

See more code changes

Installation Guides

Note: No installation is necessary and multiple versions of Open Rails can co-exist in different folders.


The built-in updater checks this website for new updates once per day. The testing version is updated once per week, usually on Friday around 7pm UK time.

Unstable Version

To support development, the latest unstable version is also available, which is updated as and when we make changes to it. Previous unstable versions are available. The unstable versions are more likely to contain serious bugs and are only recommended for users wishing to help with Open Rails development.