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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 XP* onwards (including Windows 10). It does not work on Windows XBox, Windows Phone or non-Windows platforms.

* Windows XP requires Service Pack 3 (SP3).

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 = 2 GB
  • Hard drive : 40 MB (but models require lots of space. The 6 routes in Microsoft Train Simulator require 1.4 GB)
  • Graphics Hardware : minimum = 128 MB dedicated video RAM with Pixel Shader 2.0, recommended = 256 MB RAM with Pixel Shader 3.0
  • Graphics Software : as provided by Windows. Open Rails currently uses DirectX® - version 9.0c
  • Sound : compatible with DirectX® - version 9.0c

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

    
  • X1.3.1-285-gbe02e15a1 Merge pull request #338 from Csantucci/variable1
    Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1911908 Variable1 goes negative when steam loco runs backwards
    • b055bec2 Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1911908 Variable1 goes negative when steam loco runs backwards
  • X1.3.1-284-g1c0639cb9 Merge pull request #331 from peternewell/vacuum-brakes
    Correct issues with brake cuts power in vacuum brakes
    https://blueprints.launchpad.net/or/+spec/vacuum-brake-update
    • 88bfbb70 Remove trace statement inadvertantly left in code
    • 43d92880 Clarify code logic for error checking
    • f2295146 Fix issue with consumption showing for small ejector when not in use.
    • 16dfe6a7 Fix display equalising vacuum
    • 897f1efb Adjustments to vacuum braking to work with full vacuum level
    • 52b36344 Correct desired vacuum pressure, and checks for maximum system vacuum.
    • eecfddc2 Correct issues with brake cuts power in vacuum brakes
  • X1.3.1-283-g1796ec765 Merge pull request #328 from cjakeman/website-banners
    3 new banner images replace redundant ones
    • fee63aff redundant images deleted
    • bef17221 3 new banner images replace redundant ones
      New banner images from VAPOR3D
  • X1.3.1-282-g7040795fb Merge pull request #333 from peternewell/tender
    Add tender mass initialization if values defined in WAG file
    Forum thread - http://www.elvastower.com/forums/index.php?/topic/34745-move-tender-capacities-to-tender-wag-files/
    Trello Card - https://trello.com/c/BeNaGj09/449-tender-capacities-in-tender-wag-file
    • 045c3b8a Add manual documentation for changes
    • fc82daf2 Fix an issue if coal and water masses not specified in ENG file. Correct water calculation process for tender values in WAG file.
    • 7f2d5ef2 Add tender mass initialization if values defined in WAG file
  • X1.3.1-281-g43b7bcefe Merge pull request #321 from cesarBLG/enhance_brake_controller
    Improvements for EP and air braking systems
    Discussion: http://www.elvastower.com/forums/index.php?/topic/34527-wishes-for-improvement-of-braking-systems/
    Related trello card: https://trello.com/c/0SvMICQt/485-air-brake-and-ep-brake-options
    • 75153ca8 Add Brake Controller Notches table
    • 404feacd Add documentation for new and modified parameters and behaviours
    • ff485729 Charge brake pipe faster during quick release
    • 933fc879 Add bailoff, quick release and overcharge cab view controls
    • d31710dd Initialize brakes with EQ reservoir fully charged
    • 701d150c Correct maximum pressure applied to cylinders with EP brakes
    • 55d3f879 Fix bug causing pressure in auxiliary reservoir increasing ad infinitum
    • ffc93be5 Fix bug introduced due to min pressure reduction
    • af7240e4 Use wag parameters for graduated release. Fix dynamic brake locking throttle during blending
    • 78e0e965 Add missing initialization for slow application, and fix dynamic brake mechanical lock
    • 9f571af0 Add dynamic brake controller and speed to Brake Controller script
    • fac43c10 Add slow service brake application
    • 38175200 Correct behaviour of some brake controller notches and add missing ones
  • X1.3.1-280-g526f7baa1 Merge pull request #332 from mbm-OR/bugfix/LogFile-Warning-Message
    Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1910154. Log File generates the same header warning message.
    • b3bdf8f0 Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1910154. Log File generates the same header warning message.
    • 64001162 Bug fix for https://bugs.launchpad.net/or/+bug/1910154. Log File generates the same header warning message.

See more code changes

Installation Guides

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

Updater

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.