I was tempted by the number of Microsoft Train Simulator add-ons that were recommended to me by Amazon, but I had a copy of the game and find it so difficult the navigate the surveyor and the game itself.
I use Train Simulator at a very superficial level - I just drive a train. This option is offered on the opening screen.
Now that probably sounds really easy but Train Simulator doesn't always play nice with Vista (or XP before anyone starts Vista bashing) so sometimes the program gets stuck in a loop and I have to kill it with task manager.
We have just one add-on "Glacier Express" which is great for the scenery and has plenty of detail in the stations. Since your post I have driven a train from Chur as far as Bergun on the Albula valley. The challenge on this one is keeping to the constantly changing speed limits. It took me three attempts to get it running properly but for this add on the patience required is worth it.
I just hope someone somewhere is working on the underlying game engine to drag it into the Windows 7 world.
I've got a number of add-ons from various sources. I'm running Windows XP (with service pack 3) and the main problem is that the more recent add-ons seem to demand a 1.5GHz processor - I've got a 1.1GHz in my laptop so the recent ones do run a little slow, perhaps.
Loading seems pretty easy - the add-ons all seem capable of detecting where the Microsoft Trains program is kept and then add themselves on to that. So when you click on 'Drive a Train' the menu will come up with all the routes and you simply click on the route you wish to drive and go on from there.
The scenery in the Simulator is pretty crude if you've seen anything of the simulators the actual train companies use, but then we're paying 10s of £s and not millions!
I must have about 3 copies of the Auran Trainz simulator. I am having problems with the URL accessing the Download Helper which always freezes up. The Microsoft simulator, like you say, has loads of add-ons like through UKTrainSim- you can probably get every EMU, DMU and loco under the sun but Auran never had much in the way of third party British content except they had some brilliant EPBs and 508/313 family, and several great steam locos if you're into that. Auran's surveyor is possibly the most easily navigable of all the games. There are real pros and cons with each simulator.
I tried running Flying Scotsman from Filisur to Thusis over the Landwasser viaduct last night with 8 coaches. I couldn't get it out of the station as it ground to a halt on the incline. It had nothing to do with the RhB being narrow gauge
I noticed in passing the CDs (!) are copyright 2001. In some ways it's surprising that the game runs at all on a 2006 vintage OS. At least I've no problems with the graphics having a 2008 graphics card and dual core processor
I'm just visiting MRF after something like a two year absence (partly brought on by a house move)...
But anyway - have you considered Rail Simulator? It's developed by the original MS Train Simulator team (Kuju), but is a much more modern product. Doesn't have the same quantity of content yet, but it's getting there.
It has its detractors, I know, but is certainly an advance on MSTS, in my opinion.
A forum community dedicated to Model train and railway owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about collections, displays, models, styles, scales, motors, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!