Aim - this section describes the general charateristices of Steam Locomotives and the aspects of the rolling stock that impact there operation.
"Stand-alone" Open Rails Installation
The Test railway can be installed using the Open Rails (OR) railway simulator and does not require MicroSoft Train Simulator (MSTS) to be installed. The following method is recommended for users who do not have MSTS already installed.
Note: No responsibility is accepted for any damage done to your computer. This install is done at your risk.
It should also be noted that the operation of other routes, following these instructions, may or may not be succsessful, as they may be missing key MSTS files necessary for the Route or Rolling Stocks correct operation.
It is highly recommended that you follow the KISS (Keep it simple St....) method of installing software. This method suggests that you only do single installs of software or a small number of steps before you test what you have done. This will make it easier to test your progress and ensure you don't have too many issues to "fault find". Run the "tests" described at various point below to ensure that all is well.
If you would like to provide any feedback in regard to these instructions, please contact me through the contact page.
Base Software Required
This software must be installed on your computer first. Check and install software as required.
Step 1 - Download and install DirectX 9c or higher.
Step 2 - Download and install NET Framework 3.5 SP 1
Step 3 - Download and install XNA Framework 3.1
Open Rails Software Required
Note: You will need to create an appropriate folder structure to hold all relevant content installs. The recommended folder root structure is << C:\Open Rails Train Simulator >>. (Where C: is the name of the drive that you wish to install OR on.) Copy ("Ctrl-C") this path code and then paste ("Ctrl-V") it into the following steps wherever you are requested to enter a path name. See the diagram below for a recommended Open Rails file structure.
Step 4 - Download the latest Supporters version of Open Rails - "Ready to Run" Program.
Step 5 - Unzip Open Rails files and copy into << Open Rails Train Simulator\Program Files >> folder.
Test Open Rails Base Install
Step 6 - Create a desktop start icon to the file "Menu" in the << Program Files >> folder.
Step 7 - Run Open Rails, you should get the Open Rails Menu screen up, and you may get an error message. To fix the error, select "Add" under Options => Folders, then browse and select << C:\Open Rails Train Simulator >> folder, name the folder "Open Rails". Naturally there will be no routes or activities showing. If you get this far, it appears that the base install of OR is working. Next is to start adding Train Content, see Step 8 below.
Install Base Train Simulator Content Required
Remember to copy the above path into the installer when asked to confirm the installation folder.
Step 8 - Download and install Test Railway Route
Step 9 - Download and install relevant rolling stock
Test Open Rails with Train Content
Step 10 - Run Open Rails Train Simulator. Now you should see the route and default activities.
Step 11 - Select "AU NSW Test" in the Routes window, and "- Explore Route - " in the Activities Window, then press the Start button. In the next window that appears, select the "Condong Mill - Sth - Casino" path and the "D50-5074-Cane-Loaded" consist and press the ok button. Note the default activities refer to a consist file that is not availble to non-MSTS users and therefore it will not run in an OR only installation.
To start the train you will need to release the train brakes (";" -key, until fully released), adjust the reverser ("W" key - until fully forward), apply throttle ("D" key - to around 50%). Refer to the section below for some of the more common key commands for OR. You can also swap between different views by pressing the number keys - 1, 2, 3, 4, etc.
You should now have a base working version of Open Rails for the Test Route. When Open Rails starts, it creates a log file called "OpenRailsLog.txt" which is located on your desktop. This file can be used to try and identify major faults and assist in their correction.
Refer to detailed Open Rails Operational Manual for more information on Open Rails.
In OR, you will be able to select different activities, paths and consists, but not be able to create them at the moment as you will require access to MSTS to enable you to easily build new activities and paths.
Expanding your "World"
Adding or Changing Stock
Now that you have a working copy of OR you can start to add additional rolling stock or try some of the previously created activities. Most of the stock currently available was develped for MSTS, which means that it may refer to MSTS files that were provided with the original MSTS game and replacement files may not be readily available from the Internet, so you may need to edit stock to get it to work. In adding stock remember the KISS principle, try and only add a small number at a time and do regular tests to confirm all is ok. Also remember that you may need to change the path to the installation folder, ie << Open Rails Train Simulator >>.
When adding stock, unless a consist (CON) file has been created for it, it will not appear in OR. Consist files are located in the << Consists >> folder under the Trains folder in your folder structure.
It is highly recommended that you create or modify consists by using the Consist Editor function of Route Riter. (RR)RR Help files can be downloaded from here and inserted in the Route Riter folder.
Start RR. When you first run RR it may advise you that it can't find Train Simulator". To overcome this problem, find your << Open Rails Train Simulator >> folder and double click on it. Then go to "MSTS Path" under "Files" on the index bar and click on the "Select" button. This will ensure that RR functionality is maintained as much as possible. You may get an error message about the "Train.exe" file, but this is only advisory (I think).
RR can be used to do the following types of things:
- Build Consists - Once you have loaded a new locomotive, if there is no Light engine consist for it, use the RR Consist Editor. Click on the "Consist Editor" button under the "Activities/Stock" tab. This editor can also be used to create additional train consists for use in OR.
- Check for Activity and Consist problems - The tools on the "Activities/Stock" tab can also be used to check for problems such as missing stock, etc in activities and consist files. Also use the OR log file to identify any problems.
If you need to find more information on different types of problems, try looking at at the OR FAQs, or alternatively these sites, as they are a veritable mine of information and may provide some insights into any issues that you are graplling with:
If you have a specific Test or CTN related problem them use the contact page.
Basic Open Rails Command Keys
Move the camera with the arrow keys, or hold right click and move mouse to rotate camera
- 1 - cab ( simulated for now ) - left and right arrows shift position
- 2 - front of train
- 3 - rear of train
- 5 - passenger view
- 6 - brakeman view - home and end move to front and back of train
- 8 - free camera
- ALT + ENTER - toggles fullscreen on and off
Basic Train Controls
To operate the train, use the following keys (for more controls and details, refer to Open Rails documentation):
- W - Forward
- S - Reverse
- D - Increase Throttle
- A - Decrease Throttle
- ‘ (quotation mark) - Apply Train brakes
- ; (semi-colon) - Release Train brakes
- [ (Left Bracket) - Apply Engine brakes
- ] (Right Bracket) - Release Engine brakes
- G - Change turnout (point) – AHEAD of Direction
- SHIFT + G - Change turnout (point) – BEHIND Direction
- X - Sander On/Off
- Press & Hold ‘U’ Key and mouse click on coupler - Coupling/Uncoupling
- H - Press key to move to Dim, then Bright - Engine Lighting – Off, Dim, Bright
- Ctrl + H; Press key to move to Dim, then Off - Engine Lighting - Bright, Dim, Off
Basic Information Views
To view relevant information, use the following keys (for more details, refer to Open Rails documentation):
- 0 - Compass
- F1 - Information Monitor - this provides a detailed list of key commands.
- F4 - Track Monitor
- F8 - Switch Monitor
- F9 - Train Operations Monitor
- F10 - Activity Monitor