Open Rails is a train simulator project compatible with Microsoft's Train Simulator product.
Yes. A variety of downloads are available here.
Open Rails is not an improvement to Microsoft Train Simulator, but a complete new simulator that can use Microsoft Train Simulator routes, activities, consists and train sets. At installation, Open Rails looks for Microsoft Train Simulator entries in the Windows registry to locate any Microsoft Train Simulator files on your computer. It will offer to use them in the simulation.
The Open Rails simulator operates train services independently of Microsoft Train Simulator and without running any Microsoft Train Simulator code. Currently you must use Goku's modern editor TSRE5 or even the original Microsoft Train Simulator Route Editor to build new routes, but we plan to develop our own Route Editor.
The short answer is 'yes'.
The short answer is 'yes'.
The answer is "Yes", though the signaling in Open Rails and performance of AI (computer-driven) trains is more rigorous and some activities may need adjusting.
No, Open Rails has no effect on the performance of Microsoft Train Simulator. Open Rails is a completely new simulator. With suitable hardware, most users running Microsoft Train Simulator routes and consists in Open Rails see significantly higher frames per second (FPS) because the Open Rails simulator uses modern graphics cards (GPUs) effectively. Loading times are much reduced and larger routes can be accommodated.
Microsoft Train Simulator displays textures as 16-bit color even though most are stored as 24 or 32-bit ACE files. Therefore, the foundation is there to support these higher bit textures. Open Rails may also provide better lighting effects and texture effects which gives a better view of the current Microsoft Train Simulator models.
The point of Open Rails is not just better frame rates or display colors, but those are common side effects. Open Rails is more about the future!
Older free and payware routes are often packaged as add-ons to Microsoft Train Simulator and many locos make use of sound and cabview files from Microsoft Train Simulator.
Newer routes have been developed specifically for Open Rails. See our Content page.
The latest system and software requirements are shown below.
Yes, these have been supported for a while alongside the older 2D cabs.
The Open Rails team has implemented a comprehensive and robust signal system which is detailed in the manual.
Yes, timetables provide multiple trains running at the same time, with complex operations such as splitting and joining trains as described in the manual. You can choose which train to drive and the other trains in the timetable will run automatically.
Yes, you can share your session with as many remote friends as your computer can cope with, all working together driving individual trains to deliver a service.
Open Rails currently uses Monogame technology to display its environment. This makes good use of modern graphics cards and is also compatible with the ReShade graphics post-processor.
An Open Rails route editor is a key element of the project and is identified in our project roadmap.
Open Rails is a constantly evolving project that runs on volunteer participation. Please feel free to post questions and comments about Open Rails on the forums. The Open Rails team monitors these forums daily.
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).
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.
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.
Add-ons designed for Microsoft Train Simulator may rely on files from the Microsoft Train Simulator product. For instance:
No, Open Rails does not modify any Microsoft Train Simulator files.
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.
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.