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MSTS - New Installation A new Installation of Microsoft Train Simulator (MSTS) is as fresh as the day it was released, but following new developments since then there are patches and files which need to be incorporated to run the latest routes and rolling stock. Discussing the patches which need to be applied and utilising the practical necessity of TrainStore, this document also discusses further tools and topics and introduces solution to the most common types of fault experienced.
MSTS Bin Possibly the most important download you'll want to get for your MSTS installation. This unofficial patch actually upgrades MSTS itself and provides many bug fixes and new core features to the simulator itself. It's not a major upgrade, but it helps MSTS in a lot of ways - having cabs that go dark in tunnels or being able to get in to the other cab of a 37 are wonderful features to have, but there is a huge treasure trove of other great stuff in there!
XTracks This provides a vast number of additional track sections that MSTS doesn't include. Track is physically compatible with MSTS track and designed to simply extend the range of track that is available. Most routes will need this so it's worth having it installed all the time.
UKFinescale This is a completely new set of track sections that are built to UK rail standards, you'll find the rails are a much nicer profile with a generally much nicer look to the track. Any routes that are built with UKFinescale track will need this.
Route Riter A ultimate swiss-army knife of tools for MSTS, this is a must-have tool that condenses the best knowledge from all around the MSTS community in to a handy series of buttons and options that you can use to make vast changes to your stock, routes and more. Use with care, back up often, but always have it to hand and learn to use it well.
Train Store This essential tool helps to sidestep around the limitations of MSTS and the way it loads items in to memory. The more routes, stock, activities, paths etc that you have the slower MSTS will be to load and less reliable once loaded. TrainStore helps by moving all the unneeded stuff out of the way so that MSTS only ever sees the bits you need to run a specific activity - the result is a blisteringly fast load and more reliable experience once you're up and running!
Tsection Another staple that goes along with the track packs is keeping your tsection file up to date (it means track section). Quite often when you install an older add-on in to your simulator you will find that either nothing works or other newer ones now fail, this is quite probably because the tsection was regressed back to an older version. Simply download the latest version from here and you'll be ready to go.
Shape Viewer A wonderful tool for developers and the curious alike. Shape files (.s) are the 3D models that make up the MSTS world, whether it's a house or a sign, a coach or a loco - the 3D part is always in a .s file with accompanying .ace texture graphics files. With Shape Viewer you can load these 3D models independently of the sim and rotate them; even animate them, and see how they look. If you're a builder this is a much easier way to see how it might look in the sim (though note that Shapeviewer renders things better than MSTS does!) without having to load the sim itself.
Shape Fixer There are numerous errors that can creep in to the 3D .s shape files - this will help fix them should they occur.
Tweaks, Utils
Improvements
A general mix-bag of improvements that have been collected together, includes the visual improvements to the GUI objects (e.g. transparent track monitor etc)

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