I consider the TRAINZ to be a better product. There is also much more free
add-ons and downloads from around the world for this one rather than for the
Also looks like the "2004" version is now being printed ready for
From my participation on the Trainz forum, I'd say that the vast
majority of simmers are also model railroaders. Many use Trainz to
build the dream layout they don't have room for. I used it to work
out design questions on my new layout. It's just another facet of the
hobby, certainly not a waste of time.
As to the original question, I haven't played MSTS since I bought
Trainz 2 years ago. And just pre-ordered Trainz 2004 on the first day
Trainz has a better, easier interface, is less buggy, has great
support, thousands of free objects available for download, etc.
I have no idea which is better, MSTS vs. Auran, as I only use MSTS.
However, if one points their browser to train-sim.com, the following
amounts of downloads exist:
Auran Trainz 26
MSTS - 9727
The 9727 downloads are for equipment, scenery objects, routes, etc.
MSTS is far from perfect, but I had many hours of enjoyment on this
sim. I will only get better.
And my experience is I very rarely have my machine lock up in
operation. The only time in the last year since using my new computer
has been when I have uploaded a new route, and don't have all the
necessary add-ons. The error messages generated almost always give
the necessary information to sort it out.
I can't say anything about Trainz...but I have MSTS, and yes, it is
Oh sure, there are dozens of routes and equipment available for free
downloading...but it all boils down to just watching a picture of some
very fake looking scenery moving by....absolutely NO feeling of
movement under my arse, no rocking/rolling motion. It's just a
picture show -- and no matter what route, the pictures are all usually
very much the same, as add-on routes include a "batch file" to steal
all the shapes/textures from the six basic routes included with MSTS.
Well, just face it. Running a REAL train is boring!
This isn't a car or an airplane with vast freedom of movement, after all.
On a mainline run, the engineer has NO control over WHERE he goes - only
how fast, and that only because it's safer to put a human in the cab than
a computer in case something goes wrong. (Humans can be
Why do you think they've got those deadman switches that turn them off if
you don't keep active in the cab?
Model railroading is exciting, frantic and fast-paced by comparison!
I'll have you know that I am NOT wasting my life playing computer
games, thank you!
Actually, I'm wasting my life reading and writing to email lists,
forums, and newsgroups lately...Let's get the facts straight!
Paul - "The CB&Q Guy"
Yes, should be available in a couple weeks.
Not really a fair comparison. If you own a legal copy of Trainz, you can
use their download station, which as I type this, has 16983 items available
for download. Most people that create stuff for Trainz upload them to
Aurans site, but there are other sites that do have stuff available for
download. There's everything from signs, people, signals, locomotives,
cars, layouts, scenarios, etc available for download.
"Steve Hoskins" I can't say anything about Trainz...but I have MSTS, and yes, it is
Plus, the MSTS is not that realistic. Trainz isn't much better.
MSTS, the one I'm most familiar with: -
The locos can't pull as much in reverse as they can in forward.
You can't change cabs.
The independent brake is far too slow acting.
The "switch/turnout/point" route control is the pits as there's no track
plan easily available.
See above when it comes to setting a route through a yard, very difficult to
You can't build a train with a switch engine and then transfer to a road
engine to take the train over the road.
When on the road, you can't reach the end of the run, switch the yard, build
a new train, and return. See note above about not changing cabs.
The turntable doesn't work.
In the UK sim, the signalling is nowhere near realistic.
North American signalling is only slightly better.
The level (grade) crossing gates open the wrong way.
Lower quadrant signals give an upper quadrant display.
And there are many more.
Great of all you're after is eye candy, but not much good for anything else.
Plus, they won't travel as fast either. If you set up a consist with
two GE Dash 9's, one forward, one backward, at 4400 h.p. each,
basically all you ''re receiving is 6600 h.p. For some reason,
rear-facing units tend to have half their power.
Are you talking the "appearance" of a cab? yes, you most certainly
can. It's done within the .ENG file of a particular loco.
If this is not what you mean, please accept my apology.
If it acts al all....
This has always been one of MY biggest gripes. I am a map enthusiast
and certainly, a track plan for each route could/should be provided.
Yup, because you can only set the switch immediately in front of (or
behind) a train. And in a yard, the switches tend to be close, so you
have to be very careful.
However, you CAN pre-plan routes using that "fabulous" Route editor
features of MSTS. (Lotsa luck....)
Okay, now I see what you are getting at above......
In the USA sims, the signal ling is nowhere near realistic.
I'm sure this also holds true for the Japanese routes.
If you go to train-sim.com, you'll soon find out everyone there raves
over the program...but if you look even closer, you'll find out most
of them haven't gone through puberty yet either.
I've embedded some responses to your statements.
Break open the pocketbook and consider purchasing a couple of the
3DTS Cajon Pass
Maple Leaf Tracks Kicking Horse Pass
Maple Leaf Tracks Sandpatch
For free, Rich Garber's Ohio Rail is wonderful (up to release 10), as
is the recently released BNSF route west of Whitefish. Marias 3.1
fixes most things wrong with the original MSTS Marias route, including
signal errors, and crossing gates going the wrong direction.
I thought this fixed with the patch released from Micro$oft.
So fix it with Bob Boudouin's updated physics files.
You can get pictures of the plan in the "Activity Editor". That is
what people use when putting together "Know your Route" books, which
Rich Garber did on his routes.
Kinda like the real thing, isn't it?
True, but you can create separate activities for each, finishing the
yard activity, and then transferring to a road activity. For this
discussion, we will neglect the fact that activity design is not a
See my response above.
Supposedly to be fixed on the next release.
No comment, no familiarity, and frankly, no desire to learn.
Fixed on several shareware releases,and
Oh, this sim is a lot more than eye candy. It is pretty damn close to
real considering it is a US$40.00 software.
My biggest discontent with the sim is the physics are not that great,
especially for long trains. Trainhandling in undulating terrain is
way different than what one does in real life.
I can't rig the .eng files with the correct horsepower ratios, and
have the locos act correctly, a linear proportional throttle is
required for the load to apply properly at low speeds, showing the
proper loco amperage.
I model the 1950s in 1:87, but I get most of my enjoyment from the sim
with the modern stuff, particularily since I work in the industry.
Sitting in a cab of an SD70M, in throttle 8, with the speakers on the
computer turned up a bit gives a pretty good feeling of being in the
Yes, the sim is boring, but as another poster pointed out, so is
everyday railroading. I don't keep the alerter active on the sim, but
I ought to, as I've played the sim a few times when bored with TV,
killing some time at the end of a day, but dog ass tired. I've fallen
asleep, kinda like I could do in the real thing.
Creating content for this sim is also a full time hobby. I created
the Soo line's Ashland to Hurley iron ore line about 1.5 years ago.
Got all the track laid, but burned out on the effort. I probably had
over 100 hours invested. But I had a hoot researching the line, and
learning about a section of railroad that I am very interested, and is
pretty much gone (track ripped up between Hurley and Mellon WI, iron
ore operations ended in 1965 I will probably never model this line as
I'm consumed with GN and NP stuff, and this was a good way to exercise
the urge to learn about the operation.
Bottom line is both Auran Trainz and MSTS have opened up the railroad
hobby to a group of individuals that will probably never visit here,
and in my opinion, is a wonderful compliment to my 1:87 efforts.