Elvas Tower: Setting Up Mini Routes - Elvas Tower

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Setting Up Mini Routes A How To Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   atsf37l 

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 11:35 AM

Ah, Mini-Routes. You know how it takes forever to start MSTS when everything is unstored in the same folder? Unless you use Train Store, which is a super utility, it takes forever!

The idea of the Mini-Route is to take those routes which use specific equipment and consists and create a separate install of MSTS just for that route. I cite as an example, and the model I have used for all of my Mini-Routes, Wayne Campbell's incomparable route London and Port Stanley. This electrified route installs in it's own MSTS folder called Train Sim-LPS. Sits right alongside Train Simulator in Microsoft Games in the Program Files folder. He set up this route in this manner because he used a totally different track base than normally used but the benefit is that only electric and L&PS diesels and period correct cars are located in the route's Trainset folder so the equipment used is unique and appropriate to the line (until we get to meddling, that is!).

As an added benefit, the route loads up almost instantly and all consists and equipment are available without using Train Store because the files are small. After running this line for a while I realized I had other electric lines and narrow gauge lines that also used unique equipment that didn't have to be available for my mainline routes, so I studied how Wayne set up his L&PS and duplicated the process.

I now have Mini-Routes for all of my narrow gauge lines, Cumbres, Silverton, RGS, the newest C&S and Cripple Creek routes and a few others yet to be mentioned. I also have Mini-Routes for my electric lines, Pacific Electric, Downtown Trolley, Red Arrow Lines and, of course, L&PS. I have Mini-Routes for St. Louis and North Arkansas, since it uses period equipment unique to itself and a Mini for my Carriso Gorge route since I am running steam and early diesels only (also the curves are so tight on the route that each car used has to be modified to run like a trolley!).

All of my mainline Santa Fe, SP, D&RGW and UP routes I keep in the main Train Simulator folder and use Train Store to operate them, since they use common equipment and consists. Running a Super Chief across Chicago Stations, Marceline Subdivision, Raton Pass II, Glorieta Pass, Seligman Sub, Cajon and into LAUPT on That Route Which Shall Not Be Named means you better have access to the same Trainset folder for all those seven routes!

Essentially, the process is fairly simple. Let's create a Mini-Route for the Whatever Route, assuming that the Whatever Route is already installed in MSTS: Create a new empty folder for your Mini-Route in the Microsoft Games folder and call it Train Sim-Whatever. Right click on it and Open it in a separate window. Now Open your Train Simulator folder and copy all of the folders except Routes and Trains. Also copy the root files from your Train Simulator folder to the new Train Sim-Whatever folder.

When that is done, create an empty Routes folder and an empty Trains Folder. Open the Trains folder and create a Consists folder and a Trainset folder. Go back to the root and open the Saves folder. Delete all the folders in there except the Whatever folder.

Now we are ready to build the Mini. Copy the Whatever route folder from Train Simulator to Train Sim-Whatever. DO NOT MOVE THE FOLDER! We want to make sure we have done everything right before we remove the originals from the Train Simulator folder. After copying the route, go to the original route folder in Train Simulator, find the Whatever.trk file and change it to Whatever.trk.hide. This will keep MSTS from seeing two Whatever routes. You can always remove those five characters if you wish to restore operation under Train Simulator.

Now you can go to your Train Simulator\Trains\Trainset folder and copy the equipment you intend to use on the Whatever route. Do the same for Consists. Go easy on them for now, you may find you don't want to drag all the old stuff over. Make sure you copy the Default.wag from the original. MSTS wants that.

Now is the time for the test! Go to your Train Sim-Whatever folder and click on Train.exe. Your new Mini-Route should open for you to use. Click on "Drive a train" and you should find the engines and consists you have copied over.

If you open the new mini and the "Drive A Train" box is grayed out you have chosen a route that has something missing, which I have yet to identify. The solution is to copy the Tutorial Route to your new Mini-Route and drop the Acela folder in your Trainset folder. Some freeware routes are not capable of running stand alone but the addition of the small Tutorial Route will fix whatever is missing.

Once you are satisfied that the Mini-Route is working properly and you have successfully copied all of the activities, consists and trains from the original, then go back to the Train Simulator folder and remove the route and equipment. Be sure everything is working properly first. If hard drive space is not an issue, you might even move the old route to a storage place to get it out of the way of MSTS but still hang on to it for a while, just in case. Better safe than sorry. Remember the ".hide" trick. It's always a good idea to hide the track file when saving or storing routes. We don't want to confuse Microsoft or Kuju.

Now you will want some startup Icons to run both the route and the MSTS tools for your new MiniRoute. The easiest way to do this is to copy your original MSTS desktop Icons and paste them to your desktop or wherever you keep your Microsoft Train Simulator Icons. Once you have your copies, right click on the "Copy of Microsoft Train Simulator" Icon and select Properties. Go to the Target line and change the statement to read, with quotation marks:

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Train Sim-Whatever\train.exe”

Then do down to the Start in line and change it to:

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Train Sim-Whatever”

Then click on Apply to verify you have typed the entry correctly and if you get no errors then click on OK. Right click on the “Copy of Microsoft Train Simulator” Icon and then select Rename. Change the name to “Whatever Route”.

Now do the same thing to the “Copy of Microsoft Train Simulator Tools” Icon but change the Target line to:
“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Train Sim-Whatever\train.exe” –toolset

With ‘-toolset’ outside of the quotation marks. Now change the name of the Icon to “Whatever Tools” and you are done. Now your new Icons should open the route and the tools for you.

Note that there are several switches you can add to the route icon’s Target line. I use /fsaa and /anisotropic to turn on antialiasing and anisotropic filtering for my graphics and also /timeacceleration which allows me to speed up the simulator or run at normal speed. So for my applications my Target line looks like:

“C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Train Sim-Whatever\train.exe” /fsaa /anisotropic /timeacceleration

But don’t just copy these switches without testing them for use with your system.

Now go make some more! :rolleyes: :bigboss:

This post has been edited by atsf37l: 22 August 2018 - 10:19 AM


#2 User is offline   wacampbell 

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Posted 19 October 2009 - 02:49 PM

This is a great explanation Herb. I'll add only one comment from painfull experience. Ensure the name of your new 'Train Sim-Whatever' folder has 15 or fewer characters - ie the same or less than the origional 'Train Simulator'. I ran into a case where a route used some very long filenames for some of the texture files. The route worked fine in the original 'Train Simulator' folder, but those long names, added to a long 'Train Sim-Whatever' folder made a path that was too long for MSTS and caused it to crash. It was a tough problem to find so I make it a habit to make sure my mini-route folder names are not too long.

#3 User is offline   atsf37l 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 12:43 AM

Thanks Wayne! I did run into that issue on one of my routes and forgot about it when I wrote this. Great point.

#4 User is offline   captain_bazza 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 02:24 AM

Topic pinned for future reference. :rolleyes:

Cheers Bazza

#5 User is offline   atsf37l 

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:47 AM

View Postcaptain_bazza, on 20 October 2009 - 02:24 AM, said:

Topic pinned for future reference. :rolleyes:

Cheers Bazza


Thanks Cap'n! I was going to have someone do that so I don't have to hunt it down whenever someone asks. It also gives us a place for others with Mini experiences to post.

#6 Inactive_CCARPENTER_*

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 06:43 PM

that is really cool dude great job

#7 Inactive_frisco113_*

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Posted 24 February 2010 - 11:51 AM

Well that was a great explanation and a way of looking into a different way of operating MSTS. Thanks much!

#8 User is offline   RichM 

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 03:57 PM

I use Mini Routes for Tehachapi Pass 2, Donner Pass and the GH Hi-Line. You can install a different version of MSTS Bin to each route if you wish. The advantage of this is as follows. If the Route taxes the resources available when using the original MSTS.exe (eg Donner Pass which would crash at certain times in certain activities) then Bin will help the activities run smoothly. Also if you choose a version of MSTS Bin which fixes the fast wheel rotation of AI steam locomotives ( I do this on Donner pass and Tehachapi Pass 2) your Ai steam Loco's will look wonderful. If (as in the GN Hi-Line activities) there are dedicated AI steam locos with the wheel rotation already fixed, you can choose an earlier version of BIN which does not fix the wheel rotation so its activities will continue to look right!

All the Best
Rich

#9 User is offline   thegrindre 

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 03:55 PM

To further impress the masses around here, I have followed the above instructions, to the letter mind you, to set up my very first mini-route. :good: Yup, it's true. I've mentioned it before, I'm no route builder and the whole route thing is a bit beyond my comprehension. :D
True, I have thrown together two routes in my MSTS career, if you want to call 'em routes, but don't know how I did it. Neither were ever release and I have no plans to ever release 'em. I'm surprised they even work. :D
Anyway, the above tutorial is an excellent guide to setting up mini routes. It worked for me but, I have a question.
How do you get the EDITOR to work, now? I can't set up activities or consists anymore for this route. :D

Thanks,

:bd_4:

#10 User is offline   atsf37l 

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 10:04 PM

View Postthegrindre, on 16 June 2010 - 03:55 PM, said:

I have a question.
How do you get the EDITOR to work, now? I can't set up activities or consists anymore for this route. :good:

Thanks,

:bd_4:


Piece of cake. Right click on the desktop and select "New" and then "Shortcut". Then type in the location of your mini-route launcher such as "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\MiniRouteFolderName\launcher.exe" - with the quotes - where "MiniRouteFolderName" is the name of......wait for it......your Mini-Route folder! Then click on next. Type in the name you want to use, for example, MiniRoute Tools. Then hit finish. You now have a shortcut to the launcher program but one more step is necessary. Right click on the icon and select Properties. Target will be highlited. Hit the end button and type space -runeditor behind the quotation marks. The whole line should look like this:

"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\MinirouteFolderName\launcher.exe" -runeditor

Double-clicking on this icon will now open your Editor.

:D

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