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Installing OpenRails on Windows 11

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  • Installing OpenRails on Windows 11

    This is a work in progress. Please add to the comments if you see things you'd like to add or correct.





    Running the Microsoft / Open Rails Train Simulator is a little different from other simulators, in that there are a lot of options available for add-ons (over 30,000 in our library alone), as well as companion applications that are used to create routes, activities and even new models.

    The community has developed a modified (and still evolving) set of best practices that are shared here to help you get as much from the game as possible.




    Open Rails has a very simple installation routine, and currently defaults to installing in C:\Program Files (x86)\OpenRails, unless you've already installed it elsewhere. It also offers the fliexibility for you to install it where you want, and operates fine from any location.

    Here are a few examples:

    • C:\Program Files\Open Rails
    • C:\Program Files (x86)\Open Rails
    • C:\ORTS
    • C:\TrainUtilities\OpenRails


    It's important to not store any of your route or train content in these directories, as the entire file structure is subject to being replaced on version upgrades.

    In addition to the game engine, Open Rails includes a number of contributed applications installed to its main directory. The Track Viewer allows you to visualize a route layout, and create new paths for player trains and AI trains to use in activities and explore/free-roam mode. The Content Manager provides a tree view of routes and train consists that are available to play.




    If You Did Not Install MSTS



    Directory Structure

    If you are not installing the MSTS application, you will want to recreate portions of its sub-directory structure somewhere so that content can easily be installed and used by OpenRails:

    .{parent folder}. \ Global
    .{parent folder}. \ Global \ Shapes
    .{parent folder}. \ Global \ Textures
    .{parent folder}. \ Sounds
    .{parent folder}. \ Trains
    .{parent folder}. \ Trains \ Trainset
    .{parent folder}. \ Trains \ Consists
    .{parent folder}. \ Routes




    If you've used one of the pre-packaged route options from the OpenRails.org website, this folder structure will be created for that particular route, but you may want to create a parallel folder for the routes available for download or purchase from other providers.

    It's important not to install content like Routes or Trains into any of the protected directories controlled by Windows and User Access Control. These include:

    • Desktop
    • Documents
    • Downloads
    • Program Files
    • C:\Users\{username}


    Installing in a folder which is synchronized under Onedrive is also not recommended, as files may be removed from the local copy and placed into cloud storage (folders replicated to DropBox and other cloud backups do not seem to have this issue)

    Best practice -- Create a dedicated directory for Content either immediately off the Root directory or grouped in a folder that's used just for your gaming content:

    • C:\ORTS Content
    • C:\Trainsims\Content

    Last edited by eric; 03-16-2024, 10:26 PM.

    • TrainSimJack
      #1
      TrainSimJack commented
      Editing a comment
      If I read this right,
      we might install openrails to c:\OpenRails

      If we bought a route from trainsimulations.com, we'd install that to c:\TrainSimulations

      Then you're suggesting here we make a folder for other routes like:
      c:\ORTSContent
      and then under that
      C:\ORTSContent\Global
      C:\ORTSContent\Global\Shapes
      C:\ORTSContent\Global\Textures
      C:\ORTSContent\Sounds
      C:\ORTSContent\Trains
      C:\ORTSContent\Trains\Trainset
      C:\ORTSContent\Trains\Consists
      C:\ORTSContent\Routes

      When we do this, would we then launch openrails,
      Click Options, and then click the Content tab, and finally add the path C:\ORTSContent and give it a name?
    Posting comments is disabled.

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