• How To...Turn Routes On And Off

    How To...Turn Routes On And Off

    By Bob Wilkes (15 November 2004)

    For some time now, there have been a couple methods in use to "hide" routes from Train Sim. As Cyndi points out, startup time can be minimized by turning off the routes you don't use, as MSTS 'pre-processes' all the 'normal' routes it finds.

    If you have a lot of routes loaded but only use a few, or some that you rarely use but have to keep loaded because they provide files for other routes, or want to minimize load time while you're testing new "stuff" and need to go into and out of MSTS often, you may want to consider using one of these methods to hide unused routes.

    FIRST WAY. (Sorry, I don't recall the author) Create a new folder in your "ROUTES" folder, e.g., "Stored Routes". Then simply drag and drop the original route folder to the new folder and MSTS will not see it as an active route. When you want to use it, drag it back.

    This method presents a couple of drawbacks.

    1. Some utilities see the 'Stored Routes' folder as an Invalid route. Not a major problem, but...
    2. Some users have trouble dragging and dropping files. It's all too easy to move a folder somewhere you didn't intend, copy instead of move or create a shortcut to the original folder instead of moving it.
    3. If you have a lot of routes and switch often, it may be time consuming moving them back and forth.
    4. Moving the files may contribute to an overloaded recycle bin or defragmented disk. (Disk defragmentation can put a serious 'hit' on game performance.)

    SECOND WAY. Again, I don't know who the original thinker is, but they discovered that if you rename a route's 'trk' file, MSTS won't see it.

    In order to perform this, Otto Wipfel presented the idea of using batch files to rename the files. Cyndi (BNSFLady) put together a step-by-step "How To" which can be read here.

    This method also presents some drawbacks.

    1. You must create batch files for each route. This can be tedious, error prone and therefore, frustrating for some.
    2. You have to remember the batch file names or create a bunch of shortcuts.
    3. You have to keep track of which routes are on or off.
    4. Every time you add or remove a route you have to also add or remove the associated batch files.

    I do a lot of "tinkering" so I'm in and out of MSTS often. I liked the idea of speeding up startup but knew that there's a better way than using batch files (sorry, Otto), so I wrote a program to do the job. It presents a list of the routes you've got installed and lets you select or unselect, as you wish. No bells and whistles (pun intended), just a straight forward, easy to use interface. It does require that you have Microsoft's Data Access Component (MDAC) version 2.8 or better installed. If you're not sure if you have MDAC installed, just run the program. It checks and will give you a warning. It's freeware.

    Download and enjoy:

    www.kcsinc.biz

    Bob Wilkes
    [email protected]

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