Microsoft Train Simulator (abbreviated as MSTS) is a train simulator for Microsoft Windows, released in July 2001 and developed by UK based Kuju Entertainment, and is available for purchase through Amazon.com.
The game revolves around driving trains in rendered places called routes. 6 routes are included, with two in Japan, two in the United States, and the rest being set in the UK and Austria. These routes range from European steam railways to a Tokyo area electric railway, and to BNSF's busy Marias Pass freight route in Montana. The player may drive trains freely from a starting point in a route, or run activities such as driving and stopping a passenger train or switching freight cars.
Users may create or download custom trains, routes, and activities for the game, not to mention the many modifications that fix bugs and increased the game's lifespan. The game remains popular in the Rail Enthusiast community. However, this game is gradually supplanted by an open source train simulator called Open Rails, which can use MSTS content, as well as advanced features and content that's not compatible with MSTS.
There is also a Microsoft Train Simulator 2, but it got canceled twice, in 2004 and in 2009.
The game has a Spiritual Successor of some sort, sporting the different names Rail Simulator/Railworks/Train Simulator. The first incarnation was also developed by Kuju, and starting with Railworks it's developed by a new company that later evolved into the simulator-focused Dovetail Games, which also re-released Microsoft Flight Simulator X to Steam.
This Video Game contains examples of:
- Artistic License Geography: The original Marias Pass route noticeably lacked a trestle at the west end of the East Glacier siding. Third party routes which updated the route to include less demanding grades would add the trestle back in.
- Cool Train: Plenty of available (third-party) trains which count as this, as well as fictional ones.
- Scenery Porn: A feature in scenic third-party routes.