Free MSTS download add-ons ratings

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Free MSTS download add-ons ratings

  • I'm starting this thread to inform people of what I think about websites that offer free add-ons for MSTS, rate the downloads that I have, and hopefully get some feedback from others on what they like and what they avoid.

    I'm just now learning and using the free downloads available and some were awesome [:)] and some were junk. [:(]

    I'm going to begin with rating the two websites I've had luck with. Later when I get my files straightened out I'll come back and rate those. I know I shouldn't complain about freeware, but I think it would save downloading time and installing frustrations if people knew what they were getting.

    Please add your website and download recomendations or ones you avoid, provided you tell why.

    Right now here's my review of the websites I've used:
    Access: free member registration required; subscription membership also available; very hard to access if you're not a paying member (they limit bandwith usage)
    Download Speed: slow (if using dial-up)
    Variety: very, very broad
    Preview of download: yes, most of the time
    Some excellent locos and some poor locos available, but a huge selection of everything you can think of. The upside is you can see screenshots of most of the stuff available. One downside is that with a dial-up it takes forever to download one file (10-20min each). Requires free user registration, BUT if you're not a paying member it takes forever to access the system.

    Overall: [tup] [tdn] so-so.
    Access: free with an email address
    Download Speed: fast (for dial-ups)
    Variety: broad
    Preview of Download: No
    Mixture of excellent and poor locos. Free registration required to download. Must provide email address. The upside is downloads using a dial-up usually take 3-5 minutes for big files at the very most. The downside is you can't see any screenshots of what you're getting. The other downside is they limit users to 25 downloads a day. Smaller selection than at train-sim, but faster downloading makes it worth it.

    Overall: [tup] [tup] Advantages out-weigh the disadvatages. I recommend this one

    Coming soon: my download ratings
    Here's what I'm looking for:
    What it is
    Name of file
    Where it came from
    Looks: (accuratacy, detail or lack there of)
    Performance: (bells, whistles, noise, handling, views, etc)
    Installment (did it install? was the file corrupt? unusable? easy to install?)

    Also can anyone recommend any good Amtrak locos? I downloaded three: 1 didn't have a horn [V], 1 had a cab but the controls were invisible [V], and 1 just didn't work [V] (I'll go into detail about these later).


    yad sdrawkcab s'ti

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  • Rating of CSXac#653

    Found at
    Excellent graphics
    Details: Dash 9 cab, can stick head out window, blinking red light on couplers, wipers work as well as horn, lights, breaks, etc.
    All files were there, no extras needed, nothing missing. No need to copy Dash 9 files to this one.
    Overall: [tup] [tup] I like this loco very well.

    yad sdrawkcab s'ti

  • Not a good thing, it is basically to each his own. At far a, it is the best site out there for US stuff bar none. Railserve is so-so. We have had problems there with them hosting files that they were not allowed to have.
    Kevin Arceneaux Mining Engineer, Penn State 1979
  • QUOTE: Originally posted by kevarc

    Not a good thing, it is basically to each his own. At far a, it is the best site out there for US stuff bar none. Railserve is so-so. We have had problems there with them hosting files that they were not allowed to have.

    Well, I don't know about things like who's allowed to host what, but railserve has been faster to download than train-sim. Plus, like I said, train-sim is hard to get into if you don't have a paid account. I've only been able to download a few things from train-sim. Most of my stuff has come from railserve and I'm mostly happy with what I've got.

    I had a problem at train-sim where one of the files was corrupt. I did a download from some author's site and got a corrupted file. Since it was a fast download I tried it again and it failed again. I kept at it and about the fourth attempt it was successful.

    I don't know, perhaps I jumped the gun with these ratings. It's not possible to rate everything out there and I'm not gonna try. However if someone's got info on something special or worth mentioning they want to share then by all means put it here. Or if they got other sites they want let the rest of us know about then put them here.

    My experience so far has been hit or miss. Some of these files' readmes are too vague in their descriptions. Some websites don't alphabetize their listings. Some files are no good too. (Like the locos I stated about in the first post).

    One disappointment I've found is that every loco download relies of the cabview and sounds of the ones that came with the game. Part of the excitement in getting a new loco is getting a new cab. It's not as simple as putting whatever cab you want in your new loco. I tried that. It seems whoever wrote the program wrote to specifically look for the GP38 cab and sounds or the Dash-9 or whatever the case. I downloaded an F59 engine (which uses a dash 9 cab) then I downloaded a custom F59 cab and it didn't work. I guess I'll have to get in there and tinker with it even though I don't know what the heck I'm doing.

    It's too bad there's no one-stop directory for all this stuff, it's mostly find it by a link to a link to a link from a google search.

    P.S. -- I forgot to mention that I like there's some good stuff over there, too.

    yad sdrawkcab s'ti

  • 3dtrains is an excellent site - plus I am biased - it is the home of my forum and activity downloads.

    On you other post I put the link to my aliasing tutorial. I use either Dekosoft ( ) or Maple leaf tracks ( ) cabviews and sounds. Chip's UP pack has some excellent sounds, done by Dan Zollner ( he is also doing the Surfliner sounds).
    Kevin Arceneaux Mining Engineer, Penn State 1979
  • Train-sim is okay. It's just my computer can't take .zip files. I am moving to another computer as we speak.
  • I like, and I can usually get around the nodes by hitting the refresh button a few times, always works. They've got alot of nice Wisconsin and southern downloads, and I like that!

  • Lets see There's is spittler engineering Free Dash 9, 3Dtrains some really nice payware and some free goodies all very high quality stateof the art stuff. A little known has an exceptional U-boat, Deckosoft very high quality add ons. Maple leaf tracks.... excellant state of the art locomotive add ons. Facing point media coming out soon with the "surfliner" route. and 3DTS (3Dtrainstuff). To put it bluntly the developers are getting far more sophisticated then MSTS could imagine>
  • Like AVSim, though you have to hunt up the trains, I have had good luck in getting some fine routes.

    Can't praise Ohio Rails enough. It is a fantastic route with nice activities in both steam and diesel.

    The East Line Route (Metro East) is a nice route which includes some commuter rail activies and some freight activities.
    Dewey "Facts are meaningless; you can use facts to prove anything that is even remotely true! Facts, schmacks!" - Homer Simpson "The problem is there are so many stupid people and nothing eats them."
  • Ohio rails is that the canton route, or is this a freebie at
  • For NS fans, a must-have would be NALW's Norfolk Southern Dash 9-40C set, which comes with custom sounds that are DEAD ON. The file name is "". Available at the File Library, THE ONLY place to get your freeware MSTS add-ons.
  • Actually, lately there has not been a lot of decent DL's from there. We have free stuff at our place and if you are lucky enough to be a approved member at The Keystone Works you can get a lot of really good stuff from Pete, Chris, and the rest of the guys there.

    While the skins of the NALW stuff are ok, they models themselves leave much to be desired. JC really didn't do that good of a job on them. To bad Buzz didn't make him, his models are top notch.
    Kevin Arceneaux Mining Engineer, Penn State 1979
  • I think it may be previously known as the Canton Route. It is broken into about 10 parts for downloading, but it has the install screens and worked the first time. It is neat to see the cars and people change depending on whether you are running steam or diesels.
    Dewey "Facts are meaningless; you can use facts to prove anything that is even remotely true! Facts, schmacks!" - Homer Simpson "The problem is there are so many stupid people and nothing eats them."
  • Ohio and CAnton are two completely different routes.
    Kevin Arceneaux Mining Engineer, Penn State 1979
  • [:-^][:-^]