Route_Riter - Mike Simpson's Amazing
"Swiss Army Knife" Utility for MSTS

Update - Development Resumes under care of Jeffrey Kraus-Yao

Route_Riter has remained unchanged for the last couple of years as its developer, the brilliant Mike Simpson has moved onto other projects. At last count, Route_Riter has been downloaded over 350,000 times.

Long-time MSTS user and contributor, and Information Systems specialist and guru, Jeffrey Kraus-Yao has now taken over the care, feeding and further development of Route_Riter. We can look forward to this invaluable program being part of the MSTS scene for years to come.

The latest version can be downloaded from the links below.

Posted: 17-April-2015


Route_Riter - Mike Simpson's Amazing
"Swiss Army Knife" Utility for MSTS


Route-Riter v7 is a suite of over 110 utilities for performing various actions on sections of the Microsoft Train Simulator program.

The major options are as follows:-

  1. Check a Route for missing shape and texture files;
  2. Compact a Route by removing files from the route which are not required and just serve to slow the program down;
  3. Check all Activities installed in the Simulator;
  4. Package a route ready for uploading (including production of spanned zip files);
  5. Count objects in selected and adjacent World tiles;
  6. List all the track and road sections used by a route;
  7. Produce 'Mini-Routes', i.e. compact versions of MSTS which contain only one route and associated rolling stock;
  8. Options to check and fix many of the file types used by MSTS for operating routes, rolling stock and activities;
  9. A host of utilities to compress and uncompress files, replace shapes in .W files, build AI locomotives etc.;
  10. Graphics utilities which allow the user to view shape files and consists in full colour, run 3rd party programs such as TGATools2a and TView etc.;
  11. a fully-fledged Consist Builder (freeware) is also included;
  12. The full version of Carl-Heinz Rave's TSUtils program is also included;
  13. Route-Riter supports the following languages: English, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese and Spanish. Select the appropriate language from the Files | Language menu.

Opening Screen of Route Riter

Opening screen of latest RR 7.1.44


Tutorials Using Route_Riter Functions

Using Route Riter to Banish the "Error Reading Train Database" Message
Route Riter can change coupler settings from chain to auto in just a click or two
Using Route Riter to change the MSTS Registry Settings (for unpacking Activities, etc)
Using Route Riter to Correct .REF file errors
Using Route_Riter To Remove Empty/Unused Tiles
Route Riter Creates Marker Files in RE from Google Earth waypoints
Route Riter Creates Marker Files in RE from Google Maps waypoints
Using Route Riter To Correct Frozen Animation in Point/Switch Blades
Using Route Riter to make thumbnails for Conbuilder
Using Route Riter to Backup Up A Route Under Construction
Using Route Riter to copy Shapes from One Route to Another

Using Route Riter to Set up Common Shapes/Textures for MSTS
Using Route Riter to set up a Mini-route
Route Riter Converts Latitude/Longitude to Tile Co-Ordinates and vice versa
Using Route Riter to Correct Dimensional and Braking Errors in Your Rolling Stock
Route Riter: The Role Of The ViewDbSphere parameter and disappearing shapes


Version History

Version History: listing of previous changes over the years.



Full Install

Click Here For current version

Full Install of current version 7.7.xx

You can either remove or install side by side an older version of Route Riter. Versions later than 7.7 install to a different folder than earlier versions.

v7.6.26 Full final version issued by Mike Simpson (Feb 2013)
File size: 12.6 MB (13,299,085 bytes)

Route_Riter v7.6.26 now with a built in Consist Editor (with thumbnails of all rolling-stock used) and the ability to load/edit activity files and change the composition of Loose Consists. This is the full freeware version of the program. There is no longer a licensed version. As of Feb 2013, there were no further updates to the program by Mike Simpson as he has withdrawn from MSTS .

Help Files

Help File (.chm)(English) 4.60 MB (4,824,307 bytes)
Help File (.chm) (French) (2.05 MB (2,151,503 bytes))
Help File in PDF (German) (3.23 MB (3,390,647 bytes))
Help File (.chm) (Spanish) (3.41 MB (3,582,371 bytes))
Help File (.chm) (Italian) (4.15 MB (4,358,407 bytes))


Technical Support

Ask at or


Error Messages after Installation / Upgrading

  1. I receive error message when installing/upgrading Java "The wizard was interrupted before Java(TM)6 Update nn could be completely installed. To complete installation at another time, please run set up again.":

    Follow these steps to correct this problem:

    a. Uninstall ALL versions of Java via Start | Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs. You may find one or more cannot be completely uninstalled. Don't worry about that at the moment.

    b. Go to C:\Program Files\Java and delete all files and folders.

    c. Go to C:\Documents and Settings\myusername\Application Data and delete the Sun folder.

    d. Download and install the Microsoft Office Windows Installer CleanUp Utility;

  2. e. Run the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility and look for Java (see image below):

    Win Cleanup Utility

    f. Highlight and select "Java update" (there may be more than one), click on "remove", then click on "ok" (see image below):

    g. You should now be able to install Java without any further difficulty.

  3. I receive Error 76 when I first try to run Route-Riter after clicking OK on the Startup screen:
    The possibility is that the Route Riter 6 registry entry has become messed up, in which case it will be necessary to use Regedit, and look for the entry:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\VB and VBA Program Settings\Route_Riter6

    Right click on Route_Riter6 (and Route_Riter as well if it exists from a previous version) and select Delete from the menu. The program should then run OK. (The registry entries are then re-written when you next exit RR.)

  4. The Route_Riter main window opens too high on my screen and I cannot drag it back into place
    There must be a problem with the registry entry for Route_Riter as this tells RR to open on the screen in the position it was closed in.

    I suggest

    1. you run Regedit from the Start menu run box, and navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\VB and VBA Program Settings\Route_Riter6
    2. Click on Route_Riter6 and under it you will see an entry Startupk;
    3. Left-click on Startup and you should see entries for Height/Left/Top/Width
    4. Right-click on Top and select MODIFY from the menu and change the figure in the box to somthing like 2000 this should move the Route_Riter screen down to around the screen centre.
  5. I receive Error 429 whenever I try 'Set up new .ENV files' or some other options:
    If you still get this Error 429 after you have carried out the option in 2. above, and you find that you can run the 'Check Route' option successfully, then it is likely that you have a problem running scripts on your PC. This can be overcome by going to the Desktop Start/Run box and entering:-

    regsvr32.exe scrrun.dll

    Then clicking the OK button. After this everything should work OK.

  6. I receive Error 429 whenever I try Route_Riter's ZIP options:
    This can be caused by the ZIP dll not being registered correctly. This can be overcome by going to the Desktop Start/Run box and entering:-

    regsvr32.exe SawZipNG.dll

    Then clicking the OK button. After this everything should work OK.

  7. I am using Windows 98 and am unable to see the Route-Riter help files:
    This is similar to 3. above: Windows 98 does not natively read .chm files, so needs hhctrl.ocx installed to do this, this file must also be registered as above:-

    regsvr32.exe hhctrl.ocx

    A useful utility is MJ Diag available by clicking here, it checks your Help file .dlls etc and fixes some errors automatically as well as showing you a report.

  8. I receive Error 75 while running Check Route (or some other items):
    Error 75 - Means 'Unable to access the selected file' - This is usually because the file in question is READ ONLY - There is a button on the MSTS File Utils screen which will force all files in your MSTS installation to be Read/Write, or you may change individual files to Read/Write using Windows Explorer.
  9. I receive Error 380 when Route-Riter starts or when running TsUtils:
    This has been connected to problems with the Java installation. Users have found that downloading the latest version from Java Manual Downloads for All Operating Sytems. Make sure you download the 'Manual Download' version as Windows XP SP2 has been found to block installation of the automatic version.

  10. I can not get TsUtils to run:
    Open a DOS window and go to the TsUtil folder, then type at the prompt java TSUtil - You should get the response 'Error --- too less arguments!' Instructions for use can be obtained with argument '?'! ("java TSUtil ?").

    This response indicates Java/TsUtil is correctly installed. However I found that on my PC, I had to place the TsUtil class and properties files into the folder c:\program files\java\jre1.6.0_nn\Classes as mentioned in the readme.txt file in the TsUtil folder of Route-Riter. This fixed everything up (Note: The folder jre1.6.0_xx number may vary depending upon your Java version).

  11. AVG anti-virus reports UHARC.exe as a virus in Route_Riter
    This is a 'false positive' report by recent versions of AVG, UHARC.exe is a compression program like WinZip widely used, however I am modifying Route_Riter (v7.0.74 onwards) so that if UHARC is missing, then the button for using it will be greyed out. In the meantime, anyone who is worried or annoyed by this AVG report can safely remove UHARC from the Route_Riter folder.
  12. I receive Error 75 when Packaging an Activity.
    This has been reported when a user checks a selected activity and finds it is OK, yet when he tries to package that activity he gets an Error 75. Error 75 usually means that a file is inaccessible because it is Read Only, but in this case it is caused by the .zip utility not being registered correctly. Correct this in a similar manner to registration errors in item 4. above, i.e. with the entry in the RUN box of

    regsvr32.exe SAWZipNG.dll

  13. Intermittently I receive Run-time Error 91 (Object Block or With Block Variable Not Set} when Modifying Couplers.
    This can occur when trying to check couplers on models based on the default SD40-2. This model has a shape file error. Click on this link for simple instructions on how to fix this problem.
  14. Problems with the Java/TsUtils installation
    As TsUtils is now used for all compress/uncompress operations within Route_Riter, it is imperative that a working Java setup is running on your PC. The latest version can always be downloaded from Java Manual Downloads for All Operating Sytems. Make sure you download the 'Manual Download' version as Windows XP SP2 and higher have been found to block installation of the automatic version.

    From v7.0.23, Route_Riter automatically runs a java script on startup, and will advise you if Java/TsUtils are not working. At which time Route_Riter will close.

    TsUtils is normally installed in the Route_Riter\TsUtils folder, but if you have installed Java and it still does not work, you should go to the Java folder, normally at c:\Program Files\Java, under which there may be several sub-folders like jre1.4.0 and jre1.6.0 - The one with the highest number is the latest version. Open this folder and you should see sub-folders bin and lib make a new folder 'classes' which will then appear between these two and copy the contents of the TsUtil folder into this new Classes folder. After which TsUtils should run OK. You may then remove all older versions of Java (they occupy about 114MB per version) using the Start | Settings | Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs option.

  15. Using Route_Riter with Windows Vista and Windows 7
    Route_Riter and MSTS both run fine under Vista and Windows 7.

    Install Route_Riter V7 as usual under Vista using the Full-Install versions of RR.
    You must also download and install Java to be able to use the TsUtils options.

    After that, RR should run fine under Vista/Windows 7, however it has been found that you may need to run Route_Riter as an administrator.

    To do this:-

    1. Open the folder which contains the program file (by default C:\program files\Route_Riter}
    2. Right-click the Route_Riter.exe file
    3. On the Compatability tab, click the 'Run this program as an Administrator' check-box.
    4. Click OK, then the program will always run in Administrator mode.
  16. Help file won't open - "Navigation to the web page was canceled"
    You have been blessed with yet another Microsoft security fix! After a bit of online research, I discovered that Microsoft security update 896358 included changes to the InfoTech protocol that blocks the ability to view remote content. These changes were introduced to reduce security vulnerabilities in HTML Help.

    The net effect of this "security update" is that you may find you are unable to open the Route Riter Help file: you may see a message such as this:

    Clicking on any option in Contents doesn't improve things at all

    Fortunately, the cure is simple: browse to "route_riter.chm" in Explorer, Right-click, select "Properties", and click on "Unblock".

    You will now be able to view the help file.