Using Route Riter To Set Up A Mini-route
by Mike Simpson ((illustrated by Yuri Sos)


A "mini-route" is a stand-alone version of MSTS in its own folder. However, it just includes the files required for the route in question to function. This reduces the amount of files MSTS needs to use on startup and allows more detailed routes to be built. It should also start up much faster.


Let's Get Started


Using Rich Garber's Bodiddly Route as an example:-

  1. Install the route as normal in your main MSTS folder, allowing the installme.bat (if supplied) to run its course). Make sure the route is working properly. Important: the proposed mini-Route MUST have at least one full working activity present or the mini-route will fail to load once installed. This activity doesn't need to be complicated, just a short point A - point B path using default stock.

  2. Run Route-Riter, and select the Bodiddly route as the default route by double-clicking on the route folder in the left hand box.  
  3. Click 'Confirm Route'  
  4. Click Make Read/Write - Just in case...  
  5. Click Check Route and make sure all files are there.  
  6. If required you may also run the Compact route option to get rid of any extraneous files.

  7. Click on Activities/Stock Tab (a) and run the Check all Activities (b) option to make sure all the rolling stock is present.

  8. Double click the Bodiddly route again to ensure it is still selected;  
  9. Go to the Mini-Routes tab and click Mini-Route Setup.

  10. A requester appears.
    (a) Navigate to the drive or mini-Routes folder you wish to use (in this case d:\); then
    (b) type the name of the new folder (in this case _mini_Bodiddly in the second box and press ENTER,;
    (c) the full path will then appear in the bottom box;
    (d) click Create New MiniRoute.

  11. You will see a DOS window open and the files being copied.

    Once this is finished, you will see this pop-up box.

  12. Close the DOS window and the requesters which appear.  
  13. Click the Mini-Route Copy Route button

  14. (a) Select the Routes folder in the Mini-Route folder you've just set up in the left-hand window and click "ok".
    (b) The filepath will appear in the 'Copy files between two Routes' window.
    (c) Click ok.
    (d) Select the original Boddidly route in the right hand window by double-clicking on it.

  15. (a)The route will appear in the 'Copy files between two Routes' window as well.
    (b) Click OK - Once this runs, the route will be copied across in a DOS box.

  16. When the copying has finished, the DOS box will close and this information pop-up will appear.

  17. (a) Go to the Mini-Route folder in the left window and double click on Train simulator;
    (b)Click on Files | MSTS Path ...............

  18. (a)....and click on Select to set the Mini-route as the default route.
    (b) The path will be shown in the Title Bar at the top left corner of Route_Riter.

  19. (a)Select the Bodiddly route by double clicking and
    (b) Click on the Route Utils tab followed by
    (c) clicking on Confirm Route.
    (d) Quit Route-Riter.

  20. (a)Restart Route_Riter - it should restart in the Bodiddly route.
    (b)Click the Mini Routes tab then
    (c)Mini-Route Get stock;
    (d) in the Mini-Route setup window which appears navigate to the Trains folder in your master or default MSTS installation (in my case in this example D:\1MSTS) where your stock is. Double click on Trains, then
    (e) click OK: a DOS window opens showing the rolling stock being copied. All the rolling-stock named in your route's Activities will be installed, along with the following folders:- Default, Common.*, ACELA, DASH9, GP38, KIHA31 and SCOTSMAN - this should cover most aliased Sound and Cab files, however you should run both Route-Riter and Conbuilder on your new Mini-Route to make sure that all necessary files are there.

  21. Once this completes, in the left window find Routes\Bodiddly RR, double click and make sure your mini-route's path appears in the top border of the main Route_Riter window. Then click the Mini-Route Compact Tracks button. Click OK.
  22. This takes a while, but once it is finished you should set up an icon pointing to the train.exe in your new mini-route and it should run OK.

Please send any comments as usual..