UKTS File Library FAQ
What is UKTrainSim?
UKTrainSim ("UKTS") is a web site that acts as a kind of virtual club-house. People who enjoy Train Simulation gather here
and share their work, knowledge and experience with others. It might be a new loco someone has built, or a route, or it could be
sharing some knowledge about real world train operations. It could simply be recalling something memorable you saw on the line out of your bedroom
window when you were a kid. It's all good, we all like trains here and you don't have to be an expert with computers to have a good time.
You can get out of this experience whatever you wish - chat to others, learn to download and install add-ons, maybe even create your own. Do what
you want and at your own pace.
UKTS do not (generally speaking) produce any of the add-ons on the site, we sometimes get people asking us about the add-ons we make and we really
must clarify that point - UKTS are hosting the community, but it is the very many talented and resourceful people within that community who
actually produce the amazing work that is available.
What do I need to get started?
99% of the files on this site are for Microsoft Train Simulator ("MSTS"). You'll need to pick up a copy of it from somewhere, here's a couple
of links to get you started in your search:
Amazon.co.uk @ £7.99
Play.com @ £7.99
Note: MSTS is available in a number of flavours, it's been around since 2001 and there have been some subtle changes. Essentially they are all the same product though earlier
versions may need a patch to bring them up to date. To help you recognise them, the different versions are:
- Large box, American BNSF Dash-9 (Orange) loco on the front
- Large box, British Flying Scotsman (Green) loco on the front
If you have, or find, a Version 1.0 - don't worry, two reasonably small files are available from Microsoft to make it in to a 1.2 version so go with whatever
you can find. You can go to the official Train Simulator homepage at Microsoft to download the
1.2 patch and the additional locos, wagons and coaches that were added to the newer version to make it in to a full 1.2 version.
- DVD-style case, British Flying Scotsman (Green) loco on the front, yellow flash indicating updated version with Class 50 and SD-40 locos included
- DVD-style case, British Flying Scotsman (Green) loco, surrounded by red border and words "Xplosive"
Once you've got MSTS, install it, run the default routes that it comes with and get familiar with operating the trains. Make sure it runs ok on your machine and
fine tune settings before you start installing any other add-ons.
Important Note: If there's one piece of advice that I can give which is the most important thing especially while starting out, it's to take it slowly, change or add one
thing and test it. If it works, change or add another, then test it. Repeat until you've got to where you want to be. MSTS doesn't make installing add-ons particularly
easy and if you make a mistake it can be daunting for the newcomer to have to work out how to fix it - so save yourself a lot of trouble and make it so that you only have
to fix one problem at a time.
Once you're up and running with MSTS it's time to start looking at add-ons.
Wait, what about other simulators?
Yes, there are a number of other simulators out there such as Trainz (aka TRS or Trainz Railway Simulator), BVE,
Spoorsim, SST, Zusi and others - however the community around UKTS have centered on MSTS and as such there is
very little content on here for anything but MSTS. You are strongly recommended to take a look around at the
other simulators available by searching on Google, each takes a different view of the genre and offers a unique
There are essentially five core things that can be added to Train Simulator - Routes, Stock, Cabs, Sounds and Activities. There are also some supplemental
add-ons such as Track Packs and then there are a number of utilities. Most add-ons on CD will be one or more of each of the five core elements, most
downloads will generally be one particular element.
You can buy add-ons in the shops or via online shops such as Amazon, Play and UKTS. There are quite a range of add-ons available for MSTS
at this point such as:
If you're new to this it might be an idea to start out with a commercial add-on first and work up from there.
- East Coast Express - Drive the East Coast Main Line from Kings Cross to York, present day.
- London South East - Drive from Charing Cross southbound with a wide range of EMU stock.
- Severn Valley Railway - Drive the famous preserved line with a large range of steam and some diesel stock.
In addition there are some donation-ware add-ons available such as the excellent East Lancs Railway add-on (select TrainSim
from the menu on the left to view add-ons) - what's really nice with Donationware is that not only do you get a fantastic add-on, but the money you spent buying it
is going to a good cause.
There are also some Community produced CD's available from UKTS at a price of £4.50 each. These contain routes,
loco's and other add-ons which the community has produced and are presented bundled in a single add-on much the same
way that a commercial add-on might be; the biggest difference is that most community add-ons contain a lot more
content than commercial add-ons.
Finally you can download from any of the massive libraries available on the web. UKTS has an enormous file library
that primarily focuses on UK themed add-ons, but there are others around the world such as train-sim.com or the-train.de who
localise (in this instance, USA and Germany respectively).
How do I install a commercial / donationware / community CD?
Same rule as always - read the instructions. Normally it's pretty simple, pop the CD in and you should see a menu showing you how to
install the route and then it should appear in your Train Simulator when you next start it. Always read the instructions once, then again
and finally one more time just to make sure - far too many people skip the instructions and come unstuck.
What do I need to download add-ons from UKTS?
This FAQ is going to focus on how the UKTS file library works and leave it to the other sites to provide their own information
about their systems - but in general a lot of the principles are the same.
The first thing you'll need for UKTS is an account - that means a username and a password. It's free to get an account so on the
right hand side of the main page where you can see the login boxes you should see a link that says I want to register - select that
and follow the instructions.
You will be immediately emailed a randomly generated password, so please ensure that the email address given is completely correct. If it does not arrive within a few minutes, please
try another address if you have one, or alternatively drop a note to email@example.com and ask for some
assistance. It's also worth checking in spam filters just in case our automated mail was mis-detected as a spam and binned!
Once you have your account, log in and the top right should then change to say "LOGGED IN", if it does't then please double check your details and call for some
help if you are still stuck.
How can I find files to download?
There are a number of options. The front page always has some of the newest files uploaded and you can click on any one of those to find out more information
and download it. Clicking on "Newest Files" on the top button bar will allow you to step back through the files in the order they were uploaded in case you miss
some files being on the front page. You can search for files by clicking on "Download Search" on the button bar at the top, and finally you can simply browse the file library
by clicking on "Download Library".
As an example, let's look for some files.
First I want to see what routes there are so I click on Download Library and from there I'll click "Route" (under the File Type section). Looking at this list I can see a route
called North West England so i'll click on that. Inside there are a number of files - so let's download all of those by clicking on the download icon (a down arrow).
Note: Downloading an add-on does NOT install it, that's a separate step
Now, I want a class 47 to drive on it. Above the "Top Downloads in this Category" bar you can see a Location section, click on "Home" to go back to the top of the Download Library and then find
"Diesel Loco" in the File Type section. Next look for UK Class 47 in the Class section, i'll pick one of those and download it.
Now let's do a search, I want a cab for the 47. Click Download Search, then set the "File Type" drop down to be "Cabs and Cab Views" and type "47" in to the keywords, click Search NOW! and
one result comes back, an excellent cab by Gary Price. Now, I know that there are others on there too but it didn't come back - this is where understanding a little more about
the file library and in particular the search system will help you. Set the File Type to "Diesel Loco" and put "cab" in the keywords - lo and behold, lots more cabs appear and
if you scroll down a bit you'll find at least one more Class 47 cab by Howard Payton. What happened? The search engine searches exactly where you ask it to - which means to some extent you have
to know where the answers are in order to find them, this is a little unhelpful and is one of the reasons that search is being revamped however in the mean time be flexible with your
queries, put as little information in as possible to start with and try to help it out as much as possible by trying different searches.
If you are given a File ID to download, then go to the Download Search screen and enter it in to the box marked "File ID", click Search NOW! and it'll come right up for you.
What's all this about a queue and premium membership?
As with all things this site costs money to run and with banner advertising at an all time low the site needs a more reliable income to keep the bills paid. That income comes
from users who pay to upgrade their membership to a Premium account.
Normal free members can download whatever they like but there are severe restrictions. As at the current time:
You can only download one file at a time.|
You must wait your turn in a queue.
Only a max of six downloads at a time will occur, as each one completes you will move up the queue.
There is only a maximum bandwidth of 12k/s assigned to free downloads. This is spread equally over all downloading sessions. If you are the only person downloading via free
access then you will get all 12k/s, if you are one of six people then you will get 2k/s. Yes, I know this is very slow.
Note that the queue system will usually render most Download Manager advanced features (resume, file splitting, queueing on your local PC etc) unavailable.
Premium membership costs are as follows:
You can pay by Postal Order or Cheque in the mail, or alternatively you can pay online for instant upgrade using your Credit or Debit card.
- £3 inc VAT for 1 month
- £11.75 inc VAT for 6 months (around £1.95 per month)
- £20 inc VAT for 12 months (around £1.66 per month)
What do you get in return for being premium?
In short, unlimited access.
There is no queue, your download will start immediately.
There are no speed limits, your download will proceed at whatever speed your connection is capable of.
You can download as many files simultaneously as you like.
Download Managers work great, queue your files up and/or split them in to multiple downloads, it all works great.
Note also that by purchasing any items from the UKTS shop you will usually receive one month of premium for each item purchased (those that do not include this offer
will be marked) - so by purchasing a couple of CD's (commercial, community etc) you can get a couple of months premium thrown in with the deal at no extra cost to you.
When are you going to make more free bandwidth?? There's obviously not enough!
Everything has to be paid for, premium users pay for their own bandwidth usage through the small
fixed monthly subscription (which gets cheaper if you pay in 6 or 12 month blocks too) - free bandwidth
must still be paid for by some one. We don't feel it is fair to use premium subscribers money to cover
the free bandwidth usage so that money is used to cover their downloads and to provide extra facilities
for the site. Free Bandwidth is paid for by advertising.
Talk to the publishers and tell them about us, tell everybody about us. The more people that use the
site the more attractive we are to advertisers and the more publishers know about this the more likely
they are to come and talk to us about it. The Banner adverts you see exclusively pay for free bandwidth
so make sure you are not using any kind of banner-killer software. Make sure you can definitely see
those banners and (although they are a pain in the rear) pop-ups. Pop-ups are the ones that bring the most
money in, regular banners bring in very tiny amounts (something like 4000 banners to a whole dollar!).
As the money coming in from advertising allows it, we will extend the free bandwidth. Indeed, when
UKTrainSim first launched we offered 50 megabytes per day, in the space of 7 months we got it up to
1.5 gigabytes per day but ultimately advertising revenue fell and it's now down slightly on that figure.
Can I upload my own work?
Yes, anyone (including non Premium Users) can upload as much of their own work to the site as they wish.
How much space can I use?
There is no limit to uploading, share whatever you like!
Can I share commercial add-ons for people to save them having to buy them?
Absolutely not. That is piracy and can get you in to a lot of trouble. All uploads are vetted as far as possible to ensure they do not
contain commercial content that we are aware of and any that do contain such content are immediately removed from the system prior to being
made available for others to download.
What about other peoples work that I downloaded from a different site?
Not without their express written (or emailed) permission to do so.
So I can even upload big files like Routes?
Of course. You can upload anything relevant to the Train Simulation community.
I'm not having a good time with the web based upload, what other options are there?
The Web was never designed for uploading big files and a number of ISP's actually have their systems set up to reject anything
uploading more than a certain amount of data as this could in normal circumstances be an invalid (or worse) request - what this means to you, the uploader,
is that you start uploading and suddenly it drops out or times out. If that happens consistently then you need another approach.
We have a 'Sideload' facility which is rather unique to UKTS. You can use a standard FTP client such
as CuteFTP, FTP Explorer or Smart FTP
to upload your files - Note: You cannot use a Web Browser for the FTP uploading part.
Here's how it works. The goal is to get a file with a picture in to the UKTS file library, you are having difficulties doing it directly via
the web site so what you need to do now is to use a normal File Transfer Protocol (hence FTP) that was designed for this job instead. You use this to upload
the file to a temporary store area and then when you access the web site it will check for files in the temporary store area and then pull them in to
the database - hence, Sideloading rather than Uploading.
Simply set up your FTP client with the following details:
The following is a list of some FTP clients, their titles are links to the sites you can go and
get them from and there is a description of how to configure the client not to use PASV mode.
If you would like any additional applications listed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
|FTP Client||Method to Disable Passive/PASV|
|Bulletproof FTP||Start the program, go in to the Options menu, then the 'General Options' item.
From the dialog box that pops up, choose the Firewall tab and then the tab from within that screen - at the
bottom you should see a 'Use Passive Mode' checkbox - clear it|
|CuteFTP||Start the program, in the Edit menu choose Settings. In the screen that pops up there
is a tree of options on the left, go in to 'Connection' and choose 'Firewall'. On the lower right of the
options there is 'Use PASV' - clear this box|
|FTP Explorer||When you use the connection manager, part of the configuration for each site
listed includes a check box for "Use PASV Mode", simply make sure this tickbox is cleared|
|Smart FTP||Works fine ith default install|
It is also possible to use Windows Web Folders to upload your files via the
Sideload mechanism, as follows:
Open 'My Network Places'|
Click 'Add Network Place'
Put the URL in as 'ftp://email@example.com'
When you open the folder make sure you have 'Log in Anonymously' switched off
and it will ask you for a password ('trainsim').
It is now as simple as dragging and dropping the files to upload them.
If you wish, make yourself a directory and then upload all your .ZIP's in to
it. Now upload all the .JPG files that you wish to associate with them
(ie the pictures) in to the same place (each file must have a JPG of its own
Note: Every file must have an accompanying JPG file or it will not be approved.
The final step is that you must upload
a TXT file for every file you want on the system. Here's what one looks like:
Replace the bits on the right hand side appropriately, make sure everything
is spelled correctly too. Be careful and watch what you're doing - we've had people completely stumped as to why
it won't work when they'd actually entered completely the wrong file names in to the txt file.
I'd recommend uploading all your files and then just listing what's in there to confirm
the case that has gone up to the server.
The file extension of the TXT file must be '.txt' (without the quotes of course).
Now you go to the main UKTS site using your web browser, log in with your UKTrainsim username and password
and click on 'View My Uploads' on the top button bar. Whenever you enter your personal
library it will first check the FTP area to see if you have uploaded any
new files, if it finds a file with .txt extension then it will analyse it,
if all the files mentioned can be found then they will be imported in to your personal library and deleted from the
Newly imported (or 'sideloaded') files are not visible in the main archive until
you have updated their details.
When it appears in your library it will have a title that says it is
Not Yet Categorised. Simply click the 'E' next to the file and edit all
its details, when you change the title to something else it will become visible
to everyone that searches for files on the system.
What's this Moderation thing all about then?
All files that are uploaded must meet a certain criteria before they can be put on the site. The most
important check is that the file is actually allowed to be on the site (eg. no commercial software, and you
must have permission from the author etc) but there's also checks for whether the upload worked ok, have
you specified it correctly (the right loco class or simulator for example), does it have a JPG picture
associated with it (yes, they are a requirement!) and is it credited properly.
We will also try to download the file and have a look to see if it is complete and working before approving
it but we don't always get time for that last step.
The aim of this exercise is to make sure that all files that are uploaded are done so correctly and are
working. We have had problems in the past with newer users uploading files that didn't work, or failed to
upload and weren't checked. The level of support mails from people complaining about dead files was starting
to get overwhelming - not to mention two incidents of people uploading commercial software to the site.
This is all a light hearted thing, we aren't going to refuse your file on the ground that we don't like it,
we look at it from the technical aspects:
- Uploaded ok, when downloads it is readable ithout error.
- Not Commercial and with Authors Permission.
- Has a JPG picture / screenshot associated with it. (It must be a JPG!)
- Is properly specified (right country, simulator, class, etc) and clearly described (multi part files should be numbered correctly etc)
- Reskinners must credit the original model author and also the original skin author if their skin is a rework of an existing one.
- Installs and Runs ok according to following readme instructions (we do this when we can).
To make a JPG picture, you can take a screenshot and then paste it in to a program such as Paintshop
Pro and Save that out as a JPG. Alternatively, whenever you take a screenshot MSTS puts a PCX file in
the Train Simulator directory that you must then convert to JPG format (you will need to use an application
such as Paintshop Pro to do this, simply renaming the file won't work).
Please ensure your picture is a JPG file - no other format is supported.
What are Related Files?
When you are logged in and you look at one of your own files you'll see an "Edit Related Files" button,
this allows you to relate your file to other files on the system. A good example of this would be if you
uploaded a new cab for a Class 37 loco, you could then relate it to all the Class 37 Loco's that are on the
Users who then view your cab will be able to see, on the same page, all the files you have related it to
and download them. Even better, if someone is looking at one of the Class 37 loco's, your Cab view will show
up as related to it - so it works both ways.
Relationships are suggested for things such as Cab<->Loco, Route<->Activity, Loco<->Activity, and so forth (you
get a more complete list when you actually try and relate files), but you can use a general 'See Also'
relationship for anything not otherwise covered.
It is suggested that all activities should be related to all of the loco's and stock on the site that they
need so that users of your activity can just click to download the relevant items quickly and easily.
If you upload a multi-part download such as a route in four downloads then it is suggested that a 'See Also'
relationship be placed from part 1 to the other parts, so that a user looking at Part 1 can easily see
all the other parts without any further searching or browsing.
Activities should also be related to the route download they are for (if the route is available on this
site that is!) - please just releate it to part 1 of the route as the user can use that link to then
find the other parts of it.
Relationships will be very powerful and useful as more and more of them become available on the site and
we encourage uploaders to make as much use of them as possible.
I think your policies for managing this File Library are wrong
We are very happy to hear your thoughts, criticisms and suggestions. We ask that you be polite to us in your emails however
as impolite and rude mails are just deleted without much attention being paid to them.
Please also bear in mind commercial realities. Running this service costs money and quite a lot of money at that. Any expenses
not met by income have to come out of my day-job salary (which isn't what it used to be).
We have no investors and Atomic Systems is a small family company, not a big "Yahoo" or "Google".
We have come up with this idea so as to allow people free access to the site without draining our resources and then have a
means whereby those that want to gain full and unrestricted access can do so by contributing to the costs. We think it's
quite fair but if you genuinely have a better idea then we would absolutely love to hear it.