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Known Issues for All Programs

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Issue (8/11/07):  When generating a new activity using Activity Generator, I get the message "Error 53: File Not Found".

Fix:  This will happen if the template .act file or other files needed by the template have been stored using TrainStore.  Either unstore the whole route or if that doesn't work, use "Unstore Everything!" (then you can store again after generating the activity.)

Issue (3/22/2007):  When generating a new activity, I change the start time to a time different than the default, and then when running the activity I no longer see any AI traffic -- or, there is a huge AI "traffic jam".

Fix:  This has been corrected with version 3.2, download the update on the Patches & Updates page.

Issue (3/21/2007):  When using Activity Master, while "Reading Trainset Folders" is displayed, or, in Activity Generator, when using the "Change Engines" feature, progress will stop and the program locks up (you will see a screen similar to the ones below with no movement of the blue "progress bar" for a long time):

Fix:  This is always caused by a problem with one or more rolling stock files in your Trainset folder.  First, if this is happening with Activity Generator, make sure you have version 3.2 or later.  Often Route Riter or ConBuilder can correct these kinds of problems (and more), and we highly recommend using these great utilities (see our Recommended Links for links to these programs and more).   Notice that while reading the files, the file names are displayed on the screen as they are being read, like this:

                                                    Activity Master Screen

 - or -

                            Activity Generator Screen

Usually these file names flash by too quickly for you to read them and you can ignore tem.  But if the program hangs, you'll see the filename frozen on the screen.  Notice the file name in the "status bar" at the bottom of the screen for the Activity Master screen, or in a text box on the screen for the Activity Generator screen.  If the program stops running please make a note of that file name before using control-alt-delete or other means to abort the program.  Please then email that file directly to SteveDavis@skylinecomputing.com and we will analyze it and improve the error resistance of both our programs so they will be more tolerant of anomalies in files.  In the meantime if you don't want to wait for us to fix this, you can either store this piece of rolling stock using "Train Store", or delete or temporarily move this file out of your "Trainset" folder, and the program should continue normally the next time you run it.

Issue (3/10/2007): The "Convert Signals to Permissive" or "Convert Switches to Manual" functions don't seem to work.


  1. Here's one fix/workaround if this happens when you're restoring a saved game.  You come up to a signal, it's red, you can't get permission to pass it.  So you save, and exit.  You then use the "Convert Signals to Permissive" function.  When you reload the activity, it's possible that the signal you're facing will still say "STOP" rather than "STOP AND PROCEED" (which is what you should see for permissive signals) in the Track Monitor (F4 display).  If this happens, reverse direction until you see another signal in the track monitor.  Then, reverse again.  This will cause MSTS to re-load the signal script, and now the "problem" signal will still be red but hopefully will now say "STOP AND PROCEED" on your Track Monitor (F4 key) instead of just "STOP", and you can pass it without MSTS dumping you out.  Similarly, for switches, if they won't throw, change direction and then change direction again, then try and throw the switch.
  2. Because of the way MSTS saves activities in progress, it's possible that you won't be able to convert the signals or switches when restoring a saved game, even when using #1 above.  If so, try changing the signals to permissive and/or switches to manual, then RE-START (don't 're-load') the activity -- i.e. start it from the beginning.  This cures many of these problems, I saw this happen with the NNJ route for example.
  3. There have been reported to be certain switches or signals in certain routes, because of the way the route was designed, that cannot be converted at the present time.  If the suggestions here don't work, then try asking dispatcher permission to pass a red signal (using the "Tab" key).  Otherwise, if you've followed #1 and #2 abov e, there is no other fix we're aware of for this at the present time.  We continue to research this but for the most part these buttons DO convert the switches in a route to manual and the signals to permissive -- but there are some exceptions.

Issue: (12/29/06) When attempting to save an activity in Activity Generator, you get an error 55, "File is Already Open".

Fix: This was an unexpected side effect of the many improvements we made to get to version 3.1.0.  This has been corrected in version 3.1.1, please download that on the Patches & Updates page.

Issue: (12/24/06) When starting an activity created by Activity Generator in MSTS, you get an error, "Failed to Load Activity Header" or something similar.

Fix:  This happened when the box turning off AI traffic was checked in some versions of AG3.  This has been fixed in version 3.1.0, get the update on the Patches & Updates page.

Issue: (12/17/06) When starting an activity created by Activity Generator 3 or later in MSTS, you get "Rigid Body Errors" or "Objects begin in Collision" and MSTS won't load.

Fix: There are two possible causes and fixes for this: 

  1. Generating an activity using AG3 for a template that wasn't designed for AG3 can cause this problem.  In this case the simplest fix is to generate the activity using SwitchList Generator Classic, which is supplied with Activity Generator.   For more discussion on this see the Patches & Updates AG3 Known Issues section.   Also if you really want to use AG3 or later to generate your activity, Fix 2 below will usually work (however, often SwitchList Generator Classic will actually generate a better activity, with more cars on the spurs, etc., when using these older templates that were written for SwitchList Geneartor).
  2. The template designer allowed for more cars on a spur than the spur can hold, or didn't place the cars correctly so they are running off the ends of spurs or into one another.  The fix in this case is to either generate the activity again and hope that AG doesn't place too many cars on those same spurs (since car placement is random), or, click the "Set Railcar Fill" button on the "Customize Your Activity" screen and decrease the maximum number of cars per siding, or move the slider to the left for less railcar fill.  If that doesn't work, move the slider all the way to the left.  This should ALWAYS result in an activity that will load.  If it doesn't please post the issue to our forum or email technical support.

Issue: (12/16/06) Sometimes Activity Master wouldn't correctly identify all locomotives in an activity as locomotives.

Fix:  This has been corrected with version 1.5.4.  Download the latest patch on the Patches & Updates page.

Issue: (12/16/05)  When an activity was distributed via a "zip" file, and the author included an ".asv" file (quick loading binary activity save file) with the zip,  Activity Master would replace all missing rolling stock but starting the activity in MSTS would still result in errors reporting various rolling stock not on hard drive.

Fix:  This has been corrected with version 1.5.4.  ActivityMaster wasn't checking the .asv files, just the .act files, so if there was an .asv file with the activity the rolling stock in that activity wasn't really replaced, although the rolling stock in the .act file WAS replaced.  Get the update on the Patches & Updates page.

Issue: (12/1/06)  After generating an activity, and renaming the activity to something other than the default, MSTS crashes when attempting to load that activity.

Fix:  This happened if the new name chosen had spaces in it.  This has been corrected with version 3.1.0 of Activity Generator. Get the update on the Patches & Updates page.

Issue: (9/10/06)  When manually selecting engines for the Player Consist within Activity Master, only player driveable locomotives were available to be selected.

Fix:  This has been fixed in ActivityMaster version 1.5.  Now, driveable locomotives are marked with an "*" after the locomotive name, just like in Activity Generator.  You must select a driveable locomotive for as the lead locomotive, but you can select "TRAIL", "AI" and any other non-driveable locomotives as trailing units (other than the lead unit).

Issue: (9/10/06) In ActivityMaster, the slider labeled "Use slider below to control how much of the rolling stock in this activity will be replaced" didn't work correctly.  Often, regardless of the setting, all rolling stock of the selected type in an activity was replaced.

Fix: This has been fixed in ActivityMaster version 1.5.

Issue: (8/13/06)  ActivityMaster and SwitchList Generator don't recognize Engines or Rolling Stock from Jason Dilworth's StreamLines Corporation, such as that provided with the BNSF Scenic Sub (Stevens Pass Route).

Fix:   This has been fixed in ActivityMaster version 1.4, and Activity Generator version 3. If you employed the old recommended workaround found on this site, to copy all the SLI.ATSF etc. folders to SLI-ATSF or SLI_ATSF, you can now delete these extra folders and go back to using the default SLI.   We recommend you do this, it works better with TrainStore, Conbuilder and other programs.

Issue: (8/13/2006)  When changing start times using ActivityMaster, some passenger schedules didn't change accordingly.

Fix:  This has been fixed in ActivityMaster version 1.4.

Issue (8/13/2006):  When replacing Steam locomotives with Diesel locos using ActivityMaster, there could be two problems:

  1. No diesel locomotives would show up as potential replacements.
  2. When the replacement was made, there were still tenders behind the diesel locomotives.

Fix:  This has been fixed in ActivityMaster version 1.4.  Basically there were two problems: 

  1. The first was caused by the different coupler types used in some routes.  ActivityMaster by default won't replace rolling stock in a consist, with rolling stock having a different coupler type.  This however meant that no steam locomotives using chain or other couplers could ever be replaced.  We have now added a checkbox to the main replacement screen that allows you to override the coupler type limitation.  A word of caution on this: you will probably not be able to couple back up if you uncouple your engine from the cars in the train to do switching.  Cars will couple to one another just fine.
  2. The second (tenders not being removed) was simply a bug that was reported by a user and is now fixed.



Issue (4/8/06):  When viewing rolling stock or engines via ShapeView version 1.6, there is a runtime error, "Run Time Error 53" and the program dumps off.

Fix:  SwitchList Generator and ActivityMaster apparently have an incompatibility with ShapeView version 1.6.  For now, the fix is to stick with an earlier version of ShapeView, or keep two versions, linking the earlier version to our programs.  We are currently looking into how this might be fixed.

Issue (12/11/05)(SwitchList Generator): When using TrainStore version 3 and later, if a route has been stored and is then unstored, not all the "Player Driveable Paths" come up in the "Generate SwitchList" box to choose from.  Paths are missing, or, it seems there are only a few paths.

Fix:  TrainStore 3.0 and later now stores paths that aren't directly used in Activities.   You need to add all of the SwitchList Generator template paths for each route to that route's "Explore Mode Paths" to make them available.  See "SLG Paths & TrainStore" on this site for the procedure.  OR you can open the route in "Maintenance Mode" using TrainStore.

Issue (11/28/05) (SwitchList Generator): An error comes up when trying to run an activity generated using the default Marias Pass Template, if the "Essex - Whitefish" path for the Westbound Template is selected.

Fix:  This has been corrected and the template has been reposted.  Get the new template here and say "yes" to all file overwrites when installing.

Issue: (11/29/05): Activity Master hangs when attempting to work with a "Mini Route".

Fix:  (1-16-06): This been fixed in version 1.3.5.

Issue (11/28/05) (Activity Master):  If specific substitutes are chosen for every missing locomotive in an activity using "Specific List", and NONE of those locomotives are "driveable" (some are "AI" locomotives", then when the replacement is performed IF SOME OF THE LOCOMOTIVES BEING REPLACED ARE IN THE PLAYER CONSIST, you'll still get a "no replacement could be found" error message and ActivityMaster may dump out.  Discovered by Dave Shepperd.

Fix (workaround):  The fix/workaround is to always include at least one "driveable" locomotive when replacing locomotives in the Player consist, or, if you don't know whether or not those AI locomotives were in the player consist, always provide at least one player driveable locomotive as a potential replacement for each locomotive.  Or provide several potential replacements to be safe.  Note:  when you manually select the Player Locomotives (using the "Choose Player Locomotives" button, instead of having the program auto-replace it, this will NEVER happen.  We're working on a better fix.

Issue: (8/4/05) Changes made to rolling stock "types" (i.e. changing a car from type "HP" to type "CVH" for example) sometimes don't "take" (upon reloading ActivityMaster the car still shows up as the old/former type).

Fix:  Provided that you have clicked in another cell after entering or selecting the new type, and have pressed "Save", if this still happens it's due to a bug in ActivityMaster version 1.3.0 and earlier.  Download and install the latest version on the Patches and Updates page to resolve this.

Issue: (3/1/05)   When ActivityMaster is used to change the Start Time for a Passenger activity, the start time changes, but the timetable for the activity doesn't.  Thus the player will either arrive at all stations early, or late. 

Fix:  (3/7/05)  This has been fixed in version 1.3.0.  Get it on the "Patches and Updates" page.

Issue:  (2/11/05)  When generating activities for Cascade Crossing (Willamette Pass),  Kicking Horse Pass (KHP) 2, Whitefish 2, or Full Bucket Line (FBL) routes, using our templates, no path choices appear in the "paths" drop down, and/or, the program generates zero-length consists.

Issue:  When creating templates for the "Whitefish 2" route, (and perhaps some other routes not yet discovered), SwitchList Generator would not generate a usable activity on some users' machines.

Fix:  This was discovered by Aaron Hutchison, an SLG user.  As with the "unknown locomotive" issue, this has to do with capitalization ... how MSTS treats it, how differing version of Windows treat it (or don't), and how the creator of this route used capitalization when naming the important folders in the route.  To fix this, you need to ensure that all your folder (directory) names within the "route" folder you're working on are capitalized.  I.e., change the names of the folders/directories from 'paths' to 'PATHS', 'services' to 'SERVICES', etc.  You can do this in Windows Explorer by clicking on the folder name with your right mouse button ("right-clicking") and selecting "Rename" from the pop-up menu that comes up, then retyping the folder name, exactly the same, except in all capitals.  This won't affect MSTS in any other manner ... in fact, this is the "correct" default naming convention ... check the default routes such as USA1 and USA2 to verify this.   Many thanks to Aaron for discovering this, and e-mailing me!  Aaron noted that many freeware downloadable routes seem to have lower-case folder names within them.  This doesn't appear to be the case on our test machines so it could be a Windows version issue ... we're running Windows XP Pro here, which doesn't use DOS as the file management engine, but rather uses NTFS which is more robust.


Issue: (1/22/05)  Missing paths in the Ohio Rail Build 10 Template.  You may get errors like these:

OR10_ORWCambridgeTemplateCambridge - Caldwell.pat Path is missing from OR10_ORWCambridgeTemplate.act

OR10_ORWTemplateOtten Switcher [5].pat - Path is missing from or10_ORWTemplate.act

Fix: A new version of the template has been uploaded (version 2).  Get it here.  Install this template over the old one, and be sure to say "Yes" when asked if you want to overwrite existing files.

Issue:  (11/14/04)  Activity Master stops reading rolling stock after reading 3000 folders.

Fix:  This has been fixed in version 1.2.6.  The new limit is 9999 folders, and 16000 .eng and .wag files.  Get the update at Patches and Updates.


Issue:  Activity Master drops out of reading when reading certain passenger cars.

Fix:  This hasn't yet been addressed in an update.  Check the .wag files of these cars to see if there is a line "ID ( ? )", or just "ID ( )" (a blank with nothing or a space within the parenthesis) in the .wag file.  If there is, delete that line.  The program expects a valid ID there. 


Issue: (9/25/04)  The "Rolling Stock Groups" function in Activity Master version 1.2.0 didn't work properly.

Fix:  This has been fixed in version 1.2.3.  Get the update at Patches and Updates.


 Issue: (9/20/04)  Some of the starting points in the St. Louis and North Arkansas template, if selected, caused MSTS to crash with "Send/Don't Send".

Fix:  The paths in the template have been repaired.  Download the updated template here, and install, overwriting all old files.

Issue: (5/10/04)  A missing consist is reported in the Kootenai River Sub template (Whitefish 2).

Fix: This consist is created by the user if you select specific locomotives to drive.  So you can create your own.  However, if you wish you can also get the file here.  Please save this file, which isn't zipped, directly into your \Train Simulator\Trains\Consists\ folder.

Issue: (1/8/04) When attempting to run the SwitchList Generator Template for Cajon Pass, or activities generated by that template, there is some rolling stock, such as a 3DPM GP20, that can't be found.

Fix:  This was our error.  We included some rolling stock in the template that wasn't part of the original 3DTS Cajon Distribution.  Please download the updated template from the templates page, or here, and re-install.  There's no need to delete the old template, all files will be overwritten.

 Issue:  When pressing the "Change Engines" button, I get an error message that says: "Serious Error: Couldn't find the \TRAINS\TRAINSET folder!

Fix:  By default, Microsoft installs MSTS into folder names which are generally capitalized on the end user's machine, i.e. "\TRAINS\TRAINSET" rather than "\Trains\trainset" etc.  To get SwitchList Generator to work correctly if your setup has basic MSTS folder names ("ROUTES", "ACTIVITIES", "TRAINS\TRAINSET"), you can rename these folders to use all uppercase characters (by looking at the folder in Windows Explorer, clicking the right mouse button, and choosing "rename".)  In a future maintenance release we'll update SLG to handle uppercase and lowercase folder names.   My thanks to SLG user Dennis Paul Gauci for finding this problem and helping craft a longer-term solution which we'll build into the next release!

Update:  This issue has been fixed in the current version.

Issue:  The computer seems to "hang" when clicking the "Change Engines" button, nothing appears to happen.  Then finally the screen, or, a blank screen, comes up.

Fix:  Version 1.0.5 fixed this.  If you don't have this version or later (the version number appears on the opening screen), download the latest maintenance release.  To obtain this, registered users please e-mail Steve Davis for a download password.  If the fix now results in a blank (empty) engine selection screen coming up, please see the "Empty Engine" issue below.

Issue:  I don't see any tenders to choose from when I use the "Change Engines" button to select an engine.  I want to run steam locomotives and they won't work without a tender!

Fix:  Version 1.0.5 fixed this.  If you don't have this version or later (version appears on the opening screen), download the latest maintenance release.  To obtain this, registered users please e-mail Steve Davis for a download password.

Issue:  A blank/empty engine list comes up when clicking on "Change Engines" in Switch List Generator.

Fix:  This is caused, in most cases, by a faulty .eng file for the WV&O SW1500.  Download the corrected .eng file here, and save it into your \TRAINS\TRAINSET\WVOSW1500 folder (overwriting the old one).  This file will crash your MSTS when run anyway (whether or not you use SwitchList Generator.  Please see Rich Garber's note on this at http://www.edmfamily.com/msts/bo6.htm

Issue:  When running activities generated for 3DTS's Tehachapi Loop II route, some cars cannot be coupled to.  They just keep "bouncing away".

Fix:  This was caused by a bounding box problem with these cars, which hadn't been discovered prior to SLG because no switching activities had yet been written involving these cars (just dragging them within a train, which worked ok).  3DTS has fixed this problem with a new (free) Version 1.1 Update.  You can get this from the 3DTrainStuff site at:


Important note: you may think you already have this update!  I did!!!  An update was released some time ago, with this same version number (version 1.1).  One of the issues reportedly addressed via that original update was this very bounding box problem.  However for some reason that fix wasn't incorporated into the original update.  A new update has been posted on the 3DTrainStuff site, with the same name/version number, just recently.  The only way you can tell if you have the latest update is to check the file size of the downloaded .exe.  The new one has a file size of 1,452 KB.  Many thanks to David Weiner, Beta Tester Extraordinaire, for discovering this!!

Issue:  Sometimes, engines selected using SwitchList Generator's "Change Engines" function, show up on the activity selection screen within MSTS as "Unknown" instead of the correct type, such as, Dash 9.

Fix:  We don't have a fix for this one yet.  It has to due with how MSTS reads the "Wagon" and "Name" data from within the locomotive .eng files ... basically, inconsistent capitalization (folder/directory names in many versions of Windows are all capitals, but the names inside the .eng files may contain some combination of capital and lower-case letters).  I believe we can fix it.  However ConBuilder also has this problem with some (but not all) locomotives, when ConBuilder is used to change locomotives used by the player in an activity.  If you're interested, there's a discussion of this issue (not related to SwitchList Generator) at: