BVE Trainsim (formerly BVE, which is an abbreviation of Boso View Express, 暴走ビューエクスプレス) is a freeware train simulator written by Takashi Kojima, a Japanese graduate student. It is currently available only for Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, and Windows XP operating systems. A Windows Vista compatible version is being developed. Users have also had success running BVE on software emulators such as Virtual PC, and WINE. Version 2 of BVE requires DirectX, while the latest version 4 release requires the Microsoft .NET platform be installed. Its former name, Boso View Express, was a pun based on the name given to the East Japan Railway Company 255 series EMU.
A slightly customised version of the BVE 4 is also used by the London Transport Museum as part of their interactive museum exhibits. Currently, the Northern and Jubilee Line routes from the London Underground series are installed onto the machines. Visitors are able to visit the mock-up cabs and experience being a London Underground driver.
Users from all over the world have created hundreds of routes, objects, trains, and sounds for BVE TS.
The original program had a display on the right. It featured items such as "ATS" and "BRAKE APPLY". These are general items used in most modern rail systems and are helpful to the player. On top of those items were the timetable, which gave the times which the train was due to arrive at or depart from stations. This version of the game can work on older computers, and most of the routes are available. It's also the easiest to use, and it's better for beginners.
Most add-ons for this version have disappeared but some are still downloadable at some sites, as BVE 4 becomes the standard.
This version is more realistic and is not recommended for beginners. Route editing is more difficult. A few of the routes developed for BVE2 work fine with BVE4, but extended features are not available. Also, currently no route developed only for BVE 4 can be run on BVE 2. One can, however, use a program such as BRR, or BVE Route Randomizer, to use a BVE 2 route in BVE4. This is available from Trainsimcentral
Use of BVE 4 on Windows Vista is only possible after adding some dynamically linked libraries to the system to allow for the backward compatibility in DirectX, as explained on this thread on a BVE forum
BVE is not compatible with the latest RadeonHD cards by ATi.
The preview versions included a route with a completely new syntax, syntax and features from OpenBVE and route's objects only uses the X format.
Objects in routes are written either in CSV or in the older B3D format. Objects without simple RGB colors use bitmap files instead, and they must be included. BVE 4 also supports use of DirectX (.x) files for objects, although not all features of this format work correctly in the program.
Trains may be either drivers' view or passengers' view. Both consist of large text files with the train characteristics and physics, a series of bitmaps files for the panels or surroundings as well as a picture of the train itself, and sound files. BVE sound files include: door opening, door closing, clearance to depart, engine sounds, brake application, emergency brake application, running sounds, short horn, long horn, bell, and drivers' vigilance device.
Sounds are simply WAV files.
While routes for BVE have traditionally been hand-coded in any text editor (such as vi, emacs or Notepad) or spreadsheet package (such as Calc or Microsoft's Excel) due to the lack of an editor, some routes today are made using a utility named RouteBuilder or Constructor BVE
BVE supports all types of train operation (manual, ATO, etc.) but does not simulate moving objects. Therefore, one will see a static train on an opposite track. BVE also does not currently support flashing signals. Signaling support has been vastly improved in version 4.
Important things to note are that due to different character encoding between Asian and Western systems, Asian routes take much repair to work on Western systems, unless the author has made a western version, and that the .RW format is not supported since version 4. Current version available are BVE 4.2 and BVE 2.6 .
BVE Trainsim is noted for its excellent cab physics and overall highly realistic environment that it can offer. BVE Trainsim is sometimes favoured over Microsoft Train Simulator and Kuju Rail Simulator as the routes and trains available for BVE4 are vastly more detailed and realistic than their software counterparts. Additionally, many real-life drivers frequently comment on the realism offered by BVE, and in particular BVE4. Simple things such as accurate sounds, tilting around corners, doors being unable to close due to high passenger volume and fully working safety systems make BVE the preferred choice amongst many gamers.
Moving objects cannot, however, be simulated using BVE4. Additionally, neither can you multiplay.
Other utilities may be downloaded from the same website, including:
There are also these utilities, which have not been translated yet into English:
For batch conversions of objects without textures, the CSV-X converter is recommended, but for converting objects with textures, the latest version of structure viewer should be used. This is because CSV-X will remove textures which will then have to be added in manually (and due to the nature of the X format this can be time consuming, especially for complex objects), whereas Structure Viewer includes textures. On the other hand, Structure viewer only allows the conversion of one object at a time.