The OpenBVE train-driving simulator features simulated train routes from almost every region of the world, though many simulated routes focus on passenger or commuter trains and routes. Many OpenBVE routes are recreations of subway systems from famous cities around the world, including the New York and Tokyo subway systems and the London Underground. Some fictional routes are also available for download.
OpenBVE is an open-source program based on a series of Japanese games for Microsoft Windows known as BVE Trainsim that debuted in 1996. BVE Trainsim games focus on providing an accurate in-cab simulation of driving the 255-Series electric trains used on the Boso View Express line in eastern Japan at the time of its release. Though BVE Trainsim itself was not an open-source program, users were able to add their own trains and tracks to the game, leading to an extensive modification community. The OpenBVE project is intended to provide an open-source version of BVE that can be updated as technology progresses and that can be used on operating systems other than Microsoft Windows. Though OpenBVE was named after BVE Trainsim and shares much of its design, the code base of the program itself was written from scratch.
Because OpenBVE is an open-source project, tracks and trains contributed to the project are made by enthusiasts rather than professional developers. This makes it likely that there are some differences between the actual routes and the trains that run on them and the simulated versions. However, OpenBVE is generally praised for the realism of its simulation, and many enthusiasts take great care to make their tracks and trains as realistic as possible.