1 Download and install BVE 2

1.1 System requirements

  1. CPU: 266 MHz or better (1--2 GHz for detailed routes)
  2. Memory: As much as Windows requires
  3. Hard disk: A basic installation requires 16--20 MB of free space, to accommodate some 20 additional routes requires at least 400 MB free space
  4. Graphics card: DirectX compatible with 3D accelerator
  5. Sound card: DirectX compatible
  6. Operating system: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP (does not run under Windows Vista or Windows 7)
  7. DirectX (a Windows subsystem) ver 7 or higher
  8. MS Installer (a Windows subsystem)

1.2 Download files from Internet

BVE 2 is available for download from BVE Official Website. At the start page of that website, click the picture above the text BVE 2. Then click Get at the left part of next page. At the following web page, click Download in the blue area to the left and at next page click the button Download below the British flag to download the western version of BVE. Should you, for some reason, want to download the Japanese version, click the button below the Japanese flag instead.

When you have clicked the Download button, a file should be downloaded to the computer you are using. Save that file at a convenient location, such as the Windows desktop. The current version of BVE 2 is 2.6.3. The file downloaded is named bve2.6.3en.zip and has a size of 6 348 581 bytes.

1.3 Install BVE

1.3.1 Extract files

Open the downloaded file bve2.6.3en.zip with an extraction software such as WinZip.

Screen dump of the downloaded zip file containing BVE opened with WinZip
Picture 1: The downloaded zip file containing BVE opened in WinZip

The 3 files in the zip archive should be extracted. It can be made in several ways, one is to:

  1. Push the Extract button in WinZip (picture 1)
  2. In the dialogue window shown upon that action (picture 2):
    • Set a location to save the extracted files (you may want to select the Windows desktop by highlighting that location in the directory tree shown)
    • Check All files/folders in archive (marked by red in picture 2) to extract all files from the zip archive
    • Click the button Extract in the dialogue window

Screen dump of the dialogue window in WinZip to set the location to save extracted files
Picture 2: The dialogue window in WinZip shown when the Extract operation is selected

When this is completed, these files are extracted:

  1. readme.txt with information about the software and the usual disclaimer that the creator of the software should not be liable for any damage the program may cause
  2. bve2.6.3en.msi containing the BVE main program
  3. uchibo9en.msi containing 2 train types and a route that is a part of the real world Uchibo line in Japan. Other routes and the BVE program itself also use the graphic objects installed with this route.

Screen dump of the 3 BVE files extracted to the Windows desktop
Picture 3: The 3 BVE files extracted to the Windows desktop

1.3.2 Install the main program

You may want to read the readme file (recommended).

Double-click the file bve2.6.3en.msi to begin the installation of BVE 2. The first dialogue widow that is shown should have the headline Welcome to the BVE Setup Wizard. Click the Next button.

Screen dump of the 1st dialogue window of the BVE install
Picture 4: Beginning the installation

In next dialogue window, with the headline Select installation folder, you may tell at which location (path) you want to install BVE. The default path is C:\Program\BVE if you have a Swedish version of Windows. In an English version of Windows the default path usually is C:\Program Files\BVE. Accept the default path or enter one of your decision, then click the Next button.

Screen dump of the dialogue window to select which path to install BVE to
Picture 5: Selection of location to install BVE

Next dialogue window tells that installation will start if you click the Next button, do so.

Screen dump stating that the installation will begin in next step
Picture 6: Start the installation of BVE

Now the installation begins, you may or may not be asked to reboot the computer. Should that happen, do the requested reboot.

Screen dump with a bar showing the progress of the installation
Picture 7: Installation in progress

When the installation is done, a dialogue window tells that.

Screen dump of installation done message
Picture 8: The installation of the BVE main program done

The installation will (in some cases after the mentioned reboot of the computer) continue with the Uchibo line install, adding trains, graphic objects and a route.

1.3.3 Install the Uchibo line

The Uchibo line package contains 2 trains and a route with graphic objects and sounds. They are necessary to install both to check that the installation works properly as well as because of that other routes use some of the objects installed with this route.

Double-click the file uchibo9en.msi to start the installation of the Uchibo line. The first dialogue window that shows should have the headline Welcome to the BVE Uchibo Line Setup Wizard. Click the Next button.

Screen dump of the 1st dialogue window of the Uchibo line install
Picture 9: Start of the installation

In next dialogue window with the headline Select installation folder you may tell at which location (path) you want to install the Uchibo line. You should enter the same path to which you have installed the BVE main program (section 1.3.2.). If you at that stage accepted the default install path, just click the Next button to accept the default path here as well.

After ensuring that the install path is correct, click the Next button.

Screen dump of the dialogue window to enter the BVE install path
Picture 10: Enter the BVE install path

Next dialogue window tells that installation will start if you click the Next button, do so.

Screen dump stating that the installation will begin in next step
Picture 11: Start the installation of the Uchibo line

Installation begins.

Screen dump with a bar showing the progress of the installation
Picture 12: Installation in progress

When the installation is done, a dialogue window tells that.

Screen dump of installation done message
Picture 13: The installation of the Uchibo line done

Now the 2 main parts of the BVE 2 installation are completed. Next to do is a check that the program is correctly controlled from the keyboard.

1.4 Post install

1.4.1 Check the function

During the install, start icons for BVE are placed on the Windows desktop and in Windows Start menu tree at the location Start-Program-Mackoy-BVE. Use any of these to start BVE. A dialogue box will let you select from running the program in Windowed or Full Screen mode. Select Full Screen and click OK.

If the installation is successful, a dialogue window will appear for selection of route and train. Double-click the folder Uchibo.

Screen dump of the dialogue to select route to drive
Picture 14: Dialogue to select which route to drive

When the Uchibo folder opens there are 2 different trains to available to drive. If you highlight any of these, you will see a picture of and information about the train and the route to drive. In this case, double-click 1181M to select a 4-car class 113 EMU.

Screen dump of the dialogue to select train and route to drive
Picture 15: Dialogue to select train & route to drive

Now you should see a cab view with indicators and controls. To test that the controls work as the are supposed to, you only have to pay attention to these indicators and controls at this time:

In the gray part of the screen to the right, there are 3 indicators, each of them a black square with white text within:

  1. Indicator of direction to drive: The indicator to the left
  2. Indicator for the driving control: The indicator in the middle
  3. Indicator for the brakes: The indicator to the right

Screen dump of the cab view with controls and indicators mentioned in the text labeled
Picture 16: The cab view with controls and indicators mentioned in the text labeled

To check the keyboard controls of BVE, do the following tests:

  1. The direction indicator indicates N for neutral. Press the up-arrow key at the keyboard. The indicator should now indicate F for forward. Press the down-arrow key at the keyboard. The indicator should now indicate N again.
  2. The direction indicator indicates N. Press the down-arrow key at the keyboard. The indicator should now indicate B for backwards. Press the up-arrow key at the keyboard. The indicator should now indicate N again.
  3. The driving control indicator indicates N. Press the Z key at the keyboard several times and check that the driving control indicator steps up from 1 to 4. Press the A-key at the keyboard several times and check that the indicator steps down from 4 to 1 and then to N.
  4. The brake indicator indicates EMG for Emergency Braking. Press the comma , key at a Swedish, UK or US keyboard and check that the indicator steps down from 8 to 1 and then to RL for released. Push the period . key at the keyboard several times and check that the indicator steps up from 1 to 8.
  5. When checking the emergency brake, the brake indicator should indicate EMG when the key assigned for emergency braking is pressed at the keyboard. At a Swedish keyboard it is the star * key (the shift key should be pressed simultaneously), at a UK or US keyboard it is the slash / key

Should the keyboard control test above fail, click the menu button and select Control Settings. Check that the Keyboard alternative is selected. If not, select Keyboard and try the test again.

If Keyboard is selected and it still does not works, swap the selection of Assign 1 and Assign 2 and try the test again.

1.4.2 Structure of directories and files

This section is extra reading. It is not necessary to know the structure of BVE directories and files to use the simulator. However, sooner or later, you may need this knowledge after downloading a route or a train for BVE from Internet. Their install programs (if they exist at all) may not always produce the expected results. When such problems arise, the solution is often to manually move files to where they should be.

Example of directory structure for the BVE2 directory with subdirectories
Picture 17: Example of directory structure for the BVE 2 directory with subdirectories In this example, three routes (Uchibo, Nankai and NYCTA L) are installed and 3 train types (113, E218 and R143)

1.4.2.1 The BVE directory

The directory to which you have installed BVE, such as C:\Program\BVE or C:\Program Files\BVE, contains the executable files for the BVE program and some graphic objects (signal aspects and Japanese signs) plus sound files for the ATS system. In addition, there are the subdirectories Railway (described in section 1.4.2.1.1 below) and Train (described in section 1.4.2.1.2 below), each of them with extensive contents.

1.4.2.1.1 The directory BVE\Railway

The directory BVE\Railway contains all data of the routes. There are subdirectories for graphic objects, sounds and route definitions.

1.4.2.1.1.1 The directory BVE\Railway\Object

This directory contains subdirectories with graphic objects. Usually each route has its own subdirectory.

There are 2 kinds of files for the graphic objects: There are text files defining each 3D object, and there are bitmap images that make up the textures of the 3D-object's visible surfaces. The bitmap images have the file name extension .bmp. The 3D object definition text files in BVE 2 may be coded in any of two formats:

  1. An old version with the file name extension.b3d
  2. A new version with the file name extension .csv
1.4.2.1.1.2 The directory BVE\Railway\Route

This directory contains subdirectories with route definitions for the various routes installed. Usually each route or set of routes has its own subdirectory. The route definitions in BVE 2 may be coded in any of two formats:

  1. An old version with the file name extension .rw
  2. A new version with the file name extension .csv

A route definition is a text file containing a definition of the train's route, which train to use and which graphic objects should be shown and their location relative to the train's route. Also locations of sound objects are defined relative the train routes. That are sounds not directly origination from the train driven, such as grade crossing bells, station announcements and various environmental sounds.

Sometimes you want to be able to drive the same line but with different train types and/or according to different timetables for local trains calling at every station or express trains calling only at major stations along the line. For each such alternative a separate route definition is made by the routes' author(s).

1.4.2.1.1.3 The directory BVE\Railway\Sound

This directory contains subdirectories with sound files for the various routes. Usually each route or set of routes has its own subdirectory.

1.4.2.1.2 The directory BVE\Train

In this subdirectory there are subdirectories for each train type and other kind of track vehicles installed in BVE. These are only the trains that are supposed to be driven in a route. Those trains that you see in a route but not drive yourself are just graphic objects in that route.

The subdirectory of each vehicle contains text files describing the vehicle's performance and other properties, but also a definition of how the driver's stand should look in the cab view of BVE. There are also a lot of sound files containing sound of motors, brakes, door opening and closing etc. A number of bitmap images for the cab view are also found in the vehicle's subdirectory.

1.4.2.2 The directory Windows\System32

To make the BVE software running, a number of files are installed in Windows' system directory, that usually have the path C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Winnt\System32.

These files are installed in Windows' system directory in a computer using a Swedish version of Windows 2000:

  1. vb6stkit.dll
  2. COMCAT.DLL
  3. STDOLE2.TLB
  4. ASYCFILT.DLL
  5. OLEPRO32.DLL
  6. OLEAUT32.DLL
  7. msvbvm60.dll
  8. COMCTL32.OCX
  9. MSCOMM32.OCX

There is a chance that other files are installed in computers running other versions of Windows.


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