Earlier, I’d mentioned the Wayback Machine, the Internet Archive’s ongoing virtual “time machine” archive of web pages. While poking around recently, I’ve discovered that the archive of the official Microsoft Train Simulator website is now fully functional. It had been there before, but like many archived sites, there were numerous broken image links and missing pages behind links. Thanks to some diligent work either at the Internet Archive, Microsoft, or both (Impossible to say, but the IA has been working to improve the linking of objects in their webcrawl database, both on their own and with the help of major sites that they archive) the site is working just as it did when it was “live” on Microsoft’s servers.
Rather importantly, the links in the Downloads section all work, and offer up the relevant files for download. This means that all of the official Microsoft patches and updates are safely archived and can be downloaded.
You can also explore the site, and read some of the ‘behind the scenes” and informational articles that were published.
Note: Just as it did originally, there’s a main navigation menu at the top of the Train Simulator page which is for the page itself. It works perfectly. There’s also a menu bar above that one which leads to various pages on the larger Microsoft site. Many of those links do work, but not all of them. They lead away from the Train Simulator page anyhow, so that’s not a problem.
The link I’ve provided will take you to what’s probably the last, most complete version of the MSTS website. It’s from December 5, 2006. Just for fun, if you click inside the Wayback Machine’s timeline display above the page, you can move to January of 2006, and see the page as it existed just after Microsoft officially announced MSTS 2, to be based on the same engine as Flight Simulator X. There are several links to blog posts by the ACES Studios developers which are working.