Well opening a can of worms I am sure, but here goes.
I got MSTS about 2-3 years ago. I loaded it on and played with it for a few months. What I liked about it? Well, it was the only decent train sim at the time.
Dislikes> Lets see...I didnt like the ultra exact nature of it, the constat pushing of the button to let "THEM" know you were at the controls. I found it to be rigid and not very flexable. The downloads are HUGE, and I felt it was just plain difficult to work with.
So then I got Trainz--what a differecne. Trainz was pretty much what I had hoped a train sim would be.
Trainz is easy to work with, deseigning your onw layouts are fun and you can get pretty detailled systems built. You can make them huge or small. Nearly anything you want is available in reasonable sized downloads.
Although it may not look quite as realistic as MSTS, I think the playability is superior.
I was NOT happy with the updates that came out for Trainz (Service packs) everytime I added on in--Everything got lost, and a full reload including any addons was needed--that was a pain in the ass.
I bought Trainz 2006--dont buy it--It sucks really bad. They did a terrible job with it, and its flawed beyond usability.
I seriously suggest anyone into train operation and running a nice layout go get Trainz 2004 and add the service packs--then add additional scenry and deseigns.
The only flaw I wish they would fix would be to come up with some way of making timetables/operations tables--it can be done with scripting-but that is a pain in the ass.
I didnt see a comparison in the forums--so thats why I did this.
I agree with you on MSTS & TRS2004. I tried out TRS2006, and I found no flaws. However, my friend moved and took the game with him. Do you want to send me TRS2006?
I 100 thousand % agree with you CaptDennison, Trainz2006 suck really bad. It is more like a demo let alone it be a game. Most of the routes you have to buy them on top of the CD