I’ve been playing train simulators for 10 years! What started as a mild interest into the inner workings of driving on the railways in the UK and abroad became thousands of hours driving various different trains on a huge number of routes. The release of Train Sim World 3 hasn’t helped reduce the amount of hours.
Driving trains isn’t easy. Each locomotive has different controls and takes time to learn but thankfully there is a training centre giving you the opportunity to complete various tutorials before heading off to the official routes. The tutorials will teach all the controls you need and how to manage each train. You’ll be able explore the incredible detail of each train in preparation for driving in real world situations.
When you are ready to drive properly you’ll have three (or four if you have the deluxe version) to choose from. Choose between hauling hundreds of containers through Cajon Pass with the ES44C4 experiencing the thrill of 280 km/h in the ICE 1 between Kassel and Wurzburg or drive Britain’s fastest train, the Class 395, between London, Ashford and Faversham. Deluxe owners can step back in time and take control of the famous LMS Jubilee Class. Carry passengers on a journey of a lifetime along the West Coast Main Line, over the Runcorn Bridge and right into the heart of Merseyside. Additionally, be in charge the hard-working LMS Stanier 8F Class on heavy freight trains. It’s worth noting that any content from Train Sim World 2 is compatible with this game which is great.
You have the option to play through a whole timetable throughout the day. You could be setting up and running the first train of the day or handling a busy rush hour service.
There are also plenty of scenarios to play through which will test your skills. The different challenges range in difficulty from running a normal service to a storm affected route that will test your signal knowledge.
How your train drives depending on the weather conditions, anyone who has travelled in Britain will know just what its like when we get to autumn/winter. If its not leaves on the line affecting track adhesion it’s frozen tracks and snow. It’s no different in TSW3 and its done to great affect. Leaving a station with two much power results in wheels slipping and sparks flying from the tracks, braking times are also affected so be sure not to miss the platform!
Visually this is the best looking train sim I’ve played, this year its all about the details, better lighting and reflections through out the environment and the little details like the sparks from the pantographs above the train all make the world feel more alive. Passengers are still a bit of a let down as the walk around like zombies and ruin the realism. For example, setting up the first train of day in a depot to find people already sat in carriages is a bit odd.
The train models are hugely impressive, with huge amounts of details going to into each one. It’s a bit weird seeing such clean SouthEastern Class 465’s look so clean as we all know that in real life they are disgusting old trains that full of all sorts of filth! Stations have all been faithfully recreated and also look great.
A new feature this year is the the livery creator, its like Forza for trains and there are some incredible fan efforts already. There are plenty of official looking train companies and there is the train that looks like a massive Pikachu – Creating your own liveries is as simple or difficult as you want it to be, using layers to create your own work of art before sharing it with the world. You can also create your own scenarios which lets you plan your own routes which leads to endless opportunities to drive.
Train Sim World is a great addition to any train fans library, the new routes are all excellent and there is a huge amount to do and explore, with the ability to play older content you can easily clock up 100's of hours of driving. The improved weather and graphics all add to an impressive package.