Train Sim World 4
Blackpool Branches - Out Now!
The first route Add-on for Train Sim World 4 has arrived! The journey up to now with Partner Programme Developer Just Trains has been full of fascinating development insights, teases, previews and information, all with today in mind. Blackpool Branches: Preston – Blackpool & Ormskirk is out now!
If you want to go back and relive the build-up to this eagerly awaiting British route Add-on, you can check out the various announcements below:
- June Roadmap: First Tease Screenshot of route in progress
- Dovetail Direct: Announcement of Blackpool Branches
- October Roadmap: Work in Progress Screenshots
- Coming Soon Article: Release date announce and full details
- Preview Stream – featuring Special Guests from Just Trains
Pace yourselves! Take control of the Class 142
You know the saying: “You wait all day for a Pacer and then three turn up at once!”
These marmite, love/hate DMUs from the 1980s have been a running joke for decades on the British railway network, before slowly transforming into an adored relic from a time when cheap and cheerful maybe wasn’t as cheerful as it should have been. Initially planned to be temporary replacements for older DMUs, the Pacer classes eventually saw active service well into the 21st century and were withdrawn as recently as 2021 to fulfil a second life on heritage railways up and down the country.
In Blackpool Branches: Preston – Blackpool & Ormskirk, you can take control of this ‘bus on rails’ on local services around Lancashire circa 1986, when the units were fresh on the network ferrying holidaymakers and locals to Blackpool and beyond.
The Class 142 comes to Blackpool Branches in three liveries: BR Provincial Blue, Skipper Chocolate & Cream and Greater Manchester Orange and though this is purely a visual difference, there are in fact internal ones as well. There are multiple engine and transmission variants, including:
- Leyland TL11 + SCG RRE5
- Leyland TL11 + Voith T211r
- Cummins LTA10-R + Voith T211r
These power arrangements have their own differences in sound, which have been worked on using audio from a variety of sources, including Armstrong Powerhouse for the Cummins recordings. During development, it became apparent that no Pacer units with the older variants of engine and transmission were running and therefore were not made available to record. As a result, audio was curated and sourced from Dovetail Games and the Leyland engine used in the Class 101, plus some personal recordings. These sound sets have been expertly applied to the Pacer by Ed Fisk.
There are other unique details included with the Pacer, such as the interactable Public Address (PA) handset in the cab, which you can use to broadcast a set of service announcements when driving on both Blackpool Branches and West Cornwall Local (for players that own that route). The Pacer also features functionality with the new Train Sim World 4 suspension system.
If you want to get to know the Class 142 Pacer in-game, check out our First Look video:
Duffs and Gronks – Additional Rolling Stock
Fleshing out the timetable and bringing new liveries to these old favourites are two perennial locomotives from the height of the BR blue days. The Class 47/4, previously seen in Northern Trans-Pennine, and the Class 08, previously seen in both Tees Valley Line and BR Heavy Freight Pack join the Pacer on freight, passenger and shunting services across the network of Lancashire branches.
The Class 47/4 is available to haul Mk1 newspaper/parcels trains, Mk2 passenger trains and TEA Tanker Wagons in BR Blue, BR Large Logo and BR Intercity liveries and features a high intensity headlamp. Whereas the Class 08 can be operated in shunting moves in two new variants of the BR Blue livery: a Crewe depot variant and that of 08744 Wigan TMD with a white roof.
Both locomotives have had other changes and updates specific to this route Add-on, including some retexturing, lighting changes and smoke effects. You can see the full list of Class 47/4 and Class 08 changes in Just Trains’ Dev Update.
These locomotives and items of rolling stock are all included with Blackpool Branches: Preston - Blackpool & Ormskirk.
Both Blackpool North and Blackpool South stations feature on separate branch lines, along with the Ormskirk branch to the south and disused Burn Naze branch to the north. Along the way, plenty of landmarks from the area can be admired throughout the environment including the iconic Blackpool Tower and an animated rollercoaster at Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach. Ainscough’s Mill, Preston Ribble Viaduct, St Warlburge’s Church and Warbreck Hill Water Tower also feature as easily recognisable features of the Lancashire landscape.
Exploring the route on foot yields other finer details. A number of signal boxes can be entered with modelled interiors to admire as the trains pass by and the customary collectibles are around to hunt down, from posters and signs to golf clubs and... gingerbread!
Volumetric Fog and improved rain effects seen in Train Sim World 4’s core routes are utilised fully in Blackpool Branches to give real drama and atmosphere to this part of northwest England.
Services and Layers
Passenger, freight and shunting services are available with the route utilising all three units and locomotives and the 24-hour cycle based on a full, real-world timetable includes over 250 playable services.
There will also be additional services for players that own the following Train Sim World Compatible routes and locomotives:
- Tees Valley Line: for the Class 101 DMU.
- West Cornwall Local: for the Seacow Wagons.
- Northern TransPennine: for the Class 45 Diesel locomotive.
- Spirit of Steam: for the LMS Stanier 8F steam locomotive, Mk1 Coaches, 16t Mineral Wagon and 20t Brake Van.
- BR Heavy Freight Pack: for the Class 40 Diesel locomotive.
- BR Class 31 Loco Add-On
- BR Class 20 Loco Add-On
In addition, Tees Valley Line and West Cornwall Local will implement AI services using the Class 37 and wagons from those route Add-ons.
There’ll be five Scenarios included: Two with the Class 142 Pacer, two with the Class 47/4 and one shunting Scenario with the Class 08. Pacers will need rescuing; shuttles will need shuffling and passengers from the south will have an illuminated evening.
As with the majority of Train Sim World route Add-ons, both decals and an optional Scenery Tile can be unlocked by completing a series of challenges along Blackpool Branches:
- Tier 1: Complete 1 Scenario and earn 500 AP
- Tier 2: Drive 75 miles / 120 km and complete 4 Scenarios
You can track your Mastery progress on other routes by logging into Dovetail Live and selecting My Profile at the top of the page, or in-game by logging in and heading to Mastery in the main menu.
Note: We're aware of an issue which means that, at the moment, the Tier 2 Mastery Reward will not unlock. You can still complete challenges, and your progress will track for the post-release update which will enable it. Please keep an eye on our Announcements forum for more details of patch update contents. Thanks for your patience, and we hope you enjoy the route!
Substitutions and Free Roam
Players with the West Cornwall Local route Add-on will also get the chance to operate the Class 142 Pacer along both the main line from St Austell to Penzance and on the St Ives branch in timetable mode, substituting in for the Class 150.
Players with Northern Trans-Pennine will also see the new Class 47/4 liveries substitute into timetables in place of existing Class 47 services.
And with Free Roam now a feature in Train Sim World 4, those who own other route Add-ons may wish to run both the Pacer and updated Class 47/4 and Class 08 locomotives elsewhere, such as Tees Valley Line … or, put the Pacer on Antelope Valley Line, if you really want to!
Just Trains have put together a Manual that covers everything you need to know about Blackpool Branches, which you download from their website.
Train Sim World 4: Blackpool Branches: Preston - Blackpool & Ormskirk route Add-on is out now for Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Epic Games Store, and Steam for £29.99/€35.99/$39.99.
If you missed the Railfan TV team previewing the route, with special guests Just Trains answering your questions, you can head back and watch on YouTube and Twitch.
Find out more about Train Sim World 4 by following @trainsimworld on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitch, and TikTok.
Train Sim World 4
Blackpool Branches - Out Now!