Train Sim World: Rapid Transit – OUT NOW!
Our next expansion for Train Sim World, entitled Rapid Transit, is available now, and reproduces the modern Mitteldeutschland S-Bahn S2 Line!
In 1969, separate commuter networks were established for both Halle and Leipzig. The Halle network started as a U-shaped railway, while Leipzig was treated to heart-shaped trackage which encapsulated the city. Together, the early S-Bahn networks of Halle and Leipzig formed the basis of what would become an interconnected hub of activity. In fact, the Leipzig network became overcrowded within two days, although this was due to complimentary free travel upon opening.
After the turn of the 21st Century, it was decided to link the two S-Bahn networks of Halle and Leipzig with a brand new commuter line between the 2 cities. The new link opened in 2004, and the separate S-Bahn networks were joined to form the Leipzig-Halle S-Bahn. While a key link, its full potential would not be reached until the Leipzig City Tunnel was constructed.
The new 3.9 km long Leipzig City Tunnel was not the first to be proposed for the city of Leipzig, however this modern take would see multiple brand new S Lines provide a frequent service through the heart of the city, before branching out and heading north and south.
Tunnelling started in 2003, and lasted 5 years. Meanwhile, 4 new stations along the path of the tunnel were also excavated and constructed. Each station is bespoke in design, modern marble to tubular trimmings, and really bring a sense of vibrancy to the new-era network.
It was always the plan that the Leipzig-Halle S-Bahn was to be transformed by the opening of the Leipzig City Tunnel in December 2013, and in fact, it was renamed entirely as the Mitteldeutschland (Central Germany) S-Bahn, and a whole new range of S Lines were defined, most of which serve the new tunnel as part of their route.
One of the key routes in particular is the S2, which generally operates between Markkleeberg-Gaschwitz in the south, and Dessau Hbf in the north. Combined with a modern of DB BR 1442 EMUs, the Mitteldeutschland S2 Line provides an accessible, frequent and service.
The DB BR 1442 ‘Talent 2’ was first introduced onto European soil in 2011 as an evolution of the previous ‘Talent’ multiple units. Despite sharing names however, the two families of units are most distinct with the Talent 2 offering improved crash safety, better performance, and all-round more widespread service potential. Like their predecessors, the Talent 2 family quickly proved popular, with hundreds ordered, and delivered, for operation throughout Europe.
Talent of course alludes to particular skills or natural abilities, however in the case of the unit family, it is also a clever anacronym of *TALbot LEichter Nahverkehrs Triebwagen*, or Talbot light suburban railcar. The units range anything from 2 to 5 cars in length, and can easily achieve a maximum speed of 160 km/h, perfectly suited for commuter routes akin to the Mitteldeutschland S-Bahn.
Shared Jacobs bogies, a common feature of modern units, allow for a lesser impact on the rails, keeping comfortable, reducing drag, and ensuring the units stay upright in any derailments. They are also safe from a front-end point of view, the crash-optimised cab is designed to cushion impact, but it is this distinct detailing that earned them the nickname of “Hamsterbacke” (Hamster Cheeks).
At the cost of about 200 million Euro, an order for 51 EMUs was placed. Classified as the DB BR 1442, they entered service on the Mitteldeutschland S-Bahn lines in August 2013. A total of 36 of the Mitteldeutschland S-Bahn DB BR 1442s are formed of 3 articulated coaches (as the 1442.1 subclass), which double up to form 6-car sets in the rush hour.
The Mitteldeutschland S-Bahn S2 Line, featuring action, precision and popular traction, is ready to be explored through Train Sim World: Rapid Transit, available now! ■