Train Sim World 3
Train Sim World Roadmap (part 1) – 10th August 2022
Well, yesterday was quite a day! Welcome to the first Roadmap of the Train Sim World 3 era. Hop in, we’ve got plenty to share. We make no apologies for this being possibly the longest Roadmap you’re ever going to read.
And that’s why we’ve split it into two. Today, we’ll be covering the routes, locos, and UI within Train Sim World 3, and tomorrow we’ll talk about the new feature set – and our Roadmap stream will take place tomorrow (Thursday 11th August), where we’ll try to cover as much as we can from Parts 1 and 2!
We’ll also open a question thread ahead of a Q&A stream next week – we hope we’ll answer some questions over these two articles, but we want to give you time to digest what you’ve seen so far, and ensure we can provide you accurate, up-to-date answers.
So… shall we get started?
Well, quite a lot, actually. Yesterday, we announced the newest addition to the Train Sim World franchise, Train Sim World 3. Chock-full of new features, routes, and locos, we can’t wait for you to get your hands on it on September 6th (or, if you pre-order Standard or Deluxe Editions, September 2nd! Click Here. If you haven’t already checked out the announce with Matt and JD, we recommend you do that before you read this article (you can find it here), as it’ll give you a great introduction to the new game.
As a result, we’ve added our three new routes, Schnellfahrstrecke Kassel – Würzburg, Southeastern High-Speed Extended (London – Ashford & Faversham), and Cajon Pass to the Roadmap, and they will be released with the launch of the new game.
Schnellfahrstrecke Kassel – Würzburg is the German high-speed route we’ve always wanted to do. At a whopping 186km (115 miles), the longest route ever produced in Train Sim World, you’ll be pushing the all-new DB BR 401 ICE 1 to 280km, and staying there. Navigating a picturesque landscape of viaducts and tunnels, you’ll be combining passenger and freight operations through the Hesse and Bavaria countryside.
Southeastern High-Speed Extended (London – Ashford & Faversham) is Train Sim World’s first route extension, and adds length, depth, and activity to one of Train Sim World 2’s most popular routes. With 45 miles of extended track (89 miles/143km total) from Dartford to Ashford International and Faversham. With a much-extended service pattern, including dedicated timetables for the BR Class 465/9, new signalling (including approach control), new overhead lines, track re-laying, and improved scenery (including a fully-explorable Ebbsfleet station). And what’s more, if you own the existing route within Train Sim World 2, you’ll get the updated version for Train Sim World 3 absolutely free with the purchase of any Train Sim World 3 bundle. More details can be found on our FAQs.
Cajon Pass is another monster of a route, and one of our favourite American freight experiences. Clocking in at 85 miles (136km) of pure American muscle, you’ll be able to operate our first ever BNSF locomotives, the ES44C4 and SD40-2, as you tackle stunning mountain ranges and harsh deserts, with some of the steepest inclines ever seen within Train Sim World.
You can find out a little more about each of them in yesterday’s Announce live stream, and we’ll of course be showing you all the routes in preview streams (more information on that below!)
As well as this, Spirit of Steam: Liverpool Lime Street – Crewe will be receiving all of Train Sim World 3’s new features (more on these tomorrow), and if you own the existing route within Train Sim World 2, you’ll get the updated version for Train Sim World 3 absolutely free with the purchase of any Train Sim World 3 bundle. More details can be found on our FAQs.
We also have some positive news for you about Add-ons Manager, which you can find out below.
All content which we plan to release for both Train Sim World 2 and Train Sim World 3 is now labelled as such within the Roadmap (including the majority of content on previous Roadmaps).
We’ve also removed a couple of items from the Roadmap, including PS4-PS5 profile transfer, and Dovetail Live Rewards. We’re not currently investigating the former, and the latter is now encompassed within the Preservation Crew section of the Roadmap.
We’re sure you have a lot of questions about Train Sim World 3 and whilst we’ll try to cover as much ground as we can with these articles and coming live streams, we also recommend you check out the FAQs on our Knowledgebase, as it has a lot of information covered within it around package options, pricing, profile transfer, and much more. We have a live stream planned for next week to answer your questions, and you can find the link below to post them (we recommend you read both today and tomorrow’s Roadmaps before doing so, though).
Train Sim World 3 - Route timetables
We asked the team working on the routes for a little insight on the timetables you can expect when you’re playing the predominantly passenger routes on Train Sim World 3.
Southeastern High-Speed Extension
First up: James, our Product Assistant, and Joe, our Associate Designer, with the Southeastern High Speed Extension.
For the extended Southeastern Highspeed route, there was a lot we wanted to do to the timetable, not only cover the basics of adding services to the new Ashford and Dartford sections, but also bring to life the existing route in a much more exciting way.
The original timetable was based on reference gathered in 2020, which in hindsight resulted in a rather bare bones atmosphere, with many services having given way to the pressures of the pandemic – hourly Javelins to Faversham, no peak-time variety etc. on top of that, there were plenty of areas which were missing AI elements that bring stations to life.
All has changed for Southeastern Highspeed in Train Sim World 3! Using reference gathered from the 2019 Working Timetable, featuring pre-pandemic service levels, an exponential increase in traffic is now present on the route, with much richer variety, and of course, expanding to reach the new endpoints on the route.
Strood station at 7am in Train Sim World 2 (above), vs the same time of day in Train Sim World 3 (below).
The full Class 395 diagrams have been accurately represented, using all the units correctly throughout the day, including coupling and un-coupling procedures, as well as peak-time oddities such as ECS moves and fast services avoiding stations. St Pancras comes to life in the rush hour, with a mere 3 platforms supporting up to 8 departures an hour, there is certainly a lot more going on now! Ashford Depot is also included, interior and all, as are the services which bring 395s in and out of the depot. Around Ashford you will also see plenty of main line AI from Tonbridge and Maidstone to the Kent Coast.
395014 leads a 12-car set from Ashford Depot ahead of the evening rush on High Speed 1 (above). Meanwhile at London, nose-to-nose trainbow action is taking place as services divide, ready to run commuters home on Britain’s Fastest Domestic train (below).
The Classic Lines are also fully fleshed out, with more trains between Rochester and Faversham, including peak expresses to Cannon Street. Services which terminated in Gillingham now run to Dover, and rush hour splitting/joining of Class 375s at Faversham also feature. You can expect to see Sheerness Branch AI at Sittingbourne, as well as Medway Valley Line AI at Strood.
North Kent has been transformed with the addition of Dartford; 4 trains per hour out of Gravesend Platform 0 to Dartford, and vice versa, with additional services that also extend to Strood in the rush hour. Dartford also sees AI services which terminate from London.
465931 departs Dartford on 1N36 to Gravesend, where after a few minutes it will turn tail and return on 1D42 back to Charing Cross.
With the inclusion of freight stock, Hoo Junction sees a lot more action, mixing in neatly between the busy passenger timetable. Aggregate, Engineering and light engine moves will be available, and yes, shunting as well!
Hoo Junction in Train Sim World 2, which required East Coastway (above) vs Hoo Junction in Train Sim World 3, “out of the box” (below).
What would a timetable be these days without a railtour or two as well? Another time we will go deep into how these layers and other Seasonal services work on this route. But for now, a little teaser…
Note: everything described above is representative of a Generation 9/PC timetable – Generation 8 timetables are still under evaluation as to the impact on performance.
Schnellfahrstrecke Kassel – Würzburg
Next, we move onto Lukas, our Senior Technical Producer, and Joe, our Associate Designer, discussing Kassel-Würzburg.
The Kassel Timetable/Service Mode has been a team effort, mixing the expertise of both Lukas and Joe. We split the work up it what we do best, with Joe handling most of the passenger services and all the AI he loves to implement and me focusing on freight. The dream team!
For this route we had an actual German freight timetable for the first time and so we really wanted to fully implement it. This presented more than just a few challenges. Since freight on this route runs at night, between 10pm and 6 am, we had faced a big problem. Until now timetables had been restricted to 24 hours and services could not cross midnight. This would have eliminated half of the services and all the fun! So, with the help of our amazing Engineering team, we spent some considerable time making this possible - so that, in the future, can also make that last 11pm service that ends on the next day. Now the freight is fully integrated, with all the planned overtaking, the parcel-intercity that runs the route at night and up to 4 freight trains following in each other down the route.
It also features some BR101 services, which lets you take the loco to full speed for over an hour and the Nightjet services, which interweave with the freight at night, forcing a lot of freight trains to wait in a siding for them to pass.
We’ve done our best to fill this timetable up to a real working day and hope everyone enjoys the bustling action in Würzburg, Fulda and Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe. Be it at night, or during the day!
The choice of trains and routes in Train Sim World 3 brought with them new challenges for the team to meet. Here are some of the unique features (which we hope you’ll enjoy!) the team have grappled with when it’s come to train set-up.
The BNSF ES44C4 locomotive looks at first glance like any other wide comfort-cab US heavy freight locomotive – but looks can be deceiving. It has a little unique trick up its sleeve. Normally the locomotive spreads its weight distribution across all six axles, however if the wheel slip systems on the train detect any reduction in grip, they can take the weight off the center axle, meaning that the full weight of the locomotive is now only on the outer four axles on each truck, massively increasing the amount of grip they have. You can see this in action with some cylinders on the sides of the trucks. Both the animation and the physical change to adhesion are simulated in Train Sim World 3.
Moving onto the ICE trains, a new feature for Train Sim World 3 is a high-speed braking system called Eddy Brakes. These are now implemented on the ICE trains and allow them to stop much more quickly, particularly in emergency conditions.
When the ICE 3 first made its appearance in Train Sim World 2, players requested that an additional screen that shows the driver what’s happening with the brake systems on the train be added. There’s a lot of information and it’s helpful to the driver to really know what’s happening along the length of the train at any given moment, so the team have worked hard to get that implemented for Train Sim World 3.
Lastly, the Passenger Information System has seen some big improvements to the amount and types of data that it can show, accommodating the more detailed on-train screens on the ICE but also adding other messages, car identifiers and so forth to other trains such as that Class 395 Javelin.
User Interface and Menu Screens
With Train Sim World 3, we’ve been given the opportunity to rewrite the rulebook to provide a better player experience. Our Senior Producer, Jordan, and Creative Director, Sam, tell us more.
It may seem obvious but when considering changes to the menu system in Train Sim World 3 we repeatedly reminded ourselves that the main thing that players will want to do is to drive or operate their trains.
When looking at an overhaul of the menus we started with two rules:
- Menus flow should be intuitive and memorable
- Players should never be wrong. If they expect to find a link or tool somewhere, it should be there
In a perfect world a player would be able to load the game, press one button and be into the action immediately. While that lofty goal isn't possible, we've introduced a couple of features to get closer to it. The quick play option will give you the choice of under or over 30 minutes. This will then randomly select a scenario or service you haven't completed depending on the length of service you chose. Don't like what you were offered? Maybe it helped you decide what you actually fancy doing. If not, you can always go again. This is ideal for players who know they want to run a train, but don't know which. We also recognised that many players work their way through one route before trying the next, so the game will give you a quick link to the last route you played. We want you playing as quickly as possible.
Of course, many of us want to operate a particular locomotive on the route of our choosing so the traditional approach to selecting a route, then service has been simplified. As much as we liked previous approaches for selecting a route or loco, with full screen images or the train model on full display, they didn't make it easier to get to the point of actually playing. This led us to using smaller tiled representations of your collection so you can see more at a glance. This approach also has a lower memory requirement which means your menus should work much faster.
Another thing we spotted was that with the advent of layers allowing trains to be run on more routes players often weren't certain what could be used where. To that end we now give you the option to select your train first, then choose the route on which you'd like to travel. As your collection grows this may yield more opportunities for you to use your favourite trains in more places.
Keeping the intuitive and simplistic goals in mind we've changed the location of the creative tools which can now be found in Creators Club. We've also given you more help when it comes to using those tools, getting rid of the text lists of vehicles, replacing them with whitebox thumbnails. Knowing the designations of 5 different kinds of freight wagons is no longer something you need. While the tools themselves haven't changed, we have given some time to removing frustrations in their operation - particularly the Scenario Planner which should now be easier to use.
There are improvements everywhere in the new menu system and we're confident you'll find it the easiest to use we've made.
Train Sim World 3 Gameplay – tutorials and scenarios
Of course, there’s no point in providing all these features if there’s no gameplay to take advantage of it. We spoke to Richard, one of our Senior Designers, about the new opportunities Train Sim World 3 provides us with.
‘Gameplay’ on Train Sim World is literally the bits of the ‘Game’ that you play. This includes the Timetable, Tutorials, Scenarios and Railway Journeys. The timetables are a realistic ‘day in the life’ of our chosen route, tutorials should teach players how to operate the included rolling stock, scenarios are unique situations on the railway that we create and railway journeys are a playlist of the content to guide players through the route.
Tutorials are always a challenge for us, as in real life drivers will spend months, if not years learning the ins and outs of the train that they operate. In a short period of time during development we need to operate multiple trains and locomotives, their quirks and figure out how to teach that to players in bite-sized and engaging chunks. For TSW3 we’ve gone even deeper than we have done in the past, teaching signalling and safety systems that allow for a more realistic and fun experience. For example, players who enable AFB and LZB on Kassel to Würzburg will have a much better time as the speed-control and signalling systems work in harmony. It was high priority for us to make sure players are aware of this. On top of this we’ve worked with experts to ensure that Cajon Pass is the most realistic US freight route we’ve made to date.
When creating scenarios, we try to focus on situations that are realistic, but not included in the timetable. These can be situations where things go wrong like stuck trains, poor weather, or unusual services that you wouldn’t find every day on the line. The improved weather and lighting in TSW3 gives us a lot more options with how we set these up and allows an increased level of realism. One example of that is a realistic wildfire scenario that we’ve been able to create on Cajon Pass.
Railfan TV and Train Sim World 3:
We know you’re all excited to find out more about Train Sim World 3. So, Railfan TV will be chock-a-block full of previews, teasers, and developer insights into how we’ve made the game. Here are some to put in your calendars (full Railfan TV schedules will continue to be published every Friday, with over 2 TSW3 streams per week before release):
- Tuesday, August 16th – Introduction to Train Sim World 3, and Q&A
- Thursday, August 18th – Kassel – Würzburg Preview
- Tuesday, August 23rd – Training Center
- Thursday, August 25th – Southeastern High Speed Extended Preview
- Thursday, September 1st – Cajon Pass Preview
We’re pleased to reveal that Add-ons Manager (formerly 64GB PS5 Add-ons limit fix) is very close to release for Train Sim World 2. Our beta team have provided positive feedback so far, and we’re putting the finishing touches to it, before rolling this out to consoles.
As well as providing a solution for our Playstation 5 players to allow them to use their whole suite of Train Sim World Add-ons, the Add-ons Manager should also reduce some crashing seen on high-density routes (particularly on 8th-gen consoles with lots of Add-ons downloaded).
Keep an eye out for this releasing before September 6th. Providing all is well, it should be released on Train Sim World 3, and on PC for Train Sim World 2 soon after.
A big thanks to all our PlayStation 5 players for remaining patient as we’ve worked on this complex issue and built out a bespoke solution. There is light at the end of the tunnel!
A big thanks to all our PlayStation 5 players for remaining patient as we’ve worked on this complex issue and built out a bespoke solution. There is light at the end of the tunnel!
Preservation Crew update:
The Preservation Crew have done a great job of adding updated features to older routes, and it’s time for the next stop on their journey.
The remaining viable work for the team (as shown on the Roadmap) will shortly be completed. Once tested and released, the team will be re-named, focusing on improving Train Sim World 3’s Training Center (more on this tomorrow!), removing route requirements from future loco Add-ons, as well as continuing content improvements for TSW3 content – we’ll share the work the team are investigating in future Roadmaps, but we’re looking forward to see what they’re able to do to improve your experience.
Train Sim World 2 routes and locomotives that have been released, unless otherwise stated, will not be re-done with TSW3 features. We want to bring our players new content that brings variety to their worlds, whilst sharpening up the experience across Train Sim World 3 gameplay.
The existing Preservation Crew content on the Roadmap will be released within Train Sim World 3 first, with releases coming into Train Sim World 2 at a later date. You can see below in the Roadmap which content we’re currently planning to release in TSW2.
TSW2 to TSW3 progress transfer
Progress uploaded to your Dovetail Live account (Content uploaded to Creators Club, Mastery, Railfan Shots) will transfer between games. You may have to redownload your uploaded Creators Club content when you first log into your Dovetail Live account on Train Sim World 3.
Progress related to your game profile (driver log, levels, liveries and scenarios not uploaded to Creators Club) are under investigation, and we will update you when we know more.
Train Sim World 3 will have new Achievements for all routes (TSW Compatible content), so Achievements will not transfer between TSW2 and TSW3. We are investigating whether progress achieved on TSW2 can contribute to Achievements in TSW3, but this falls into the game profile progress mentioned above.
After putting in a fix to solve some derailment issues players were experiencing on Spirit of Steam, we saw a few isolated examples of further derailments (this was to be expected, as a fix like this touches every route in the game.
We released a follow-up patch last week that should help with those experiencing issues (we are aware there are a few still issues, referenced if you click the link above).
Save Game/Dispatcher improvements:
The team are still investigating both large-scale and smaller-scale improvements we can make to Save Game, the Dispatcher, and problematic routes we’ve identified issues on. Work is ongoing, and we’ve done a lot of testing to ensure rogue Red Lights and AI traffic (Dispatcher) will not interrupt your experience within Train Sim World 3. There is work to be done though on providing a more long-term robust solution.
Save Game, whilst related, is a different challenge – one which requires a more drastic approach. In previous Roadmaps, we’ve talked about the difficulties we have with Save Game – which we’ve had since the release of Train Sim World in 2017 – with some players unable to continue services due to the game ‘continuing’ in the background, causing permanent red lights and SPADing.
Rather than provide an unreliable feature for a new game, we will temporarily be turning off the Save Game functionality within Train Sim World 3 whilst we investigate a way to ensure your experience isn’t impacted by it. We will open it up on a route-by-route basis when we are confident it works as intended. We’ll update in future Roadmaps when things change.
Microsoft Game Pass
A few eagle-eyed players have noticed that Train Sim World 2 goes out of Microsoft Game Pass on August 15th. As we confirmed yesterday, Train Sim World 3 Standard Edition goes into Game Pass on September 6th, with all your previous Add-ons compatible and ready to download onto it on Day 1.
There is therefore a 3-week window where a Train Sim World title will not be available to play via Game Pass.
We’re aware of four achievements which are being reported by you as unachievable in-game (Nahverkehr Dresden – Dresden Commuter, BR 187 – A Long First Trip, Spirit of Steam – Fixing a Hole, Oakville Subdivision – Master Class). The team are working on these and we’ll update you via our Update Notes when we have a fix in place.
Whilst we’ve covered a lot of ground here, we’re sure you’ll have questions.
Whilst Thursday’s stream will cover in more detail everything we’re covering in these two Roadmaps, we’re dedicating a live stream to introducing Train Sim World 3 to you all next Tuesday, where we’ll also answer as many of your questions as we can. Please submit your questions to be considered here.
DOVETAIL GAMES RELEASES
These are forthcoming add-ons that are being developed by Dovetail Games. Where details are still being finalised for a release we are including the ID code for it when possible. This will give you a good idea of what to expect. For Train Sim World 3, we’ve amended these product codes. To see what these ID codes mean you can refer to this post.
- [TSW3] [3.DBB-R7 06] Schnellfahrstrecke Kassel - Würzburg
- [TSW3] [3.NDD-R7 05] Cajon Pass: San Bernadino – Barstow
- [TSW3] [3.GCK-R7 02] Southeastern High Speed Extended: London – Ashford & Faversham
These are forthcoming add-ons that are being developed by teams outside Dovetail Games. Where details are still being finalised for a release, we are including the ID code for it when possible. This will give you a good idea of what to expect. To see what these ID codes mean you can refer to this post
- [TSW3] [DBB-L5 01] DB BR 420 Electric Multiple Unit (Hauptstrecke München-Augsburg) - Developed by TSG
Core features are larger projects. These may be significant new pieces of functionality or changes that will affect players on one or several different platforms. Often requiring more time in development this list may move more slowly than others.
- [TSW2/TSW3] Add-ons Manager (previously PS5 DLC Limit fix)
- [TSW3] Red Light / Dispatcher improvements across multiple routes (starting with Rush Hour routes and Harlem Line)
- [TSW3] Save Game functionality
Projects that players will notice but don’t fall into one of the other categories.
- [TSW2/TSW3] Rush Hour passenger system for London Commuter
- [TSW2/TSW3] Spirit of Steam manual fireman functionality
Projects that are being tackled by the Preservation Crew. Many of these upgrades will simply be adding the latest game functionality to an older route. The additions or changes in the “upgrade” will include some or all of the following: station departure boards, animated crossings, platform climb-up functionality, improved track rendering, Rush Hour passenger density and appearance, support for RailDriver, contact signaller functionality, minor fixes to scenery, minor fixes to audio, minor fixes to gameplay, minor fixes to menu items, Livery Designer compatibility and Scenario Planner expansion. We have included a ‘scale’ of the size of the work/features put into the update.
Note: Preservation Crew updates will continue after the launch of Train Sim World 3
- [TSW2/TSW3] [Tiny] Scottish Commuter
- [TSW2/TSW3] [Small] Hauptstrecke Hamburg-Lübeck, including timetable update
- [TSW2/TSW3] [Medium] Rhein-Ruhr Osten
- [TSW2/TSW3] [Small] 2022 Bakerloo timetable (600+services)
- [TSW2/TSW3] [Small] Long Island Rail Road
- [TSW2/TSW3] [Huge] Peninsula Corridor
- [TSW2/TSW3] [Huge] Oakville Subdivision
- [TSW2/TSW3] [Tiny] LGV Mediterrannée
REMOVED FROM ROADMAP
Items that have been removed from the Roadmap. This is either because they have been completed, their status having changed or the project having been suspended.
- [GCC-R7 05] Island Line 2022: BR Class 484 – developed by Rivet Games – released
- PlayStation 4 - PlayStation 5 profile transfer - not currently being worked on
- Dovetail Live rewards – encompassed within Preservation Crew updatesPlease join us tomorrow on YouTube and Twitch (Thursday, August 11th), where we’ll discuss the above (and more!) with Matt and JD at 19:00 UTC. If you have any questions, please add them to this thread, where we’ll answer as many as we can in a stream next week. Keep an eye out for Railfan TV’s schedule next week for details!
Part 2 of the Roadmap will be available tomorrow, and will talk about some of the features you can expect with Train Sim World 3. Don’t miss it!
Train Sim World 3
Train Sim World Roadmap (part 1) – 10th August 2022