Train Sim World 4

Train Sim World 4 Roadmap - Part 1: 23rd August 2023

Well, well, well! What a day yesterday was. Train Sim World 4, with a whole slew of new content, improvements, and features, hits on Tuesday September 26th, 2023! Or, for those who want to get in as soon as possible, you can join our Early Access starting from Thursday, September 21st with a pre-order of Train Sim World 4 Deluxe or Special editions.
In case you missed our Dovetail Direct – Train Sim World keynote, you can watch the whole thing in all its glory below.
If you’d like a potted summary of everything that was announced, here’s a quick (but still pretty long) list:
  • Vorarlberg: Lindau - Bludenz
    Our first Austrian route, and first border-crossing, featuring the ÖBB 4024 Talent 1
  • Antelope Line: Los Angeles – Lancaster
    Challenging canyon terrain meets the hustle-and-bustle of Los Angeles with the unique F125 locomotive, with Rotem cars
  • East Coast Main Line: Peterborough – Doncaster
    The perfect racetrack for the high-speed LNER Azuma (and railtours…) to stretch its legs
  • Flying Scotsman (Deluxe and Special Editions only)
    The world’s most famous Steam locomotive takes a Centenary Railtour on ECML
  • Railpool BR 193 Vectron (Deluxe and Special Editions only)
    Coming to Nahverkehr Dresden (which will be upgraded to TSW4 feature set), the ‘computer on wheels’ will be a great addition to German railfans’ collections
  • Scenario Planner 2.0
    Chained paths, custom start times and weathers, portal support for AI trains, new UI, and more!
  • Livery Designer 2.0
    Undo/Redo, text entry, new fonts, toggling AI livery usage, 1,000-layer limit, and more!
  • Photo Mode
    Pause the game to take the perfect screenshots, with adjustable camera settings, filters, and enhancements, to populate your in-game Gallery
  • Creators Club improvements
    Filter by content you own, and a new UI
  • New Scoring System
    Rewarding experienced drivers for driving well (and with safety systems enabled), with all-new Platinum medal tier
  • Ease of Access improvements
    Locomotive difficulty tiering, improved player assists, simpler HUD (plus new mini-HUD), automatic coupling, Class 323 and 8F in Training Center, and improved key mapping
  • Improved Overhead Line Rendering
  • New rain on windscreen effects
  • Haptics for controllers
    Feel vibrations for key moments, and use the PlayStation DualSense controllers’ light bar and controller audio for signals and safety systems respectively
  • Volumetric fog
    Improves the depth of the graphics
  • Free Roam Mode
    Spawn trains anywhere at any time, set paths where you like, use custom formations – the world is your sandbox to use your whole collection as you choose in a single session
  • The PC Editor (Beta)
    Access our version of the Unreal Engine 4 toolset, the same tools our teams use. Create gameplay, trains, even your own routes!
Whew! Well, prepare yourself for the longest roadmap ever written, currently sat at 15,000+ words, with so much it in we had to split it into two parts! Today’s and tomorrow’s Roadmaps will cover all of the above in a little more detail, checking in with the teams who have made them to drill into what makes them special. We’ll be talking about the routes and locos as well as the OHLE, suspension, and rain windscreen graphical improvements today, as well as talking about some of the things we know you’ll have questions about!
Here’s our new Train Sim World 4 Roadmap, detailing what you can expect from us over the coming months. Please note, this is for all new content – we provide an update on other projects further down in the Roadmap:
You can find out more on our shiny new webpage, including details on pre-order, discounts, and frequently asked questions.

Railfan TV schedule

Alongside our Roadmap and future articles, we will of course be showcasing all Train Sim World 4 has to offer via our live streams. Here are some dates to mark down in your calendars before the game's release on September 26th. – all streams will start at 18:00 UTC and be available on our YouTube and Twitch channels.
Livestreaming Schedule
  • August 24th: The TSW4 Roadmap (Matt & JD)
  • August 29th: Intro to TSW4 Features (Matt & JD)
  • August 31st: Vorarlberg Preview (Matt, Lukas & Alex)
  • September 5th: PC Editor Showcase (Matt, Will K & Alex)
  • September 7th: Antelope Valley Line Preview (Matt & Jamie)
  • September 12th: Creative Tools Previews (Matt, Cat & Alex)
  • September 14th: Dresden and Vectron Preview (Matt & Jan)
  • September 18th: Free Roam Mode Preview (Matt, Lukas & JD)
  • September 20th: ECML & Scotsman Preview (Matt, Jamie & Joe)
  • September 25th: Train Sim World 4 Summary Stream (Alex & Ben)
(Timings and details of streams may change)

Train Sim World 4

Let's take a moment to take in these beautiful key arts made by our wonderful Creative team!

Vorarlberg: Lindau – Bludenz

Train Sim World arrives in Austria! Here to talk all about Vorarlberg, and why we’re excited to bring in a new country, is Lukas Klimczyk, our Senior Technical Producer.
For those unfamiliar with the route, why should players be excited?
LK: "It’s a new country, we’re going into Austria and that means stunning vistas, new trains and new operators! It’s also a border crossing route so one end is in Germany and the other is in Austria, so you’ll see infrastructure and other scenery change as you cross the border."
What challenges come with creating content for a new country?
"New countries are much more of a challenge because it’s important to capture what makes them unique, this can be the obvious things like different trains and signals to less obvious things like the types of track clips and sleepers used, the types of foliage and the architecture of buildings. Operating practices might be different to what’s come before, and it’s important to not let yourself get fooled into thinking similar things are similar, everything must be checked and understood. The team spent a lot of time trying to understand the railways of a country just as well as the railfans would, what’s important to them and what really makes the railway and landscape represent that country."
What would a normal run look like on the route from end-to-end?
"Starting at Lindau you’re in Germany on a beautiful little island, as you progress off the island you’ll turn sharply and shortly make the crossing over to Austria, which is extremely understated as in reality. There’s simply a bridge, and you’ll see Germany overhead catenary poles one side, and Austrian on the other! Continuing the journey you will reach Riedenburg where the track forks, at this point you can head towards Switzerland along the branch line, though only as far as Lustenau where the Sbahn ends, and not actually into Switzerland.
Continuing on the mainline the track is now on a gradient and you’re running alongside some breathtaking mountain-scapes on one side until Feldkirch when the journey takes a hard turn up into the mountains for the ascent to Bludenz. Driving the ÖBB 4024 Talent 1 train is straight forward but you’ll have a lot to keep an eye out for with around 30 stations along that journey!"
What has been the most challenging part of developing the route?
"We felt that one of the most important things to get right on this route was the landscape with the stunning mountains around you. Going to an area like Austria and not doing justice to the views would be a waste. We’ve been using LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data for the landscapes of routes now for a year or so but a lot of the detail in that super high definition terrain just gets lost to the distance and you can’t really see it as well as you would hope.
The key area of development for the team has been an intelligent landscape material, which is responsible for the colours used on the ground, that reacts to the data present in LIDAR terrain and can be much more precise and detailed in its rendition of that landscape via the textures and colours shown. This means that all the detail, shape and form of the landscape is visible from a long distance away and beautifully captures the stunning vistas of Austria."
Are there any particular points of interest for players to keep an eye out for?
"The island at Lindau is a particularly beautiful start to your journey, and while it’s understated in reality the border crossing is a notable feature as well. Beyond that, take in the mountains and several areas where the railway is really close to some awesome high detail terrain courtesy of the LIDAR and new landscape material. The route is beautiful to look at from start to finish!
Another key feature of the route that we’ve implemented is neutral sections in the overhead wiring, where your train will momentarily lose power and then get it back again on the other side. Learn to navigate these, it’s easy particularly in modern trains but something interesting to observe as you drive along the line!"
What unique features can players look forward to?
"This is our first Austrian route so while the trains are quite similar to their German counterparts the signals are a little different. It’s relatable so if you’re familiar with German signals it won’t take you long to pick up the differences but it’s an interesting system and just like the German system it fully supports allowing drivers to drive without needing to learn the route as much as say a UK route might.
For gameplay, in addition to the Talent 1 train we’ve also included the DB BR 185.2 to support freight traffic and there’s even some gameplay for the Railpool Vectron as well!"
What is your favourite part of the route?
"For me, it’s anywhere I can see those mountains. It’s a key difference from any other route in Train Sim World and a joy to see with all the detail and distant scenery that is present. Even better in those moments when it’s really close up and you can see that detail really holding up to close viewing."
Describe the route in three words.
  • Stunning: the views will take your breath away
  • Busy: lots to do with a range of traffic, including some interesting layers from other packs as well
  • Different: it’s not like any of the routes we’ve done before!"

Antelope Line: Los Angeles – Lancaster

Peninsula Corridor meets Cajon Pass in our new West Coast US route, featuring Metrolink for the first time. Here to add a little bit of Hollywood razzamatazz is Craig Fowler, our Senior Artist:
For those unfamiliar with the route, why should players be excited?
CF: "Antelope Valley takes players on a journey through America’s sunny state with some of the most unique stations ever featured in Train Sim World. From the bustling commuter hub of LA Union, the wild west themed Vincent Grade – Acton, to the pastel artwork of Santa Clarita. Connected through a breathtaking path through the deserts, mountains, and lush planes of California. There truly is no other route that feels as special."
What would a normal run look like on the route from end-to-end?
"A normal run would see the players working their way through the built-up areas before slowly edging their way into the mountains. With each passing station, the player takes another step towards leaving the busy city life behind and venturing out into the rugged landscape. Crawling through the valley until finally reaching the bustle of the city once again."
What has been the most challenging part of developing the route?
"The hardest part for us is always doing the natural world justice in replicating these stunning locations. With Antelope Valley we have gone to great lengths to ensure that our 3D meshes, foliage and landscape materials capture the essence of the location."
What have Metrolink been like to work with?
"Metrolink are great partners to work with. We have engaged in many conversations and shared resources to ensure the branding is represented accurately."
Are there any particular points of interest for players to keep an eye out for?
"The Los Angeles River is an iconic spot featured in many Hollywood classics. Players might recognise the setting of many a car chase in the dried-up concrete basin. Or if they’re feeling adventurous, the valleys are open for the player to explore. Strange sightings have been reported over the years that led some to believe there is more going on than meets the eye."
What unique features can players look forward to?
"Among the unique stations and breathtaking views, Antelope valley features brand new foliage and landscape materials that make it feel like no other route in Train Sim World."
What is your favourite part of the route?
"It's hard to pick a specific location because the whole route really is superb. However, rolling into Vincent Grade Acton as the sun is setting is a hard one to beat."
Describe the route in three words.
"Conquered - Lush - Desert"
Thank you Craig, now let's turn up the speed...

East Coast Main Line: Doncaster – Peterborough

The British racetrack route is here! Raise your pantographs, and Azuma your way across the East Coast Main Line (we promised not to use that pun any more, but oh well). James Lewis, our Marketing Coordinator and avid train enthusiast, has more:
For those unfamiliar with the route, why should players be excited?
JL: "It doesn’t get more modern than this, being in a state-of-the-art high-speed train and rapidly getting up to speed is a thrill and offers its own unique challenges. I always like the feeling of “I am in charge of managing hundreds of tons, hundreds of people, at 125 mph”, and this is no European line with fancy TVM or LZB as a guiding hand, there’s a station in the middle of nowhere and you need to know when to stop for it.
What would a normal run look like on the route from end-to-end?
"There are several service patterns which run along this section of the ECML, a longer-distance express may run non-stop between the endpoints, letting you get to speed and stay there, but other services will call at the intermediate stations, offering a nice variety. And if you’re in something which can’t do 125mph, like a railtour with a particular locomotive, expect to pull over into the several passing loops and let LNER services overtake!"
What has been the most challenging part of developing the route?
"My experience in this arena comes from talking to various people throughout the studio, but as can often be the case, finding the most up to date reference is a common challenge, especially on a route such as this, where most cab rides are either from 20 years ago or timelapsed! There are also many details to consider on routes like this with big intercity stations, lots of stopping markers, waiting points and shops – and with complex stations comes lots of junctions, demanding detailed OHLE throughout, it’s quite the sight to behold."
What have LNER been like to work with?
"LNER have been very forthcoming and assisted us greatly – providing branding designs and livery details to exactly recreate on our Azuma model. Along with Hitachi we were also able to access a Class 801 directly in the depot, for lots of photo taking and audio recording. A big thanks to everyone involved, including our licensing team!"
Are there any particular points of interest for players to keep an eye out for?
"I would say so, and be on the ball because most things will race by pretty quickly! Lots of detail has been crammed into the route, we have open shops on stations, authentic OHLE gantries, the famed Mallard sign on Stoke Bank, as well of course as bigger areas such as Doncaster Works, the Hitachi depot, lots of bridges, and some quite interesting level crossings."
What unique features can players look forward to?
"If you want to talk unique, then I must mention Newark Flat Crossing! Being the last remaining of its kind on the National network, flat crossings are where rails cross over each other without being a junction, it’s like a level crossing, but both bits are for trains! Just north of Newark Northgate station the ECML crosses with the line between Nottingham and Lincoln, so for Midland Main Line owners, in-between LNER racing north and south, you can spot 158s heading east and west!"
"Another unique feature is attributed to the ECML’s history with speed. Back in the British Rail days, across Stoke Bank between Peterborough and Grantham, the line was upgraded with a 5-aspect signalling system, adding Flashing Green before Green itself. The intent was to permit high speed running, giving the driver enough time to safely stop for a red up ahead. Ultimately the test never went anywhere, but the signals remain to this day, and can unofficially support running at 140mph (the record being 161!)"
What is your favourite part of the route?
"For me, it has to be Peterborough station, it’s something of a spotting haven, not only do you have stopping LNER traffic, and freight trundling by, but Azumas will also fly through on the down fast and through platform 3 as per reality, as several LNER services run non-stop between London and York. Let’s also not forget the appearance of Thameslink terminating throughout the day, and East Midlands traffic – who knows, you might even see a railtour!"
Describe the route in three words.
"Speed – Stylish – Cool!"
Now, I heard there was a special birthday recently...

Flying Scotsman

Celebrating 100 years of being, well, a legend of the railways. The Flying Scotsman comes to Train Sim World as part of TSW4’s Deluxe Edition. Getting us all a little hot under the collar is our Community Manager Jamie and Senior Audio Designer Adam.
Have we managed to source authentic audio? Adam: “Yes - we hired out the Flying Scotsman for 2 days on the East Lancs Railway to get photos and audio recording.”
How excited are we to bring Scotsman to Train Sim World in its centenary year?
Jamie: "Very Excited, to bring one of the most famous locomotives in the world into Train Sim World and during its Century is just great, something I have always wanted to see in game as a LNER Fan myself."
Is the locomotive in its original or preserved state, and what does that mean for the player?
"The loco is in preserved condition as it currently from the 2016 and 2022 overhauls. BR Brunswick Green in A3 Condition with Corridor Tender, Smoke Deflectors and Modern Safety Systems. This means you can run the loco on all the UK Modern routes for railtours in Free Roam or Scenario Planner. But can also run it on the WSR and also BR era routes for the livery it is in."
What is it like to drive?
"It is brilliant to drive, really get the sense of speed and power with the engine. And gives you the chance to drive the world famous machine."
What has been the most challenging part of the locomotive to build?
"Scotsman is the biggest steam locomotive so far we have brought into the game, and I think one of the more challenging areas is getting the finer details and style right as Scotsman has had so many variations over the years in livery’s, boilers and tenders."
Are there any particularly exciting scenarios?
"Yes there is, have you ever wanted to go and try for Flying Scotsmans Record Breaking run? Well now you can we challenge you to get to 100 MPH, just as she did back in 1934."
Scotsman is currently on its tour to celebrate its 100th year. How can players join in the fun?
"With Scenario Planner and Free Roam you can take Flying Scotsman round the world to celebrate her centenary, and even recreate runs she has done during her lifetime on the rails. Also share screenshots and videos with us on our channels on how you are celebrating the Centenary."
Describe Scotsman in 3 words.
"Fast, Famous, Fantastic"

Railpool BR 193 Vectron

In the worst kept secret in TSW history, the ‘computer on wheels’ is coming to Deluxe Edition, too. We know you’re excited, and so is Lukas again with a little more information about an iconic German locomotive.
Tell us a little bit about what makes the Vectron special.
Lukas: "The Vectron is an ultra modern powerhouse of a freight locomotive, it’s got a unique look to it and that just all makes it really fun to drive."
What is it like to drive?
"You’ve to a lot of power at your command with the Vectron so it’s responsive and capable, it’s also a mobile computer with lots of functionality implemented on the screens as per the prototype as well."
What kind of operations can players expect when driving the locomotive?
"This locomotive is primarily used for freight in this form, so you’ll be using it to haul freight on both the Vorarlberg and Dresden routes. However, we have included a wide range of fun formations for Scenario Planner and Free Roam that include using the IC coaches from the BR 101 pack to let you use it in a passenger configuration as well."
What has been the most challenging part of the locomotive to build?
"There are extensive computer screens implemented on this, along with a very detailed representation of the physics of the train, capturing all of that effectively has been a challenge and required multiple trips back to the prototype courtesy of RailPool and Locomotion to allow us to really capture the audio and the feel of this train well."
Are there any operational quirks you need to keep an eye on?
"Take the time to explore the computer screens, the Vectron is the Multi System version and has the capability to run in both Austria and Germany. Your headlights are set up on the screens too, there really is a ton of stuff to find there. You can cut out traction motors to save power as well, just as per the real locomotive."
Have we managed to source authentic audio?
"With thanks to RailPool and Locomotion we were able to get access to their Vectron locomotives on two occasions, capturing both static and running sounds including running at speed on the mainline. There’s also a particularly exquisite horn on this as well!"
Are there any particularly exciting scenarios?
"We added an extra scenario for the Vectron to run on Vorarlberg in addition to making it work in Timetable mode, a really awesome combination having this loco on that stunning route!"
What upgrades will Nahverkehr Dresden receive to support the release of the Vectron?
"The biggest part of the upgrade is that the Dresden route is getting the new skies and lighting from “TOD4” as introduced in Train sim World 3, something players have been asking for on as many routes as possible since we introduced it."
Describe the Vectron in 3 words.
  • Modern: one of the most modern trains in the game at this point
  • Powerful: lots of power to command!
  • Detailed: a lot of highly detailed facets and nuances to the recreation of this locomotive to discover!"

Blackpool-Preston-Ormskirk (Just Trains)

  • Caption: Pleasure Beach theme park dominates the lineside as this Class 142 Pacer bounces away from Blackpool South
They’ve teased, taunted, and given us a veritable rollercoaster of clues. But we’re delighted to announce that Just Trains’ first Train Sim World route will be Blackpool-Preston-Ormskirk!
The team at Just Trains are excited to announce the route we've been working on for the last 18 months is Blackpool-Preston-Ormskirk! This covers 47 miles, spanning from Ormskirk in the South to Blackpool and Burn Naze in the North with Preston as the bustling centre for this detailed and immersive 1980's route. The route has a total of 19 stations with 16 in service and 3 disused.
Here are some of the details of the new route, and some all-new first shots of the route, from the team at Just Trains.
  • Caption: A Class 40 whisks along the embankment between Singleton and Weeton in a lucky patch of sun, covering a turn usually worked by a DMU.
  • Caption: A Class 31 stands in Preston station on a murky evening whilst working a returning ballast train from Kirkham Civil Engineers Sidings, it would reverse in Preston station to access Ladywell sidings.
  • Caption: This shows the freight only Burn Naze branch at the north, both Blackpool North and Blackpool South stations to the West, Preston on the West coast main line in East and Ormskirk in the south where it meets the top end of the Merseyrail track coming from Liverpool.
  • Caption: With the mist closing in on a cold November Evening a Class 47 restarts a northbound freight away from a brief stop at Preston.
  • Caption: A derelict scene as the forlorn signal box at St Annes is passed by a Class 142 Pacer bound for Ormskirk.
Preston Station is the focus and is located on the West Coast Main Line. The station in our era features 6 through and 2 bay platforms. No matter what time of day or night you visit you'll always find action here, with passenger, freight and parcels services all making regular visits. Departing Preston heading North our route leaves the West Coast Main Line at Fylde Junction and turns west, bound for the seaside! Have your buckets and spades at the ready!
Following a swift run through the little used station of Salwick, you will soon find yourself at Kirkham & Wesham, an interesting island platform, quickly followed by a Civil Engineers yard and Kirkham Tip, both locations producing interesting services on the route. At Kirkham North Junction the line splits. Our route features both the winding, single track line to Blackpool South as well as the much busier main line to Blackpool North. We'll share more details on the unique personas of both these lines in due course, but needless to say they both offer a very different experience! 
  • Caption: The eight platforms of Blackpool North are busy throughout the day with this scene showing a DMU special waiting to return holidaymakers home to West Yorkshire, whilst a Class 47 hauled train has just arrived in platform one. To the right there is a Class 08 shunter which is used on pilot duties at various points throughout the day.
Jumping back to Preston we can catch a train for the 15-mile journey to Ormskirk, leaving the West Coast Main Line at Farington Curve Junction, this single-track line provides a different experience to the other parts of our route, running almost entirely through charming rural countryside, broken only by the stops at Croston, Rufford and Burscough Junction stations before arriving at Ormskirk where the British Rail line meets the electrified Merseyrail Network. Fortunately, the tracks are not physically joined together!
  • Caption: St. Annes station in a terrible state of repair, during the demolition of its extensive station buildings
  • Caption: Preston Station, North End with the grand entrance to the right accessed from the road bridge. Platform seven is visible on the left, at this time only used by freight trains.
Driving our British Railways Provincial liveried Class 142 Pacer, a full-length run from Ormskirk to Blackpool South will give you a very atmospheric 60-minute drive through a constantly changing landscape as you head through the City of Preston and onwards to the Fylde Coast. On top of all this we've also added the 3-mile line from Poulton-Le-Fylde to Burn Naze, a freight only branch that will allow for yet more variety within this ever-changing route. 
Please note: Screenshots may include content from other add-ons via layers or substitution.
  • Caption: Backpool North and its concrete concourse, passengers make their way towards their trains taking them away from Blackpool and the Fylde. 
Just Trains have also just posted an In-Development article for Blackpool-Preston on their own site, with new screenshots too!

Improved Overhead Line Rendering

We’ve been giving our Overhead Lines some love in Train Sim World 4, increasing their visibility within the game. Here's our Technical Artist Paul Klingberg:
How have we improved the rendering?
We have detailed overhead wires modelled at a very high accuracy. Unfortunately, one could not really see them, as they are so thin that they seem to disappear after a very short distance and created a lot of flickering. We improved this visibility without making them unrealistically thick so players can actually see their complexity with much less flickering on the lines.
Please Note: This effect is only implemented on the routes that are released after TSW 4 and Training Center.

Rain Window Effects

We listened to your feedback on our rain-on-windscreen graphics, and are giving them a glorious update. We just know you’ll be praying for rain after release! Technical Artist Paul is back for more information on this:
What's new with this change?
Paul: "The new weather effects on windscreens and other train windows are now much more detailed and have a higher definition. In the previous version it was very washed out, stutter and visibly low resolution. All droplets moved at the same speed and it looked very synthetic overall. Now they show discernible droplets and snowflakes that land on the window and moving droplets show streaks trailing behind them. The animation is also much smoother and natural. Overall, it's much less looking like jelly."
Please Note: this effect is only implemented on routes released with or after TSW4, and Training Center.

Character Updates and New Dioramas

It's time we gave our lovely characters of Train Sim World more ways for them to express themselves - so we built new dioramas for them to appear in across the world, such as queues for a lunch-time snack, and sitting around enjoying a coffee in groups. These events should respect normal times too, so don't expect to find them being social into the late hours of the evening.
You will also notice new handheld items, such as luggage, briefcases, coffee cups and phones - all to help build the immersion of the world in different ways!

New Köln-Aachen timetable

Here’s something we’ve been keeping in our back-pockets. We’ve been upgrading the Köln-Aachen timetable as well as New York-Trenton! With all the details, here’s Joe.
Joe: "A new timetable has been created from scratch for the Köln-Aachen route! I’ve wanted to make a new timetable for this route since London to Brighton. An opportunity came up with the New Journeys Pack (NJP) but what I had planned was much bigger than that…"
"A few service patterns created for the NJP have been taken across, which are S6, S11, S12, RE 8 & RB 27. These have been extended into the next morning based on the longer timetable tech first used on KWG."
"Everything else, is brand new! S19, RE 1, RE 9, to name a few. There’s also bunch of new freight services based on rail life timings/destinations. Like what you might be used to on BRO. As well as a lot of new AI for Köln Hbf, Horrem, Düren and Aachen Hbf, which make the route seem very busy, especially in Köln!"
We can confirm these will be a post-release update, and we’ll update you of our progress with screenshots in future Roadmaps.

Update on Previous Roadmap Items

A quick update on some of the things we’ve mentioned on previous Roadmaps. Whilst we are hoping to release the following for Train Sim World 4’s launch day on September 26th, they are subject to QA approval.

Northeast Corridor: New York – Trenton additional timetable

An update on the long-awaited New York-Trenton timetable improvements, which we are happy to confirm this will be available for Train Sim World 4’s launch for all TSW4 players. We will be aiming to bring this to Train Sim World 3 at a later date. Back to Joe!
"Joe: Having now completed all Amtrak, NJT and LIRR traffic, I moved on to freight services. Unfortunately, most of these will not be playable due to the safety systems. You would not have much of an idea what is happening ahead of you. They will remain as AI to be seen through the day."
"However… there was one we can make playable. ME-2, Specifically its shunting duties at Jersey Avenue. This service operates entirely in unsignalled yard areas which allows it to be playable, and it’s quite a fun one!"
"The next task was to add static traffic to various yards along the line, including Croxton Yard which has quite a noticeable difference where driving over the bridge at Secaucus!"
"There are also a few lines that cross the NEC that will have traffic, such as at Croxton and the Lehigh Line, which crosses the NEC between Newark Penn and Newark Airport."
"All in all, the route is quite a bit more lively now!"

Southeastern High-Speed Route Improvements

With the release of the Class 700 earlier this year, we wanted to make some improvements to the route to coincide with it. With the details, here’s James Lewis:
JL: "Hello everyone, James here, and while I’ve been busy working with and enjoying Train Sim World 4, I’m also glad to be able to take some time to talk Southeastern Highspeed, like I need much excuse – but it’s good to have one! If you cast your minds back to the June and July roadmaps, before the Class 700/0 released, we announced that we were working with one of our testers and trainee Editor users, Daisy, to add the Thameslink-specific stop markers onto the route.
However, as I have hinted here and there, that is not all! As a mini passion project between myself and Daisy, we devised a list of other achievable scenery improvements which we wanted to see, and now we can reveal that, alongside the new markers, you can expect to find the following, bonus, updates to Southeastern Highspeed in Train Sim World 4!"
Here are the changes:
  • Added Thameslink stopping boards at stations between Rainham and Dartford
  • Corrected/added/improved the location/quality of other conventional stopping boards
  • Added DOO monitors where they were missing
  • Added CIS boards to Rainham Platform 0
  • Improved lighting at Gillingham & Ashford depots, as well as Faversham sidings
  • Added extra scenery items at Ashford depot, including depot protection system lights
  • Added new clock assets to Gillingham station, depot and Dartford sidings
  • Improved the look of Northfleet station platforms & fencing
  • Added missing foliage at Springhead Junction (where HS1 joins the North Kent Line)
  • Added missing feeder substation at Springhead Junction
  • Added lighting and some gantry assets around Hoo Junction & Staff Halts
  • Fixed instances of passengers not boarding and alighting trains at Higham station
  • Added missing 15 and 20mph speed boards on Rochester Bridge Junction
  • Replaced container crates near Purfleet on HS1 with buses, as per reality
  • Replaced high-rise building at HS1 Medway Viaduct with a more reasonable alternative
  • Fixed a misplaced asset which was covering tracks outside Ashford
  • Removed invisible walls which blocked on-foot Ashford depot movement
  • Added a prompt to bypass and access the fenced-off footbridge at Ashford
  • Plus some all-new easter eggs!
  • Feline the detail, can you find Gandalf, Tripod, Daisy and Phoebe...?
  • Embark on some Valley Viewfinding to pass the time...
  • Master the meta, it’s Train Sim-ception...
Please Note: stopping board changes are visual only, and may not represent where the timetable instructions tell you to stop, and, markers are placed based on where research/knowledge shows them to be from the past few years, more recent changes like the moved Thameslink board at Strood Platform 2 is not represented.
JL: "I wasn’t just going to list them out without giving you some eye candy, but I think I’d be put in bandwidth jail if I shoved all of this in using screenshots! So, we have something even better, it’s slideshow time:"
We can confirm these will be available on Train Sim World 4 for all players on launch day.

Niddertalbahn Bonus Content

Before we let James go, he’s also going to give a first look at a little something you can look forward to, coming to everyone’s favourite branchline, Niddertalbahn, in Train Sim World 4.
JL: "Wasn’t even halfway out the door before being called back, but it’s worth it! To the eagle-eyed of you who already spotted the little tease for a few seconds in Dovetail Direct, well done, but for those that didn’t, let’s talk DB BR 628…"
"Set in the 1990s, the Niddertalbahn route comes with the BR 628 in its contemporary White & Mint livery, which was perfect for that route, and of course Linke Rheinstrecke which released around the same time. However, German (and now Austrian!) routes are also set in the modern day, and wouldn’t it be perfect if we had a DB Regio Red BR 628 for them…"
"…well thanks to the team at TSG, we do! Coming as a free bonus within Niddertalbahn – the modern condition DB BR 628! Mint has been painted over with red and subtle details have been changed inside and out to reflect the real-life progression of these units through the years."
"We will share more about it in due course, but we feel it will come in handy for your modern Free Roaming and Scenario Planning adventures, and of course, it’s bound to turn up in a layer or two at some point…"
We can confirm this bonus livery will be available in Train Sim World 4 for all Niddertalbahn owners on launch day.

Train Sim World 4 launch mega-update

As well as the above, there will be a significant update to existing content for Train Sim World 4 players, covering a multitude of routes. We’ll go into detail with the release notes, but we’ve called out some of the things we think you’ll be interested in, and some of the routes that are getting larger improvements.
  • Southeastern High-Speed Graphics and Signage Improvements
    (see ‘Southeastern High Speed route improvements’ section above)
  • Northeast Corridor: New York – Trenton Additional Timetable
    (see ‘Northeast Corridor: New York – Trenton additional timetable’ section above)
  • Nahverkehr Dresden Route Improvements
    Upgrade to TSW4 feature-set (including TSW3’s TOD4 lighting and volumetric skies)
  • Free Bonus Livery for Niddertalbahn
    A modern condition DB BR 628 painted in red!
  • DB BR 187 – Audio Improvements
  • Edinburgh-Glasgow Route Improvements (graphical)
There are many other smaller improvements we’ll provide more information for at the time – and these updates will be released for Train Sim World 4 only (with the exception of the Trenton timetable, for which our intention is to release at a later date).
We plan to release patches between now and TSW4’s release to address some issues with achievements and tutorials on TSW3. These will be ported to TSW4 as well.

Partner Programme check-in

As well as the exciting news Just Trains’ Blackpool-Preston-Ormskirk route is coming soon, here’s a quick update on our other partner developers.
As you can see, we’ve added a few new pieces of content for Rivet Games onto the Train Sim World 4 Roadmap, as well as a new loco from a developer who is new to Train Sim World. We’ll update you in future Roadmaps what they’re working on!
Our remaining Partners (ATS, Union Workshop, TSG) continue to work on their projects, but we don’t have a timeline for their content at this stage.

Upcoming Features & Improvements

Formation Designer will not be available on the release day for Train Sim World 4, and will come in a future update.
Suspension Improvements will be available for the the Class 323 on Train Sim World 4's launch, which is available to everyone via the Training Centre, with additional trains to recieve the improvements in a future update.
We'll provide more accurate information on time lines when we can, but for now enjoy these developer deep dives that share more information on what you can expect.

Suspension Improvements

Only swaying side to side is so TSW3. Within Train Sim World 4, we’ve focused on improving some of the vertical sensations caused by the train’s suspension. Shaun Bailey, our Physics Software Engineer, has the details:
What changes have we made to the suspension in TSW4?
SB: "The main focus of the updated suspension has been on a more physically accurate spring model with a much smoother and more controlled damping effect. This overall allows for a much bouncier vehicle with less jittering that was present on some vehicles before. There has also been a lot of work into allowing for a large amount of flexibility in the spring, requiring work into balancing the vehicle correctly, regardless of the springs’ strengths or the axle and bogie positions."
"To take advantage of these improvements, slight dips in the track at rail gaps and junctions have been added. These will give the player a slight jolt when traveling over, similar to the real-life effect. The improved springs allow for these to be implemented without throwing the vehicle off the track. There have also been some minor changes to the unevenness of the track to allow for variations at different scales (distances)."
Why is this important for the player?
"When playing TSW, it is important that the player feels like they are in a real-life train or watching one from the platform. The improved suspension steps the simulation in this direction, allowing for better immersion. It also brings more life into the vehicles, with the vehicle body, bogie, and axles have a more dynamic behaviour and feeling a bit bouncier than before. There will be lots of effects that players will be able to observe that have their own real-life counterparts, including:
  • Body roll (the vehicle tilting slightly when traveling around a curve)
  • Vertical bouncing
  • Nose dips/rises during braking/acceleration
  • Body movement during adding/removing weight"
What difference will a player feel when operating a train in TSW4?
"Overall, the player will feel a bouncier and more dynamic ride will operating the trains. How much so will depend on the vehicle being driven, many have bogies attached to reduce the effect of variations in the track on the diver and passengers, and this will be the same in TSW. However, other vehicles have directly connected axles which results in a much bumpier ride, both in real-life and in TSW."
What has been the most challenging part of developing the feature?
"TSW has a very wide range of locos that have large array of variations, all of which need to be accounted for when developing and tweaking the suspension. This is then amplified by the very delicate nature of physics engines in games and the need for a solution that works for every vehicle, all of which are very complex with numerous moving parts that need to be working in tandem with each other. Tuning these vehicles can also be very challenging, it is not enough to simply take the parameters that from the real-life vehicle, as experiencing the bump and variations through physical touch is very different to watching it through a screen. So very careful consideration to the precise tuning of the vehicles is needed to make it feel as if the player was actually there."

Formation Designer

The term “formation” (otherwise known as consists) refers to a sequence of rail vehicles that make up a “train”, so the exact freight cars or coaches, the locomotives and what order they’re in. Let's hand over to Matt Peddlesden to talk more on this new feature coming to Train Sim World 4, which we'll be bringing you after release.
What is Formation Designer?
MP: "The term “formation” refers to a sequence of rail vehicles that make up a “train”, so the exact freight cars or coaches, the locomotives, what order they’re in, if they’ve got loads in them and so forth. Formation Designer is a tool that allows you to create these formations."
Where can players use their new formations?
"Formation designer will let you make formations that you can use in both the Scenario Planner and Free roam modes, so you can mix and match stock from all your library of trains and then use it to create even more varied and interesting content."
Are there any limits to what players can make?
"Because Train Sim World creates a world of realistic physics and train behaviours, your formations will largely be held to the same constraints. You can’t mismatch couplings, you can’t mismatch braking systems and even the electric connectivity used down the train is factored in to the simulation. If any of these things don’t match you will end up with a train that simply won’t work in various ways (often that you can’t get it moving). To avoid confusion, the designer understands what the compatibility of vehicles is and will only offer options that will work as you build the formation out.
Unfortunately an 'off the rails' equivalent isn’t really possible in this kind of system because it would essentially mean replacing the entire physics model with a very basic generic one and we definitely don’t see that as something players would prefer."
What has been the most challenging part of developing the feature?
"It’s a big system to build, understanding the complexities of which vehicles can work together and then creating a User Interface to manage a relatively complex task of adding, moving and re-arranging vehicles, understanding cargo loads and even allowing for formations to contain other formations. There’s a lot going on in this tool and it unlocks a lot of freedom for players to really get the most out of their collection."

Wrap Up

Where did the last 8000 words go?! There’s a lot to exciting news to take in, we'll have a Part 2 of this article releasing tomorrow which will detail more on the features and upcoming tools, and then tomorrow evening on Thursday 24th, our Roadmap stream to answer your questions! Speaking of which, here's a link to our Q&A thread for tomorrow - So phone up and tell your friends about it!
Head over to our Train Sim World 4 FAQ page, and find out more on our Train Sim World 4 Website, including details on pre-order, discounts, and other commonly asked questions.
Train Sim World 4
23 Aug
Train Sim World 4 Roadmap - Part 1: 23rd August 2023