Train Simulator 2014 is the sixth edition of Dovetail Games' (formerly RailSimulator.com) popular train sim for PC operating systems. Released in 2013, it enables locomotive enthusiasts to travel of a variety of rail routes, meeting schedules along the way.
Once known as RailWorks, the franchise succeeded EA's Rail Simulator and includes real life European and North American routes with stunning scenery. Furthermore, the editor mode allows gamers to create their own routes and share them with fellow train lovers on the Steam Community.
Getting up and running
If you are a seasoned train simulator user then you'll be fully versed in how to control the trains on offer. However, for new users there is a tutorial that goes through all the basics.
Factors such as changing weather conditions, complex junctions and different carriage types all make for interesting challenges, but you are able to see the difficulty level of a task before leaving the station.
Outside of the tutorial, there are two modes: Simplified and Expert. Both of these involve having to stop correctly at stations so that passengers can alight, but expert includes manual breaking and thrust.
Routes and trains
On the EU version of the sim there are four routes to travel. They are the East Coast Main Line between York and Newcastle; the Great Western Main Line between Oxford and London Paddington; the Somerset & Dorset Steam Railway from Bath Green Park to Templecombe; and Hagen to Siegen in Germany.
The North American edition sees the East Coast Main Line replaced with the Union Pacific route from Barstow to San Bernardino, California.
Additional routes can be purchased from Dovetail Games' website.
In terms of trains, there are 16 available as standard, including a 1934 Black Five steam locomotive; Class 43, 47, and 55 diesels; and an electric DB 101. Again additional engines can be purchased and downloaded.
The scenery is without question the best part of this sim. You'll pass over viaducts, speed past housing estates and see famous sights. The graphics are also superb, with realistic droplets of rain forming on your cab's windscreen.