Best Uk Routes To Use In Ts

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Chiltern Railways, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    I plan on getting TS when I get a PC. Would like to know what routes are best, can be payware or freeware.
     
  2. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Personal choice, areas of personal interest to you, addiction to buying DLC (guilty as charged M'lord), Financial situation.

    Look we could suggest stuff all day long but my personal advice is watch youtube videos
     
  3. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    I've had a good look and I feel like one option is the London to Peterborough route. Is this a good choice or should I consider getting a different route?
     
  4. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    There is an Add-on called Great British Railway Journeys for £24.99
    https://store.steampowered.com/app/1226690/Great_British_Railway_Journeys/

    Which has
    the London Peterborough route,
    The GEML London - Ipswich.
    London - Portsmouth,
    Settle to Carlisle
    Chatham main and Medway Valley routes in one package

    As you add more routes and add-ons they will merge with this package

    Peter
     
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  5. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    Isn't that
    a seperate game
     
  6. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    Watch out for any humble bundles too, you can grab yourself an absolute bargain in readiness for your pc.
     
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  7. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    Yes, you can get some cheap content in sales
     
  8. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    It is a stand alone game but still part of Train Simulator
     
  9. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    OK, thank you.
     
  10. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    I suspect you'd get as many different answerers as you would people answering. It depends what you are into. Steam? Diesel? Electric? All three? British Railways (green era)? British Rail (Blue) era? Modern post privatisation era? Does it need to be familiar to you geographically? So many questions.

    Also... many freeware routes, while free, often have so many requirements that they'll cost more than a full price route from DTG or Just Trains.

    My personal favouries are:

    OTS Northern Lines https://www.ontracksimulation.com/northernlines.html
    OTS Northern Lines Electric https://www.ontracksimulation.com/northernlineselectric.html

    Both the above because it's my local line, so may have limited appeal... It's a short route.

    OTS Harrogate Loop https://www.ontracksimulation.com/harrogateloop.html
    GEML London-Ipswich (on Steam)
    South Lancashire and North Cheshire - BR Blue https://www.wotawallysbits.co.uk/liv-man-br-blue-route
    WCML Trent Valley (on Steam)
    WCML Over Shap (on Steam)
    WCML South (on Steam)
    ECML Modern (on Steam)
    DP Simulations North East England https://dpsimulation.org.uk/northeastengland.html

    Settle to Carlise (on Steam)

    Some of these are bundled in the Great British Train Journeys as Peter said above, so consider that seriously.

    All great... as I said though.. Freeware routes aren't really free unless you have all the requirements to run them.
     
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  11. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    You can get older editions of TS, sold as Steam keys and usually for significantly less than the current edition, from sites other than Steam. Naturally they install through Steam so you get all the notifications and updates you would expect and you may find an older version has a bundle of routes that interests you more than the current selection*- TS2018 for instance includes the North Wales Coastal route currently unavailable any other way.

    (*Someone was kind enough to give me a key for TS2021 and, IMHO, it's not great. Fife Circle seems only about 80% finished with some painfully obvious "flats" making up the scenery at Edinburgh, which helps the frame rates I suppose, and no superelevation on the track. Clinchfield looks gorgeous but, when you're plodding along at 30mph top whack, you need something to look at and I just can't get interested in the German route at all. I've spent hours driving in them mind you, Fife Circle and Clinchfield anyway, and again this is strictly IMHO of course.)

    You can get it on its own but there's a version for users who already own TS which adds the routes to their collection so you have some flexibility. I don't know where you stand if you buy GBRJ first but would be surprised if you couldn't expand on it. There are a few DLC you can buy that are effectively single route stand alone editions of TS (Faversham High Speed, West Somerset and the novelty routes like Holiday Express off the top of my head- I may well have overlooked others) which can be bought as a starting point. I have three of the routes in GBRJ (Settle-Carlisle, GEML and Portsmouth Direct) and I like them all- I may yet get the bundle in a sale just for the other two.

    This depends very much on what you're interested in. For steam Riviera in the '50s is lovely with several GW kettles from panniers to Kings and you can add the Western Hydraulics pack for sheds, my favourite is The Weardale and Teesdale Network in the '60s which has vintage Diesel traction with no few steam loco's available that would fit right in. For modern electric traction WCML Over Shap is good and the '80s is modern and I'm not old and shut up. South Wales Coastal has current Diesel traction. All these routes have plenty of scope for freight and passenger operations.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  12. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    I quite like a bit of everything, even old style BR and steam
     
  13. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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  14. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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  15. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Do... there's nothing worse than wanting a freeware route and seeing "North Wales Coastal" as a requirement when you do not have it. It has been withdrawn.. the only way you can get it is by buying TS2018. Once all those Steam keys are gone... they're gone... forever. Same with TS2017.

    Even re-released routes (like they actually have with South Wales Coastal) with unbranded stock, the freeware routes that require the original routes will still not work unless the authors of those routes update them. For £6, you'd be mad not to get at least TS2018 while you still can.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2021
  16. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    Regarding dependencies for third party routes, scenarios and WHY one that you will see time and time again because it was an integral part of some early editions of TS is The European and UK Loco's and Assets pack. You won't have any trouble getting it- you can buy it in the Store but don't because it's also included with several older routes. It (and its US equivalent) are included with WCML North for example which is well worth having on its own merits (it's at least as good as Fife Circle) and typically four or five pounds in sales- less than either assets pack on its own.
     
  17. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    Usually only once a year though & like a train, youve just missed it...!!!
     
  18. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    I would quite llke to try WCML North as this is a local route to me.
     
  19. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    One caveat about WCML North- if you're obsessive about collecting points and achievements it will frustrate. TS has a scoring system for Career scenarios with a perfect score being a thousand points but all three of the WCML North scenarios are flawed in some respect. Personally I'd say get it, enjoy the driving and ignore the points- they don't count towards anything substantive anyway.
     
  20. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    OK, thanks
     
  21. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    Is the Midland Mainline by Just Trains worth it's price, since I think I'd enjoy this route
     
  22. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Also, regarding WCML North... it doesn't have tunnel occlusion, so going through tunnels looks pants! However.... there are upgrades for many old routes to give occlusion, here... https://www.dpsimulation.org.uk/scenery.html
     
  23. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Yep. A great route, and if you get it from JT and not Steam, has many addons for it that make it even better.
     
  24. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    Are there other things that improve gameplay like that?
     
  25. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Not actual gameplay, but visually, there's RWEnhancer Pro, and ReShade. Having both these configured well makes TS look almost as good as TSW when you use good quality routes and assets. However, it is NOT easy to configure either of them, especially ReShade, and you can make it look worse as well as better :) Using both is also a frame rate hit. However, with both these, game settings on max, AP models and modern routes, it really can look incredible (for an old DirectX 9 game).
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2021
  26. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    ..Oh, and don't forget AP Sky & Weather, and AP Track Enhancement packs.
     
  27. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    OK, I will consider using these
     
  28. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    I would also like to try the London to Brighton route, is this a good route despite its age?
     
  29. dunkrez

    dunkrez Well-Known Member

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    All of the older routes are pretty decent, much improved too if you add the tunnel occlusion patches that came sometime after.
     
  30. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    I'm still not sure what routes would be good options
     
  31. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    If you're interested in it then it's a good option, if you're not then it won't be.

    I don't know what it is you're looking for or expecting of TS but it is what it is, the vast majority of routes are of a very good standard some are slightly dated some have "wow factor" but they are all the same thing really, they are TS routes using TS assets and run on the TS game engine.

    Pick what interests you and leave off what doesn't.
     
  32. SJA

    SJA Active Member

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    You could make a list of the routes you like, and of those, whittle it down to the one or two with the scope for the most types of services/scenarios. Sometimes you can see a route through fresh eyes when you're the one stuck in the passing loop instead of bombing past in the high speed electric :D

    Also the Armstrong Powerhouse Weather and Track enhancement packs improve most of the UK routes available from Steam - even the older ones.
     
  33. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    If you're interested in a route but undecided have a look for it on YouTube- that should give you a good idea what to expect from it.
     
  34. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Which is exactly what I said in the second post (first reply to this thread) made little difference apparently when by post #30 the OP is still "unsure"..

    You can lead a horse to water and all that..
     
  35. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    I'm unsure because I haven't got a good taste of what routes would be best for me and watching YouTube videos doesn't give me a good enough idea hence why I want the opinions of others.

     
  36. SJA

    SJA Active Member

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    Yes but people have different tastes in terms of favourite routes and railway operations :D Which kinds of services do you want to run and appeal to you? Fast passenger over longer distances? Stopping passenger? Freight? Underground? A mix of them?

    There is so much TS content these days that if you ask 100 people for the "best" route overall, you'll get 40-50 answers rather than a really definitive 2-3. Plus it depends on budget. When sales come you can often pick up 3-4 large or engaging routes off Steam for £30. If you're looking to buy routes very soon once your PC is set up, they'll likely be at full price until May sales (I think?). Plus there are third party routes that aren't sold on Steam, or you'd be advised against buying from Steam and going directly to the third party.

    My personal favourites are Just Trains Midland Mainline (including all extensions), the Wherry Lines, London-Brighton, London-Ipswich/Braintree/Felixstowe, the South Wales route, plus one or two others that you need a ton of requirements for and are out of scope for new players.

    So of the ones you mentioned, I can say I really like London-Brighton, and it is £15 at regular price. So it could be a good start with faster passenger, stoppers, freight and airport expresses.

    I'd recommend looking at PTGRail's Youtube channel. He goes a bit more in-depth in his route learning videos than the average "XXX Line - First Look!" videos you see on YT.
     
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  37. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    I like that route - it has plenty of scenarios.
     
  38. PhÜnKî_Rø0sTā

    PhÜnKî_Rø0sTā Active Member

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    It really depends on what you're into - Steam? Diesel? Electric? Freight? Commuter? Express Passenger? etc.

    My picks for UK content would definitely be:
    London - Brighton (I personally like to drive the Class 421/422/423 and 442 - with AP sounds),
    Chatham Main & Medway Valley Lines: Not only you get stopping and express commuter trains but a bit of freight operations with the Class 59.

    Woodhead route (Both original and blue versions), if you're after a challenge, get the blue version, I hear the class 76 can be difficult.
    Edinburgh - Glasgow
    Weardale and Teesdale network set in the 60s - Mostly early diesel workings but there are steam locos out there with scenarios for that route, so a good mix of both

    Liverpool - Manchester
    West Somerset Railway
    Falmouth Branch
    Malmsbury Branch (although short, it's a nice route and quite easy to drive.)
     
  39. Chiltern Railways

    Chiltern Railways Active Member

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    I would quite like to try the WCML Trent Valley route, is this worth getting?
     
  40. AirbourneAlex

    AirbourneAlex Well-Known Member

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    I would consider getting (in no particular order):

    London to Brighton
    South London Network (route on workshop merges this with London to Brighton and updates it)
    Chatham Main and Medway Valley lines
    Portsmouth Direct line (newer London Waterloo to Portsmouth Harbour version)
    South Wales Coastal
    North Wales Coastal (still available with some key codes for TS2018 but might be hard to find)
    Suburban Glasgow Northwest
    Riviera line
    Liverpool to Manchester
    ECML London to Peterborough
    GEML London to Ipswich
    MML London to Bedford
    WCML South
    WCML Trent Valley
    WCML Over Shap
    Welsh Marches line
    AP Wherry lines
    JT Midland Mainlines + Extensions
    Weardale and Teesdale Network (if you like backdated stuff)
    Western lines of Scotland (if you like backdated stuff)
    Riviera line in the Fifties (if you like backdated stuff)

    Be aware that some older routes like WCML North don't feature tilted track and smooth gradients so are quite unpleasant to drive at times. I would say stay away from routes made before 2012 and some newer ones aren't so good either like JT Chiltern Mainline.

    I would buy the Great British Railway journeys pack + TS DLC bundle and a copy of TS2021 Deluxe to get you started
    With the above you will get 7 British routes for about £25 when on sale plus a German and US route
    (might be another sale in the next few weeks, usually once a month)

    https://store.steampowered.com/sub/493656/
    https://store.steampowered.com/bundle/13568/Great_British_Railway_Journeys__TS_DLC/
    Note the above Great British Railway Journeys thing will download a separate game but should also install the routes to Train Simulator as well (make sure you are buying the GBRJ + TS DLC bundle as linked above)
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2021
  41. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    It's nicely made, detailed and fairly fast if you're looking for that- it certainly has a lot going for it but I find it a bit dull compared WCML Over Shap where the gradients and neutral points keep you on your toes. My personal opinion of course.
     
  42. triznya.andras

    triznya.andras Well-Known Member

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    Having played 13 UK routes, I would only skip 1-3.
    So in general, you can safely pick any route that seems interesting, they are nice enough.
    Question to others, for you - if not Somerset & Dorset, which route would you recommend for learning steam?

    The skips would be the updated original Rail Sim routes: ECML (Newcastle-York), GWML (Oxford-Paddington) and S&D.
    They are likeable in certain weathers, certainly clear summer, but one of my most liked screenshots recently is from S&D in gloomy spring.
    Original Kuju weather tends to make them gray and boring. Colorful evenings are rathar artistic in a dark room, though.
    Thing is, they are cheap. And they are often hosts for old, often relevant DLC. Unless you want full quality and to full AP.

    My votes (out of this 13) are on Settle-Carlisle and London-Peterborough.
     
  43. SJA

    SJA Active Member

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  44. JJTimothy

    JJTimothy Well-Known Member

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    Riviera in the '50s has a variety of kettles (a variety of GW kettles anyway) and a main line, branch lines, marshalling yards and industry sidings to drive them on.
     
  45. junior hornet

    junior hornet Well-Known Member

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    Until you said that WCML is your local route, I was surprised that only one person mentioned Chiltern Mainline, given your username. Apparently this isnt great but I am enjoying the Marylebone to Aylesbury route (which also includes the Wycombe line). Also, there is a Wycombe joint railway freeware route, which has a great deal of content, although there is a bit of additional DLC required. I got the route DLCs in a Steam sale and they are usually very cheap at these times as they are old routes.
    https://www.steamsoundssupreme.com/routes-for-ts.html

    As for the Midland Mainline (Sheffield. - Derby), it’s great. It used to be my local line for many years. As someone else said, get it direct from Just Trains as the add ons won’t work with the Steam version. Unlike some JT routes, most of the scenarios have a default stock option as well. It is currently on sale on the JT site until 12 April. I also have the Derwent Valley extension to Matlock which is also great.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
  46. Nick Y

    Nick Y Well-Known Member

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    I'd definitely recommend JT MML and add-ons like the voyager.

    As for NWC included with TS2018, instant gaming doesn't have it anymore, it's out of stock.

    On the DTG site, they have the riviera extension Exeter - Paignton for £4.49 whereas it's full price on Steam.
    WCML North is also on sale on the DTG site at £3.99

    Pookeyhead I'm looking at Harrogate loop by OTS but there's so many requirements for it. I'm guessing it won't run without the routes mentioned.
     
  47. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure as I have all requirements, but almost certainly a problem. Even if it loads or runs, you'll probably have issues like no signalling etc.

    Most of the requirements are DTG routes, and they're routes that many 3rd party routes seem to require. Next Steam or DTG sale... I'd grab as many as you can.

    Grab both Riviera and WCML North at those prices if you don't already have them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021
  48. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    Settle to Carlisle is only £4.99 on the DTG store, so that's one more requirement for Harrogate Loop taken care of.
     
  49. Nick Y

    Nick Y Well-Known Member

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    Personally I already have Settle - Carlisle (GBRJ add) and I have been looking at WCML North, WCML over Shap and Riviera (Riviera for when I buy JT WML complete).
    I'm not keen on IoW as I didn't like it on TSW2 but it's cheap enough.
    The UKTS freeware stuff should be easy enough to get so that just leaves West Highland Line, Wherry lines, WCML Trent Valley and ECML Modern (Yrk - Pet).

    Chiltern Railways I'd also recommend Edinburgh - Glasgow in addition to some of the ones suggested above by others (I got some routes with the GBRJ bundle which cost much less than some of the routes included within it).
     
  50. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    I will suggest to get the West HIghland Line, both the main line and the "South" one, to complete Helensburgh to Mallaig. Add the Suburban Glasgow DLC and you can drive a Workshop route from Glasgow Central across Scotland to Mallaig, and the Workshop route includes a free extension to Oban that has existed for ages but is getting retextured in the merge by Iain Mackay, the maker of the Suburban Glasgow route. I think he is going to try to connect WCML North, but I'm curious how Anderston Station - missing on both routes - will be dealt with do do this.

    Most of these routes will be 50% off or better in a future sale. Suburban Glasgow is the bigger money pit, you'd have to wait for it to drop significantly. But this merged route will be worth the play, I'm fairly certain. Scenarios will be cropping up for this, I feel, as they already did for his old merged network.

    Regarding GBRJ, get it in the sale as well. Rock bottom dirt cheap. Make sure you get the TS extensions version. Also a fun fact: the 64-bit OpenAL file in the TS "Install" folder is named wrongly, while the GBRJ ones are right, so make sure you rename the 64-bit one to actually have the "64" because it literally matches the file from the GBRJ one.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2021

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