Cane Creek "review" - It Exists, And I Like That

Discussion in 'Train Sim World Discussion' started by Krazy, Jul 24, 2021.

  1. Krazy

    Krazy Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2020
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    Hey, I can't think of any funny or exciting way to start this Cane Creek review. I haven't inherited the funny unfortunately. So... check out this review! By me!

    Before Release
    The very first roadmap was one of the most exciting moments in Train Sim World history. So many routes and locomotives were revealed! But obviously, there was only one route that mattered: Cane Creek. I was EXTREMELY excited for this route. It's the first Union Pacific route in TSW! I like the UP because they have freight trains, and are yellow. Literally nothing else matters. I see why BNSF isn't in the game, the trains aren't yellow. How dare they. Anyways, I waited months and months for this desert branch line. The articles looked cool, and I appreciated that Skyhook Games made some good improvements on the AC4400 from the first article. Me, being the biggest fan of all things with "Train Sim World 2" and "Cane Creek" in them, bought it immediately. Not even day one. The release date was July 8, and I made a fully legal purchase of Cane Creek at 9 PM on July 7. I guess PlayStation loves us PST folk.

    This first paragraph feels useless. Here's the actual review, for crying out loud:

    Rolling Stock
    Two locomotives are included with Cane Creek, being the SD40-2 and the AC4400CW. Neither of them are new. I'm personally fine with that, since it's Skyhook's first route, and you don't really need a big fancy new train for a simple branch line.
    The SD40-2 is almost exactly the same as the CSX version already in the game. The headlights are in a different location, and that's about it. I personally really like driving the SD40-2, and it makes a lot more sense on Cane Creek than it does on the Sand Patch Grade. I'm surprised that it didn't get a new horn, though. Back in March, Matt said that a new horn was being worked on for the Clinchfield SD40. That would've been great for the Union Pacific version! Hopefully that horn will come out someday.
    The AC4400CW is also the CSX version for the most part, but it has a few visual differences. The trucks are different, and the front door doesn't have a window. That's nice. It's quite nice to have on Cane Creek, being a good fit for the uranium dirt train. Lack of new sounds suck, but I'm not going to moan and whine about it.

    In terms of what these locomotives pull, we have a (mostly) good selection of cars here:
    Smooth Covered Hoppers- These are an obvious choice for the route, as this is what the Potash Local pulls. Nothing too different from the CSX and CN versions, although you can open the tops for loading, which is nice. And Skyhook, thank you so much for adding different colors of the colored hopper. Potash Local trains would've looked hideous if there was just one color of hopper.
    Ribbed Covered Hoppers- These are a new addition for this route, and I'm glad that these types of hoppers are finally in the game. It's pretty well made, and just looks nice. My main issue with it is that it's barely used. Ribbed hoppers are only found in the SD40-2 services. They aren't present in the AC4400CW Potash Local, or ANY of the scenarios. That's a shame, because I really like this hopper.
    Tanker Cars- Exactly the same as the Sand Patch and Oakville tankers, which is fine. Although I wish the tanker cars were used in Timetable mode. I'm guessing that it's because they can't use the potash loader, but it's still a bit of a shame that we don't get them on the Potash Locals.
    2 Bay Hoppers- Yeah, it is pretty silly to use these on the uranium dirt trains. But at least they're loadable, and loading/unloading services make up a good chunk of the services on this route. It still does feel really weird to use the same cars as what was used on the Peninsula Corridor.

    Normal Scenarios
    There are 7 regular scenarios on Cane Creek. 2 focus on the mainline, 2 focus on the Dirt Train, and 3 focus on the Potash Local. Not bad.
    Tank Car Setouts- This is pretty good for the first scenario! Going from Thompson to Brendel in the AC4400CW gives an opportunity to go at a nice and speedy 60 mph, which is fun. I also enjoyed dropping off some tank cars at Brendel, it was a fun little thing to do.
    Siding to Siding- In this scenario, we get to go from Brendel to Thompson, this time in an SD40-2. This scenario isn't as good as Tank Car Setouts, because going this direction means going up a 1% grade, topping your speed at around 30 mph. And there's no dropping off of cars in Thompson. It's simple, but not as fun.
    LDP-46 Parts 1 & 2- These scenarios are good for starting off in the branch itself. I like Part 1 a lot more since it starts with waiting for a few mainline trains, and at the end we split the train onto the two tracks at Moab. I like that it acts like the actual uranium dirt train, instead of playing like the ones in service mode.
    LDG-51 Parts 1-3- Part 1 is nice, because the train is pulling a few 2-bay hoppers, which it drops off at Seven Mile. Part 2 is my favorite scenario of the bunch, as it runs through the scenic part of the route, and there's a good bit of switching being done at Potash. Part 3 is nothing special, and is pretty similar to a service mode run. These scenarios do a nice job of making the Potash Local a bit more interesting.

    Free Roam Scenarios
    It makes sense to have free roam scenarios on this route, since being a single track branch line means it has no signals to worry about. But five? That seems like a bit much, and makes the claim of the route having 12 scenarios a lot less exciting. Here's my ranking of the free roam scenarios:
    1. The Big Mine
    2. Mine to Mainline
    3. Canyon Explorer
    4. All Along the Line
    5. Follow the Dirt Train

    I like the scenarios that allow you to do a good amount of switching in Potash, because Potash really is the best part of the route. All Along the Line isn't very exciting, as the scenarios don't let you do any switching in Thompson, and there's nothing to pick up in Seven Mile. Follow the Dirt Train is just annoying, because you can't do anything besides take a bunch of empty hoppers over to Brendel. I like when routes include free roam scenarios, but some of these scenarios don't really offer much to do.

    The timetable for this route isn't very impressive, with just 21 services, with nearly half of them being loading/unloading services. But it's the best that can be done for the Cane Creek branch, and I applaud Skyhook Games for managing to fit 3 dirt trains and 3 Potash Locals into this route. Although there's something missing: the mainline services. There are no trains running on the mainline from Brendel to Thompson, not even AI trains. When a train is busy working the branch line, this is the perfect opportunity to cram a bunch of freight services between Thompson and Brendel. The amount of services would increase drastically!
    As for what is in the service mode, it's alright. The dirt trains are pretty good, having a locomotive on both ends, and some nice loading and unloading services. It's a nice experience if you don't feel like driving the whole route. The Potash Locals are nice, although not much happens in Potash. The train just arrives, runs around the hoppers, and load them up. No switching, unfortunately. At the very least, throw in some tanker cars as scenery.

    One of the most important parts of a route is having good scenery. TSW routes for the most part haven't been too impressive scenery-wise. But Cane Creek has a bunch of fancy rock formations, and Skyhook?


    Oh my goodness. These rock formations are the selling point of this route. Every time I drive on this route, I just have to constantly use the external camera to admire how amazing these rocks look. These screenshots were taken on PlayStation, so they probably don't do the route justice for how good the scenery is. Cane Creek is one of the best routes in TSW in terms of scenery.

    But, I shall cover a few negatives about the scenery.
    - On consoles, the rocks can look pretty awkward. Just look at this shot:
    The rocks on the right look gorgeous. I saw this shot and was amazed. But then I looked at the rocks on the left side. Those... aren't as nice. Hopefully, since I play on a PS5, distant rocks will look a lot better with the Rush Hour update.
    - Canyonlands Airport is ugly. Realistically, there shouldn't be a control tower, and the control tower is very bad, being very square and having no windows. There aren't any airplanes sitting around either, and the airport in general doesn't look very nice. You can't ignore it either, because there's a big control tower that can be seen for miles.
    - Floating rocks and grass! Fun stuff. Spotted a good amount of floating stuff at Moab and Potash. They're probably all over the route, though.
    But don't let the negatives distract you from the fact that Cane Creek's scenery is awesome. Because it really is.

    Some Fun Extra Stuff
    -Cane Creek is the first American route to have working railroad crossings! Most of them aren't functional, but the crossing at Potash works amazingly!
    Train being present:

    Train has passed/no train present:
    So if you want to railfan, Potash is a great spot for railroad crossing shots. (Although my personal favorite spot is Moab)
    - The Scenario Designer formations are pretty good, with different lengths of the Cane Creek trains, as well as a great selection of manifest trains, even a 70 car train!

    Bugs and Stuff
    - On AI-driven dirt trains, the rear DPU has headlights set to Bright Aux, when it should be set to Dim.
    - Custom liveries don't work correctly
    - Those darn flying rocks
    - On PlayStation, the bell cuts out sometimes (common on the AC4400)
    - Ditch lights flash on the SD40-2 when sounding the horn

    Wow, this review sucked to make, and I wasted my time on this. I mainly wanted to write this "review" to say that I really love Cane Creek, and I'm impressed by how well Skyhook Games did for their first TSW route. I'm mostly just happy that I get to drive powerful Union Pacific trains. That probably is what makes it my favorite route in Train Sim World.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2021
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