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Crr Reviews

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Snek, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. Snek

    Snek Well-Known Member

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    This is the route I've been looking forward to since the roadmap has released. I've seen lots of different opinions and bickering about this route so I decided I'd try to make a review that would be as objective as I can make it.

    In terms of content, this dlc offers much more than usual we get. You get 2 new locos: the F7 + it's B units and the SD40, which is quite different from the SD40-2 on SPG. However, it's not entirely new as some stuff has been reused. The route also contains 4 freight wagons + a caboose. This is a welcome change from recent routes (and upcoming like HBL) where there was barely anything new in terms of rolling stock and locos. It's also the longest route in game with 99km/62mi, as the 4 branchlines are pretty much lines on their own.

    Scenery is (in my opinion) one of the best, if not the best, we've seen so far in TSW. The hills are well populated with trees and trackside scenery is rich with vegetation, rocks, cliffs and textures. Every so often you pass a detailed siding with a well modelled coal tipple or a mine, with piles of coal, trucks and wagons. From what I've seen, they've managed to capture the atmosphere of the real route well and as a result, immersion is great too.

    Gameplay is well done as well and the timetable is complex with many unique services. For the most part, running on the mainline is mostly a relaxing and scenic experience while the branches offer you challenging train-handling and switching. Each brachline has a string of services associated with it, that you can play one after the other to get the complete experience. As the mainline is single-tracked, you never know when you'll have to stop and wait for an oncoming train. There are 6 scenarios and some of them are quite difficult where you have to carefully manage your train.

    Locomotives are probably the weakest part of this dlc, but can still be enjoyable.
    Both are modelled and textured pretty well and come with 1 livery each (I wouldn't mind seeing the F7 in the black livery too).
    Sounds are alright. They aren't very good, but they aren't that bad either. Perhaps the worst part are the horns (like usual...), but I'm satisfied with the engine sounds on the F7. The SD40 is also supposed to receive a new horn in a future update, but let's see what actually happens.
    Like usual, there is no reverb in the tunnels but they have added some noise, so you can at tell when you enter or exit one.
    Sadly I can't comment on the accuracy of physics, but I haven't had any issues with them so far. I've heard some complaints about the brakes not working properly and the F7 not being completely accurate. Cab textures in the F7 are pretty bad and should have been better considering you see them all the time.

    Issues
    - The tutorial is set-up wrong so your brakes don't work. Can still be finished.
    - The headlights on the F7 don't work half the time you load up a service. It's annoying but can be fixed by restarting the session.
    - There are a few tiles in the world where there is no procedural grass at all. You can clearly see where it begins and ends as it's a straight line and it looks pretty bad. I've looked at the preview video and those parts were fine so this must be a bug rather than just careless scenery placement.
    - You'll sometimes start the SD40 services with rolling backwards/forwards as the brakes aren't working.
    - The performance is not the best, especially when you are passing another train.
    - I've had the horn on the SD40 randomly stop working multiple times. I think SPG has a similar bug and it can be fixed by flying far enough from the loco so it reloads the session when you return to the cab.
    - No camera while in the tunnels.
    - no manual again...

    In conclusion, seems like a pretty solid route. They've succeeded to capture the atmosphere and operations of the Clinchfield railroad and made gameplay unique and challenging, while giving us more content than usual. I'd give it a 7/10 and maybe 8/10 if they fix the bugs.
     
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  2. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    Can also be fixed, more quickly, by switching between Dim and Bright settings
     
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  3. Snek

    Snek Well-Known Member

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    I try that but it doesn't always work, maybe I'm doing something wrong.
     
  4. breblimator

    breblimator Well-Known Member

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    Solid and fair \o/ Nicely done, Snek ;)
    Interesting - so, there is still a chance (not a big issue for me, but!).
    Good info!

    About brakes - as well F7 and SD 40 works OK in my opinion, but this is a very wide topic :)
     
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  5. OsamaBinLiftin

    OsamaBinLiftin Member

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    I think people have brake issues when they don't understand how to set MU-2A valve correctly and/or the brake valve cutout(s) correctly. For those who are familiar with American train braking systems, I don't think they're having the issues reported by some.
     
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  6. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    Believe there are some sound patches on train-sim community.
    Haven’t bothered as I wouldn’t know what the originals sounded like.

    Only passed through Virginia but have wondered where all the miners lived.
    Underground most likely...
     
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  7. Lamplight

    Lamplight Well-Known Member

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    Move the transition lever away from off before you mess with the headlights. Works for me 100% of the time.
     
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  8. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Interesting point! In some ways this was actually probably a very easy route for the builders to add scenery. There are no large towns or urban areas which, in my experience building in the other sims, are what slows the process to a crawl. Most of the route, that I’ve seen so far, runs through narrow steep sided valleys covered with trees so you don’t have to worry too much about middle distance or far scenery - most of the time it’s not in view. There are no farms or agricultural areas to worry about a convincing field pattern. The track layout is relatively simple - no large yards or complex passenger stations with intricate architecture and overall glass roofs to worry about!

    So yes, no doubt about it being a beautiful route but in terms of the crafting skill required I would imagine just about any other of the routes in the collection required far more work to achieve the landscape and rail infrastructure.
     
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  9. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    Hah had a vision of Rivets new Latin America route.
    The Atacama with handcrafted llamas.
    I’m aware of the llamas nocturnal activities there, but we mustn’t restrain creativity.
     
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  10. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    Largely true. There were good reasons for choosing to model the northern tip of the CRR, and you've identified one of them. As you go south past Erwin, the country opens up to a more varied landscape and more towns and lineside industries, as well as more and bigger yards, making it more challenging to model. But the essence of the coal carrying railroad has been well captured.
     
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  11. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    There were "company towns" at some points along the line, built for workers. One example, still standing, I believe, is Trammel, Virginia.
     
  12. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    With some exceptions, small towns in the mountains tended not to be directly on the railroad line (very much unlike the lowlands where the rails tended to attract development). This is because the tracks were laid according to the inviolate mandate of the grade, whereas towns required a water source and usable agricultural land, and thus tended to grow up in the creek bottoms (the ridges in the Appalachians are surprisingly dry; hikers had best bring water!) There are towns along the SPG route- but then that track follows Wills Creek.
     
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