Hi all, for a long time I've been wanting to write in a meaningful way about Ruhr-Sieg Nord. As it stands it is in my opinion still one of the best routes in game, even over 3 years after it's original release. In light of the feedback on this forums that focuses mostly on the negative aspect, I'd like to write some positive feedback. That is not to say Ruhr-Sieg Nord (RSN from now on) is a flawless masterpiece, it shows it age in certain places and is due for a preservation upgrade, which I will touch upon in the conclusion, but have also made a dedicated wishlist for: Ruhr Sieg Nord: Preserved Collection Upgrade Wishlist. While reading this forum entry I'd like you to keep in mind I own all DLC for RSN (the BR 155 and BR 363), which might give me a different view compared to someone who only has the base route. The great atmosphere The route has a truly great atmosphere. For me it truly brings home that feeling of run down industrial areas seperated by large forests dotted with small villages. With 'October' and 'Light Rain' selected in the menu the route feels truly at its best. However, during summer runs the route the route contrasts the dark and gloomy feeling it usually has with a bright summers landscape. Finishing off the generally good atmosphere is a large amount of details around yards and stations with these areas feeling somewhat messy. The only other routes that come close to having such a strong atmosphere are Tees Valley Line, Northern Transpennine and Riesa - Dresden, with the first two setting a great feeling of run down BR days, and the latter having great lighting and reflective signage, which combined with a good look in autumn give a similar gloomy feeling. The fresh and unique feeling of the route When RSN came out it brought with it only new rolling stock. This makes the route still feel fresh, and offers new players with a lot of bang for their buck, even though the locos have been re-released on more recent routes, and the model of the BR 143 is very dated compared to the newer one from Riesa - Dresden. The route also still feels unique in comparison to other German routes, which all are electrified mainlines with higher speeds. RSN feels slower, and is obviously a secondary route that is mainly important for freight, having seen no long distance services since the days of the InterRegio. This is also what makes me very hopeful for the upcoming Tharandtrampe, which seems to find a similar niche, but more on that one later. All in all, with RSN you feel like your getting a unique experience you haven't previously had on other routes. The unique and challenging gameplay The route also lends itself very well to interesting gameplay. With most of the line having low speed limits, that are constantly changing, causing an endless amount of PZB restrictions, this route keeps you on your toes, especially when operating a slow to react heavy freight services. This is also one of the most important aspects of this routes gameplay. When playing a heavy freight service you need to keep an eye out for speed restrictions so you can brake in time. When you use PZB and turn of the speed limits in the HUD this becomes an amazingly challenging experience. You have to look out for those yellow shields, aknowledge them, and then brake in time so you don't upset PZB which requires you to slow down to either 70 or 50 km/h depending on PZB mode. These challenges are further added to by the gradients on the route. Even though the gradients aren't extreme compared to Main-Spessart Bahn or the upcoming Tharandtrampe, the older stock like the BR 155 and BR 143 are hard to keep under the speed limits due to dated braking systems. These slow and constantly changing speed limits aren't really seen anywhere else, with only Main-Spessart Bahn coming close. This also adds further to the unique experience the route offers. The fantastic freight timetable Compared to all other (German) routes in game RSN has an amazing freight timetable. It provides services that pick up other wagons along the way, with some shunting being required, aswell as power moves with a consist of only locos that is actually split into two services with a waiting time at Werdohl. However, this gets even better if you own DLCs. Especially the BR 363 is very well integrated with the rest of frieght services, with it actually shunting coaches that are brought in by mainline freight services, unlike on Riesa - Dresden, where shunting services exist completely seperate from the mainline freight services. All of these little differences create a freight timetable that is more than just A-B runs, but a well integrated and varied timetable with lots to do for players. This freight timetable is what I think the most important aspect of why RSN is still so good. The fitting choice of DLCs The choice of DLCs for this route is extremely well thought out. Both the BR 155 and BR 363 fit in extremely well with the industrial feeling of the route. These two DLCs also provide extra freight rolling stock that sadly can't be seen on other routes (I have included trains using the BR 155's coal hoppers in my Tharandtrampe Wishlist though, I'd love to see them there). This ups the total of freight wagons on this route to 6, if I counted correctly, a variety not seen on any other routes. Then there is the upcoming BR 232 which will also be a great fit (though there are other routes it will also fit on) for this route, especially if it expands the variety of freight rolling stock and diversity of services even further. Of course there are also still oppertunities, such as the for this route more fitting n-Wagen, for future DLC for this route, but for now it already forms a quite nice selection. Conclusion and hopes for the Tharandtrampe: Dresden - Chemnitz Many factors go into the greatness of RSN even 3 years after it's release, with the well integrated and unique freight timetable, added upon by a great selection of DLCs being the most important. Of course there are still improvements possible, such as the new features like platform PIS and working level crossings that were added after it, but also a number of sound improvements (especially to the BR 155 and BR 185). On top of that there are certain bugs, but all of these improvement points are used in my preservation wishlist for Ruhr-Sieg Nord. I can't wait to see how the preservation crew will improve this route in the future. There is also another important point when talking aobut the future. After all, this is a feedback thread, with the aim of improving future route add-ons. The next German one in planning is the Tharandtrampe between Dresden and Chemnitz. This route promises to echo a lot of the strong points of Ruhr-Sieg Nord. It offers a secondary route, with lower speed limits and challenging inclines. The BR 612 also offers a sense of freshness to the route, although the BR 143 is reused. However, even the re-releasing of the BR 143 can be remedied by including a older generation of Dosto cab cars (the 3rd one). The Tharandtrampe does have less oppertunities for freight, but with some clever and original layering from other routes by for example BR 155 hauled coal trains and the BR 204 or BR 363 shunting at industrial connections such as the paper mill the freight timetable for this route can still turn out quite interesting. I've used all of these points in my Tharandtrampe Wishlist, which I strongly urge you to support if you want to see these points adressed in the upcoming German route release. I hope you enjoyed reading this 'article' on Ruhr-Sieg Nord and I'm curious to hear your views on both these routes strong points and weaknesses. I also hope that the feedback I provided will be useful for the developers in making future route add-ons. I look forward to seeing more routes that use these strong points (especially those that provide a unique experience, perhaps it's time to venture into unelectrified lines or historic routes) in the future. I am also excited to see what the preservation crew can do for this dated but still amazing route!