In the first article DTG's CEO Paul Jackson mentioned his favourite he would love to see steam "in its natural environment". This usually means the need for the route to be set in the past. There is however one perfect candidate in the very Harz of Germany (pun intended) using steam on a daily basis to this day. HSB (Harzer Schmalspurbahnen) is the largest European steam network currently having 13 functional steam locomotives. It spans throughout the majority of the Harz mountain range and reaches all the way to its highest mountain Brocken. Proposed route DLC The complete narrow-gauge (1000mm) network of HSB spans over 140 km. For a TSW DLC however, the most important parts would be the Harzquerbahn (blue line) and Brockenbahn (green line) with the combined length of 80 km. These two routes feature the largest traffic and offer an ideal combination for the timetable as trains from both ends (Wernigerode and Nordhausen) go all the way to Brocken (trains from Nordhausen switch locos before going to Brockenbahn). (99.7241 climbing to Brocken) As the tracks go from 200 meters of altitude all the way to 1125 m, nature changes a lot along the way from typical central European woods to mountain pines offering a high variety. The climb to Brocken finishes with a stunning view which in good weather offers a view over basically half of Germany. Locomotives and rolling stock (99s at the depot in Wernigerode) The major advantage of this route is the fact majority of steam locos operating on this route are of one type (99.23-24) pulling a simple-looking rolling stock (all cars of one class, one guard car per train). With this combination, practically the whole train schedule can be replicated. (99.7239 prepared for a return trip on Brocken) Timetable Although the network is single track limiting the timetable, during normal (non-covid) weekends the route is absolutely packed with trains especially between Wernigerode and Brocken using every junction and even a special one-way siding on Brockenbahn. With a slower speed of operation (max speed is 40 km/h), the route network offers anything from a 40-minute ride from Wernigerode to Drei-Annen-Hohne to over 3-hour service from Nordhausen to Brocken. Operating a steam engine also means a need for refuelling and especially water refilling. Water is being refilled twice (at the beginning and in Drei Annen Hohne) on every trip to Brocken making for a very interesting operation. Water also has to be refilled before putting locos to the depot for the night. Loco DLC - Br 199.8 (199.861 in Wernigerode) Though HSB is most well known for the use of steam locomotives, it also features diesel locomotives originally made by DDR to replace them. Six of these survived with three being in operation usually doing shunting and consist preparation and sometimes substituting for the 99s on the route. These are based on the DR V100 (in the game represented by Br 204 offering already premade platform) equipped with three-axle bogies for narrow gauge. Being a normal-gauge locomotive converted to narrow-gauge use makes them giants among the rest of the roster. This would offer an exciting comparison having a similar locomotive being one of the smallest on normal route (MSB) and by far the largest here (you can see it compared to the same coaches on the photo above, Br 99 normally pulls). Conclusion Harzer Schmalspurbahnen would offer the best-known steam operation in Germany, which normally draws tourist from all over Europe. Going from beautiful cities of Wernigerode and Nordhausen all the way to the high-altitude station at Brocken offers a unique experience for a train simulation. The selected branches are of manageable length and the selected rolling stock can cover the majority of operations while being easy to create (one loco and two coaches for route DLC). Being relatively small and not demanding steam engine makes it ideal to test the whole functionality and it is easy to access as it operates to this day. Two combined routes also make it more interesting for operations than simple A-to-B routes. Let me know what you think about this suggestion. Have you been to the Harz and on HSB? I know there are DMUs operating on HSB, but it would be a shame to take space from steam locomotives with something definitely way less interesting. The Selketalbahn could also make for an interesting addition, but the operations there are limited, confusing and it would push an already long network to insane length at very slow speeds.