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My Thoughts On Boston Sprinter Route

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by Blartthaniel42, Aug 26, 2021.

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  1. It's pretty solid

    31 vote(s)
    37.8%
  2. It's ok

    27 vote(s)
    32.9%
  3. Not bad

    16 vote(s)
    19.5%
  4. Absolutely aweful

    4 vote(s)
    4.9%
  5. Don't really care

    4 vote(s)
    4.9%
  1. Blartthaniel42

    Blartthaniel42 Well-Known Member

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    I decided to get this route when I came out back on the 19th of August. Now I know that the launch of Rush Hour was needless to say, abysmal. There were a lot of issues with older routes not working properly among other things. But this review is solely looking at the Boston Sprinter route and what it comes with and NOT the issues of the update.

    The Route:
    [​IMG]
    This route is the North East Corridor action that this game was lacking since launch. Since the NEC route from TSW wasn't ported it's nice to have the highspeed rail. Getting in the cab of a ACS-64 and cursing a 125 mph is a load of fun. But if you want the challenge of commuter rail, then the MBTA is a fun and challenging services. The only thing that the route is missing is any freight. There are a lot of static CSX locos and train cars filling sidings and yards. I do like how they added this static trains, but it would be cool to drive them. This route also features trains that are for atmosphere. These trains are not drivable, but still show up on the route and still run a service.
    [​IMG]
    *The train in the foreground is an undrivable train and diverges at Boston Back Station

    This route is very good looking and really does capture the essence of New England winter. I am unsure why, but this route looks easily the best in the winter. While DTG did a good job with the scenery, there are some places that are just straight up unfinished or there is a lack of polish. There are many floating signs doting the track and some un even earth. Mansfield yard is probably the best example of a unfinished area.
    [​IMG]
    *Mansfield year, as seen from the tracks

    Services/Scenarios
    [​IMG]
    This is where quite a few of my
    complaints are. To start, the tutorials do cover everything pretty well. The scenarios is where I have a lot of problems. To start, the scenarios are pretty similar.
    "Cold as Ice" and "Reverse Engineering" are basically go to station, turn around and come back. Then "Foundations" and "Marching In" are putting a train together and drive it some distance. The only difference is what railroad it's for. My other big complaint is how tight the schedule in the scenarios are. On "Reverse Engineering", once arriving at South Boston, I had 7 mins to turn the train around. Keep in mind the reversing loop's max speed is 5 mph. That's kind of absurd. There were many times were I obeyed the speed limit and wasted no time, but still ended up significantly behind schedule. The ATC and ACSES works pretty well, but if you want to get a gold medal, you should just forget about using them. You'll be so later it doesn't even matter. However, this is more of an issue with
    warning systems like ATC or PBZ in TSW2 in general. Also, there is a glitch on "Reverse Engineering" were the trains block you from stopping on the Interstate 128 station at the end of the mission.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    *A picture of the glitch or oversight at the end of "Reverse Engineering"

    Locomotives:
    [​IMG]
    It's really nice to see the ACS-64 make a return to TSW2. After it not being included in the preserved collection, it makes it's return. As far as I can tell, it hasn't really changed too much. The F40PH-3C is a semi-new addition. This loco is based on the Cal-Train F40PH-2CAT, but it has a few differences. The biggest difference is the brake system not being a lapping system in the MBTA F40PH. My only complaints with this engine is the ditch lights are a little buggy and ONLY flash when the horn is pushed or the bell is on, the flashing doesn't linger after a horn blow. The other issue is that the brake sound in cab is still the Cal-Train lapping brake system. The CTC-3 Cab Car is the final "loco". This loco is my favorite personally from the dlc. It's a load of fun driving this older cab car compared to the newer ones. It's cool to see the simplistic design and it's unique addition to the game. A complaint I have with this loco though is how the brakes seem unresponsive.

    Rolling Stock:
    [​IMG]
    The Amfleet set makes a return with the coach class, business class, and the café car. These seem to be very well done and not much wrong with them. The BTC-3 commuter coaches are also very well done however there is a lack of some noises in the coaches. Also, it's really cool that these cars have the ability to know if the platform is a high platform or low and open the stairs properly. It's not quite perfect and needs some polishing.
    [​IMG]
    *An example of the platform difference and how the cars open their doors

    Custom Livery:
    [​IMG]
    I've had no issues with the custom livery so far and the models show up pretty frequently in services. So I don't have anything bad to say here.
    [​IMG]

    Final Thoughts:
    [​IMG]

    This route could be one of my favorites. But the route as a whole is missing that final polish that it needs. I think that the route's name might have been tarnished by the bad launch of the new Unreal Engine. I think DTG should have launched the new update first and then delay the launch of the Rush Hour routes. I hope that the rest of the routes that come out don't have as many issues. I love the atmosphere, especially in the winter. I also love how the route feels busy, with non-driver services and freight cars in yards and sidings. I'm hoping there is dlc for this route. I would love to see the double decker commuter cars with a GP40WH-2 or MPI HSP-46 for MBTA, so freight service, or even the Acela or Avelia Liberty. Heck, even a 90s legends pack were they use older paint schemes for the MBTA and bring the AEM-7 (Toaster) inplace of the ACS-64. Just some ideas. This route is worth it if you like NEC or fast American commuter rail, other wise I would maybe wait for it to get an update to polish it.
     
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  2. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    You can drive the freight trains, as long as you stay in the yards.
     
  3. Disintegration7

    Disintegration7 Well-Known Member

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    I really hope they offer a freight DLC at some point. I would insta-buy.

    It's a good route already, though- just needs some polishing up.
     
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  4. Disintegration7

    Disintegration7 Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone tried a turn-around service for the amtrak services ending at Boston? I had to wait about 25 minutes after I arrived at South Station for it to start, but it was good (albeit slow) fun. Takes you around the loop track, there's at least one level crossing, and you get some good views of the Boston skyline.

    Hope they make these selectable from timetable mode at some point so you don't have to wait around so long....
     
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  5. Pixelade

    Pixelade Member

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    I'd like to add that after my exploration of the DLC, this issue isn't exclusive to the "Reverse Engineering" scenario. This has happened to me in multiple scenarios and happens on every single timetable service if you play it long enough. :o
     
  6. stujoy

    stujoy Well-Known Member

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    I did the same. It was fun doing the service and also spent the time between finishing the previous run and the turn around move watching quite a bit of traffic coming and going at Boston. The loop run is good for setting a high camera and looking at the Boston skyline. Well worth checking out for anyone who hasn’t tried it yet.
     
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  7. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    I did the scenario where you use the balloon track to turn the Amtrak train. It's an interesting maneuver although I wouldn't want to repeat it too many times.

    I'm noticing some real positives about this route as I play more and more.

    Surprise, surprise! The F40PH-3C has really good headlights which illuminate the track as they should. Can't say the same about the Cab Car or the Sprinter though.

    The track work, particularly the approach to South Station, is phenomenal This, I guess, is Brandon's work. Great job!

    Raildriver works perfectly with all the locos. Well, almost, the toggle for the doors is backwards for the ACS 64 but that might just need a recalibrate.

    A little polishing up, some timetable work and the fresh catenary coming soon and this route might be damn near perfect.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2021
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  8. Pixelade

    Pixelade Member

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    I remember in one of the pre-release streams, Matt said something along the lines of if you are falling behind schedule, the dispatcher will route trains that are behind you, around you to go ahead. I don't remember exactly which stream it was on but I remember it vividly. Does anyone know which stream it was and if you've encountered anything like this happening in your gameplay yet?
     
  9. Blartthaniel42

    Blartthaniel42 Well-Known Member

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    I decided to test whether this works or not and I don't think it does. I took a train out of Boston and parked it on the middle track at Hyde Park. Two trains were lined up behind me. Neither of them went around and both got stuck behind me. I don't know when or if this feature was even talked about on stream
     
  10. Pixelade

    Pixelade Member

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    I'm going through watching all the streams cause I remember it very well. I tested the same exact thing and they lined up behind as well. :( gonna keep watching the streams until I find it cause I know he said something like that. that's what initially sparked my interest in getting the rush hour DLC in the first place. There was one service I played where I deliberately had it be over 15 minutes late to Boston South. An MBTA train that was obviously supposed to arrive at Boston south after I was (that was on time unlike me) was allowed to enter cove interlocking to Boston south while the dispatcher made me wait at cove interlocking until that train made it to its platform. If I wasn't late it would've let me go first (obviously since that other MBTA service wouldn't have been there) which I thought was interesting. So maybe the dispatcher does do this but only when it's a service on another track. I doubt 2 services sharing the same path will trigger the dispatcher to have the 2nd one re-route off of it to pass the first one. Who knows tho. I'm still trying to learn how smart the dispatcher really is in this game.
     
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  11. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    Don't get your hopes too high!
     
  12. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    I was running an early morning service from BSS to Providence and pulled in to Route 128. While waiting for the departure time, a local MBTA train entered the station and stopped within a few feet behind my last car. Can this be normal train behavior?
     
  13. mattwild55

    mattwild55 Well-Known Member

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    This has definitely happened on a couple of occasions for me.

    On Boston Sprinter, I've been running a few minutes late with a Stoughton - Boston train and a Providence - Boston MBTA has been routed through ahead of me on the main line while I've been sat at Canton Junction.

    This may be more widespread than just the Boston route as I've also had a good experience with the dispatcher on Isle of Wight (of all routes!) - I started a service but sat in the station for 15 minutes at Shanklin as I had to take a phone call. Got held at Sandown as the dispatcher had (correctly) anticipated me being very late and had let the AI train through accordingly at Smallbrook Junction so we crossed at Sandown rather than the double track section between Smallbrook Junction and Ryde St Johns Road. This also carried on into the return journey where we passed at a different spot than we would otherwise have done if I was running to time.

    In summary - the dispatcher is more dynamic than some would have you think at the moment, but there's still room for improvement I'm sure.
     
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  14. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is.
     
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  15. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

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    This complies with all FRA safety regulations? I'm astonished!
     
  16. Anthony Pecoraro

    Anthony Pecoraro Well-Known Member

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    cActUsjUiCe has even posted a picture of it happening in real life.
     
  17. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Developer

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    It doesn't happen on a regular basis. It's exceedingly rare...but the system is designed to accommodate multiple trains in a block should the situation arise.
     
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  18. Pixelade

    Pixelade Member

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    This actually just happened last night while playing one of the services for the "Nor Easter" journey. I actually really like this. Go DTG, give us that unpredictability!! :cool:
     
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  19. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    While you’re working on the patch Cactus, could you reduce the madness at Canton junction.
    Very few on the platforms but the foot bridges looked like Times Square on New Years Eve.
    All that was missing was the mariachi band.
     
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  20. Dinosbacsi

    Dinosbacsi Well-Known Member

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    I havn't got "overtaken" yet, but yesterday I did have a run where I was a bit late on my Amtrak run from Providence to Boston South, so the MBTA train coming from Stoughton was allowed to go on the main line before me - even though I think the original timetable wanted me to go before him, because I was still waiting at a red signal at the time I was supposed to arrive at Route 128. So it definitely has some dynamic elements to it.
     
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  21. cActUsjUiCe

    cActUsjUiCe Developer

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    That's beyond my capabilities right now.
     
  22. davidh0501

    davidh0501 Well-Known Member

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    Shame.
    Our expections were just too high :)
     

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