I am new to Train Sim World; well, I'm pretty new to train sims in any form after an unsuccessful foray into Train Simulator some time ago. But having some enforced leisure time with a sprained ankle I thought I'd give TSW a go and immediately started on Northern Transpennine - easily the route most of interest to me. After starting with the Peak and 47, I had a go with the 101 and, quite frankly, I was bowled over. I've never driven a DMU in real life, but many years ago I used to drive trains with similar mechanical systems: fluid flywheel, freewheel, epicyclic gearbox and vacuum brakes, and I am of an age to have travelled many thousands of miles in DMUs as a passenger, usually sitting in the seat behind the driver. TSW's 101 has got the feel just right in my view. I wonder if the gear change might be a little too quick (as I recall, there was a delay of a couple of seconds after selecting a gear before it would engage and the driver could rev up again), but the power notches, the rev decay and, most of all, the vacuum brake feel just right. The way that dropping the first few inches appears to do nothing at all, just takes up the slack in the brake mechanism as it were, and you need to go to about 15 inches to have an effect. The way lap works, exactly as I remember it, including the telltale bounce on the train pipe gauge when you put the handle into lap as the remaining vacuum evens itself out (vacuum is vented from the front of the train, and unless you vent all the vacuum, there is always more vacuum in the back of the train than the front during a brake application). The four- and six-car sets take appreciably longer to both dump the vacuum and restore it when you release the brakes than a two-car set. I have no idea if the timings are right, but they don't seem obviously wrong. Even though we have the / key for lap, I rarely use it because I particularly like the way the ; and ' keys "stick" at the lap position, in about as close a way as you can get on a keyboard to how the physical brake handle behaves. In short, the 101 is a delight to drive...if only it could keep to time. Okay, so I am new to this game, new to train sims, and I am clearly not the best driver in TSW, but I don't see how anyone can keep time with the 101 in the Northern Transpennine timetable. With this bugging me, I've done a little investigation, and I can straightaway say that there is nothing wrong with the service timetable, at least, not in respect of DMU timings (there are other things wrong with the timetable and I'll probably write about these in a day or two). I've been making notes of the timings in the current in-game timetable and I have a scan of the 1982-83 passenger timetable, and the timings match almost exactly. Something else I don't think is an issue is the 30 second enforced station stops. I've read other users complain about these (although I think this was in relation to a different route). As I recall, trains did stop for 30 seconds. Even if there was no one waiting to get on, guards had to wait for people to fight with the door catches and let themselves out. Perhaps some stops would be less than 30 seconds, but these would be compensated for by others which were significantly longer. So, having ruled these out as problems, I looked closely at how the AI drives trains. The AI keeps to time - it really does. At first, I wondered if AI-driven trains only spawned when a player was around, naturally spawning at the appropriate time and place to match the timetable. However, if you ride on a DMU from Manchester to Leeds, it keeps time all the way, and it does not appear to break any speed limits (in fact, it usually sits a few mph below the limit, so far as I can tell from the speedo). It is clear that the AI does not need to worry about gears; there is no dwell at 25 and 40 mph on a rising gradient when changing from 2nd to 3rd and 3rd to 4th. In fact there is no dwell anywhere, just a smooth acceleration. Could gear changing be the key? Well, partly. Certainly the AI saves some time by not changing gears, but it also has noticeably faster acceleration, even when no gear changes are involved. On the return Saturday Special working starting from Stalybridge, I could only get the train to 34 mph as we left Stalybridge Tunnel, whereas the AI managed 41. Okay, that might be my poor gear changing, but it then took me 80 seconds to accelerate from 45 mph to 55 mph while the AI did it in a mere 40 seconds. Deceleration times during braking aren't so noticeably different although the AI does have the edge, except that I don't think this really compares like with like. As with perhaps most TSW 101 drivers I've got into the habit of dropping the lot between half a mile and a few hundred yards out from a station, depending on the speed and gradient. This might help keep to time, but it is not a good - or safe - way to drive, effectively making an emergency brake application for a routine stop. Under normal circumstances I'd expect to lap at 5 inches or thereabout for what might be classed as a "full service" application, and then the braking is considerably slower than the AI. So, what do I think needs to happen? As I say, the feel of the 101 seems right to me, but it's acceleration and braking are too slow. My guess is that a simple multiplier could be applied to both the acceleration and braking force in game, keeping everything else the same. 10% might do the trick, perhaps a little more. I don't think a huge change is needed, despite the discrepancy I noticed in acceleration times. Then once the train performance is sorted out, perhaps DTG can work out how to turn on the interior lights and how to get passengers to leave the train when it reaches the end of the journey. Finally, they can sort out the loo. I know it's unpleasant for track workers, (and players walking the line - perhaps that's why they've locked the loos out of use), but it's a long way from Manchester to Leeds and I'm getting rather desperate.