Hi all, this time no route suggestion, but one for a (themed) core update. This suggestion will focus on the influence of the day/night cycle on weather, lighting (of the sky) and operations, and will be seperated in those sections. Originally I wanted to suggest a core update focussed solely on the night and the many freight operations it sees, but as I also wanted to include improvements to weather and the sky (especially during sunset and sunrise), so I'm suggesting a broader update. Weather One of the areas where a few important steps can be taken is the weather in TSW. Currently all weather (except in one scenario as far as I know), stays the same during services. Seeing dynamic weather changes would add some variation and immersion to every service. In addition to that, it would be fun to see thunderstorms and lightning (definetely for some scenarios), and possibily hail. Foggy conditions with the trains headlights casting a long visible beam can also be greatly improved. Lighting The skies Although TSW 2 skies already came with significant lighting improvements compared to the original TSW, there is still a long way to go, particularily during sunset and sunrise, which are usually the moments the sky looks it best in real life. However, in TSW the skies sunset and sunrise are sub-optimal at best. A BR 143 on SKA just after sunset Köln again, in real life. Tunnel and underpass shadows In addition to the skies, some more lighting improvements might be made, adressing issues such as the way shadows when coming out of tunnels and underpasses work. At the current time, the entire coach/loco is darkened by the same amount, gradually getting lighter as more of it comes out of the tunnel. It would be a great improvement to see a somewhat defined line where the tunnel's shadow ends and the outside lighting starts instead. Now in some occasions this does actually already happen (or seems to be happening), see the 2nd picture below. An ICE 3 coming out of an underpass. On coach 3 and 4 the fact that the shadow is the same across the entire coach becomes evident. An already way better looking picture, if you look closely at the 3rd coach, a line between the tunnel's shadow and the start of outside lighting can be clearly seen, although a large and sudden difference in darkness remains between the 3d coach and the loco behind it (that is nearly completely black). Ambient lighting The last, and in my opinion most important change to lighting would be an improvement of the lighting of trackside buildings. Currently many models have lit windows and there are street lanterns, but these do not emit light, or not enough light to provide the right amound of ambient lighting. In addition to this moonlight is usually very weak or obscured by clouds. This leads to the night being really dark, with little to see, which is realistic for rural scenes but not for densely populated urban areas. Seeing the surrounding sources of light emit more light, combined with yard lighting (where appropriate), would really liven up the night, and would make nightly services more fun to play. Headlights Currently, the headlight of trains in TSW are way to dim. Night gameplay would be way better if the headlights actually showed you more of the route while you were driving along. I'd like to point you to this thread by paul.pavlinovich where he gives good examples and a bit more information on this subject. Operations Lastly, if the ambient lighting during the night is improved, it would be fun to see some more nightly services, and the routes that would be provided with this core update should focus on including these. A night busy with freight During the night, freight services don't stop, in many areas (of western Europe) it actually increases during the night because there are less passenger services. Around large cities such as Hamburg there are waves of freight trains going out one after the other to the south of Germany at the start of the night, with another wave of trains coming in near the end of the night which left cities in the south of Germany at the start of the night. Adding in more nightly freight services would also help routes from this pack balance out the passenger focused update of this summer (Rush Hour). 'Night Networks' In addition to that, many urban areas see passenger services continue through the night, with some cities (in for example Switzerland, as can be seen in my Swiss suggestion), having a dedicated night network with different service patterns to that of the day. The Night Networks usually have less frequent services, but with different lengths and calling at different stations (for example merging two of the normal day lines). Sleeper trains There are also many sleeper and overnight trains in both Europe and the US, although these might be harder to implement due to the fact that there are usually not more than 6 or 8 per day on any given route (for example on my Innsbruck - Bludenz suggestion, which sees 6 daily nightjets), which might be to little to justify special made rolling stock. However, if the rolling stock has a few services, but layers onto many routes (for example, nightjets also operate on SKA), it might be justifiable, as the overall number and variety of services it add will be great enougth. Rolling stock moves Lastly, there are many depot moves, light engine runs and rolling stock transports (from one yard to the other) during the night to prepare for services the next day. This can already be seen on RSN with a power move service where you transport a train made up of locos and on SKA, where besides the usual 2 minute long depot runs there is a service where you travel half of the route length form Düren to Aachen taking a S-bahn train out of service. It would be great to see more of these types of services, which offer a different experience to usual passenger services. The many freight services, a possible night network for passenger trains, sleeper trains and rolling stock moves would all make for a lively nightly timetable, that would make it worthwhile to venture into the nightly services for players. Conclusion A core update focussed on making routes busy throughout the day (and night), while improving weather and lighting, to make (nightly) services more interesting could offer a great amount of gameplay and immersion improvement in my opinion. However, I'd like to hear your thoughts, and if there are any improvements you think would fit withing the 'theme' of this suggestion .