TSW2: DB BR 187


A very good-looking but not sounding addition to the TSW2 DB network.


The Bombardier TRAXX AC3 (designated DB BR 187 by Deutsche Bahn) is the latest German locomotive available for the ever-growing Train Sim World 2 (TSW2) network. 

In real life the '187 is used all over Europe and even in Israel, and I found it has services on all the German TSW2 routes I own; Schnellfahrstrecke Köln, Main Spessart Bahn, Nahverkehr Dresden and Ruhr-Sieg Nord, so it's going to be pretty busy for the foreseeable future. 

Cosmetically it of course looks a lot like several other DB (Deutsche Bahn) locomotives in their bright red livery but has a more modern look, the 187 is a state-of-the-art 5600kW beast capable of pulling any train at up to 140kph. 

The 187 is great to drive, apart from a rather annoying traction motor sound in-cab (that sounds rather like they sampled it from a cheap Casio electronic keyboard from the '80s, or maybe based it on George Jetson's car) and frequently degrades into a reverberating audio mess over time. Aficionados say isn't accurate and I can only hope for the real drivers' sakes that they're right! The explanation for this is that Skyhook Games designed the 187 but lost their access to real 187 sounds thanks to the pandemic, so I guess we can blame Covid 19 and not Skyhook for that. I'm not sure why they didn't use the sound from the similarly-powered BR185.2 BR146.2 or the BR185.5 temporarily instead of the sound we ended up with.

At launch the 187 also had a problem with the PZB/LZB safety systems, which  have apparently been fixed in a recent update, but as I don't use them very often (because I like to be in sole control of the train and I don't like being nagged), I didn't really miss them. The Sifa system does work though, which, if nothing else,  helps keeps me awake on those long freight journeys on rainy days. 

Purely from a driveability point of view the 187 is a pleasure, the only tricky part being during initial setup in which you briefly have to be a computer programmer and make a few fiddly selections from a display screen on the dashboard simply in order to turn the driving lights on! This is made more difficult that it should be thanks to rather insensitive level of control given by the Xbox controller, and while this is undoubtedly a lot easier with a mouse, Dovetail should really do something about adding a greater degree of finesse to the console controls. 

So then, all in all a very good-looking but not sounding addition to the DB network, I'd maybe wait until the sound FX are fixed before purchasing, unless you're desperate for some new services, and let's face it, TSW2 addicts always seem to be…

Special thanks to Lick PR, Dovetail Games and Skyhook Games.