Train Sim World 3: Birmingham Cross-City


A proper metro route with a big city placed centrally and numerous suburban stations sounds good to us...


The latest add-on route for Train Sim World 3 is the 37-mile 25-station Birmingham Cross-City Line, which allows players to operate the Class 323 between Bromsgrove, Redditch and Lichfield via Birmingham New Street.

In a clever move by developer Dovetail Games the route is also available as the UK Birmingham Starter Pack. This includes the in-game Training Center and the Birmingham Cross-City Line add-on, which allows new players to jump straight into Train Sim World 3 without requiring any previous Train Sim World purchases.

A busy suburban station with Class 323s travelling in both directions.

We've become used to getting more than one train with a route so only having the 200+! Class 323 passenger services might be a downer for some.  I did find I had a few extra services layered in because we own the Class 66 EWS and RHTT, the Class 37/5 RF and the Class 43 HST (High Speed Train) GWG though.

Extra trains are available on the route by owning Great Western Express, Southeastern Highspeed, East Coastway and Tees Valley.
The extra trains we had layered in were the Class 43, the Class 66 and the Class 37/5.

So to my usual gripes. There are a couple of typos that in the days of spellcheckers on everything I don't expect to see. I soon noticed that the 323 has no "long notch" between Brake notch 'B3' and 'Emergency,' so it's very easy to hold the power/brake handle just too long and apply "E" brake. This means you will come to a complete halt before being able to continue–which might be realistic, but it's real yawn. There are also no sparks coming from the pantograph, which seems odd as they made sure to point out the fact that electric trains would have them in pre-launch TSW3 videos. It might just be me and it's rather insignificant but anyone who's played TSW will know that simply completing most runs is easy enough, but it's a satisfying thing to finish a timetabled run with a gold medal score, and this would appear to be impossible on some runs–the difficulty level is all over the place.

A freezing cold morning at Birmingham's New Street Station

Despite my gripes I love this route-it's a proper English metro route with the big city placed centrally and numerous suburban stations and countryside at either end. Only having the 323 unit to drive is a downer, but the layered services help give some variety–as long as you already have the Southeastern Highspeed, Great Western Express, East Coastway or Tees Valley routes. A rise in Dovetail's RRP for routes sees Birmingham Cross-City sell for £29.99 (£26.99 with Game Pass) but I'd say two things about that; it's a high-quality, good-looking route with tons of detail and game developers have got to eat too.