The first DLC for TSW3 has arrived, imaginatively titled Train Sim World 3 Loco Add-On Bundle, it features 3 locomotives that aren't new to TSW, but all look very different in their own way. The 3 locomotives are the British Class 66 RHTT (Rail Head Treatment Train); the German Dipolok BR 182, and a blast from the past with the iconic Santa Fe F7 resplendent in its red "Warbonnet" livery
So diving in I first headed for Cajon Pass that has a new-old heritage locomotive, the EMD F7, absolutely immaculate in its famous red, yellow & stainless steel Santa Fe Warbonnet livery. Trust me, there was a time when just about every toy train looked like this!
Next came a fast freight run on the Kassel to Würzburg line with the tuneful (it sounds like a musical scale on an electronic organ as you accelerate or brake) BR 182 in Dispolok freight livery. This has got to be the fastest freight run in the world, despite most services being run at nighttime.
Finally I drove the dirtiest Class 66 you've ever seen, pulling the Railhead Treatment Train cleaning the greasy autumnal rails on Southeastern Highspeed. It's not highspeed but it's not slow either–you're limited to 60mph while cleaning. Setting up the treatment equipment is simple enough and although in reality this would be operated by a second man it's easy enough to handle and drive the '66 at the same time.
Driving the F7, I soon realised that unless you're a massive fan of slow freight trains and taking two and a half hours to travel 47 miles (it takes a little over an hour with modern locos) you really don't want to do the San Diego to El Paso run. The F7 struggles along at speeds as low as 10mph (16kmh) as it climbs the slopes. It turns out that 1500 horsepower per locomotive ain't enough ro pull even a relatively short 40-car freight consist, and there's a reason why these days we have 2, 3, 4 or even 5 locomotives (producing over 4000 horsepower each) pulling modern, mile-long trains. It also has rather vague brakes, which make the downslopes as you the descend mountains towards San Bernadino interesting to say the least. I'm not sure why the F7 has no passenger services and I presume licencing issues or time constraints are the reason why we didn't get the F7's matching Super Chief stainless steel passenger coaches, but maybe they'll be added later‐let's hope so.
At a price of £11.99 (£10.79 with Game Pass) you're basically getting 3 locomotives for the usual price of one–or you can buy them for £4.99 each. Admittedly they're reskinned models of locomotives you may already have, but each adds something new and unique to the TSW3 stable.