Train Sim World 3: US Super Bundle


You wait around for a train... And then a Super Bundle of them all arrive at once!


A bundle of Super US things eh? So what's included?

For a start you get Train Sim World 3's main features which include the Training Center (the location for tutorials and a total sandbox area), Sherman Hill: Cheyenne-Laramie (and the Union Pacific Heritage Livery Collection), Cajon Pass: Barstow-San Bernardino, Northeast Corridor: Boston-Providence, the brand new New York-Trenton route, and last but not least, Amtrak's flagship passenger express train, the Acela, which runs on the two Northeast Corridor routes.

In the Northeast Corridor New York–Trenton and Boston–Providence routes passenger trains include the ALP-46 with the Amfleet Cab Car,  the ACS-64 V AMTK with the NJT Multi-Level Commuter Cab Car, and the iconic Amtrak Acela. Freight is well represented too, with Sherman Hill and Cajon Pass and the SD40-2 and the massive SD70ACe and ES44C4 locomotives.

You can train to enable and use the ATC, ACSES and Alerter safety systems for ultra-realism, along with a common CSA (Cab Signal Aspect) panel to keep you informed–these are particularly good if you don't get nagged enough by your wife/girlfriend/boyfriend/mother/cat/dog.

A multi-screen featuring four views of the New York-Trenton route.

Definitely not set in the US, all of the tutorials for the new trains are done at the Training Center, which I also find disappointing, but I guess that was the whole point of designing an international centre where all trains & locomotives could be run! Having said that, I found a problem very quickly with the ALP-46 NJT's introduction/training modules. During the startup sequence the nice lady fails to give you a vital instruction. She tells you to "release the brakes and apply some power to get moving," but unless you push the brake lever (either manually or with the 'L' Trigger) to the 'handle off' position before releasing them, you're going NOWHERE. So much for TSW3's "Driver Assist" function and the game being friendlier to newcomers than its predecessors! I wonder how many players have sat there thinking the game is broken when in fact it's just one more hopelessly inadequate TSW training module…

A multi-screen featuring four views of Sherman Hill, Cajon Pass and the spectacular Union Pacific Heritage Livery Collection.
Sherman Hill, Cajon Pass and the spectacular Union Pacific Heritage Livery Collection

The Sherman Hill route is in Wyoming, and runs from Laramie in the West to Cheyenne in the East, with Sherman Hill summit being roughly half way through the 58-mile Rocky Mountain run. Featuring mile-long trains of over 100 rail cars and the familiar SD70ACe and SD40-2 locomotives resplendent in Union Pacific yellow, Sherman Hill is about as iconic an American route as you can get, with scenery that would be just as at home in wild-west adventure Red Dead Redemption 2. Included in the bundle are 6 stunning new (well... old actually) paintjobs for the SD70ACe, with the Union Pacific Heritage Livery Collection. I'm not sure they really add anything to a route that badly needed more variety, but they're all beautifully done. It's a shame the SD40-2 didn't get any love, but there are a ton of excellent custom liveries available on the Creator's Club, or of course you can design your own with the in-game Livery Designer.

A multi-screen featuring four views of the trains that run on the New York-Trenton route.

Boston Sprinter (Boston-Providence) is mostly about busy commuter passenger services, and gives you three ways of driving all the Bostonian passengers to work and then bringing them home. The big purple F40PH-3C MBTA has the CTC-3 Cab Car at the other end of the train (so it doesn't need to turn around and swap ends) and the ACS-64 V AMTK also runs the route, only much faster, while looking stunning in its shiny silver Amtrak livery. The Boston–Providence route is all about passenger traffic, but varies hugely, from the concrete metropolis of Boston to the countryside and single-track branch lines. Boston Sprinter certainly captures the look and feel of a New England winter, although you can of course make the weather/time of year anything you want. 

All the Boston route needed was the Acela, a train that's as good to drive as it is to look at. A high-speed tilting passenger train with aerodynamic power cars at each end (which are the only part of the train that doesn't tilt.) The Acela has injected new life into Boston-Providence, and it really feels like a busy commuter route now. 

The six liveries included in the Union Pacific Heritage Livery Collection.
The six liveries included in the Union Pacific Heritage Livery Collection

Cajon Pass is an 85-mile (136 km) route from Barstow to San Bernardino, California. The route features 2 locomotives, the ES44C4 & the SD40-2, both in BNSF livery pulling various freight train consists up (and down) the steep grades with up to 5 locomotives. There are 6 scenarios and over a hundred timetabled runs–including some excellent shunting/switching jobs. At times spectacular, Cajon Pass is a long and testing freight route.

New York-Trenton runs from the heart of New York city all the way to the New Jersey suburbs. This busy 58-mile route features several different passenger trains; The NJ TRANSIT ALP-46 is a powerful push-pull locomotive, on return trips you control it from the other end with the Amfleet Cab Car. The ALP-46 is derived from its European cousin, the BR 101, and the resemblance will be obvious to anyone who has that popular German locomotive as DLC.

A really immersive and busy route, you can even see an M7 running north on the parallel Harlem Line (also available as DLC). I loved the idea of this route when it was announced and love it now it's here. The only fault I'd find with it are the horrendously low-detail white trucks and vans that seem to be scattered everywhere. On what is otherwise an impressive-looking route, they look like placeholder-standard graphics and no more. The only other thing I didn't enjoy is the painfully slow (8, 5 and even as slow as 3mph!) speed limits in the huge Sunnyside rail yard. I'm sure they're authentic but it doesn't stop traversing Sunnyside feeling like the train driver's equivalent of tantric sex.

The training center track has a mountain backdrop.
Learning to drive the Acela at the Training Center

There are a few problems with the game, we still have passengers jitterbugging around on narrow platforms and walking/standing far too close to the platform edges. And we have glitching on the Acela's left console screen (a common glitch which I'd hoped had been fixed across TSW3 in its entirety), which is disappointing as otherwise the trains look superb, inside and out.

So is the US Super Bundle actually super? Well yes, especially if you're looking for a place to start your TSW career. There are no fiddly, difficult-to-drive trains in this collection, and the variation in the four routes was clearly thought out. If you want New York-Trenton, the Acela and you don't own Boston-Providence, Sherman Hill or Cajon Pass yet then it's also a good way of getting them for way less than their combined R.R.P. The price of £79.99 equates to (off the top of my head) around £160-worth of content, so £80ish less than the R.R.P. of the individual DLCs! Whatever your situation or requirements, I highly recommend New York-Trenton and the Acela.

Many thanks to Dovetail Games and Lick PR