So off we go on another mission, the objective to review all things Train Sim World 2. This time we're heading back to 1989 and the North East of England. The Tees Valley Line stretches between Darlington in the West to Saltburn in the East, with Thornaby Depot and the gargantuan Tees Yard roughly in the middle.
With Tees Valley Line (TVL) you immediately get a feel of how bleak and industrialised the area is. Add some dismal weather or darkness and this is exactly what most people imagine when they think of England's industrial North East. That's not to say that there isn't some pretty greenery between the rail yards and you'll also see passenger trains heading the other way and landmarks like the unmistakeable Tees Newport Lift Bridge (which can be seen in the background below.)
Nice touches like rusty rails on unused or lesser-used lines really adds immersiveness and to the quality of the visuals. Unfortunately not all of the realism is enjoyable and crawling across the massive yards at Redcar British Steel or the Ore Terminal at or under the 10mph speed limit is painful.
The locomotives that work this route are the BR Class 101 DMU passenger service, the Class 08 Shunter and the BR Class 37 hauling freight. Buy the BR Class 31 or the Class 20 'Chopper' as DLC and they get services and scenarios layered in too.
All in all TVL is a great route. A perfect mixture of passenger services (with the much-loved but quirky Class 101), shunting and heavy freight make for plenty of variation, making it a firm favourite that we return to time and time again.