TSW4: Bahnstrecke Salzburg–Rosenheim


TSW4 gets another beautiful German-Austrian route!


Bahnstrecke Salzburg–Rosenheim is an all-electric route set around 2013. It runs for 55 miles (89km) from Rosenheim through rural Bavarian hills right into the heart of one of Austria’s biggest cities.

The basic route gets the DBpbfza 766.2 Cab Car powered by the BR 111 DB, and also the popular BR 185.2 for freight services and the ÖBB 4024 for S-Bahn passenger duty.

Arguably the star of this show is the BR 111 DB pulling or pushing the DB Gen 4 Dosto coaches, Habbins and Roos-t wagons. Its quirks are familiar to me because I have driven its predecessor, the similar BR 110 and another 'Tap Changer', the BR 155. Driving a tap changer-controlled locomotive is easy enough, but it is rather different to a standard, notched lever setup and definitely takes some getting used to. First built in 1974 it's a rather temperamental old beast, and despite having tons of power (3720kW/4990hp) you need to coax it into action, so no slamming it straight to notch 10 when you're pulling away or it'll trip the MCB (Main Circuit Breaker) and sulk! It's best to set the tap changer lever to 65%-75%, then when you start to pick up speed, reduce the lever until you find the "Run Up" notch, which would appear to apply maximum power without tripping the MCB. These iconic locomotives have been used all over Germany and Austria, sometimes pull/pushing S-Bahn services and also hauling InterCity trains. Despite the original design being 50 years old, much of the fleet remains in service today!

The sleek-looking ÖBB 4024 Talent 1 EMU in ÖBB livery (built by Bombardier) gets 80 relatively short local services (11–15 mins) at the Austrian end of the route. A pleasure to drive, this modern EMU makes passenger services fun.

The BR 185.2 locomotive is also from Bombardier/Alstom‘s Traxx family. These popular locomotives were built from 2005 to 2009, and are widely used for both passenger and freight operations. Hugely powerful (5600kW) and easy to drive, the 185.2 is one of my favourite German locos and gets a hefty 88 freight services here.

To my knowledge, this route has more layers (services for other locomotives you already own) than any other, with Timetables for the BR363 DBB, the 767.2 DABpbfza DB, BR 101, BR155 PRESS, BR182 Dispolok, BR185 RAILPOOL, BR185.5 MRCE, BR187 DB, DB BR 628.2 VR, DB G6 Shunter and finally the BR 193 Vectron. Impressive stuff!

They could often be described as "just another journey", but there has been some real imagination applied to TSW4 scenarios, and this route has an amusing one called 'Malfunctioning Madness', in which the DBpbzfa 766.0's  headlights and horn develop issues that keep you on your toes...

Okay, so now for the gripes. There are clearly a few people at Dovetail who still can't spell the word "receive", some problems with the weather changing instantaneously rather than gradually, clouds looking weird when shrouding nearby mountains and some vanishing cars on the road beside the tracks. But it's hard to find serious fault with Bahnstrecke Salzburg-Rosenheim. The route is varied, with country stations (not to mention Salzburg HBf that looks absolutely spectacular at night) and large freight yards and it's busy enough, but lacks anything particularly memorable along the way. The best feature is that if you have a few other German routes it's certainly going to keep you occupied for a while!

Many thanks to Dovetail Games and Lick PR for the review code.