TSW4: Berninalinie: Tirano - Ospizio Bernina DLC


If you're fed up with fast trains and flat terrain then Berninalinie is the DLC for you...


The Train Sim World® 4: Berninalinie: Tirano - Ospizio Bernina Route add-on is 38km long and winds its way between the high point Ospizio Bernina in Switzerland (2,253 metres Above Sea Level) and Tirano, Italy (441m ASL).

The RhB ABe 8/12 Allegra EMU in RhB bright red livery is the workhorse and it feels extremely powerful, as it needs to be to climb and descend the steep grades on the route safely. It has a handy cruise control that seems to be very accurate and quick to respond (unlike some) and accelerates and holds the Allegra to the set speed independently of the maximum throttle setting. The steep descent (or ascent) means that your speed is often limited to 30km/h or less and is never more than 60km/h, so an altimeter would have been almost as useful as a speedometer, and as the train practically drives itself for long periods, as would some reading matter or maybe a podcast to listen to.

Other rolling stock that figure on the route are the EW-1 A and B coaches, the RhB SP-W Timber Wagon and the RhB ZA Tank Wagon, any of which can be coupled behind the Allegra to be used in various timetable services and scenarios and also  used in the Scenario Planner.

We get 50 timetable services and just 5 scenarios, the latter of which seems a tad limited, but with just the Allegra to drive this was always likely to be the case. The services can take anything from 4 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes to complete, and the various shorter shunting and log wagon/tanker services add a little variety.

A really nice feature is the Allegra's onboard automated announcements in German, Italian and English, which really add some authenticity. As you can see from our screen grabs the route, for the most part, is beautiful, and much kudos to developer Rivet Games for that. It is only really let down by TSW4's Achilles’ heel–its draw distance and subsequent level of detail pop. It's bad enough when textures pop in 40-50 metres away but jarring when entire mountains pop in several miles away.  If I'm going to be critical (and of course I will–it's my job), some other downers show up during snowy weather and are the ugly blocks of road texture that represent vehicle wheel tracks on snowy streets–they actually look like they came straight out of Minecraft, and in places appear to have been carelessly tossed there rather than custom drawn or carefully placed. The dynamic snow level also seems confused and messes up the look in towns. I also couldn't help but notice some inexplicable typos in prompts and incorrect and even missing instructions and stop points in scenarios, none of which should happen in TSW's 4th iteration in 2024.

Those ugly snowy road textures belong in a lesser game.

The Berninalinie: Tirano - Ospizio Bernina Route is sometimes beautiful, TSW4's gorgeous lighting and volumetric fog are really at their best here. The route has some pleasing variety in terms of climbing the mountainous slopes, street running like a tram, pulling log wagons, tankers and some simple shunting. The only comparable TSW route is Arosa, also developed by Rivet, and Bernina is definitely the better of the two.

It's a curious sight to see a modern EMU towing freight and some of the scenic views are really eye catching thanks to the mountain setting and the steep gradients, but it's slow pace and long periods during which all you do is aimlessly fiddle with controls or admire the view means it definitely won't appeal to all.

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