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TSW3: Scotrail Express – Edinburgh to Glasgow Route – Review

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Scotrail express, Edinburgh to Glasgow is my 26th route add-on for Train Sim World, so I’m in a relatively good position to take a deep dive and see how it compares to some of the Train Simulators greatest routes.

Anyone who’s played more than the base Gamepass offering of Train Sim World will know there’s a wide variety of routes ranging from various railways across Europe and America and sometimes we have a few options for a similar experience.
For the sake of this review, I’ll be comparing Scotrail Express Edinburgh-Glasgow to two other routes, Firstly, South Eastern High Speed is a fantastic British route, that’s easy to recommend, and the second is the recently released Birmingham Cross-City Line, which is also one of the most recent TSW3 additions.

Southeastern High-Speed, is a great benchmark for high speed routes, with 2 very different locomotives the class 375 and the high-speed class 395 Javelin. there’s also 51 miles of track and 14 stations, which gives a little more variety across the board.

You can read more about our thoughts on Birmingham Cross-City in our recent review, but Birmingham felt fresh, it offered a nice middle ground between commuter routes like the fantastic London Commuter and High-Speed routes like Southeastern High-Speed, while it only provided 37 miles of track it crammed in a massive 25 stations while still offering speeds up to 90mph.

Scotrail Express: Edinburgh to Glasgow struggles to match up to either of these, with only one locomotive, the Class 385 (which was only brought into service in 2018), you’ll cover 47 miles of track across only 10 stations.

This means you’ll often spend large sections of your journey hitting 100mph, and then waiting until you’re about a mile from the next station before you slow-down, grab a few more customers and rinse and repeat for the next leg of your journey.

While that might sound very much like a High-Speed service, it’s the overall experience that struggles. Apart from a few instances, most stations are smaller, and a little bland, while Scotland is a beautiful place, the sprawling fields and 100 tree’s that all look a little too similar aren’t the best backdrop when this route struggles with a few graphical hiccups not noticeable in either of the aforementioned routes.

This makes the station-to-station journeys a little boring, there’s not that much to look at, with a large football stadium and a few bridges and tunnels a few noticeable landmarks, but for large sections, it’s just fields, trees, and fields filled with trees and there’s some noticeable glitches such as floating trees and some lost textures.

There’s no doubt a few bugs and glitches will be ironed out to give us a better graphical experience, but that doesn’t help with the lacking route, sitting at 100mph for 3-4 minutes between most stops isn’t the most entertaining structure and while the scenarios do a good job of adding hurdles such as broken-down trains and red signals to delay you, the standard timetabled routes soon feel like more of a chore than the enjoyable experience found on other similar routes.

In total there’s the short Class 385 intro and 5 additional scenarios, these all range from 40 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes, all are graded between 2/5 and 3/5 in difficulty, and as well as the delays mentioned above, you’ll have to battle the dynamic weather and elements as you make the majority of that 47 mile trip in each scenario.
These scenarios are the saving grace as they offer enough variety in operation, but if you keep an eye on your signals and instructions there’s not a massive challenge.

Heading onto guided routes and there’s 4 chapters each with 10 routes, these again mix things up a little more than the standard timetabled routes, so many users will be relying on these for value when the timetabled routes feels so familiar.

In total there are over 150 timetabled routes for the Class 385 and if you own the Cathcart line, you’ll have access to a total of 227 timetabled services. Completionists will also want to keep an eye out for the expected route tasks, again there’s 100 to find, with 25 route maps and 25 posters to place, and 25 bagpipes and 25 haggis to find.

Another complaint has to rest with the single locomotive, the Class 385 – SCR. It looks great and while I’ve never been on one personally, I’m sure there’s plenty of accuracies and only a few inaccuracies with the real-life locomotive, so I’m not sure whether these complaints rest with the locomotive itself or the games interpretation of it, but I found it far less enjoyable and more frustrating than any locomotive on the routes mentioned previously.
Southeastern hIgh-speed’s Class 375 & Class 395 are equally modern and a very different experience to each other, but they’re also easier to control.
Likewise the Class 377 and 387 on London Commuter, which a little more similar to each other, they’re both more fun and accessible, just like Birmingham cross-city’s Class 323.

With Soctrail’s Class 385, Acceleration is fine, but the transition to braking is slow and cumbersome, and while every other train I can think of has a 1, 2, 3 and often 4 for braking, the 385 seems to have a mid-section between the next braking level, which actually applies braking, sadly this isn’t always visually noticeable so I overran a few stations when I thought I’d been steadily braking from 90mph down to 40 in the -2.5 position, when in fact i was still screaming towards the station at 85mph in the -2 setting.

As mentioned above, this is likely a train issue and it would do the same in real life, but it doesn’t translate well to the game, and leaves the sole locomotive feeling like an unnecessary challenge.

Now there are some positives, the sound is on par with any TSW3 route, with incredibly realistic sounds and a handful of quiet spots, and if we have any Scottish readers looking for a route add-on that will feel familiar to them, then Scotrail Express does a great job of providing that popular stretch between Edinburgh and Glasgow, beside the Cathcart line, Scotrail Express gives Scottish fans the same variety as the combination of London Commuter and Southeastern High Speed does.

The issue is, the combination of South-Eastern Express and London Commuter offer much, much more variety, more locomotives, farther distances, considerably more stations, and quite a distinct difference in available locomotives.
In comparison with the more recent Birmingham Cross-City line, it’s again difficult to recommend Scotrail Express, sure there’s still 1 locomotive, and only a few extra Stations on the Birmingham route but unfortunately Scotrail Express is a less interesting route, a less interesting locomotive and overall a less intriguing package.

If you’ve already got all of the best routes available, Scotrail Express may well be on your radar, but unless you specifically want a Scottish route, newcomers would find far more value and entertainment from London Commuter, Southeastern High-Speed and Birmingham Cross-City.

TSW3: Scotrail Express – Edinburgh to Glasgow Route

Review by Lee Palmer



If you’ve already got all of the best routes available, Scotrail Express may well be on your radar, but unless you specifically want a Scottish route, newcomers would find far more value and entertainment from London Commuter, Southeastern High-Speed and Birmingham Cross-City.


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