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Microsoft Train Simulator Cheats
|ESRB rating: E
release date: Aug 15, 01
|» All About Microsoft Train Simulator on ActionTrip|
Go 200+ mph
Select "Simple Controls" in the options window, select the Innsbruck to St. Anton route, select the starting point to be St. Anton, and select the Flying Scotsman as the train. Start the simulation. Detach from your train (leave the tender) and press D until the regulator is at 100%. Wait, and your speed will exceed 200 mph.
At it's simplest level Train Simulator can be used as an interactive screensaver, one of the first options is the ability to take a virtual tour on any of the lines with the AI driving the train. Tutorials are included for the novice user to assist in learning how to operate steam, diesel and electric locos. However the bread and butter of Train Simulator comes in actually driving (or operating) trains as the virtual engineer. On selecting a route you are given an option to explore in "free play" mode, though this is still subject to speed restrictions etc. In practice this is not always easy as every time you approach a set of facing points you need to choose which leg of the turnout you take. This can lead you up a dead end spur or siding. Also, in explore the route, there are no AI trains as the dispatcher is inactive.
Each route comes with a number of pre-defined activities or work orders. Depending on the route, these might be passenger or freight operations and in addition to driving the train you may also be required to switch cars in or out at locations along the way, pick up or drop off helper engines etc. This is so much more than in previous simulations and adds to the sense that Train Simulator is a complete virtual railroading experience. All the routes (apart from the Kalispell branch on Marias Pass) are fully signalled according to the rules and era of the particular railway and under control of the aforementioned AI dispatcher. It's quite something to arrive on a crossing loop with a train waiting on the opposite track. As you draw in clear the signal for the other train changes to proceed and it departs! On the Settle & Carlisle the semaphore signals change with a satisfying "clank".
Whether driving steam, diesel or electric traction each type presents its own challenge. Steam locos are the most demanding, particularly if you switch off the AI fireman and attend to the boiler and fire yourself. The workload this creates is very tough, leaving little time for sightseeing but ultimately more rewarding than just letting the computer take care of things. Don't forget to switch the blower on before entering tunnels or stopping though, or you will end up well done to crispy when the fire blows back! My only comment about the steam locos is that acceleration seems a little brisk at times, at least compared to what I have experienced travelling behind steam. Diesel is quite a bit easier to handle, but on Marias Pass this is countered by the fact you have to manage a 50 or 60 car consist behind the locos - possibly one mile long and 5000 tonnes in weight. It is easy (actually too easy) to break a coupler if you mis-manage the train handling. Everything you do from advancing the throttle to making a brake application has to be planned ahead and executed with regard to how it might affect the portion of the train 1000 yards back. Your performance is rated on how well you manage passenger comfort and freight durability. Both the US locos are fitted with dynamic braking but as implemented in the simulation are not very effective. It should be possible to slow and nearly stop a train on dynamics but at 40 MPH on level track, full dynamic braking barely retards the train. Simplest of all are the electrics, particularly the Acela which is the Ferrari of the Train Simulator collection. Very easy to get carried away with this baby!
A number of visual aids are provided to assist in operating the train. The most useful of these is the Track Monitor which shows upcoming speed restrictions and signal aspects or if you are being switched at a turnout. You also get a projection of your "expected" speed according to the route ahead if you continue at current throttle or brake settings. In practice this tends to fluctuate especially on undulating routes and an indication of the actual gradients would have been more useful. On a number of the routes (notably Marias Pass, at East Java) you can experience quite abrupt changes in gradient with little or no transition. A few of the gradients seem steeper than they otherwise should be, almost as if the developers have stuck rigidly to the DEM data rather than referring to a gradient profile. This is also probably the best place to mention that curved track is not canted (super-elevated on the outside curve) though one assumes this is factored in to the physics. Other pop-ups tell you how far to the next station stop, allow you to manually switch points in yard limits for switching or call up the train consist. Very useful for steam locos or controlling the train in external view is a HUD view which can be called up on the right side of the screen.
A couple of limitations - you can't change cabs, the forward view is always from the primary traction unit. So when reversing the train you need to do so in external view. This effectively makes it impractical to include lines where trains reverse en route, as you can't change ends (in an MU train), run the loco round the train and change cabs, or attach a fresh engine at the other end facing the correct way.
102 or 202
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