64 Reasons to Play Train Simulator – III: Learning
16 down, 48 to go, we are counting through 64 reasons that you should be playing Train Simulator, and if you already are, maybe there will be some you haven’t thought of!
This week, we will be looking at the education side of Train Simulator.
17 – Set off with the Academy
If you are new to Train Simulator, or simply trains in general (welcome!) then the academy is a fantastic resource that comes with the core package that will run you through the basics of train operations, as well as naturally getting you used to the Train Simulator control layout.
18 – Hone Your Skills
Once the basics have been covered, it’s time to put what you’ve learnt into action. Refine your newfound abilities by playing through the scenarios for each included route, regular practice is the best way for skills to bed in, and of course you can refer back to the Academy to refresh your memory as you go.
19 – Master a Variety of Services
We each find our calling, and in Train Simulator, there’s plenty to shout about and discover. Perhaps you find a sense of nostalgia with steam-era shunting, or want to dial it up by being in charge of the latest and greatest on bustling commuter runs. Once you find what you like, it’s time to get really good at it, and then maybe try out something different, of course!
20 – Get Familiar with a World of Traction
The reach of Train Simulator is far and wide, and as a result, the cabs you’ll step into vary massively, and each locomotive or unit has its own quirks. English, Welsh, Scottish, French, German, Swiss, Austrian, South African, Chinese, Japanese, American, Canadian; all of these territories have unique traction that you can explore and learn to drive.
21 – Learn about Procedures
Some rules and procedures are applicable almost worldwide, and vital to the safe and timely operation of railways, and you’ll pick these up with repetition. However, much like how each territory has its own traction, there will also be changes in procedure, be that for headlight and horn use, methods of coupling, what bespoke signs mean etc. It’s these subtle differences that make each and every locomotive and route stand out.
22 – Learn the Signalling
Arguably the most important element to railway operation, the one that ensures that the environment is as safe as it can be, is signalling. Getting to grips with signalling, and associated safety systems, is a fundamental skill. There are the basic rules, Green=proceed/line clear, Red=stop/danger, but what would life be without variety? Some signals are route-based, where location matters most, and others are speed-based, which advise on how fast or slow you should be going. The manual for each route typically covers the signalling used.
23 – Learn the Routes
There is nothing wrong with driving with the HUD, that’s why it’s there, however if you want to take things to the next level, and drive as real drivers do, then you’ll need to start route learning. Where are the speed limits, what are the speed limits, where’s that signal, at what milepost is that really tricky gradient, when do I need to start braking to make that station stop, how is night time/adverse weather going to affect the above? All stuff you can learn as you continually practice on each route.
24 – Learn Scripting & Modelling… Become a Developer!
Bit of a curve ball here, but it’s not all about driving! By having a read through our developer documentation, you can learn about how locomotive, route and scenario creation works in Train Simulator; and if you feel like learning some new skills you can pick up modelling and scripting, both of which are a core aspect of making your own content from scratch. If you have the desire to learn about creation, Train Simulator is a fantastic way to do that. Third parties have learnt, so can you!
And so, we’re through another 8 reasons that you should be playing Train Simulator. If you want to dive in now, pick up Train Simulator 2018 which will be your last chance to get the included Mittenwaldbahn, North Wales Coastal and Peninsula Corridor: San Francisco - San Jose routes in a 3-in-1 bundle. Or, you can wait for Train Simulator 2019, which will release on October 11th with Soldier Summit and Salt Lake City, the Rhine Railway and Frankfurt High Speed, and the Portsmouth Direct Line!