My Train Simulator Journey
Last year I was introduced to the world of Train Simulation on the PC. One thing that enabled this was my switch to using MS Windows on our family PC, a decision that deserves a whole article. But in brief although I still support use of Free as Freedom software. There are various factors that led to this: choices of PC to buy; easily setup family options such as child Screen time & Content restriction with the MS set up on Windows 10 (although having PC in living room with all of us is key with ours kids’ usage); my own use of Windows and MS Office at work (I wish this was not so but it is); and now Gaming!.
Already we had used Minecraft (Java Edition) under Linux & Android, but then got the Windows / Xbox Bedrock version but it should be noted that you can only add Mods to the Java version. All are used in our household.
Then during the Summer of 2018 when we we at event at our local heritage railway, there was a stall demoing Train Simulation, and with the enthusiasm of our kids for it we left with a Steam code to download Train Sim World. After trying that we then decided to buy the other Train Simulator from same company that is often referred to as Train Sim Classic, while it has older game engine and so maybe does not look as flashy it offered more routes including those I was more familiar with. And also the suspension of disbelief that can be achieved is due to many factors and not just how game looks but how it sounds as psychological of knowing how detailed and linked to reality aspects of it are, very much related to the community of rail-fans around it.
Be warned, if you get into Train Sim add on-s then you may have to cut back on other aspects of your budget. I recommend you create some strict rules like only buying routes you know in real life or particularly country, or type of train. And in first instance add route/train add on to wish-list and then only buy in a sale which come around often and provide deep discounts especially for older routes and trains, as well as games themselves, and it can be cheaper to get a set of routes packaged with base game, than each on own. Although having splashed out a fair amount on it, I have found it a good hobby & use of my time to clear mind of worries by ‘driving’ a train. It is not as overwhelming as other games for me, and has real world link of interest.
We have also got into various other trains, transport & planing games.
Here are some related links as starting point:
PGTRail Route learning videos
Colonel Failure Videos covering various Games
Tracks: The Toy Train Set Game
Trans America boardgame
Ticket to Ride boardgame