This article is a translation of Jimmy Armstrong's French review. I have not tested the product myself.
Hello and welcome to this review of Rivet Games' new network, the Glasgow Suburban Northwest!
So back to the roots for Rivet Games with a Scottish route! They offer us a suburban network on the north bank of the River Clyde, serving Glasgow and its inner suburbs. The electrified main line runs from Helensburgh in the west to Springburn in the east via the Glasgow underground section. Several lines branch off from this main route, some of which are non-electrified, such as the route to Glasgow Queen Street upper station (via a portion of the Edinburgh - Glasgow line, also available on Steam separately and created by Thomson Interactive, formerly known as Rivet Games).
The DLC costs € 29.99 (£ 24.99) on the Rivet Games store as well as on Steam and includes two trains: Class 320 (EMU) and Class 158 (DMU).
- The track is pleasing to the eye and the transition to the soil texture and vegetation is well managed.
- Catenary masts are well crafted and well positioned. In addition, the equipment is quite diversified, with the presence of tentioners. The only regret I have is the non-functional neutral sections.
- Ambient sounds give extra life to the route.
- Stations are well detailed; those in the central segment have a nice atmosphere.
- Ground textures are pretty, the dominant grass is neither too light nor too dark. I noticed only one drawback at Glasgow Queen St in winter: ballast is not covered with snow between the tunnel exit and the canopy.
- The journey departing from Helensburgh is spectacular with the River Clyde being close to the track, reminiscent of the shores of Lake Constance! (Schaffhausen - Kreuzlingen; Konstanz - Villingen).
- The sky is beginning to show its age, it would have been interesting to have maybe a new skybox, or at least a new Sun, because the current Sun is made of concentric circles of light, a gradient disc would be more visually pleasing. Clouds, on the other hand, are beautiful as always.
On the banks of the River Clyde!
- This 3-car EMU has basic functionnalities, allowing you to drive without constraints. Please note the lack of a vigilance device.
- The sounds of the train are pleasant, both inside and outside the cab, a two-tone whistle is implemented with separate keys (Space bar and B)
- Physics are good, acceleration is neither too slow nor too fast; braking is also very well managed.
- Very nice sparkle effects on the pantograph.
- It would have been interesting to be able to scroll the destination indicator during the scenario as on the Armstrong Powerhouse Class 320 for example.
The modelling of the Class 320 is accurate and the Scotrail Saltire livery is superb!
- This 2-car EMU also has basic functionnalities, and is therefore suitable for driving without headaches. Here again, there is no vigilance device.
- The sounds are also good, both in the cab and outside, and the separate two-tone whistle is also there.
- The provided version has a different headlight block from the Class 158 included with the Fifth Circle Line, which is a plus.
This Class 158 has just reached the Edinburgh - Glasgow line, here again the modelling is accurate.
Six career scenarios are included in the DLC, allowing you to discover the route in different seasons with both trains. As the stops are frequent, care must be taken to respect the timetables without exceeding the speed limits, which vary frequently on the various journeys.
- Roll on Summerston
- Run For The Hills
- Clydeside Direct
- East Dunbartonshire Commuter
- Washed Out by the Loch
- Where There Once Were Shipyards
Beginning of the winter scenario in Class 158 at Anniesland station, and there is already some AI traffic.
Having seen a lot of negative criticism before the route came out, I was afraid that these critiques were well-founded, but at the end I think that the work done on this add-on is excellent! You can feel a very Scottish atmosphere on this route, the choice of vegetation and scenery is a good reflection of this region in northern Great Britain! The network allows hours of gameplay, and is not boring. It is well worth the 30€, I recommend this DLC!
P.S. This review was made on a mod expressly given by Rivet Games. However, I tried to be as objective as possible.
To see more...
https://youtu.be/LpoRHZfxgKU - credits Alan Thomson Sim (English)
https://youtu.be/fvY1ZFObmlg - credits Train Sim TV (English)
https://youtu.be/_alNYaoEyfQ - credits France Simu (Français)
Thanks to @Jimmy Armstrong Sim for his review, translated by Lus0rius.