Train Simulator Spirited Away To Story Of Forest Rail

Choo choo!

While I don’t play Train Simulator 2015, I’ve been keenly awaiting the release of a certain DLC pack so I could post about it. The Story of Forest Rail, you see, is a semi-fictional route winding through beautiful and colourful Japanese countryside, partially inspired by Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. I am always in favour of such things existing, and am glad to see it in the world, and am happy to be writing these here words about it.

Forest Rail is based on the now-closed Furusato Ginga Line in Hokkaido, a logging line that added passenger services, but with new places and stops. It winds through gorgeous countryside, past villages, and over gentle hills, looking to present a very quiet and relaxing route. Developers Union Workshop have made new flora, props, and buildings like temples and hot springs to complete the rural Japanese look. One spot has floating paper lanterns at night and gosh it just looks so nice.

Along with a multi-part story about a new employee joining the line, it has regular missions and free roaming too.

Perhap’s its lucky the Ghibli influence is mostly felt in its lush scenery, as an actually magical route would be too lovely for me too handle. That reminds me of a magical train game I forgot to post about wait hold on I’ll rectify this in a bit.

The Story of Forest Rail will run you £17.99 on Steam and if you bought Train Simulator after TS2012 you’ll also need to buy the European Loco & Asset Pack for £11.99 (though it’s on sale at £7.19 for the next week). [Not with the version Steam sell, you won’t.] That’s on top of £24.99 for Train Simulator 2015 in the first place, so I don’t think I’ll pick this one up on a whim. Shame. I do half-fancy getting into train simulators as some routes look more like scenery simulators with a spot of gentle challenge, which sounds nice.

Look, here’s ‘SimulatedHeaven’ trundling along the start of the route:


  1. Optimaximal says:

    If it helps, wait for a Steam sale and grab the content packs cheap.

    TS 2015 regularly drops to something like 90% off, all the content packs tend to drop to 50% off and the Asset Packs are either bundled with older track packs (Somerset & Dorset Joint gets you the Euro pack, which has a lot of other stuff like the HST set and some other old BR locos) or end up at ~ £2-3.

    • Oozo says:

      That actually does help!
      I never thought about buying a TS, but the lure of those landscapes is strong enough that I would love to give it a try. I expect it will be akin to Euro Truck Simulator, which I didn’t play too much of, even though I really liked the few hours that I spent with it. That means a sale would be perfect.

      • AW says:

        The base game at a discount is a great deal, it includes quite a bit of content. The new “Academy” training has improved a lot over the previous tutorials (and they still have the old tutorials with most routes.)

        Often the sales will feature a bundled package that includes the base plus a few extra DLC.

        They’ll often have a sale or so in the Spring, around Father’s Day for instance. And they often have good deals on Green Man and GamersGate.

      • P.Funk says:

        I’d say that TS2015 is more hardcore than ETS2, depending on the train involved. Some are simulated pathetically and barely constitute a simulation of the right paint colour in the cockpit. Others are marvelously accurate and require reading a manual to drive properly.

        TS is definitely a mixed bag of serious and not so serious simming. It offers the ability to start easy and go pretty hardcore if you want.

  2. tofusheep says:

    reminds me of a dream i had once about a fictional add-on for rise of flight that will never happen in reality.

    “Rise of Flight: Porco Rosso Edition”

    … imagine a wonderful map of the Adriatic Sea, plus all the iconic Aircraft from the Movie to fly around in it!

    visiting hotel adriano, Porco’s hideout, hunting them evil air pirates.. MAKE IT HAPPEN!

    on topic curve… until now i had successfully ignored the train simulators, but after seeing this wonderful route… i might have to dive into it during a hefty sale…

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      That sounds fantastic. If you use a PR blurb like: Fight off Sky Pirates in Fascist Italy!

    • Ross Angus says:

      Robert Yang (of this Parish) has been playing about with those ideas for a bit. Dunno when it will come out, though.

    • Oozo says:

      Also, Ni no kuni has shown us that it’s possible by now to create beautiful graphics in the vein of Ghibli. Your ideas, and those graphics? I’m fairly sure that it would be a surefire hit. But Ghibli are a bit erratic when it comes to licensing their properties, I guess… Still, we have this. This is not nothing.

  3. skittles says:

    Interesting, might look at picking this up sometime. My main gripe with all the Train Simulators is that they are always limited to European and/or US content. I just find it boring. I am buying these sims not just for the trains, but the interesting varied locales to drive through. Yet that second one is usually entirely absent.

    • Tom De Roeck says:

      Japan or China not included?

    • Optimaximal says:

      The routes are built based on general interest and what third-parties are making. They added a huge South African line last year, for example.

      Some routes are inherently unsuitable because of engine limitations – tunnel-heavy routes aren’t much fun because the engine locks the view to internal cameras whenever the train is in a tunnel, so it’s just black all the time.

      • bstard says:

        I wonder though, when the camera is aimed to the outside, what has changed? You can toot-toot and some birds fly up scared, instead of the rather limited toot-toot in a tunnel? Which might be refreshing liberal gay, but that is not the point here. I’m wondering, what is the gaming element?