I sometimes fancy visiting the countryside in the driver's cab of a virtual train, especially now I've seen the new Japanese DLC route inspired by Spirited Away, but know I'll never put the time into teaching myself to drive one from manuals and tutorial videos.
Almost as if they knew train simulators appear terrifyingly complex from the outside, Dovetail Games have announced they'll tackle that with Train Simulator 2015. This year's refresh will bring a train-driving academy teaching how to make choo-choos chug-chug, along with new base routes and trains--including a train from the future.
Train Simulator 2015 is due on September 18. It seems the 2015 will be a hefty patch, like TS2014 was, rather than a whole new game. The new base game will another three routes, going from London to Peterborough, New York to New Haven, and Munich to the scenic Bavarian resort of Garmisch-Partenkirschen. That does sound pleasant. The future trains are ones that won't be on that Peterborough service until 2018, not eg sentient trains which scamper about on nanotube legs.
This isn't the year that Train Simulator will make its planned switch to Unreal Engine 4, though. "A little longer," Dovetail say in an interview on their community site Engine Driver. TS2015 will still bring new pretties with the SilverLining 3D cloud tech and more animated platform crowds, though. They're also improving the tools to create custom scenarios and routes too.
As for the Train Simulator Academy, Dovetail explain:
This is a new route featuring custom trains and a whole host of training scenarios to teach users all about driving and operating trains. Broken down into bite size chunks will be everything users need to know in order to get the most from the experience of driving in Train Simulator. Even seasoned players may find they can brush up on their driving techniques, for example learning to use steam engine controls and understanding signals.
It offers awards too. I could be an award winning train driver. Yes, me. It'll all be worth it to drive this lovely in that 'The Story of Forest Rail' DLC: