AVSIM Commercial Train Sim Review

Class 20 Collection

Product Information

Publishers: Just Trains

Description: Train Sim add-on module.

Download Size:
312 MB

Format:
Download / CD
Simulation Type:
Rail Simulator / RailWorks
Reviewed by: Gene Davis Contributing Senior Reviewer - August 13, 2010

Introduction

The other day on my way to work I found myself listening to Billy Joel’s Allentown and I couldn’t help but think about trains, why that song makes me think about trains I have no idea, but it does! Over the last couple weeks I have spent quite a bit of time with Just Trains newest add-on for Rail Works and it is called the Class 20 Collection.

As usual Just Trains does not disappoint with their level of quality when it comes to train add-ons and as I pulled into work and Allentown was winding down I couldn’t really wait for my day to be over so I could go home and get right back into Rail Works and the Class 20 engine!

The Class 20 Collection

Test System

E6600 with 3 GB of Ram
Zotac 9800 video card
XP Home

Sim Time:
15 hours

The Class 20 Collection comes in either a boxed or downloadable content and can be purchased via Just Flight/ Just Trains and from what I can tell there is no significant difference between the two except that with the boxed version you do get a small printed manual. The boxed version installs easily and does not require any registration keys to get it up and going, which is the way I like it.

This software package comes with the Class 20 Diesel Engine, the Rail Head Treatment Train (RHTT) and an FNA Nuclear Flask Carrier. I found this add-on to be rather unique as it is an incredibly versatile package that allows for multiple uses and functions when it comes to railroading, something we really haven’t seen yet for Rail Works. The add-on also come with 12 different scenarios that span just about every default European route in Rail Works, if you own Newcastle to York Modern there are also scenarios included for that package as well and they include duties such as RHTT cleaning.

The Class 20

The real world Class 20, also known as the English Electric Type 1 has been used since it was built back in the late 1950’s, the engine was built between 1957 and 1968 to where it saw the bulk of its service.

Being both an electric and diesel engine it had the potential to be a rather versatile engine, but because it was plagued with problems in its initial design and its underpowered engine it usually had to be coupled with another Class 20 to haul anything of substantial size. The engine only saw a short life as a passenger carrier and was relegated to duties like railroad maintenance and light freight before it was eventually phased out, though you can still find some Class 20’s in use today.

The Class 20 Engine that comes in this package has been beautifully rendered and accurately models its real world counterpart. The liveries that are included in this package are that of real world engines and are accurate to that of their particular regions where the engine is used. Climbing into the locomotive is also a special treat as its age definitely reflects its design, there are a decent set of gauges, dials and knobs that do work and function accurately. Initially I thought that the gauges with the gold trim did not function, but after further investigation those gauges do work and the problem with the non functioning gauges was due to a problem with my computer, operating system and a problem with my video card.

The design of the cab also allows for it to be controlled either looking forward or backward as it does have functioning controls on both sides of the cab. This was a chronic design flaw for the Class 20 as it put the engineer in the same position as the old steam engines and really limited visibility because of the long nose. This problem was corrected when they would hook two Class 20’s up at once and the lead engine would actually be attached backwards giving the engineer an unobstructed view forward allowing for maximum visibility. I also read that engines that are still being used today have attached cameras to the front of the nose to eliminate this problem and now gives the train’s engineer a much better view of what is ahead of them.

For me, when it comes to trains it has to be the sound that grabs me when I look at an add-on like this and let me tell you the Class 20 Collection does not disappoint in the sound department as all of the sounds are 100% accurate and have been recorded from actual Class 20 engines.

 The Class 20 had a reputation for sounding like a helicopter, it is known amongst enthusiasts as the Chopper, and that is definitely noticeable when piloting this beast. The cab is also brought to life with warning bells, authentic brake sounds and my personal favorite the sound when the engine connects with other rail content as it just brings the train to life.

The FEA-F RHTT (Rail Head Treatment Train)

The RHTT is as unique as it is functional in Rail Works! There are several different setups for the RHTT train available in the Class 20 Collection. The first, which is the most used, is that of the three tanks with water and the generator car, the other is usually 1 or 2 tanks of water, with a sandite car and a generator.  The cars themselves are nicely rendered, though I think they look a little too new and are not weathered in their design; they do have accurate markings and fit well into the Rail Works universe though.

The dispersal car is where all the magic happens, as you progress down the track you are instructed to hit the “B” key to turn the system on. If you look to the rear of the engine you will actually see the water being sprayed out over the track and if you go to the external view you will definitely hear it as well.

Cleaning tracks is interesting, but can often take some time especially if you are in a yard or a depot, train speeds are relegated to about 8MPH in the sim so you really need to take it slow! If you are cleaning open areas of track you will still be relegated to a slower speed, but on average it’s about 40MPH on high use rail.

FNA Nuclear Flask Carrier

The FNA Nuclear Flask Carrier is what it is, it has been nicely designed and is accurate to that of real world carriers in and around Europe. The carrier is highly detailed and features an authentic flashing light on the rear of the carrier.

Depending on the load of your nuclear carrier you will notice that its markings will change on the side of the car. If the car is loaded you will see it with its accurate hazard diamonds markings and if it’s unloaded those diamonds will not be present. The car also has a weathered model and a clean, freshly painted, model.

Using the FNA Nuclear Flask Carrier is usually a pretty simple scenario, transport it from A-B and follow the rules of the rail. I think for me, where this could be fun would be to build industrial route where you could haul the rods from where they were used to their waiting trains. This one really adds an interesting element to world creation in Rail Works because it is so unique!

Getting the most out of the Class 20 Collection!

What makes this package so unique is that it uses two different modules designed exclusively for Railworks called ActivTrain and ActiveWagon. These two programs offer something called smart coding technology that gives the products that are available in this package the ability to function as they would in real life thus giving the Class 20 the ability to spray water using the RHTT for track cleaning and giving the FNA package a realistic flashing red tail lamp that also makes it possible to change the engine head code numbers and letters on the engine and its cars.

All Aboard!!

The Class 20 Collection from Just Trains is simply fun and I strongly recommend it to anyone who uses Rail Simulator or Rail Works. This collection is a unique set of rail content that offers hours of rail simulating and even if you don’t want to spend hours using it, there are scenarios that will give a short taste of it as well!

 

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