CRH380D High Speed Train and Chengdu-Suining Route Bundle Pack
A review by Peter Hayes
Just Trains have produced yet another interesting passenger (high speed)route and loco which can be purchased either as a bundle pack (CRH380D HighSpeed Train and Chengdu-Suining Route Bundle Pack) or separate route and loco(Chengdu to Suining High Speed Route (includes CRH1A EMU [Electro-Motive Unit])& CRH380D High Speed Train).
This is a so-called “end to end” route but it is extremely well done andinteresting and will be welcomed by all adrenalin seeking Sinophiles.
The High speed Chengdu to Suining route is a modern passenger route locatedin Southwest China. The route is 146km (90 miles) in length, and in the bundlepack the CRH380D is capable of running at 350 km/h, being able to complete thejourney in just about 33 minutes.
Starting from Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province, the line runsthrough ShibanTan, Huaikou, Longsheng, Jijin, Zitong, Cangshan, Daying andfinishing in Suining, being part of the 2078 km (1290 miles) longShanghai–Wuhan–Chengdu High-Speed Railway line.
The route comes with the CRH1A EMU (Electro Motive Unit) which has a topspeed of 250 km/h (155 mph) but with a service speed of 220 km/h (137 mph). TheCRH1E includes the Chinese Train Control System - CTCS-3 Cab signalling systemwhich is similar to the European Train Control System (ETCS). The CTS-3signalling comprises: Balise (transponder/beacon) + GSM-R + ATP, using CTCS-2as the backup system, and the CTCS-3 is equivalent to the European ETCS Level-2+ CTCS-2.
The route itself comes with 6 standard scenarios and 1 quick drive scenario,and is compatible with TS2014’s Quick Drive Mode.
The bundle adds in the CRH380D High Speed Train with a top speed of 380km/h(236 mph) and in service they usually have a configuration of a) CRH380D (8-carset) & b ) CRH380DL (16-car set). This HST belongs to the family ofBombardier Zefiro passenger units designed by Bombardier Transportation withthe 380D having the highest service speeds.
Coupled with the CRH380D are four “standard” scenarios, and two free roamscenarios for the Chengdu-Suining High Speed Route. The CRH 380D is compatiblewith TS2014’s Quick Drive Mode.
- Chengdu City population around 20 million, and surrounds population approaching 30 million
- Fourth most populace city in China
- Capital Sichuan Province
- China’s fourth most liveable city
- Last city to fall into communist hands in 1949
- To date has the world's largest building - the New Century Global Centre at 328 feet (100 m) high, 1,640 feet (500 m) long, and 1,312 feet (400 m) wide
- Home of the Shu Opera
- Great centre for Mahjong
- Established a breeding centre for giant Pandas
- Home to Asia Moon Bear Sanctuary in Chengdu, China
- 70% of Chinese Medicinal Plants found in Sichuan Province
- Gateway to the Tibetan Plateau and Himalayas
- Jinsha is an archaeological site is located in the Qingyang District of Chengdu
- iPads are made in Chengdu plus many laptop components
Download and Install
The package full and upgrade is available as a download (353MB – route and35MB Loco with an extracted size of approx. 1270MB (incl. Assets) and 153 MBrespectively). There is also a boxed version available on the JT website.
Installation is typical of Just Trains, just open the supplied “.exe” fileenter in your login details to verify the purchase and the installer finds thecorrect path to install the software in TS 2014. Minor point: I do wishthat JT could modify this procedure so that your details are saved and could beused on a subsequent verification and/or JT allow password managers (e.g.RoboForm) to complete the details for you. It gets quite tedious when youseveral downloads to verify.
The installation procedure does not use the “.ap” file structure now used inTS2014 and this makes it easier to edit scenarios etc. without having toextract files from the compressed “.ap” structure.
There are 2 manuals one for the route and one for the high speedlocomotive.
The route manual “Chengdu to Suining HS route, including the CRHIA EMU” wasa little disappointing in that there was no really good comprehensive guide todriving the CRHIA EMU and how to utilise all of the features. There was nomention of the scenarios included with this package. However it coverscomprehensively “Installation, support and uninstallation”, which simmers willfind useful. Further it gives an excellent breakdown on CTCS-3 signallingsystem, which needs to be read and understood to utilise this route to itsmaximum potential.
The HST manual, “CRH380D HST Driver’s Guide” is quite comprehensive,describing installation, support, etc.’, and continuing with coverage of how todrive this formidable beast. The CTCS-3 signalling system is describedbriefly, but not in the same depth as in the route manual. However, therewere good descriptions as to what the flashing symbols and speedreductions/increments actually meant.
Both manuals can be found using the \Start Menu\All programs\JustTrains\Name of Route/HST and in the RailWorks\Manuals\EN (English) folder.
To reiterate, if in doubt “Read the Flipping Manual” first!
Background: (from Wikipedia):
The Suining to Chengdu is part of the Dazhou–Chengdu Railway comprising ahigh speed double-track, electrified rail corridor in Sichuan Province ofsouthwest China. It is also part of the vastly longer Shanghai–Wuhan–ChengduHigh-Speed Railway. The route is one of the 4 East-West high-speed railcorridors detailed in China's national high-speed rail plan and will serve theneeds of over 320 million potential rail travellers...
The Suining to Chengdu services the provincial town of Suining (pop 3.3m) toChengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in Southwest China It has a populationof 20+million in the city and surrounding urban and rural environs.
This part of China is one of the most important economic, transportation,and communication centres in China, and it requires a good transportationnetwork to function optimally and bring new prosperity to this former ruralregion.
The line starting from Chengdu passes through the following stations,ShibanTan, Huaikou, Longsheng, Jijin, Zitong, Cangshan, Daying ending inSuining, giving the simmer 146km of high speed unleashed adrenalin simming.
As stated above the route is equipped with a sophisticated signallingsystem, enabling both 350 km/h and 250 km/h capable trains to run on it.
System Requirements from JT:
Train Simulator 2014 that was upgraded from Train Simulator 2012 on 20thSeptember 2012. If you purchased Train Simulator after that date you willrequire the following assets for the route to display correctly:
- European Loco & Asset Pack (available to purchase via Steam)
- US Loco & Asset Pack (available to purchase via Steam).
- 3.0GHz PC or any Dual Core
- Windows 8 / 7 / XP / Vista
- 512MB RAM (1GB for Windows 8 / 7 / Vista)
- 256MB graphics card
- Direct X 9.0c compatible sound card
- 575MB hard drive space
To me, these system requirements are a little optimistic, (but to be fairthey are the specs minimum recommended by RSC/DTG) and I would aim a littlehigher if you want top maintain realistic smooth trouble-freeperformance. The RAM requirements are on the low side as Windows 7 64-bititself needs 2+GB of RAM to run without TS2014 and this route and HST and I sawup to 1 to 2GB of RAM being used by the Route and the HST. I would recommend toanyone running a 64-bit OS to have at least 4GB (and better 8GB) of matched RAMto ensure smooth performance.
The 256MB graphics card is also a little optimistic, unless you are runninga small monitor. RSC/DTG wrt TS2014 recommends a graphics card with 1-2GB VRAM(for best results) and a memory bandwidth of at least 60GB/sec. Running a24” 1920 x 1200 monitor I saw a VRAM usage of around 1.5 GB (1500MB). IMHO you would need at least a GTX560/Radeon HD 5770 with 1 to 2 GB of VRAMdepending on monitor size.
The download sizes also differ for the route as I saw: 708MB for TSLiuFolder, 272 MB for the CNLiu Folder and 293MB for the content\route folder,i.e. a total of 1273MB or 1.27GB.
Both the route and the HST ran without issue on my Windows 7 64-bit andWindows 8.1 Update 1 64-bit systems, with TSX on and/or off. I saw littleeffect on frame rates and all the scenarios, standard, free roam and quickdrive, performed as they should without issue.
Important note from Just Trains about TS2014:
Important! Please note that the Chengdu – Suining route is compatible withTrain Simulator 2014 that was upgraded from Train Simulator 2012 on 20thSeptember 2012. If you purchased Train Simulator after that date you willrequire the following assets for the route to display correctly:
- European Loco & Asset Pack (available to purchase via Steam)
- US Loco & Asset Pack (available to purchase via Steam)
Chengdu to Suining High Speed Route
My Visual observations
I need to state straight away that this is a high speed passenger route withno freight applications and so far I have not found any other scenarios exceptthose supplied with the route. The route is 143km long and comes completewith a 250km/h EMU, i.e. the CRH1A.
The route is fairly straight with few severe curves and in the most partlevel (maximum gradient 2% - made possible by long stretches of elevated track)and there are also quite a few tunnels and bridges. Just Trains tell usthat the bridges and tunnels comprise >60% of the route. However evenon the elevated sections (bridges), it is still a quite a scenic routedepicting rivers and streams, farms, trees and you pass through valleys andhills as well as towns and cities.
The stations are well modelled, with platform lengths of 450m, i.e. capableof accommodating a 16 car consist. I could not see any car stoppingmarkers for say an 8 car consist, but then my Chinese reading skills arenon-existent. I did not hear any station announcements so perhaps there arenone (confirmed by JT). The stations that you can stop at are: Chengdu,ShibanTan, Huaikou, Longsheng, Jijin, Zitong, Cangshan, Daying, andSuining.
The track is well done and looks like it does in the real world, for themain portion of the 146km mainline (and 6km branch line) it has 2 x ChinaRailway Class I Electrified tracks. The points (switches) are wellmodelled as is the ballast and the track itself. (I did not concern myself withany minor imperfections if indeed there were any.)
This route claims that it has more than 150 Chinese-featured objects for theroute, and certainly the environment and buildings reflects those features. Thecityscapes are large and vast, maybe a little repetitive, but without detrimentto their realism. The skyscrapers are well lit at night and certainly give youthe impression that you passing through a city. Similarly the countrysidehas rich features, including variety, great colours, shadows and lighting. Thestation at Chengdu even features its own shopping mall with a variety of shopsand stores – that’s what I call attention to detail. However, because you aretravelling at very high speeds, coupled with a sophisticated signalling system,you have very little opportunity to admire the environment as you need to keepfocussed on driving the locos especially when you can’t use the various automodes.
One amusing note (well it appealed to my warped sense of humour) is thatthere can’t be any Chinese person/people objects as all of the passengerstramping up and down the platforms are definitely Caucasian in origin, and JTtell me that they are all tourists!
The roads are well done, with flowing traffic, and whilst it would have beennice to see more vehicles, but at 350km/h they are gone in a flash.
The best visual experience for me was when a scenario was based at dusk andyou could see some fantastic lighting effects as you flashed through the vastinterior of this massive country.
I guess, in the end, this is a route about travelling fast and controllinglocomotives that travel at high speed and need to be stopped safely forpassengers to disembark.
As I say above the DLC includes the CRH1A EMU which has a top speed of 250km/h (155 mph) and a service speed of 220 km/h (137 mph), and the CRH1Eincludes the CTCS-3 Cab signalling system (more later). From Wikipedia:CRH1A and CRH1B are based on Bombardier's Regina family. The train was designedby Sifang and Bombardier jointly in Västerås, Sweden and originally namedC2008.
This comes as 8 car unit that can be driven in either direction with a whitelivery blue stripe and the CRH logo. Both the cab and the passengercompartments (cars) are well modelled and you can distinguish between the firstand second class interiors by the trim, and both are well appointed, and eachcar (at either end), displays the speed that the train is travelling. There are very good views from each car, but I found them to be slightly noisysay compared to the driver’s cab.
From the outside it looks great, with a streamlined body and sparkling trim,in other words, it really looks the part.
The cab has some nice detail, with two main centre flat screen displays thatdisplay the elements of the CTCS-3 Cab signalling system (on the left) and theother the train speed with the cruise control buttons in front of thisdisplay. The right displays details, such as, train car number,destination, status alert, car numbers and pantograph indicator, and blue andyellow bands with only Chinese characters. The Left Flat-Screen Display has anon-operative keypad and phone and a button to raise/lower the pantograph, theemergency and start-up buttons are on the console in front of thisdisplay. These screens were not described in detail in the manual, otherthan the signalling system screen.
There is a tutorial (standard scenario) included called: “(CRH1A) 1.Introduction to CRH1A EMU - This scenario teaches you how to drive the CRH1AEMU.” This is hardly necessary as the loco is quite easy to drive, but it doeshelp with the signalling and the cruise control features. I found thatthe F4 HUD “got in the way” of the cab displays and so used the F5 HUD to drivethe unit.
The forward car of the unit features a very powerful head light which isquite bright in TS 2014 and the rear unit has a flashing red light as it doesin real life.
Acceleration is smooth using the “A”/”D” keys or the X-Box 360 PC controllerwith the unit having dynamic braking built into the throttle control. Braking was smooth and even braking from high speeds brought the train undercontrol without upsetting the passengers.
The Cab comes equipped with a cruise control feature as well as an advancedcruise control feature. Using the “standard” cruise control just keepsthe EMU at the speed that you have set it at, and as far as I could see did notreduce speed in accordance with the signalling system. The advanced systemcould be set at any speed and it would keep the train at the signal (i.e.recommended and mandatory speeds and signal condition) accelerating anddecelerating according to the signalling system, and even stopping at a stationwhen “0” speed was indicated. I liked this system much better than theone in the CRH380D.
One control that was not described (as far as I could see) in the manual,was the cab lighting switch, and I had to ask JT where to find it, and yes itsthere on the left console. Neither was there any explanation on how theheadlights worked as they also seemed to be coupled with the instrumentlighting as well?
I could not get the head out view to work and this may be a feature of thisEMU in that it might be rather dangerous to open any window at high speed, asyour going as nearly fast as a small regional jet.
All in all the driving experience was good especially in free roam.
Included are a 6 standard, (but timed), scenarios and 1 Free Roam scenariowith the route and CRH1A being Quick Drive Compatible. The scenarios arevaried showing off the route at differing weather, seasons and time i.e. dayand night. The complexity is not too high, but they contain enough variables tomake them interesting. If you enjoy driving very fast indeed through superbcountry under any condition – then this is the route for you!
I have to say from the outset, that I do not like timed or career scenariosas on many occasions you have to drive and brake very fast in order to completethem and get the much-prized “green tick”. So, I found that the times stoppingat and between stations were too tight, and on one occasion I was kept waitingat one station and was too late to arrive at the next station and got the redcross and failed the scenario. IMHO the timings need to be a little moreliberal and not so restrictive and punitive.
Stopping at stations was also a little hit or miss, in the fact I wasn’tsure where the train should stop in relation to the platform, but on manyoccasions (not all) you are helped by the advanced cruise control and thesignalling system as the latter showed “0” at some point on the platform andyou could either brake manually or allow the cruise control to do it for youand come to a halt to allow the passengers to disembark.
The Free Roam and Quick Drive scenarios were excellent with no timerestraints.
On the whole the sounds are good and JT state that they are “custom sounds”but do not indicate if they from the real world or not i.e. authentic, butinformed me that they were Chines in origin.
One observation, I don’t know if some of the sounds were faulty, but onopening the passenger doors the sound ceased after a couple of seconds andsilence ensued until the doors closed again. JT reassured me that this was whatit would sound like in real life.
There was an audible indication for when you could move on after loading newpassengers but I could not find a method of acknowledging that signal and notsure if that reflects real life.
The CTCS-3 Signalling System
I have included this as a separate section to try to explain it better as itneeds to be mastered in order to drive any HST on this route. This in cabsignalling allows the driver to monitor signals and speed limits more easilythan looking out of the cab at high speeds. The FLAT-SCREEN display inthe cab gives all of the relevant data including, Signal Aspect, Signal Speed,Current track speed, next track speed, distance to next track speed (in 10 kmincrements), and the safety system switch – default is ON. The manualdetails the signalling system in good detail and I recommend that you read thissection and then run the first scenario “Introduction to CRH1A EMU”.
Basically if a signal speed is displayed then keep you speed to the signalspeed, and if there is NO signal speed displayed then run at the track speedand/or use the advanced cruise control.
The system is well modelled and it will show you the speeds to reduce toe.g. when approaching a station, about 10 km out, the speed is reduced from thetrack/signal speed progressively down e.g. 200. 160, 90 km/h (green/yellowindicator) to 45 km/h (red indicator) about 0.5 Km from the end of theplatform. In most cases this reduces to 0km/h (red indicator) once youare running up the platform, indicating that you should brake and stop.
Because you really need to see this FLAT-SCREEN whilst driving – I tended touse the F5 HUD only or no HUD at all when driving this train.
Note: If your speed is 5km/h more than the track speed, or you pass a redsignal travelling >45km/h (no braking) then the emergency brakes will beapplied.
CRH380D High Speed Electric Train (HST)
This can be purchased separately or included with the route as a bundlepack, i.e. you need the route to run this loco.
I have described the pedigree of this HST above, being part of theBombardier “Zefiro” development. It is capable of an operating speed of350 km/h (220 mph).
- CH380D HST System Requirements:
- Train Simulator 2014
- 3.0GHz PC or any Dual Core
- Windows 8 / 7 / XP / Vista
- 512MB RAM (1GB for Windows Vista / 7 / 8)
- 256MB graphics card
- Direct X 9.0c compatible sound card
- 161MB hard drive space
- Note: see my comments about specifications above.
- Note: The Quick Drive scenario acts as a sort of tutorial in that it accesses most of the features on this train. Well worth driving first.
In the Cab
The cab is state-of-the-art and is well detailed showing the 3 FLAT-SCREENconsoles, left, centre and right, including gauges and displays (as inthe real deal) these are apparently illuminated via the headlight switch. The cab is also illuminated at night. This also comes as 8 and 16 carunit that can be driven in either direction with a white livery blue stripealong the beautifully streamlined body. The train looks phenomenal with sleeklines that just ooze speed (see above).
The flat screen displays the train service number (also displaysexternally), current track speed limit, next track speed limit, distance tonext limit (max 10km), and a linear ribbon which operates when
An audible alarm will sound if you exceed the designated track speed. Hereyou can also disable this alarm for external views (via a button in front ofthe FLAT-SCREEN), – if you do and you are “outside” sight seeing you cannottell if there is a hazard ahead. There is also an “emergency stop button” foremergency braking.
The centre flat-screen displays the train speed in km/h, the track speed,traction effort, plus braking pressure details. in front on the console are aseries of buttons and switches, including, pantograph up/down, headlightswitch, cab interior light, horn, master key on/off the cruise control switch,and the cruise control rotary speed setting.
The flat panel displays the train car number, station names, status alertindicator, and the car (compartment) numbers. The blue bar below thisdisplays the cruise control speed that you set in the rotary button in front ofthe centre display. Below this is a black bar that displays other informationincluding if the pantograph is up or down. There is also an indicatorshowing if the train doors are open – useful to know when departing astation!
The buttons, switches, and handles, adjacent to this flat-panel display,control the wipers, sander, reverser, and throttle.
In my opinion the cab is very well detailed, displaying all the pertinentflat-screen displays, switches, levers, buttons, etc., and IMO it is easier todrive this HST without the F3/F4 HUDs, i.e., with themouse/controller/keyboard, with perhaps just using the F5 HUD for occasionalreference.
Both the cab and the passenger compartments (cars) are well modelled but youcan only see the interior of 1 car, the view does not change as it does in theCRH1A. The train speed and other information is displayed at the end of eachcar, but in this case only in Chinese (well it is a train running in China, notforgetting those European tourists).
There does not appear to be a “head out of the cab view” on this loco, butthat is in keeping with safety and the cab design (see CRH1A above).
The controls can be manipulated using the mouse, keyboard, Xbox 360® PCcontroller and/or a mixture of all 3. I did not test the controls using aRaildriver® controller, but the latter should work as the CH380D uses standardkeyboard controls).
Once you have mastered the signalling system, and how to set the cruisecontrol speed (I found this quite difficult to judge and adjust with my mouse)this HST is very easy to control. With the cruise control it isrecommended that you set it at either 5 or 10 km below the indicated speedlimit to avoid over speeding and it can only be set in 10km/h increments.Therefore, in my opinion, the cruise control is not as versatile as that it theCRH1A in that you have to manually adjust the cruise control speed according totrack conditions whereas in the CRH1A this was automatic. In consequenceI rarely used this cruise control function and preferred to drive the HSTmanually.
Braking, to come to a halt at a station, is realistic and is set accordingto well defined guidelines from the excellent signalling system. It goessomething like this: Running at a top speed of 350km/h - 10 km from astation (you will see the speed limit of 45 km/h at 10 km distance) , at 7.5 kmout, green advisory will recommend 300 km/h, at 5.5 km out a yellow advisorywill recommend 230 km/h (display double flashing yellows), at 3.5 km out ayellow advisory plus audible alert will recommend 160 km/h, at 2 km out ayellow advisory plus audible alert will recommend 90 km/h, at around 0.5km fromthe platform a red advisory plus audible alert will mandate 45 km/hr. Onentering the platform in some scenarios and this reduces to 0km/h (redindicator) once you are running up the platform, indicating that you shouldbrake progressively and stop. Because most of the standard scenarios aretimed you need to make sure that don’t brake too early (get the red cross forbeing late) or braking too late (risking derailment etc.), and believe me thattakes practice. This is a great part of driving in this route, giving you thesame opportunity as a real engineer to drive these vey fast HSTs.
I found the driving experience to be as good as any other HST in my TS2014sidings, easy to accelerate, brake, and giving the impression of speed. This is the fastest loco in the TS2014 range, and easy to drive.
I thought that the sounds were appropriate for this type of train, and didnot hear much repetition. JT state that sounds with this loco are, “,authentic custom sounds” but do not elaborate further. The sounds insidethe cars are whisper quiet, with just track noise being heard.
With the route and the CRH1A you get 6 x Standard scenarios (timed)including: 1. Introduction to CRH1A EMU, 2. Fast service to Jijin, 3. Badweather run 4. Short passenger run, 5. Night Express, 6. Commuter
With the bundle pack or adding the CH380D you get:
4 x Standard scenarios (timed), including 1) Dawn Service, 2) EveningRescue, 3) Morning Service and 4) Night Express, plus 2 Free Roam Scenarios and1 Quick Drive scenario (also serves as a “tutorial” for the
The scenarios are very good giving a wide variety of passenger duties, bothnon-stop and high speed suburban, utilising the whole track with a wideexperience of weather, time of day and seasons. They should give manyhappy hours driving these nicely modelled HSTs. The fast ones wereexhilarating.
How does it run on my PC?
My PC specs are listed below, and I did not see any real impact on framerates, suffer any stuttering or minor pauses using this locomotive. I use TSXON and OFF and in both cases performance was fine and image clarity verygood.
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
Windows 8.1 update 1
Intel Core i5 3470 @ 3.20/3.60GHz
i5, 4670K @ 4.4Ghz
16.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 802 x 2MHz (9-9-9-24)
16.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 802 x 2MHz (9-9-9-24)
Z68X-UD3H-B3 (Socket 1155)
Z87-G45 (socket 1150)
DELL 24” Resolution (1920x1200@59Hz)
Samsung Syncmaster 2233 R
2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti (MSI - Maxwell)
223GB KINGSTON SV300S37A240G (SSD)
256GB OCZ Vertex SSD
Realtek High Definition Audio
Realtek High Definition Audio
TSX Graphics settings
FXAA+2 x 2xSSAA
Depth of Field
I quite liked this HST bundle from Just Trains, being a high speed route itgives you the chance to run at 350Km/h and also keep the train under control atthese speeds. I liked the scenarios as they were interesting and utilised theroute in its entirety.
I did not notice any visual issues with this route, but found it better interms of AA and Moire effects on the points to run it with TSX off. Thisis a limitation of the TS2014 game engine rather than any fault associated withthis software.
However I did feel that the manuals could have been improved and the timedscenarios were difficult in some cases to get that highly prized greentick. Having said that this was a fun route and very enjoyable.
Again I have to repeat that because JT do not distribute their products viaSTEAM there will be no RSC/DTG community workshop scenarios. That aside I’msure that there will be scenarios say from websites like UKTS ,trainsim.com and others.
I give the route and the CH380D 7.5 out of 10 on my chuffometer – well worthit and with some minor improvements and the availability of more scenarios itwould score even higher chuff chuffs..
- Images included with the courtesy of
- Sichuan Province Wikimedia Commons,
- Shanghai–Wuhan–Chengdu High-Speed Railway courtesy Wikimedia Commons
- CRH1 at Guangshen Railway courtesy Wikimedia Commons, author Phil Sangwell
- Zefiro 380 (CH380D) Wikimedia Commons, author Björn König
- Full Route courtesy China Highlights http://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/transportation/china-high-speed-rail.htm
- CH380D loco courtesy Wikimedia Commons, author 火车仔