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    Mid Hants Railway and Scenario Pack


    The Mid Hants Railway and Scenario Pack: The Watercress Line


    The Mid Hants Railway, also known as The Watercress Line, is a single track that runs for ten miles from Alresford Station with stops in Ropley, Medstead, Four Marks and then onto Alton Station where The Watercress Line eventually meets up to the mainline. The route follows accurate signaling and realistic gradients based on the actual real life route and include accurate signage, custom buildings, sounds and objects throughout the region.


    The route comes with multiple scenarios and is geared more towards the use of steam trains than other more modern engines, though you can make use of just about any train you want using the Quick Drive function in Train Simulator as it allows you to just drop it into the route.  It comes with 10 different scenarios and offers passenger service, freight service to just moving stock from one location to another and will have you in the Black 5 or the Class 37 for the default TS 2013 designed scenarios.


    If you own the Class 3700 "City Of Truro", the GWR Manor Class, A4 Pacific, Class 37 Advanced and the Rebuilt Bullied Pacific add-ons then you will have access to a greater range of scenarios to pick from, a total of 10 more to be exact. The extra scenarios will have you transporting passengers, taking a short dining tour and even taking the Class 3700 on an extensive photo shoot for train enthusiasts. I strongly recommend picking up either the Manor Class or the Class 3700 to go along with this route.


    My Impressions Of The Route


    The route itself is beautiful and offers seasonal environments, along with night and day travel and as you progress along the 10 miles of track you will quickly take notice that you are in a rural setting with wide open valleys and lots of farmland. The route is best experienced from the cab of a steam engine as it allows you to take full advantage of some of these marvelous views at a moderate pace.




    Navigating the route is deceptively difficult though as you have to account for the gradients out of Alresford and then out of Alton on your way back to Alresford. I caught myself a couple times not paying attention and I let my train lose too much momentum and I found myself sitting on the track with nowhere to go except backwards. 10 miles may not seem like much but this route has kept me busy and every time I go back to I find something I missed the last time I used it.




    Navigating to each of the towns through the route was also a visually stunning experience as each station has its own distinct signage, custom buildings and objects. I was also impressed how the little towns seemed to go on even when they were out of sight from the rail line; typically the virtual towns only exist within eyeshot of the rail line. You can make out cars, buses and trucks in the far off distance and there are people and workers at all of the stops, thus bringing the route to life.




    In some spots the view is almost picturesque; for example, standing at the shore of small lake you find yourself looking out over the valley and you can make out a bustling town out in the far distance with cars moving in the background and tree lines dotting the horizon.




    I decided that I would try dropping in the F40PH California Zephyr in the Quick drive option for this route and it actually worked, though I didn't take the train any faster than 25 MPH it made for an interesting run and allowed a modern look at the Mid Hants Route through the cab of the Zephyr.


    Overall I found the Mid Hants route to be a wonderfully designed route with a lot of extra features geared specifically for the use of steam engines, this is nice because there isn't a lot out there that is just geared for that type of rail service when it comes to specific payware routes as most are designed with diesel in mind.




    Mid Hants Scenario Pack & Just Trains Mk 1 Coaches


    This package adds 12 more hours of train driving fun to the Mid Hants route with 10 more scenarios that open the route up to some of the other payware locomotive packages available via Just Trains.


    The Scenarios will have you transporting passengers using engines like the A4 Pacific, Class 3700, GWR Manor Class, LMS Patriot, Rebuilt Bulleid Light Pacific, and the 6220 with their associated content and will have you driving anywhere from 45 minutes to an 1 hour and 40 minutes long in any given scenario.




    The extra scenarios were great because it brought the 3700, GWR Manor, and Light Pacific into the Mid Hants route for me and I was able to do most of driving with those particular trains while using this route. Unfortunately I have lost my A4 and I do not have the 6220 so I was unable to look at those scenarios.


    Tickets Please!


    Publisher: Just Trains
    Reviewed By: Gene Davis

    The Mid Hants route and its scenario pack can be purchased from the Just Trains website. The route is available via download or boxed version for $29.99 and the scenario pack is available via download for $10.99

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