"A definite buy for all those who are budding train drivers!" - Railway Illustrated


A definite buy for all those who are budding train drivers! This computer simulation is probably about as close as you can get to actually driving a 'real' train. the program allows the operator to enjoy the experience of driving along the classic and well known route between Exeter St Davids and Plymouth over the popular South Devon sea wall route.

The screen is laid out in an easy to understand format, and tries to keep as close as possible to a real cab layout. The route is displayed through the window, and is real video, filmed directly from a driving cab, and not produced by computer graphics. In the main, the software does a good job of replicating the driving conditions, including simulated sound effects of AWS and other cab sounds. There are a few little quirks -  for example when having chosen to drive an HST, one of the tasks before starting the train is to close (on screen) a set of sprinter type doors! But these are very minor issues and certainly do not detract from an excellent software package.

The video footage was filmed around the 1980s, when semaphore signaling still existed in some places. Because the speed of the video is altered by the software to match the speed that you are  'driving', the playback can be a bit 'jerky' at times, but this is the technology and no fault of the simulation.

A well recommended product for all enthusiasts, but beware you can easily get hooked and lose all track of time! RT



"I found the video on this route to be very smooth running, and was particularly impressed with the additional controls on the enhanced cab display" - TRACTION Magazine


This latest review of the popular Cab View Driver simulation covers the route up north between Dundee and Edinburgh, crossing both the Tay and Forth bridges. The new version has an improved and enhanced Cab View 3 providing a more realistic 3D cab display on the screen with fully working controls appropriate to the traction selected. If you have previously purchased earlier versions of Cab View Driver then you will be pleased to know that the latest version is fully compatible with all existing routes, and what is more, will automatically upgrade them when installed. I found the video on this route to be very smooth running, and was particularly impressed with the additional controls on the enhanced cab display. 

Depending on the type of train chosen, you the Driver now have to go through preparatory actions prior to starting off. These include starting the engine, switching on the headlight, and even activating the door close button before waiting the 'right away'. The flexibility of the simulation is such that virtually ANY working, consist and locomotive combination can be chosen, from a humble multiple unit on an Edinburgh local, to a Class One working from Aberdeen behind your chosen traction. You have the opportunity to add coaches to your chosen loco-hauled service; you can even decide the condition of the locomotive, or even make it a double-headed working.

Cab sounds and engine noises are, of course, included for extra realism. As with previous  versions, at the end of the run you can view and print off your performance if you so wish with a view to improving next time round! This reviewer was glad there were no real passengers on board his class 40- hauled Aberdeen - Edinburgh express.... The simulations work on Windows 95 and above and are currently available with £5 off, making the price £39.95 each. However, a Special Offer is available giving three for the price of two -  choose three simulations from the 22 available and pay for only two (for further details see the advert on page 40 of this issue).


"There is hours of fun to be had attempting to improve your driving, and trying out different loco/unit types and schedules". - Rail Express


Cabview Driver 20: Dundee-Edinburgh

(Computer simulation) This CD is one of a series of 'Cabview Drivers' from Traingames, each featuring a different route, and enables you to experience what it is like to drive a train over the line. There have been reports of some software having trouble working with Windows XP, but this CD presented no problems when being loaded and the instructions were easy to follow.

The simulation comes with a video of the route ahead which plays on the PC monitor, giving added realism. There is a choice of driving a Dundee-Edinburgh limited stop service, or a 'stopper' from Kirkaldy to Edinburgh. Various schedules are provided (ranging from a fast Aberdeen-Kings Cross using an HST, to a Class 27 hauled Kirkaldy-Edinburgh), although you can elect to use any form of motive power on a schedule - be warned however, that using, for example, a Class 24 on a Class 158 schedule you will have great difficulty keeping to time! It is also possible to specify the condition of your traction, from 'ex Works' to 'run down'.

As well as a video screen, the PC monitor shows the controls of the loco/unit chosen as motive power -like the real thing, the position of the controls varies according to the type. The train is controlled using a combi-nation of the mouse and keyboard. In addition to the power and brake handles, there are other items which must be used during the game, such as the horn and. Gradient profiles are shown, as well as current and forth-coming speed limits - exceed the limit by more than 10 mph and an emergency brake application comes into force.

At the end of the game, a summary of your game, showing errors made, is displayed. Points are lost for items such as failure to cancel the AWS, late running, excessive speeding, and the ultimate driver error - a SPAD! Your reviewer has to confess to being guilty of this offence more than once on the first few attempts at playing the game! There is hours of fun to be had attempting to improve your driving, and trying out different loco/unit types and schedules.



"The simulation worked well and is very user-friendly"- Railway Magazine


This CD -ROM gave me considerable problems before I managed to get down to driving. Whether this is down to me not being a 'techie' I'm not sure. [ I'm not sure either, you just run 'setup' from the CVD folder and it installs itself - Ashley].

However, once started the simulation worked well and is very user-friendly as you get into your journey.

You can watch your 'drive' at all times via a 'window' containing a real time video of the actual route taken from a real cab. This video helpfully labels key points like junctions and stations along the line of route which can be checked against the track layout option provided to assist you. A further aid provided is the line gradient profile and if this is chosen, you can measure progress against the route map and speed profile of the line. There is also a very useful hotkey table to guide you.

As usual, Cab View contains pre-selected journeys but as you gain experience, the player can select his own train, route, training load and factor in various conditions that will effect the drive.

The screen is very full with lots of things to look out for and is accompanied by realistic sounds. It is also realistic, as I could not achieve the maximum speed for a Class 73 but easily exceeded it for a Juniper!

At the end of your journey, you can check your performance on screen and then in print if you wish to keep a permanent record of that perfect journey!

If you are enthused by this type of activity, then this CD is worth considering purchasing. However, this reviewer prefers the real thing! It was tested on a P100/40MB RAM PC and ran pretty well. PM



 ' a well thought out and very realistic simulation which should give hours of pleasure' - Traction Magazine


This latest driver simulation from TRAINgames follows the familiar format to their other simulations BUT with a number of improvements, which further enhance the experience.

The CD Rom samples covers the Southern Region lines between Victoria and Brighton, with the bonus of secondary routes and suburban schedules. But, don't worry if you think it's all about driving EMUs! There is complete flexibility to choose your traction, schedule and even the consist of the train.

The new features are contained in the CABVIEWtwo driver which is easily installed, following the simple to read instructions contained in the CD Rom. This is a reformatted version of the driver contained in earlier routes available on CD Rom, and gives much better control on sound and performance. It is a simple operation to install CABVIEWtwo over any original version already on the hard drive, and thereby gain all the enhancements on earlier routes.

For those of you who have not yet sampled the CABVIEW simulation, a brief overview is in order. Basically you are in control of a train along any of the routes covered in the CD Rom. There is a moving video of the actual line as you drive along, whilst obeying line speed restrictions, signals, AWS bells and Driver Safety Devices. Various on screen reminders help to show exactly how well (or how bad!) you are doing against booked time. It is quite a challenge to master the controls and bring your train to a safe stop at each station. With the current focus on SPADs, this simulation proves how much concentration is required. 

The enhancements contained in this latest release allow the train consist to be altered to the driver's choice, so extra coaches can be added and the train's performance over the route is automatically adjusted by the program. Similarly, extra output can be obtained by double-heading. Cab sounds and engine acceleration noises are also now included. Different periods in time can be chosen to reflect early 1970s practice, or modern schedules, with either semaphore or colour-light signalling altered to suit. The condition of the chosen loco can also be selected to add extra interest. So, if your preference is for an ex-works Class 47/8 on the Brighton-Manchester, or a work worn and run-down 33047 on 1V61 to Exeter, this release should be on your wish list. Other classes of loco typical to the Southern Region are already included in the program, whilst those of you with earlier routes of CABVIEWdriver will be able to select any of the loco classes contained in those CD Roms.

At the end of your run, there is the option to print out and save your performance which gives details of how each mistake was made, with time penalties being incurred for serious errors.

All in all a well thought out and very realistic simulation which should give hours of pleasure, and will come into it's own when we are unable to get out and experience the real thing.

Gareth Davey


'Thoroughly Enjoyable and Highly Recommended' - Traction Magazine


For those of us who have ever wanted to become a train driver, the good news is that we can now make this a 'virtual reality' in the comfort of our own homes, thanks to the latest cab simulators on CD-ROM.

The latest offering from TRAINgames is the route from Euston to Crewe, complete with moving video of the route ahead, and audio too! Any number of schedules can be selected, covering a variety of eras from the 1960s right through to the latest 110mph expresses and these can include speed restrictions and permanent way slacks, as well as the usual station stops. To compliment these schedules it is possible to select which traction you wish to drive from the list of locomotive classes provided. It is even possible to input individual locomotives, and also select the condition of this locomotive, for example, ex-works, serviceable condition, or rundown condition!

It is not just passenger trains that can be chosen either; this reviewer had great fun running a Felixstowe - Trafford Freightliner over the route. Civil engineers' workings can also be chosen and there is even a schedule for the ill-fated ATP. A lot of thought has been put into making the experience as realistic as possible. Train control is either by means of the mouse, or selected letters on the keyboard. It can be quite a taxing experience to bring your train gracefully to a stop whilst remembering to cancel the Driver's Vigilance Device at regular intervals - and don't forget those Whistles and AWS alarms!

At selected points throughout the run, you get an update on how your train is running and the number of minutes ahead, or behind schedule, together with recovery times. There is also a gradient profile of the line which plots the current position of the train and enables the driver to get the most out of his chosen machine.

At the end of your run you have the opportunity of printing out your performance as a log of how well (or how badly) you did. This also gives you a breakdown of where the various penalties were incurred.

So if you fancy taking a Class 40 on the 'Irish Mail', double-headed Class 50s out of Euston, or perhaps one of the late-lamented 'Roarers' then this is for you. Throughly enjoyable and highly recommended.

Gareth Davey



"I enjoyed this simulation" - Rail Magazine


Few of us are likely to be allowed to ease the power handle of a Deltic back and watch Gasworks Tunnel move towards you. With this simulation from Traingames you can - and you can try HSTs, 90s, 91s and 47s too. The variety of trains and traction to master should keep you on your toes. If you tire of locomotives you can try EMUs on local trains from the 'Cross'. They're surprisingly nippy!

Included on this CD is a full line video clip that keeps pace with your train as you drive. Occasionally the cameraman looks to the side which is disconcerting as you speed along. The video clip is dated - north of Peterborough the electrification masts are just going up. Some sounds are available including a basic two-tone horn. A shame really, I was hoping to play 'On Ilkley Moor …. ' as I stormed past Rail's office in Peterborough! Also missing are any sort of engine noises - I hope it's possible to add these in the future.

After you arrive at your destination a score sheet is shown with marks deducted for mistakes and late running. I didn't do very well - it was something to do with not realising I had to stop at Newark until I was 400 yards from the station! Instructions are included with the CD. The minimum system requirement is any Pentium processor running Windows 95 or above. A CD drive is also needed.

I enjoyed the simulation but, hammering along as the 'ton' for mile after mile, I did find my thoughts drifting away. That probably explains Newark.

For: Moving video Clip.

Against: Basic sound effects.




"I'm hooked. This is a rich mix of fun, realism and sheer enjoyment". - Rail Express Magazine


This is a computer simulation CD where you cab be a train driver on your own PC and control a train from Paddington to Bristol.

On inserting the CD, I was impressed with the ease of loading. The 'would be driver' is taken through the loading process step by step and it should hold no fears for even those relatively new to computer use. Next it was time to select the type of motive power, the signalling and the route. Some suburban routes are included. The route selection includes a choice of starting and finishing points between Paddington and Bristol. Having lived in Swindon, I decide on a Class 52 'Western', with lower quadrant signalling and a route from Paddington to Bath Spa. As I hit the start button, the view of the station throat appears on the screen. I manage to re-familiarise myself with the controls, having, of course, read the adequate printed instructions in the tranquillity which exists outside the driver's cab, and then the signal is 'off' and it's time to fire up the power of the 'Western'.

The sound effects include a most realistic horn, and we are off and running. The smooth departure makes me feel good - 'no coffee all over tables in the restaurant car', I think, as we pass effortlessly under the famous girder bridge. The speed builds nicely and a cursory glance at the permitted line speed (indicated in a realistic speed board as part of the display) indicates that I am able to open the throttle a little more without incurring penalties for speeding! The AWS sounds and I cancel it … If I don't arrive at Reading on time, I'll be penalised if I fail - whoa, there is a speed restriction coming up and I'm falling behind schedule…

I'm hooked. This is a rich mix of fun, realism and sheer enjoyment. How did I do on my first run? Let's just say it was as well that I was sitting in the comfort of my office and not loose on the main line. I've always had the greatest respect for our railwaymen and after this, it has simply grown enormously- perhaps every complaining passenger should be treated to a cad-ride CD! PT.

 *** Good. A value for money product.



"A lot of thought and hard work has obviously gone into this CD ROM". - The Railway Magazine


The latest offering from railway Computer Simulations is an entertaining opportunity to drive your own train on the East Coast Main Line.

There are a number of pre-loaded schedules - from crack Pullman trains to King's Cross - Edinburgh services with many stops, if you include your own schedules - which you might think are easily attainable. But you quickly find that two runs of the same train are not always the same! You can be bowling along merrily at line speed when a permanent way slack appears and makes you lose time.

The exercise starts when you have loaded up the game (easily and quickly achieved) and the tension starts as departure time comes - and goes. The signal goes to green, but the guard does not give you the right of way for a few more seconds. You are late before you start moving. You cannot make up time by breaking the speed limit because the emergency brake is applied if you exceed line speed by more than 10mph. Similarly, if you ignore the DVD, the same thing happens.

Other variations are the condition of the track, loco, signalling methods and stopping patterns. This package compiles a log and monitors every run so you can see where you went wrong.

 A lot of thought ands hard work has obviously gone into this CD ROM. This is evident from the various controls that have to be operated as your journey progresses. You will quickly learn to 'read the road' and realise that it is not only the prevailing gradient that determines your speed. On one train I was 'looped' on to the down slow near Sandy while doing well over 80mph. To add insult to injury, I was then overtaken by a similar train (an HST) while doing 90mph. It is impossible to get going on the slow lines because of curves.

One interesting, but curious fact , is that the line to Hitchin is fully electrified, but once north of Peterborough, apart from a few poles, there is little apparent sign of electrification even though you can be driving a Class 91! However this does give you a very good opportunity to view the ECML of the mid 1980s and see plenty of, what is now of historic interest. This proves that the continuous video clip taken from the cab is of acceptable quality, but this does depend on what size you decide to have it on your screen and how fast you run the clock.




"a 'must have' for all would-be train drivers" Traction Magazine


The last time I played a train driving simulation was in the mid-eighties and it was a rather austere affair; text only with the odd bleep from the 'sound system'. TrainGames, with their Cab View driver , have brought this kind of software completely up to date. It is supplied on CD-ROM for any computer with a Pentium processor running Windows 95 (or above), with any sound card and any graphics card. The software is quick to install and run, and helpful tips on how best to configure your computer for the software are also provided.

When run, quite frankly I was amazed, there is a graphical representation of the driver's desk, complete with moving brake and power handles, representations of line profile, line speed and track layout diagrams with the current position marked, details of the schedule and to top it all off an on-screen video clip in full colour synchronized to the train's position and speed - showing exactly what the driver would see looking out of his window, which is particularly impressive when passing other trains. Sound effects are also provided. The 'driver' has the choice of two routes, King's Cross to Doncaster or Kings Cross to Welwyn on a suburban run and has several built in schedules to choose from, or he can add his own. A large choice of traction is also given to the driver; HSTs, 47/4, 'Deltics', 89, 90s, 91s and EMU classes 313 or 317.

I tried both the main line and suburban runs, which both have their own challenges; keeping from exceeding the line speed or the maximum design speed of the loco on the main line is sometimes quite difficult, whilst trying to keep to the schedule on the suburban run with stopping stations every couple of miles or so is not easy.

Thankfully the travelling public are not subjected to my driving, I found gaining speed was the easiest part of train driving, but with everything the driver has to do - canceling AWS, reducing power, braking etc- when it came to stopping at Finsbury Park my drive was quickly reduced to the chaos of an emergency brake application! With practice though I did get better at stopping, and by the time we arrived at Welwyn the EMU glided to a nice smooth stop (albeit a couple of yards short).

This is an exceptional game mainly due to it's attention to detail and the on-screen video clip, it is a 'must have' for all would-be train drivers.

Chris Thompson



 "...fascinating package...can be addictive...mind boggling!", Railway Magazine


Signalling Simulation - Manchester Piccadilly. One of the busiest provincial stations is Manchester Piccadilly with its frequent InterCity services, long-distance regional services and active commuter network. Imagine you are the signalman at Piccadilly's powerbox responsible for making sure everything runs smoothly and to time. One of an expanding series of signalling or driver simulations, this fascinating package allows you to be that signalman. Faced with a diagram with coloured track circuits and moving train describers, plus a choice of the internal timetable or your own edited version, this simulation can certainly keep you on your toes and can be addictive!

Based on a real timetable you can stop at any point, save what you have done and return to it later. On-screen help makes it relatively fool proof. Mind boggling!



"This simulation is an excellent product .....", Traction Magazine


This is a Windows based computer simulation which will run on most home computers. A generation brought up on all action computer games with fantastic graphics and full sound, may find this simulation a little lack lustre in these areas but this is more sophisticated than your average stand 'em up and shoot 'em down arcade game. Having spent some time on the platforms of Peterborough in the past, observing the traffic, I was intrigued to be able to operate trains through the station, albeit only on the screen.

This software gives you control of the whole of the Peterborough layout from the Spalding line Junction in the north, to the lines to March cutting under the ECML to the south. Set in the 1980s, you have control of all trains over a five hour period in the middle of the day. Using the reporting codes as identifiers, routes are set for each train as it appears at the fringes of the area. You define platform allocation for a selection of traffic including Cambridge and Spalding shuttles, east Anglia - Birmingham trains, ECML fast and stopping trains and a selection of freight, including the Fletton flyash trains.

Route selection is very simple, using mouse commands, and the screens give plenty of information to enable you to work to the timetable. Mind you, I'm still trying to get the Peterborough - King's Cross local service out of platform 3a and on its way off the layout, without fouling traffic on the up fast! I used the existing timetable within the system, but if you wish to creat your own then go ahead, the facilities are available to do this and print the results. The software loaded very easily into my home PC and runs very well. The screen layout is clear and easy to use, with clear instructions and on-line help facility.

It takes concentration to use successfully (with scores to chart your increasing skills - or measure against the kids!), but I found it very satisfying to get four trains on the move on non conflicting routes, especially when one was the Spalding shuttle, which requires a short lenght of the up slow and then the down fast, before crossing to the branch.

This simulation is an excellent product, which I have enjoyed with one small proviso - if you try to set up a conflicting route or ill advised move, the caption 'Bad Move' appears. Please tell me why!



 "Good satisfactory standard and worth considering....", Rail Express


The existing range of both power box and driver simulations has increased steadily, covering more and more key locations. The most recent additions to these have been the first in a Windows format, with Peterborough and Newcastle being the first releases. Taking the form of an on-screen track diagram the whole of the station, depot, yards and diverging lines are controlled by the operator. Reporting codes, loco numbers and train descriptions are given for all movements, as well as timings and details of any delays that have occured.

An interesting facility is the timetable editor, wher it is possible to create your own personalised timetable runing your favourite classes and services. Available in PC format, at least a 286 processor running Windows is required, although your reviewer would recommend as powerful a machine as possible.*** Good satisfactory standard and worth considering



"These well produced simulations should keep operators quiet for many hours ... ", Railway Magazine


This is the first Railway Computer Simulations package that Railway Magazine has reviewed. Overall it is a very interesting and well produced simulation package , which should be easily understood and used by most people conversant with modern computer technology. The program reviewed covered the direct station area around Carlisle and permitted the operator, via the keyboard, to signal and operate trains arriving at, departing from and passing through this busy station. Trains are identified in a modern power box by four character route codes, which upon instruction by the operator move through the control area. Operations are governed by a built in timetable package which controls the time of station departures. 

Signaling practices have to be conformed to and the timetable maintained otherwise penalty points are awarded. By operation of the keyboard full details of the individual trains is possible, down to the traction unit number. Each disk comes complete with a user printable instruction package and timetable both of which are recommended reading before starting. The Carlisle package used covers 20 Miles and operation on a colour monitor provides the operator with realistic colours. A useful item is the end of shift assessment of operator performance. A number of other packages are available from this company covering the ECML at Grantham / Newark and Coventry to Birmingham International.


These well produced simulations should keep operators quiet for many hours.