Reviews

TSW2: Tees Valley Line, Route DLC – Review

Tee’s Valley Line is part of the preserved collection, but also one of the more recent releases originally launched in May 2019 on Train Sim. The preserved package arrived on TSW2 in September 2020, but with a total of 7 British route DLC’s now available on TSW2, is Tees Valley worth its £24.99 price tag.

Tees Valley Line is a 27 mile route between Darlington and Saltburn, this pack also includes 3 locomotives, the Class 101 which is also found in the North Trans-Pennine route. The popular Class 37 Deisel freight locomotive and the familiar Class 08 shunter, which can also be found in the West Somerset DLC as a replacement for the Class 09.

It’s always great to see three locomotives in a route pack, however with passenger services all on the Class 101, which features on the fantastic Trans-Pennine route, it pushes Tees Valley to more value as a freight pack.

While exploring the 27 mile stretch, there’s a total of 16 stations, littered with collectables for you to locate, there’s 60 in total which is smaller than many routes, but this is mostly down to the fact that most stations are small, with only a few that could be classed as medium on a busy day.

There are the usual route maps to place and newspapers to fix, and on Tees Valley, you’ll also be replacing broken lamps which can be seen flicking at distance and trying to find old cabinets to replace which are a little tougher to locate.

There are 3 training modules to work through each a sole introduction to one of the locomotives, these range from 5-10 minutes and are all relatively easy gold medals. Next are the 5 scenarios, which offer a great range of difficulty with the easiest being the sole 60 minute Summer Special passenger service on the Class 101.
the other 4 scenarios are all freight based, with two each for both the Class 08 and Class 37, these range in difficulty and average 1 hour for 3 of them, with the easiest of the 4 hit around the 30-minute mark. Most players shouldn’t have too much trouble racking up the gold medals from the scenarios with the toughest job of the 5, getting me a silver medal, 8 points short of gold on the first attempt.

Looking at the timetable routes, there’s 130 in total, 78 of these are passenger services, which does exceed the 60 on North Trans-Pennine, however, I personally enjoyed NTP far more for passenger runs. There are then 46 services for the Class 37 and 6 for shunting the Class 08.

Graphically Tees Valley sits in line with some of the best from the Preserved collection, there are no major issues, textures hold well when you get close up, however the downfall seems to be the area itself, the area is mostly flat, with wide open, barren landscapes, and little scenery to catch the eye, the few residential areas are usually filled with the same repetitive houses, and the wide-open fields, just don’t inject much life into the surroundings.

Audio is pretty good throughout, with no noticeable issues, such as noisy empty stations, because unfortunately, due to them all being on the smaller side, all of the stations are understandably empty, with literally one or two people waltzing around if you’re lucky.
As always The locomotives sound great, especially the Class 08.

Tees Valley Line is an incredibly tough route to judge, for long freight and passenger services, it’s nice to soak in the surroundings and appreciate the scenery, but sadly TVL pales in comparison to a route like North Trans-Pennine, with Trans-Pennine featuring the same passenger locomotive in the class 101, I feel that anyone looking for passenger services through the countryside, would appreciate Trans-Pennine above Tees Valley.

Looking at Freight the Class 08 and Class 37 are both great, and very commonly seen locomotives, I do feel the Class 37 felt quite similar to drive as the Class 45 and for those wanting freight services, the BR Heavy Freight pack for North Trans-Pennine doesn’t just add another similar freight in the Class 40, but it also includes the Class 08.


It feels a little harsh on Tees Valley because it’s not bad at all, but set soon after, it’s very similar to North Trans-Pennine. without the nice views, more varied elevation and tunnels.
Tees Valley is well worth considering regardless, but I feel most people would be better off picking up North Trans-Pennine and the Heavy Freight pack, which totals far more training, scenarios and services across a much more picturesque route.
The silver lining is if you already have NTP and want more of the same, Tees Valley will be a fantastic addition to your collection.

Gameplay - 8
Graphics - 7.5
Sound - 8
Story - 8
Value - 7.5

7.8

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