East Coast Express GNER
Part 2 (Peterborough to York)
Add-on for Microsoft Train Simulator

Format: PC
First Class Simulations

5 060020 472374
Age Restrictions: Not Rated
23 June 2006

East Coast Express Part 2 (Peterborough to York) picks up where the first instalment of this two-parter left off. Continuing the journey northbound, this game starts at Peterborough and features numerous stations on the 112-mile journey to York. Rolling stock includes A4 Mallard with Railtour coaches plus the Class 89 locomotive which is unique to this product's developer, Europeanbahn. Also featured are GNER locomotives and coaches, the Class 225 and 43, freight wagons plus Mark 1 & 2's. Stations depicted along the route include York, Doncaster, Retford, Newark and Grantham...

The next leg of the north-east route takes us from Peterborough to York, a journey of 180 miles and supplements the route from London to York featured in Part 1 of East Coast Express.

Not owning Part 1: Kings Cross to Peterborough of this two-part release, I thought I may be missing something playing this game. Thankfully the developers have ensured that this works well as a stand alone release. Although, I must admit that I was driven to buy the first part to complete the entire package.

There are quite a few challenges for you to complete here. These range from the simple station to station runs, to rescuing a stranded train and then shunting it out of the way. In total there are 12 activities included, plus a further three three that need you to have Part 1 installed.

Trains include Mallard, Class 89, GNER and coaches, freight wagons plus Mark I & Mark 2, and 225, 43 and 91 (as in part one).

I noticed a few faults, which may be just down to my machine. Firstly I couldn't get the wipers to work on any of the trains and on occasion the view inside the passenger carriage was a little distorted (and on one occasion choosing this option crashed the game). Also the horn doesn't always work when you are sat in the driver's cab - you have to chose another view of the train and then go back to the driver's cab to hear it again.

Features include interactive sidings at Doncaster & York; rear view cabs with non-functional levers; functional points in the tunnel (unique to this product); dedicated Europeanbahn signalling replicating British Rail real life; and automatic opening doors at loco sheds.

I wouldn't say I've the world's biggest fan of Microsoft Train Simulator, but I certainly understand the appeal. These add-ons based on UK locations ensure that British train fanatics can experience a little of what life is like for a real train driver.

Those that have bought and enjoyed the original game will certainly find this game to be a worthy addition to their collection.

Nick Smithson

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