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PC Game Review

Midland Mainline
London to Bedford
Add-on for Microsoft Train Simulator


Format: PC
First Class Simulations
RRP: £24.99
5 060020 473333
Age Restrictions: Not Rated
Available 14 November 2008

St Pancras is a major railway station in the heart of London and where your journey aboard the Midland Mainline begins. It was opened in 1868 by the Midland Railway company as the southern terminus of the Midland Mainline arriving from the East Midlands and West Yorkshire. In recent years the complex has undergone renovation and expansion and has re-opened as St. Pancras International with a new terminal for the high speed service to Europe via the Channel tunnel...

Midland Mainline: London to Bedford is the latest add-on for Microsoft Train Simulation to be released by First Class Simulations. I have to admit to being a little late reviewing this game, mainly because I spent so long ploughing through all of the challenges... and then restarting them again and again.

The first thing that you'll notice with this game is that the graphics seem to be a lot better than previous releases for the main game. Attention to detail in the stations (especially St Pancras) is pretty impressive, as is the scenery. There's even an accident and emergency team tending to a motorway accident (something I didn't actually witness in the game though, it was on the trailer). It's these little touches that stop you getting bored of the scenery as you rocket across the countryside.

Locomotives included in this release are Class 319 Dual Voltage EMU; Class 43 HST in Midland Mainline livery; Class 222 Meridian in Midland Mainline livery; and Class 37 in Export Blue livery.

The 50-mile journey between London and Bedford includes all 15 stations along the route. There are ten activities to be completed, each designed to test your skill and judgement. These range from the simple (London-Bedford - 45 min easy run) to the challenging (Sheffield to London St Pancras - 50 min run that sees you behind a late train). All challenges are graded as 'easy' or 'medium', but to be honest they are challenging enough for the majority of players.

So, yet another impressive release from First Class Simulations - who are constantly setting the benchmark for other simulator developers to follow.


Pete Boomer

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