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Play Your Heart Out: “Train Simulator 2022” Review

by Dylan Leonard

If you’re interested in a different experience than most other games, now’s the time to turn on the headlights, set the reverser handle into the forward position, release the brakes, and get rolling.

On Sept. 30, Dovetail Games released the latest entry in their long-running series, “Train Simulator 2022.” This is an annual update to the existing title, with new improvements, and a collection of new routes and trains to explore.

As a devotee to the franchise, I was eager to enjoy this new content for myself, and add more variety into the experience. In this game, players can expect to operate an array of freight and passenger trains, while battling real world signaling systems, gradients, and the traffic of other AI-controlled trains in the world around them. 

This edition brings a total of three new routes: Amtrak’s high speed Northeast Corridor between Baltimore and Washington, D.C. in the US, Frankfurt to Koblenz in Germany, and Birmingham Cross City in the UK, my personal favorite of the three. 

In addition, for those like myself that purchased the deluxe edition, lines between Strasbourg, France, and across the border to Karlsruhe, Germany, including the famed TGV high speed trains. While I enjoy this route, the length of the line doesn’t allow for longer high-speed journeys. 

Overall though, Dovetail has provided a plethora of content to enjoy that arrives at an appealing value of $29.99 for the base version, and $49.99 for the deluxe. Typically, a single route alone costs $39.99, so four for an additional $19.99 certainly isn’t a bad price. 

The core game itself dates to 2009, and although efforts have been made to update it, performance on lower-end PCs may be disappointing due to the lack of optimization. However, a mid-tier system with a good processor and a decent amount of memory, 8GB or so, should be able to compensate for this. 

“Train Simulator” isn’t for everyone, which is expected for a game with a relatively small, niche audience. For a more polished experience, try Dovetail’s “Train Sim World 2.” 

If you care more about variety, authenticity, and additional content, here’s your station stop—watch your step.

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