• International Trains Volume 1

    International Trains Volume 1

    By Henri Patey (13 May 2002)


    Figure 1
    The Sylium team has created a first class engine and cars add-on called International Trains Volume 1: The Paris - St Gervais Sleeping Car Train for Microsoft Train Simulator, which includes the BB22300 and BB22307 engines, and 11 different "UIC" type cars, which are sleeping berth and passenger cars. The Sylium team spared no detail in creating some of the best engines and cars on the market today. They included photorealistic textures, transparent windows, different configurations for each car, passenger and conductor views, outside lights on the front and rear of each car, animated windshield wipers, photorealistic conductor cabin, and engine sounds recorded from the actual engines.

    Let's see how the finished product compares to Sylium's claim. I used the BB 22300 engine as an example, which fully validated the Sylium team's understanding of detailed work and how it can be achieved within the MSTS environment. Their other engine and cars are as artistically and technically top class as is this BB 22300 engine. The installation was very easy with zero percent chance of mishap. Sylium provides an excellent review and picture of their engines under the "details" section of locomotives. The sounds were interesting in that it seemed like I was actually on the train standing next to the engineer. The "F5" key brought me to a sleeping compartment where I was able to enjoy a brief nap and count bricks as we went through tunnels.

    Figure 1 is a front view of the 22300 engine. Do you see what I see? Yes, an engineer is actually driving the train! What a fantastic add-on and it's about time someone took the time to add an engineer. Carefully examine the details. Notice how the glass looks as real as real can get? See the added details by the coupler? The weathering affect is particularly impressive. While the orange trim may be the stock color of these engines, I would prefer to see a different color, maybe some shade of blue.


    Figure 2
         

    Figure 3

    Figure 2 is first the cab view front, then cab right follows and last is cab left. These are as almost photorealistic as one can get. I had no problem finding the controls, which were very easy to read and manipulate using my mouse creating a fun experience while driving up and down in Japan. The front view of this cab is also great. The big window sure allows the engineer to see a lot up front.

    Figure 3 is an outside left view of the BB 22300. The attention paid to details from the wheels to the pantographs is remarkable. The weathering is near perfect and the wheels are nearly a perfect circle thus, they look great when the engine is moving. Look at the area around the wheels. Can anyone ask for more? I don't think so.


    Figure 4
         

    Figure 5

    Figure 4 is a picture of the top of the BB 22300. The pantographs aren't the only piece of equipment on the roof. The pantographs retract and extend smoothly, which adds to the already present realism.

    CONCLUSION

    I never thought of buying an electric powered engine before. But after reviewing this art work, I'm converted and ready to connect to paypal.com and make a purchase. The only real problem is that I have no compatible rolling stock to match the BB 22300, which should be easily fixed. I would love to use this engine up and down the Northeast Corridor delivering cargo. I tried very hard to find something wrong with Sylium's trains, but could not. This add-on pack should be a part of every MSTS fan's library. I will enjoy making passenger activities all over the world using this equipment! Bottom Line? 10/10 rating.

    Henri Patey
    [email protected]

    Visit Sylium.

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