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Review: Euro Loco Pack
Developer: Chris Longhurst, Publisher: Just Trains
Reviewed By Matthew Peddlesden
Date: 27 April 2002


These locos were tested on the Kassel-Fulda route from High Speed Trains by Aerosoft, Tim Courts' Fictional ECML and EuropeanBahns' Northern TGV route

Early in the days of Train Simulator a number of talented designers and groups of designers became quite well known - one such designer is Chris Longhurst who we can thank for the Eurostar (which made its first appearance on the Abacus 'Roundhouse' product) and a whole slew of dutch 'NS' locos and stock, to name but a few.

Euro Loco Pack represents almost exclusively work done by Chris, with the World Speed Record TGV by Clem Tillier (read the TGV review elsewhere on the site to find out more about this trainset) added in for good measure.


DB213

DB ICE-2

ETR 500 Italian Eurostar

Eurostar

Installation of Euro Loco is very straight forward and at the end of it you have a bunch of loco's and a fairly wide range of consists for them.

Included in the pack is quite a large variety of locomotives and rolling stock from around Europe - the most notable one for most UK readers is going to be Chris' rendition of the Intercity 125 which is probably one of the best so far, not to mention his latest version of the Eurostar supplied in UK and French versions.

Let's look a bit more closely at what you can expect on the disc:

British Rail HST 125
Eurostar
DB High Speed ICE 2
DB V100.213 Shunter
SNCF High Speed TGV Duplex
SNCF BB15000
NS RegioRunner
NS 2200
Mixed Freight Car Set
High Speed ETR 500 Italian Eurostar
World Speed Record TGV (by Clem Tillier)

For some of our younger readers who might not be as aware of the European Railway Operators:

DB - Germany
SNCF - France
NS - Holland


Eurostar Passenger View

Freight

Freight

Freight

From the list of stock you can see that Chris hasn't just focused on express passenger - you've got local passenger, shunting and freight so it's quite a well rounded pack - though Express Passenger is certainly heavily featured.

The Mixed Freight Car set includes a good amount of freight, with most of the different cars included in more than one skin, you can see how it looks in the screenshots included in this review.

Overall the pack is very well put together indeed. No shortcuts have been taken at all in what is provided. Every loco comes with its own Cab, I heard unique sounds while I was testing it and all the passenger stock has their own passenger views. I've tried to take quite a few screenshots of the passenger views because they really are done rather well.

There are no activities for any of the stock in the pack, though there isn't a great deal of scope for them given the wide range of countries represented and the fact that no suitable routes are in the pack.


Intercity 125

Intercity 125

Intercity 125 Cab

Intercity 125 Passenger View

As I mentioned earlier, the HST is probably the loco that most UK simmers are going to be interested in so I'll spend a little while going in to some more detail on that. The sounds are very good, though it doesn't have that thunderous spine chilling effect that is the trademark of a HST, that is probably more down to limitations of the Train Sim engine than anything else.

The cab view is very good, with fully working controls (as are all the cab views of course). The Mark 3 coaches add an extra special touch to the Intercity as they have transparent windows (again, as do all the coaches in this pack) - however for those of you that have downloaded James Hunts' Intercity 125 the biggest 'upgrade' in this pack is the coaches, without a doubt.

Also included is a passenger view for your Mark 3 coaches - indeed, once again I add that all the coaches supplied have got custom passenger views - it seems that Chris and JustTrains have gone to great lengths to make sure this pack was complete.

There are some nice touches in the other locos such as the duplex TGV or RegioRunner - the Passenger view is visibly higher than on single deck stock. On the NS 2200 freight diesel, which is extremely reminiscent of a UK Class 20, you can look out the front (which also allows you to see the nose of the loco correctly, so it is quite a restricted view!) or since the loco is perfectly drivable backwards you can use the 'right' cab view to look out the back window and drive it that way.


Intercity Mark 3 Coach

NS 2200

NS 2200

NS 2200 Cab View

All the wipers work and every loco has a full 'details' section (I always find it a bit poor when the Details section is left out, it's not hard and it just adds a finishing touch). The Manual is very well put together. It introduces the Consist Editor to the user, though it isn't required to begin using your stock the chances are very good that you'll want to get on to making your own so this guide helps you to do that if you don't already know.

The Manual introduces you to each locomotive and describes its custom cab view and all the operating parameters for it so that you know what to expect.

I have to say that I am quite impressed with this pack, a great deal of time and attention to detail has been put in to it.


NS 2200 Rear Cab View

NS RegioRunner

NS RegioRunner Passenger View

SNCF BB15000

To balance this so far glowing review up we should spend a moment considering what is wrong with this pack and why some people might not want to consider it.

If all you are really interested in is UK stock then all you are going to get is the HST125 and the Eurostar. While these are both excellent I don't think they alone justify the cost of the pack.

Also remember that this is just another pack of locomotives and stock, albeit probably one of the best available so far, but frankly if you haven't got a model railway to run your Hornby OO gauge models you wouldn't be likely to buy more of them, so if you have uses in mind for the stock in this pack or you can see routes being made for them then this pack is a goldmine. If you don't then you're just getting some more locos to run in the wrong places and make believe they're right.


TGV Duplex

TGV Duplex Passenger View

When I tested these locos I used a variety of routes such as EuropeanBahns' Northern TGV Route for the French and Dutch stock, Kassel-Fulda from High Speed Trains for the German stock and Tim Courts' ECML for the Intercity 125.

This produce sets out to be a collection of locomotives, it advertises itself clearly as just that so the final score will be based on that fact and I will leave it up to you to evaluate which loco's you want and don't want and decide whether you can justify the cost or not. They are all completed to a very high standard indeed so you won't be let down by what's on the disc.

Our score
94%


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