Train Simulator: GEML BR Class 315 EMU Add-On Review
If you are a fan of realistic and complex train simulation games, you might want to check out the Train Simulator: GEML BR Class 315 EMU Add-On. This add-on, developed by Armstrong Powerhouse and published by Dovetail Games, brings the iconic Class 315 electric multiple unit (EMU) to life in Train Simulator Classic.
The Class 315 EMU was introduced in 1980 and has been serving the Greater London area for over four decades. It is mostly known for operating the metro services between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield on the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML), as well as other routes in Essex and Hertfordshire. The add-on features two liveries and cab variants: the original Network SouthEast livery and the modern TfL Rail livery.
The add-on also offers a variety of features that enhance the realism and challenge of driving the Class 315 EMU. You can choose between Driver Only Operation (DOO) or Guard Operation (GO), where the guard controls the doors at each station. You can also experience the Wheelslip Protection (WSP) system, which regulates the traction power when slipping is detected. You can also use the Global System for Mobile Communication - Railway (GSM-R) to communicate with the signaller and register your train.
Another feature of the add-on is the Neutral Section functionality, which simulates the sections of overhead wires that are not electrified. You have to coast through these sections without power and then re-energize your pantograph when you reach the next live section. You can also opt for a Cold Start option, where you have to power up your train from scratch before starting your journey.
The add-on comes with three scenarios for the GEML London-Ipswich Route Add-On, which is required to play them. You can also use the Class 315 EMU in Quick Drive mode or create your own scenarios with the Steam Workshop. The add-on has detailed internal and external audio, as well as manual and electronic destination displays.
The Train Simulator: GEML BR Class 315 EMU Add-On is a must-have for train enthusiasts who want to experience one of the most iconic and versatile EMUs in Britain. It is available now on Steam for $19.99, or $9.99 during the March Madness Sale until March 30th. You can also get the TfL Rail BR Class 315 EMU Livery Add-On for $4.99 if you want to drive the Class 315 in its latest guise.
The Class 315 EMU has a long and rich history that spans over four decades. It was ordered by British Rail in 1976 as part of the electrification of the Great Eastern Main Line (GEML) and the Lea Valley Lines. It was the fifth and final variant of the BREL 1972 family of EMUs, which also included the Classes 313, 314, 507 and 508.
The first Class 315 EMU was delivered in 1980 and entered service on the GEML between London Liverpool Street and Shenfield. It replaced the older Class 306 EMU, which had been in service since 1949. The Class 315 EMU was designed to offer faster acceleration, higher speed, more comfort and better reliability than its predecessor. It also had a distinctive blue and grey livery with yellow ends, which was later changed to Network SouthEast colours in the late 1980s.
The Class 315 EMU proved to be a versatile and adaptable unit that could operate on various routes and voltages. It could run on both 25 kV AC overhead wires and 6.25 kV AC overhead wires, which were used on some sections of the GEML where clearances were low. It could also run on DC third rail lines when fitted with shoe gear. Some units were transferred to other regions, such as West Anglia Great Northern (WAGN) and London Overground, where they operated on different lines and services.
The Class 315 EMU underwent several refurbishments and upgrades throughout its service life. In the early 2000s, all units were fitted with new interiors, CCTV cameras, passenger information systems and improved accessibility features. In the mid-2010s, some units were repainted in TfL Rail livery as part of the preparation for Crossrail. The Class 315 EMU also received new safety systems, such as AWS and TPWS, as well as GSM-R radios for communication.
The Class 315 EMU was gradually replaced by newer units from the late 2010s onwards. The introduction of Class 345 EMUs for Crossrail and Class 710 EMUs for London Overground reduced the need for Class 315 EMUs on the GEML and the Lea Valley Lines. The last Class 315 EMU ran in passenger service on December 9th, 2022, marking the end of an era for this iconic unit.
However, not all Class 315 EMUs were scrapped or sent to storage. One unit, number 315817, was preserved by the Class 315 Preservation Society, a group of former BR crew members who wanted to save a piece of railway history. The unit was restored to its original condition and livery, and is now based at the East Anglian Railway Museum. The unit is available for special events and charter services, as well as educational purposes. aa16f39245