Train Simulator 2021: Best Routes of the Steam and Modern Era

Want to add some more routes to Train Simulator 2021? These are the best picks of the bunch.


Image Source: Steam Sounds Supreme
Image Source: Steam Sounds Supreme

Train Simulator provides an amazing experience for players, allowing them to take control of many different kinds of locomotive across a wide range of routes.

Over the years, there have been many new routes released for the Dovetail Games creation, but which are the best ones?


Here, you’ll find our picks for perhaps the best routes currently available on Train Simulator 2021, with the top ten routes ranging from the steam era to the modern era.

Woodhead Electric Railway in Blue route (Dovetail Games)

Image Source: Steam Store

Following on from the release of the original Woodhead (more on that later), Dovetail Games released the Woodhead Electric Railway in Blue. This add-on focuses on the Woodhead route between Manchester, Sheffield, and Wath in its dying days of the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Faithfully recreated is the Class 76 locomotive, or EM1, that comes with an advanced driving mode that certainly requires your full attention. Also included is the Class 506 EMU, that carried the passenger services on the Manchester to Hadfield section of the line.

This is an amazing representation of a classic British route, available from the Steam Store for £17.99.


Wherry Lines route (Armstrong Powerhouse)

Image Source: Armstrong Powerhouse

Armstrong Powerhouse are best known for their locomotive and multiple unit packs, sound packs, and enhancement packs. Equally brilliant as their locos is their Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft route – better known as the Wherry Lines.

It took years of work to develop the route, and it provides one of the most detailed examples of a route in Train Sim. It features classic semaphore signals, a reworked Class 37 (which is now superseded by their own new Class 37 pack) and engaging scenarios that keep you focussed all the way through.

You can snag this Train Sim DLC route from Armstrong Powerhouse for £24.99.


Story of Forest Rail route (Union Workshop)

Image Source: Steam Store

Developed by Union Workshop, the Story of Forest Rail route provides one of the more unique experiences in the Train Simulator world. It focuses on the now-defunct Furusato Ginga Line, with this being a representation with new and fictional names, being called the Matsuhara Line.

Included is an unusual but delightful line, as well as the Japanese Kiha 750 and Kiha 720 railbuses, giving an experience unlike almost any other piece of content available for Train Simulator players.

You can find the Story of Forest Rail route on the Steam Storefor £17.99.

Stainmore, Shap & Eden Valley route (Steam Sound Supreme)

Image Source: Steam Sounds Supreme

The Eden Valley route for Train Sim is perhaps the crowning glory of all routes. Over 100 miles of steam-era line have been recreated, including the Stainmore route from Barnard Castle to Tebay, as well as other lines like the Hincaster Branch from Arnside to Hincaster Junction.

On top of that, plenty of steam traction is provided, such as the Ivatt 4MT 2-6-0s and the Holden E4 2-4-0; plus, there’s a wide range of rolling stock included.

Recreated in meticulous detail, this route is certainly worth its asking price of £29.50 from Steam Sounds Supreme.

Welsh Marches: Newport to Shrewsbury route (Bossman Games)

Image Source: Steam Store

The Welsh Marches line comes to us from renowned developer Bossman Games, the creators of some of the very best locomotive add-ons for Train Sim.

The Welsh Marches line is one of the most picturesque lines in the whole of the UK, first opening in the 1850s. This representation shows the route as it is today, featuring some semaphore signals and old signal boxes, such as at Severn Bridge Junction, still in place despite the advances of colour light signalling.

Ten scenarios are included in the £24.99 Steam Store route, and many of Bossman’s latest steam locos, such as the Rebuilt Light Pacific, feature scenarios for the line.

Riviera Line in the Fifties route (Dovetail Games)

Image Source: Steam Store

Dovetail Games’ own releases are often be hit and miss, but they got it absolutely bang on with the Riviera Line in the Fifties. This is an incredibly faithful recreation of part of the GWR mainline from Exeter St David’s to Kingswear, which features the iconic Dawlish Sea Wall.

On top of that, there is an amazing selection of rolling stock. GWR Castles, Granges, Kings and Pannier Tanks are all included, as well as a host of rolling stock from BR and GWR coaches to wagons. For the price that you pay, which is £14.99 on the Steam Store, this is undoubtedly one of the best route packs for Train Sim.

Corris Railway route (Skyhook Games)

Image Source: Steam Store

Skyhook Games are more well-known for their continental routes, but the Corris Railway has a charm all of its own. This is a representation of the small, narrow-gauge route in Wales’ Dulas Valley.

The development team has also included the proposed extension at Tan-y-Coed, to give a 2.5-mile run which might not sound much, but the detail put into both the route and the Tattoo Locomotive No.7 is fantastic. Plus, there’s an add-on for the route featuring a pair of Corris diesels is also available.

You can grab this Corris Railway Route for Train Sim via the Steam Store for £9.99.

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway route (Steam Sounds Supreme)

Image Source: Steam Sounds Supreme

Steam Sounds Supreme’s first route release – in association with Vulcan Productions and Skyhook Games, to name just a few – is a beautiful recreation of one of Britain’s finest preserved lines.

Running from Keighley to Oxenhope in West Yorkshire, the full heritage line is recreated in meticulous detail for this Train Sim route. On top of that, a whole wealth of stock is included, such as the Light Pacific 34092 ‘City of Wells’ and BR Standard Class 4 75078.

Over 100 custom assets are included in total to provide one of the most rewarding driving experiences in the game. So, for £21.45 via Steam Sounds Supreme, you get more than just a route for Train Simulator.

Western Lines of Scotland route (KrossRails)

Image Source: Steam Store

Whilst it may be getting a bit long in the tooth now, Western Lines of Scotland still provides one of the best recreations of the steam era in Train Simulator, and it holds up very well against its newer counterparts.

The route provides an eclectic selection of lines from Carlisle to Stranraer, and the route is set in the period not long before the Beeching axe of the mid-60s. The Western Lines of Scotland were developed by Keith Ross, and they ooze that end of steam atmosphere.

A reworked version of the original Black 5 from the Railworks days is included, and later loco DLCs have included scenarios that can be used with the route.

This Train Sim DLC route pack will cost you £24.99 and can be found on the Steam Store.

Woodhead Route Original (Dovetail Games)

Image Source: Steam Store

The original Woodhead route for Train Simulator was released back in 2012, but it is still worth picking up now, and especially during a sale. At full price, this route is £9.99 on the Steam Store.

The route shows the line as it was in the early 1950s, when steam still worked alongside the new EM1 and EM2 electrics – the latter is available as an extra pack along with new EM1 liveries.

This was the Woodhead in its heyday as a busy line with both passenger and freight workings, with the threat of closure still long in the future.

If you’re looking to enhance your Train Simulator 2021 experience, see if one of the top routes listed here does the trick.


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Henry K

Keen player of both simulation and racing games. Can mostly be found playing the F1 series, Train Simulator, Assetto Corsa, with a bit of Battlefield thrown in between.
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