Written by: TrainSim-Steve
Just Trains is a UK-based publisher and developer of train simulation software, run by many of the same team behind our sister company, Just Flight, which has been producing top quality flight simulation add-ons for almost 20 years. It was in fact Just Flight’s experience within the flight simulation community which convinced us that there would be a great demand for software to expand the world of PC train simulation from an equally committed community of users. The genesis of Just Trains was also helped by the fact that more than a few of the Just Flight team were already dedicated railway enthusiasts as well as aviation obsessives!
The first Just Trains releases were add-on routes and locomotives for Microsoft Train Simulator back in the days before the Train Simulator series provided a greatly improved and evolving simulation along with a much greater commitment to advancing the genre in every respect. The eagerness among rail sim drivers to extend the base package was evident right from the very beginning and our early add-ons such as the Severn Valley Railway route and the TGV and American Classics add-ons were well received by a growing community keen to expand their host simulator.
The world of train simulation has, of course, moved on markedly since then and the functionality and visual capabilities of the latest versions of Train Simulator have given developers the tools with which to produce some wonderfully authentic software. The detail visible along our latest routes, such as Newcastle to Edinburgh and the European Three Country Corner Route, would have been unimaginable only a few years ago and adds a significant boost to the realism of the current PC rail sim experience.
The features we are now able to model in both modern and vintage locomotives are likewise constantly improving in tandem with the technical advances in each new edition of Train Simulator. Whether it’s a diesel, electric or steam locomotive, the realism of the driving experience is constantly enhancing that all-important sense of immersion in the simulator. Our Advanced range pushes the limits of existing technology, with locomotives such as the Standard 4MT and the BR Clan Class featuring an Advanced driving mode which requires constant attention to all manner of cab equipment in conjunction with fully functional interactive controls. Anyone unsure about the complex functionality modelled in our latest locomotive add-ons rarely needs any more convincing once they’ve had to deal with severe wheelslip on a gradient or had a cylinder blow up because they failed to keep an eye on the relevant gauges!
The commitment of the Just Trains team and developers’ skills are matched by the dedication of the lively rail simulation community, whose feedback, knowledge and enthusiasm are invaluable in shaping our products and keeping us up to date with the opinions of all those involved in this fascinating hobby. The value of a committed, connected and well informed global community should not be underestimated, and the evolution in the accuracy of today’s train driving experience undoubtedly owes as much to the input of this community as it does to the impressive abilities of modellers and developers around the world.
We are very proud to have been pioneers in the digital delivery of software direct to our customers, having tired of being constantly told by major retailers that there was little demand for what they wrongly perceived as ‘niche’ simulations. Needless to say, they’ve all wasted no time in ‘going digital’ in recent years and conveniently forgotten that it was the publishers of this so-called niche software who led the way in providing digitally delivered content for their customers! All of our add-ons can now be bought by secure download from the Just Trains website and the convenience of digital delivery has been enthusiastically embraced by the community, especially by those customers overseas who have now have instant 24-hour access to exactly the same range of sim software as those in the world’s largest cities.
And that brings us neatly to the latest exciting development at Just Trains – working in partnership with the Train Simulator team at Dovetail Games to bring our rail simulation software to a wider audience via Steam. We’re looking forward very much to a fruitful collaboration with the Dovetail Games crew and are sure that it will promote greater access to our locomotives and routes. Our first release via Steam is the impressive Chinese high speed route and there is already much more in the pipeline.
If you already enjoy what we do at Just Trains, then thank you! If you are a relative newcomer to train simulation, we’re delighted to have you on board and can assure you of a friendly welcome from ourselves and the wider community. With the constant evolution in simulation technology, ever higher levels of realism and new partnerships among developers and publishers, the journey is only going to get more enjoyable!
Andy Payne, Founder