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Why a Scot is interested in sound in our driver’s cab

There are locomotive simulators that we use to train prospective train drivers. However, there are also simulators that anyone can purchase for home use: welcome to the world of gamers!

Simon Rageth, Corporate Communications, 01. octobre 2021

When the Scot Alan Thomson, former director of Thomson Interactive Ltd., a production company that produced video games for Dovetail Games, first contacted us in 2015, the extent of the subsequent collaboration could not be imagined. It all began when Dovetail Games wanted to acquire the rights to transform the Bernina Express into a train simulation game. 

Six years later, the RhB’s Arosa Line has made its way into the game «Train Sim World 2» – albeit still with an old composition – and can thus be driven with great attention to detail, both on the PlayStation 4 console (PS4) and on a PC. The details of the graphics are impressive, and individual settings are reminiscent of photographs. 

Between the first product, the Bernina Express for the PC game «Train Simulator,» and today, there was a great deal of development work on the part of Thomson Interactive and its successor company Rivet Games. Alan Thomson came to Graubünden every year, where he carefully observed our tracks, routes, vehicles and buildings, photographed them with precision and meticulously documented them. He was given construction plans for viaducts and stations, speed tables for specific routes, model sketches of vehicles, he photographed driver’s cabs, studied the operating manual for the locomotives with his team and listened to English-speaking RhB train drivers explain how the locomotives work. He rode in the driver’s cab in order to be able to record the right sounds, among other things. His philosophy is that it is only with great attention to detail that thousands of enthusiastic and virtual train drivers around the world can be offered a driving experience at home that is as authentic as possible.

Since then, the following Rhaetian Railway routes have been converted for the world of gamers: 

Additional packages of vehicles such as the Ge 4/4 II locomotive, various freight wagons (Sb-t container wagons, Sl flat wagons, Za tank wagons) and the Bernina railcars Abe 4/4 III have been constantly added to allow different variants of the RhB routes. 

Alan Thomson is now retired. But he continues to use his extensive knowledge to advise the company Rivet Games, which he himself established. And as he promised us: as soon as travel conditions in Europe have returned to normal, he will be visiting Graubünden and Rhaetian Railway again as a holiday guest. 

Here is a real-time video of the Arosa Line from the perspective of a gamer from Germany. 

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