NKP S-2 Class Berkshire for Train Simulator Review by Jerett W. Godeke (Antwerp)
The 2-8-4 “Berkshire” is a legend in every respect, built by the Lima Locomotive works of Lima, Ohio, it’s top speed was at most 70 mph! It was the primary power of the Nickel Plate Road until they were retired in 1960.
Created by G-Trax Simulations and later upgraded by RSC, It is painted in the New York, Chicago and St. Louis Railroad paint scheme. The painting of the locomotive is excellent and the details are great for the age of this model. It comes in two versions. NKP 765 which has no MARS light and a version with Dynamic Numbering which has the MARS light, This is great because one can run the current model of the #765 and also can run any other Berkshire.
The cab is quite detailed with opening windows which most of the DLC doesn’t have, and cab lighting,, but it’s a bit inaccurate for the Berkshire, inaccuracies such as the Water Glasses and Cab Wall. This is a let down because the other two steam engines cabs have accurate Water Glasses and Cab Walls compared to the real things. The sounds are decent, but a problem that will be noticeable to people who have seen or heard the NKP #765 is the fact that the bell and whistle are incorrect for the locomotive.
One problem I ran into while using the engine in Quick Drive was that the version that uses Dynamic Numbering rarely has the same number tender with it! One example being NKP #763 with NKP #767’s tender, this is unfortunate as the only way to fix this is to go into editor and manually change the engine number or tender number. The pack includes no scenarios and no rolling stock, this alone is not surprising as it is an older model for Railworks 2 and upgraded to work with the Quick Drive function and TSX in Train Simulator 2013.
Driving the Berkshire is more of a challenge than driving the K4, and I really enjoy that. Now don’t get me wrong I love the K4, but it’s missing the challenge of driving a steam locomotive which the Berkshire fixes in my mind.
If you want a break from modern diesel railroading and want to escape to the time of steam this is a model that might fit the bill and if the pros outweigh the cons, I think you might like the Berkshire.
Pros & Cons
+ Opening Windows
+ TSX and Quick Drive compatible
+ Challenge to drive
+ Great sounds
- Inaccurate Bell and Whistle
- Inaccurate Cab
- Quick Drive Engine and Tender numbers not matching
No one should settle for "Passable." When DLC for Railworks cost as much as they do, it's up to publishers to deliver some bang for our buck. And while this engine is passable, in my opinion it's probably only worth getting on sale or if you really want the Nickel Plate Road “Berkshire.”