At least for train enthusiasts Railworks 3 Trainsimulator 2012 can offer some fun. The game is very reasonably priced at about 30 euros on Steam. That price includes several rail routes and many scenarios. There is plenty of extra content to pay for. But there is also a community of people who make rolling stock, routes and scenarios, often downloadable for free.
The problem is dependencies. A route or scenario can include assets that you have no idea where to find. I mean, you start a scenario, and get an error message that it misses BR Mk1 Maroon Second. If you start googling where to download that for Railworks, there is a risk you will get nowhere.
There is a fantastic site, UKTrainSim, with plenty of everything you might want. But, but, dependencies are tricky, AND they have download policies that are quite a barrier if you just quickly want stuff for free. Now, the content is free, and they have the right to have whatever policies they want. For a little fee (like 3 GPB per month) you get unlimited and immediate download. I will try that some day, but I found they have something better.
The Freeware Project
The nice people at UKTrainSim started a Freeware Project where they packaged plenty of assets together into a few large files, all dependencies taken care of. And in one package they put 24 different scenarios.
Now, downloading the freeware packages you have to follow the same policies as for all other packages. However, they allowed them to be mirrored
You can download the scenario pack here (sometimes you need to refresh that page if it pretends to not find the file). Using “Latest Files” and “Related Files” on the same page, you can download the other packages you need for the scenarios:
- UK Carriages #1
- UK Classic Diesel and Electric #1
- UK DMUs-EMUs-Trams #1
- UK Modern Diesel and Electric #1
- UK Steam #1
- UK Wagons #1
Make sure you get the latest version of all of them (I think that is 1.1.0), otherwise you can get quite strange errors when playing.
You will also need The Port Road – a beautiful route you can download from Steam for free.