Years ago when Microsoft was king of the simulation world, Marias Pass came into the limelight. This was my first experience with train simulation, as well as the new BN/SF livery. Over the years I've come to miss driving that route, and kept wishing that someone would bring this route to the updated TS experience. RSC/DTG finally did this, and I'm glad that they did.
I've had this route for about a year and a half. Since purchasing this route it's been my exclusive home in TS, and I've thorughly enjoyed every mile of this route in the time that I've had it.
There is plenty of scenery to enjoy, and in fact if one compares some parts of the route to the arial views in Google Earth, you'll find that much of the route is accurate. I've personally never visited Marias Pass in real life, but this route has given me a reason to desire a visit to Montana some day.
I've purchased a lot of DLC with this particular route in mind. This route is the reason I've become such a fan of BN/SF. Although I first fell in love with a Norfolk Southern GP-38, there wasn't enough NS-related content at the time to justify making an NS fleet. So, I'm a BNSF virtual engineer for now.
The route isn't perfect, and neither are the locomotives. Soundwise, the ES44DC comes close to what I've heard on the NS and CSX ES44's where I live. The horn is kind of dinky, but the bell is spot on. The windshield wipers are strange... only three of them move, although the windshield appears to still be cleared of rain. Switch to the outside and all the wipers appear to move.
I can't say much for the switcher. I'm a long haul kind of guy, so I haven't played much with it. What time I've spent in it has been enjoyable, and everything seems to work as it should.
There are also plenty of rolling stock, so making a few basic scenarios is easy enough.
My main complaint with the route itself is that the water looks a little funky in some places. This seems to be more of a problem on the western side of the route, once one starts to get into the mountains. The river that runs alongside some of the tunnels looks really strange, and it's obvious that the water is fake. There is a lake that looks pretty good, and once one gets out of the mountains the water starts to look more like normal again.
Overall, this is a great route. It adds a bit of street cred to the TS experience as it harkens back to the routes earlier days in the MS Simulator. I should note here that I also purchased a version of this route for N3V's Trainz 2012, and that version of the route was extremely buggy, had missing assets, track... all kinds of headaches. One thing I like about the TS version, is that the route doesn't get broken or screwed up because of updates. What you get is what you get... IT never changes. While this means that some of the minor issues will never be fixed, it also means that you get a much more consistent expereince.
If you were a fan of the MS sim version of this route, or if you're a fan of BN/SF in general, I reccomend this route. Aside from the challenge of climbing the towards Summit, there are logisitcal challenges as the route often swtiches from dual track to single track. Add an Amtrak passenger train to add to the logistical nightmares, and you've got yourself quite a challenge!
I definetly reccommend this route!