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Mixed (50 reviews) - 52% of the 50 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Dec 21, 2012

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About This Content

Donner Pass: Southern Pacific puts you to the test on this world-famous railroad where engineers deal with steep grades, tight curves and seriously heavy trains as part of a day’s work. With more than 140 miles of track between Roseville and Reno and the dramatic Sierra Nevada landscape of the Donner Pass itself, there are hours of pleasure to be had driving through this incredible part of North America.

The first railroad through the Sierra Nevada mountains was opened by the Central Pacific Railroad way back in the 1860s, the culmination of a significant engineering challenge with a combination of tunnel-building and tough weather high in the mountains causing numerous problems for the Chief Engineer and his team. The line has changed ownership over the years, and different operators have chopped and changed the track layout and tunnel system in the Donner Pass region in order to keep maintenance costs manageable whilst keeping the railroad operational throughout the seasons.

Donner Pass: Southern Pacific puts you at the controls of Southern Pacific diesels in the early-1990s, taking trains between Roseville, California and Reno, Nevada through the foothills of the Sierra Nevada and high up through the incredible 7,000-foot Donner Pass. The trains are heavy, the railroad is tough and the scenery is awesome. So, start the motor, you have some real challenges ahead...


  • 140+ mile railroad line between Roseville Yard, California and Reno, Nevada including the world-famous Donner Pass.
  • 12 scenarios
  • 5 diesel locomotives in early 1990s-era Southern Pacific livery:
  • SW1500 Diesel Switcher
  • GP9 Diesel Locomotive
  • SD40-2 Diesel Locomotive
  • SD40T-2 Diesel Locomotive ('Tunnel Motor')
  • C44-9W Diesel Locomotive

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows® Vista / 7 / 8
    • Processor:Processor: 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo (3.2 GHz Core 2 Duo recommended), AMD Athlon MP (multiprocessor variant or comparable processors)
    • Memory:2 GB RAM
    • Graphics:512 MB with Pixel Shader 3.0 (AGP PCIe only)
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:6 GB HD space
    • Sound:Direct X 9.0c compatible
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
    • Additional:Quicktime Player is required for playing the videos
Customer reviews
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Mixed (50 reviews)
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39 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
Posted: December 19, 2014
I can't say for sure that this is my favorite DLC, but it's up there pretty close. At first I didn't like it at all. I love the career scenarios are rarely finish standard ones. Several of the career scenarios are completely broken as far as their timeline goes. In fact, I believe only one works right. In one (very long at 210 min), the speed limit is set for freight but you are carrying passengers and the scenario thinks the speed limits are set accordingly.

There are also not really 12 scenarios. There are six, but both career and standard. The standard ones work perfectly fine of course as the speed limits don't matter.

The route is, at over 140 miles, one the longest available. It's very mountainous but still varied.

+ It's long! Takes several hours to run end to end.
+ Comes with quite a few different locomotives. That's better than most of the new ones that come with one or two. They are all reasonably well done and in the SP livery.
+ The route has some of the steepest grades I've been able to find anywhere in TS. There is a very short spot of 3.2% and longer stretches of 2.7 and 2.9. I use it frequently to weight test consists.
+ Two large train yards and many stops allow for a lot of possibilities when creating custom scenarios.
+ All achievements are possible despite career scenarios being broken. Simply drive through them and finishing will get you the achievements if you care about them.

- Broken career scenarios which DTG has refused to fix despite being told exactly how to do so by a forum member who himself made a fix. That fix somewhat mitigates the con here, but it's still sloppy work on DTG's part.
- There are several spots where speed limit changes are not marked properly on the HUD. There is one that is not marked properly on the track.
- There are a few buildings that could have used greater detail. Relatively minor, to me at least.

This route is also home to various interesting locomotives that are separate DLC's such as the Cab Forward and the Zephyr. If you like mountains, and don't care about the situation with the career scenarios (remember there is a fix on the workshop), you'll love it!

Note: The fix adds in new scenarios. You will see both listed in the possible scenarios to play. They are replica's with the speed limits fixed. I mention this as some may not find that adequate.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Posted: July 17, 2015
Fun, sometimes boring, big mountains, gets lag sometimes, in other words, it might not look good, soi recommend u get this DLC On sale
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
Posted: November 5, 2015
There is a quite big issue with the included career scenarios - it's impossible to keep up with the timetables without exceeding speed limits. That makes some of the achievements unachievable. This particular problem has been known since the addon came out. And DTG never cared to fix it (but you can find fixed versions of the scenarios in the workshop which makes it all even more ridiculous because there clearly is a solution). The scenario length could be a big plus for some people (some are more than 3 hours long) but that timetable/speed limit bug just kills all the fun for everyone.

This addon is one of the worst and most disappointing ones I've played (and I own many) and I suggest to avoid it. Sherman Hill, Soldier Summit, Marias Pass routes (similar scenery) are a lot better.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 9, 2014
Thedonner pass route is on the whole a good, well modeled route witch I would recommend to anyone who likes american trains. However I would definatly reccomend getting scenarios for it off the workshop rather than playing the included ones,though to be fair it is an old route.
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9 of 11 people (82%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
Posted: August 30, 2015
The Career missions are impossible to finish with anything else than 0 points, due (I think) to the game enforcing speed limits for freight trains where it should enforce those for passenger trains. There are also lots of small details that show that this DLC could have used some more rigorous playtesting.
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11 of 16 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Not Recommended
Posted: February 3, 2015
The Donner Pass route is, in my opinion, the worst and most boring route available for Train Simulator. It goes from nowhere to nowhere with nothing of interest in between. It is very long, which some might see as an advantage, but with a 25mph speed limit along most of its length it is almost 4 hours of utter tedium to travel the full length. Those looking to earn experience points in career mode should give this one a miss because most of the scenarios cannot be completed with a positive score due to the simple fact that the speed limit is 25mph but you need to travel at an average 28mph to stick to the timetable. So, you can either stick to the speed limits and build up huge penalties for lateness or accumulate even more speeding penalties. It is typical of Dovetail Games that this problem has never been fixed in the 4 years since the game was first issued. If you want a US mountain pass route, try the Stevens Pass - it has better scenery and some interesting towns, ports and industries along the way.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: October 25, 2015
Great route for people who likes climbing and pulling long heavy freights! Also good for people who likes to run passenger trains. The route can get boring at times and a bit laggy (depending on what PC you got) but its good.
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: February 7, 2015
I live within driving distance of this line. I have been researching this line in order to model it in HO here at home. When I stumbled on to TS 2015 I was pleasantly surprised. Now, I get to virtually drive along the places I want to model! Top notch! In addition to that, I get to drive the SP AC-12 Cab forward! There's one at the Sacramento rail museum, and having the opportunity to drive a virtual AC-12 is a delight. Now, if I could only get the smell of hot oil and creosote from the rails! Well, you can't have everything but Donner pass comes close. Highly recommended. The only difference I see is the they have changed the Reno end of the line in recent years and this has the rails still at grade level. A minor difference to say the least.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
Posted: February 2, 2015
Several scenarios in career mode are broken and have been for years. I can't beleve they're still allowed to sell this.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: December 23, 2015
I feel very mixed about this route. This route has large yards for switching, includes lots of engines, and provides a challenge, although the route can get very dull and boring very quickly and takes a long time to travel through due to the low speed limit (i think 25mph). I would recommend this route if you like switching, and long, fairly slow freight trains, but I would not recommend this route for everyone.
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Recently Posted
Posted: October 9
I reccomend this route for those who want something of a real challenge and, or just a Southern Pacific fan in general. It takes time getting used to driving up the slopes and the amount of time it takes to traverse the entire route. My only complaints are dynamic brakes kicking in too quickly and the fact that you can't really control the automatic switches, plus the fact that any track that has a water column or fuel pump your switched off at the block just before it. Its great when you've been driving a cab forward recklessly for 60+ miles and need to refill the tanks. The scenary is beautiful and there's plenty of fun in driving the SD40 + GP9's bad default sounds aside.

By the way there is an SD45 as well as a Cab Forward seperat add on's well worth getting, they come with some nice 40-60's rolling stock. The only thing missing are other SP steam engines, 4-8-2, 2-10-2, 4-6-2, 2-8-2, 2-8-0's.
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Posted: August 6
Sucks. With all these bugs, and constantly going 30 MPH without taking the 50 track, I would not recommend
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Posted: July 8
It's not a perfect route, but ... in a way that it is almost.

The usual cons are the low speed - there are outer sections with higher speed - and the scenario timings. Those are so wrong that you stop caring. Unlike on other routes where you handle your train tough and rough just to stay within the 5 second window between the edge of impossibility and being late.

There are plenty of additional trains for this route. They use the outer sections, complementing the core route well.
If you have Sherman Hill too, the workshop has an almost endless supply of fun. If you are in the US (some DLCs only available there), it really is endless.

One significant minus is the sounds. When operating multiple locomotives together, the flanger effect gets really bad after a few turns.

If I compare this route to Sherman (positive rating): more driveable locos (5 instead of 2-3), free roams, also passenger scenarios, more green (or snow), more miles, grade changes make it more interesting... it doesn't deserve a poor "mixed". Definitely worth it during a sale. But of course, read the other reviews, too, might not be your cup of tea.
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Wheeling&LakeErie RR
Posted: June 22
If you like woodland scenery and open spaces this route is for you!....but if you don't like doing 25mph 95% of the route and getting speed penalties for trying to stick with the time table this route isn't for you. But if you still want to get this route just think to yourself, is it really worth 39.99$ and plus the career scenarios don't work!
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Posted: May 28
I live in Auburn California, have driven up and down from Donner Pass to Roseville hundreds of times, and have ridden the Amtrak train from Roseville to Truckee. This map is a perfect replica of the actual Donner Pass route. Every turn, crossing, and bridge, this expansion has it all. Even better, it allows you to traverse the original track before it was taken out and new routes through the mountains were found. Overall, buy this DLC. You won't regret it.
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Posted: April 22
I am not sure about this one but I think it is boring in my opinion. The trains are slow and the route is extremely long. I only recommend it for people who enjoy watching the scenery and playing with freight trains.

Rating: 6/10
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Posted: April 6
I'm mostly a quick-drive person, creating and testing my own consists on the grade. I was disappointed when I discovered all quick-drive routes are through the long tunnel and not the high pass. Further, there are no AI trains in quick drive to liven things up.

Aside from challenging grades coming up from the west, this route isn't very exciting, and the scenery is lacklustre. I'd give it a 4/10. If you are looking for scenery and grades, try the Canadian Mountain Passes instead.
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Posted: April 2
I dunno why I'm giving it a good review, it's an EXTREMELY boring route.

Pros -
Fun, yet challenging gradients
giant selection of locos
scenery is beautiful
Snow texture is outstanding

Cons -
physics on locos are meh
Reno is too small
Overused horns on locos
Speed limits are VERY hard to follow

6/10 I got it bundled with TS2014. Wouldn't waste $40.
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[TDX] Dxwells4 Productions 2017
Posted: January 30
I'm sorry,i dont relly like this. It takes forever to drive and the trains are slow. Really!? I Feel like uninstalling this.
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Posted: January 19
Great scenario, will really challenge your skills
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