A downloadable game for Windows

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Diesel Railcar Simulator - A train driving simulation set in the British railways of the late 1960's, modelling the passenger diesel multiple units, or 'railcars', of the era.

Hours of gameplay in two fictitious routes with Inter-City, semifast, stopping and empty coaching stock train services. All services have tens of departures over the 14hr daytime timetables, running times varying between 15 and 120 minutes. You can choose to drive any train while the other trains run under computer control.

Great replayability. Your driving style and timekeeping are evaluated and scored upon completing a run. Try the same run again to reach a higher score by braking more accurately or by driving more economically. You'll still need to prepare for suprises as traffic and delays may change from run to run.

For beginners and experienced trainsimmers alike. Integrated tutorials are included to assist beginning drivers in learning the train controls and operation. An optional key assistant shows which keys to press, when and why. Enable simple controls to operate the train with up/down keys only, while the actual throttle, shifter and brake levers are computer-controlled. Experienced drivers can operate the levers and other controls directly from the keyboard.

  • BR diesel railcar classes included: 112, 117, 122, 126 and 127
  • All parts of the vehicle drive train (engines, fluid couplings, gearboxes, torque converters) are simulated to ensure realistic behaviour
  • The suspension of each vehicle is made up of axle boxes, bogie frames, planks and bolsters, all individually simulated to make the vehicle bounce and sway over uneven trackwork
  • Two fictitious routes with different characteristics totalling over 150 miles: 4- and 2-track main lines, short urban and suburban lines, mountainous rural single track lines
  • Route features: semaphore signalling, trackwork with superelevated curves, klothoid transition curves and individual rail joints
  • Regular runs and special rescue runs where a train has broken down at one of the stations and you're dispatched from the depot to get it back

Recommended system for decent quality graphics: Windows PC with dual-core CPU, 4GB RAM, 1GB free disc space and GeForce GTX 750 / Radeon HD 6950 comparable GPU. The sim also has lower graphics quality settings for less performant hardware.

No DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology. Steam key included.

Let's plays (older versions): GrayStillPlays - HoneyBunnyGames - Jimmy Dali

Reviews (older versions): Rock, Paper, Shotgun - 4th's

Support: e-mail, Facebook, or post a comment below!

Early Access

This Steam Early Access game is currently not a finished game and may or may not change significantly over the course of development. To learn more about Steam Early Access, please visit http://store.steampowered.com/earlyaccessfaq/

The missing features will be released later without additional cost. You should still make the purchasing decision based on the merits of the currently available version.

Why Early Access? The simulator has been in development for many years. It's time to get feedback from a larger crowd of players, be they experienced or beginning trainsimmers, to get the details right and see if the base concept and features could be turned into a new serious contender on the trainsim market.

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access? The simulator is expected to be in Early Access for about one year.

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

Planned additions and improvements:

  • More diesel trains
  • Route and train editors with Steam Workshop support
  • Sound improvements
  • More detailed physics (handbrake, stopping of engines)
  • Graphics improvements: lighting, terrain and texturing, grass and bushes, fields and forests, roads and fences, better house/building models, more detailed track models, better signal models, better station platforms, improved train exterior/interior models and texturing...

For more details, please see the devlog.

What is the current state of the Early Access version? Apart from the editors all base features are in place and functional. The collection of routes and trains is still somewhat limited but offers hours worth of driving. Physics and sounds are almost completed. Visuals need more work but are good enough not to distract.

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access? The price may be raised with some of the updates.

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

Feature requests and other suggestions will be considered for implementation if they are technically feasible and sufficiently small in scope. All ideas are still welcome even if they don't make it to the simulator.

If the community feels an important feature is not prioritised high enough, the order of the updates may be changed. The players may also have access to test versions in advance of the official releases.

Communication takes place mainly through the sim's Steam discussion forum.

Published Jul 22, 2017
StatusIn development
Made withUnity
Tags3D, trains
Average sessionAbout a half-hour
InputsKeyboard, Mouse


Buy Now$14.99 USD or more

In order to download this game you must purchase it at or above the minimum price of $14.99 USD. Your purchase comes with a Steam key. You will get access to the following files:

diesel-railcar-simulator-win.zip 492 MB
Version 1.2.4

Development log

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Viewing most recent comments 2 to 41 of 68 · Next page · Last page

Now @Lapioware Ive had this game for a cuple of mounths But Theres one issue WHERES THE MULTI TRACK DRIFTING????

It's been there from day one :) You'll just have to overrun a trailing point set against you and then reverse, and the front of the train will go to the other track.

This Game Has switches?

Switch (Am.) = Point (Br.)  :)

So when you come to a turnout to join another track but the switch is set to the other track, you can use this to split your train onto two tracks.

I dont Remeber Switches AKA Trailing Points

I was playing DRS  a few days ago when I thought about something. The maximum speed limit  on both mainlines is actually 90mph however at this speed your target speed is always 70mph . I think that the target speed should be based on what the actual line speed limit is rather than on how fast the train can go since the train can overexceed its maximum speed.

I respectfully disagree :) In real-life you can exceed the line speed limit at the risk of derailing or damaging equipment. You can also exceed the train's designated maximum speed at the risk of derailing or damaging the train. You shouldn't do either though. In the case of the 1st gen DMUs the max safe speed is probably limited by the power train, but for safety reasons, many other trains have lower max speeds than what they could actually reach.

When you say improving existing routes can you get rid of all of these entry portals and exit portals and replace them with terminus stations. having portals is a bit unrealistic.

In real world the continuous railway network is a large complex web that can't all be modelled as one route so you'll end up with some branches and stubs that lead to unmodelled parts of the network. These are often modelled as portals of some kind in the other train sims as well. Then again the current routes are fictitious so the portals could be replaced with terminus stations to form a small-ish but complete railway network. Another option would be to have the run start and end at a non-terminus station instead of a portal.

Is there going to be a third full route?

I'm probably not going to make any more routes but I'm going to improve the existing ones. Hopefully people will use the editors to create new routes but if that doesn't happen then I'll look into making some more (real-world ones).

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bonjour peux tu integrer un controle manette complet ou partiel stp

I think you've already asked this :) Yes, there will be full controller support later. In the meantime you can use an external program to configure a joystick for the sim as described here: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=1347790178

While playing DRS  I realised that it would be great to have a fully accesible cab. What I mean by that is maybe if  you could control the train's wipers and if the trains had destination blinds showing where the train was going. Also, it would be great if the trains had lights at each end and that these could be controlled from the cab.

That's true yes, these features would be nice and I'll try to fit them in at some point, but they're relatively minor details compared to some of the other missing stuff so they're not yet a high priority.

I hope one of the locos is the class 37

It's quite possible, there's a screenshot of it with temporary textures in the RPS interview.

In version 1.3 you said something about adding new dmus and a loco plus carriages. What classes will these new trains be? And when will version 1.3 be released?

There's a more up-to-date plan over at the Steam discussions forum (no account required for reading). The locos will be 03 and/or 08 and/or 37 with Mk1 coaches and/or freight wagons but I'm going to release two editor updates before that. Developing the editors is taking a lot longer than I originally expected because they're technically quite complex. I shouldn't really give any dates because I've done such a poor job of estimating them in the past, but the next update is quite likely to be released next month.

salut chef, peux tu augmenter le reglage de zoom dans la cabine stp

Sure, what kind of improvement are you thinking of?

qu on puisse se reculer du tableau de bord pour mieux voir les instrument

Just more zoom? Yeah I can do that for the next update

merci chef continue comme ca ton jeu sera au top

Hey man, just wanted to say your simulator is going really great. Looking forward too all the cool features you have planned

Hey thanks for the encouragement!

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pouvez vous mettre les panneaux d avertissement avant le changement de vitesse limite de troncon svp?

In reality there weren't advance warning boards for the speed limits in 1960's UK so I'm leaving them out. For more modern routes there will be advance warnings

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merci parce que c est pratiquement impossible un freiner a temps lol

continuez vous a developper un mode multiplayers?

Probably not because it's difficult in many ways. I'll reconsider after DRS is complete!

dommage le coté cooperatif serait interessant comme dans trainz ou open rail

I've watched a couple of videos of Trainz, Open Rails and Run8 multiplayer. The problem is that they don't seem very fun. Train Simulator 20xx is still the most popular train sim even if it doesn't have multiplayer.

pas faux en effet mais le multi peux avoir un interet dans ca jeu

Lesj ai decouvert un mod multi sur ts 2018 dans le workshop steam

Can you share a link to that mod?

If you had the chance to design the multiplayer for a train sim, how would you do it?


je pense que pour le multiplayer, un sondage pourrait etre interessant pour recolter les idees de tous le monde

Is it possible to mod this game at all?

Not yet, but the editors will be gradually released within the next 6 months

cool une mise a jour prochainement avec des nouveautées?

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Yes an update is probably going to be released next week, but it's a small one with some bugfixes and optimisations. The route editor is still not ready.

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Feedback on 1.2.6 Beta: 

- in my case, scenery loading stutter feels a bit more intense now; maybe I should test with hard drive caching off to check impact.

- the "sim step" parameter might be higher than 1.2.3.

- reflections "on" has more  fps impact and introduces a jittery feel to motion in this build.

- have not encountered any bugs / crashes.

Thanks! I'll need to revisit the scenery loading mechanism and release another beta. The performance issues in general are something I didn't expect or really notice on my own laptop, but I'll go again through the changes I did to see if there's anything obvious there that might have an impact.

How do i make controls simple mode i forgot

It's under the "Tutorials" button in the service screen where you select Drive/Watch


(1 edit)

Will you be able to extend routes with the route editor?


Yes, you'll be able to load, edit and save again any route. If people want it, I can consider doing some kind of protection so that you can distribute a route you've done without letting others make changes to it.

Diesel Railcar Simulator is the first train sim I have purchased since way back when MS train simulator came out and this is far more enjoyable. Until this came out the available train sims on the market have had very mixed ratings but this sim is fantastic. I know you mentioned that the sim currently focused on Diesel mechanical / hydraulic for time being and that's fine (class 35 or 43 or 52 locomotives maybe?). But it would great if you managed to get diesel electric supported for this sim, it could allow DEMU class 205s for instance. Also, if diesel electric were supported, would physics support for purely electric locos (apart from track infrastructure) really be that much more work given that both are driven by traction motors? 

Thanks Jakkson! Diesel-electric support will be coming eventually as soon as I get some other stuff out of the way first (the editors for instance). I'll need to research how it works in detail to model it to the same fidelity as the mechanical and hydraulic transmissions. The train editor will allow the community to add the classes you mentioned while I focus on developing the core sim.

It's true that the diesel-electrics share a lot of similarities with purely electric locos but I don't yet know to what extent. There might be some differences in the control mechanisms. The infrastructure is also a major point, not just in the 3D-modelling of the power rails or overhead electric lines, but because of how multiple electric trains drawing current from the same transformer affect each other's performance, unlike steam or diesel locos which are independent of each other.

bonjour, pensez vous rajouter le mode multijoueur prochainement?

Multiplayer is probably quite difficult to do so that it works reliably, is fun and doesn't suffer from abusive players, so I'm going to leave it out unless I figure out a way to solve all the problems easily.

pouvez vous mettre le frein d urgence en plus du frein conventionnel

Yeah, I'll add emergency brake in one of the train updates where new trains are added and physics improved

bonjour allez vous modifier les horaires? car certains sont impossible a realiser a cause du temps d attente au feu rouge

Yes, in the next update I'm going to adjust the timetables to make sure all services can be run to time.

Personally I quite like the idea of starting some services with a delay; kind of "do you best to recover time" challenge mission that adds a random element to the simulation; so I don't see them as a bug or issue.

That's true and I agree but there are some services which can't be run to time under any circumstances. The randomisation will always result in starting late or being held at a signal so long that you'll always be late at the last stop. I'm going to make sure all services can finished in time at least sometimes.

bonjour pensez vous mettre un support manette sur le jeu

Oui :) Not in the next update but in the future there will be support for gamepad/joystick

You can already use a gamepad or joystick with the help of another program, here is a guide (not written by me):


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Would it be possible in one of your updates to add traffic on the roads? Like cars , trucks and buses etc. The towns and roads seem a bit empty without anything moving about.

Yes, road traffic is in the plans but first I need to make the editors and improve the road layouts, so it'll probably be a very late stage feature.


An interview over at Rock, Paper, Shotgun

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Do you have an idea on when version 1.3 will be released? Or is it still a while from now?

Hoping to get the beta version of the next update ready for testing by end of May but no guarantees!

bonjour envisagez vous de mettre du materiels diesel francais comme les abj ou abh metrique ou les x 2000 corse  et des routes reelles?

I can only promise that I'll try to do very easy to use route and train editors for the community. There are many players from France so I hope some of them will try making real French routes and trains.

What kind of features are you planning to put in the route editor ?

At first, the bare minimum to be able to make routes similar to the ones currently in the sim: track laying, semaphore signals, distants, AWS magnets, stopping areas/markers, scenery features, timetable creation... I'll be adding more advanced features in later updates!

Sounds great


This is by a mile the most realistic of all the train sims. In regards, physics, sounds both dmu and rail sounds. Plus operation of the units themselves. I was a shed fitter on BR WR, mostly dmu's but also all the hydraulic classes from joining in the late 1960's. It doesn't get any better than this and i look forward to future development. Particularly in regards the editors, both route and scenario creation.

I just purchased this a couple of hours ago, as someone who has driven these in the early 1960's

on the Midland Region,  got to say I am very impressed :O)

Hope you keep on with updates :O)

Charlie, thank you for the very generous tip! If you have any stories or comments to share in regards to the performance or operation of the units I'm all ears! I know that the brakes in the simulator are probably underpowered at low speeds because the behaviour of the cast-iron brake blocks is not simulated quite correctly.

Updates will definitely be continued barring any force majeure! The progress might be a bit slow because of the genuine complexity of all the stuff involved.

Thanks IKB, the route editor is currently in the works and I'm excited to see what people can do with it once it's ready! I'd be interested in any knowledge that could be used for improving the realism of the simulator, based on your experience working with the DMUs!

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Do you have to activate the game on steam to receive future updates or not?

No need to activate on Steam, updates will be continued here as well. In fact, the next update will be later today.

Glad to see it out on steam. Congrats on the release!



Just a reminder: if you buy/bought the sim from here, you don't need to buy it again on Steam. Just log in and go to the download page, then click the "Get Steam key" button.

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Go to the download page of what exactly?

The game's download page: at the top of the page there should be a link saying "You own this game" and a Download button.

 if a price of something differs by more than 10℅ by currency or region the sale is blocked to gift.  Along with stopping people buying things and putting in thier inventory.. I gather its more against the grey area market of cheaper country pricing sold for profit elsewhere.. But its really stopped me gifting games to good friends overseas..

Thanks for the info..ill buy from here :)

A news link from a while ago about it


Would it be possible to purchase steam keys from you at all? Steams recent regional changes would make using keys to gift so much easier

Hi Overland, if you purchase the game here you get one Steam key. I'm not sure if the key is affected by the regional changes (what changes are those?)

This game is awesome, I hope that will be able to have a steam key on march 5th :) I will make a presentation on my youtube channel for my french community. Congrat !

Thank you! I just added a batch of Steam keys to the system. You can get yours by going to the download page and clicking "Get Steam key". The key can be activated already but the download on Steam won't work until the official release on Monday.

Excellent, the steam release will be the same as this one ? Just a few notes after playing with your game : In some trains the speed gauge is not accurate. Then, we have to use the speed helper (ui at the right) to get our real speed. On the route schema on the right it's difficult to evaluate distance and size of station too. Awesome game I hope we could see passengers go up and down the train :)

Yes, the Steam and Itch versions are identical.

Thanks for the notes! Yeah, the speedometers can be somewhat inaccurate but luckily the speed they show is usually a bit more than the actual speed, so you won't overspeed if you follow them. The route schema is that way by design so it wouldn't make things too easy. You should only use it to get an idea what is coming next and then look out of the window! :) Moving passengers are planned for one of the later updates.

Please post a link to your video here or to the Steam community if you can, I'd love to watch the video once it's ready!

I will, but the video will be in french :)

No problem! It'll be useful to all French-speaking users. Everything doesn't have to be in English, there's already one video in German in the Steam community hub. Besides, I can understand French to some extent :)

Firstly I see DRS appearing on my 'coming soon' list on Steam - woot!

Secondly - is there any way to see a map of the world that DRS is set-in?  I like to have an idea of where I am/going - even if it's just a JPG - just so I can see where everything is in relation to everywhere else??

Also loving the new shader/style - tho it's had a bit of an effect on performance - new PC looms I guess!!

Yes, DRS is finally coming to Steam! I'll arrange the keys for itch owners after the official release.

The new version has a map button at the bottom of the service selection screen, did you notice? It's easy to miss though! There's no map during the actual run yet, this is planned for the next update.

Motion blur is perhaps the single most demanding graphical effect. Does it help if you turn that off? You might also get better performance by using the second best quality option, but still enabling some of the additional effects, rather than using the best quality and disabling some effects. The sim is nowhere near fully optimised yet so hopefully you don't need to get any new hardware!

Maps found - MUCH happier when I know where I'm going!!

One small issue - the 'tutorial' function which suggests what to press seems to be less useful than it was in earlier releases?  I'd disabled it for areas I was comfortable driving but I ran a scenario today which ended in a terminus and following the on-screen instructions led me to crash into the buffers!

It also gets confused in some stations - you stop and it keeps suggesting you apply/release the brakes over and over?

I'm ALMOST grown-out of it but I imagine new players may be confused?

The key tutorial is the same as in the earlier version. It does occasionally instruct you to accelerate right before a terminus buffer stop so there's still room for improvement! For a funny example of this, see GrayStillPlays' Let's play video (he's playing version 1.0). The reason why the tutorial suggests fiddling with the brake at stations is because it's trying to match 15 inches of vacuum which is the standard for keeping the train still. The vacuum gauge works with some delay, especially in longer trains, which is why you see the needle dropping occasionally below 15in even though the brake valve is lapped. You're right though, it's confusing for a beginner and I'm still going to fine tune it in some of the future updates!

It's super-useful to have that guide - esp as the game has the 'score' aspect for best driving practices!!

It also maybe distracts people a BIT from learning trains properly - I had to force myself to turn-it-off  - I believe remapping is possible so maybe I need to remap to TS settings to avoid having to think so hard? :)

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Hey, congratulations for the launch of version 1.2, great improvements on atmosphere and sounds (they make it even more immersive now).

I saw your post regarding the graphical effects on performance and wanted to add this from my findings: with "Good quality" preset and "Reflections" turned "off" I get fireflies on the edges of the passenger seats, sometimes with flashing white squares around them. Same effect is visible from the helicopter cameras and also on the incoming trains (from the opposite direction). Frame rate tanks a bit when I rotate my camera to look at them specifically (60 to 40-30).  I'm attaching an image in case my description is lacking.

I know you mentioned you haven't optimised it yet, hoping this will be of some aid when you get there.  All the best ! :D

Thanks! I've sometimes noticed the fireflys on my own machine as well, but not recently, so I thought the issue had somehow resolved itself, but apparently not. It's probably the bloom effect? There might some very small or degenerate triangles in the places where the fireflys occur, will need to investigate and come up with a fix to the next update.

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Did a test with "Bloom" setting "Off" and the artefacts are still there for me, maybe there are some inverted normals or overlaps in the mesh. LE: They go away if I turn High Dynamic Range "Off" when having Reflections disabled.

Thanks, I tried the same and indeed, it's not the bloom. They also go away if I enable TAA or disable AO, so it must be a combination of the post effects and how they handle triangle or normal vector edge cases.

Hi mate,

 I've only had Diesel Railcar Simulator for about 6 days and I have to say it is great and there is so much more to come as well. Really enjoying the physics modelling. 

Thank you, 


Thanks Damo, I'm glad to hear you're enjoying the sim!

Thank you very much for publishing your plans regarding updates for version 1 of DRS and announcing that those updates will be free is a very good news. I wouldn't change the order of the updates. Just carry on with your plans.

Hey, thanks for your feedback! I'll proceed according to the plan.


First I 'd to say that I'm really happy with my purchase the quality is really good for a game this early in development. It even does a few things better than the AAA sims on steam.  Once I saw a few videos on the game, I needed to buy  the game immediately. And I'm willing to support the game through the coming years.

Now I do have two questions:

1. On the Roadmap it says "Version 2 (2018-2019, new simulator, sold separately)"              I would like some clarification on the "new sim" "sold seperately" part, does this mean we'll have to buy the game again once it hits version 2 or will it be a free upgrade for people who already bought the game at version 1.0?

2. I don't mind having my games on multiple platforms but is a steam release planned and if so will we receive a free steam key?

Thanks a lot for making this amazing sim!

 I am looking forward to what it will become.

Hello, thanks for purchasing the sim! To answer your questions,

1. Yes, you'll need to buy v2 again as I'm considering it a "new sim" in that it has much broader scope and features, whereas v1 will be mainly limited to just British 1st generation DMUs. I'm still releasing several free updates to Diesel Railcar Simulator over this year and next year, and I'm sure they'll be worth your current investment. DRS owners will also get a discount from v2.

2. Steam release is indeed planned and keys will be distributed to those who bought the sim here!

Thanks for answering so soon, it is now much more clear thanks and keep the good work up! 

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Hello, I won this game in the RockPaperShotgun Foxer ( thank you for that ) and wanted to congratulate you on your awesome start with Diesel Railcar Simulator.

I'm enjoying the realistic physics, bogie animations, cab movement, sounds and sense of speed. Immersion is very good, if not the best right now, a great mixture of simulation and friendly atmosphere. Hope you'll manage to develop this game further.

If it helps, some feedback from my experience:

- I would add a simple image tutorial in which signalling is described (for newcomers) at the start menu. You could create another button near the keyboard shortcuts and gfx options for this.

- I noticed that some textures are glossy when they shouldn't be (bricks, seat, etc) this could affect game performance.

- there are no line speed warning indicators before the actual speed reduction zone, from my knowledge rails have them in real life, so not having them in-game but penalizing for using the route feature helper does not make sense to me.

- speed indicator signs are hard to see/read from a distance against ground colour/atmospheric lighting.

- in some places (tight left curves) cab's left pillars block the vision of incoming signals.

All the best !

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Hello! The next update will include more information on the signals and signs, but only in text. I do agree that pictures of the signals would be more helpful, and will consider them for the second or third update.

Granted, the graphics are not very well thought out because I'm still learning things and wanted to focus on the physics and overall feel. Some of the future updates will bring improvements in this regard. There's also plenty of opportunities for optimisation in the graphics but also in other areas of the program. The seat material is shared with several other cab objects, so separating it would probably not help.

In the modern railway there certainly are advance warnings to speed restrictions, but 1960's Britain, I'm not so sure. I'd be interested in knowing more about this from a reliable source. Maybe the drivers just had to rely on their memory and knowledge of the route. The limit signs were originally painted white, but being hard to spot in snow, were later converted to yellow. They currently don't stand out very well, I agree, maybe adjusting the overall illumination to a more realistic direction would help.

In the next update you can move around in the cab and stick your head through the side windows, so that'll help spotting the signals in tight corners.

Thanks for your suggestions!

Looks like I was wrong, it appears that advance warning indicators for speed restriction segments were only introduced after 1971 and just in some places; acknowledging of the speed restricted areas is being left to the driver, either through learning the track or through time table documents (if there were any).

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