Plan for next updates

List of updates planned for Diesel Railcar Simulator (updated 21 Mar 2021). Please read the up-to-date plan from Steam (no Steam account required). This is a copy of the Steam post for those who can't access the Steam community domain. Feel free to post comments here!

Next up: user interface update part 4

  • Input/Controls improvements
  • Optimisations

The next two major updates

Each update will take approximately 4-8 months to complete.

  • Better terrain textures
  • Fields and dense forests
  • Grass and bushes
  • More realistic roads
  • Better fences
  • More house/building models
  • More realistic and detailed track models
  • Uneven track 3d-models to match rails to wheel movement
  • Improved and more flexible bridge models
  • Better station platforms, buildings and props
  • Water (streams, river, lakes, seashore)
  • Tunnels
  • Career mode
  • Steam leaderboards
  • Steam achievements
  • Improved scoring
  • Chaining services to make multiple runs with the same train in one session
  • Conventional tutorials

Later updates (wishlist)

There will be 3-4 large updates with each one adding features from one or more of the following categories, but there's no guarantee that all these features will be included in the final product:

Night lighting
  • Signal lights
  • Train headlights
  • Cab and interior lights
  • Scenery lighting

Prerequisite: Night lighting

  • More realistic signal placement
  • More signal models
  • Custom signal systems
  • Workshop support for custom signal systems
  • Diesel-electric traction
  • Proper run ending procedure: stopping engines, applying handbrake, removing key etc.
  • Train failures
  • Derailments

Prerequisite: physics update

  • Weather effects
  • Automatically generated four seasons
Real-world route support
  • Digital elevation map support for route editor
  • OpenStreetMap support for route editor
  • Other necessary changes to route editor
Other countries

Prerequisites: physics update, real-world route support

  • Routes and trains from other countries like USA and Germany
Hard-core simming
  • RailDriver controller support
  • Virtual Reality support
  • TrackIR support
  • Shunting
  • Reducing train spawning and destroying to make them as persistent on the rail network as possible
  • Loading and unloading freight wagons
  • Request stops (on-demand passenger stops)
Train details
  • Improved exterior/interior models and textures
  • Animated vehicle ends: buffers, couplings, hoses, gangways etc.
  • Dynamic destination boards, route indicators, unit numbers etc.
Scenery animation
  • Moving passengers, people inside the trains
  • Pedestrians, animals, cars etc.
  • Animated crossing gates

In last update (coming out of Early Access)

  • GeForce Now support (or some other cloud gaming service)
  • Selecting which gauges to display on HUD and other GUI improvements
  • Turntables and traverses


When evaluating the importance of a new feature and its priority, the following criteria should be considered:

  • How many people will notice it? Everyone -> high priority / Few -> low priority
  • Does it make the simulator more interesting or exciting? Yes -> high priority / No -> low priority
  • Does it make the game more accessible? Yes -> high priority / No -> low priority
  • Is it easy and quick to implement? Yes -> high priority / No -> low priority
  • Is it easy to use in marketing? Yes -> high priority / No -> low priority

The resulting priority is a combination of these (and other) factors, but not defined in any rigorous way. The same criteria can also be used for prioritising bug fixes (where applicable).

Features that will not be included

The main reason for omitting some features is to keep the scope of the project suitable for a single developer. If development takes too long, the sim might already be outdated by the time it's completed.


Why not? The sim has not been designed with multiplayer in mind. It would be possible to run a timetable with other players, but it probably just wouldn't be that fun. There are other train sims that do this type of multiplayer well.

Walking outside the train.

Why not? The sim has not been designed with "first person shooter" mechanics in mind. One of the design principles of DRS is that the AI must work by pressing virtual keys, just like the human player does. Making the AI drivers walk outside is difficult and lots of work to implement.

Detailed simulation of signalman's or guard's duties.

Why not? DRS is primarily designed to be a driving simulator. Detailed simulation of other duties would also require the ability to walk outside.

Detailed steam and electric locomotive physics.

Why not? Simulating fire, steam and electrical components to the same standard as the current diesel transmission is challenging and loads of work. The name of the sim is also ill-suited and it's too late to change it. This doesn't mean that steam or electric trains cannot be done. It just means that the physics for them will have to be simplified.

Native Linux support.

Why not? Accounts from other indie developers suggest that the market is small and fragmented, and generally not worth the effort. The state of graphics drivers is also questionable, which can lead to frequent crashes on a relatively high number of systems. You may be able to get the game running on Linux by using Steam Proton or Wine. Cloud gaming like GeForce Now may also become an option in the future.

Native Mac support.

Why not? Mostly for the same reasons as Linux. You may be able to get the game running on Mac by using Wine or other similar software. Cloud gaming like GeForce Now may also become an option in the future.

Brightness/gamma/contrast or other colour settings.

Why not? You can use third party programs like Reshade instead.

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Re: Derailment

I think it could use some deliberation, of simulating exactly how much of such....irregularity.

After all there's another simulator (which I would not name here) out there right now that had made it a massive selling point - which I had personally found to be somewhat distasteful, but don't let that get in the way - while most other train sims I know of (and flight sims as well) would simply freeze or terminate the simulaton on detecting such out-of-bound condition, and some other tangentially related rail signalling sims have made a policy out of not simulating accidents, which is much easier to accomplish there.

And there's much difference as well, between jumping off the track over a faulty set of points at low speed as (very) occasionally happened back in the day, to numerous occasions much worse and too unpleasant to name.

So, what's the plan here?

The rationale for implementing derailments is to have visible consequences for mistakes (speeding, slamming brakes on loosely coupled stock etc.) instead of just abruptly halting the simulation. Basically having the train grind to a halt with appropriate sound effects and clouds of dust, but nothing more spectacular than that. Having a wheelset drop on the ground and bump over sleepers could create an interesting visual feedback in the cab, given the physics modelling of the bogies and driver head.

Thanks for the quick reply!

And yes, it sounds good - Except there won't be much of grinding to a halt in a high-speed derailment, witness accounts of real-life occasions of which had included words like "somersault" - To be fair, that was an occasion of animal strike with traction at rear, rather than any driver error.

A combined approach might bear consideration, at some point.

The custom physics engine I'm using doesn't really support leaving the tracks, so in case of derailment the vehicles will stay more or less upright and won't stray too far from the rails. Definitely no running down the embankment, falling off a bridge or anything like that.

I've just downloaded the latest version with the Class 37 and all I can say is this is superb! Thanks to all the developers. I'm off to drive the Newspapers freight runs.

Thank you Wombat, have fun!

(1 edit)

Even though it’s about 50 years too late, I would love to see the Class 172 in this game with its 6 speed ZF gearbox 🤤.

Me too even if I'm more fond of the older trains! Maybe we'll start seeing modern DMUs from the community once the train editor is ready.

Edited the post again to show more realistic release dates and full content of the v1.2 update

Hey, how about in-game weather?

Hi Morgan, weather is not planned (currently at least) because it's quite a complex topic: it needs graphical effects e.g. rain, thunder, fog, reflective puddles, working windscreen wipers + all the quality level options for slower PCs + all the sound effects. Rain and wind affect adhesion and physics and the AI driver needs to be able to handle the changing weather conditions (wheel slip and slide). Reduced visibility caused by the fog also must affect the AI driver's behaviour (can't see so far), etc. etc. It's not high on my to-do-list but it's not completely ruled out either...


So I've edited the post to update the planned release months. From recent and past experience it seems that developing an update takes closer to three months rather than the two I was hoping to achieve.

No pressure, I'm happy to wait until it's ready, but any news on v1.2?

I'm running late with the v1.2 update (still working on the new route) so it'll be released in January. I'll post some more detailed news and screenshots next week or the week after that!

Cool, glad to hear it's on the way! Enjoy the holidays. :)

How long will the new route be?

Not sure because I haven't started yet (still working on the tooling). What do you think of the current route, is it too long or short in terms of service running times? I'm guessing most people would enjoy running times between 20 and 40 minutes.

Personally i would like a terminus to major station /terminus with an extensive suburban network and a 60 to 90 minutes run the thing that annoys me is the fact that as you go past woodham gobion it ends a minutes it suddenly end without no warning,i would at least like to terminate in a station.  


Ok, I'll make the next route with a longer main line and termini at both ends!


In 1.3 Editor update (Feb 2018) it says "loco + wagons and coaches." what type of loco do you mean like steam or diesel? i would assume diesel but i don't want to be mistaken

Definitely diesel! The physics can't yet do electrics or steam locos.

Cool thanks for answering that :D