This paper presents numerical simulations of in-cylinder soot evolution in the optically accessible heavy-duty diesel engine of Sandia Laboratories performed with the conditional moment closure (CMC) model employing a reduced n-heptane chemical mechanism coupled with a two-equation soot model. The influence of exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) on in-cylinder processes is studied considering different ambient oxygen volume fractions (8 - 21 percent), while maintaining intake pressure and temperature as well as the injection configuration unchanged. This corresponds to EGR rates between 0 and 65 percent.Simulation results are first compared with experimental data by means of apparent heat release rate (AHRR) and temporally resolved in-cylinder soot mass, where a quantitative comparison is presented. The model was found to fairly well reproduce ignition delays as well as AHRR traces along the EGR variation with a slight underestimation of the diffusion burn portion. Subsequently, the impact of EGR on the mixture formation, spray characteristics and soot evolution is investigated numerically and governing processes are identified and discussed.