Sunday, 24 June 2012

Screenshot Of The Day - 24th June

Loadhaul liveried 37698 awaits departure from Earnock with a rake of recently repaired wagons bound for Toton.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Chasing Yellows Fix - TS2012

Please note: Only make changes if you are competent in the scenario editor.

It's been noted that since the recent Service Pack 1 update to TS2012, the scenario "Chasing Yellows" will no longer work as intended. The following is a fix and will be passed to RSC in order to try and get it implemented as an update.

Fire up the editor:-

Set 1A25 to be a "Stopping Passenger" instead of Express.
Set your service to start at 18:05, the scenario start time.

Using the timetable editor, change the instructions to 1A25 to the following.

You will see that I have added one extra instruction but also removed the stopping points and replaced them with Go Via. The latter may not be neccessary, but I am not going to backtrack now and try a different way when this works. Also remember to return to the main menu after making the changes in order to allow the signal states to be reset.

What should happen now is that 1A25 will follow in on a prototypical path, but prior to the old collision point, take the other line and wait at the signal for you to approach and pass. You also don't need to set off like a bat out of hell, and can await the 18:06 time.

Screenshot Of The Day - 23rd June

Friday, 22 June 2012

Screenshot Of The Day - 22nd June

Screenshot Of The Day - 22nd June

Featuring a Virgin CrossCountry Class 200 Voyager awaiting departure at Paddington during the "Operation Princess" era.

"Burning The Midnight Oil" - Scenario Released - Railworks

I have released a new scenario for TS2012 that utlilises default stock only and takes advantage of the new TS2012 lighting on the Oxford to Paddington route. Despite only using default items, the scenario is still engaging and a challenge.

It can be downloaded from my website by following this link.

Please note, this scenario does not include or take advantage of the upcoming DPSimulation Enhancement Packs.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

DPSimulation Scenario Enhancement Pack - Coming Soon

I am pleased to announce that I will be shortly releasing the first scenario which will include route enhancements and will be based on the newly updated Oxford to Paddington route. By route enhancements, I am talking about "Scenario Specific Scenery" which some may have heard about and some may not have so I have prepared a hasty FAQ below.

What is the Scenario Enhancement Pack?

Rather than just creating and releasing another scenario, and knowing that the update of Oxford-Paddington was forthcoming, I decided to formulate a new project to take advantage of something I have used before, Scenario Specific Scenery, using the newly updated route as a testbed. This allows me to create certain objects that can be added to the scenario to enhance the experience, whether this be missing landmarks, station clutter or trackside signage etc. The possibilities are actually endless.

What is included in these packs?

The packs are designed to evolve and if well received, can be expanded and added to in the future whether that is on the same route, or to branch out and add to other available routes. Initially only for Oxford - Paddington, the first release will feature several missing landmarks, new trackside, safety and station signage along the route, station furniture such as modern phoneboxes, vending machines and help points along with other items of interest.

What is Scenario Specific Scenery?

These are items that can be placed within any scenario to enhance the experience. Ever since the early days of Rail Simulator, there has been a facility whereby a large selection of items were able to be used within a scenario environment and wouldn't permanently show up in the route itself. The most common uses so far have generally been to place track workers and the associated working materials.

What are the advantages of this scenery?

The advantages are limitless, you can make any scenario completely different from the next by either utilising what is available currently within the editor. To enhance the experience further, the scenery is much like any other and you can create your own objects, that is what is being done for this project.

Another advantage is that all of the scenery only needs to be placed once. When adding the scenery to a scenario, a folder is created within the structure of TS2012 and this can simply be copied over to any other scenario on the route. That means that with a few clicks of a mouse, you can add this scenery to any scenario you already have, including those that are provided with the core program and also any DLC you have purchased.

What are the disadvantages of this scenery?

The only downside is that you are constrained by what already exists on any given route, nothing can be removed and replaced, only added to. What this means is that the primary objective of the pack is to enhance what is already there to provide a more immersive experience. Certain techniques can be employed in order to "mask" existing content, whereby you can replace station signage for instance to replicate a different era by creating new signage that is slightly bigger than what exists, and placing over the current object to hide it. The same can be done for buildings to a certain extent.

Can I include the content in my own scenarios?

Providing they are for your own personal use then yes, you can simply copy the scenery folder over to your scenario. However, initially I will not be providing permission for the scenery to be used within any scenarios that are released and this is for a variety of reasons. The main one is that this is an evolving pack and will be added to. Anyone else creating a scenario that includes the enhancements would then need to edit and re-release further versions of their scenario in order to be up to date. Therefore, the early stages of this project will stay exclusive to scenarios released by DPSimulation.

They do say that pictures speak louder than words, so here is an example. The first shot shows the route as we all have it, viewed as normal from within a free roam scenario. The second shows another free roam scenario from the same location and angle, but with the scenery folder in place.

Shot of Appleford station on the default Oxford - Paddington route.

Shot of Appleford station on the default Oxford - Paddington route. However, this shot is shown as it is within the scenario, with many extras added.

New Wagon Packs Released!

It is with great pleasure that I can announce the release of three new wagon packs for TS2012 but more importantly, they are completely free!

Created by the very talented Malcolm Mackay, the three packs are as follows:-

* BDV Bolster D Pack
* BPV Boplate E Pack
* FEV Conflat E Coke

An absolutely huge thankyou to Malcolm for both creating this quality rolling stock and also releasing it to the community for free.

The wagons can be found in the all new "Rolling Stock" section of my website which can be found by following this link.

Screenshot Of The Day - 21st June

Screenshot Of The Day - 21st June

A pair of First Great Western Class 166's approach Paddington after forming a service from Reading.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Where Am I?

Where am I this morning?

Screenshot Of The Day - 20th June

Screenshot Of The Day - 20th June

A Class 40 departs from Dumfries, heading for Glasgow with a rake of Mk2b coaches in tow. These coaches are newly released from Iron Horse House.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Any Wonder?

Is it any wonder that many freeware authors are no longer bothering creating for Railworks?

I presume that a reputation of 14 is something around the "pond life" section?

An Overpaid Clown

Can someone remind me how much this clown is getting paid again?

Screenshot Of The Day - 19th June

Screenshot Of The Day - 19th June

A Class 25 descends the incline towards Settle with a Carlisle to Healey Mills mixed freight.

Thought Of The Day - 19th June

Thought Of The Day - Catenary Erection

If so much as one person claims tonight that "All they have done is added lights" then I am letting the dogs off the leash**. :D

**The last statement is in no way serious of course, I'll actually be sending the boys round.

Update Tonight - Back Up

As an update is due tonight for TS2012, the scaremongerers are out in force as usual at places like UKAS (UKAssumptionSim) and Facebook claiming that it will herald the end of the known world.

Although it is of no help for the tiny minority of users that do experience issues, 99% of people don't have an issue and will be completely unaffected by the update. And despite RSC even providing instructions in their announcements as to how to backup your content, many seem to blatantly ignore it and make amazing claims about how they are being forced to update tonight. You actually have several options.

1, Do nothing and await the end of the known universe.

2, Effectively "fool" Steam by renaming your Railworks install to something such as "RailworksOld" (folder found at: C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common), creating a new shortcut for the old version and then do a "Verify Cache" for Railworks. This will create a completely new install, leaving the old version untouched and playable.

3, Merely go offline with Steam for a while and monitor the fallout. If everything seems fine, you can simply go online, if not, follow suggestion 2.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

An Apology

I must apologise for the lack of recent updates from myself, it's due to various factors and I can't always find the spare time I need to get the huge amount of stuff done that I would like to. However, although slower than I want it to be, progress is happening.

Cresston V4 OB is still being developed and will be released soon, I'm just not entirely sure when. I still have a few quirks to iron out and lots of custom assets to export and place.

Cleveland Lines is progressing also, and has a lot of new custom content created and exported. I really, really want to create as much as possible for this line.

The latest batch of scenarios are nearly ready, although two are just awaiting the cold start fix from Just Trains for the Voyager. As I am always trying to produce something different, and now that the Oxford-Paddington upgrade is now announced, I am trying something completely new for the scenarios on that route, something I hope will give the scenarios a completely unique feel and will initially only be featured in my scenarios. A sneak preview screenshot can be seen below.

Just to make it clear though, I am not building or cloning another version of Oxford - Paddington, it's simply that the scenarios will have some "extras" on the default route. Hopefully this just provides a nice stopgap until Jivebunny releases his mammoth makeover and extension of the route. If you haven't seen it already, I suggest that you visit his thread at UKTS and have a read through, some of the improvements are nothing short of stunning. It can be found by clicking here.

Screenshot Of The Day - 17th June

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Service Pack 1 - Due 19th June

On June 19th, a major piece of software maintenance on TS2012 is planned. This housekeeping process will bring an array of long-term benefits to the TS2012 software.

For more information and answers to many questions, click here.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Want To Try Railworks For Free?

Thanks to Gary over at UKTS for posting about this, I had forgotten about it completely.

Want to see what all of the fuss is about? Want to see if Railworks will work on your system?** Just want to drive a train for free?

In Christmas 2010, in conjunction with the National Rail Museum released a free Christmas gift in which you could take charge of "Flying Scotsman" on a route using the Railworks 2 platform. As far as I can see, and without installing myself, this gift is still available and can be obtained by clicking here.

** Originally released during Railworks 2 development, this doesn't have the newer features that are in Railworks 3 (TS2012) and the route may not be up to the system demanding standard that newer RW3 routes now require. However, it is a basic (and free) benchmark to take a look and see if you like the platform and whether the base program runs.

The following is taken from the NRM website:
Drive the world-famous Flying Scotsman in the comfort of your own home!

The National Railway Museum and Railworks are proud to bring you this exclusive and ultra-realistic Christmas gift: a FREE train simulator game for your PC where you take the controls of Flying Scotsman. There's no catch: it's a completely free standalone product, our present to you this festive season.

Download it now and guide the iconic loco through a fabulous wintry landscape, following the signals and speed limits just like a real train driver as you drop off and pick up passengers. It's a unique opportunity to see, hear and drive Flying Scotsman ahead of her return to the National Railway Museum in 2011.

Happy Christmas from all of us at the National Railway Museum.

Ay Valley Route - Railworks 3

From Steve Cunningham, the very talented fella who brought us "Granfield Branch", Ay Valley is a new route available for Railworks 3. The following description is taken from the download page:

The Ay Valley route is a fictional network of lines set in the West of England, focused on a main line that runs roughly parallel to the real-world Great Western Main Line. The focus time period is approximately from 1990 to the present day, although it is possible to run scenarios set in the 1970s and 80s as well with a little artistic license. This portion of the route focuses on the major city of Westhampton, with the emphasis on urban and suburban passenger and local freight services.

The route does require the Edinburgh to Glasgow addon from Thomson Interactive and this addon is essential to make things work. It also requires the RSC Doncaster Works but Steve has included a patch that will enable the route to be useable should you not have this item of DLC.

For more information on the route and how to download, click this link.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

London to Brighton - Preview Video

Released Thursday 7th June, here is a preview video of the London to Brighton route.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Voyager Scenarios - More Information

Operation Princess
Scenario for Oxford to Paddington

Date: 21 October 2002
Rating: Easy
Duration: 65 Minutes Approx
Start Time: 08:56
Season: Autumn
Weather: Cloudy Showers
Start Location: London Paddington

Following the recent implementation of the "Operation Princess" timetable by Virgin Trains, things haven't gone exactly to plan and punctuality is dramatically decreasing. However, negotiations with the SRA are currently taking place in order to revise this timetable and reduce services. In this difficult period, you are today in charge of the 09:03 service from London Paddington to Manchester Piccadilly, calling at Reading and then Oxford where there will be a crew change.

West Coast Woe
Scenario for WCML North

Date: 22 September 2010
Rating: Hard
Duration: 75 Minutes Approx
Start Time: 05:30
Season: Autumn
Weather: WN Hazy
Start Location: Polmadie Depot

It is very early morning on the WCML and you are in charge of one of the very first services of the day from Glasgow Central to Birmingham New Street. Starting at Polmadie TMD, you will have to perform the full start up routine of the Voyager Advanced before taking your consist the short journey to Central Station.

South Coast Stock
Scenario for Portsmouth Direct Line

Date: 17 March 2008
Rating: Easy
Duration: 40 Minutes Approx
Start Time: 05:18
Season: Spring
Weather: Stormy
Start Location: Portcreek Jcn

With CrossCountry sets that finish on the South Coast being stabled at Eastleigh, this requires the TOC to perform various early morning ECS movements in order to position trains correctly. This morning you are in charge of one such service, 5E79 from Eastleigh to Guildford where the train will then form a service to Newcastle.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Digital Traction Jubilee Offer

I said earlier in the week that it was the time for sales, and today is no exception!

Digital Traction have announced a Jubilee Sale, where you can obtain the whole DT catalogue (except the Rebuilt Light Pacific, exclusive to Just Trains) for only £19.99, quite a saving on what it would cost when bought seperately. The pack includes the following:-

Light Pacific
GWR B Sets
LMS Period 1 coaches in carmine and original liveries
Class 40
Mark 1 coaches
Mark 2 coaches
Wagon packs 1 & 2
Woodhead Scenarios pack

More information and details on how to buy can be found by clicking here.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Creative Rail - CR1 Pro Pack

Creative Rail have now announced the first in their line of "Pro Packs" for their "China Clay For Export" route.

Featuring 6 scenarios of differing time limits and difficulties, more information and details of how to purchase can be found by clicking here.