Thursday, 27 December 2012

Route Challenge - New Dedicated Blog!

I have now set up a new blog, dedicated to the route challenge that I will be undertaking very shortly.

The blog can be found by following this link.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Route Challenge - Coming Soon

Thankyou to all who voted in my poll at the end of last month, it was much closer than I had envisaged. With 59% of you voting for a fictional route, that is what will happen.

Loosely based on an area west of London, the route will utilise the London to Brighton package enabling the use of the fantastic scenery assets and track enabling features such as super elevation. In fact, part of the layout I have chosen to replicate will utilise super elevation very well, which will hopefully give the route some character.

The challenge will take place sometime next week, shortly after Christmas over three days and more information will be given closer to the time. A new blog will be set up for you to follow, and regular updates will occur throughout the three days before the challenge will end, testing will commence and the route will be released.

In order to maximise route building time, I will allow myself certain allowances in order to plan and gain a head start. This will be the setting up of the route template, addition of DEM, creation of decals and any other preparatory work that I deem necessary. No track laying or scenery placement will occur until the challenge starts.

Friday, 14 December 2012

BCO Bolster C Pack - Released!

Malcolm (malkymackay) has just passed me yet another one of his fabulous creations, this time a BCO Bolster C Pack with three load options. Created to Malcolm's very high standard, I'd like to once again thank him for the effort and dedication he is showing by producing this stock.

The pack can be downloaded by visiting this link.

British Railways chose to build wagons to a GWR design, when it came to construction of Bogie Bolster C. The first Diagram (1/471) was basically the same as the last GWR wagons. In 1953 the design was modified with revised bogies to give the Diag 1/473 vehicles featured here. 870 wagons were built during 1953-56, across 5 lots, with construction undertaken by Swindon, Metro Cammell & BRCW. They are presented as empty, or with a selection of self-explanatory loads. The wagons are in nearly new mid-50's condition so would be ideal for the era of routes such as Woodhead.

Edinburgh to Glasgow - 3 New Scenarios

Following the release last night of the free extension to Edinburgh to Glasgow, I have released three new scenarios that all utilise the newly scenerised areas. Ranging from a 1hr 40min realistic freight experience, to a Scotrail stopping service and the East Coast "Highland Chieftan", all enable you to explore this fantastic extension.

Either search for my scenarios from within the workshop in TS2013, or follow this link.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Screenshot Of The Day - 11th December

An EWS liveried Class 66 waits at Paisley Gilmour Street whilst working an airport shuttle service.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Screenshot Of The Day - 8th December

A pair of Freightliner Class 86 locomotives pass Motherwell en route to Crewe Basford Hall.

Friday, 7 December 2012

DPSimulation - Scenario Workshop

Are you aware that alongside the many scenarios on the official DPSimulation website, there are now over 20 high quality scenarios on the DPSimulation Scenario Workshop? In order to download these scenarios you can either enter the Workshop via the TS2013 menu and search for the scenarios, or alternatively follow this link.

From short passenger runs, to express Intercity services to full length freight scenarios, there is something for everyone. With over 12000 current subscriptions, the Train Simulator playing public seem to have responded well. Here are some comments.

Banbury Bound:  Fantastic ... I have never driven this route before but i couldnt resist the draw of a 47 ... has a really good feel of genuine traffic, i suspect it came from a genine early 90s timetable, Not really scenario related but you can see the house I used to live in when i was a small boy, one of my earliest memories was getting really excited to see a Blue Pullman pass on the embankment from my bedroom window, ... i think from now on ill pay more attention to this route .. Quality scenario!

Day Of Disruption:  An excellent and realistic scenario obviously a lot of thought has been put into making this one.It was a nice touch how darkness began to fall as the scenario progressed and just when you thought that everything was proceeding well once the HST got onto the WCML,the unexpected happens.Well done.

FEX1 - 4S31 York Holgate to Hunterston: Thanks for creating and sharing this excellent scenario. I love that it followed a typical freight timetable and routing as I appreciate an immersive experience when I am driving. Keen follower of your website and would recommend it to anyone. Highly recommended freight scenario. 

Screenshot Of The Day - 7th December

60163 Tornado waits at Clapham Junction whilst on a railtour.

SPT Class 101 Pack Released

The Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) Class 101 has been released for TS2013 and can be purchased via Steam by following this link.

Although it features only one livery, the SPT Class 101 is a very welcome addition to the Scottish fleet, with potential scenario use on both WCML North and Edinburgh to Glasgow. Given these units were very prominent in the area in the early 90's, I can see plenty of value in this pack.

With TSX features included, most noticeably rain on the windows, the headlights are realistic for the class/era and do not light up the track like many modern clusters would. The physics are improved, although the unit is still a bit spritely, it doesn't take off like the units in the original pack did so provides a much more realistic experience. The sounds have also been tweaked and provide a much more realistic feel and the age old issue with the screaming rear unit has been resolved along with the removal of the interior "glow" that was very noticeable in the original version. Another welcome addition is the passenger view which brings back many memories of travelling down the Esk Valley line in my childhood. Finally, the cab has also received a makeover and gives a much more solid feel. All in all, the pack is a big improvement over the original and is still, in my opinion, one of the best looking units created for Railworks and latterly Train Simulator so far.

The pack also includes three scenarios, not a large amount but all are engaging and show off the capabilities of the unit. From a tutorial, which provides explanation of how the manual transmission operates to the other scenarios which depict realistic passenger operations in the suburban areas around Glasgow, there is enough there to get people started.

Although there is obviously debate around the internet regarding the value of this pack, I personally believe that although there are elements of it that may be warranted, much of it isn't. It isn't just a reskin of the original pack, even if the Steam Store description actually makes mention of it, nobody can accuse RSC of deception on that front! More than a reskin, there are definite improvements made and as with any product, the value I look for is not with the initial price, but what replay value can be gained from the product in the coming weeks/months/years. Given that this unit was so widely used in the Scottish region and also the scenario opportunities that are available, I believe there is much more value than what the initial price tag suggests.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Screenshot Of The Day - 6th December

With GBRF suffering from a shortage of locomotives, hired in 66051 stands at Haymarket West on a diverted North Blyth to Fort William Alcan working.

Two New Free Rolling Stock Packs Released!

Malcolm (malkymackay) has just passed to me his latest creations, a Bolster C and Bolster E pack. Once again they are of a very high standard and I cannot thank Malcolm enough for once again taking the time to create these pieces of rolling stock.

The stock can be downloaded by visiting this link.

BCV Bolster C

Eight variants of BCV Vacuum Braked Bogie Bolster C steel carrying wagons, with 2 types of bogie. British Railways introduced fitted Bolster C's from 1958 & these models represent the 800 built by Swindon & Metro Cammell in 1958/59, to Lots 3155, 3162, 3200 & 3238, all fitted with Plateback bogies. The final two lots (3341 & 3397) of 600 Bolster C's were built with Davis Lloyd Cast bogies. These emerged from Swindon & Metro Cammell in 1961/62 and are denoted in the Asset List by having the suffix DL.

BEV Bolster E

Five variants of BEV Bogie Bolster E steel carrying wagons. British Railways introduced a brand new design of short bogie bolster in 1961, when 1200 wagons were produced as Lots 3343 & 3440 at Ashford. They were vacuum braked & fitted with Cast bogies and could carry a 30t load on a 32ft chassis. The wagons are presented as empty, or with a selection of self-explanatory loads. They are in late 70's/early 80's condition, by which time, the rated load had been increased to 32.5t.