Tuesday, 31 December 2013

DPSimulation - New Steam Group

DPSimulation Steam Group Started

As something for the New Year, and with the amount of add-ons from DPSimulation constantly increasing, I have decided to start a Steam Group.

When a project is released, feedback is often scattered over all corners of the internet. Sometimes, issues are related but people cannot identify if the problem is theirs alone, or others are seeing the same thing. I am hoping that having this group, along with the relevant discussion/help boards will allow people to post and investigate these issues. Having all of this information in one place is vital to me as a developer, I can see in an instant whether a problem is only affecting one person, or is an overall issue that needs to be addressed.

The group can be found at: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/dpsimulation Hopefully plenty of users will join and be able to share ideas, along with having friendly discussion and help with issues.

DPSimulation Prize Draw - Results

The winners of the first prize draw have been chosen, at random. All those with qualifying donations were assigned numbers, in some cases extra numbers were given to those who had donated multiples of £5. Congratulations to the winners, who are:

1st Prize: Gareth Johns - £25GBP of gifted Steam Add-ons or £25GBP Steam Wallet Funds.
2nd Prize: Sander Noordhoff - £10GBP of Steam Wallet Funds
3rd Prize: Dan Keat - £4GBP of Steam Wallet Funds

I have contacted two of the winners with the email addresses provided when donating, however, the winner of 3rd prize has an email that is bounding back with a mailer failure. None of the three winners has ever come forward for early access, so I cannot inform via Steam. If you see this message Dan, can you either reply here, or fill in a contact form at the DPSimulation website. http://www.dpsimulation.org.uk/contactus.html


Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from DPSimulation. Thankyou for all of your support throughout 2013.

East Coast Main Line: North East - Dec 24th Update

I have just released a further update to the East Coast Main Line: North East route which now has all textures replaced throughout the route with the newer and more expansive GEML texture set.

As this replacement is done in one go, and cannot be done like for like, it means that some textures are now out of place in some areas along the route. For instance, where tarmac was previously used in urban areas, the corresponding GEML texture in the blueprint is actually a form of grass. Equally, the ballast replacement texture was a form of rock. This has meant that I have had to completely repaint the trackside ballast texture along the full length of the route.

Remaining mismatched textures will be updated in due course over the coming weeks. Thankfully, from a driving level they are not that apparent.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

East Coast Main Line: North East - Service Update

There will be a small update to the route later today in order to address some issues that had arisen with doors not opening at certain platforms, namely Durham P1 and both platforms at Northallerton. The platform at Durham is certainly fixed, as is P1 at Northallerton, however, P2 at Northallerton still causes an issue depending exactly on where you stop.

The update will also see the start of the yards around York being re-instated, with both Klondyke Yard and the Thrall Europa Works being included. Although Klondyke Yard is unlikely to be widely used by scenario creators, the Thrall Works are used as a stabling point for RHTT traffic, meaning there are new scenario opportunities there.

The route should download automatically for all subscribers, providing you are not using TS2014 at the time. Any update also means a fresh download of the route, so if problems are encountered then please follow the troubleshooting steps.  http://dpsimulation.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/east-coast-main-line-north-east_21.html

Saturday, 21 December 2013

East Coast Main Line: North East - Now Available

The first public version of East Coast Main Line: North East has now been released on the Steam Workshop. The route is a complete overhaul of the original East Coast Main Line (Newcastle to York) route and although currently still a work in progress project, it is possible to drive the full length of the route including to and from various freight points, with overhauled scenery, stations, revised speed limits, catenary and signalling to reflect the prototype.

Early access still stands, and those who have this access will still receive upgrades in advance of any public release. This will include the continuation of route development, route extensions and new scenarios. This will also apply to new extensions of both Edinburgh to Glasgow, City Lines and future projects.

More information can be found at the following links:

East Coast Main Line: North East - Troubleshooting

If for any reason the route crashes when trying to load elements such as Quick Drive, please try the following. This usually fixes any issue in the majority of cases and is normally down to a corrupt download.

1, Unsubscribe from the route in the Train Simulator 2014 Steam Workshop.

2, Navigate to Program FilesSteam\steamapps\common\railworks\Content\Routes and if the route folder has not already been removed, remove it manually. The folder to delete is: 1359ac56-1fdc-4f44-9983-b7621ee29eed

3, Go back to the DPSimulation workshop and re-subscribe to the route.

4, Once downloaded, start Train Simulator 2014 and clear the cache via the settings>tools menu.

5, Restart Train Simulator 2014 and the issue should now be resolved.

East Coast Main Line: North East - Updated Information

[DPS] East Coast Main Line – North East

What is 'East Coast Main Line - North East'?

The route is a clone of the original East Coast Main Line route, formerly known as Newcastle to York. The original route is set in the late 1970's and is probably starting to show it's age given it originates before the release of Rail Simulator in 2007. This project from DPSimulation is an effort to modernise the route to reflect the route as it currently stands in 2013 with full electrification, accurate speed limits, track rationalisation, complete resignalling and scenery improvements throughout.

What requirements do I need?

The original East Coast Main Line route is required, this was available to all users of Train Simulator prior to the release of Train Simulator 2013. Anyone who purchased a copy of Train Simulator after that release would need to purchase the route from Steam. Great Eastern Main Line is also a requirement as this provides the foundation for the track, track rules, catenary and large portions of foliage and buildings.

What changes have been made?

The current changes, as of release date are as follows:

  • Complete track rule swap with the GEML track to incorporate the new track rule and allow electrification using the new catenary tool.
  • Complete track swap to GEML track, replacing the washed out effect that was present with the original ECML track.
  • Route resignalled using the GEML colour light and LED signals. All signals are numbered correctly as per official diagrams.
  • Track rationalisation/removal throughout the route to reflect modern day. This includes new platform allocations at Newcastle and York, plus removal/rationalisation of freight points along the route.
  • Speed limits changed to reflect prototypical working in the present day.
  • Catenary added to utilise the new catenary tool with both sagging and zig-zagging wires.
  • All nearside trees and bush lines bulk swapped with the relevant newer variations provided with GEML.
  • Scenery changes have been implemented throughout the route in order to reflect the modern day prototype more closely.
  • Bridges along the route either replaced or raised to accomodate the catenary. In some cases, these bridges have been completely swapped with the newer GEML variants along with occlusion to project shadows and block rain. Occlusion has also been added to the stations at Newcastle, York and Darlington in order to block rain.
  • The end points of the route have been completely reworked so that they now match the correct location in real life. As well as being prototypically correct, this now means that the route is set for future extensions.
  • Quick Drive has been implemented with start points at key locations along the route. These include York, Newcastle, Dunston, Holgate Yard, Tyne Yard, Low Fell Royal Mail Terminal, Saltburn Line at Darlington.
  • Milepost replacement along the full length of the route to depict the more modern yellow posts. These are also now in the correct locations with the starting origin at York.

What is to be done to the route?

As of release date, it is possible to drive the full length of the route between Newcastle to York. It is also possible to perform freight operations between key points such as Tyne Yard, Holgate Yard and Low Fell Royal Mail Terminal. The main reception sidings at Tyne Yard are complete, but there are still several sidings that need to be included. Likewise, York Yard still has to be completed and will be included in a future update. Scenario creation is entirely possible and any future additions will not have an impact on scenarios.

Another possible option is a complete texture replacement using the more extensive texture set provided with GEML. This would provide benefits such as a better ballast blend and greater variation in field texturing. However, any texture replacement would require the route to be stripped back to a base colour and completely repainted from scratch so is currently just slated as an option.

It is also entirely possible that the route may receive extensions to provide greater operational ability. These extensions could take the form of an extension north to Morpeth including Heaton Depot, west to MetroCentre and east to Saltburn.

What cannot currently be done?

At this point, super-elevation is not viable on the route due to the track not originally being laid with easements. The only current solution would be to completely replace the track and this is not viable mainly due to the timescales involved. In addition, not all gradient transitions have had smoothing integrated due to issues when using the newer gradient smoothing tool which created various kinks in the track. Options to work around this are currently being investigated.

Many people have asked me about the possibility of custom assets but unfortunately, the Steam Workshop will not support this meaning I can only use assets originally available with Newcastle to York and also GEML as the requirement. This means I have to place an emphasis on creatively using these objects to achieve the desired effect.

Quick Drive currently does not support AI operations. This is due to the need for custom blueprints to be created for AI to be implemented, and as such the workshop will not support this custom content. It is possible that AI will be implemented in the future and made available as a file via the DPSimulation website.

Current issues?

Due to the complex track layout at the northern end of Newcastle Central, a simplified layout at the northern end is currently in place due to the inability to form correct slips and double slips. This, like the gradient smoothing is currently under investigation as it should not be happening.

Due to the issues mentioned above with regards to the gradient smoothing tool, there is an element of rough riding over certain sections, the same that were present in the original ECML route. Also, due to the track following the same alignment of the original route, but with higher speed limits in some locations, this also presents an issue when taking curves at speed, not that there are any chances of derailment, but it doesn't feel right at times.


As with all projects on the Train Simulator 2014 Steam Workshop, scenarios are not supported from the outset whilst the route is still in development. A dedicated page has been set up at DPSimulation which will feature scenarios for the route, both from me and the community. http://www.dpsimulation.org.uk/scenariosecmlne.html

Where can I obtain the route?

The route will be made available, to all in the next few days from the DPSimulation workshop for Train Simulator 2014. As with other routes from DPSimulation, it will be provided in incremental versions and updated regularly.

As with the initial development of the route, early access is still available and any future updates will be provided in advance to those who donate, or have donated to DPSimulation as a way of thanks for helping offset the costs incurred in running the website. Following a period of feedback from these users, these updates will then be rolled out to all users.

If you have previously donated to DPSimulation, then please send a feedback form at http://www.dpsimulation.org.uk/contactus.html stating your Steam username. Equally, if you wish to make a donation to DPSimulation, please send us the same form after donating in order to be added for early access.

Friday, 20 December 2013

East Coast Main Line North East - Coming Before Christmas

Yes, that is right. East Coast Main Line - North East will be released before christmas, completely free with the last development version to be released later today.

A further update of East Coast Main Line – North East will be released later today for those who have early access, this will be V1.7. This is intended to be the release candidate, barring any unforeseen problems this version will then go live, to everyone, for free sometime before christmas.

Early access will still be available and those already receiving it will still be able to take advantage of it. Likewise, those who wish to donate to help out DPSimulation can still do so, and early access priveleges will be given.

This future early access will consist of updates to this route, where extensions are planned, and others. What will happen after the full release of this route will be that any future development will be done on separate clones of each route, so they stand alone from the original product. This allows changes to be made, and checked before all modifications are transferred and released fully to the public whilst also allowing those with early access to see and experience the new updates first.

Last but not least, I will be creating a dedicated scenario page on the DPSimulation website for East Coast Main Line – North East for scenarios that are not compatible with the workshop. If you want to submit any scenarios in time for the full release, then please get in touch via the 'Contact Us' section of the website. http://www.dpsimulation.org.uk/contactus.html

Friday, 13 December 2013

East Coast Main Line - North East - Development Version 1.5 Released

This evening I have released the latest development version of East Coast Main Line - North East to those with early access. The following changes are included:

Tyne Yard arrival/departure sidings.
Re-modelled western end of the Newcastle to Carlisle line to include Dunston.
Low Fell Royal Mail Terminal.
Tollerton Sidings.
Thirsk Sidings.
Thirsk Station including electrification.
Northallerton Station including electrification.
Furnished Newcastle station with signage, seating, clutter etc.
Komatsu Plant Birtley.
Removal of Dunston Staithes.
Electrification of York Holgate and scenery additions to QD start point.
Several minor fixes to signal sighting and AWS ramps.
Fixes to track directionality to enable better scenario pathing.
Expanded Quick Drive from the new freight points, new paths are suffixed with [F] for freight.
Removed encroaching foliage between Northallerton and Skelton Bridge Jcn where the track spacing was widened.

Screenshot Of The Day - 13th December

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

East Coast Main Line: North East - Tyne Yard

As work progresses on the route, more places of operational interest are being completely rebuilt from the ground up. As the project is a modification of the original Newcastle to York route, set in the late seventies, Tyne Yard is one of the areas that is being scaled back to reflect operations today.

Screenshot Of The Day - 11th December

Saturday, 7 December 2013

New Third Party Scenarios Uploaded

I have just uploaded four scenarios which have been passed on to me by the author Peter Marples, otherwise known as 'Peterat49' on UKTS. Peter was a prolific scenario creator for MSTS and has decided to try his hand at scenarios for TS2014, with excellent results.

The scenarios comprise of two for WCML North, one for East Coast Main Line and one for The Woodhead Line so there should be something to interest everyone. The scenarios can be downloaded by following this link.

Friday, 6 December 2013

East Coast Main Line: North East - Development Screenshots

Just a few screenshots that have been taken over the last couple of weeks since the original announcement.......