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Railway Simulations

Railway Simulations

I mentioned in the Home page that my personal favourite is Microsoft's Train Simulator.

It (of course!) has its own dedicated site and that can be visited by going here.  This will give you as much information and background about the program as you'll need so I won't go into more detail about the various features.

Microsoft has recently announced that v.2 of the game will be released this autumn.  My understanding is that all the existing games and scenarios will be compatible to it, but whether there will be an upgrade version or the whole program will have to be repurchased I don't know.

Update added 21 May 2004

I read here that Microsoft has now cancelled its plans for the release of Train Simulator v.2. Read more about this here.

But a search of the web on the topic will find a wealth of 'add ons' that have been created - some are free but some are chargeable. So although the basic game has a wealth of activities and options it can be expanded upon.

On this note, I've become involved in a project to produce the District Line for Train Simulator - a visit to this page will take you to the web site giving more detail of progress, so visit there periodically to keep up to date!  But to whet your appetite I show a few screen shots of work to date. I think you'll agree that it's impressive and, hopefully, when completed should be an extremely accurate interpretation of the line.

These shots were recently updated and so are the latest available as I write this on 31 January 2004.

Ealing Broadway CO/CP Stock inPlatform 7

Entering Acton Town Station EB

Waiting at Ealing Common Eastbound platform

Here the starter is at red, the shunt is clear and the theatre display shows a "2". This means our route is into the depot to roads 19 or 20 (normal daytime stabling roads). A "1" displayed would indicate depot roads 1 to 18.

A view showing the track layout. We're headed into the depot then diverging onto road 19 just to the right of the car wash shed.

Entering the depot. Roads 1-18 are to the left, 19-20 to the right. We'll continue on road 19 to the next signal...

Chiswick Park Station, Bollo Lane is on the left

Crossing the North London lines to South Acton. Level crossing at Bollo Lane is in the background.

There are, of course, many other train simulation games around though - some of which are free to download.

If anyone wants to offer information, links and descriptions I'll be more than happy to include them here.


Update added 6 January 2005

Update on the District Line for Train Simulator

Over the last few months I've had a number of similar e-mails from people asking, essentially, the same question, and that is 'What's the state of play with this project?'. Well, I'm pleased to say that I've had a couple of exchanges with the creator in the last few days, and I don't think than I can do better than quote selectively from his reply, so here goes:

"The virtual District is still in progress, after a layoff over the summer. I am once again surrounded by track charts and photos, and have almost completed the Turnham Green to Richmond section. The tracks are laid accurately (location, path and gradient) and I've started the scenery. No idea yet as to a completion date, but the work is once again progressing with visible results.

I'm not sure when the next route 'test build' will be. I'd like to finish the Richmond roads and also finish to the east as far as Hammersmith. That should provide a good bunch of scenery and stations and trackwork for 'critique' :-)"

So, there you have it from the 'horses mouth' - more when I know it myself!

Update added 26 January 2005

Virtual D Stock for MSTS

As if our Virtual District Line creator hasn't got enough on his hands, he's now started work on a Virtual D Stock!  The same team that have been providing information for the routes have also been involved in providing details and information, and I thought it would be of interest to share some screen shots of how work is progressing on this aspect too.

Personally, I think they're absolutely terrific, and look forward to seeing more.  I can't wait to test drive it.........

View of the whole cab, taken as if the driver's seat and the rear bulkhead have been removed.

View from the Instructor's seat

View from the driver's seat looking towards the comms and Auxiliary 1 panels

The driver's 'straight ahead' view.  The amount of detail that's been created and included is tremendous.  No needles are yet included on the gauges - these will follow when the cab is converted into MSTS

View from the driver's seat looking towards the TMS and Auxiliary 2 panel

I've had to reduce the size of these pictures to make them of a reasonable size for this page, but as soon as more are available, or published elsewhere, I'll update this page further.

Update added 13th February 2005

Work on the 'virtual' D78 Stock continues apace, and I'm delighted to show below some of the latest shots of the train in action!

As before, I've had to shrink the images a little (by about 20%) to fit them here, but I think they really do give a great example of what's being achieved.

Jimi Ibbett has asked me to make it clear that this is the result of a team effort.  I can do no better than to reproduce his e.mail on the subject. 

'Dave - just one thought, which may not need to be said. I'd appreciate it, should you post the new pics, that you note that the train is a team effort. While I may have built the cab and be doing the physics and lighting, all that would be worthless without Richard's (Scott) expert modelling work on the train itself. And, of course, yourself and SB (Solidbond) made significant contributions to the creation of the final complete product.

In fact, the team is truly global -- the test DM unit 1 was delivered from the virtual Metro-Cammell shops in Dorset, to be fitted with cab and lighting in the USA and then tested in areas around London :-)'

To the photos, which I'm sure you will agree really speak for themselves.........

In Ealing Common Depot

Side view of the leading DMC

Detail of car side view

Rear view of the train at dusk.

Arriving at Ealing Common eastbound, with a similar train in the westbound platform.

My own next contribution to the project is to send a CD of about 400Mb's of sounds that have been recorded across to the USA to further add to the realism!



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