TRANSPORT SIMULATION UK

NEWS ARCHIVE 2012

16th November 2013

Now assuming you have some money left after selling the kids and mother-in-law to pledge a few Aus$$$ to N3V's Kickstarter, RSC have released two more DLC routes for your delectation in TS2014. These are:

Stevens Pass - US scenic railroad through the Cascade Mountains.
West Somerset Railway - UK Heritage line.

These can both be purchased through the TS2014 Steam Shop. My only concern is, with these routes following hot on the heels of recently released GEML (London to Ipswich) and Surfliner (LA to San Diego) RSC have saturated the market just a tad. To buy all four routes would cost nearly £90, though there is always the chance of a discount should Steam have a Black Friday (29th November this year) or Xmas sale. It is also slightly worrying from the freeware creators' point of view (including RSC's own Workshop product) as commercial releases eclipse what the hobby fan is doing, which in most cases can't compete with a team of paid route builders and artists creating custom assets for the payware projects.

Still, mustn't be negative, let's enjoy what we've got. By all accounts, Stevens Pass is the "must have" of the group. Reading reviews about West Somerset it is let down by the fact RSC missed the perfect opportunity to produce a Class 35 Hymek or Class 52 Western diesel hydraulic, or even a Class 117 DMU.

14th November 2013

The N3V Kickstarter project is now "live". If you want to make a pledge towards the next version, this is where you go to: TANE Kickstarter. thread on the N3V forum and follow the link from there. Note there are various levels of support you can offer, the company aim is to raise Aus$165,000 in just over a month. As a disclaimer, I do recommend you read the whole page and Kickstarter conditions before pledging. Specifically, if the goal is not raised then you will not be charged and the money is only taken from your credit/debit card when the pledge successfully completes. Note also Kickstarter don't accept Paypal, only debit and credit cards. I have made a modest pledge and would certainly suggest mortgaging AUS$5 - 10 is a small commitment to keeping our hobby going.

26th October 2013

The Future of Trainz... Following a week or two of speculation on the N3V forums, the developer has now made an announcement regarding future plans for the continuation and development of the Trainz product. Further details here. I am moderately excited about this as, for all its current shortcomings, Trainz is still a force to be reckoned with in the train sim world. I will certainly consider supporting the Kickstart initiative especially as it appears from reading the N3V text much of the groundwork and preparation has already been done. Interesting times ahead for our little hobby!

3rd October 2013

I'm pleased to report that my Raquette Railway for TS2014 (formerly Railworks) has successfully gone live on Steam Workshop. Pleased to see so many people have already downloaded and are enjoying it. The route has now been finalised which means users should be able to start creating and sharing scenarios for it. I'm currently evaluating my next step in the route building process and hope to get back to providing more frequent updates in the Route Building Diary.

16th August 2013

If you're wondering why I've been a little quiet lately, check out Railsimulator.com's Engine Driver blog. As part of the TS2014 upgrade due on 26th September it will be possible to upload user created routes to the freeware section of Steam Workshop. Several veteran route builders, including myself, were asked to help kick start the process by creating routes which will be ready to download on the "go live" date. My own contribution is based on the old Raquette Lake Railway in upstate New York - followers of my Trainz work may recall this was one I did a couple of years back for that sim which proved exceedingly popular.

I fully endorse and support RSC's initiative in this area. The process will be more suited to certain types of route than others and there are a few logistical issues to deal with, but the volunteer team is working alongside RSC developers to make routes on Workshop an excellent choice both for creator and user.

04 August 2013

The Railscene VHS collection has resurfaced on DVD:

Railway Collections

Although mostly filmed in the 1980's/1990's still a useful resource as these contain the complete unabridged section of line as opposed to highlights.

Also of interest is the Audio CD which looks like it might answer what some forgotten classic traction (like the Blue Pullmans) actually sounded like.

22 June 2013

Just thought I'd mention I finally managed to release a route for TS2013 (Railworks). It's only a short route, based on the narrow gauge railway and tramway in Whiteman Park, Perth, Western Australia. More of an essay to prove I still have what it takes to produce a route, which seems to have been a success. The route is called "Whiteman Park" and can be downloaded from Trainsim.com file library - you obviously need to be a member at TS to obtain it. Note the route does have quite a few payware DLC dependencies and other requirements so be sure to check out the readme before installing.

13th May 2013

There's been plenty of truck driving games over the years and several urban orientated bus driving sims, but no long distance coach simulations. That may be about to change as SCS Software have hinted just such a title may be under development in a recent blog entry. See here for more.

7th May 2013

I'm pleased to report that with a little help from RSC I have managed to get the Blackpool Tramway route running again - thanks guys, much appreciated. The route has now been uploaded at Trainsim.com for your driving pleasure (link to file). Now to consider my next project!

11th April 2013

My Blackpool Tramway Route For Railworks (at UKTS File Library)

It has come to my attention that a number of people have reported problems running my Blackpool Tramway route in TS2013, with a SBHH exit to desktop in the Norbreck area. I've finally had a chance to check this out and confirm I have recreated the problem in TS2013. Unfortunately I have absolutely no idea how to solve what is causing the problem. Checking the route in RW Tools reveals a couple of missing assets but nothing which should cause a catastrophic fail. Going into the editor, as soon as I approach the Norbreck area the same crash occurs, so I can't randomly delete or even check objects which might be at fault.

I attempted to analyse the TS2013 dmp file but the only tool I could find on line which turns the hexadec scramble into English couldn't identify the fault either.

So as things stand there's little point in leaving a broken route up for download and as it's third party work I can't expect to enlist RSC Support on the case. So I'm withdrawing the file - if at some point a solution presents itself I will re-upload to the file library at Trainsim.com but until then the route is gone from public distribution.

8th March 2013

Just a quick heads up for anyone considering downloading my Railworks routes from UK Trainsim. Several of these routes reference content that was made available by RSC for "community" route building via their AP Stations Pack and through the Project Platform/Phorum Peninsula add-on, the proceeds of which went to charity. The latter in particular supplied some basic tramway and narrow gauge railway assets, including rolling stock. Both packs have been removed from Steam for download/purchase by those who don't already have them - the upshot being if you haven't already purchased and download my routes (the narrow gauge and tramway ones in particular), these will probably not work or be missing required items of rolling stock. I emailed RSC Support asking if there were plans to put Phorum Peninsula back on sale and finally received a reply that there are no plans to re-release the add-on.

So basically if you haven't already got Phorum Peninsula, you're stuffed. Quite why RSC have made this decision defies any logical explanation. If it is to free up bandwidth for newer releases, neither was a particularly large add-on. If it's because all they want on Steam is stuff that makes money, rather than items to help the third party freeware community or to support charity, that is a shameful decision. The spirit of train simming has drifted very far from the vision I had when I set up my first web site - working together has been replaced by corporate greed. The message also seems very clear to anyone thinking of referencing a RSC add-on in their own route - don't expect it will be there in the future for people to purchase, as soon as it's not viable it will be gone from Steam.

I'm now thinking carefully about the next step as regards my routes as there seems little point leaving them "live" if they are not going to work for many people. Perhaps I should withdraw the lot and rebuild in Trainz instead...

22nd February 2013

A very belated New Years greetings to all site visitors, unfortunately I haven't had much time recently to update the site.

I must start off with some very sad news that has just reached the train sim community via N3V. That is "Barney" (aka Branko Špoljaric) recently passed away. Barney was a familiar figure in the heady days of the early 2000's when the train sim hobby was starting to pick up. He was a larger than life and immensely likeable character, notably his love of European "Krokodil" type electric locomotives. For a while we co-hosted a train simming forum on his Crotrainz site. Barney tended more towards a liking for Trainz and BVE while I drifted towards MSTS but his wisdom and input were invaluable, although we lost contact in more recent years.

I am now considering what could be done (perhaps in terms of building a special route) to honour his memory.

In the meantime, rest in peace old friend.

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