Saturday, 14 November 2009

Class 37's at Saltburn

From the excellent new Class 37 pack, available from the Steam DLC now, a pair of DRS 37's working an RHTT service crawl into Saltburn.

Monday, 9 November 2009

From 2D to 3D

Following on from my posts yesterday of Tees/Thornaby Yard and the use of the decal, here are some shots now that the area has started to "rise" from the ground.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

A Little Bit Later On

Finished the east end of the yard now, I daren't imagine how much time has been saved doing the yard with the decal tool. This shot shows the east end looking back to the earlier screenshot, the yard really is quite large.

A Short While Later

Track laying is much easier now, especially when big yards are involved.

Work Can Commence!

Work can now commence on Thornaby/Tees Yard. This is an area that I wasn't looking forward to but now thanks to Jim's excellent RWDecal tool, it will help immensely.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Donation Button

Some of you may have noticed a donation button to the left of my blog. Don't worry, it isn't a mistake but it also was intended.

Although much of my work is freeware, building real life routes to the standard I want doesn't come cheap and the main cost behind developing a route, for me, is research material and research trips in particular.

For instance, during the building of Newcastle to York "Modern" I did 17 dedicated research trips in all which I have now calculated to a grand total of £414.70. This is without the costs I have incurred for the building of custom objects, reskins and extra scenarios to be built. Of course, the route being payware, I might have a chance of making these costs back.

On the other side of the coin (no pun intended), there is the Darlington to Saltburn route which has had 9 research trips so far. Fortunately, Northern Rail do a Tyne Tees Day Ranger for £17 which means I can travel as much along the route in one day, however, things change and I still have to go out now and again to update my research photos.

Now, I am not asking everyone to donate, nor am I asking for large amounts of money. It is entirely up to you, if you feel the desire to donate something to help me in my research, go for it, if not, I understand.

RW Decal Tool Now Available

Jim Nobbs (Nobkins) has made available his excellent RWDecal application to enable you to convert multiple Google Earth decals in one go. This excellent program saves much more time and can help the decals be placed much more accurately.

The product is Donationware (a minimum of £1 is required for the full license but well worth it) but you can download the evalution version in order to try out the program with restrictions.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Modelling Bug

Just a quick progress pic of Dinsdale. Now I have the modelling bug, this route could well become a lot more interesting!

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Cresston V2 Released

I am pleased to announce the release of Cresston V2. The route is available here:- Cresston V2 This will require to sign up for the forum.

If you have a previous version of Cresston installed, it is suggested to install it using the Package Manager and also load up the game and delete the route from the route list manually using the "delete" button.

The original low level route of 11.8 miles is still included with the following stations and industry:-

* Cresston
* Oakbridge Low Level
* Stonedale
* Brunswood (Disused)
* Oakbridge Power Station

The high level electrified main line route is around 40 miles long incorporating the regional loop and includes the following stations and industry:-

* Bell Mill University
* Oakbridge High Level
* Micklow
* Telbury Manor
* Lanyeard
* Hanswell Container Terminal
* Deerview
* Halbrook
* Laynewalk Hill

Finally, the heritage line that diverges from Lanyeard is 15.8 miles long and includes the following stations:-

* Lanyeard
* Hatterby Junction (Heritage services/Railtours reverse or turn around here to continue to the coast)
* Thwaite
* Breskerr

That brings the sum total of the route to around 68 miles with many passenger and freight options available. The route can be used in independently in the three different sections or scenarios can be made to bring all three together.

For full effect, there are three additional downloads required for the route, Slant Fencing, Palisade Fencing and Chainlink Fencing. All can be downloaded from the following locations:-

There are also two very basic scenarios included for the purpose of enabling the user to drive the route immediately. More are planned in the coming days from myself and the community.

Finally, this is a copy of the V2 route map.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Eaglescliffe Revisited

I have decided to work on the Eaglescliffe area today, somewhere that I was quite happy with in the original version but I have tried to make improvements where possible.

Grand Central service 1N26 approaches the diamond crossing at Eaglescliffe.

Shortly after, Northern service 2D23 peels off towards Darlington.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Railworks - Darlington to Saltburn

Some of you may have downloaded a beta version of my original Bishop Auckland to Saltburn project, the first route that I ever attempted to build. The route was accurate in terms of track length from A to B, speed limits were so-so and some scenery was in place. To cut a long story short, the plan was to continue the route and release a full version with all scenery in place and with signalling and speed limit discrepancies rectified.

Unfortunately, on the arrival of Railworks, it made me realise just how many "foreign" assets I had used and this posed a problem. It seemed that I may have placed a couple of these assets en route and buried them. Not only did this cause problems in Rail Simulator for people getting "missing assets" errors but also the route would just not transport into Railworks, seemingly just about the only one that wouldn't!

It was then that I took a good look at the route. There were things I was extremely happy with and things that I wasn't too keen on, namely the lack of DEM and gradients, something that I had never come across when I first started building on RS. From this I decided that the best way forward was to rebuild the route completely using the Railworks platform, using new techniques that I have learned and also to improve the accuracy of the route both from a technical and scenic viewpoint.

I am now proud to announce that a new version of the route is under construction with varied changes. Firstly, the route will now only be from Darlington to Saltburn. The reason for this is because of the work done by Paulus on his Bishop Auckland to Darlington route, there is no reason for me to duplicate his excellent work. Anyone not familiar with his route, please look here:-

I have done a lot of work on the route so far, not in terms of man hours because it is far easier this time around. As well as my extensive research material, I now have a library of original screenshots to help me place scenery and trackwork in Railworks which has dramatically cut down the build time for what is essentially a new project.

Here are some screenshots of some of the work done so far of which around 20% of the route is now fully complete:-

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Announcement Coming Soon

Apologies for the lack of updates to this blog regarding the Bishop Auckland to Saltburn route. An announcement will be made shortly regarding this. Thanks for your patience.

Monday, 27 July 2009

Skins And Scenarios

Recently I have also been producing some reskins of the excellent new Class 60 locomotive from Just Trains. This can be purchased from The three reskins below can be downloaded from All that is asked of you in order to download these and many other reskins is join up for free and a word of thanks in the forums is always nice to see!

I have also produced two Railworks scenarios for the default Newcastle to York route entitled "1N07 - Northallerton to Newcastle" and "Required Track". These can both also be downloaded from

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Railworks Has Arrived!

Well, after lots of speculation and intrigue, Railworks has arrived bang on time (well, there was a slight delay on the day of release) and obviously this proves an exciting time for this route. There will be more information to come in the coming weeks but here are some new shots taken in Railworks of my Newcastle to York "modernised" route which has ported between the two platforms with little in the way of problems.

Monday, 8 June 2009

The Reason Why There Was No RW Screenshot Yesterday

Many of you will have noticed (and commented!) that there was no screenshot from the Railworks team yesterday and that was for a simple reason. They were all attending an event in Darlington to mark the latest addition to the diesel locomotive fleet on Rail Simulator. If you look closely, you may even see Derek, Adam and the gang amongst the enthusiasts and Paul Jackson was even there, driving the final Class 47 shuttle of the day back to York.

Apologies if this seems entirely pointless but it is a lighthearted look at why the team didn't post a screenshot yesterday, sometimes people can get way too serious when it comes to a missing screenshot. It was also a damn good excuse to put the diesel fleet together!

And finally, as mentioned above, here is Paul Jackson taking the final shuttle out of Darlington. He mentions he is an enthusiast but never said nothing about driving!

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Afternoon At Eaglescliffe

Once again, updates on this route have been thin on the ground of late due to my work on another project although I have just created a video, taken from the platform perspective at Eaglescliffe. Enjoy.

I also hope to have an improved V2 beta of this route available for download in the coming weeks.

Monday, 27 April 2009


Well, it has been a while since the last update to this blog but for anybody that was worried, I am still committed to the project although the Newcastle to York modernisation takes preference. I have been loading the route up occasionally, adding, removing and changing bits but tonight was the first time that I have sat down with my reference material and actually created anything. The two shots below show a work in progress of Saltburn.

It is also worth noting that there is a beta release of this route available on Although far from finished, I was asked by somebody to make the route available to test so have done so with the plan to release another update in 4-5 weeks.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Rail Simulator 2 - Railworks

Today, an announcement was widely expected from the team at RSDL. Most people thought it was going to be related to a new update to improve the problems in the existing game, not many saw this coming. As you may expect, it has been met with mixed reaction from the simulation community.

The following is the official statement from RSDL.

Rail Simulator 2: Railworks – The evolution of Rail Simulator

I appreciate that some of you have been waiting (patiently) for the promised announcements concerning Rail Simulator. This brief note outlines the key points of our strategy - we’ll be elaborating this in the coming weeks.

Over the past few months, we have been planning the future direction of Rail Simulator and as part of that process, we have analysed your feedback and assessed our position in the competitive marketplace. Based on this analysis, I am pleased to announce that we will be releasing Rail Simulator 2: RailWorks (working title!) in June 2009.

RailWorks will represent a new approach to simulation. Instead of providing a product, we are attempting to provide you with a platform on which you can build and operate virtual railways. We will continue to support and develop this platform over the coming months and years, adding new features to make the simulated environment ever more compelling. We will also be focusing on a number of facilities to allow you to share and even trade elements of your virtual world with other users.

Unlike Rail Simulator, RailWorks will include all the tools that were previously downloaded separately. In addition, for those of you who are online, we also plan to make use of Valve’s ‘Steam’ technology to simplify the process of supporting and upgrading the product. Don’t worry, we’ve worked hard to ensure compatibility with content created with Rail Simulator and will continue to make backward compatibility a key priority.

There will be one world-wide version of RailWorks that will include improved versions of all the routes currently in the European and North American version of Rail Simulator. In addition, we will have new routes and new locomotives along with new scenarios and significant graphical advancements. I don’t want to say too much about the new routes now, other than that one is North American, one European and one UK based. These are in the later stages of development and all are looking very impressive. I’m confident that you are going to enjoy them all.

With the launch of the RailWorks platform, we continue to demonstrate our long-term commitment to the rail simulation community. We have listened to your feedback and created RailWorks to better meet your needs.

So, to summarise: I appreciate that we’ve been quiet (thanks for your patience!), we’ve spent the last couple of months restructuring the business, realigning our product releases to meet the changed competitive environment and establishing new ways of distributing the product. Rail Simulator 2: RailWorks will provide a single platform for all of our customers with an exciting set of new content and features.

Everyone at RSDL remains committed to this hobby and going forward we want to work with as many of you as possible to make an even better product. In the coming weeks we’ll tell you more about:

* The new routes
* The new locomotives
* The new distribution channels
* The reorganized company (but don’t worry, Derek and the boys will still need biscuits, so keep the supplies coming!)
* The improvements we’ve made
* The New features for sharing content

Tim Gatland

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Simulation Express Forum

Not an update of sorts, but a quick mention for a wonderful little forum, relatively new to the simulation community. Have a look and join if you so desire, it can be found at

Also, anybody wondering why there are not many updates on here at the moment, it is due to another project I am currently working on, I am sure many of you know about it already but the official blog is at

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Breaking The Cycle

And now for something completely different!

Sometimes, it can become a bit of a drag when working on the same route all of the time so it always helps to have a play around with something different. The idea of electrifying the stock Newcastle to York route has been discussed since before the game was even released. Some good looking screenshots were posted initially by different route builders but since then, time has passed and progress seems to have stalled. Now, there are a few rumours flying around about who is/who isn't doing it, some even say the Rail Simulator team are working on it, who knows? Of course, if it is done, it isn't just a case of electrifying the route to bring it to present day standards, platforms have to be lengthened, track rebuilding would be needed in places and speed limits would have to be changed where appropriate (which covers most of the route!).

I decided, this morning, to have a bit of fun and modernise the Durham area. I have to let it be known that I have no real intention of taking on this project, even more so if someone is already well into it but the shots below do make for an interesting game of the spot the difference! For arguments sake, lets say the BR Deltic shot is 1979 and the Cross Country Voyager shot is in 2009. What a difference 30 years makes!

Friday, 13 March 2009

New Screenshots

After last nights promise of new shots, here they are! As usual, there are still elements of these shots that are still work in progress and there are still a few things to add. Hopefully though, they give something new and have an air of recognisability about them for anyone who travels/drives on the route.

The first shot shows Eaglescliffe, which has been covered before in this blog but has since been totally remodelled. A few things on this shot I am looking to modify a bit, possibly scaling back the undergrowth to the left of the shot to reveal a bit more of the old sidings. Thing is, in the summer, the undergrowth can get a bit like this so it may well stay!

Next, we see the approach to Allens West from Eaglescliffe, quite minimalistic really, the level crossing is obscured by the trees but is located just before the station platforms.

Another Allens West approach shot, this time from the other end showing the platforms and the playing fields/running track to the right.

This shot shows the approach to the Stockton/Thornaby divergence with the A66 crossing the line in the distance. On the left is a lovely little street, which always seems like it is pretty much in the middle of nowhere which always catches my eye when travelling past.

Looking at the A66 from the other end this time, the shot captures the Saltburn line diverging from the left before disappearing under the dual carriageway.

The final shot of this update shows Bowesfield Junction, the Darlington bound line heading off in the distance with the Sunderland bound line sweeping to the right.

Thanks for all who read and follow this blog, as ever, comments are very welcome.

Thursday, 12 March 2009

New Developments

Not a lot to be posted, hopefully tomorrow I am going to put in some new screenshots of the areas featured in my recent videos. As for research, took another trip on the route today, noticed a couple of minor details need changing but nothing too major. The main thing for me was the video that I posted between Thornaby and Eaglescliffe, all was pretty much recognisable, even down to hedgerows and tree groups which is what I am striving for.

Also, congratulations to Paulus and the fantastic progress of his Bishop Auckland to Darlington route, he was mentioned on the Rail Simulator blog today which should hopefully give him the extra coverage he deserves. What do I have to do to get a feature on there!

Anyway, thats all for now, I should be able to put up some screenshots over the next couple of days with the overall plan being a video and updated screenshots from the Darlington area within the next week.

Paulus' excellent website can be found at the following address:-

Friday, 6 March 2009

Eaglescliffe to Allens West - Video

Video time once again! This one shows the trip from Eaglescliffe to Allens West on board a Class 47 which is hauling a fictional railtour from Saltburn back to Darlington as part of the ACORP event.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Passenger View - Thornaby to Eaglescliffe

I have also now produced another video, this time showing a passengers eye view of the route between Thornaby and Eaglescliffe. If you watch until the end, you will see a Sunderland bound Grand Central HST arriving at Eaglescliffe.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

I have now created a video showing the short steady hop between the two stations shown in my most recent posts, Redcar East and Redcar Central.

Redcar East

As an extension of my work in Redcar and surrounding area, it is now time for some new shots of Redcar East.

Redcar Central

It has been a while since my last update, various real life situations forced a postponement of my work on the route but now I am back, and trying to progress with development as much as possible.

The first shot shows the view towards the signal box, level crossing and Morrisons twin storey car park.

The second shot shows a view from the above mentioned car park, a favourite haunt of people when we get the odd railtour through the area!