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!