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Latest Updates
Oct
12
Alaskan Allure
Posted by Dovetail Games Support on 12 October 2017 01:22 PM

The incomparable Alaska Railroad – Seward to Anchorage route is now available for Train Simulator!

One of North America’s most majestic and challenging contemporary rail lines has now come to Train Simulator with the Alaska Railroad – Seward to Anchorage route!

Created through the Dovetail Games Partner Programme by Train & Drivers, the Train Simulator Alaska Railroad – Seward to Anchorage route includes the Alaska Railroad’s line from Anchorage via Portage to Seward (114 route miles) as well as the important ARR line from Portage to Whittier, Alaska (12 route miles). And as an engineer on this extraordinary modern route, you’ll take the throttle of the Alaska Railroad’s powerful Electro-Motive SD70MACs and versatile GP38-2s, both of which are included with the route.

In recent weeks at Train-Simulator.com, we’ve introduced this remarkable route and shared the history and operations of the line in the feature articles “A Splendid Railroad”, “A Railroad Comes of Age”, and “Alaska Tonnage!”.

As our prior articles detailed, the Alaska Railroad – Seward to Anchorage route offers a superb variety of operating challenges and realistic experiences, ranging from lugging massive unit coal trains and manifests over the Kenai Mountains to yard and lineside industry switching duties at Anchorage to handling port switching jobs at Seward and Whittier.

Another fascinating aspect of operations on the ARR is the railroad’s reliance on Direct Traffic Control (“DTC”) given that a majority of the route is not equipped with lineside signals (the areas around Anchorage and Whittier Tunnel being the exceptions). ARR’s use of Direct Traffic Control involves dispatchers providing, via radio transmission, permission for trains to operate within assigned DTC blocks. The Alaska Railroad – Seward to Anchorage route authentically re-creates ARR’s block system and DTC operations as well as the CTC-governed signaling around Anchorage and Whittier. Some sections of the ARR are authorized for 49-mph freight-train speeds, although much of the railroad, due to its steep gradients (up to 3 percent) and tight curves, are more typically restricted to speeds in the range of 25-35 mph.

Along with the ARR Electro-Motive SD70MAC and EMD GP38-2, the Alaska Railroad – Seward to Anchorage route provides a variety of authentic freight equipment, including flatbed container car, covered hoppers, center-beam flatcar, 4-chute coal hopper, timber flat, stack car, piggyback flat, boxcar, tank car, and ARR extended-vision cupola caboose. Together with masterful route development and assets creation by Jonathan Lewis and Michael Stephan, this new Train Simulator route also features a selection of nine career scenarios authored by Andreas Czudai and Jim Friedland – and there’s no doubt this landmark route, with its truly extraordinary operating possibilities, will be an absolute favorite of Steam Workshop scenario creators.

Experience the allure of Alaskan railroading – the Train Simulator Alaska Railroad – Seward to Anchorage route is available now at the Dovetail Games and Steam Stores! – Gary Dolzall 


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Oct
12
Prairies Assemble!
Posted by Dovetail Games Support on 12 October 2017 01:22 PM

Victory Works’ distinctive GWR Large Prairies are available now, and offer a wide variety of period English Riviera operations!

The Prairies lived for mixed-traffic duties, and those who populated the footplate had plenty of power readily waiting to be put to good use. In all, there lived 4 main variants of the Large Prairies, the 5100, 5101, 6100 and 8100 classes, and all are now yours to drive!

Originally classified as the 3100s, and designed by Churchwward, the 5100 Class is among the oldest in the GWR fleet. The 5100s were built in 1903 to fulfil a gap in the rural mixed-traffic market, and would be the spark of many derivatives in decades to come. The change from 3100 to 5100 came from a bout of modifications to the fleet in the 1920s, bringing them up to standard and near matching newer batch of Large Prairies. Despite 40 locomotives being built, no one of the 5100s have survived beyond the steam era.

In 1929, a much more substantial batch of Large Prairies began production. The 5101 Class was Collett’s improvement upon Churchward’s previous design, although little was actually changed visually. The new fleet would grow to be 140 locomotives strong, providing passenger and freight workings with the reinforcements they required. As time went on, the 5101s would become synonymous piloting and banking heavy trains, particularly at Severn Tunnel Junction. Only 10 locomotives would dodge the cutters’ torch; 8 were preserved, one is used for spares, and the other converted into a 4300 Class.

The next batch of Large Prairies would come into existence in 1931 as the 6100 Class. Swindon Works quickly produced this 70-strong fleet of locomotives to take charge of commuter services out of London Paddington and along the Thames Valley. The main difference between the 6100s and previous designs was an increase in boiler pressure to 225 psi – positively affecting tractive effort which is ideal for frequently stopping passenger movements. As the years passed, such services were soon taken over by diesel power, and so the 6100s were pushed to secondary duties – only one was preserved.

The final Large Prairies were nothing new, literally. In the late 1930s, 10 of the 5100 Class were chosen to be rebuilt with smaller wheels and a higher boiler pressure to join the 6100 fleet’s duties. The rebuilt locomotives were reclassified as the 8100 Class, and could offer a supposed improved acceleration over other locomotives. As the refreshed batch of 8100s completed their transformation, they were slotted into service with ease, and too worked until the end of steam with no examples around today.

And now, after a history spanning some 60 years, the Great Western Railway’s Large Prairies have arrived for Train Simulator in stunning fashion. Partner Programme developer Victory Works present the GWR Large Prairies, which includes the 5100, 5101, 6100 and 8100 classes in GWR Green and British Railways Black liveries, complete with selectable era-appropriate logos, optional parts and fittings.

Features

Each locomotive class included.

  • Custom sound sets inside and out
  • Realistic cab with multiple views, including dual “head out” and fully modelled firebox and coal
  • Dynamic steam and smoke colour and quantity
  • Realistic boiler water gauges effected by gradient, acceleration and speed and with blow down test
  • Opening windows (with rain effects), doors, weather panels and roof hatch
  • Dynamic lamp setting
  • Cab light effects including firebox glow and water gauge lamp
  • Four Career scenarios for the Riviera Line in the Fifties Route
  • 75 Quick Drive consists with appropriate stock

Advanced Mode Features

Each GWR Green (above) & BR Black (below) livery featured.

  • Realistic wheel slip physics and effects
  • Simulated steam chest
  • Realistic train pipe and reservoir vacuum braking
  • Cylinder cock management
  • Boiler management with priming possible
  • Realistic injector control
  • Realistic “by the shovel” stoking with synchronised sound
  • Communication with the guard in the brake van for handbrake usage (when used with compatible GWR Toad brake van – included with this DLC)
  • Second valve regulator effects
  • Atmospheric AI effects

Rolling Stock

  • Ex-GWR 8t Cattle Van
  • GWR Fruit A Van
  • BR(W) Gunpowder Van, Diagram 1/260
  • BR(W) “Herring” hopper, P22
  • BR(W) Iron Mink, V6
  • BR(W) Tunnel Inspection Van
  • GWR & BR(W) 20 ton Toad Brake Van

All the advanced features packed into the Large Prairies has earned this add-on a spot among the Pro Range. What is the Pro Range? Find out by clicking here.

The GWR Large Prairies are available now, head to the Store for more details! 


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Sep
29
Thomson/Oovee Class 150 Notice
Posted by Dovetail Games Support on 29 September 2017 10:49 AM
Just to let you all know that later today, we’ll be taking the Class 150 DMU Add-On off sale due to changes in contractual terms, in mutual agreement with the developers, Thomson Interactive and Oovee Game Studios. You still have some time available, if you wish to pick this up but time is of the essence and it is estimated that as of 6pm (UK time), it will no longer be available to purchase.

At this time, we do not have any details available on whether the add-on will find its way back to the store but we will endeavour to keep you updated as and when we know more. Please note: removal from the store will not affect you if you already own this add-on, you will still be able to enjoy it and use it in scenarios.

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Sep
22
September Sale… Now On!
Posted by Dovetail Games Support on 22 September 2017 03:22 PM

It’s time to save big on Train Simulator routes and locomotives in the September Sale!

Add to your Train Simulator collection, or get started in the world of train simulation, in this September Sale, where you can save on a vast range of add-ons and pick up those all-exciting experiences to enjoy!

See the Entire Collection!


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Sep
21
Batteries Included
Posted by Dovetail Games Support on 21 September 2017 01:23 PM

The Motor Luggage Vans were a unique sight to behold in the Southern Region, and now they are available for Train Simulator!

Latched onto the front of many services bound for the Kent Coast, the BR Class 419 ‘Motor Luggage Vans’ provided extra capacity for passengers’ belongings on top-link journeys, such as the Dover boat trains. When not heading passenger stock, the ‘MLV’ fleet would frequent local Parcel trains, assisting with a pair of General Utility Vans ‘GUVs’ or even transporting water in TTA Wagons while out on day-to-day movements.

With the BR Class 419 for Train Simulator, you’ll be able to experience a taste of what it was like to haul both passengers and parcels through South London, and to boot, the 419 itself is packed with advanced features for you to enjoy and master!

  • Master Switch operation
  • Authentic Reverser & Power Controller Handle
  • Deadman’s Handle
  • Accurate Camshaft Controller Simulation, Overload & Safety System
  • Advanced wheelslip operation
  • EP, Auto Air, Vacuum & Parking Brakes
  • Multiple brake modes & combinations depending on what you are hauling
  • Battery Control
  • Parcel System
  • Efficiency Reporting System
  • And more!

Battery Control

Perhaps one of the most distinctive features of the Class 419 is its ‘battery operated’ mode. In order to reach places such as the un-electrified Folkestone and Dover quay lines (where passengers would switch to a ferry, continuing their journey) the boat trains would need power away from the third rail. This was seldom an issue in the steam days, but with slam-door EMUs now on the scene, a new answer was required.

The Class 419s were fitted with batteries that would be charged by the third rail, this would allow limited use away from any electrification. Performance wasn’t fantastic, but it didn’t need to be, half an hour was the supposed maximum battery charge and was ample enough for service.

In Train Simulator, the Class 419 is fully equipped to run on its batteries, and they are accurately simulated as such: voltage can vary as per prototype (depending on the state of charge) and if dropped too low can damage the batteries. Additionally, repeated use will diminish the maximum charge of the batteries, and running on third rail will recharge them (although a full charge can take anything up to 20 hours). The detail doesn’t stop there either…

Parcel System

In reality, parcels would be unloaded and loaded as required at select stations on a journey, this has been represented as part of the Class 419 for Train Simulator by implementing a unique Parcels System.

By default, the loading and unloading of parcel bags will be random after each station stop, however you can have an input with keyboard commands; pick up only, drop off only, reduce number of bags picked up, or load/unload all bags at the next station. When you open the doors, you will see the baggage compartments of the Class 419 fill up or empty accordingly.

In conjunction with the Parcel System is an implemented Guard System. When picking up or dropping off a certain number of bags, it can take longer than a scheduled stop at a station, leaving the MLV doors open after the passenger doors of an EMU behind have already closed. To ensure you don’t move away with the MLV doors still open, the guard will apply the emergency brakes should you start to move. After the doors have closed, the guard will sound two rings of his bell, repeat the message back and then you are clear to depart. Atop that…

Efficiency Reporting System

With a simple press of Ctrl+4, you are able to get a report on various driving statistics for your current scenario. Everything from energy consumption, average speed and distance travelled, CO2 production and general efficiency. Not only interesting, this information can give you an idea of how you are driving, which if in battery mode, is ideal – you don’t want to get stranded! Note, you can click on the image above to see the Class 419’s efficiency report system in action.

To put your skills to the test, 3 Career scenarios for the South London Network route – which is currently on sale – offer both parcel and passenger use in less-than-favourable conditions; be careful to not lock up the wheels! Each scenario lets you drive the Class 419 in the quaint London & South East ‘Jaffa Cake’ livery, and through quick drive, you are also able to enjoy parcel services under a Network SouthEast guise. A full list of included rolling stock is below…

  • BR Class 419 MLV in London & South East ‘Jaffa Cake’ and Network SouthEast liveries
  • BR Class 421 4-CIG in BR Blue & Grey and Network SouthEast liveries
  • BR Class 423 4-VEP in BR Blue & Grey and Network SouthEast liveries
  • Mk1 General Utility Van (GUV) in BR Blue livery
  • TTA Tank Wagon (Water Only)

All these advanced features have, quite suitably, landed the BR Class 419 in the Pro Range.
What is the Pro Range? Find out by clicking here.

The BR Class 419 is available now for Train Simulator, head to the Store for more details! 


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