News
Jan
20
South End Splendor
Posted by Jio Butler on 20 January 2017 10:16 AM

The Sacramento Northern, South End route is now available, bringing American interurban railroading to Train Simulator!

The Sacramento Northern, South End route is now available at the Steam Store, bringing to Train Simulator the extraordinary experience – and unique operating challenges – of classic American interurban railroading set in the late 1930 and 1940s!

In the early decades of the twentieth century, before America’s travel habits turned to the automobile, electric-powered interurban railroads stretched across much of the United States, laying down more than 15,000 route miles of electrified trackage and numbering in the hundreds of railroad companies. And among the most fabled names of America’s interurban railways – among the likes of the Pacific Electric, the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee, and the Indiana Railroad – stood California’s Sacramento Northern Railway.

Formed in the late 1920s through the consolidation of two electric railways – the Northern Electric Railway and the Oakland, Antioch, & Eastern (for a time renamed the San Francisco-Sacramento Railroad) – the Sacramento Northern was controlled by the Western Pacific and stretched 185 miles from San Francisco via the Sacramento Valley to Chico, California, giving it claim to offering the longest interurban ride in the United States. But it was the Sacramento Northern’s “South End” which so mesmerized train-enthusiasts in those bygone decades – and indeed has done so ever since.

Now, through the artistry of developer G-Trax and its masterful attention to detail and devotion to authentically re-capturing the interurban era of the 1930s and 1940, the Sacramento Northern, South End route comes to Train Simulator!

Stretching approximately 45 route miles in length, the new Sacramento Northern, South End route extends from San Francisco and Oakland, California to Mallard Island and Suisun Bay in scenic Contra Costa County, as well as to the steel mill town of Pittsburg, California.

Starting from San Francisco’s Transbay Terminal, which Sacramento Northern’s interurbans shared with the electric trains of the Key System and Southern Pacific’s Interurban Electric Railway, this new route re-creates the massive 4.5-mile-long, twin-span Bay Bridge crossing from San Francisco to Oakland, over which trains operated with the aid of an innovative in-cab signaling system. Once across the Bay Bridge, the route navigates the dense trackage of the Oakland “Mole” (Emeryville, California), then takes to the streets and avenues of Oakland in one of interurban railroading’s most cherished and beloved attributes – street-running.

Tucked amid the urban sprawl of Oakland is snug Shafter Avenue depot, car barns, and yard, which despite its diminutive size was the hub of Sacramento Northern south-end operations. A journey up Shafter Avenues takes the Sacramento Northern to its own private right-of-way and the interurban experience changes dramatically, as the SN (starting at Rockridge and an initial grade of 4.5 percent) ascents the Oakland Hills, burrows through 3,600-foot-long Redwood Peak Tunnel, then begins a descent through the scenic Redwood Canyon and into rural Contra Costa County and the agriculturally rich Sacramento Valley.

The Sacramento Northern Railway enjoyed many claims to fame, but perhaps none were more iconic nor beloved than that found on the south banks of Suisun Bay at Mallard Island. There, to continue the journey to Sacramento, SN’s trains called upon the services of the steel-hulled, wooden-decked, gasoline-powered ferry “Ramon” to cross the bay from Mallard to Chipps, California.

From bustling Transbay Terminal in San Francisco to the rugged Oakland Hills and onward to the wooden deck of the ferry Ramon, the new Sacramento Northern, South End route brings this famed interurban railway and, indeed, the timeless appeal of the interurban-era experience to full and vibrant life. The route will bring you opportunity to operate Sacramento Northern’s classic Holman Car Company 1003-class interurban (provided in both motor and trailer versions) for passenger service, as well as take the controls of the railroad’s 63-ton General Electric 650-class Steeple Cab electric locomotives in freight duty. The Sacramento Northern, South End route also features more than a dozen types of freight equipment authentic to the period and, to bring the San Francisco-Oakland segment of the line to full life, AI versions of the Key System’s distinctive articulated Bridge Unit and the Interurban Electric Railway’s “red car” heavy interurban are included. The route’s fidelity in re-capturing the era of the late 1930s and early 1940s is superb, with authentic structures, vehicles, custom signals, and characters all helping to recall the evocative California of a bygone time.

The Sacramento Northern, South End route will bring to you the opportunity to immediately test your “motorman” skills by providing an enjoyable and highly challenging selection of 17 career scenarios (including a tutorial for using the authentic in-cab signal system and a variety of passenger, freight, and switching activities). The Sacramento Northern, South End route – and all the magic of America’s fascinating interurban era – now awaits you and is available at the Steam Store! –Gary Dolzall


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Jan
12
An Almighty Stallion
Posted by Jio Butler on 12 January 2017 01:11 PM

The Legendary Iron Horse has Galloped into Train Simulator!

Back in the early 1900s, the Royal Bavarian State Railways were in need of a new steam locomotive fleet that would specialise in express passenger operations. Maffei, a locomotive manufacturer which dated back to the 1830s, was chosen to provide the new fleet; the new locomotives were to be a development of the Baden IV f, several concepts were brought forward to the new design, with the ultimate difference of housing more power for their intended duties.

In 1908, construction of the Bavarian S 3/6 had begun, the first order was for 23 locomotives and they had all joined the rails by 1911. Despite being under the same class, multiple series would be built; the first 3 series, a-c, featured smaller driving wheels than the following d & e series, which were destined for exclusive express operations out of Munich. Some locomotives differed very little, if not at all, this was the case for the last S 3/6s for the Royal Bavarian State as they were built to aid in the First World War.

Even in the 1920s, with Deutsche Reichsbahn now in control, the S 3/6 fleet (now known as the DR BR 18) would continue to grow throughout the decade. Series k was the first to be delivered to DR, these locomotives were fitted with larger superheaters to make them even more powerful than their predecessors. It was the k series that hauled the famous Rheingold Express and ensure the BR 18s place in locomotive history.

After more than 20 years of production, the final DR BR 18 rolled out in 1931. A total of 159 had entered service in that time, an incredible feat of period engineering. Constant developments ensured that the BR 18s were set to stay, and even right into the 1950s, they could still be seen doing what they did best. It was in the ‘50s when the fleet became known as the DB BR 18, the change owing to Deutsche Bundesbahn’s reign, and 30 examples were modernised. A new lease of life was found for the rebuilt locomotives, they could compete with the BR 01’s performance all while providing an unbeatable efficiency.

The 1960s would be the DB BR 18’s final decade, many locomotives were ageing (along with the steam era itself), and the modified variants developed fate-sealing faults that forced a reduction in power. By 1966, most of the fleet had faced the cutter’s torch and only a handful would survive into preservation. One locomotive, 18 505, remained in service into the late 1960s, and was one such example that still sits on the rails to this day.

Overall, the DB BR 18s remained unmatched throughout their operational life. A key locomotive fleet to 20th Century Germany, with a few examples living on to carry the legacy left behind them. It’s time for you to discover the might behind the Bavarian Pacific, as the DB BR 18 from Partner Programme Developer, Eisenbahnwerk, is available now for Train Simulator!

The DB BR 18 for Train Simulator features the classic steam locomotive 18 505 in DB Black & Red livery, preserved condition, and 18 461-508 in running condition. Get to know the intricate art of steam by taking the BR 18s across the beautiful Mosel Valley route in several Career Scenarios. The passengers will be looking forward to the heritage operations ahead, will you step up to the task?

The DB BR 18 is available now for Train Simulator, head to the Store for more details.


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Dec
19
Train Sim World: Beta
Posted by Jio Butler on 19 December 2016 03:36 PM

We have now released an update for the Beta.

Here's the patch notes:

  • We are extending the Beta period by two days and the Beta will now end on 21st December.
  • We have identified and provided a fix for the VicoDynamics.dll crash. This fix will improve compatibility with older Intel CPUs. If you're using an older intel CPU then you should find you no longer need to remove this file for the game to work. If you get a "fatal error" crash after the update however, you should remove that file again. Essentially this is because the VicoDynamics DLL requires a minimum age of CPU to support what it does, the crash means your CPU does not meet this requirement. Going forward, we are removing VicoDynamics DLL entirely and replacing it with an alternative approach. The VicoDynamics DLL is used to control the physics of the refuelling hose, removing it will only prevent that one aspect of the game from working, everything else should work fine.
  • The issue where the camera gets sucked in to the rail vehicles/couplers, and requires resetting with CTRL+0, has been fixed.
  • We have identified and fixed the major cause of the crash that occurs when entering the 2D map. Pressing 9 to bring up the map should now crash less often. We are not confident we have isolated ALL causes, but this seems to be the more prevalent one. We need your feedback and bug reports whether this has been resolved for you or not.
  • We have identified and fixed the cause of rail vehicles falling through the ground.

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Nov
24
Northeast Corridor Content Updates
Posted by Jio Butler on 24 November 2016 01:55 PM

In response to your important feedback on a variety of add-ons available for Train Simulator 2017, we have recently released an update for the Northeast Corridor: New York – Philadelphia, Amtrak Acela Express, Amtrak HHP-8 and PRR GG1.

Here is a list of what has been addressed:

Northeast Corridor: New York – Philadelphia

  • Improved a number of scenery assets and textures
  • Improved a number of object placement issues throughout the route
  • Fixed the moon to remove the black halo
  • Fixed an issue with road traffic throughout the route
  • Fixed an issue with floating track throughout the route
  • Fixed an issue with Simple controls on the AEM-7
  • Fixed an issue with dark Cab textures on the AEM-7
  • Fixed an issue that would cause the wipers to disappear on the AEM-7
  • Fixed an issue that caused couplings to stretch between the Amfleet coaches
  • Fixed a number of timetable issues in scenarios for the AEM-7
  • Fixed a number of text issues in scenarios for the AEM-7
  • Fixed ‘The Big Apple’ Free-roam scenario marker so trains can be selected

Amtrak® Acela Express

  • Added a new Passenger View mode to the consist
  • Fixed an issue with the cruise control system
  • Fixed a number of timetable issues in scenarios
  • Fixed a number of text issues in scenarios

Amtrak® HHP-8

  • Fixed an issue that caused couplings to stretch between the Amfleet coaches
  • Fixed the Quick drive consists to have the correct numbers of cars

PRR GG1

  • Fixed an issue with AI trains
  • Fixed a number of timetable issues in scenarios
  • Fixed a number of text issues in scenarios
  • The duration of scenarios are now properly represented

If you own the Northeast Corridor: New York – Philadelphia, Amtrak Acela Express, Amtrak HHP-8 and/or PRR GG1, the update will download automatically from Steam. If you have any problems/queries with regard to the update, leave a comment below or submit a ticket to our support site where our Support Team will be ready to assist.

If you do not yet own any of these Add-Ons, now is the perfect time to explore the classic Northeast Corridor, in either fast, modern, or timeless traction!

No Updated Content? Steam File Verify

In the unlikely event that Steam fails to update the Add-Ons listed in the article, you’ll need to perform a file verify and ensure Steam provisions your installation properly. Follow the instructions listed at this link to perform a file verify to reset your installation to default. Note that this process can take some time to complete and, if you have a high number of Add-Ons, we’d recommend you do this overnight.

If you find that after the file verify has completed, you are confident you have not received the update, please contact our Support Team by submitting a ticket to our support site where someone will assist you directly


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Nov
17
Albula Additions
Posted by Jio Butler on 17 November 2016 01:13 PM

Extend the diversity of the stunning Albula Line with Thomson Interactive’s RhB Enhancement Pack 01, out now for Train Simulator!

UNESCO Patrimoni Mundial

The opening of the Vereina Tunnel, what would become the longest tunnel on the RhB, was projected to cause a major spike in both passenger and freight traffic across the mountainous network. In anticipation of the increase, RhB came together with Swiss Locomotive and Machine Works (SLM), and ASEA Brown Boveri (ABB) in 1989 to develop new traction. The new locomotives would utilise three-phase AC electric technology and GTO Thyristors.

The original plan to produce a 6 axle variant of the RhB Ge 4/4 II was quickly replaced with a more universally capable 4 axle design. A much more modern bodyshell was used for the new loco, and by the end of 1993, the first Ge 4/4 III, numbered 641, rolled off the production line, entering service on December 3rd of the same year. A further 11 locomotives would enter service between 1994 and 1999.

The Ge 4/4 III fleet is now the principal motive power for traffic on the Albula Railway, the universal design paid off as they can effortlessly cope with either freight or passengers across the mountains, and also command the Glacier Express, known as the slowest express in the world. While originally shipped in classic RhB red, with each loco brandishing a unique coat of arms, the entire fleet has since been decorated with various advertising liveries.

To commemorate the classification of the Albula Line as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in July 2008, locomotive no. 650 ‘Seewis im Prättigau’ was re-liveried into a UNESCO-specific scheme. While 650 retained most of its red front, the rest of the body was given a light blue coating, upon which a graphic depicting a train crossing the Landwasser Viaduct, as viewed from below, is present.

Albula Hauling, Passenger & Freight

Several years after the introduction of the first Einhetswagen (EW) for RhB, it was decided that the next iteration of coaches would focus on passenger comfort and reducing weight. The Einhetswagen II, introduced in 1975, provided more spacious seating, ventilation and heating, plus double glazed windows that were also tinted. The body was extrusion pressed out of aluminium, to not only reduce weight, but also increase strength.

The RhB ordered two main variants of the Einhetswagen II, those being ‘A’ and ‘B’, where A denotes First Class seating throughout, and B is purely standard seating. Neither of these Einhetswagen II models are capable of holding any substantial quantity of passenger’s belongings, so RhB also ordered Baggage Cars which could take care of any storage issues. Luggage and bikes could now be stored away from those aboard, which became even more vital as tourism continued to grow. Some Baggage Cars were fitted with a pantograph to supply heating and air conditioning, taking the strain away from the loco itself.

Of course, the Albula Line is also a key freight route within Switzerland, and a wide variety of tonnage capabilities are seen day in, day out. The Swiss wood industry owes its success to the railways, and the Albula Pass is no exception. ‘Sp-w’ flat cars are often used for transporting roundwood, these wagons are an all-round excellent example of reliable engineering that helps the railway and surrounding area grow.

Another industry, popularly seen curving through the Swiss Alps, is fuel. ‘Za’ tankers transport up to 39000 liters, or 33 tonnes of petroleum a piece, and have a safe and efficient operating history. The mountainous terrain necessitates fuel, and thanks to the Albula railway, plus the readily capable Ge 4/4 III and Za tankers, successful deliveries can be expected promptly.

Ease Back on the Throttle

One vital operation across any railway in the world is track maintenance. While maintenance is being carried out Temporary Speed Restrictions (TSRs) are imposed to reduce the speed of movements through the section of line being worked on. The line can be kept open and operated safely instead of shutting it completely for engineering works.

Temporary magnets are placed on the track to warn drivers of an upcoming restriction, of any speed limit, and then once the rear of the consist has passed the area, regular operating speed may resume. This practice is seen worldwide, and while it adds a few minutes to the journey, it is a regular part of railroading activities for drivers to learn and observe.

What’s Included?

The RhB Enhancement Pack 01 will include:

Locos

  • RhB GE 4/4 iii No. 650 in Unesco livery

Rolling Stock

  • Baggage Coach DS
  • Coach EW2 ‘A’ & ‘B’
  • Sp-w Flatbed wagon in Clean and Rusty (with timber) liveries
  • Za Tank Wagon in Clean and Rusty liveries

Scenery

  • TSR Portable ZSI90 Magnet NP (Track Linked)
  • TSR Warning Boards, 10-50 km/h, Start & End

Quick Drive Consists

  • GE 4-4 iii RhB
  • 10xSp-w Za Mixed
  • 1xLoco 650 Unesco
  • 5xEWii
  • 6xZa
  • 7xEWii
  • 8xSp-2

Career Scenarios

  • GEX Zermatt Transfer
  • Oil Delivery to Samedan
  • Saturday Ski Service

Notable features

  • The pantograph on the baggage coach tracks the position of loco pantograph on the player consist, automatically raising and lowering for tunnels, no matter where placed in the consist.
  • Coach windows drop automatically in daytime, pleasant weather, for both the exterior and passenger view.
  • Coach lighting varies depending on the time of day, and what the coach is currently doing (part of consist, stabled in siding etc).
  • Customisable destinations on the coaches
  • Accurately represented Temporary Speed Restrictions

The RhB Enhancement Pack 01 has made its way to Train Simulator, head to the Store for full details!


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Nov
11
Arriva Train Wales DMU Pack Update Available Now
Posted by Jio Butler on 11 November 2016 01:06 PM

Today, we have released an update for the Arriva Trains Wales DMU Pack which adds the bonus First Great Western Class 158 livery!

As previously announced following the release of South Wales Coastal: Bristol-Cardiff, the bonus Class 158 in First Great Western Livery has been added to the Arriva Trains Wales DMU Pack! Owners will receive the update automatically on Steam, approximately 45 MB in size, to add the new livery to your collection. If you do not yet own the Arriva Trains Wales DMU Pack, now is the perfect time to pick it up from the Store and get that stylish FGW Class 158 Sprinting along the Greater West!

A total of 5 new Quick Drive consists are included, depicting numerous formations for the FGW Class 158, which are listed below:

  • Class 158/7 First Great Western 2 Coach – A Leading
  • Class 158/7 First Great Western 2 Coach – B Leading
  • Class 158/7 First Great Western 4 Coach – A Leading
  • Class 158/9 First Great Western 3 Coach – A Leading
  • Class 158/9 First Great Western 3 Coach – C Leading

If you own the Arriva Trains Wales DMU Pack, the update will download automatically from Steam. If you have any problems/queries with regard to the update, leave a comment below or submit a ticket to our support site where our Support Team will be ready to assist.

No Updated Content? Steam File Verify

In the unlikely event that Steam fails to update the Add-Ons listed in the article, you’ll need to perform a file verify and ensure Steam provisions your installation properly. Follow the instructions listed at this link to perform a file verify to reset your installation to default. Note that this process can take some time to complete and, if you have a high number of Add-Ons, we’d recommend you do this overnight.


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