Community Announcements - DTG_James

Now available for Train Simulator, this highly-detailed recreation with typical controls and cab features, puts you in the driving seat of one of Britain’s iconic diesel multiple units.

By the 1980s, British Rail were still operating a vast fleet of old Heritage DMUs, which dated back to the mid-1950s, across much of Britain’s rural and un-electrified rail network. Clearly, a significant number of these ageing units were in dire need of replacement, their slow nature and unfit interiors would not hone the ideals of the future. The solution was to keep hold of some older units which were more standardised, and capable of refurbishment, while replacing the rest with brand new, second-generation DMUs.

Two separate batches of DMUs would be the first to modernise the rural rails, the first was the continuously controversial Pacer series which were essentially buses on rails and intended for shorter-haul journeys, the second were the Sprinters, which would take the long-haul into their own.

Derived from the Mk3 bodyshell, the new Sprinter prototypes, classified as the Class 150 and numbered 150001 and 150002, were built in 1984 by BREL in York as 3-car multiple units to test which engine and transmission type would be best for moving forward. 150001 was fitted with a Cummins engine and Voith hydraulic transmission, meanwhile, 150002 utilised a Rolls Royce (later Perkins) engine and self-changing mechanical transmission.

Trials and extensive testing began at Derby’s Railway Technical Centre on the duo of prototypes, following which they entered service on the Matlock branch for preliminary services. Over the subsequent years of testing, the units would move further afield to discover how they performed on different services, and to also promote the new unit around the country. Places such as Manchester, Birmingham, Aberystwyth, just to name a few, would all see the new Class 150 at least on occasion. 150001 also had the pleasure of being displayed under the grand arch roof of St. Pancras, however being 1984, the station looked rather different when compared to today. Other testing locations included the Welsh Valleys, Glasgow and Inverness.

After testing for both prototypes ended, it was apparent that 150001 was much more reliable in operation than 150002, who’s Rolls Royce engine and self-changing gearbox proved to provide a less than satisfactory service. 150001 was the clear choice for a production series, however the concept of a 3-car design would not be continued. This decision was not the end of 150002 however, 002 was reclassified as the Class 154, following modification, and was used to develop the Class 158 Express Sprinter. 154002 would eventually be converted back into a standard Class 150 model, and continues to run with sister 150001 on Reading shuttle services to this day.

The first production variant of the Class 150, the 150/1, was near identical to the prototype, the only main difference being the exclusion of the intermediate car. A total of 50 Class 150/1 DMUs were ordered for use under the Regional Railways sector of BR, and they were introduced into service in 1986. Under Regional Railways, the Class 150/1 fleet were mainly used in and around Manchester and Birmingham, however the dawn of privatisation would see them operate from capital to coast.
Angel Trains took ownership of the Class 150/1s when the franchises began, and initially they were leased to the likes of Silverlink, North Western Trains & Central Trains; through the varied operators, the 150s have seen a colourful array of liveries in their lifetime. Today, Great Western Railway operate the second largest fleet of Class 150/1 DMUs at a total of 17, sandwiched in between Northern at 28 and London Midland at 3. GWR acquired their fleet from previous operators who took charge of units like the Class 172.

Following the First Great Western to Great Western Railway rebrand, the only Class 150 without a gangway to be refurbished is the prototype, 150001, all Class 150/1s at present are still resplendent in the bold ‘Plain Blue’ livery, and it is unlikely that they shall see any new looks while under GWR. The Class 150/1 fleet is used by GWR on their West of England services, serving from Cardiff, through to Bristol, onward to Exeter and beyond. The units, while capable of being coupled up in multiple (to themselves and other BSI-equipped units), tend to operate alone as their lack of inter-unit gangways can limit passenger movements, especially on routes with shorter platforms. This also causes the issue of a guard being completely cut off from one half of the unit. However, during the peak hours, or busier times especially in the coastal regions, they will be seen operating in pairs. Much like the Class 150/9s, another sprinkle of irony is when the 150/1s operate with a Class 153 in-tow, further proving the 3-car potential of the prototype.

The Class 150 design would also prove ideal for other rail-related purposes, the gangway-less Class 150/1 was a suitable base for Network Rail’s new track assessment unit, and as such a single, unique Class 950 was produced, fitted throughout with testing and measuring equipment. Unlike the ‘Flying Banana’, the Class 950 is light enough to travel throughout the entire country without issue, and can be a sought-after sight by enthusiasts with only a solo unit resting upon the rails. Another use for the Class 150 bodyshell was found across waters in the form of the Northern Ireland Railways Class 450, while very similar in design (thanks to the commonality of the Mk3 base), the units clearly served a very different network and were of course fitted for Northern Ireland’s broad 5ft 3in (1600mm) gauge.
As the first of the Sprinter DMUs to roll off the production line, the Class 150/1 is a true icon of late British engineering, a unit that was a major step up from the old heritage stock of yesteryear, and still manages to impress commuters and railfans alike, even today.
Community Announcements - DTG_James

In response to your important feedback on a variety of add-ons available for Train Simulator 2017, Union Workshop have today released an update for the Wakayama & Sakurai Lines.

Here is a list of what has been addressed:
  • Fixed the emergency brake
  • Fixed missing level crossing assets
  • Fixed speed limit sign issues
  • Various text updates
  • New Feature – Driveable 105 Series EMU, Quick Drive compatible plus two new Career scenarios

If you own the Wakayama & Sakurai Lines, 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 the Wakayama & Sakurai Lines, why not pick it up now and get in the cab of the now-driveable 105 Series!

The Wakayama & Sakurai Lines update will be approximately 315 MB in size.
Community Announcements - DTG_James
The Steam Autumn Sale is now on, giving you the chance to save on a plethora of Train Simulator routes and locomotives from around the world! The sale cannot last forever, so make sure you head to the Store and grab those bargains while you can!

Click here to find out more -
Community Announcements - DTG_James
In response to your important feedback on a variety of add-ons available for Train Simulator 2017 we have now released updates for the following Add-Ons.

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


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

These updates 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 own any of the above content, the updates 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.
Community Announcements - DTG_James

Directly connecting England and Wales, running under the longest river in the United Kingdom, the South Wales Main Line is one of the most important cross border routes in the country, as featured in the beautiful new Extended South Wales Coastal route for Train Simulator.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel was rapidly expanding the Great Western Railway out of London Paddington. By June 1841, the line to Bristol had officially opened and set in stone was a railway line that has proven vital to the west throughout the years. To extend the usage of this revolutionary line, an extension was built out from Swindon and headed north towards Gloucester, only to then turn tail, breach South Wales and head for Swansea via Caldicot, Newport, Cardiff and Bridgend.
The new line to Swansea opened in 1850 and provided Wales with a much needed, albeit quite lengthy connection with London and other major towns along the Great Western Main Line such as Reading, Didcot, Swindon and Bristol. Until 1872, the railway was built utilising Brunel’s 7ft broad gauge, as was the entire GWR network. However, despite the potential benefits of this larger gauge over standard gauge, the latter was already gaining momentum as the primary choice for all railways and Swansea through to the west of England was rapidly converted.

A breakthrough for the residents of South Wales occurred in 1886 when the 4 mile, 624 yard-long Severn Tunnel finished completion after a difficult 13 year construction phase. The new tunnel was the longest in the UK, a record it held for over a century, only being superseded by the High Speed 1 tunnels surrounding Stratford in 2007. The tunnel allowed for a new route into South Wales which would bypass the line via Gloucester, massively decreasing journey times beyond no doubt. Following the opening of the new path under the Severn, the former Gloucester route became known as the ‘Great Way Round’.

The construction of the tunnel came with many struggles, thanks to a vast pool of water, separate to the Severn River, workers who were cutting away under the terrain were faced with multiple, and occasionally severe flooding. Having water pour into the bore of the tunnel on a constant basis was naturally a concern, so pumps were installed to move water away from the tunnel wall exterior in an effort to prevent major incidents.

Severn Tunnel Junction station opened as part of the new route, along with an extensive marshalling yard which would be used to easily distribute Welsh coal to London and the Midlands. Many of the heavy freight services in the steam era were not able to navigate the Severn Tunnel without a pilot or banker locomotive, as the steep gradients could easily bring a heavy service to a halt or cause almost uncontrollable acceleration. In the later years of British Railways, ex. GWR 5101 Class locos were used for this purpose.

With routes running to Bristol, Manchester and Gloucester, the line between Cardiff and Severn Tunnel Junction is 4 tracks wide to ease any potential congestion between the mix of express and local passenger services. With all the passenger services, and also the sheer volume of freight traction which is seen along the line, the tunnel itself has seen upwards of 200 trains run through it daily. In comparison, the railway beyond Cardiff and onto Swansea is only twin-tracked, providing a much more rural feel for the final stretch across South Wales.

Nowadays, the tunnel is accompanied by the M4 Motorway Bridge which connects London to Wales. The bridge, alongside the closure of much of the Welsh coal industry, has seen some decline in rail freight traffic however there are still industries keeping freight alive on the rails. Port Talbot, home to one of the largest steelworks in Europe, sees constant traffic out of its extensive railway yards and sidings, with steel trains travelling the breadth of the country. Back at Severn, the motorway bridge is carefully designed so to avoid putting any weight over the tunnel, as the increased pressure load on the walls could lead to flooding and collapse.
Today the line sees operations from Great Western Railway which mainly provide express services from London into Cardiff and Swansea with Arriva Trains Wales running both local and longer-distance journeys throughout Wales and beyond. One local service in particular, named Swanline, is an every-other-hour timetabled service that operates between Swansea and Cardiff Central. Swanline was introduced in in 1994 to coincide with 5 additional stations which had recently opened on the main line; Llansamlet, Skewen, Briton Ferry, Baglan and Pyle and was initially an hourly service formed of doubled up multiple units. In recent years, proposals have been assessed which aim to increase connections in the Swansea Bay area by cutting journeys off at Port Talbot, before returning to Swansea. Any resolution is yet to be brought into fruition.

The Great Western Main Line, and of course the South Wales Main Line, are currently undergoing a major redevelopment to ensure that the Greater West is well suited for the future. As decades have gone by, many of Britain’s key routes have been electrified to allow for higher speeds, cleaner trains, for both the environment and the passengers, and more comfortable journeys. The west coast, the east coast, the south coast, all these railways were fully fitted with electric capability by the end of the 20th Century. The Great Western Railway network however, despite being one of the busiest commuter corridors in the country, had managed to avoid the wires.

The South Wales Coastal – Bristol to Swansea route for Train Simulator recreates the 85 mile section of main line from Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway to Swansea, via the Severn Tunnel. Also included are a large selection of locomotives and freight wagons to replicate services on the line as seen today, including the Arriva Trains Wales Class 175 ‘Coradia’ DMU, Freightliner Class 70, DB Schenker Class 67 and Great Western Railways Class 43 HST.
Community Announcements - DTG_James

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.
Community Announcements - DTG_James

The S1 Line of the Hamburg S-Bahn is the city’s second largest, initially traversing the outskirts before diving into the heart and serving many locations including the nearby international airport. This historic line originated in the early 1900s, and still aids in the movement of people day in and day out. Take command of the ever-busy ‘Mass Transit Metro’ over the Hamburg S1 S-Bahn for Train Simulator!

Life, for what would become known as the Hamburg S-Bahn, began in 1906 with the opening of Hamburg Hbf where steam hauled services would run between Blankenese and the city itself. Despite the railway tracks in this area were not exactly ‘new’, this is the first time that they had been used in ‘rapid-transit’ style operations; as such, the new usage came under the name of the Hamburg-Altona Urban and Suburban Railway.

Extensions of the suburban service quickly followed, allowing connections with Hasselbrook and Ohlsdorf on the eastern face of Hamburg. It was also around this time when the decision was taken to electrify the line, by 1907, electric trains were utilising the, once current, overhead catenary throughout the city. It was at this point, when electricity was the source of motive power that the line fell into what could be categorised as an S-Bahn today. It would not be until 1924 that the Hamburg S-Bahn was so-named however, this occurred once the old Alster Valley Railway to Poppenbüttel was acquired and the route to Wedel was on-lease for suburban use.

By the 1930s, it was decided that the Hamburg S-Bahn could benefit from re-electrification, this time however, using 1200 V third rail. Similar in most respects to the Berlin S-Bahn, the introduction of third rail would provide more versatile power needs as trains and services got faster. The under-side contact method was chosen as standard, and the line saw a whole 450 V increase of Berlin’s offering, to further improve acceleration and performance. By 1939, all overhead was abandoned and third rail dominated the line. It would not be until 1959 that the line to Wedel was acquired and electrified.

In 1965, the Hamburg S-Bahn numbering scheme came into play and saw Wedel – Poppenbüttel, the second longest S-Bahn route, become known as the S1 Line. While the line has held a key importance throughout its life, be it steam powered, overhead-populated or otherwise, it was not until 2008 that the mere purpose of the line would change for the busier. An extension was built out of Ohlsforf station and headed westbound, only one station was on the new spur – Hamburg International Airport, the Airport Shuttle was born. Services would now split to serve Poppenbüttel and the Airport simultaneously, and naturally, a connection with the Airport has seen the S1 become even more vital to the growth of business and tourism within and surrounding Hamburg.

The Hamburg S1 S-Bahn features the 45 km route from Wedel to Poppenbüttel and Hamburg Airport as an extension to the existing 64 km Hamburg Lübeck Railway (also included in this single route totaling more than 100km of German railway).

The DB BR 474 Plus EMU is also included as key modern traction to the Hamburg S1 line; the traction included in Hamburg-Lübeck, DB BR 218, DB BR 145, DB BR 294 and associated rolling stock.
Community Announcements - DTG_James
Following on from our previous Developer Diary, we are pleased to present you with our next Train Sim World: CSX Heavy Haul Developer Diary episode. This time our team shares more details about the beautiful environment possibilities that Unreal Engine 4 delivers and how this represents a new standard for routes – a first for train simulation. Take in the breathtaking sights of Sand Patch Grade, soon to be featured in Train Sim World: CSX Heavy Haul Beta in early December.
Community Announcements - DTG_James

General Electric established itself as an independent builder of mainline diesel locomotives in 1959 with its 2,500-horsepower U25B, and throughout the 1960s and into the 1970s, GE produced an ever-expanding – and more powerful – line of “Universal”-series diesels, which came to be widely nicknamed as “U-boats.”

From the debut of the U25B until GE introduced its “Dash 7” series in the late 1970s, approximately 3,500 U-Boats of various designations were constructed, and the best seller of GE’s U-boat line was the 3,000-horsepower, six-axle (C-C) U30C. First delivered in 1967 and produced through 1976, 600 U30Cs were constructed by GE for 22 original buyers.

Almost universally, the husky U30C was put to work hauling heavy tonnage and, often as not, coal. In 1967-68, the Chesapeake & Ohio purchased 13 U30Cs which saw use throughout the railroad’s system. With the introduction of the “Chessie System” livery in 1972, the C&O U30Cs took on that distinctive and colorful livery until the locomotives were retired in the mid-1980s.

Virtual Rail Creations (VRC) now brings the Chessie U30C to Train Simulator in a highly authentic model with advanced controls and a variety of interactive cab and operating features. The U30C offers standard and advanced cold start-up features and is provided in clean and weathered Chessie System livery editions. The locomotive is representative of the U30C “Phase I” carbody style which was virtually identical to its immediate predecessor, the U28C.

The Chessie U30C pack also includes a 100-ton coal hopper in Chessie System and generic liveries and four career scenario for the Norfolk Southern Coal District route (available separately and required to play the scenarios). The U30C is Quick Drive compatible, giving you the freedom to use the locomotive on any Quick Drive enabled route for Train Simulator.
Community Announcements - DTG_James

Experience the route that time forgot in Armstrong Powerhouse’s stunning Train Simulator recreation of the Wherry Lines.

Opening in 1844, the Norwich to Great Yarmouth railway, via Reedham, was the first railway to be seen in Norfolk. Three years later, the branch from Reedham to Lowestoft followed and it wasn’t until 1883 that the final piece of the jigsaw fell into place with the construction of the alternative route via Acle to Great Yarmouth.
Until 1923, this railway was operated by the Great Eastern Railway company and it was their fear of a competitor attempting to reach Great Yarmouth which resulted in the construction of the later route via Acle. The name of the line, Wherry Lines, originates from the Norfolk wherries which were once important in transporting goods and people around the broads before roads and railways became widespread.

Fast forward to the 1980s and the ‘Yarmouth’ route was thriving with summer services from all parts of the country, such as London, Liverpool, Manchester & Newcastle (the Lowestoft branch never attracted as much traffic so will be kept to the side for the time being). Come the early 1990s however, cheap package holidays abroad were starting to take hold and the demand to visit Yarmouth as a holiday destination steadily dropped. As a result, these direct services were gradually reduced and by the time of privatisation in 1996, only the London trains and a couple of services from Liverpool Lime Street remained. By 2004, the Liverpool trains were withdrawn, resulting in Yarmouth only being served directly from London & Norwich.

As loco-hauled services progressively disappeared around the country, these London trains held strong and, as a result, started to attract quite a following from enthusiasts. With the electric hauled set from London being dragged from Norwich to Great Yarmouth by a Class 47, a run round procedure was required at Yarmouth to haul the set back to Norwich – something quite rare to witness by the end of the 2000s. This continued until 2014 and remained a popular day out for enthusiasts but, come early 2015, Class 47s were being withdrawn by DRS in favour of Class 37s. These locos were unable to haul the 8 or 9 coach sets from London due to having an insufficient ‘ETH index’ (the amount of electricity that can be supplied for on-train systems such as air conditioning and heating), so as a result, direct services from London were withdrawn and, after many decades, Yarmouth has been left with no direct services beyond Norwich. This might all sound rather gloomy but a new era was arriving on the ‘Wherry Lines’ and enthusiasts were in for a right treat.

So far, only direct services to Yarmouth from far off places have been mentioned but local services from Norwich to Yarmouth & Lowestoft have also offered plenty of interest in recent years. From the late 1950s, diesel multiple units (DMUs) replaced steam-hauled local services and this largely remained the case until the early 1990s. Since then, Norwich Crown Point depot has intermittently had shortages of DMUs so to combat this, they cobbled together a set of 3 of 4 coaches, plus a locomotive, to cover. Usually the locomotive in question would be a Class 47 but in the early years, it wasn’t unknown for a Class 31 or 37 to do the honours. This loco-hauled train soon became known as the ‘short set’ due to its short appearance in comparison to the London trains, though in later years, it has had a second locomotive added to facilitate top and tail operation, which removes the requirement to run round. This arrangement continued until April 2014, but with the Mk3 coaches undergoing refurbishment and experiencing lower availability as a result, Mk2 coaches were provided instead from DRS, who had already been supplying Class 47 locomotives for the set since 2009. As mentioned previously though, with increasing reliability issues, the Class 47s were falling out of favour and by June 2015, Class 37s had arrived to operate the short set. No longer on an ad-hoc basis depending on DMU availability but scheduled workings from Monday to Friday and extra Saturday services during the summer.
As of early 2016, this route is somewhat of a time warp with semaphore signalling and manual level crossings surviving for most of its length. With the addition of Class 37 hauled passenger services, it is a treasure trove for enthusiasts and oozes the character of yesteryear: one of the last places to truly experience the railway as it was. Whilst a date for re-signalling has yet to be set in stone, it is only a matter of time, so this add-on is Armstrong Powerhouse’s tribute to the line that time forgot. Enjoy it and, if you can, make sure to visit as soon as possible to see it for yourself.

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