Monday, 27 May 2013

Screenshot Of The Day - 27th May


Saturday, 25 May 2013

DPSimulation Store - Cab Ride DVD's

I have recently added a new category to the DPSimulation Amazon Store for Cab Ride DVD's. I have tried to sift through all of the available dvd's on Amazon, and added them all to this single category for ease of use. This is in addition to categories that were already present such as Train Simulation, Railway Books & Model Railways. It also appears that some purchases have already been made via the store, so thanks to whoever has done this.

If you are planning on making a future purchase from Amazon, please consider buying via the DPSimulation store, we receive a small amount of commission on purchases and this is then put towards our costs.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Fantastic Response So Far, Thankyou

I'd just like to post another public word of thanks for all of you that have donated since the widget was introduced. Last time I was quite overwhelmed by the response, this time I am truly staggered, the generosity and support by way of people contacting me with kind words has been humbling.

Progress towards the initial goal is still going strong and the site should be secure for the foreseeable future. More server/bandwidth also space will be purchased so that even more content can be added in the future, with additions coming from a diverse range of third party developers.

It is also hoped that in the future that the site can also undergo a complete redesign, to offer an all in one experience for not only Train Simulator 2013, but other simulators out there such as Euro Truck Simulator 2 with news, downloads and regular competitions. The future is very exciting.

If you are interested in making a donation, the widget is situated on the right hand side of this blog or it can alternatively be found on various pages of www.dpsimulation.org.uk

Once again, thankyou for your support.

Train Simulator 2013 - London Brighton Collection - 50% Off

This is a deal worth blogging.

Until the 29th May, you can purchase a London Brighton Collection which contains the 4CIG, 4CIG Southern, BR 4BIG and First Capital Connect Class 377 for only £20.68. You can view this pack by clicking here.


Train Simulator 2013 - Fantastic Freeware!

Have just noticed these mentioned elsewhere and they seemed to have slipped under the radar somewhat, a WD. Austerity 2-10-0 and WD. Austerity 2-8-0 have been released for Train Simulator 2013 and they look fantastic. What is more, they are completely free. They can be downloaded from UKTrainsim by clicking the links on the names above.



Train Simulator 2013 - Class 31

A new version of the Class 31 locomotive has been released this morning for Train Simulator 2013. The addon can be purchased via Steam by following this link and is priced at £11.99.

The following is taken from the Steam description page for the pack.
 
The classic Class 31 diesel locomotive was a versatile workhorse of the British railway network, and now this Brush Type 2 is available for Train Simulator in BR Railfreight Sector and preserved BR Green liveries.

British Railways’ ‘Pilot Scheme’ to replace steam traction saw 20 Type 2 diesel locomotives built by Brush Traction in 1957. These development locomotives were fitted with Mirrlees engines and had a top speed of 80mph, designed for mixed traffic workings on the Eastern Region. Midway through production, BR decided to extend the fleet, ordering a further 243 locomotives that entered service by the end of 1962.

The main production locomotives were adapted slightly from their predecessors and underwent a programme of re-engineering in 1964 to replace the unreliable Mirrlees engines with higher rated, more powerful English Electric engines. The Class also made its way into other regions of the railway network, becoming a popular sight on both the Western and London Midland regions.
With the demise of British Rail, Class 31s were gradually retired and scrapped, although many were bought by private operators including EWS, Fragonset Railways and Mainline Rail. Network Rail still maintains a small fleet of the Class for test and engineering trains.

The Class 31 for Train Simulator is available in BR Railfreight Sector livery (with and without mini snow ploughs) and BR Green livery, and features include upgraded TSX features, two-tone horn, cab lighting, BR Mk1 coaches and Sealion ballast hoppers.

The locomotive is also Quick Drive compatible, giving you the freedom to drive the Class 31 on any Quick Drive enabled route for Train Simulator, such as those available through Steam. Also included are scenarios specifically for the Settle to Carlisle route (available separately and required to play these scenarios).

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Screenshot Of The Day - 22nd May


Train Simulator 2013 - Platform End Collection No4

I have had many requests over recent months regarding the creation of further scenarios in my "Platform End Collection" but have been reluctant as they can be quite difficult to get right, especially with so many services occupying a small area at the same time.

I've now given in and released a fourth in the series, this time revisiting Haymarket station and placing the user on platform 4 in the early morning. With around 40 AI services in an 1hr 20Min period, expect to see many ECS services arriving and departing platform 0 as well as loco hauled services bound for the Fife Circle.

Naturally, to make the experience as realistic as possible, the scenario does utilise several payware addons, but I make no apology for this, you can always try to swap out anything you don't have.

The scenario can be downloaded from the following link and please take a moment to read the "notes" section of the included readme, depending on your system specifications you may need to follow the steps given.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Screenshot Of The Day - 21st May

60066 "John Logie Baird" at Polmont Junction with a diverted tanks working.......


Train Simulator 2013 - Class 60 Pack 02

I have now released a second Class 60 reskin pack, this time featuring three variations of livery carried by 60066. They can be downloaded by following this link.


Monday, 20 May 2013

Train Simulator 2013 - EWS Stickered Class 60 Pack

I originally released these in separate packages in 2009 and subsequently withdrew them. I have now decided to slightly revise both the .bin files and textures and have re-released them in a pack together. They can be downloaded by following this link.


Screenshot Of The Day - 20th May

60015 "Bow Fell" rounds the curve at Carmuirs East Jcn with empty tanks to Grangemouth.....




Sunday, 19 May 2013

Train Simulator 2013 - E&G Extension - Another Scenario

Following hot on the heels of the scenario released on behalf of Phil (pjt1974) last night comes the return trip between Stirling and Glasgow Queen Street. It can be downloaded by following this link.


Saturday, 18 May 2013

Train Simulator 2013 - CXV BR 11t Gunpowder Vans

The content conveyor belt just keeps on giving!  Courtesy of Malcolm (malkymackay) comes another fantastic wagon for Train Simulator 2013, this time a set of CXV BR 11t Gunpowder Vans. It can be downloaded by following this link.

Here is some background information, as given by Malcolm in the documentation...

The design of covered vans for the conveyance of Gunpowder & other explosives was proscribed by the RCH, so examples from at least the 1920's onwards are all pretty similar. BR added to the existing wagons, with what was essentially the GWR design, with the introduction of Diagram 1/260 in 1953. Swindon built 2 lots of 20 wagons that year, with Lancing producing a further 25 in 1954. These wagons were on a 16ft 6in chassis, with a 9ft wheelbase and were constructed with handbrakes only. 1955 saw Swindon produce 35 more, this time with Vacuum brakes, with another 20 the following year. Most of the unfitted examples gained Vacuum brake equipment at some point, in line with the ideals of the 1955 Modernisation plan to eliminate unfitted vehicles.
Diagram 1/261 was introduced in 1958, the only major difference being the adoption of a 10ft wheelbase. Swindon built 15 that year, with the final 25 the following year.

I have chosen to represent them in early 60's condition, with a somewhat used appearance.

These wagons are presented in seperate empty & loaded versions, as the braking force is quite different between the two states. An empty van has 62.5% of the 8ton tare weight available as braking force, while this drops to nearly 25% for a fully loaded 19t gross weight example.

Train Simulator 2013 - E&G Extension New Scenario

The first scenario has arrived for the newly released Edinburgh to Glasgow extension. Created by Phil (pjt1974) it covers the new area of scenery following the WTT. It can be downloaded by following this link.


Screenshot Of The Day - 18th May


Friday, 17 May 2013

Train Simulator 2013 - E&G Update V1 Released

I am pleased to announce that version 1 of my Edinburgh to Glasgow update has been released, featuring scenery between Larbert and Stirling. It can be downloaded by following this link.

Please note that the installation instructions are not as straightforward as much of the content I release, and attention must be paid to the included readme file.


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Train Simulator 2013 - NWRR Class 156 Pack Updated

After a user had quite rightly pointed out that this particular Class 156 livery should have full yellow frontage, I have updated the pack. If you had already downloaded, just uninstall, re-download and then install the newer version, remembering to clear either the cache or blueprints.pak.


Train Simulator 2013 - North West RR Class 156 Pack

Following a request some weeks back, I have released another DMU pack, this time containing three reskins of the Class 156 DMU that replicate three different variations of the North West Regional Railways livery.

The pack can be downloaded by following this link.

Screenshot Of The Day - 16th May

A North West Regional Railways liveried Class 156 DMU arrives at Carlisle...........


Train Simulator 2013 - LMS Class 3F Jinty

The LMS Class 3F "Jinty" from Meshtools has now been released for Train simulator 2013. The addon can be purchased via Steam by following this link and is priced at £11.99. It is also worth noting that because this add-on features scenarios based on Western Lines Of Scotland, the route now has 10% off for a limited period.

The following is taken from the Steam description page for the pack.

The diminutive Class 3F ‘Jinty’ 0-6-0 tank engine, designed by Henry Fowler and based on the Midland Railway Class 2441, is now available for Train Simulator in a number of LMS and BR liveries.
In total, more than 400 of these locomotives were built between 1924 and 1931, originally for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS) and were often called upon for freight duties, although some could be seen on local passenger services and as banking locomotives.
The LMS took on additional ‘Jintys’ from the Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway (S&DJR) in 1930, and some also saw service in France for the War Department. Two ‘Jintys’ were also converted for service on the Irish broad gauge network.
At the time of British railway nationalisation, a total of 417 locomotives entered service with British Railways in 1948 and survived for another 19 years, the class being fully retired by 1967. Due to their large numbers, late withdrawals and renowned performance, ten of these engines were preserved, with at least four still in operational condition today on Britain’s heritage railways.
The Class 3F ‘Jinty’ for Train Simulator, developed by Meshtools, is available in BR early, mid and late liveries, as well as a BR late polished livery, LMS early and late liveries, and National Coal Board orange livery. The model comes in two variants - a standard easy-to-use version that is fully HUD and Xbox controller compatible, and a highly realistic version that will give you a highly realistic steam driving experience. Also included are a 12t Open Wagon, 12t Wagon with Tarp, Box Van and Brake Van. All freight wagons are available with and without loads, and in both unfitted grey and bauxite fitted variants.
The locomotive is also Quick Drive compatible, giving you the freedom to drive the LMS Class 3F ‘Jinty’ on any Quick Drive enabled route for Train Simulator, such as those available through Steam. Also included are scenarios specifically for the Western Lines Of Scotland (available separately and required to play these scenarios).

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Train Simulator 2013 - RR/Scotrail Class 150 Pack

I have just released a pack containing two simple reskins of the Class 150 DMU from Thomson/Oovee which modify the Regional Railways branding to replicate two different variations of the livery that were operated by ScotRail in the 1990's.

These will be utilised in upcoming scenario packs from DPSimulation but I have decided to make them available now, there was no good reason not to.

The pack can be downloaded by following this link. However, at the time of posting, there is current  maintenance being undertaken by my host, so the link may be unavailable for short periods.




Screenshot Of The Day - 15th May

150228 begins to slow for Stirling whilst working a service to Dunblane.........


Monday, 13 May 2013

Saturday, 11 May 2013

You Couldn't Make It Up!

We, along with the rest of our estate are currently in the process of having our roof replaced. To do this obviously requires a contractor to erect scaffolding and if your Sky TV receiver happens to be in the way they have a dedicated workman who removes it and erects it temporarily on the scaffolding. Well, that is what is supposed to happen anyway.

In our case, they have took it on themselves to remove our receiver, dump the wiring on the floor (in the rain I might add!) and then not erect it in the temporary location. To compound matters, they have decided that maybe our neighbours dish was a bit too old (it's been there in the seven years we have lived here) and given them our six month old one, leaving the old one on the scaffolding. This can quite clearly be seen in the third picture below, they have one wire going into our newer multiple LNB, whereas ours requires two wires.




Train Simulator 2013 - Stirling Platforms

When I decided to take on the extension project, one caveat for phase one and two was that this would only be a simple scenery update for the areas that had track and signals already laid, under no circumstances were there any plans to build any bespoke scenery items, at least not for the initial release.

I then ran into a problem. Many of the assets included with E&G are bespoke in themselves, and when it came to Stirling station, none of the assets were suitable. Yes there are 5m and 7.5m platform lofts included, but the layout at Stirling sees the platform ends narrow to around 2m in places and this means the lofts are then unsuitable. One advantage was that the pack does include lofted platform edges, so I decided that the best course of action would be build a bespoke platform base to scale, create a small selection of fillers and ramps, and then couple these with the platform edges to complete the station.

Rather than just posting some finished screenshots, I thought it may be more useful to explain a bit more of the process involved, it may prove useful to someone in the future.

To start, I needed to work out how I would create a model to scale. There are probably various methods people have used to do this but my choice was to first take a Google Earth screenshot of the station area.






This was then resized to 1024x1024 and converted to an .ace file to be used as a texture in 3DS Max. I then had to measure the top to bottom scale of the picture and achieved this by using the ruler in Google Earth, from the top of my head that picture was around 337m in length. This meant that in 3DS Max, I could create a simple box, around 0.10m high and to the dimensions I had measured, then I could add the texture I had created to this box.

With a template to work from in 3DS Max, I could then create the platform base. This was done simply by creating long boxes, with several length segments and then bent at 25 degrees. The splines could then be manipulated to fit the base texture.






Once the platforms are done, textured and named correctly and more importantly saved for any future tweaks, the base texture can then be deleted and the platforms exported to Train Simulator 2013. The result is a very crude but effective platform model that can be placed in the correct location. Bear in mind that it is unlikely to be correct, and several trips back and forth between 3DS Max and TS2013 will be necessary in order to get the correct alignment.

The platform edges are then be added along with the fillers and ramps and you end up with a finished product that looks a little something like this.




Friday, 10 May 2013

DPSimulation - New Donation Widget

Regular visitors to either this blog or the website may notice a new addition to the web pages, a donation widget. This now replaces the older button and is for various reasons, one being to increase visibility/awareness that we do accept donations to help towards our ever increasing costs.

Although I am still quite happy to fund the website as much as I possibly can, the rapid increase in content and a near ten fold increase in website users over the past 12 months means that costs grow along with this and at the current rate of growth, I won't be able to sustain it alone and have set a calculated target. However, this target is only based on the minimum calculation for current growth, further growth, content and visitor throughput by way of increased downloads is likely to make this figure obsolete, it's an evolving situation that I never envisaged. You may also notice that we do operate advertising on both websites and have tried to design this to be unintrusive but advertising only pays a contribution when an advert is clicked. No clicks = no income.

Donating helps maintain a free service for users whilst also allowing for the expansion and inclusion of all new content from not only myself, but other third party creators, we actually have some exciting plans lined up in the coming months. Maintaining this service also means that downloads are kept free and at high speed with no subscriptions or sign ups required, nor is there any download speed penalty for accessing the service for free.

I do appreciate that many people either cannot donate, or have already spent their hard earned money on the vast amount of payware available, and I completely understand this, times are hard. All that I ask is that if you do make use of our service and appreciate/like the content or are simply interested in supporting the service, then give what you can. Unfortunately, the new widget will not allow a lower value than £5.00 per donation, I am looking into ways this can be changed.

Another issue when starting this donation widget is that it begins at £0 and because there have been a very small handful of donations to the site this year, I want to thank the people who made them, the fact the bar starts on zero does not mean those donations were ignored or un-appreciated!

Finally, thankyou both for reading this and your understanding on the matter. It really is difficult to explain that a free site is not entirely free, at least for the host anyway!


Thursday, 9 May 2013

Train Simulator 2013 - More Progress

Another new set of shots from the extension project.........




Screenshot Of The Day - 9th May

The newly released CGO 20t Unfitted Grain Hopper hauled by a Class 37.


Train Simulator 2013 - CGO 20t Unfitted Grain Hopper

Courtesy of Malcolm (malkymackay) comes another fantastic wagon for Train Simulator 2013, this time a CGO 20t Unfitted Grain Hopper. It can be downloaded by following this link.

Here is some background information, as given by Malcolm in the documentation...

The LMS produced steel bodied hoppers for the conveyance of grain, whereas GWR & LNER grains favoured wooden bodies. BR chose to continue with the LMS design , and produced 40 classified as Diag. 1/270 in 1949 at Derby. The design was updated with the body being of welded construction, rather than riveted, and this was alloted Diag. 1/271. Construction was shared between Derby & Pressed Steel, with 470 unfitted examples being built between 1951 & 1957. It is these wagons that are modelled. 100 examples built in 1959 were fitted with through vacuum pipes and another 100 followed them from Chas Roberts, to Diag. 1/275, in 1960 with vacuum brakes and a longer wheelbase. In later years, they were coded as CGO, CGP & CGV under TOPS for the Unfitted, Piped & Vac-braked versions respectively. They also gained roller bearing axle boxes over their original oil filled, plain bearing ones. They lasted until the late 70's/early 80's, being replaced by larger capacity, privately owned wagons, such as my previously modelled PAV.
I have chosen to represent them in late 50's/early 60's condition, painted in Grey with a black chassis, with a somewhat used appearance.

These wagons are not fitted with train brakes, only handbrakes, so don't expect them to slow down very quickly, especially the loaded ones.

Train Simulator 2013 - DB BR423

The DB BR423 multiple unit has now been released for Train simulator 2013. The addon can be purchased via Steam by following this link and is priced at £11.99.

The following is taken from the Steam description page for the pack.

The BR423 is a familiar site on Germany’s city commuter routes and this popular EMU (electric multiple unit) is ideal for running passenger services on your German routes in Train Simulator.

Built over a nine year period from 1998 and a top speed of 140km/h (87mph), the BR423 is an ideal high capacity multiple unit to operate frequent stopping services on S-Bahn routes across Germany’s main city and countryside regions. In total, 462 units four car units were built by Adtranz/Bombardier, ALSTOM and ABB. 

The BR423 for Train Simulator is available in Deutsche Bahn red livery and features internal passenger view, functioning SIFA driver vigilance system, PZB90 warning system and LZB in-cab signalling.

The locomotive is also Quick Drive compatible, giving you the freedom to drive the BR423 on any Quick Drive enabled route for Train Simulator, such as those available through Steam. Also included are scenarios specifically for the Munich to Augsburg route (available separately and required to play these scenarios).


Monday, 6 May 2013

DPSimulation Store

I have added a new page to the website which is effectively an Amazon store. It operates in exactly the same way as if you were buying something from Amazon.co.uk, but the clickthrough from our store means that should a purchase be made, we receive a small amount of commission which will contribute to server and bandwidth costs. The same goes for advertising on both the blog and website, where clickthrough also provides a small amount of income towards keeping the website free and always available.

I am still experimenting with the store but have tried to tailor it so that it displays only the things which are relevant to DPSimulation and our hobby such as boxed add-ons, reference books and model railway items.

If you are planning on making a purchase from Amazon, please take a few seconds and try and do it through our store, the process should be exactly the same. Thanks.

The store can be found by clicking here.


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Screenshot Of The Day - 04th May


Thankyou

Just a quick thankyou to users of UKTS for their kind words about both the latest scenario pack and E&G route extension. Also thanks to Sean for posting the threads on there to make people aware. It's a shame that I cannot respond to you on there personally, but it is very heartening to see people take an interest and even pick out real locations, it means I am doing something right.

As ever, if you have any questions or want to get in contact directly, there is a contact form on the DPSimulation website.



Train Simulator 2013 - What Next?

Following the release of scenario pack 03, I thought it would be a good time to let you know of what plans are afoot for upcoming projects.

First, you may have noticed the WIP shots of an upcoming route project and some have correctly guessed on forums what the project is. It is indeed a scenery extension on the Edinburgh to Glasgow route and phase 1 will take provide scenery between Larbert and Stirling where the infrastructure was already in place. This also means that from a distribution point of view, I am only providing the scenery and other relevant tiles which can be easily placed into your E&G install and therefore does not compromise any secure files in accordance with the RSC EULA. It is hoped that this extension, after testing, will be available within the next 1-2 weeks.







Also, the scenario packs will continue. Following the release of pack 03 yesterday, the combination of all three packs have now surpassed 8000 downloads and I have seen them mentioned and praised on various websites, some even in Russia and China! Many people out there who create scenarios will know that at times scenario creation can be very rewarding but equally frustrating and I am immensely proud to be able to produce these packs for the community. With 20 scenarios and over 20 hours of driving from these three packs so far, I am hoping that people are enjoying them and also hoping that by being free, the myth is being dispelled that you can only obtain quality content for TS2013 if you pay for it.

Originally, the plan for pack 04 was to base it entirely on sleeper operations, something I feel that has not been fully utilised as yet. Sleeper operations allow a wide variety of different routes and traction to be used, especially if you create in the 1980's period when there were several more sleeper services running. As it stands, the sleeper pack could be held back and released as pack 05, this entirely depends on the upcoming Class 90 from Waggonz which will obviously plays quite a large role in the sleeper operations. Depending on the timescale for release of this product and depending on when the route above is released, another interim scenario pack may be developed.

Also, as Edinburgh to Glasgow would feature prominently in any sleeper based pack and given that the E&G pack contains a centre headcode Class 37, you can expect to see reskins for this particular Class 37 appear on my website over the coming weeks. This is a step I feel I am having to take due to the original payware Class 37 pack being no longer available.