One of the finest LUL routes to date has just been released - Paul Jobber's stunning Circle Line route running from Aldgate to Edgware Road. There's as much variety and detail as you could possibly wish for, and some of the track layouts and stations are superbly detailed! Whatever your level of interest in LUL routes, this one is a must download. The route and C69 LUL stock can be downloaded from Steve Green's Train Sim Central, which now has a new URL - www.trainsimcentral.co.uk.
It's been a good week for developments with BVE locomotives and trains. Bryan Dudley has released a superb looking full panel update for the Class 37, the details and download can be found on Bryan's Railtech site. Perfect for running on Don Clarke's Edinburgh to Dundee route.
Also, a superb new class 170 "Turbostar" has been released, complete with some superb engine sounds and outstanding horn samples! The unit can be downloaded from Steve's Train Sim Central.
I can also announce more details about my plans to update the loco panels within the BVE Locomotive Collection. I've already started animating all the panels which are not yet animated; namely the Class 20, 40, 52, and 87. I'm also updating the panels to include new 480x440 cab view "overlay" graphics which can be used with the latest release of BVE, version 2.03.0008. These will be made available as soon as possible, but as they have to be animated as well, it will take me a little longer, sorry! The existing panels will still be available for those who are having problems with the new version of BVE, or for those who notice a reduction in performance due to the overlay graphics.
As the panels won't be ready for a few days yet, here's a taster of what can be looked forward to with examples of the class 87 and 40. The remaining diesel locos will be brought up to the same standard as the locos already upgraded by Robert Glass, i.e. with fully animated cab controls and cab overlays, and the 87 will include animated power handle, train and loco brake handle, master switch, traction motor ammeters and tap changer notch indicators:
All Coming Soon!
The new release of BVE (version 2.03.0008) now available from Mackoy's site, includes a fantastic new improvement, namely the overlaying of the panel bitmap over the 3D view through the use of transparency, creating a far more convincing in-cab environment. BVE developers are already taking advantage of the new feature and updating their trains accordingly. Robert Glass has updated his Class 47, 56 and 158 trains with the new cab-views, and they can be downloaded from the Trains section of Scottish Rail Sim Files. Steve Green has also been updating some of his BVE trains, and excellent new cab-views for the Class 465, 4-CIG, HST and 1995 LUL stock are available from his Train Sim Central site. I also hope to announce plans for the upgrading of the loco panels for those trains included in the BVE Locomotive Collection shortly, watch this space!
Please note that these panel updates are available as add-ons to the original trains - the new panels will only work with the latest BVE version 2.03.0008!
I'm also pleased to announce that Don Clarke has updated his excellent Edinburgh to Dundee route, which now includes improved signalling amongst other enhancements - either a pair of 37's or a Class 158 can be used, and this is a thoroughly enjoyable route to drive and well worth the download! You can find the route and Class 37s on Don's SRPS C&W Dept site, and you can also find the Class 158 on Robert Glass' ScotRailSim site.
Time for a quick update on my progress with the Cross-City South route. The route's release is getting nearer, as several variants of the original Daytime Summer route are nearing completion - namely the new Dusk, Midnight ECS and Dawn versions of the route. The Dusk version features my own implementation of the excellent "Graduated Lighting Effects" technique developed by Bryan Dudley, which you can see in Bryan's Watford Jn to Milton Keynes Central Dusk-Night Route, or the stunning Sandymill Late Train.
The Midnight ECS run features darkness and headlight effects using BVE2's fog commands, and also includes such highlights as floodlit engineering works and non-stop running all the way to New St. The Dawn version features realistic backdrops with effective lighting; all the routes feature some new BVE 3D train objects which haven't appeared in any other routes to date. Take a look at the new Dusk, Midnight ECS and Dawn screenshots page to see some of these features!
I have been informed of a minor bug in the Medium Detail Class 310 Summer route file, which means the derailment error the WJ-MKC Patch was meant to fix still remains in this Medium Detail route file. My apologies to users of the Medium Detail routes, and if you've already downloaded the patch or the new v1.1 main downloads, a route file update can be downloaded here. I have also updated the WJ-MKC Patch, and the High Detail Main Download with the corrected route file. For those who haven't downloaded version 1.1 of Watford Jn to Milton Keynes yet, see the news item below for the details.
Paul Jobber has finished his excellent update to Sacha Dodd's great Victoria Line LUL route, and there are now 16 route files to choose from, set in both 1975 and 2002, with both ATO and manual control options! See the Crotrainz news item dated 24/02/2002 for the details and the downloads.
I have also uploaded some more markers sent in by Alex Farlie, including Waterloo and City, as well as some NSE Great Northern markers. These can be downloaded from the BVE Markers and Signs page. Alex has also asked for anyone who might know of any landmarks or interesting lineside features on the routes covered by the Marker and Sign Collection, to get in touch and send in any information they may have. If you know of any, please send me an e-mail with the details. Thanks!
It gives me great pleasure to announce another addition to the fleet of BR locos available for BVE - the Class 56 diesel-electric locomotive originally by Phillip Mackay, and now updated by Robert Glass (with a little help from myself). As with the Class 47, the 56 now features a fully animated panel, realistic sounds, whistle sounds by Alan Perryman (http://lumbutts.tripod.com), and an excellent horn sample courtesy of Andy Slater (www.brdw.co.uk). The Class 56 can be downloaded from either the BVE Locomotive Page on this site, or the 'Trains' section of Robert Glass' Scottish Rail Sim Files. We hope you enjoy the loco!
I have been working on a patch to resolve some outstanding issues with Watford Junction to Milton Keynes which have cropped up periodically since it's release. Download the patch here, or re-download the WJ-MKC files from the Download Page, as these have been updated with the new files. The following improvements and issues are addressed by the updates:
An improved Transparent Texture Pack For GeForce and ATi graphics card users is also available. Several transparencies in the old "GeForce Replacement Texture Pack" did not work correctly (some catenary gantries were missing, and masts weren't properly 'connected' to some gantries). Some buildings also appeared with transparent patches in the walls. The updated Replacement Texture Pack resolves these issues. The intense green colour of the overhead line equipment has also been toned down. Note that for the correct display of some 3D objects, you need to upgrade to v1.1 of WJ-MKC first (re-download the files on the Download Page) or download the Patch. Once done, the new Replacement Texture Pack can be downloaded here.
I can also announce that more markers and signs for BVE have been sent in by Alex Farlie, and the latest additions cover the Centro network, and the Tyne and Wear Metro markers have been updated. Download the new files from the BVE Markers and Signs page.
In other news, Phil Brooke has returned to the BVE scene, and re-launched his excellent BVE Hull website at a new URL - http://bvehull.bravepages.com. Watch out for the development of the Hull to Sheffield route over the coming weeks! Of course, the fictional Brookfield Interchange route is now available once again from Phil's site.
I'd also like to take this opportunity to remind anyone starting up or running any BVE websites, that I do not appreciate anyone placing direct links to my files on their webpages. However, I don't mind in the least if my homepage is linked to. Also please remember to ask my permission before using any of the material available for download on this site in your own routes or on your own websites.
A quick update on the progress of the X-City; the Winter version of the route is well on it's way to completion, and some new screenshots designed to make waiting for the route's release all the more difficult, can be found on the X-City Winter Screenshots page. ;o) Look out for the weather effects!
Work is also underway, on the Standard and Low Detail versions of the route; initial indications are that parts of these routes perform nearly as well as the equivalent Watford Jn - Milton Keynes detail levels, however because the stations (and associated details) are far more frequent, performance will be more variable throughout the routes on slower machines. New St station will really test slower computers, and understandably framerates won't be spectacular - the BVE drawing distance may well need to be reduced. On a fast PC, there's no problem of course!
In other news - Alan Lee has changed the URL to his Jubilee Line website, which is now www.jubileeline.org.uk. Don't forget to update your bookmarks or add the site to your favourites list, as Alan's site is worth checking regularly.
The NSE markers and signs covering the North London lines have also been updated thanks to Alex Farlie, and can be found on the BVE Markers and Signs page.
Check back for more updates soon!
A few people have been lucky enough to try a "Pre-Beta" preview of the Birmingham Cross-City South, and one of these lucky people is Alan Lee. He's been very kind indeed, and written an entire review of the route, and you can read all the details at Alan's excellent Jubilee Line website. Thanks a million, Alan!
The BVE Marker and Sign collection continues to expand, Alex Farlie's latest additions can be found on the BVE Markers and Signs page. Now included, are signs covering NSE West Anglia; London, Tilbury and Southend; Great Eastern; North London Lines; Thames and the North Downs line.
Alex Farlie has supplied some more markers and signs to the collection on this site - the Tyne and Wear Metro is now covered, and accompanies the NSE markers already available. These new markers can be downloaded from the BVE Markers and Signs page.
Now for the long awaited update on the development of the Cross-City South route. I'm pleased to say that the High Detail route is very nearly finished, and Birmingham New Street station has finally been completed. It's a real feast for the eyes, however a fast PC will be needed to see all the detail at an acceptable framerate with a longer Drawing Distance set - this is one of the most extensive, demanding and complex 3D scenes to appear in any UK BVE route to date! The High Detail route also introduces three new features to overhead electrified lines in BVE. The catenary detail in the Cross-City goes much further than that acheived with Watford Junction to Milton Keynes - very realistic overlaps are now modelled with one tension length terminating and another starting; wiring over pointwork is now authentic, with additional wiring runs and section insulators in the correct places, and best of all - even on curves the wires run in a straight line from mast to mast, regardless of the distance between the supports; in other words the wires don't curve along with the track like they do in WJ-MKC for example. A very good PC will be necessary to see this detail however.
The quality of the "Replacement Textures" designed for use with GeForce graphics cards has also been enhanced, with some finer details now included. The overall effect when using these is also much neater now. Expect a Texture Patch to improve the appearance of WJ-MKC's catenary when used with GeForce cards, to appear in the not too distant future.
All these new features, and some new screenshots of New Street station, can be seen in the newly updated X-City Screenshots section. A revised feature list for the High and Medium Detail routes is also available from the X-City Route Information page - the details regarding the Standard and Low Detail versions will be posted once the routes have been constructed and tested. Remaining work primarily involves the creation of the lower detail route variations, now the High Detail "master" route is completed. This task won't be easy, and it may take a little while to get the performance vs. detail balance just right. I'll do what I can with New Street...
Then there are the bonus routes to finish, of course.... ;o)
Good news for fans of both the London Underground and the West Coast Main Line - the author of the original Bakerloo Line, Paul Jobber, has just finished his fantastic Bakerloo Line Extension from Queen's Park, which now runs alongside the four track WCML all the way to Harrow and Wealdstone, between London Euston and Watford Junction. The existing section from Elephant and Castle to Queen's Park has also been revised, and on the new section to Harrow look out for the busy traffic on the WCML, and the superbly detailed stations, lineside structures and scenery. There's even a bonus route included! Head over to Steve Green's Train Sim Central to download Paul's masterpiece.
Alex Farlie has also sent in some more NSE markers and signs which can be found on the BVE Markers and Signs page. The collection now includes Thameslink and Great Northern sector markers, as well as markers for proposed stations from the NSE era. Anyone who would like to create their own markers, and add to the collection can also download a new marker and sign "Starter Pack", which includes template bitmaps, and outlines a generic format which can be used for additional signs, in terms of font sizes, filename conventions and so-on. See the top of the BVE Markers and Signs page for details.
The Class 47 loco is now available (again) from the BVE Locomotive Collection - apologies for it's removal for a second time, this was due to a misunderstanding over ownership of the engine sound files contained within the loco. This has now been resolved, thankfully!
Now for some more good news - Alex Farlie has been busy producing some more excellent markers and signs for use within BVE routes, and the latest addition is a set of NSE markers and signs covering Euston-Northampton, the Chiltern sector and the Isle of White Line. These can be downloaded from the new Miscellaneous BVE Files section of this site.
I should now be able to continue work with the Cross-City South, please check back soon for progress updates.
I apologise for sudden removal of the BVE Locomotive Collection over the past couple of days - I was surprised to learn that the diesel locos contain sound and image files from a copyrighted source, without permission being sought prior to release. The copyright holder of these files (Andy Slater - www.brdw.co.uk) and myself, have resolved the situation, and he has very kindly agreed to allow their continued use with the BVE Locomotives available from this site, in line with his terms and conditions of usage. The BVE Loco page is now available again.
While I was not made aware of the original source of these files, I should have thought to verify their origin - therefore I would like to apologise to Andy Slater for this very unfortunate situation, and I would like to remind anyone considering using publicly available material for use in BVE add-ons, to simply seek permission before using them.
I'm pleased to announce that the long awaiting Class 47 loco is now available, and can be downloaded from the BVE Locomotive Collection page on this site, or from the 'Trains' section of Robert Glass' Scottish Rail Sim Files. The loco is a joint effort between Simon Townsend, Robert Glass and myself, with additional sounds by Alan Perryman. The loco features authentic sounds, as well as a fully animated panel - complete with moving power and brake handles, a drivers key, and even a semi-functional ammeter! The loco also includes track sounds which are compatible with both Sandymill to Invermay and Watford Jcn to Milton Keynes.
We hope you enjoy the loco! :o)
On another note, this site should now be accessed via a new URL, so please click on the following link to open the site in a new browser window, and update your bookmarks. The new URL is www.railsimroutes.co.uk. The e-mail address has also changed to ________________________.
News from 2001 has been archived - please see the News Archive for previous news items.