Note: This is just an archived page, and various links are disabled. Please click here to visit the current homepage.
Home News Projects Links E-mail
Rail Sim Routes UK - News

18th November 2002 [Updated 21:55]

Information Robert Glass' Scotrailsim updated with fresh new look, superb route previews, and useful information for BVE users and developers
Robert Glass has just relaunched his superb Scottish Rail Sim Files website, with two new sections added which will be of great interest to BVE users and developers alike. Firstly there's the new Scotrailsim Gallery, where you'll find some mouthwatering screenshots showing off Phase 1 of the Sandymill to Invermay Electricfication project which Robert and myself have been working on, showing off Robert's superb range of enhanced train and scenery objects and textures, amongst other new route developments; as well as the overhead line equipment and updated BR signalling I've installed along the route.

Scotrailsim now includes an extensive set of pages explaining and discussing a variety of aspects about BVE and the tools required to develop add-ons for the sim, in the new About section. If you want to learn more about the various tools BVE developers use, such as Mackoy's Track Viewer or Structure Viewer, then this guide is a must read - and if you're a BVE user wishing to explore different ways of enjoying BVE, the guide will be invaluable.

Head over to Robert's Scotrailsim site to see all the new developments, via this new URL:

Scottish Rail Sim Files
Scottish Rail Sim Files

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information Steve Green releases Desert Route version 3
Steve Green, together with Robert Raymond (Bluevoss on the CroTrainz forums), have released their amazing Desert Route v3 over at Steve's Train Sim Central. This huge update sees the route upgraded with smooth curves, new signalling, extremely realistic passing train objects, and a variety of route files including new night runs. Also included is the superb Southern Pacific GS-4 steam loco. The route also includes a fantastic signal randomiser program by Bluevoss, which allows varied signalling patterns to be enjoyed.

Head over to Train Sim Central for the new routes, utility and trains:

14th November 2002

Information New screenshots of X-City North and Watford Junction v2
There are some new screenshots showing off my two work in progress routes, available exclusively at Alan Lee's superb website. The screenshots of Watford Junction to Milton Keynes version 2 demonstrate the enhanced catenary installed in the route, as well as the new Dawn and Winter routes - all captured using Mackoy's Track Viewer utility. Likewise, the Cross-City North screenshots show off some of the early details which are being built into the route, such as detailed catenary, stations and buildings.

To see these new screenshots, please visit Alan's site, or to find out more about my routes, see my projects page.

The scene at Berkhamsted station, on WJ-MKC version 2
WJ-MKC version 2

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information New mainline signals and signs guide launched
Staying at the Jubilee Line website, both myself and Steve Green have suplied some images of UK signs and signals for Alan Lee's superb new guide to signalling and trackside signs seen on the UK rail network, and this will be invaluable to those using UK routes routes (such as the Cross-City and Watford Junction to Milton Keynes Central), as many of these real-life signs and signals are used in UK BVE routes. If you've seen a sign or signal in a UK based route and don't know what it means, Alan's Mainline Signals and Signs Guide will be of great use!

Alan Lee's Mainline Signals and Signs GuideAlan Lee's Mainline Signals and Signs GuideAlan Lee's Mainline Signals and Signs GuideAlan Lee's Mainline Signals and Signs Guide

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information Updated class 318 by David White
David White has updated his class 318 25kV AC EMU, with some fantastic new sounds, and an amazing cab rendered entirely in 3D! Visit David's BVE in Glasgow website to download the latest masterpiece from his growing collection of superb BVE trains.

6th November 2002

Information Major updates for the class 310 EMU by Steve Green and myself
An all new version of the class 310 by Steve Green [] and myself, has just been released. The unit includes a new full-height and realistic cab, improved sounds, and improved handling characteristics. Steve has also joined Robert Glass [] and myself at the BVE UK Train Collection website, making his excellent trains available via the collection, so please head over to the BVE UK Train Collection website to download this new unit for BVE. Both Steve and myself hope you enjoy the class 310, and the convenience of having a single source for all our trains!

Class 310 at the BVE UK Train Collection
Download the new class 310 at the BVE UK Train Collection

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information New class 311 by David White
David White, who has built some amazingly realistic scottish EMU's for BVE, has released his latest masterpiece - the Cravens class 311 25kV AC EMU. This unit features a superb photo-realistic cab, and the sounds are simply outstanding! Head on over to David's BVE in Glasgow website to download this superb BVE unit.

23rd October 2002

Information Major updates to the BVE UK Train Collection website
The BVE UK Train Collection website jointly founded by myself and Robert Glass [Scottish Rail Sim Files] has undergone a huge redesign, and can now be accessed via a new domain name - Both Robert and myself hope visitors will like the new layout, expanded information about each BVE train, and the ability to browse the site without having to remember long URL's, and without being pestered by pop-up adverts which may have appeared recently, depending on what URL you were using to access the site previously. Enjoy!

BVE UK Train Collection

Also coming soon to the BVE UK Train Collection, is the Freightliner Class 66/5 diesel-electric locomotive, being developed by Shaun Myers. This loco will feature superb sounds, excellent performance characteristics designed exclusively for the latest version of BVE, and a realistic cab created by myself. Keep an eye on the new BVE UK Train Collection site for more details!

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information New customised trains by Wulf

There are also three new enhanced trains available to download from the BVE UK Train Collection, in the form of 87025 "County of Cheshire", 37906 "Slug 6", and 55019 "Royal Highland Fusileer". These are customised versions of the existing "generic" locos which myself and Paul Robins originally built, which have had their sounds and performance tweaked in an effort to replicate the individual characteristics of the real life locos. These enhancements have been worked on by Wulf, [], and add a touch of variety and realism to the BVE driving experience. Head on over to the new Locomotives section of the BVE UK Train Collection, and using the new menu system click the relevant Loco Class buttons, and then the specific loco sub-menu button to download these new locos. (Note: You can also download the locos from Wulf's Saxon Loco Works site).

Once you've installed the new locos, don't forget to navigate to your 'BVE\Trains\' folder and read the various text files within the new train folders, which outline things to look out for when driving the locos, and for details about the improvements they include.

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information New BVE in Glasgow site from David White

David White, developer of stunningly realistic and atmospheric Scottish EMUs for BVE, has launched his new website - BVE in Glasgow. The new site is much expanded, and here you can find all of David's 25kV AC EMU's including the 314, 318, and shortly the amazing class 311. You can also find a collection of superb sound samples. Visit the new site here: BVE in Glasgow

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information New Czech BVE site with amazing work on display

This news item may not cover the UK railways, but I have to mention this new site from my good friend Gyzma, who is developing some wonderfully detailed, accurate and photo-realistic objects and work for BVE. My own routes are well known for the attention to detail especially where my catenary is concerned, and Gyzma's work which includes catenary shows some superb attention to detail and technical accuracy, which combined with the superb buildings and train objects will make his BVE add-ons amongst the best! You can see Gyzma's BVE site here:

20th September 2002

Information New route screenshots from Mackoy's Track Viewer
Following on from the release of Mackoy's Track Viewer utility, I've uploaded some new screenshots of the Birmingham Cross-City North, Cross-City South and Watford Junction to Milton Keynes version 2. These screenshots are displayed in the form of galleries within each Route Section of the site, but you can see them directly using these links:

Watford Junction to Milton Keynes v2 Track Viewer Gallery Includes some new shots
Cross-City North Track Viewer Gallery Early preview! (Work in progress, scenery on display is not finished yet!)
Cross-City South Track Viewer Gallery Includes new scenes

Watford Junction to Milton Keynes central version 2 Birmingham Cross-City North Birmingham Cross-City South

More updates on Watford to Milton Keynes v2 and Cross-City North will follow soon...

15th September 2002

Information Recent lack of site updates, and poor e-mail response times
Firstly, apologies for the lack of updates to this site, and also for any lack of replies to e-mails over the past month or two. This has been due to myself having a break from BVE development and also where possible, a break from the upkeep of the site. If you have any unanswered e-mails which are important, please get in touch again so I can respond!

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information Watford Junction to Milton Keynes Central - Version 2
WJ-MKC Version 2 Preview Video
No part of this file, video or audio, may be reproduced or extracted without permission.

WJ-MKC Version 2 Screenshots
Watford Junction to Milton Keynes Central Version 2 Announcing Watford Junction to Milton Keynes Central, version 2 - a complete re-write of the original, coded in CSV format with BVE signalling, enhanced scenery, highly accurate catenary and other new features.

In it's day, Watford to Milton Keynes was a good route, however it now looks dated compared to more recent routes, not least my own Birmingham X-City. Therefore the route is being upgraded with a variety of new features, and enhancements to existing features. An interesting experiment is being conducted, relating to how complex BVE routes perform under Windows XP compared to Windows 9x, and the results so far have led to a new detail level being introduced!

You can download a 5.8MB preview video showing off some of these new features. Please note, the video demonstrates the new "High Detail XP" routes - the normal "High Detail" routes for Windows 9x (i.e. the same "high detail" route files BVE users are familiar with in my existing routes) will not look quite as detailed.

Credits: Simon Gathercole - Winter tree textures, and enhancements to my own Summer tree textures
Steve Green [] - Class 304 objects

Note: If you don't wish to download the video, a small collection of screenshots is available. These do not all show the same locations as the video.

Pending further verification of performance under Windows XP, the route is being updated with the following feature list:
  • Introducing a new detail level - "High Detail XP". Under the Windows XP operating system, experiments with 1GHz Athlon and GeForce cards indicate the old problem of BVE stuttering or pausing when complex objects are loaded is considerably reduced, allowing the "High Detail XP" routes to feature more detailed objects. With this detail level for example, the bitmaps currently used to represent lengths of overhead wiring have been replaced with true 3D models without any stuttering or framerate loss occuring within BVE. So far, overhead wire objects with up to 600 vertices have worked without incident! The final route will include wire objects with fewer vertices however. For the XP user, this means the "High Detail XP" routes will offer higher quality catenary, more trees, and more richly detailed scenery.
  • All new track objects and textures, with realistic 3D rails and British outline sleepers. Also includes higher resolution ballast textures.
  • Adjusted curve radii to aid realism at higher speeds. The cant has also been adjusted on many curves to increase realism.
  • Smooth curves throughout, including pointwork with point motors as in the Cross-City South.
  • More rich scenery, with many more trees** and refined textures. All new Winter tree bitmaps are provided, courtesy of the very talented Simon Gathercole. These new textures enhance the Winter routes considerably! Simon has also improved the appearance of the Summer tree textures.
  • New Winter textures, with much better looking snow lying on the track.
  • New MkI catenary system, as good as if not better than the catenary included with the Cross-City South**. Includes 3D effect registration arms, true zig-zagging of wires throughout the route, "point to point" wiring, truly accurate overlaps, and booster transformer gantries.
  • Catenary and overhead wires upgraded to WCML PUG1 standards
  • Previously missing and incorrect bridges have been added or corrected.
  • Full conversion to CSV format, complete with proper BVE signalling, making use of .Pretrain commands.
  • "TPWS Ready".
  • Updated passing trains sounds, with some new samples added.
  • New Dawn and Night variations.
** Only the "High Detail XP" routes, designed for BVE running under Windows XP, feature the maximum number of trees, and the highest level of catenary detail. The "normal" Windows 9x High Detail routes will feature less detail to ensure acceptable performance. Exactly which details will be included, and what level of complexity they will retain, hasn't been decided yet - this will depend entirely on how well the routes perform under Windows 9x with various details enabled or disabled.
Rail Sim Routes UK
Information Amazing new Track Viewer utility from Mackoy!
Mackoy has just released a truly fantastic utility for BVE, which will transform the way you look at your favourite routes! The all new "Track Viewer" program, which allows you to view a BVE route using a freely moveable camera, will let you to see routes from any angle you wish - simply stunning, and it shows some great potential for the future of BVE! Also, Mackoy has released an update to his Structure Viewer program, which allows much finer control over the viewing of BVE objects than the previous version.

You can find these two gems on Mackoy's Official BVE Website. For help with using the new Track Viewer, please read the this thread on the TrainsimUK/Crotrainz forum.

Screenshot of WJ-MKC v2 using Mackoy's Track Viewer
Screenshot of WJ-MKC v2 using Mackoy's Track Viewer

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information New Rail by Rail Guides for BVE routes, including WJ-MKC and the Birmingham X-City South
Matt Starkie, well known for his superb "HST Scream" sound samples in use with Steve Green's HST, has been busy producing some excellent route guides for BVE. Each guide is in HTML format, and includes the mileages of signals, landmarks, tunnels, junctions and so-on. Designed to Railtrack standards, these guides will enhance your BVE route driving experience by allowing far more realistic route learning to take place, thereby and giving you a greater knowledge of the routes you're driving. Visit Matt's new Rail by Rail site, to download route guides for several popular BVE routes. The collection will also expand even further!

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information New BVE Help pages launched
Quite a number of e-mails are received here at Rail Sim Routes UK from newcomers to BVE, who are unsure about what BVE actually is, or who have trouble finding and downloading the program; therefore I've launched my own "BVE Information and Help" pages, to guide newcomers to this site through the downloading and installation of the essential BVE files required in order to use my own routes, as well as instructions on using different trains with routes. You can read through the new guide here.

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information Fancy yourself as a respected BVE developer? How to do it properly!
There has been much debate and argument recently within the Western BVE community, concerning copyright, use and/or modification of files without permission, and the problems surrounding these issues. Some of these problems may well be attributable to a lack of knowledge about how the Western BVE community works, or through just not realising that free downloads are subject to copyright just like any other intellectual property. When a route or train developers' work is taken and used without permission, it shows a lack of respect for that author's work, and the author's themselves - and this leads to resentment which in totally unnecessary and avoidable. It also leads to new up and coming BVE developers potentially landing themselves in hot water because they don't realise that it's both wrong and unfair to use another person's work without asking or consulting original authors first.

Therefore, I have launched a new set of guidelines for new or would be BVE developers, which if followed, will ensure that no existing developers will be offended through misuse of their work by accident, and will help new developers to enter the BVE community on the right note. These guidelines have received the backing of a couple of prominent members of the Western BVE developer community, and you can read the new guidelines here.

BVE Developer Guidelines - Click for more details
For responsible BVE Development

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information Birmingham Cross-City North Progress
Despite the break from BVE development, and subsequent upgrade of WJ-MKC, significant progress on the Cross-City North has been made since it was announced. Currently, almost all track is laid and finalised. All electrification work has been completed, although certain aspects need to be re-coded to make more Freeobj commands available. Around 50% of the scenery is now complete, with trees, textures and landscaping added in. All bridges encountered along the line have been finished and added to the route, and work on station buildings has been started. Such details as mileposts are now included, many of the route's sound effects have been implemented, and accurate gradients will be implemented next.

Rail Sim Routes UK
Information And finally... Over 100,000 unique visitors to the site!
Last month, the counter clocked up it's 100,000th unique visitor! Thank you to everyone who has visited the site since it was launched in 2001 as a site purely dedicated to the Watford Junction to Milton Keynes Central BVE route, with the subsequent transformation into Rail Sim Routes UK with the addition of BVE trains, the BVETSS homepage, and not least the Birmingham Cross-City series of routes. Your support is appreciated!

10th July 2002

Updates for Classes 220 "Voyager" and 221 "Super Voyager"

John Owen [] has recorded some excellent new and realistic engine and door sounds for Ben Martill's Class 220 "Voyager" and Bryan Dudley's class 221 "Super Voyager", both available from the BVE UK Train Collection. With John's invaluable assistance, I have also updated the Train.dat files to offer a more realistic playback of the two DEMU's engine sounds. The two updated trains now sound more realistic, and you can download these two gems from the BVE UK Train Collection site.

Important Notice! Edited at 18:50 - If you downloaded the Voyager or Super Voyager prior to 18:50 this evening, could you please download the two files again, as I mistakenly included the wrong sound samples in both downloads. My sincerest apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused.

I have also updated the Links page, you can find a couple of excellent new sites there, including the new Fast E-Rail and Merseyrail Project sites.

5th July 2002

Edinburgh to Dundee

Don Clarke has upgraded his fantastic Edinburgh to Dundee route and 2x37 locos to make use of the BVE Track Sound Standard [BVETSS]. New track sounds are added for the under and overbridges along the route, and now any BVETSS compatible train can be used with Don's Edinburgh to Dundee route, and you'll still here these new, more relaistic sound effects. Head over to Don's site [] to download the latest update to this BVE masterpiece.

Now In Development: Cross-City North - Birmingham New Street to Lichfield Trent Valley High Level

Birmingham Cross-City North
Note: Route shown in early stages of development - appearance will be improved as progress is made
As visitors may have noticed from the homepage, the site has now been updated with details about my next forthcoming route for BVE - the Birmingham Cross-City North from New Street station to Lichfield Trent Valley High Level. A follow-up to the successful Cross-City South, the highlights of this BVE route will undoubtably be the complex trackwork around New Street station, Proof House Junction, and from there to Aston where the Cross-City North diverges from the Birmingham - Walsall line, and passes beneath the infamous "Spaghetti Junction".

Complex scenery and lineside features are being included, like the Lawley Street Freightliner terminal, "Spaghetti Junction", and the multi-level Lichfield Trent Valley station, where the Cross-City line passes directly above the Low Level platforms on the busy 4 track Trent Valley section of West Coast Main Line. All new and highly detailed and accurate MkI catenary will be included, increasing the level of complexity achieved in the Cross-City South and far surpassing what was achieved with Watford Junction to Milton Keynes... Visit the new Cross-City North section of the site for more details, which will be added to as and when progress is made.

BVE Markers and Signs

Finally, Alex Farlie has recently updated the markers and signs covering the Centro network, you can download the latest updates from the BVE Marker and Sign Collection.

14th June 2002

New Class 357 "Electrostar" EMU

Those who follow the BVE section of the Crotrainz Forum regularly, will know that a class 357 "Electrostar" EMU has been in development by ROBsLab for some time. After much hard work, the class 357 is now completed, and can be downloaded from the new Unofficial c2c Website -

The unit features excellent motor sounds, with several custom sound recordings to make the unit more realistic and a pleasure to drive. Several WJ-MKC and X-City route files are also available on Rail Sim Routes UK, for the 357 to run on. They can be found here. The 357 is also BVETSS compliant, so the unit can be run on any BVETSS compatible route while having the correct track sounds retained.

Preceeding news dating back to August 2001 has been archived - please see the News Archive for previous news items.
Anthony Bowden, 2002. BVE Developer Guidelines - Click for more details
[ Home | News | Projects | Links | Contact ]
[ Back to Top ]