Sim Routes UK - News
November 2002 [Updated 21:55]
||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
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: www.scotrailsim.co.uk
||Steve Green releases Desert Route
||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:
||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 www.jubileeline.org.uk
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
www.jubileeline.org.uk site, or to find out
more about my routes, see my projects page.
||New mainline signals and signs guide
||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
||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.
||Major updates for the class 310 EMU
by Steve Green and myself
||An all new version of the class 310 by Steve Green [www.trainsimcentral.co.uk]
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 [www.scotrailsim.co.uk]
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!
||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.
||Major updates to the BVE UK Train
||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 - www.bvetrains.co.uk.
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!
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!
||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, [http://www.zodiac-infosystems.co.uk/rail/bve],
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
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.
||New BVE in Glasgow site from David
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
||New Czech BVE site with amazing work
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:
||New route screenshots from Mackoy's
||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
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
More updates on Watford to Milton Keynes v2 and Cross-City North will
||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!
||Watford Junction to Milton Keynes
Central - Version 2
No part of this file, video or
audio, may be reproduced or extracted without permission.
||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.
Gathercole - Winter tree textures, and enhancements to my own Summer tree textures
Steve Green [www.trainsimcentral.co.uk]
- 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.
** 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.
- 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
- 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
- Catenary and overhead wires upgraded to WCML PUG1 standards
- Previously missing and incorrect bridges have been added or
- 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.
||Amazing new Track Viewer utility from
||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
thread on the TrainsimUK/Crotrainz forum.
Screenshot of WJ-MKC v2 using Mackoy's Track
||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!
||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.
||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.
For responsible BVE Development
||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.
||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!
Updates for Classes 220 "Voyager" and 221 "Super Voyager"
John Owen [http://brsounds.cjb.net]
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.
||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.
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 [http://gotopcs.net] to download the latest update to
this BVE masterpiece.
Now In Development: Cross-City North - Birmingham New Street to
Lichfield Trent Valley High Level
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
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.
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.