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Welcome to the Blog, where I'll be posting progress updates, work-in-progress screenshots, information about the progress I'm making with active projects, as well as anything else I feel is worth mentioning. Hopefully more frequent updates here will make the wait for upcoming releases more bearable! News from 2008, all the way back to 2001, can be found in the News Archive. YouTube ChannelMy openBVE videos and other comments from users and myself can also be found via my YouTube channel.

Blog and Progress Updates

openBVE v1.2.10 released, Cross-City South v1.31.11 update, and UkTrainSys v0.3.1.9 now available, with enhanced AWS and TPWS simulation, diesel multiple unit support, and various improvements

Posted by admin on December 25, 2010 at 11:15 pm

openBVE v1.2.10 released

openBVE LogoopenBVE has now reached v1.2.10, which marks the first stable release to feature cross-platform .NET support. This is great news for non-Windows users, who can benefit from the extended functionality, system simulation, and the AI support feature which new .NET plugins can provide. Please head over to the official openBVE homepage to download the latest stable release, as well as to read about the latest developments. Also, don’t forget to read the changelog, for a summary of various other changes which have taken place since v1.2.8.2.

openBVE users who also use my Cross-City South v1.31 route, should also note that the route is now updated for the new version of openBVE, and it also requires the latest version of the new UkTrainSys plugin for full simulation the class 323’s safety systems to be available, because I’ve now altered the route’s .Beacon commands to take full advantage of the enhanced realism of the new UkTrainSys AWS and TPWS implementation. More details can be found below…

UkTrainSys v0.3.1.9 now available, with enhanced TPWS and AWS simulation, diesel multiple unit support, and a few other enhancements

Railsimroutes LogoI’ve just released the next version of the UkTrainSys cross-platform plugin, which is now up to version This latest release includes initial support for diesel multiple units. Other new features include the Vigilance Device reduced cycle time, far more realistic AWS and TPWS simulation, and several other improvements. Here follows some more information about the various features:

Diesel engine support:

UkTrainSys now has diesel engine support, which means that the plugin can be used with trains which rely on Simon Gathercole’s UKSpt.dll, such as Sprinters or the class 170 (although diesel locomotives are supported too, apart from ammeters and wheelslip protection – I’ll add these later). I’ve decided to recreate much of Simon’s complex diesel engine model, rather than the simple model. This means that UkTrainSys includes the requirement to hold the engine starter button down until the engines are running, as well as simulating the starter motor, and a percentage likelihood that the engine will stall on starting. I’ve also adapted the AI Support feature, so that the AI driver can start the diesel engine, even if it stalls, as well as restart the engine if it is shut down at any point.

Vigilance device with reduced cycle time:

It’s now possible to set an option within the UkTrainSys.cfg file, which enables the Vigilance Device reduced cycle time of 45 seconds, when the power notch is 6 or 7.

Miscellaneous changes:

Firstly, I’ve now implemented a solution for the infamous anomalous multiple-arm phenomenon, which a few people have commented on, when openBVE’s AI driver is enabled for the first time in a driving session. You shouldn’t see any weird, freaky stuff going on in the cab any more, provided that you don’t look over your shoulder, at least. πŸ˜‰

Secondly, when traction power is not meant to be available, openBVE’s internal reverser position is now set to neutral, whereas previously, only the power handle was set to zero. This means that regenerative braking is disabled when passing through a neutral section, for example.

Thirdly, I’ve also expanded the range of optional Data values which can be recognised via .Beacon 50 commands. UkTrainSys can now be informed of an upcoming terminal station, and this instructs the UkTrainSys AI Support implementation to leave the reverser alone after stopping, so that UkTrainSys and openBVE aren’t continually squabbling over their respective desires where the reverser handle position is concerned. .Beacon 50 can now also be used to instruct the AI Support to lower the pantograph or stop the diesel engine upon the next station stop, after the doors have opened. .Beacon 50 can also be used to inform UkTrainSys of an upcoming neutral section, now. As UkTrainSys will implement a tap changer in future, and a tap changer can take over 30 seconds to run down to notch 0, this beacon can be placed quite some distance ahead of a neutral section. When this neutral section beacon instruction is encountered, UkTrainSys begins monitoring the train’s speed, along with the distance to the neutral section, and decides when exactly to return the power handle to notch 0. UkTrainSys also checks to see if the tap changer is enabled or not, and if it is, the time taken to run down the tap changer is taken into account.

Lastly, the AI guard and related beacons, have been expanded to accommodate multiple stopping points at a station, and UkTrainSys selects which beacon to act upon, depending upon how many cars the player’s train has.

Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS):

For this release, I’ve also significantly increased the realism of the Train Protection and Warning System (TPWS) implementation. With Simon’s previous generation of plugins written for BVE 4, the TPWS simulation seemed to be realistic to the end user, but it didn’t always work in a way which truly reflects how the real TPWS works. Thanks to openBVE, as well as openBVE’s API and documentation, I’ve been able to create a TPWS simulation which works just like the real thing, while also being backwards compatible with routes which were written with Simon’s BVE 4 plugins in mind.

For example, the implementation of the Overspeed Sensor System in Simon’s plugin, was a simplification of how the real OSS works. Simon’s plugin recognises the optional Data parameter of a single .Beacon 44002 or .Beacon 44003 command, as a maximum permissible speed. If the train’s speed exceeds the set speed which is encoded in the .Beacon command’s Data parameter, then the TPWS issues an OSS brake demand. This simplified system works well enough, however it doesn’t take acceleration or deceleration curves into account, for example, and it’s not how the real system works. My OSS implementation, works exactly like the real system.

UkTrainSys recognises a track mounted OSS as comprised of a pair of induction loops (beacons) – the arming loop, and the trigger loop. Where Simon’s plugin expects to read a set speed from only the trigger beacon, UkTrainSys can read a unique frequency from each beacon’s optional Data parameter instead. The permissible OSS set speed, is now determined by the distance between the induction loops, just like in reality. Furthermore, UkTrainSys implements a pair of on-board OSS timers, and the OSS timeout period can be set in the UkTrainSys.cfg file, to suit a passenger or freight train – there is no need to edit a route file to accommodate both types of train. Each timer acts independently of the other, being armed by different arming frequencies, and this allows for realistic nesting and interleaving of induction loops, as well as realistic system behaviour when travelling backwards over induction loops.

The Trainstop Sensor System (TSS) implementation has also been made more realistic. With Simon’s plugins, a single beacon acts as the TSS installation, but with the real system, a pair of induction loops form the TSS – as with the OSS, there is an arming and trigger loop. UkTrainSys recognises TSS arming and trigger induction loops based upon frequencies specified via the optional Data parameter of the .Beacon commands. When the plugin encounters a TSS arming beacon, one of two TSS detection states is activated, and only if a TSS trigger beacon with a suitable frequency is encountered while the arming beacon is still within “detection range”, will the TSS be functional. If a TSS trigger beacon is encountered without an arming beacon having activated the system, then the trigger beacon is ignored, as with the real system. Again, this means that induction loops can be nested and interleaved, and prototypical reverse direction behaviour can be simulated.

Automatic Warning System (AWS):

I’ve not only improved the realism of the TPWS simulation, but I’ve also implemented a more realistic implementation of the Automatic Warning System (AWS), as well. With Simon’s previous generation of BVE4 plugins, and the routes designed for use with them, a single beacon command is used to represent an AWS magnet. The new UkTrainSys AWS simulation also supports this legacy behaviour, but UkTrainSys can also now respond to an AWS permanent magnet, together with an AWS electromagnet. Both are defined via separate .Beacon commands, with a distinction between the magnetic polarity of the magnets defined via the optional Data parameter. This allows for a fully realistic AWS simulation, using only one beacon type, whether associated with a signal or a speed restriction.

When UkTrainSys encounters an AWS permanent magnet, the AWS is primed, the AWS sunflower instrument goes black, and a timeout period is started. If an energised AWS electromagnet is detected within this timeout period, then an AWS clear is issued (i.e. the bell/bing sound, and the sunflower instrument stays black). If no electromagnet is detected within the timeout period, then an AWS warning is issued when the timeout period expires, just like with the real AWS. This also allows for a slightly more realistic simulation of the AWS when travelling at very low speed over an AWS magnet associated with a signal showing a green aspect. At very low speeds, the AWS can be primed by the detection of the permanent magnet, but the timeout period can expire before the electromagnet is detected, which leads to an AWS warning being issued, even though the signal is green (Simon’s plugins also simulate this). However, with UkTrainSys, if you don’t cancel the AWS warning, it will actually clear itself when the electromagnet is detected, with the overall effect being an AWS warning horn followed by the bell/bing sound (assuming the electromagnet is detected before a brake demand is issued).

UkTrainSys also supports AWS suppression magnets, which are used on bi-directionally signalled lines. By inserting a suppression beacon before or after a permanent magnet beacon, an AWS inductor can be made to work in either a forward only direction, or backwards only direction. Should openBVE support networked tracks and bi-directionally signalled lines in future, this can far more easily allow for a fully realistic simulation of AWS under those circumstances.

A summary of the advantages of the new UkTrainSys TPWS and AWS implementation:

  • Acceleration and deceleration curves are taken into account when traversing a TPWS OSS;
  • TPWS induction loops can be nested or interleaved;
  • Passenger and freight trains can have their own OSS timeout periods set, with no need to edit a route file to accommodate either train type;
  • A single beacon type can be used to represent all kinds of track-mounted AWS installations;
  • By defining the AWS permanent and electromagnets separately, a fully realistic AWS simulation can be achieved;
  • AWS suppression is supported;
  • The above features allow for fully realistic behaviour while travelling forwards or backwards over AWS inductors and TPWS loops;
  • It’s more fun when the simulated systems work in the same way as the real systems, with the same advantages and disadvantages of the real systems;
  • Lastly, it’s more future proof. Should openBVE support networked tracks or bi-directional signalling in future, I think the best way to ensure compatibility or ease of code maintenance, is to make the simulated systems work with the same principles, trigger events, inputs, outputs, and variables, as the real-world systems.


  • Placing the TPWS related beacons is a little more difficult, but it’s really no big deal if the documentation is read, and you have a calculator, as well as the ability to type in a few numbers (which any openBVE developer has to be able to do anyway). πŸ˜‰
  • UkTrainSys can interpret the new frequency-based beacons in new routes, and it can interpret old speed-based beacons in existing routes (UkTrainSys is fully backwards compatible with legacy beacon commands in these routes), but Simon’s BVE 4 plugins won’t recognise the induction loop frequencies (or magnetic polarities) when encountered in new routes designed for openBVE and UkTrainSys.
  • Two beacons now make up an AWS magnet associated with a signal, but it’s only slightly more trouble than using one beacon.

UkTrainSys configuration files for openBVE trains

I’ve also released a set of configuration files which can be used with a variety of DMUs and EMUs available from trainsimcentral. If you are a Linux or Mac user, and want to enjoy some UK diesel traction in openBVE, then you can simply extract the latest UkTrainSys.dll into any of the supported TSC train folders, and then extract the appropriate configuration files into each folder. If you are a Windows user, then you might like to experiment with the new fully realistic AWS and TPWS implementation within the UkTrainSys plugin (on existing routes to test the backwards compatible legacy behaviour, and on either Cross-City South v1.31.11 or the AWS/TPWS test route available below, to test the new simulation). I would certainly appreciate any feedback. Please bear in mind that the guard’s buzzer sounds might play more times than they should – UkTrainSys expects the buzzer sound file to contain only one buzz sound, whereas these trains may contain two buzzes in the relevant sound file.

For more information and the latest downloads, plus complete documentation and example code snippets, please visit the UkTrainSys project page: - UK Train System Cross-platform .NET Plugin banner

UK Train System (UkTrainSys)
Cross-platform .NET Plugin

[v0.3.1.9 now available]

AWS and TPWS test route for use with UkTrainSys (or any supported train class), and Cross-City South v1.31.11 update

Railsimroutes LogoAs with the enhanced neutral section and Automatic Power Control feature included in the last UkTrainSys release, for this latest version, I’ve prepared a test route so that the new AWS and TPWS implementation can be tested. I’ve also updated Cross-City South to v1.31.11, and the openBVE route files now utilise the realistic AWS and TPWS simulation features of the UkTrainSys plugin.

The AWS and TPWS test route is around 7 km in length, and demonstrates a variety of AWS and TPWS installations. Each signal is held at red until a preset time, and you can either drive safely or commit SPADs to test that AWS and TPWS are working correctly. There is also a signal and a permanent speed restriction located near to each other, which requires the co-location of a TPWS OSS associated with the signal, plus another OSS associated with the permanent speed restriction. The OSS induction loops at this location are interleaved, and you can test how this works when the signal is red or otherwise. You can also practice driving at normal and extremely slow speeds over AWS magnets, to see how the dual magnet detection works, especially when a signal aspect is green. There is also a single track section, which is equipped with AWS suppression magnets, and you can drive forwards and backwards along the route to test this feature, as well.

Screenshot Screenshot

The AWS and TPWS test route. On the left, is an AWS inductor, comprised of a permanent magnet, suppression magnet, electromagnet, and protection ramps for bi-directional running. On the right, is a pair of co-located TPWS OSS installations, with interleaved induction loops. Each OSS arming loop starts one of two independent OSS timers within the UkTrainSys plugin.

Download: AWS and TPWS test route [86 KiB – also includes updated neutral section test route]
Once extracted, the route file can be found here: Railway\Route\rsr_uktrainsys_test\

Note: Requires Cross-City South v1.31.11 (update | full version), along with UkTrainSys v0.3.1.9 installed with a suitable train.The unrefurbished class 323 EMU together with the combined 3D cab and UkTrainSys v0.3.1.9 update is recommended.

Also remember that you need openBVE v1.2.10 in order to use this latest UkTrainSys .NET plugin, and also remember that this is an alpha release of the plugin, so it may have some issues, but they’ll be addressed as development progresses.

Updated AWS inductor screenshots – Cross-City South v2.0 and Watford Junction to Rugby

While coding the latest UkTrainSys updates, I updated the AWS magnet objects which I’m using in my work-in-progress routes. As UkTrainSys now recognises both AWS permanent magnets and electromagnets separately, I thought I’d separate out these parts of the existing AWS magnet into their own respective object files, so they can be easily assigned to beacon or freeobj structure indices, as appropriate. Here are some examples…

In the first screenshot, is an AWS permanent magnet associated with a fixed distant signal, which has a protection ramp on both sides, as this is a stretch of bi-directional line. In the second, the same applies, except an AWS electromagnet beacon is also in place. In the remaining screenshots, are permanent magnets associated with permanent speed restriction advance warning boards, which have only one ramp, as these tracks are uni-directional. These objects will be included in the UK Railway Infrastructure Object Library, however you can actually download and use them now, as they are included with the AWS and TPWS test route (see above).

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

Also, here are some examples of full AWS permanent and electromagnet installations on the Watford Junction to Rugby route:

Screenshot Screenshot Screenshot

West Coast Main Line Video

Railsimroutes LogoLastly, anyone with an interest in the real West Coast Main Line, might like to take a look at a video which I uploaded to YouTube recently, which features the Old Linslade and Leighton Buzzard areas – two locations I’m modelling in my representation of the Watford Junction to Rugby section of the WCML. Those of you who noticed or commented on the Train Operated Warning System I demonstrated in my last openBVE video (the rotating orange lights with audible warnings), can now watch the real system in action.

This footage was filmed in October 2004 to assist me with developing this part of the route (only in standard definition unfortunately), but you’ll see a couple of class 87s which were still in service at the time. Also featured, are ubiquitous Pendolinos, class 321 EMUs, as well as classes 58, 60 and 66 diesels, and class 90 and 92 25kV AC electric locos. Don’t forget to change to 480p resolution for the best image quality.

YouTube video screenshot

And finally…

Lastly, I’d just like to wish visitors a happy and peaceful Christmas, and say thanks for all the interest shown in my work so far. πŸ™‚

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28 Responses to “openBVE v1.2.10 released, Cross-City South v1.31.11 update, and UkTrainSys v0.3.1.9 now available, with enhanced AWS and TPWS simulation, diesel multiple unit support, and various improvements”

  1. Melle says:


    I was glad to hear that there was diesel support. The last version of your plugin worked like a charm on my mac.
    I downloaded everything (as in your instructions: openbve, new plugin release, new route update), and I started up the test route, with the class 323. Nothing from the plugin worked. Only the AI function with the hands came on my screen. I decided to restart OpenBve but with no result. I tried to use the plugin in my other trains, and now when I am loading, it stops at the ‘route’-part on 29%. Then OpenBve shuts down and there is a message that Mono has stopped unexpectedly.
    I’m having this message every time…
    Could this new OpenBve release maybe have to do with it?
    And maybe you could help me with my problem. πŸ™‚

    I like your work, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



    • Anthony_B says:

      Hi Melle,

      I’ve just tested openBVE v1.2.10 in Ubuntu 10.10, using the latest version of UkTrainSys (bundled with the 323’s 3D cab), and everything is working fine with Cross-City South (latest version), as well as Network West Midlands.

      I’ve also just tested UkTrainSys v0.3.1.9 with the openBVE class 170 from Trainsimcentral on the NWM route too, using the configuration files available from the UkTrainSys project page, and everything is working well.

      Could I ask you to check that you’ve installed the latest version of openBVE correctly once again, please?

      I’m going to be away from the PC for a few hours, but let me know if you still have problems (you can tell me the details of any error messages too, if possible), and I’ll see what I can do. It’s entirely possible that I’ve made a mistake somewhere, as I’ve had to rush the release a bit due to lack of time this week.

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you, as well. πŸ™‚


  2. Melle says:


    Thank you for the quick answer.
    I’ve reinstalled OpenBve and it does work again. But I keep having problems with the plugin.
    So, when I start, i move the reverser to F, and then back to Neutral. There is no AWS sound, which I have to cancel. Though, when I press the insert button, I hear the ‘pling’ that I should hear. And from there, I just can drive, but nor AWS nor TPWS or any other system works. I don’t need to raise the pantograph, neither can I set up the lights.

    Now, don’t rush yourself to get this right. I have patience! πŸ™‚



  3. Melle says:


    Could you ignore my post above?
    It works now, I must have done something wrong…

    Sorry for disturbing you! πŸ™‚



  4. Melle says:


    I’ve forgotten to mention, that OpenBve keeps crashing after I opened and played it (succesfully) a few times.

    (I’m not quite sure how well you understand Dutch)
    The translation from the message box below:
    “OpenBve has stopped unexpectedly”
    “Click on ‘open again’ to re-open OpenBve again”
    “Show details (its a huge list..) – OK – Open again”

    I do think there is a problem with the new OpenBve stable version. What do you think?

    Kind regards,


  5. Joe says:

    I’m finding that when I download the latest stable release of both OpenBVE and the Birmingham Cross-City South route with the class 323 unrefurbished, I can see that the ‘L’ light (for line voltage) is not lit and I can’t go anywhere. What am I doing wrong? On previous versions, the ‘L’ light is lit at the start.

  6. Stu says:

    Christmas greetings to you Anthony. Latest updates work OK for me although I prefer to drive ” hands on”. Like the Christmas touch at Fiveways.
    Regards Stu

  7. Alan says:

    Hi Anthony,

    I use OpenBVE on a Linux box, and since Christmas I have installed the net plugin on all of my trains, and can report that all work fine, after I spent considerable time making the sunflower in the Class 66 work. I first tried editing the panel bitmaps, but then I realise that by changing the settings in panel.cfg I can achieve the correct operation. (Sunflower black change to “True” and Sunflower to one layer above the black.)

    The only two that still have me beaten are the cl142 and cl185, because their panels work the opposite way, which means a return to bitmap editing πŸ™‚

    Many thanks for developing the plug-in Anthony, and for your routes.

    regards, Alan.

  8. Alex says:

    Hey Anythony, hope you had a good start to the New Year. Are you still working with openbve? I kind of miss reading your blogs. lol

    • Anthony_B says:

      Hi Alex,

      I’ve certainly had an interesting start to the New Year, thanks – I hope you’ve had a good start as well. πŸ™‚

      Yes, I’m still working with openBVE, but I’m a bit tied up with some other things at the moment. I’ll get back to the plugin and hopefully some work on the routes shortly!

  9. Alex says:

    Hello, Anthony I tried to follow your directions very carefully to install openbve on Ubuntu 10.10 (64 bit if it makes a difference), but for some reason I get the following error from terminal:
    ** (OpenBve.exe:1777): WARNING **: The following assembly referenced from /home/username/openBVE/OpenBve.exe could not be loaded:
    Assembly: System.Windows.Forms (assemblyref_index=1)
    Public Key: b77a5c561934e089
    The assembly was not found in the Global Assembly Cache, a path listed in the MONO_PATH environment variable, or in the location of the executing assembly (/home/username/openBVE/).

    ** (OpenBve.exe:1777): WARNING **: Could not load file or assembly ‘System.Windows.Forms, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089’ or one of its dependencies.

    ** (OpenBve.exe:1777): WARNING **: Missing method EnableVisualStyles in assembly /home//openBVE/OpenBve.exe, type System.Windows.Forms.Application

    Unhandled Exception: System.IO.FileNotFoundException: Could not load file or assembly ‘System.Windows.Forms, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089’ or one of its dependencies.
    File name: ‘System.Windows.Forms, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089’

    Note: I replaced my actual username with username for securtiy purposes or at least thats what I was told. lol Anyways, I think the error might be related to tao or something, but I am not sure. Can you lend me a hand here, please?

  10. Alex says:

    Please ignore the previous reply, I was working with a new browser, and for some reason it didn’t display the terminal commands of mono and so forth needed to run the simulator. Again, sorry about the previous post and this one explaining it (I feel like a spammer lol). By the way, nice to hear your still working with openBVE, I will be checking back once in a while to read any new blogs you might have uploaded. Cya πŸ™‚

  11. Hey Anthony! What’s up w/ you? Why are there absolutely no news since last year? We miss you!

    • Anthony_B says:

      Well it’s nice to be missed. πŸ™‚

      I’m sorry for the lack of updates this year. Essentially, I’m busy with real life at the moment, including hoping to take a new direction career wise, so there’s not a lot of spare time available to work on my Railsimroutes projects at the moment!

      • Oh, I see. Well… will you have an Easter Holiday now that could make you time to work on WCML once again?

      • Wongie2009 says:

        It’s been more than 6 months since your last blog post, we feel that you’ve left us for so long.
        I just want a reply as soon as possible and to let us know that you haven’t forgotten our community!
        Whatever the circumstances you may have in life, we just want to say we miss you so much!
        It’s frustrating to hear any news at all. If development has taken a toll on you, please let us know.

  12. deejay says:


    I’ve been enjoying the excellent Cross-City South route. Just a minor point regarding speed limits: entering Barnt Green, the simulator enforces a 15 mph speed restriction. However, the trackside post indicates that the restriction only applies to the track diverging right, implying a 35 mph speed on the left track, which the train takes. Which one is right: the arrow on the post, or the speed limit in the route data? (Disregarding the minus points for overspeed for the time being.)

    Best regards from Finland,
    Juhana Siren

  13. Still no news at all? English BVE community seems dying out rapidly! Trainsimcentral and NWM is already dead, will the next be yours? :S πŸ™

  14. Anthony, just one question: are you still alive? Because no news on your own website, cannot find you on Facebook, no new posts in openBVE official forum or anywhere else, no new YouTube activity… Please, if you are alive, just reply this: “Yes, I’m here, I got your message”!

  15. carl says:

    hi anthony when are you going to sort out the cross city route has i am still waiting to download it. it says it would be finished early 2011 but it hasn’t. when will it be sorted?

  16. Again me πŸ˜› And once again, I find no updates on the site since more than one and a half year… :/

  17. Dan says:

    Any news on cross city v2? looks great hope it’ll be released soon πŸ™‚

  18. Amit says:

    how to get updates on open bve
    i want more tracks and trains
    when did all the mods will get over
    i am waiting since more than 6 months pls rply soon

  19. Dyson Sphere says:

    hi new to opev BVE finding youre pages very helpfull rying to build myown route) . would you happen to know where BR Seamophores plug in can be found or at least the objects even. hmmm makingmaps isnt as easy as it looks Im reverse engineering youre map for methods hope you dont mind.

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