Railway: Microsoft Train Simulator
I intend to create the former Great Central
Railway from Nottingham Victoria to Leicester Central. This will be done
in stages with the line slowly expanding as and when I can create it.
Creating routes is very tricky as the
editors are fairly complex. It is going to be a fair while before this
MSTS route is released, if at all as I'm short of time!
There are a number of pieces of information
required with which to create these routes. I've defined these as:
Maps of the route showing- the general area
of the route; track diagrams, detailed maps showing much more precise details.
The standard Ordnance Survey map will give you a general view of the area;
railway books will give track plans and detailed maps can either be obtained
from the local authority or by compromising detail by simply visiting the
area and taking as many pictures as you can!
I have Ordnance Survey maps of the whole line
route (although obviously bits are missing from the line) - 100% complete
I have track plans of almost the whole line
courtesy of 'The
Great Central: Then & Now' by Mac Hawkins - 100% complete
I am yet to obtain detailed maps or get lots
of photos. - 20% complete
Gradient profile- stating what the gradient
of the line is at any point along it. This is vital for accurate routes.
I have a full gradient profile from The
GCR: Then & Now as shown here (click to expand):
- 100% complete
Stations & buildings. Now this is a little
more time consuming. To create accurate looking buildings you will need
to obtain photographs of all of them from all four sides. The photos can
then be texture mapped onto 3D objects to create the finished buildings.
As you can see this is no easy task! Especially as many buildings are now
gone and stations long closed.
Photo acquisition: I have created a table
showing the state of all major structures on the section I'm making. Luckily
many buildings do survive and those that don't can often be replicated
from ones that do (GCR stations are all very similar- well country ones
at least). This table summarizes this and shows a few sample photos.
|Station or other important area name
||Current state and pictures available
to me for 3d modelling
(pictures are thumbnails- click to get
full view; photos taken from books in Bibliography
|Nottingham Victoria Station
||A shopping centre with virtually no trace
- only clock tower remains. Many photos exist of many parts of the station.
See rest of this site for photos of Victoria
|Weekday Cross Junction
||Mostly recently demolished with only tunnel
and small sections of viaduct left. A good number of photos exist of the
tunnel and junction. A decent picture of the signal box is required though.
A few sample images:
This shows the viaduct near Weekday Cross:
|Bridge over Midland line
||Demolished in the early 1980's. A number
of pictures are available. An early photo:
|Arkwright Street Station
||Not a single trace remaining- area redeveloped.
I have two photos:
|Queen's Walk yard
||No trace- area redeveloped. I have a full
track layout and a small collection of photos:
A picture of the engine shed:
|Bridge over River Trent
||Demolished in 1980's- embankment remains
on southern side. A number of good photos exist. Here's one of them:
||Overgrown wasteland- platform exists under
weeds (minus buildings). Bridge remains intact. Area threatened with housing
although there are plans to reopen the station eventually. I have two photos:
|'50 steps' bridge
||Exists and in use. I have a photo (somewhere!)-
more can be taken easily.
|Gotham Sidings & Branch
||Single, in use, track runs through open
space- branch formation remains. Branch and sidings (along with signal
box) are being rebuilt. No photos as yet.
|Rushcliffe Halt Station
||Intact but minus footbridge and station
signs. To be re-opened very soon. A couple of good pictures are here:
|East Leake Station
||Platform intact (but under weeds and young
trees). Buildings demolished. Many good pictures of whole station from
various angles. Here's a sample of the many pictures I have (still would
love a colour picture!):
||Overgrown a bit each end but otherwise
fine. I have a good picture:
||Few coping stones missing but otherwise
fine. I have a good picture:
|Bridge over Midland line at Loughborough
||Demolished with embankment missing on
southern side. To be replaced eventually. A picture of the bridge:
|Loughborough Central Station
||Part of preserved GCR and in very good
condition. Easy to photograph- a sample:
|Quorn & Woodhouse Station
||Preserved and in good condition. Recently
took good close ups of buildings. See this
page for Quorn pictures (note the pictures are not thumbnailed so may
take a few minutes to load).
|Swithland Sidings & Mountsorrel Branch
||Now a four track main line with new signal
box to be opened. Branch line- some formation remains. Need to get some
||Preserved and in good condition. Took
some photos recently. See them
Photos not thumbnailed so take a time to load!
|Belgrave & Birstall Station
||Platform & buildings demolished. New
station built on site called Leicester North. Original station photos-
only a few in my possession, here's a few:
|Abbey Lane sidings & Leicester viaducts
||Sidings no longer exist; many viaducts
removed. A pictures of some of the viaducts:
|Leicester Central Station
||Demolished and now used as a car park
& industrial area. Small sections of platform remain. Platform building
photos tricky to find but have a few photos:
A view of the road level building which
still survives today:
In addition to all these various signal
boxes, lineside buildings and goods buildings need to be added. Also you
need to put farms, villages and cities in... - about 50% complete
As you see a fair bit to do! Only Loughborough,
Quorn & Woodhouse and Rothley remain intact complete with original
buildings- these can be easily photographed. The other country stations
are quite similar so could be simply copied - although it would be good
to have at least one good picture of the other stations just to vary them
a bit. Ruddington station is where the photos are a bit lacking- only really
the one decent picture but the station was very similar to Quorn so could
be modelled as a copy. East Leake is similar but has it's station above
road level rather than below it- a number of good photos exist anyway.
Rushcliffe Halt didn't really have any buildings so will be easy plus a
number of pictures exist. Arkwright Street station is of two platform design
and I have a few photos. The big problems lie with Nottingham Victoria
(since it is very large and complex) and Leicester Central (large and not
many building photos). Not to mention the various loco sheds and goods
buildings on the outskirts of Nottingham & Leicester now long gone.
This is where I need help! I'm looking for good quality (and preferably
colour- although that's not vital) photos of Nottingham Victoria, Leicester
Central, Ruddington and any other significant buildings along this section.
I do have quite a few pictures in books (namely 'The Great Central: Then
and Now' by Mac Hawkins; 'The Great Central Rail Tour' by John M.C. Healy;
'The Last Years of the Great Central Main Line' by Robert Robotham; 'Railways
in and around Nottingham' by V. Forster & W. Taylor) so I won't need
any of these again. Ideally they need to be clear shots of the sides of
the building (i.e. not obscured or at too odder angle) - it doesn't need
to be just a single building - it could be the whole side of the station.
Also I'm looking for ANY pictures of Nottingham Victoria station since
that's what this site is dedicated to! If you have any photos (be they
fit my criteria or not) then please do email them to me! Or if you don't
have them on your computer contact me
and we can sort something out! All pictures received will go up on this
website (whether used on the game or not) and will be fully credited.
3D modelling - Have begun modelling some buildings
in Truespace 4- starting to get the hang of things now!.
A picture of one of my modelled buildings-
a waiting room of a typical GC country station.- 5% completed
Signalling. It is vital to put the signals
in the right places and have the right type of signals. To do this- try
finding a signal diagram of the line. Failing this you can always look
at track maps for signal locations and photos for types. One this is done
either use the suitable signals from the Train Simulator signal library
(whatever that consists of) or you'll need to make up some 3D models again.
My progress: I have no signal diagram as yet
so I'm relying on old maps and photos. No signals have been 3D modelled.
- 20% complete
Build the route. Will involved terrforming
land (has to be done manually), laying track, importing gradient profiles,
putting in scenery and stations, setting up signalling and setting up traffic
My progress: well I've used the editors a
bit...- 1% complete
Locos & rolling stock- not essential for
route creation but it would look good to have the right type of trains
on your line!
My progress: Not going to build any rolling
stock myself (not initially anyway) so on the look out for good modeller
to knock up some GC, LNER and BR locos! - 0% complete
Signalling- that is a big problem as I'm
unsure where to get a signalling diagram- any ideas??
This is quite a project and any ideas,
suggestions or help is much appreciated!
Progress so far on the simulator route
(updated as I work!):
Route building put on hold due to other
Made a short route with MSTS (completely
fictional) - take a look at the screenshots
Getting used to MSTS editors- going to
be a long time before routes are released... (4/7/01)
Rothley station pictures taken and many
updates to simulator pages (9/3/2001)
This page restructured with photos and
more information (7/2/2001)
Photos of Quorn Station taken (15/12/2000)
This website is produced and goes online