.................................Simulated Railway

Ever wanted to drive along long gone rail routes or even still working routes? Ever wanted to drive a realistic steam loco in realistic scenery? Well now you can! A number of rail sims have been released- both commercial & freeware.

I aimed to produce Great Central Railway routes for these sims and eventually will create a virtual Victoria station but lack of time has meant some of these projects have gone on hold.

So far I have made a GCR route for BVE. I am thinking of making a route for either MS Train Sim or Auran Trainz but it will be long time yet before any releases!



BVE

BVE is a Japanese freeware simulator featuring high quality sound effects, realistic motion and good graphics. The game features many locos that can be downloaded. You can make you're own routes too (if you spend enough time at it!). I have produced a GCR BVE route already and this is available to download now. It runs between Belgrave & Birstall and Quorn & Woodhouse.
For details on my Great Central BVE route (and how to get and setup BVE) see here
A screenshot from my BVE route showing Rothley station.



Black 5

This will simulate a Standard Class 5 loco and will feature realistic control of a steam loco as well as crisp graphics and a route editor. You'll need to keep the boiler pressure right and careful when opening up the regulator- you don't want to slip do you...
A demo version is now out  which does not feature a route editor but it is possible to edit routes and put new objects and rolling stock in the game. Development of this sim seems to have stopped but is still worth looking at!

For more on this freeware sim see: Black 5 Official Site
A view of the Black 5 simulator showing the accurate looking smoke.



Microsoft Train Simulator

This commercial game features stunning graphics and over 600 miles of fully accurately mapped track along with 9 locos. A number of good routes have been made for the sim but the route editor is not easy to use so there aren't as many routes produced as was hoped. I'd like to make a route running from Nottingham Victoria to Leicester Central but lack of time means it'll be a while yet!
For more on this new commercial sim see: Microsoft Train Simulator website and for routes/locos see UK Train Sim
For details on my possible MSTS route (along with a guide on creating routes and many GCR pictures) see here
A view of the Flying Scotsman in MS Train Sim.



Auran Trainz

This is another commercial sim and is the latest addition to the train sim market. It features stunning graphics, many add on locos & routes as well as superb support from the authors. The route editor is much easier than MS Train Sim's so maybe I will make that GC route.....
See Auran website for more info & loco/route downloads.