Newsflashes about steamtrains or issues concerning add-on’s of steam locomotives.
Okt 14, 2017
GWR Large Prairies now available at steam.
The Great Western Railway however would dote on their 2-6-2T ‘tank’ locomotives for secondary and more rural duties. Some of the earliest examples were rather light, and were suitably called the ‘Small Prairies’; however, larger variants would also be produced, primarily for suburban commuter operations but initially for general use too. First appearing in 1903, these are the ‘Large Prairies’.
The first of many Large Prairies appeared in 1903 as GWR No. 99, a prototype design from Churchward that would become the basis for a production fleet of 39 ‘3100 Class’ tank locomotives. At heart, the 3100 Class was a mixed-traffic locomotive, and would be the start of a “workhorse” fleet for GWR and be found across the network throughout their lifetimes.
Differences between the prototype and production 3100s were next to none, only the tank shape was altered to improve visibility. Naturally, changes were implemented over time to improve the class, including altered weight distribution and a larger coal bunker; these changes warranted a fleet-wide reclassification, and so was introduced the 5100 Class, as most would now stay until withdrawal.
A handful of 5100 Class locomotives received further modifications in the late 1930s and were once again given new numbers. This move took place to bolster another fleet of Large Prairies, a fleet which was introduced earlier in the decade and itself derived from yet another production batch.
In the late 1920s, Churchward’s successor, Collett, sought to update the original 3100 Class design and have a large fleet built to fulfil local, suburban passenger roles. In fact, it was Collett’s development that resulted in the 3100 Class becoming the 5100 Class, all while a new batch of 5101 Class locomotives were produced to the same standard. Whereas only 40 of the original were built, Swindon Works would deliver 140 members of 5101 Class between 1929 and 1949.
Together, the 5100s and 5101s dominated traffic in all corners of the Great Western network, quickly growing and becoming a regular sight on all kinds of trains right up the end of the Second World War. Post-conflict, a rise in road usage and the introduction of diesel traction took its toll on the Large Prairies’ duties, seeing them take on new life as mainline support engines; providing backup as pilots and bankers on the more troublesome sections of the GWR such as the South Devon Banks, or the Severn Tunnel.
While prolific, the Large Prairies still only represent a portion of the entire fleet. A further 70 locomotives are still to be accounted for. These come in the form of the 6100 Class, another of Collett’s finest and built specifically for commuter services out of London Paddington.
The “Networkers” of their day, the 6100 Class was introduced in 1931 as a development of the 5101, and was based at Old Oak Common, Slough, Reading, and elsewhere. Being prominent in the passenger scene, enthusiasts quickly took to the class and nicknamed them ‘Tanner One-ers’, a call to their 61xx numbering and some currency of the day, a sixpence and a penny.
Much like the other Large Prairies’ story, a future of diesel forced the 6100s into other positions, but not before the fleet was joined by a previously mentioned extra batch of locomotives; may the 5100 Class re-enter centre stage.
It was the 6100 fleet that was reinforced by a modified micro fleet of 5100s; the latter was rebuilt with smaller driving and pony truck wheels, and received a boiler pressure increase (a common Large Prairie modification). 10 rebuilt 5100 Class locomotives were renumbered into the 8100 Class, and were destined to work alongside the 6100s, supposedly providing extra acceleration characteristics owing to their smaller wheels.
All GWR Large Prairie locomotives survived until the end of steam, by which point many of them were still in good shape, despite the oldest examples working beyond their 6th decade. Unfortunately, very few avoided the cutters’ torch after the steam-era’s final chapter. None of the 5100 or 8100 made it into the epilogue, it was a spot only reserved for 10 5101s and a lone 6100. Even then, only 4 out of the 11 are operational. Well, technically 5 see heritage service, but one was rebuilt into a 4300 Class tender locomotive. The rest are awaiting overhaul, apart from 6106 which is on static display at Didcot.
Fantastically, Victory Works has translated the GWR Large Prairies into Train Simulator, and the pack contains a bumper collection which Includes the 5100, 5101, 6100 and 8100 classes in GWR Green and British Railways Black liveries, complete with selectable era-appropriate logos, optional parts and fittings and a large variety of detail throughout!
Sep 08, 2017
The Wutachtalbahn now available
In 1976, a voluntary organisation came together in an effort to re-open the line as a museum for steam locomotives, and the line’s popularity quickly grew as a tourist attraction. The preserved line drew such a crowd in fact, that the northern section of the line was also introduced as part of the ‘3er-Ringzug’, a passenger network linking the local areas of southern Germany together.
With the Wutachtalbahn, you can try something truly unique within Germany, operating along a heritage railway on the footplate of steam-era traction, all while taking in the spectacular sights!
The line finally opened in the 1890s, and was home to mainly passenger traffic when its purpose as a military line needn’t be fulfilled. The winding nature of the central section saw the line adopt the nickname Sauschwänzlebahn (pigtail line), and its popularity among travelers was two-faced; yes, the scenery on offer was fantastic, but it came at a price, fares were calculated by route distance, and the pigtail took over 26 km to travel about 9 km.
The line was actually built with the provision of track-doubling in mind, but the line never proved busy enough to warrant such an upgrade. In fact, after the Second World War, the line’s use began to decline and passenger services began to fade away, until they were stopped in 1974 (with freight continuing up the southern section until 2001). Despite it all, the line’s lifespan would not be spent just yet.
The line would diverge off the Black Forest Railway to Konstanz at Immendingen, and take a general south-westerly descent towards Lauchringen, where it joined with the Upper Rhine Railway. Either side of the line proved little construction or operational challenges; track layout was conventional, and line speeds were on par and other standard rural railways. A problem however did lie within the planned route’s central section.
Trains would need to fall roughly 250m in 9 km between Blumburg and Weizen, but with military, heavy military traffic the key focus of the entire line, gradients were not to exceed 1:100, and the connection was impossible through normal means. Instead engineers devised a similar strategy as seen on many mountain railways, they crossed the valley with multiple hairpin turns, grand viaducts and a complete 360° loop encased in a tunnel, a unique example of such a structure in Germany.
Steamtrains Unlimited Campus now fully operational
The guide “Driving the steam locomotive and the technical aspects” is now fully operational but still some pages are uinder construction and. The day the owner and creator R.C. de Visser gots its birthday is now proud to present you this magnificent peace of work.
It all started with a small guide due to improve the basics presented by M. Peddlesden which is one of the most recognizable persons of Dovetail games, TS20xx and TSW and broadcaster of TS20xx and TWS at twitch TV.
Mr Peddlesden started with the basics of driving steam, and in order to improve the backgrounds and knowledge based on experiance Mr. R.C. de Visser started to write the technical aspects and backgrounds due to the way of driving and has added a vast amount of images, pictures video’s and sketches all aiming to improve the basic driving skills of TS20xx (and MSTS) drivers.
The guide started about three years ago containing about 12 chapters and became wll known by drivers. Due to the complexity of railroading the guide was too small to show all required information every TS20xx or MSTS driver and steamtrain enthusiast should know in order to maintain and improve their driving skills. About six months after the release of the 1st edition of “Driving the steam locomotive and the technical aspects” Mr. R.C. de Visser started to expand the guide from 12 chapter to 70 chapters.
Mr. R.C. de Visser wanted to expand even further more but due to the limitations of the root program of the guide he decided to transfer the whole guide to an own website. This website is now established and however the site is a stand alone site but closely linked to Steamtrains Unlimited. The name Steamtrains Unlimited campus shows off the educational content the site contains.
The website steamstrains Unlimited is also written by Mr. R.C. de Visser but serves a different episode of virtual driving and therefore not suited to contain the vast amount of text, images, photo’s, sketches, video’s and more and because of this reason also Steamtrains Unlimited Campus has been set up to seperate the vast amount of information from Steamtrains Unlimited mainsite
Since to coming of TS20xx many more programmable aspects overruled the old style MSTS programming and made it possible to have a much better understanding how steam trains should be driven after all.
It is not just opening up some levers and knobs, You really have to understand the working of it as well in order how to interpret the functionallity of the lever you open. What is happening at the engine is very important to know about it. A steam locomotive is one of the most sophisticated engines ever build by mankind.
july 26, 2017
Bulleid’s Southern workhorse, the Rebuilt Light Pacific,
An order was placed for a brand new steam locomotive that would fill the gap left by deferred electrfication, and Oliver Bulleid, CME of the Southern Railway, quickly went to work in designing such a loco. Thinking ahead was Bulleids’ game, in particular, he was considering the requirements of a post-war Southern Railway, where infrastructure was weaker, and not capable of handling big locomotives. A Pacific design was chosen, in particular, Bulleid simply went for a lighter variant of his Merchant Navy class.
In service, the “Light Pacific” locomotives, known as the West Country or Battle of Britain Class, earned a moderate reputation for being a powerful and versatile worker, and could be found almost anywhere. They shared their positives with the sister Merchant Navy Class, as well as their negatives, but overall the 110-strong fleet worked hard and did their duty, and would continue on in the south after British Railways took charge.
To improve upon their shortfalls, R. G. Jarvis of British Railways was assigned to rebuilding the entire fleet to a more conventional standard. Jarvis had already done this to the Merchant Navy Class with resounding success, and BR wanted the Light Pacifics to follow suit. The rebuild would completely strip the class of its iconic ‘Span Can’ design, instead, the locomotives would look more like a BR Standard locomotive with a Southern twist.
Despite the cosmetic changes later in life, the elegance of Bulleids’ Light Pacific locomotives cannot be ignored, be them named after Battle of Britain or West Country insignia, they changed the face of Southern Region operations.
For Train Simulator, Partner Programme developer Just Trains’ Rebuilt Bulleid Light is represented in British Railways Brunswick Green livery, and a total of 10 nameplated versions are included from both the ‘West Country’ and ‘Battle of Britain’ variants, they are:
34026 Yes Tor
34027 Taw Valley
34059 Sir Archibald Sinclair
34062 17 Squadron
Advanced lighting and headcode features are present aboard the Rebuilt Bulleid Light Pacific, along with characteristic particle effects and changeable numbers and shed plates.
The Rebuilt Bulleid Light Pacific also features additional coaching stock; Maunsell’s Brake Composite (BCK), Composite (CK), Brake Third (BSK) and Third (SK) coaches are all included in British Railways Southern Green livery.
A trio of Career scenarios for the Somerset & Dorset Railway are the perfect way to display the Rebuilt Pacific’s potential to operate practically anywhere, the sharp grades of this line will put your skills to the test.
July 24, 2017
The Orient Express
On June 5, 1883, the first Express d’Orient left Paris for Vienna. Vienna remained the terminus until October 4, 1883. The train was officially renamed Orient Express in 1891.
The original route, which first ran on October 4, 1883, was from Paris, Gare de l’Est, to Giurgiu in Romania via Munich and Vienna. At Giurgiu, passengers were ferried across the Danube to Ruse, Bulgaria, to pick up another train to Varna. They then completed their journey to Constantinople by ferry. In 1885, another route began operations, this time reaching Istanbul via rail from Vienna to Belgrade and Niš, carriage to Plovdiv and rail again to Istanbul.
WL Orient Express
In 1889, the train’s eastern terminus became Varna in Bulgaria, where passengers could take a ship to Constantinople. On June 1, 1889, the first direct train to Istanbul left Paris (Gare de l’Est). Istanbul remained its easternmost stop until May 19, 1977. The eastern terminus was the Sirkeci Terminal by the Golden Horn. Ferry service from piers next to the terminal would take passengers across the Bosphorus to Haydarpaşa Terminal, the terminus of the Asian lines of the Ottoman Railways.
The onset of World War I in 1914 saw Orient Express services suspended. They resumed at the end of hostilities in 1918, and in 1919 the opening of the Simplon Tunnel allowed the introduction of a more southerly route via Milan, Venice and Trieste. The service on this route was known as the Simplon Orient Express, and it ran in addition to continuing services on the old route. The Treaty of Saint-Germain contained a clause requiring Austria to accept this train: formerly, Austria allowed international services to pass through Austrian territory (which included Trieste at the time) only if they ran via Vienna. The Simplon Orient Express soon became the most important rail route between Paris and Istanbul.
Badge of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits on a car of the Orient Express
The 1930s saw the zenith of Orient Express services, with three parallel services running: the Orient Express, the Simplon Orient Express, and also the Arlberg Orient Express, which ran via Zürich and Innsbruck to Budapest, with sleeper cars running onwards from there to Bucharest and Athens. During this time, the Orient Express acquired its reputation for comfort and luxury, carrying sleeping-cars with permanent service and restaurant cars known for the quality of their cuisine. Royalty, nobles, diplomats, business people and the bourgeoisie in general patronized it. Each of the Orient Express services also incorporated sleeping cars which had run from Calais to Paris, thus extending the service right from one edge of continental Europe to the other.
The start of the Second World War in 1939 again interrupted the service, which did not resume until 1945. During the war, the German Mitropa company had run some services on the route through the Balkans, but Yugoslav Partisans frequently sabotaged the track, forcing a stop to this service.
Following the end of the war, normal services resumed except on the Athens leg, where the closure of the border between Yugoslavia and Greece prevented services from running. That border re-opened in 1951, but the closure of the Bulgarian–Turkish border from 1951 to 1952 prevented services running to Istanbul during that time. As the Iron Curtain fell across Europe, the service continued to run, but the Communist nations increasingly replaced the Wagon-Lits cars with carriages run by their own railway services.
By 1962, the Orient Express and Arlberg Orient Express had stopped running, leaving only the Simplon Orient Express. This was replaced in 1962 by a slower service called the Direct Orient Express, which ran daily cars from Paris to Belgrade, and twice weekly services from Paris to Istanbul and Athens.
In 1971, the Wagon-Lits company stopped running carriages itself and making revenues from a ticket supplement. Instead, it sold or leased all its carriages to the various national railway companies, but continued to provide staff for the carriages. 1976 saw the withdrawal of the Paris–Athens direct service, and in 1977, the Direct Orient Express was withdrawn completely, with the last Paris–Istanbul service running on May 19 of that year
The withdrawal of the Direct Orient Express was thought by many to signal the end of Orient Express as a whole, but in fact a service under this name continued to run from Paris to Bucharest as before (via Strasbourg, Munich, and Budapest). However, a through sleeping car from Paris to Bucharest — and even eastwards from Vienna — was only operated until 1982, and also a through seating car was only operated seasonally. This meant, that Paris–Budapest and Vienna–Bucharest coaches were running overlapped, so a journey was only possible with changing carriages — despite the unchanged name and numbering of the train. In 1991 the Budapest-Bucharest leg of the train was canceled, the new final station has become Budapest. In the summer season of 1999 and 2000 a sleeping car from Bucharest to Paris reappeared twice a week — now operated by CFR. This continued until 2001, when the service was cut back to just Paris–Vienna, already in EuroNight quality — but in both cases the coaches were in fact rather attached to a Paris–Strasbourg express. This service continued daily, listed in the timetables under the name Orient Express, until June 8, 2007.
With the opening of the LGV Est Paris–Strasbourg high speed rail line on June 10, 2007, the Orient Express service was further cut back to Strasbourg–Vienna, departing nightly at 22:20 from Strasbourg, and still bearing the name, but lost the number 262/263 which was owned since decades.
The remains of the train had a convenient connection from/to the Strasbourg-Paris TGV, but due to the less flexible prices the changing has become less attractive. In the last years through coaches between Vienna and Karlsruhe (continuing first to Dortmund, then to Amsterdam and finally — partly from Budapest — to Frankfurt) were attached. The very last train with the name Orient-Express (now with a hyphen) has departed from Vienna at the 10th December 2009, and one day later from Strasbourg.
You can now purchase the coach set online at 3DZUG.
The best suitable engines available to haul th Orient Express is:
– Class Br 18 from Eisenbahnwerk/steamstore,
– Class 01 from BeeKay/Just Trains,
– Class 1189 Crocodile from Eisenbahnwerk/Steamstore
– Class 52 from Eisenbahnwerk/Steamstore European Asset Pack
– Class Re 4/4 420 from Trainworks in green livery
July 6, 2017
Set in the steamy 1950s, the Malmesbury Branch route for Train Simulator recreates the sedate trundle north from Little Somerford station, of the South Wales Main Line, up to the historic market town of Malmesbury. As simple as it may seem, the gradients make mastering the Wiltshire countryside no easy task, and making sure you’re on time too, as to not disrupt the busy main line, makes for a thrilling and immersive journey, no matter what your duty!
The locomotives at hand, GWR’s iconic Pannier Tank and reliable Grange Class, are perfectly suited to the day-to-day challenges of the Malmesbury Branch; Light freight, heavy freight, passenger, mixed train. What better way is there to recount the classic steam era than by mastering the workhorses of the GWR?
To get you up to speed, 5 Career scenarios will have you run up and down the Malmesbury Branch, and even the disused line to Great Somerford, in varying weather conditions, be careful not to slip in the snow!
As you approach Little Somerford, both you and your passengers have the joy of watching the express trains run by, but don’t get too distracted, you won’t want to stall on the junction. And, with Quick Drive compatibility, you can take whichever GWR locomotive you desire on a little Malmesbury trip!
From Partner Programme developer, Just Trains, the Wiltshire ‘Wonder’, the Somerford ‘Spectacular’, the ‘Magical’ Malmesbury Branch is available now for Train Simulator!
July 01, 2017
German Class 23 from Wilbur Graphics.
From 1950, 105 examples of this newly designed class were manufactured for medium passenger train and light express trainservices. They had welded locomotive frames, boilers and tenders together with all the latest refinements of German practice. These included a superheated multiple-valve regulator and central lubrication of the least accessible parts of the running gear. Engines up to operating number 023 had Knorr surface preheaters and journal bearings. Locomotives with serial numbers 024 and 025, as well as those from 053 onwards were equipped with roller bearings for the axles and drive as well as mixer-preheaters.
A small number of vehicles were given Heinl preheaters and several were equipped for push-pull train operations.
Last new steam locomotive in West Germany
Locomotive number 23 105, built by Arnold Jung Lokomotivfabrik and taken into service by the DB in December 1959, was the last steam engine to enter service in the Federal Republic of Germany. After its retirement it was stabled at the Nuremberg Transport Museum where it was severely damaged by the great fire in the locomotive shed on 17 October 2005.
The engine is downloadable at Rail-sim.de