Newsflashes about steamtrains or issues concerning add-on’s of steam locomotives.
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.Go to the store
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.
Go to the store
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!Go to the website
Go to the store