Line news October, 2002
<31-Oct-02>: Route developers, you might like to start looking at the possibilities offered by Martyn Griffin's WayPoint utility waypntv1.zip (363kb, 29-Oct-02) (Train-sim.com library). This tool converts a way point file built by the USAPhotoMaps free application into a route marker file for the Route Editor. See www.gpsinformation.net/waas/maps/usaphoto.html for clear step-by-step instructions to use USAPhotoMaps. NALW's MBTA Commuter Pack is now in the Train-sim.com library. The pack consists of three F40PH locos, a Horizon control car and five Horizon coaches nalwmbta.zip (17Mb, 29-Oct-02) (note that f40_set1.zip [13Mb, 11-Mar-02] and f40_pat1.zip [680kb, 12-Mar-02] are required).
<30-Oct-02>: Good news! James Hunt's Modern England route is coming to the Train-sim.com library in the next day or two. This is a complete re-packaging of version 3 of the route that's been available at UK Trainsim since March but difficult to get from there (18Mb download).
<29-Oct-02>: In the Train-sim.com library, you'll find Derek Morton's ENGine and WAGon modifier utility engmod142.zip (2.2Mb, 27-Oct-02). While this utility takes away any doubts you may have about directly editing ENG and WAG files with WordPad (or any other Unicode text editor), you still need to know which parameters to change. At the NALW site, for a limited time, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Commuter Pack can be downloaded (17Mb). The pack is made up of an EMD F40PH loco set with Horizon coaches and control car.
<28-Oct-02>: webTrainSim is continuing his trials and tribulations with conquering the Activity Editor. He thought it would be easiest to take a straighfoward route such as Ryan Fielding's Modern City Tramway to begin with. Some progress is being made. For reference, there's Darren Mann's activtut.zip from the Train-sim.com library and Rich Garber's synopsis of some questions and answers on the Train-sim.com Activities message board actedhlp.zip from the AvSim file library. The best advice so far is to create templates from existing paths or services and don't think about using Edit.
<26-Oct-02>: There's always some excitement among the TrainSimming community when a new freeware trainset is developed by an author. However, excitement turns to disappointment when it's found that the author has mis-used copyrighted material from the original author. So don't bother downloading the Tappi TGV-PSE from the so-called author's site at... oh, webTrainSim can't seem to remember. On a brighter note, Ray Collins has modified the graphics of the new SD40-2 cab to sharpen the images and remove some lines from the animated controls bnsfcab1.zip (4.5Mb, 24-Oct-02). Follow Ray's instructions in the readme so you can keep the original files if you decide to use his modified ones.
<25-Oct-02>: Installing the alias cabview files in cab_v12.zip (145kb, 19-Oct-02): In keeping with the use of the Common.Cab and Common.Snd folders, create two new sub-folders under Common.Cab called SD40-2_V12 and Class50_V12. Unpack each CVF file from cab_v12.zip into its respective sub-folder then each will be ready for aliasing in other locos of the same type (e.g., GP38-2s and SD40-2s in other liveries). webTrainSim thought he'd downloaded an updated SD40-2 cab with a better view of the line and signals but that doesn't appear to be the case. There is another SD40-2 cab update in the Train-sim.com library so we'll see what happens in the next day or two. By the way, the S-Bahn Re450 cab is also available in the Train-sim.com library re450cab.zip (2Mb, 29-Jan-02) as well as www.the-train.de/filearea/ mentioned a day or two ago.
<23-Oct-02>: Oops, the default Series 7000 cabview in the MCT trams was not such a good idea after all - webTrainSim had forgotten how high the cab is and oncoming trams seemed like toys. A better option is Kenji Kimura's S-Bahn Re450 cab Re450cab.zip (2Mb, 12-Feb-02) from www.the-train.de/filearea/. This cab will get wide use in your trams so include it in your Common.Cab folder. You'll have to paste the full folder path for each graphic in the CVF file. Note: before editing Re450.cvf in WordPad, clear the file's Read-only attribute. How to have two MCT trams has been subsequently updated. From the Train-sim.com library, you might like to download an update to the SD40-2 cab to give you a better view of the track and signals sd402.zip (3kb, 21-Oct-02). To test your driving skills, the Marias Pass Coal activity seems like a good challenge mpcoal10.zip (77kb, 21-Oct-02).
<22-Oct-02>: Thanks to "GranPaOz" for informing webTrainSim of the fictional Chengdu-Jiangyou Chinese high-speed route at www.trainsimchina.com/~hakuna/. It's about a 31Mb download and there's an extra download file with some files that were missing from the main route download. The steps to sort out how to have two MCT trams, one in Blue Line livery, the other in Green Line livery, from Ryan Fielding's mctngt8d.zip (2Mb, 02-Oct-02), have been posted here.
<21-Oct-02>: Here are some downloads in the Train-sim.com library that have caught the eye of webTrainSim: Three Enocell building Super Packs, each containing about 200 buildings: 7bldg2-1.zip (8.9Mb, 19-Oct-02), 7bldg2-2.zip (8.4Mb, 19-Oct-02) and 7bldg2-3.zip (9.3Mb, 19-Oct-02). Bob Siederer, co-author of the Marias Pass 3 route, has adapted the V1.2 SD40 activities for use on Marias Pass 3 mp30act3.zip (20kb, 19-Oct-02). As well, the cabview files of the V1.2 SD40-2 and Class 50 have been aliased so you can use them in your other SD40 and Class 50 locos cab_v12.zip (145kb, 19-Oct-02).
<20-Oct-02>: Steam fans' downloads from the Train-sim.com library: Peter Harvey's LNER W1 high pressured steam locos in grey and green livery w1grey.zip (1.25Mb, 18-Oct-02) and (1.25Mb, 18-Oct-02); Chinese Qianjin steam loco qianjin.zip (1.5Mb, 17-Oct-02). For more Chinese steam locos, visit Trainsim China and Railways of China.
<19-Oct-02>: MSTS can now be updated to version 1.2 with free updates available from Microsoft's TrainSim Insider site. As this page explains, the first job is to check your version of MSTS by opening Readme.rtf in the Train Simulator folder. If, like webTrainSim, you've held off from applying the patch of April 18, now is the time to download and apply it trainupdate.exe (1.93Mb, 18-Apr-02) to update MSTS to version 1.1. For the record, webTrainSim had no ill after-effects after installing the V1.1 patch, even though some bad experiences were reported when the patch was first released. Note: if you've made changes to the GP38-2 and Dash 9 ENGine files, make backup copies of them since the V1.1 patch installs new versions. The two files to bring MSTS up to version 1.2 are sd40-2_content_update.exe (18.4Mb) and class50_content_update.exe (20.3Mb). The new BNSF SD40-2 cabview is now realistically modelled, with the all the controls positioned in the centre of the cab at an angle to the driver. Those of you who have had a long experience with the Activity Editor should now begin sympathising with, not laughing at, webTrainSim who is beginning on the long journey of working out its intricacies now that he's got a monitor capable of 1024 x 768.
<18-Oct-02>: While tuning up the Virgin Trains Voyager, webTrainSim had a thought to to refine the Eurostar trainset so that coach R1's front bogies were powered. In the real Eurostar, R1 and R18 (the last coach) both have traction motors on the bogies closest to the power cars, for a total of 12 motors per trainset. Take a look to see how it's done. In the Train-sim.com library: a pack of seven CC72000 diesel locos 720002.zip (27Mb, 16-Oct-02), a MS Access database to store routes and activities acttrku1.zip (2.1Mb, 16-Oct-02), and discovery-type activity for LGV Med ter.zip (15kb, 15-Oct-02) - this activity requires the X94930 trainset which webTrainSim has found at www.modelfer.com - from the menu on the left, choose Train Simulator / Ligne Marseille-Vintinille / Projet personnel d'une ligne and scroll down to the list of rolling stock - it's EAD X94930 that you want.
<16-Oct-02>: More Australian rolling stock in the Train-sim.com library: C508 and C506 locos in V/Line livery by Gavin Mclaughlan c508_vl.zip (1.4Mb, 14-Oct-02) and c506novl.zip (1.7Mb, 14-Oct-02). Both of these locos also require you to have the EMD 645E3 sounds 645e3_10.zip (829kb, 05-Oct-02). There is also a large number of intermodal wagon packs, both double and single stacked, with either ribbed or smooth sided wells.
<15-Oct-02>: Under Tune ups & aliasing, you'll find a page with some Virgin Voyager updates to the ENGine files of David Babb's model voyager.zip (7.1Mb, 15-Jun-02) from the Train-sim.com library. While doing these changes, webTrainSim realised he could make some further changes to Chris Longhurst's Eurostar to achieve more realism - that job's on the to-do list! Ben Laws' Virgin Pendolino is available from the UK Trainsim library as virginCl39011.zip (2.06Mb, 14-Oct-02).
<14-Oct-02>: webTrainSim has found a titbit of information about the Virgin Trains Voyager trainsets that fills in a blank so he's working on putting together a page for a Voyager tune up. Ben Laws has released version 1.1 of his model of the Virgin Trains Pendolino and it should be available from the UK Trainsim library (remember that a new day of downloads at UK Trainsim begins at 2000 UK time, i.e. about 0600 Australian Eastern time). Ben is incorporating the ENGine file that's been here for some time.
<13-Oct-02>: The page to help you alias the cabview and sounds for the British Rail Class 43 Intercity 125 HST, Virgin Trains Intercity 125 and Australian XPT trainsets has been posted. The XPT tune up page has been correspondingly updated. The solution to Win 98SE's problem with more than 512Mb of main memory and its affect on MSTS is on the Small Fixes 3 page. Contributions of various scenery objects for route developers continue to appear in the the Train-Sim.com library; if you use them in your route, remember to give due credit to the original authors as a sign of how much we all value their work.
<12-Oct-02>: Line News is back! webTrainSim watched his son start up his new Athlon 2000+ system and get started with MS Flight Simulator. Then it was home to add some new hardware to his own trusty 900MHz Celeron system. A new 17" monitor and video card, some extra disk space, and another 256Mb of memory. All these bits got plugged in, powered up and Train Simulator was obviously the first program to run. Everything looking good, loading..., then... nothing - a blank screen. Oh well, get online to download the latest NVidia drivers. The drivers are installed and TrainSim is fired up again - same result. Are you thinking of the questions you need to ask to troubleshoot? Q:How much RAM is there? A: 768Mb. Umm, Win98SE has started... Q: What happens when the MS-DOS prompt is run from Start/Programs? A: There's the message that it can't run because there is insufficient memory. Well, to cut the story to a suitable length, webTrainSim had come across Win 9x's aversion to more than 512Mb of RAM sometime in the distant past. One solution is to remove the extra RAM - fair, go! Another solution is to adjust a value in the Windows System.Ini file to specify a limit to Virtual Cache. A value of 512Mb was tried but that didn't work, so the value was adjusted down to about 420Mb, and, yep, TrainSim now runs to perfection. Here's a page to put aside for the future: Memory Management (see Exception 2) at the Windows Support Centre, www.aumha.org. A complete write up will be done in a day or two. Well, back to writing up some info to help out with aliasing the cab and sounds of the Intercity 125 HST and Australian Countrylink XPTs. But first, perhaps these trains need some testing... And it's a nice day to go for a run to Nimes...
<09-Oct-02>: With the blue-liveried XPT added to the webTrainSim roundhouse, it's time to organise the cabview and sound files so they reside in the Common.Cab and Common.Snd folders respectively. Then they'll be readily available for use in James Hunt's Intercity 125 HST, the Virgin Intercity 125, N.S.W. Countrylink XPT in the candy livery, and the latest, the Countrylink blue-liveried XPT. Most of the work will involve going through the cabview file to insert a full folder path for all the graphics ACE files. It's a job for the coming weekend! In the the Train-Sim.com library: RIO 80 PACA passenger cars rio_pa98.zip (961kb, 07-Oct-02) for regional services, for example around Marseille; N.S.W. Government Railways CPH railmotor #37 cphupdat.zip (1.4Mb, 07-Oct-02) by Joseph Spinella.
<08-Oct-02>: For more trams, you'll find the following have recently become available in the the Train-Sim.com library: 5 Helsinki trams htp.zip (7.3Mb, 03-Oct-02), 4 more Helsinki trams htp2.zip (8.5Mb, 04-Oct-02) and a 1903 J.G. Brill model connbril.zip (5.9Mb, 04-Oct-02). Also, it's well worth visiting Alexander "Magdeburger" Pohlemann's site, www.alex.pohlemann.de.vu.
<07-Oct-02>: For those who've downloaded Craig Scott's Class 81 diesel-electric EMD locos, check this page to alias the cab and sounds and browse general performance specifications. Click here for a sample Class 81 ENGine file (opens in a new window). Remember there is now a range of EMD engine sounds available from the Train-Sim.com library. If you're about to install the MCT NGT8D trams mctngt8d.zip (2Mb, 02-Oct-02), make life more interesting by installing the blue and green sets into their own sub-folders, mct_ngt8d_blue and mct_ngt8d_green. You should have already put the T4D sounds into Common.Snd since, as far as webTrainSim has found, they're the only tram sounds currently available. As well, you should have cabalias.zip (28kb, 30-Oct-01) so it's a simple job to alias to the Series 7000 cabview.
<06-Oct-02>: Oops, the version 1.2 update to the Modern City Tramway mctv12.zip (1.2Mb, 02-Oct-02) fails and you won't even see the route appear in MSTS' list after installation. The only option is to re-install back to version 1 or version 1.1 (from a post by Ryan Fielding, MCT author, to the Train-Sim routes message board). When he re-installed MCT (after firstly deleting what should have been MCT V1.2), webTrainSim is not sure what went wrong but he had to make sub-folders Activities, Services and Traffic, and copy ingames.sms from the Europe1 route folder. MCT now seems back to what it was, i.e. at version 1.1 - phew! The EMD 645E3 sounds pack 645e3_10.zip (829kb, 05-Oct-02) looks just the thing for Gavin Mclaughlan's VR C-class locos c501_vr.zip (1.4Mb, 04-Oct-02) in the Train-Sim.com library.
<05-Oct-02>: There's a page to help you install and get the best from the blue-liveried N.S.W. Countrylink XPT by Michael Greenhill - click here. UK Train Sim has a repackaged version of James Hunt's Modern England V3, all in one file (18.2Mb, March '02).
<04-Oct-02>: A few days ago webTrainSim asked Luc if passengers were allowed on TGV platforms when trains were speeding through at 300 kmh. The photo above was snapped by Luc at Avignon TGV as two trains crossed. Obviously he survived! The closer train is disappearing on the left and the second is partly obscured behind the sound barrier. All he heard was a "hiss" and they were gone! webTrainSim's Xplorer and Endeavour sets seem to be running well with the changes suggested yesterday (Xplorer update, Endeavour update). Brendan is testing the changes so we'll await his approval.
<03-Oct-02>: Brendan Robinson's Xplorer and Endeavour DMUs have received a further tune up after tracking down some information about the Voith hydraulic transmission used in these sets. So check the Small Fixes 2 page for more prototypical gearbox parameters: Xplorer, Endeavour.
Australian rolling stock features in the Train-Sim.com library: Craig Scott has 3 sets of NSW/FreightRail/NR class 81s: stlth81.zip (2.8Mb, 02-Oct-02), nr81.zip (2.8Mb, 02-Oct-02) and fr81.zip (3.2Mb, 02-Oct-02), for a total of 8 locos. Chris Jennings has revised both his V-set and S-set double-decker electric CityRail sets to include a passenger view, among enhancements: vset13.zip (6.7Mb, 02-Oct-02) and ssetce11.zip (2.7Mb, 02-Oct-02).
Finally, for keen Modern City Tramway fans (myself included), Ryan has an update to the route mctv12.zip (1.2Mb, 02-Oct-02) and MCT-liveried trams mctngt8d.zip (2Mb, 02-Oct-02) with Straba cabview and sounds by Alexander Pohlemann. Wonder if all these new downloads are due to the date (ed.).
<02-Oct-02>: Before installing the Blue-liveried XPT b_xpt11.zip (978kb, 29-Sep-02) by Michael Greenhill, dare I suggest you download the HST cab brcl43.zip (4.5Mb, 24-Jan-02) and HST sound set cl43sfx.zip (4.2Mb, 14-Feb-02) from the Train-Sim.com library. Then follow the directions on the XPT tune-up page for the candy-liveried XPT, changing folder names as required. Handy tools for MSTS continue to appear in the Train-Sim.com library, the latest being MSTS Unisearch V1.0. This program searches MSTS files, whether ANSI, Unicode, Unicode compressed or Zip format, for specified content. Developers should find the REF file cleaner handy refclnv3.zip (372kb, 28-Sep-02) (there may be a later version just released yesterday). Several cab devlopers are producing a night view version alongside a normal daylight version - the CSX Dash 8 #7327 is a loco so equipeed csx_7327.zip (4.8Mb, 01-Oct-02).
<01-Oct-02>: A free TGV Duplex is on the way from Projets ESK at perso.club-internet.fr/staned/projetsesk/tgv.html. Brendan Robinson has posted revised ENGine files for his Countrylink Xplorer and Endeavour trainsets endxplfx.zip (264kb, 29-Sep-02) in the Train-Sim.com library. webTrainSim hasn't yet got Brendan's updated ENGine files but has a few suggested changes - see Small Fixes 2. Michael Greenhill has made some modifications to his blue-liveried XPT b_xpt11.zip (978kb, 29-Sep-02) and enabled us to install it in its own folder so as not to overwrite Chris Jennings' candy-liveried version clxpt1b4.zip (581kb, 07-Jun-02). By the way, there's an XPT tune-up page for Chris Jennings' version. Finally, webTrainSim also has his eye on a set of 3 Brill tramway cars by the Spanish Team fccbrill.zip (8.4Mb, 29-Sep-02). Each car has an animated pantograph, opening doors, customised cabview and sounds, and passenger views.
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webTrain Sim was, until recently, part of my webWiz Online site at http://webdotwiz.tripod.com. Due to a reduction in free web space by Tripod, these pages have had to be posted at their own site, http://webDotTrainSim.tripod.com. Not such a bad thing because there's now 20Mb for Train Sim!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions or comments. I'll try to answer as best I can. Certainly post me if any step-by-step instructions on various how-to pages need clarification.