Line news September, 2002
<30-Sep-02>: A family 21st birthday took webTrainSim away for a couple of days. Dire pleading with his son's friends to leave their 2500 watt sound system here for a week or two fell on deaf ears, so to speak. This sound system, if it were set up on the front verandah, would be more than powerful enough to have the neighbours thinking an EMD-engined loco was about to come through their front yard. That's enough of what might have been. A look through the Train-Sim.com library last night found these Australian rolling stock: NSW Countrylink Endeavour trainset auendvr.zip (7.4Mb, 27-Sep-02) by Brendan Robinson, blue-liveried XPT by Michael Greenhill b_xpt10.zip (975kb, 27-Sep-02), and CityRail S-Set electric double-decker suburban passenger trainset ssetce1.zip (2.6Mb, 27-Sep-02) by Chris Jennings. As well, there's another 5-loco BNSF-liveried Dash 9 pack bnsfd9p2.zip (8.2Mb, 28-Sep-02). In a day or two, a suggested update to the Countrylink Explorer set should be here. As well, news on progress of a freeware TGV Duplex trainset will be posted.
<27-Sep-02>: The September Rain Parts I & II activities are available on the activities page at LGV Med route site. Those without the Speedworks TGV pack can still enjoy Wolfgang Plenz's TGV activities with his activity pack, TGVLight, using Acela trainsets with some engine changes to allow TGV speed tgvlight.zip (94kb, 25-Sep-02) from the Train-Sim.com library.
<26-Sep-02>: Two new activities for LGV Med V1.1, September Rain Parts 1 & 2 have appeared in the Train-Sim.com library: lgvact01.zip (214kb, 25-Sep-02) and tgvact02.zip (140kb, 25-Sep-02) - they're both good fun. Fans of the Modern City Tramway should have the update mctv1_1.zip (594kb, 22-Sep-02) by now. Simply copy the files into their respective folders (ignore files with extension bk - they're backups of Ryan's work).
<25-Sep-02>: The list of sites on the Related Sites page is often updated so an occasional browse is worthwhile. Also see the trains section of the webDotDirectory hobby page for more general rail information (this page will open in a new window). The widow big coal haul activity across Marias Pass 3 in the Train-Sim.com library has been updated to version 1.1 and incorporates all the small updates from version 1.0 widow11.zip (14.5Mb, 23-Sep-02). Note this activity requires extra rolling stock.
<24-Sep-02>: There have been a number of additions to the Train-Sim.com library over the last couple of days. Here are some that caught webTrainSim's eye: Route Editor utilities msts-pro.zip (724kb, 21-Sep-02), U.K. class 20 sounds cl20snd.zip (1.3Mb, 21-Sep-02), some general fixes for the Modern City Tramway mctv1_1.zip (594kb, 22-Sep-02), a GE Genesis P42DC cab genp42dc.zip (1.3Mb, 22-Sep-02), and a set of 5 Dash 9s in the BNSF Heritage 2 livery numbered 4744, 4746, 4767, 4776, 4777 bnsfd9p1.zip (8.7Mb, 22-Sep-02).
<23-Sep-02>: A couple of sites worth visiting, especially for steam lovers: TrainSim China and Railways of China. Add some spice (well, noise) to the TGV activity pack early morning commuter run to and from L'Estaque by changing the consist to the Z5600 trainset z5600.zip (11.7Mb, 05-Sep-02) available from Train-Sim.com or Projets ESK. The Z5600 uses Belphegor's sound set and you need to experience this cab sound.
<22-Sep-02>: Ronald Kappel's Small World Route (alpha version 1.01) is in the Train-Sim.com file library smawo11.zip (32.2Mb, 20-Sep-02). This route is 2,000 km in length. Visit Ronald's site for maps and screenshots - a remarkable piece of work. As the shot above shows, webTrainSim has now got Brendan Robinson's CountryLink Explorer set in the roundhouse. Installation is simple with a self-installer doing all the work.
<21-Sep-02>: For the record, the LGV Med route V1.1 and Wolfgang Plenz's TGV activity pack V1.1 are available from the Train-Sim.com file library as: lgvmed11.zip (21Mb, 17-Sep-02) and tgvpack.zip (74kb, 19-Sep-02) respectively. The NALW team have done it again! Their GE loco mega pack is also in the Train-Sim.com file library: gemegav2.zip (52Mb, 19-Sep-02). This pack includes 18 locos with cabs and sounds - AC4400s, Dash 8s, Dash 8CWs and Dash 9s in C&NW, CR, CSX, NS and UP liveries. Those of us with dialup lines can only wish... And just seen: N.S.W. DMU Xplorer trainset (EA, EB and EC power cars) by Brendan Robinson: explorer.zip (16.5Mb, 20-Sep-02).
<20-Sep-02>: Wolfgang Plenz's activity pack version 1.1 for the LGV Med route V1.1 contains a good readme with the extra rolling stock required - it looks to be the same as for his version 1 activities. Check the TGV activities page - there are some alternative download sites for some rolling stock. If you haven't had time to explore the L'Estaque area as yet, Wolfgang's TGV6a and TGV6b activities enables you to experience the ocean views. Those with MS Access installed might be interested in an Access database for all your addons: msts_db.zip (1.8Mb, 17-Sep-02) from the Train-Sim.com file library. Also, the version 3.3 update and full version of XTracks is there, too: xtracksu.zip (1.3Mb, 18-Sep-02) or xtracks.zip (7.1Mb, 18-Sep-02). Now it's back to Wolfgang's new activities...
<19-Sep-02>: webTrainSim has been exploring some of the side lines on LGV Med. Marseille St. Charles to L'Estaque is a pleasant drive and a good place for an afternoon picnic with a view over the ocean. Now he's ready for Wolfgang Plenz's activity pack V1.1, downloadable from Luc's activities page. See here for some hints with activities 1-4 from V1.0 - in a day or two there'll be some tips with Wolfgang's 2 extra activities in his V1.1 pack.
<18-Sep-02>: LGV Med version 1.1 downloaded, installed and put to work! Installation is straight forward - follow Luc's readme instructions: delete the V1.0 LGVMed route folder if you installed V1.0, extract the files to ...\Routes\, and run installme.bat. Start up MSTS, choose the LGV Med route, patiently wait while MSTS generates buffers, then, choose one of Luc's activities to acquaint yourself with the more prototypical features of version 1.1. If you're new to LGV Med, work through the activities as suggested by Luc: Nimes-Marseilles direct, Marseilles-Nimes standard, Nimes-Marseilles standard, Blancarde-Nimes, Blancarde-Nimes by night, Roquemaure-Blancarde and Aix-en-Provence to Marseilles St. Charles at night. Here are a few screenshots of some of the changes to the route.
<17-Sep-02>: LGV Med v1.1 is available for download from MSTS Nethlands (20.2Mb).
<16-Sep-02> Update: Luc has announced that LGV Med Route version 1.1 has been uploaded and should be available in a day or two from Train-Sim.com, MSTS Nethlands or http://azureen2.free.fr/lines.htm.
<16-Sep-02>: If only all routes provided as much detailed information as Luc's LGV Med does! Now available is a document with a complete line schematic, station and depot line diagrams and a table of speed limits (not only for TGV trainsets). All this information is contained in the driver manual for LGV Med version 1.1 (in beta testing), LMTr_LGVMed11.pdf, on Luc's home page (news section).
<15-Sep-02>: Besides being able to view a sample ENGine file, there is now an accompanying sample .SD shape definition file. As well, there is a sample WAGon file with its accompanying .SD shape definition file (each of these sample files opens in a new browser window).
<14-Sep-02>: An unusually quiet day yesterday - not even the sound of an EMD V-16 rattling the rafters, although there was a quick trip down the LGV Med to sharpen the reflexes. There's another freeware tool available in the Train-Sim.com file library: REF cleaner refclean.zip (362kb, 13-Sep-02) to remove duplicate entries in a route's REF file. webTrainSim spent a few minutes to put together a list of the free tools he's aware of - quite an impressive collection of professionally developed MSTS freeware utilities.
<12-Sep-02>: The Speedworks TGV addon pack 1 has been updated to version 2. Those who purchased version 1 should by now have received notification and downloaded the free update to version 2. For only $US7.95, the Speedworks pack is a worthwhile purchase, particularly if you're an enthusiast of the LGV Med route. A number of cabviews are being created by ray-tracing. One of the most widely-used ray-tracers is POVRay. If you're not familiar with the idea, visit the POVRay site and browse through the galleries. Version 3 of the Northern Denmark Route (17.5Mb) is now available from www.gameaddons.dk. Here are a couple of sites that can prove handy when visiting foreign language MSTS sites: Translate Anything or Free Translations.
<11-Sep-02> The hills are alive with the sound of... EMD diesels - klw40v2.zip (1.2Mb, 09-Sep-02) and sd_40_rx.zip (09-Sep-02). The hills are also reverberating to Alco turbo sounds: alcoturb.zip (189kb, 09-Sep-02) or a screaming jet engine in Chris Longhurst's Jet Train jetsnds.zip (362kb, 09-Sep-02). Then there are the sounds of screeching, mooing, baaing: wgnsnd2.zip (936kb, 09-Sep-02). All these files are in the Train-Sim.com file library.Also noticed are cabs for the RIO 80 rio80cab.zip (674kb, 09-Sep-02) and the RIB 76 rib76cab.zip (1.07Mb, 09-Sep-02). LGV Med fans - read reports of the Nimes floods at Le Monde or Europe Journal.
<10-Sep-02>: A Small World route is now available for download (30.6Mb) from the author's site. Note that this is an alpha 1 version - in other words, a very, very early version so expect some unfinished details. Despite possible early problems, A Small World at 2,000 km is certainly a work of devotion by its author. Some activities are included. By the way, the Under the gun activity undergun.zip (148kb, 23-Aug-02, in the Train-Sim.com file library), requires install_r_fr50_t_1.zip from www.trainsim.ru as extra rolling stock.
<09-Sep-02>: TGV drivers, prepare yourself for Luc's LGV Med Version 1.1 to be released soon by learning the various signal types. Visit Luc's site and read through his signals page where each signal's aspect is illustrated and described. The German subway line linieu1.zip (4.5Mb, 07-Sep-02) is now at version 1.1 with all scenery completed (available in the Train-Sim.com file library). Linie u1's author suggests the Berlin subway train Type H as the most appropriate rolling stock. You'll find UbahnBln.zip at www.TrainSimWorld.de on the Loks page - scroll down until you find BVG-Typ H (Berliner-U-Bahn).
<08-Sep-02>: A note about the TGV Duplex TGVDuplexV2.2.exe (11.4Mb) from www.depot-train.fr.st. Features include random radio message announcements or the loco bell from the Bell key. However, the TGV Duplex trainset won't install if you've already got Chris Longhurst's Eurostar in its own sub-folder, Eurostar, under the Trainset folder. So if you want to have both the TGV Duplex and the Eurostar, you'll need to do some work to make several changes to folders, file names and so on to keep MSTS happy.
<07-Sep-02>: With a number of repaints of Chris Longhurst's Eurostar trainset becoming available, now would be a good time to place Kenji Kimura's Eurostar cab eurocab2.zip (2Mb, 10-Jun-02) into Common.Cab. Then the cab, with TVM430 in-cab signalling, is ready for the GNER Eurostar gnereurostar.zip (600kb), the SNCF TGV trainset sncftgv.zip (2.7Mb, 16-Aug-02) from www.msts.be.tf and the TGV Duplex from www.depot-train.fr.st.
<06-Sep-02>: Realistic (they certainly are!) turbocharged 2-stroke EMD sounds sd_40_x.zip (3Mb, 04-Sep-02) and updated readme in sd_40_x1.zip (3kb, 04-Sep-02) which can read in the file library's View mode. A feature is the between-notches sounds and a full set of sounds for idle and each of the 8 notches - now available from the Train-Sim.com file library. Keeping to sounds, GE sounds by Maple Leaf are also in the library gesounds.zip (3.5Mb, 01-Sep-02).
<05-Sep-02>: Here's the start to writing up and investigating an idea used for scheduling model trains and might be useful for MSTS - Activity Design: Step Zero. Note that tools for this scheduling task are minimal. While taking a few minutes off, webTrainSim browsed through some informative pages of rail technical info at www.trainweb.org/railwaytechnical/. In particular, there are a couple of good pages on signalling, one pointing out the differences between the U.S. and U.K. systems, another taking you through the steps which a controller uses to schedule and route trains at a junction on the U.K. system.
<04-Sep-02>: A New Zealand route, the Taieri Independent Timber Company, is in the Train-Sim.com file library nzrpt1.zip (21Mb, 02-Sep-02); this file is part 1 of 6. Also in the Train-Sim.com file library, webTrainSim noticed another route, the Subway Line with 6 underground stations and 4 surface stations linieu1.zip (7.9Mb, 02-Sep-02). Note that the Berlin Tramway TM36 tram from Sebastianfrey's MSTS site is version 1. For Version 2, download the TM36 from MSTS Netherlands StrabaBln2.zip (4.9Mb). Remember that the cabview file needs a small change (see yesterday's line news below or the Small Fixes 2 page). webTrainSim found a download of some missing shape files for the Modern England route meextra.zip (67kb) at Virtual North Eastern Railroad.
<03-Sep-02>: For those with an interest in Canadian railways, the Train-Sim.com file library has several VIA Genesis P42DC locomotives viagc9xx.zip (750kb, 01-Sep-02), including No. 911 (dubbed Unlucky 911 for the following reasons: software problems since its 2001 delivery, destruction of 3 of its traction motors when it struck a drawbar on the track, hit a car in Quebec, and finally, suffered 8 flat spots on its way to Toronto for repairs when crew failed to release the handbrake. It's been renumbered to 921).
webTrainSim attempted to download the Berlin Tramway (Strassenbahn) TM36 tram (with cab and sounds) from Sebastianfrey's MSTS site. The line was too slow so he then downloaded what appeared to be the same file from MSTS Netherlands StrabaBln2.zip (4.9Mb). However, the cabview file, Straba.cvf, in this latter download needs editing otherwise it's a bit difficult to drive; left and right cabviews are ok but not straight ahead. Load Straba.cvf into WordPad and change this line (it's the one directly after CabViewType ( 1 )):
CabViewFile ( strabacab.ace )
CabViewFile ( strabacab1024.ace )
<02-Sep-02>: There's a page about MCT and NOT and some sites for more trams and light rail vehicles as well as sounds and a cab. For those having problems with the Under the gun activity undergun.zip (148kb, 23-Aug-02), you need to download install_r_fr50_t_1.zip from the www.trainsim.ru. An updated LGV Med route is being beta tested and, according to Luc's site, should be available later this month. Improvements include the removal of the trackside TGV light signals, light signals for sidings, yards and main track to sidings, and correct speed limits on the main line and in the yards. See Luc's site for more details.
<01-Sep-02>: On the first day of spring (here in the Southern Hemisphere), webTrainSim went for a quiet drive on the Modern City Tramway to the airport and beach. Denis Verheyden has a freeware TGV trainset (with a self-installer) in SNCF livery available at his website, www.msts.be.tf. To go with his South Australian CS stock wagon cs.zip (717kb, 24-Aug-02), Gavin Mclaughlan has made available some "moo" sounds csmoo.zip (19kb, 30-Aug-02) at the Train-Sim.com file library. By the way Queensland Railway is now the only carrier of live stock (as far as webTrainSim is aware).
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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!
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