Progress Update: February 2014

After skipping the January update as there didn't seem to be much news it now feels like February has been a very busy month with development making noteworthy progress on three Train Simulator 2014 expansions.

HEA Hoppers - Post BR

There has been surprising progress on this pack over the last month with all the clean and weathered versions of the liveries planned to be included in the expansion complete and now undergoing testing. These wagons reach through into a later period than we typically develop for so the opportunity has been taken to create a more recent battery tail lamp to include in this pack.

All of the liveries to be included in the expansion have been shown on our blog over the last few weeks with the weathered versions being shown off for the first time in the coming days so it's always worth keeping an eye on the blog!

With the wagons virtually complete progress is now being made on the scenario that will be included in the expansion. The scenario is planned to be in two parts and is set on the Settle and Carlisle route.

Ages of the Train 02: ECML Class 1 Passenger 1977 - 1985

The testing regime since Christmas has seen the player component of all 5 of the scenarios to be included in the pack given their first test before the remainder of the AI services are added ready for the testers to give them a thorough workout before static consists are added and final touches completed.

HEA Hopper Conversions

Alongside the development of the post BR HEA hoppers progress has also been made on the HEA Hopper Conversions. Both of the RNA barrier versions are now complete with textures and just need decals and numbering added to complete them.

More impressive, from a personal point of view, is the completion of the shape for the MEA box wagons which will see the completion of unwrapping in the next couple of days with shadow baking following fast behind so it might be an idea to keep an eye on the blog, our Facebook or Google+ pages to see the first painted version appear in the next week or so.

Once the MEA is settled progress should be fairly rapid as surgery is performed to convert it into an low sided MFA variant.

Thursday, 27 February 2014 20:00
Announcement: HEA Hopper Conversions
British Rail and their successors were always good at reusing surplus assets for new purposes with varying levels of conversion and success. Some of these conversions are the subject of our third expansion for Train Simulator 2014 completing the HEA hopper story.
Fastline Simulation - HEA Conversions: An in development render of one of the cut down and ballasted RNA barrier wagons used to maintain correct distances from nuclear flask wagons.

The research for the initial versions of the HEA hoppers uncovered the huge variation of wagon types that have been created through various conversions. Some of the conversions were basic, while others were more involved, completely changing the original appearance of the hoppers.

This expansion pack for Train Simulator 2014 will feature the majority of the conversions from the late 1980's through to the present day, including:

CEA - Hopper fitted with flexible cover.

MEA - Mineral wagon with high ribbed body.

MFA - Lower sided mineral wagon mainly for infrastructure use with ribbed body

HSA - Hopper converted for scrap traffic (ballast filled and plated hopper bottoms)

RNA - Recoded hopper and with hopper removed.

As with all Fastline Simulation expansions for Train Simulator 2014, the models will feature a range of suitable liveries, loads, physics and tail lamps. There may even be a bonus item lurking in there!

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Follow progress here:

Saturday, 25 January 2014 14:00
Announcement: HEA Hoppers - Post BR
One thing that became apparent while developing the HBA/HEA Hoppers expansion for Train Simulator 2014 was the length of life some of these wagons have seen, some still being in service up to the present day.
Fastline Simulation - HBA/HEA Coal Hoppers: An HEA hopper in fairly grimy Railfreight flame red and grey livery.

Some of the HEA hoppers have managed to eke out an existence well into the 21st century as work is still found for a small number on the kinds of traffic they were originally designed for.

This expansion for Train Simulator 2014 will feature a variety of the later liveries carried by the wagons along with the care worn liveries of past eras still to be seen almost 30 years after they were first applied!

More than a 'reskin pack' the models will feature physical changes that the hoppers have undergone in their 30 years of service with newly mapped and baked shapes alongside less obvious shape changes to allow neat application of new liveries, each with their own decal sets as appropriate. Naturally, there will be other little features added as we spot things that look like a 'good idea' and some scenario action to use them straight out of the installer.

The final list of liveries and versions is still a little less than certain as research is throwing up some interesting questions that are yet to be answered. If you want to keep an eye on our Facebook Page there may be the opportunity for some free copies of the pack if you can help us fill in the gaps ...

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Follow progress here:

Friday, 03 January 2014 20:00
Announcement: Ages of the Train 01: ECML Class 1 Passenger 1977 - 1985
After bringing the Train Simulator world our highly appreciated Ages of the Train 01: ECML Freight 1973 - 1986 we're excited to let you know the details of the sequel.

Featuring five scenarios from the classic diesel and electric era and set on the Newcastle to York route Ages of the Train 02 scenario expansion will give Train Simulator 2014 users the chance to take charge of London - Scotland express workings alongside inter regional services.

Drawing on a wide range of add-on content available for Train Simulator 2014 from a number of providers, users will have the opportunity to drive famous diesel classes and the iconic HST on top link duties. These scenarios will, as far as is possible, be as realistic as feasible, working the length of time on a service that a driver would have expected to that very day and encountering the kinds of traffic that would have been seen, right down to the actual formation and locomotive number where known.

The scenarios are further enhanced by the alteration of line speeds to reflect the date of each scenario, additional lighting in yards and other locations where required and the use of period TSR equipment.

The scenarios under development for this Train Simulator 2014 scenario expansion are:

1977 - 1S35 1400 Kings Cross to Aberdeen (Class 55)

1979 - 1E13 1310 Edinburgh to Kings Cross (HST)

1982 - 1M66 0926 Newcastle to Manchester Victoria (Class 40)

1984 - 1E84 0805 Liverpool Lime Street to Newcastle (Class 45)

1985 - 1V50 1958 Newcastle to Bristol Temple Meads (Class 47)

Thursday, 26 December 2013 12:00
Announcement: HBA/HEA Hoppers Released
The anticipated HBA/HEA hoppers expansion for Train Simulator 2014 is now available to buy in our shop.

Priced at just £3.00 the pack contains both the HBA and HEA variations of the hopper built by British Rail to bring the house and industrial coal business into the Speedlink air braked network, something which took quite a while to happen following the introduction of HAA hoppers for Merry-Go-Round working from pits to power stations in the 1960s.

This Train Simulator 2014 expansion features versions of the hoppers in clean and weathered versions of Maroon and Railfreight flame red and grey liveries, these are further supplemented by loaded and empty variations with matching physics. The auto numbering system in Train Simulator 2014 has been taken advantage of to add extra variation as the hoppers are placed in scenarios. The end of a train isn't complete without a tail lamp and the hoppers are supplied with rear versions carrying both an oil tail lamp and a battery flashing one where appropriate.

In addition to the HBA/HEA hoppers this expansion features bonus rolling stock in the form of BR standard 20T brake vans. Dia. 1/506 brake vans in unfitted (TOPS code CAO) and vacuum piped (TOPS code CAP) versions are included along with through air and vacuum piped (TOPS code CAR) dia. 1/507 vans. Each of the brake vans comes in a selection of liveries and includes versions with smoking stoves, oil tail lamps for fitted and unfitted trains and flashing battery tail lamp on some types.

The expansion is completed with two scenarios for the Newcastle to York route (available separately) which will allow you to use the wagons in Train Simulator 2014 straight away and a comprehensive manual in the style of a period document.

Click here to buy!

Monday, 16 December 2013 18:00
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