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As domestic and industrial coal traffic dwindled during the 1980s increasing numbers of relatively new HEA coal hoppers were to be found sitting in marshalling yards without any traffic to carry.

Some 44 wagons were converted by Loadhaul during 1995 by fitting a retractable flexible cover operated by a windlass at solebar level. Following privatisation the hoppers became the responsibility of English, Welsh and Scottish Railway who repainted a number of them in their own livery albeit in a couple of different variations.

This Train Simulator expansion features CEA covered hoppers converted from both body variations of HEA hopper in two different versions of EWS livery.


Background

The CEA conversion was one of the later attempts to find a use for the large numbers of HEA hoppers that were standing around with very little to do as the requirements for domestic and industrial coal diminished. The CEAs were converted in 1996 by the shadow privatisation company Loadhaul with a retractable sheet that could be rolled back from ground level by attaching a windlass to a spigot fitted to the under-frame. The sheet allowed the CEAs to carry products which needed protecting from the weather or that may have had issues with dust blowing off in transit. Interestingly a thin corner support was added to the later build wagons at the time of conversion which led to a little bit of confusion at one point in the development of this expansion!

Some 44 wagons were converted and they appear to have had questionable success in traffic. Some commodities that the wagons have been noted carrying include Limestone, Calcified Seaweed, China Clay, Petroleum Coke and Chipped Tyres for use at Aberthawe Cement Works.

Following the sale of the three shadow privatisation companies to Wisconsin Central the CEA hoppers became the responsibility of English Welsh and Scottish Railway. The company was very pro-active in attempting to grow rail freight across the United Kingdom, both in terms of block train and wagonload traffic. EWS obviously saw some value in the CEA fleet and a large number received a coat of EWS maroon along with new matching flexible covers.

Oddly, for such a small fleet of wagons the repainting wasn't uniform and two distinct styles appeared. In one case the wagons received EWS maroon on the hopper body area only, the lettering and notices were in the same style applied to the wagons when converted by Loadhaul and no EWS branding was carried. Other wagons also received maroon paint on the top face of the under-frame and on the buffer beams, EWS branding was applied and other lettering above under-frame level was moved and applied in gold using Gill Sans.


Features

We always like to find ways of doing things a little differently and to incorporate new features to improve the use and enjoyment of our expansions.

Sometimes we will look at enabling new features to make models operate more like the prototype and in other cases to more closely reflect other influences in the real world.

This pack is no exception and we have and features a number of 'standard' Fastline Simulation features along with some newly developed ideas which include.

  • Branded and unbranded EWS liveries.
  • Clean and weathered versions of both wagon body and livery types
  • Loaded and unloaded versions with suitable physics. Other features include:
  • ‘Intelligent’ tail lamps
  • Animated hand brakes
  • Body variation switching based on vehicle number as per the prototype.

The pack includes a user manual with further details about the rolling stock and the customising of some of the features when using the wagons in scenarios.


Scenarios

As these expansions are being released via Steam Marketplace it is usual to not included bundled scenarios as we have in the past with our self-published expansions. However, as this product is workshop compatible we have commissioned two scenarios featuring the rolling stock included in the pack and these will be uploaded to Steam Workshop in the near future.

In the meantime you may want to search Steam Workshop to see if any scenarios have been shared by other people: Click here for Steam Workshop scenarios

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