The first Maxi Pack add-on for RailWorks Train Simulator 2012 as part of Project East Coast is themed around the Motorail services, in particular 'The Night Capitals', that regularly plied between London and Scotland via the East Coast Main Line.
When British Rail introduced the Motorail brand in 1966 the idea of carrying passengers cars on the train with them was by no means a new one. Historically railway companies had constructed covered carriage trucks (CCT) for the transportation of (usually more wealthy) travellers coaches and later motor cars so they could use them at their destination. The GWR also ran a service carrying cars and their owners via the Severn Tunnel which continued after nationalisation until the opening of the Severn Bridge.
The key item in this Maxi Pack are the Newton Chambers built double deck car carriers. Built in 1961-2 they were a unique design and as such never really fitted in, even being given a E suffix to their numbers like pre-nationalisation rolling stock. Each vehicle could carry six cars with 4 being carried on the main deck and the remaining 2 in the well between the bogies, accessed by a hydraulic lift. The bodywork was unusual for rail vehicles being constructed of fibreglass, the ends of the vehicles were built with folding doors and loading ramps to allow vehicles to be driven through the train during loading. As non standard items of rolling stock the car carriers were remarkably long lived, with a number gaining ETH wiring and dual brakes before final withdrawl in 1987. In later years the lower well was taken out of use after a member of staff was allegedly fatally injured during loading operations. Occasionally the car carriers could be found working away from the Eastern Region.
The car carriers were paired in service with converted General Utility Vans (GUVs) with Motorail fixings to cater for larger vehicles that could not be accommodated by the car carriers. The GUV was one of the original designs of non passenger carrying coaching stock (NPCCS) and carried on the traditions of earlier railway companies to provide a general purpose vehicle that could run in passenger trains carrying parcels, goods or road vehicles. In common with the car carriers the loading ramps could be lowered to allow vehicles to drive through the train, however a standard end loading dock could be used in the case of the GUV.
The Maxi Pack will also include additional Mk1 coaches (seated and sleeping cars) to allow the creation of prototype trains for the Project East Coast era to be formed including the car carriers.