Monday, 19 May 2014

HEA Hopper Conversions: Loadhaul MEA

Fastline Simulation - HEA Conversions: Loadhaul followed Transrail in ordering a batch of MEA conversions. By the time the wagons were delivered Loadhaul had become a part of EWS and the wagons were delivered in plain black livery without the trademark Loadhaul orange ends and a white band around the top. End ladders were again not fitted to these wagons.
The last of the pre-privatisation shadow freight companies to place an order for MEA conversions was Loadhaul. These wagons were delivered after the acquisition of Loadhaul (along with Transrail and Mainline Freight) by a subsidiary Wisconsin Central, better known as EWS.

The livery of these wagons differs from others given the Loadhaul treatment in that they were delivered in all over black without the orange ends usually applied to Loadhaul rolling stock. The wagons are also notable for having a white band around the top rather than the more usual yellow carried by other MEA conversions to that date. Possibly these changes were dictated by the change in owning company at the time of delivery.

Our latest screenshot from Train Simulator 2014 shows an ex-works MEA wagon in tidy black and white Loadhaul livery posing for the official camera before entering service.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

HEA Hoppers - Post BR: Hoppers in Action

HEA Hoppers - Post BR: Class 37/7 37718 hauls a rake of HEA hoppers recently removed from store in assorted liveries over Ribblehead viaduct on their way to be converted into MEA mineral wagons.

HEA Hoppers - Post BR: Class 37/7 37718 waits at the northern end of Ribblehead viaduct as a northbound empty coal train crosses. The 37 is hauling long stored HEA hoppers on their last journey to be converted into MEA mineral wagons.
One of the testers has been a bit creative while testing the scenario to be included in our HEA Hoppers - Post BR expansion for Train Simulator 2014.

The screenshots are taken around the Ribblehead area and feature a class 37/7 taking long stored HEA hoppers for conversion for MEA mineral wagons. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

HEA Hopper Conversions: Cut Down RNA

Fastline Simulation - HEA Conversions: RNA barrier wagon with the hopper body removed in Railfreight Coal livery from the air tank end showing the uncluttered side without pipe runs.

Fastline Simulation - HEA Conversions: RNA barrier wagon with the hopper body removed in Railfreight Coal livery. The pipe runs above the underframe meant that a standard TOPS data panel would be obstructed and some creativity had to take place when adding it to the underframe.
It seemed to be about time to have a break from pictures of coal wagons, so here's a wagon that used to be a coal wagon!

One feature of railway operation, which seems to have virtually ended now, is the use of barrier wagons to hopefully give some protection to the train crew should anything go wrong. Quite often these barrier wagons were empty revenue wagons placed at either end of the hazardous commodity being conveyed.

However, in April 1989 a design sheet was issued to convert 30 HEA hopper wagons into barriers for use with nuclear flask trains which were then the responsibility of the Railfreight Coal Sector. The work involved the removal of the hopper body, the addition of some extra weight and plating over of the hole left by removing the hopper.

The screenshots from Train Simulator 2014 show both sides of recently converted RNA wagons posing in the sunshine for the official photographer. The application of lettering does seem to have posed a problem due to the lack of bodywork and as such there are some non standard lettering features and no two wagons seem to be lettered in quite the same way which means we have had to go for a bit of a best average approach.