Wednesday, 28 October 2015

RNA Barrier Wagons

Fastline Simulation: Maroon liveried HEA coal hopper recoded as an RNA barrier wagon.

Fastline Simulation: Railfreight flame red and grey liveried HEA coal hopper recoded as an RNA barrier wagon.

Fastline Simulation: the HEA coal hopper has been recoded as an RNA barrier wagon and has gained Railfreight Coal Sector livery.

Fastline Simulation: An RNA barrier wagon that has been converted from an HEA coal hopper by the removal of the hopper body and the fitting of a new floor.
Until the mid 1990s railway operations required the use of barrier wagons when trains were carrying Dangerous Goods to give better protection to train crews and the goods themselves in the event of derailment or collision. Traditionally these barrier wagons would be drawn from whatever suitable wagons were available in the yard at the time that the train was assembled. However, with the sectorisation of British Rail in the run up to privatisation all assets and requirements had to be accounted for.

With this in mind, Railfreight Coal assembled a dedicated fleet of barrier wagons for use with nuclear flask traffic. It is likely that a number of the wagons that were involved had been in use for this very purpose for some time but were now formally assigned and converted for the role. A large number had their hopper bodies removed and a new floor added. Alongside this they gained a coat of the new Railfreight Sector livery complete with coal branding.

Other hoppers retained their bodywork but gained a repaint in the Sector livery while others were simply recoded as RNA while retaining their previous liveries.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Bonus Brake Vans - Part 1

Those of you who have been following us for a while know that we like to throw in the odd extra when it comes to our Train Simulator expansion packs to make them a little more realistic. Today we're showing off a couple of items we've been finishing off to bundle with a number of our forthcoming Marketplace releases.

Fastline Simulation: Just about the end of the line for the traditional brake van was the repainting of a select few dia 1/507 through air and vacuum braked (TOPS code CAR) brake vans for use with dangerous goods.
With the Sectorisation of British Rail, image and accountability became a very important part of the business. Ironically, even in this modern business, there was still the need for traditional railway technology including the humble brake van.

Where the transportation of dangerous goods or particular operating arrangements were in place there was still a requirement for brake vans to be used for the use of the guard or other members of the train crew. As a consequence, a number of the later built dia. 1/507 20T brake vans with through air and vacuum pipes (TOPS code CAR) gained fresh coats of Railfreight sector livery complete with sector branding.

We have created this model for inclusion in our RNA barrier wagons pack that is due to be released on Steam Marketplace very soon. The model features coal sector decals by default but these can be changed through the use of number prefixes to any other decal if you so desire. Given the period of use this van is fitted with a single early design battery flashing tail lamp controlled via our intelligent tail lamp scripting.

Fastline Simulation: A weathered dia. 1/506 unfitted 'standard' British Railways 20T brake van.
Turning the clock right back we've also been working on a more original unfitted dia. 1/506 brake van with plain axle boxes. A considerable number of these vans were built in the early 1950s both in the form represented here but also with through vacuum pipes and in some cases, were fully fitted with vacuum brakes.

Given that unfitted wagons were not fitted with lamp irons and would not be expected to run in train without a brake van this model is currently scheduled to be bundled with a number of our forthcoming expansions including the unfitted 21t hopper packs and the BDO bogie bolsters.

The dia. 1/506 vans feature a selection of randomised or controllable lettering styles along with clean and weathered textures. By default the vans display three oil lamps (with the side lamps being randomly black or white) denoting a partially fitted or unfitted train but this can be overridden if desired to show a single lamp for a fitted train.

Both of the vans shown are supplied with smoking and non smoking stove pipes. The smoking variant has dynamic smoke that changes over time reflecting changes to the fire in the stove.

We do have plans to create further versions of both these vans which will be bundled with future expansions as appropriate.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

HSA Scrap Wagons

Fastline Simuation: Thyis maroon liveried HES hopper has been converted to an HSA scrap wagon by welding a steel plate across the hopper bottoms. The only visible sign of the conversion is the E that has been changed to an S in the TOPS code.

Fastline Simulation: A conversion of a Railfrieght flame red and grey liveried HEA coal hopper into an HSA scrap wagon. THe patch-painted increase to the tare weight tells us that the conversion was acheived by filling the hopper bottoms with ballast to create a level surface. The body is already starting to show signs of scrapes and batters from unloading with grabs and magnets.
The conversion of surplus HEA hoppers into HSA scrap wagons from about 1987 must have been one of the simplest conversions of a wagon.

The main aim of the conversion was to produce a flat bottomed wagon and to take the hoppers out of use as loading and unloading at scrap processors would be via mechanical grabs and magnets. This flat bottom was achieved in two ways, either a steel plate was welded across the bottoms of the hoppers at approximately under-frame height or a similar level of ballast was dropped into the wagon. The latter wagons can be identified by and increased tare weight that was patch painted on to the data panel.

This Train Simulator expansion is based on our previously released HEA hoppers which have been back through the works for updated materials and textures along with the fitting of some more recent developments which include:
  • Intelligent tail lamps
  • Variable infill method with tare weight patch
  • Five different logo styles randomly applied with overrides
  • Variable load planes randomly applied
  • Body switching dependent on vehicle number with reference to end ladders on earlier vehicles
  • Randomised textures of Railfreight red/grey versions

Monday, 19 October 2015

Weathered VCA Vans

Fastline Simulation: An example of one of the later built examples of VCA van in faded freight brown livery.

Fastline Simulation: This example of a maroon liveried VCA has seen considerable traffic and is decidedly faded and patchy.

Fastline Simulation: This Railfreight flame red and grey liveried late build VCA with the increased tare weight has lost much of the vibrancy in the livery colours.
A short while ago we showed you the full range of clean VCA vans that we will be including in our forthcoming Train Simulator 2016 expansion.

Today we present the work weary examples with patchy and faded paintwork and lettering. It's not a great leap to imagine the number of trips they have made from South Wales carrying products produced by the Metal Box company.

Friday, 16 October 2015

CEA Covered Hoppers [EWS]

Fastline Simulation: A clean CEA hopper in unbranded EWS maroon livery from the side with sheet rubbers and cleats.

Fastline Simulation: A weathered CEA hopper in EWS maroon livery with stencil lettering and no logos.

Fastline Simulation: An EWS liveried and branded CEA is seen shortly after repainting from the side containing the sheet fixings.

Fastline Simulation: A rather grubby CEA hopper converted from one of the early build HEAs in EWS livery with gold logo and lettering.
Last week we showed off some pictures of the completed Loadhaul liveried CEA hoppers. This week it's the turn of the EWS ones.

Even though there have been some questions raised about the success of the CEA conversions it would appear that EWS saw some use for the small fleet of covered hoppers. A large number of them gained one of two variations of EWS livery either unbranded EWS maroon with stencilled lettering or fully branded EWS with gold lettering. In both cases a smart new retractable sheet in EWS maroon was also fitted.

As with the vast majority of our packs the wagons will be supplied with clean and weathered versions along with loaded and empty physics. These wagons also feature automatic body switching to take in to account the different positions of ladder and aer fitted with our intelligent tail lamp system.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Clean VCA Vans

Fastline Simulation: A VCA from the first lot is seen after being recently repainted in maroon livery.

Fastline Simulation: A VCA in sparkling Railfreight flame red and grey livery stands outside of the works.
We first gave you a glimpse of the VCA vans as the header image for the September Update. Today we felt it was about time to let you have a look at the full set of clean vans. Naturally there will be some weathered examples along later.

In 1971 a new design of air braked long wheelbase van with two centrally mounted sliding doors appeared from Ashford works. These 125 wagons to lot 3764 were coded as COV CD and were painted Freight Brown with a large Double Arrow high on the left hand side. In the 2nd half of 1974, Shildon Works constructed a further 100 vans to lot 3832. It is these 2 lots of wagons that feature in this pack. After the change over to TOPS, these vans were coded as VCA, though the 2nd lot were incorrectly labelled as VBA when new (not featured in the pack). In time the first lot were repainted in Maroon livery with a boxed Double Arrow and Railfreight branding. Both lots later received Railfreight Flame Red & Grey livery.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Loadhaul CEA Covered Hoppers

Fastline Simulation: A pristine Loadhaul liveried CEA conversion is seen from the less cluttered side. The original HEA hopper was one of the early built examples with a central ladder.

Fastline Simulation: A CEA conversion of one of the more numerous offset ladder HEAs in weathered Lodhaul livery is seen from the side with the sheet rubber straps and bodyside cleats.
A fair while ago we shoed some pictures of the CEAs under development. Today it's a pleasure to show off the final versions with updated materials and textures and a few other tweaks.

The CEA conversion was one of the latter attempts to find a use for the large numbers of hoppers that were standing around with very little to do. They 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 to allow them to carry products which needed protecting from the weather or 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.