Thursday, 28 January 2016

Thursday 28th January 2016

It's been a week with a number of projects making progress and others being submitted to Dovetail Games for quality assurance in preparation for release. More excitingly we've now finalised and signed the contract for the next batch of expansions to be released via Steam Marketplace which means we can start to show some of them in this post.

YLA Mullet

We've just heard that this pack has passed Quality Assurance and has entered the queue for release. The images below show a number of variations and loads which have not been seen before in their final state.

Fastline Simulation: A YLA Mullet in faded engineers livery carrying a load of concrete panels.

Fastline Simulation: Rust with a hint of engineers yellow and grey is the best description for this YLA Mullet carrying lengths of rail recovered from a work site.

Fastline Simulation: Prior to privatisation wagons were often transferred or borrowed between the revenue and engineers fleet. Since privatisation the boundaries have all but vanished and a number of YLAs have found themselves in EWS livery and used for revenue traffic like this large I-beams.

Fastline Simulation: The EWS livery on the YLA Mullet has started to fade but it is still finding useful work carrying long steel sections

BDA 80t Bogie Bolsters

These have been submitted to Dovetail Games ready for quality assurance. The images below show a selection of the loads that are included in the pack.

Fastline Simulation: An early built BDA to design code BD006C is seen in faded freight brown livery with a load of pipes.

Fastline Simulation: Later build to design code BD006C BDA in clean freight brown livery and a load of H-beams.

Fastline SImulation: A load of steel blooms are seen loaded on a BDA from the latter ones built to design code BD006C in weathered freight brown livery.

Fastline Simulation: Built to the final design code used for the BDA conversions, BD006D, this bolster has faded Railfreight livery and a load of steel slabs.


After showing a render of the completed shape last week we hit a frustrating couple of days when the shape didn't want to play nicely as we made different variations. However, it's sorted now and as can be seen below is in game with base textures and decals in place for a number of different versions.

Fastline Simulation: YMA Mullet and YQA Parr wagons complete with all decals and base textures in place.


These are the first of the new round of packs we are developing and a complicated bunch they are too! As the first variation of long wheelbase air braked vans (albeit with through vacuum pipes in some cases) they precede our previously released VCA vans but still found useful service well through to the end of the 1980s. Given their complicated nature and the sheer number of variations these vans will be split across two packs but are shown in no particular order in the pictures below.

Fastline Simulation: One of the 20 COV AB wagons built with ventilators on each end wearing clean freight brown livery and carrying the VAB TOPS code.

Fastline Simulation: A rather grubby maroon liveried COV AB without the end vent and carrying the TOPS code VBB.

Fastline Simulation: This COV AB has gained the VBA TOPS code and is wearing grubby maroon livery complete with a hardly noticable white roof from when it was allocated to Rowntrees chocolate traffic.

Fastline Simulation: Even though the COV ABs were the first mass produced long wheelbase van and constantly improved upon in later builds, they were still repainted into the Railfreight flame red and grey livery.

SPV 33t plate wagon

The LMS and LNER both built all steel wagons for the carriage of 22t of steel plate. BR continued with these designs, initially unfitted, with the first vacuum braked design appearing in 1956. The 2nd vacuum brake design was very similar, but vehicles to Diagram 1/434 were fitted with BR 8-shoe Clasp brakes. The 1500 Lot 3223 vehicles were originally fitted with the very distinctive 'Isothermos' axleboxes, though these were replaced in later years.

Fastline Simulation: In progress clay render of a 33t SPV plate wagon.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Fish and Steel

We've moved the blog post forward this week as other commitments mean it will be tricky to create a post on Thursday. However, there's been plenty going on that we can share.

BDA Bogie Bolster Steel Wagons

Fastline Simulation: This early airbrake conversion of a Bogie Bolster D to diagram BD006A has six bolsters and four ratchets on each side and is finished in freight brown livery.

Fastline Simulation: This diagram BD006D BDA has a new design of bolster, considerably more ratchets for securing the load on each side and is finished in Railfreight flame red and grey livery.
One feature of the 1070's and 1980's was the conversion of existing vacuum braked wagons to air brakes as Britsh Rail strived to raise freight train speeds and to standardise across the network. Some 1250 Bogie Bolster D wagons were converted over about 5 years with their plate back bogies being replaced by Y25C examples with either clasp or disk brakes. At the same time various configurations of ratchets were fitted to allow the use of nylon straps to secure loads in place rather than the traditional chains any they were recoded as BDA.

The pictures above show an early conversion to diagram BD006A in freight brown livery and one of the final conversions to diagram BD006D in Railfreight flame red and grey livery.

BRA/YLA 'Mullet' Bogie Rail Wagons

Fastline Simulation: Freshly converted from a BRV BORAIL this Railfreight flame red and grey liveried BRA will spend about 18 months in revenue stock before being transferred to the engineers department and recoding to a YLA.

Fastline Simulation: A freshly repainted  YLA Mullet in engineers yellow and grey livery.
Like the Bogie Bolster D wagons above some 150 BORAIL wagons were converted to air brakes. The process was a little more complex than with the BDA bolsters with a new low sided body with pockets for the ratchets placed on top of the fishbelly underframe and six new bolsters being added. The wagons gained the TOPS code of BRA.

The wagons only managed about 18 months as a part of the revenue fleet before being transferred to the Engineers department and recoding as YLA Mullets. Eventually they were to gain engineers grey and yellow livery signifying their owning department though they appear to have been frequently borrowed when loads requiring their length were required. More recently some have gained EWS livery and can still be seen carrying long steel loads.

YQA 'Parr' Bogie Sleeper Wagon

Fastline Simulation: In progress render of a YQA Parr sleeper carrying wagon with 9 load ratchets on each side.
At various stages from 1985 onwards around 70 YLA 'Mullets' have been converted to (almost) flat wagons with the removal of the bolsters, the fitting of heavy longitudinal timbers and a number of different ratchet configurations. Initially this conversion looks to have been for the carrying of track panels and the TOPS code of YMA was applied. Allegedly following some confusion the FISHKIND of Parr was applied and eventually the TOPS code changed to YQA at possibly the same time that more wagons were converted for carrying concrete sleepers.

The render above shows a fairly typical configuration for a YQA 'Parr' with 9 ratchets on each side and is one of four different variations currently under development.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Last of the hoppers ...

... well for now at any rate!

A belated Happy New Year to all as we start out on our modelling voyage for 2016.

Just before we launch into the last couple of 21T hopper packs for now I'd like to tell you about some changes to the way we communicate and showcase what we're doing that we're introducing for 2016.

Since taking Fastline Simulation full time the mixture of blog and website hasn't quite felt comfortable and a little forced at times. As a consequence we're no longer going to publish a monthly review on the website and will be moving away from individual item themed blog posts. Instead, the plan is to publish (at the moment) one blog post on Thursday with a review of all that has been done and that can be shown during the past week. Hopefully this will feel a little more coherent and will give a better pace to the posts.

That said, the post this week is all about 21T coal hoppers as we catch up the last two packs of these that are currently waiting to be released!

Diagram 1/143 unfitted 21T coal hoppers

We've been producing a number of wagon packs for Train Simulator featuring the British Railways builds of 21T coal hoppers based on the LNER design and this pack tells another small part of the story. Diagram 1/143 was issued in 1949 and covered a design of 21T coal hopper with a riveted body rather than the welded bodies constructed in previous lots. Some 2750 vehicles were constructed during the 1949 and 1950 building programs with all the wagons being unfitted and retaining a link to their LNER heritage through long handbrake levers.

Fastline Simulation: A virtually ex-works dia. 1/143 21T hopper painted in unfitted grey livery with the most simple 21T lettering on a black painted panel.

Fastline Simulation: A clean dia. 1/143 21T hopper in unfitted grey livery with HOP 21 code on a black painted panel.

Fastline Simulation: This battered dia 1/143 21T hopper is showing considerable signs of corrosion and carries the HTO TOPS code with the data panel on a black painted patch.

Fastline Simulation: This weathered dia 1/143 unfitted 21T coal hopper has the HTO TOPS code outside of a small boxed data panel.

Rebodied dia. 1/146 unfitted 21T Coal Hoppers

Right back at the start of our exploration of the 21T coal hoppers we released the rebodied vacuum braked examples built originally to diagram 1/146. Now to finish off we have the unfitted example to the same diagram. In the 1970's British Rail initiated a large scale rebodying of the 21T coal hopper fleet with a new design of body featuring only two ribs on the side rather than the five previously seen. Both fitted and unfitted hoppers were rebodied and naturally a large number of hoppers from the in excess of 17,000 built to diagram 1/146 received new bodies. Although all of the hoppers in this wagon pack are the unfitted version they are to be supplied in both unfitted grey and fitted brown liveries mirroring real life where a large number of unfitted hoppers received the fitted brown livery!

Fastline Simulation: A virtually ex-works rebodied dia. 1/146 21T hopper painted in unfitted grey livery with HOP 21 branding inside a full sized data panel.

Fastline Simulation: A work worn rebodied dia. 1/146 21T hopper in unfitted grey livery with HOP 21 code inside a fully boxed data panel.

Fastline Simulation: This rebodied dia 1/146 21T hopper is in ex-work freight brown livery (although it’s unfitted) complete will fully boxed data panel with HTO TOPS code.

Fastline Simulation: This weathered rebodied dia 1/146 unfitted 21T coal hopper also wears freight brown livery but has the HTO TOPS code outside of a small boxed data panel.