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How the ECML found its way to Trainz: A New Era, Part 1

By Shaine Bennett, April 14 2015

(The ECML Route Series is a guest post series written by Stuart Page, head of the ECML project.)

Introduction

What better way is there to celebrate the completion of the 393 mile (632km) London, Kings Cross to Edinburgh route than with the release of Trainz: A New Era.

Famous for the fastest steam engine in the world, the Mallard, and home of the Flying Scotsman, the ECML is a powerhouse of rail history – and here is the history of how the ECML came to Trainz.

In The Beginning

The ECML project was started as a personal route using Microsoft Train Simulator. Originally the junctions and track were solid objects, similar to a train set, and lining these pieces up to the next had to be exact otherwise trains would derail. With this method, building the trackwork at Kings Cross station originally took around a month and there was no hope of building the entire route to Edinburgh with that kind of time involved.

Then at the 2004 Railfest event in York, United Kingdom, at the National Railway Museum, the Trainz team from Australia were showing off their latest simulator. The team came over and introduced themselves and Trainz, and after some time testing this new simulator, we were surprised at the ease of construction, building the Kings Cross station in just two nights!

The Plan

After discovering other individuals on the Trainz forums building sections of the ECML, we had the bright idea creating a team, and building the entire ECML route based around the 1976 era. Our aim was to make it as realistic as possible for use in the Deltic Preservations Societies cab section of the 550008.

(Left: Real world controls and guages running Trainz. Right: W.I.P. Deltic Cab screenshot from Trainz: A New Era.)

The Team

The team was quickly developed to produce the whole section South of Doncaster.

  • Pete Berry // Chefbyte
  • Martin Clark // Martin c
  • Graham Wormald // Dudicus
  • Andrew Scully //  Hooverman
  • Garth Clarkson // Puffernutter
  • Oliver Turner // Oliveropt and
  • Rob Hill // LieLestoSbrat

Over the years, massive amounts of hours have been put into the project and the route progressed at a steady pace. With amazing commitment and dedication to the project, along with and many long hours of building, the team deserves a medal.

(Testing the ECML route and what a way of doing it. Left to Right.  Oliveropt,  David, Captin Scarlet – simulator guest, LieLestoSbrat, Hooverman, Dudicus, Puffernutter, Andrew  simulator guest,  Martin c, Chefbyte.)

(The team meet regularly at the Deltic Preservations Societies base at Barrow Hill, Chesterfield UK. Here James ‘ Bloodnock’ explains the new 4 aspect signal system at a DPS ‘Trainz Users’ Open Day.)