(The ECML Route Series is a guest post series written by Stuart Page, head of the ECML project.You can read Part 1 here.)
In this new version the route includes the entirely separate station at Kings Cross called York Road and the connection to the Metropolitan Railway Widened line (underground) all the way to Moorgate. The return route is via Hotel Curve back into platform 14 at Kings Cross.
In the real world; The Widened Line connection closed in November 1977, and now some 41 years later the Thameslink looks to bring back what was lost. Planned in 2018, a new tunnel and a new station below Kings Cross will allow trains to again travel through that underground system.
Back to Trainz: A New Era - the long awaited extension from Newcastle to Edinburgh brings the mileage count up to 393 miles with no ‘fudging’. Haymarket depot is provided so locomotives off Edinburgh terminating trains can continue to the depot for fuel. As of pervious ECML versions the secondary routes to Hull, Cleethorpes, Skegness, the Joint Line from Peterborough via Lincoln to Doncaster and inter joining routes around Lincoln and Barnetby add an additional 292 miles (469 km) bringing the total of 685 route miles (1102 km) to drive, explore, and experience.
The Hertford loop between Wood Green (London) and Stevenage has again been left incomplete other than track and stations for any keen builder to finish.
There are some areas of the route which are not correct, like the missing signaling control power box at the North East point of the Kings Cross station complex, adjacent to York Rd station. This very modern out of place ‘blot on the landscape’ has been left out on purpose with typical lack of 1970’s design thinking. Similarly, Moorgate station which was once open to the atmosphere has been left that way to aid Trainz users. This station had already been encased in concrete with buildings above by this era. The route has also been opened out with many trackside trees removed. With the route based only around 10 years after the end of the steam locomotive era, fully grown trees were rather rare directly trackside.
During the period of not only building the Haymarket – Edinburgh – Berwick section, ECML project member tmz06003 has also produced a wide variety of locomotives which, most at some time in their lives worked on the ECML. Not only have locomotives been built, there's also a wide range of stock totalling over 140 The 'Locoitems'. A grand total of over 1,600 assists have been produced including a Trainz first - black tunnels.
Thanks must go not only to Tony – tmz06003 but all those who have helped to produce the wide variety of British Locomotives for free to the Trainz communities:
With the Trainz ECML project well into 14 years the team over the years has changed, with new faces arriving and some originals members standing down. Stuart who has been the ECML project lead from the beginning, is the only member left from the Deltic Preservation Society which is a registered UK charity, while all other help comes from the Trainz community.
The main aim of the DPS is the continuing restoration and operation of our Deltic locomotive fleet. At present we have one finishing a 15 year restoration project – 55015 Tuylar and two fully operational locos. D9009 (55009) Alycidon is registered to operate on the National Network with 100 MPH railtours around the country. Some tours are already fully booked this year. This loco also joins 55019 Royal Highland Fusilier that operates on preserved railways throughout Britain and will be located on the Severn Valley Railway for the 2015 season after our first event on the Bluebell Railway 3 day diesel gala on the 17th,18th,19th April 2015.
The route itself has plenty to come with future extensions planned and some already complete and ready for release. We are always short of content and route builders and are always looking for anyone wishing to merge extensions onto the ECML. These must be up to the standard of the ECML and include correctly gradient lines based around the same time period of 1976. Permission will be given for anyone wishing to convert the ECML to another time period on condition of joining the ECML team and being released by ourselves and N3V only. Full credit of course will be given to the creators.
For the integrated 55008 Cab Simulator, it's planned, funds permitting, to be relocated inside our maintenance depot at Barrow Hill in the museum section. The simulator will run automatically, letting anyone from the public sit in the drivers and secondman seats and be driven along and explore the ECML through Trainz: A New Era. On special events the loco will be available to be driven using the driver’s controls under supervision along the route.
I wish to thank everyone who has been involved with this project and the building of the ECML. Not just those in the team but all of the content creators who have uploaded content to the DLS that has been used. Without your help the ECML wouldn’t be such an enjoyable driving experience. The whole ECML team is looking very much towards the future with the continuing progression of the Trainz: A New Era and the ECML. We congratulate N3V in this outstanding development with its stunning graphics and planned enhancements that will thrill everyone for many years to come.
Stuart Page - ECML Project Leader