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North West England 2

By Terry Cunliffe

This is a freeware 'Community CD' route, available from the UKTrainSim CD Ordering page, at a cost of 4.50. This cost covers packaging and delivery, and you also get one month's premium subscription included.

Blackpool North

Background

The route was originally started in June 2002, with a view to modelling the Manchester-Liverpool Route via Newton-le-Willows. (As this is the only section of the route that I travel on a regular basis, it is probably more 'real' as regards scenery than any other section.) After two near track completions followed by catastrophic crashes and computer problems, the current version was started in August 2002. It soon became apparent that to maximise Activity Creation the route needed to be extended somewhat.... the problem was then "where to stop"!

The Route

This utilises the WCML from Acton Grange (South of Warrington) to Lancaster as a 'spinal' section. From this, track is laid to Liverpool, Manchester, Bolton, Blackpool, Chorley and Southport... and more... a total of over 950 track miles and 100+ stations! (Listed below)

There are numerous yards, docks, power stations and collieries included which either did and / or do still exist.

**** This is a 'Hybrid' Route as regards eras, and therefore not for the purists... it is not a true model of the "real thing", but neither is it completely fictional, but I hope that it will be found to be a reasonable interpretation, with plenty of scope for activity creation. ****

The selection of activities that accompany this CD version reflect this... with periods from the late 50s right up to the present day represented... Something for everyone!

The track layout / distances are as accurate as my skills and the limitations of MSTS allows, and are interpreted from Quail maps of circa 1990, together with additions that I can remember as a lad... this has involved the "re-opening" of several currently disused branch lines and sidings. The Liverpool Underground sections together with the Manchester Metrolink are omitted.

**** Although gradients are reasonably accurate, and platforms, bridges, canals, major rivers and main roads are more or less in the correct places, the scenery, although representative, IS PURELY FICTIONAL, but is quite dense in some areas, which could hammer frame-rates on slower machines. As the route is so extensive, thorough research and implementation (building) of specific scenery items would have been so time consuming to the extent that this route would never have been released. Speed restrictions and signalling are fictional ****

Also, in addition to the 'old' track layouts, more recently constructed stations have been included. This is to enable the simulation of some current timetables.

As only part of the route is electrified in real life, and the limitations of MSTS means that you cannot only part electrify, as a compromise I have chosen to electrify, but have placed the overhead cables at a height to render them invisible, however, overhead gantries have been placed on the appropriate main lines.

Route Map

Click to enlarge: AC electrified lines are shown in red, DC third rail lines in blue. Stations as red squares, industries and other freight locations blue.

Stock Included

Electric Locomotives, EMU's and Trams
Diesel Locomotives and HST's
DMU's
Steam Locomotives
Coaches
(Stock pages courtesy of user 'sg100' - many thanks!)

Activities

23 activities are provided on the CD, covering a wide range of eras and offering a variety of tasks.

Auto Transport
Delivery of some Transit vans from Halewood to Preston Docks.

Blackpool Intercity
The one daily Blackpool to Euston Inter-City service.

Blackpool Local
A local run from Blackpool South past the Pleasure Beach to Preston. Look out for trams!

Blackpool North - Southport ECS Run
This is the follow up activity to the Southport-Blackpool North activity. Following your arrival in Blackpool North, drive the Class 37 empty coach stock back to Southport.

Container Transport
Deliver some containers from Mossend (and Preston) to Garston Docks, then move some empties from Ditton to Queens Dock.

Garston - Fleetwood
Take a coal train from Garston to Fleetwood, using a banker to help you up the Widnes - St Helens gradient. Top speed for these unfitted wagons is 45mph.

Golborne Coal
Deliver some coal from Golborne Colliery, on the WCML to Pendleton Power Station, near Manchester.

Holyhead to Manchester
A Holyhead to Manchester Victoria service, starting just south of Warrington Bank Quay.

ITR - UKTrainsim Railtour
A circuitous route around the NWE network.

Liverpool to Manchester
A limited stop service from Liverpool Lime Street to Manchester Piccadilly.

Manchester-Blackpool Class 47 run
Set in Winter 1986, drive a Class 47 between Manchester Victoria and Blackpool North.

Manchester - Southport DMU run
Set in Spring 1987, drive a Class 142 DMU on the 1638 Manchester Victoria-Southport service.

Mcr Oxford Rd - Liv Cen semi-fast
Take an evening semi-fast suburban service along the CLC route from Manchester Oxford Road to Liverpool Central in about 1985.

North West Mail
A morning postal service, from Liverpool to Lancaster.

Northbound Westcoast
A Euston to Glasgow Inter-City service.

Preston - Ormskirk
A local from Preston to Ormskirk about 1989.

Scotsman Special
Take a steam special from Lancaster to Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry.

Southport-Blackpool North extra service
Set on a Bank Holiday Monday in May 2004, drive a "top 'n tailed" Class 37 hauled train on the extra 0907 Southport-Blackpool North service.

Speedlink
Assemble a mixed freight train at Southport, then take it to Warrington.

Vulcan Delivery
It's 1959. Your brand-new class 40 needs testing and delivering to Horwich Works.

WCML Rescue
Rescue a broken down Inter-City West Coast service.

Weaste - Preston Tankers
Take a heavy load of tar tankers from Weaste, near Salford, to the terminal near Preston Docks.

Windermere to Manchester
A semi-fast from Lancaster to Manchester, via Wigan.

Activities for Download

There are several NWE2 activities on UKTrainsim, many of which use stock entirely from the CD.

Click to view more informationMotorail to Inverness [148572 bytes] - motorail to inverness.zip
File ID: 8887 Date: 21 Apr 2004 - 1696 Downloads
Click to view more informationA Day at the Races [27344 bytes] - A Day at the Races.zip
File ID: 8993 Date: 04 May 2004 - 1216 Downloads
Click to view more information07:00 Tanks to Haydock - for NWE2 [29246 bytes] - TanksNWE.zip
File ID: 9151 Date: 22 May 2004 - 1041 Downloads
Click to view more informationTar Very Much-An Activity for NWE V2 [51850 bytes] - Tar Very Much.zip
File ID: 9168 Date: 25 May 2004 - 1053 Downloads
Click to view more informationSouthbound Freightliner activity for NWE2 [167930 bytes] - southbound Freightliner v1.zip
File ID: 9205 Date: 30 May 2004 - 1483 Downloads
Click to view more information10:00 Pickup to Arpley for NWE2 [29313 bytes] - Arpley1.zip
File ID: 9231 Date: 02 Jun 2004 - 1000 Downloads
Click to view more information08:30 Coals to Garston - for NWE2 _AMENDED VERSION [44568 bytes] - coalgarston.zip
File ID: 9236 Date: 02 Jun 2004 - 895 Downloads
Click to view more informationOh, I do like to be beside the seaside.-An activity for NWE V2 [42424 bytes] - Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside.zip
File ID: 9207 Date: 03 Jun 2004 - 1334 Downloads
Click to view more information12:15 Warrington to Preston - for NWE2 [57050 bytes] - warrpreston1.zip
File ID: 9314 Date: 09 Jun 2004 - 1067 Downloads
Click to view more information***UPDATE***To Boldly Go..... An Activity for NWE V2 [25879 bytes] - To Boldly Go.zip
File ID: 9426 Date: 24 Jun 2004 - 1242 Downloads
Click to view more information14:00 Sheik, Saddle Up and Wagons Roll [56728 bytes] - NWE2_5.zip
File ID: 9507 Date: 30 Jun 2004 - 838 Downloads
Click to view more informationTrack_works_Part_1 [7678 bytes] - Track_works_Part_1.zip
File ID: 9456 Date: 06 Jul 2004 - 796 Downloads
Click to view more informationTrack_works_Part_2 [10659 bytes] - Track_works_Part_2.zip
File ID: 9575 Date: 08 Jul 2004 - 752 Downloads
Click to view more informationTrainspotting acvitity for NWE 2 [43778 bytes] - NWE_Trainspotting.zip
File ID: 4207 Date: 06 Aug 2004 - 1431 Downloads
Click to view more information [ bytes] -
File ID: Date: 01 Jan 1970 -  Downloads
Click to view more informationHybrid Theory [29467 bytes] - hybridtheory.apk
File ID: 11311 Date: 15 Jan 2005 - 1112 Downloads
There are also many downloadable activities that use stock from the UKTS file library. Click here for a full list.

Screenshots

Blackpool North
Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Manchester Victoria
Warrington Bank Quay
Preston
Lancaster
Southport
Vulcan Foundry
Weaste
Garston
Manchester Oxford Road
Acton Grange

Known Errors

  • Liverpool 'electrics' lines... no third rail.
  • Liverpool Exchange Station... this had more than two platforms!
  • Lime Street tunnels should extend further westwards.
  • The section between Warrington Central and Padgate is slightly out of alignment.
  • The viaduct sections around Manchester / Salford are more extensive than depicted here.
  • The old spur between Springs Branch and the Wigan - Hindley stretch is in the wrong place. (Should be further South)
  • Ditton area. Due to illegible Quail Map, the track layout is probably less accurate that I would wish it to be.
  • Arpley Junction and associated sidings are slightly out of position. (Too far East), as is Agecroft (a little too far south.)
  • Due to MSTS 'difficulties' there is no spur between the Preston-Blackpool line and the old Longridge branch.
  • The traffic on the M6 at Warrington Birchwood is actually moving!!
NWE unfortunately suffers from the dreaded "white out" bug. This happens on all 5 routes heading East out of Liverpool, and also on the line from Southport to Wigan and the 2 from Blackpool to Preston. There are no problems when travelling East to West. Wait till consist is in the white zone, save activity and then re-load. All should then be OK.

Patches and Fixes

Click to view more informationFix for Blackpool IC Activity (NWE2) [746 bytes] - NWE2_Blackpool_IC_patch.zip
File ID: 7537 Date: 05 May 2004 - 1449 Downloads
Click to view more informationNWE2 Patch 1 [380376 bytes] - NWE2_Patch1.zip
File ID: 9054 Date: 10 May 2004 - 2695 Downloads
Click to view more informationWeaste - Preston tankers fix [22063 bytes] - wpt.zip
File ID: 8956 Date: 28 Apr 2004 - 1328 Downloads

Unknown Errors

Probably hundreds!

If anyone is more familiar with sections of the route, and something is really bugging you! (Such as "the footbridge on so-and-so station is at the wrong end of the platform", or "such-and-such a station is the wrong generic type") feel free to amend on your PC, but also please just drop me a PM on the UK TrainSim forums, and I'll also attempt to change the Master file for any future versions.

Please feel free to modify any scenery, (replace those horrendous 'billboard trees', for which I profusely apologise for having used!), increase 'clutter' etc. (Please Beware... several world tiles are very close to, or even over, their object 'limits'.), but please may I ask for you to seek my permission before changing any track layouts.

Please note a section of the Blackpool Tramway is included. This however is for the sole intention of use by distant AI traffic. Anyone who tries to 'drive' the route will be sadly disappointed.

Any modeller who wishes to augment the route with 'custom' items (maybe an accurate Manchester Victoria and / or Oxford road?!?!?) has my blessing to do so, but it would be greatly appreciated if they could then share the results of their efforts to everyone who has downloaded the route.

No liability can be accepted for this utility screwing up your system, nor for any divorces or general breakdowns in personal relationships due to installing and using this simulation!

Constructive criticism is always welcome!

Acknowledgments

Activities written by Simont, Paul Williams (JP4712) and Marc (XPTE).

I hope you agree that the guys have put together a fine spread for us all to enjoy. If you like them, drop 'em a note and tell them!

CD compiled and co-ordinated by Alan Salmon (Thanks!) and distributed by UKTrainSim (again, more thanks)

In addition to the scenery authors (see "guest objects"), locomotives, rolling-stock and ancillaries used were created by the following fine and upstanding MSTS community members. Again, if you appreciate their work, Tell Them!

NWE map by Peter Peddlesden, modified by Simont.

Custom locomotives (Class 86 & 87's) exclusive to the CD courtesy of TheStoat.

Full List

  • Alan Salmon
  • Andrew Bootles
  • Andy Dunnett
  • Ben Laws
  • Brian Walker
  • Bruce Bryant
  • Dale Stewart (Basildd)
  • Daryn Dunkley
  • Dave Babb
  • Dave Bran
  • David Kimber (Kimberd)
  • David Peacock
  • Gary Cox
  • Gary Price (fodda)
  • grudz (James Grundell)
  • Graham Parkin
  • Guy Barker (Megatron)
  • Ian Jenkins
  • Ian Macmillan
  • Ian Morgan
  • James Hunt
  • John Dibben
  • John Owen
  • Jon Champ (Champy)
  • Jonathan Powell (aka pepsipowell)
  • Kyle Cockett
  • Marcla
  • Mark Shipman
  • Mark Todd
  • Mark Wiles
  • Martin Hodgson
  • Matthew Peddlesden
  • Mike Wilson
  • Ollie
  • Paul Mitchell
  • Peter Harvey (digman)
  • Peter Harvey (harveype)
  • Phil Easton
  • Sean Lim
  • Stephen Smithson
  • Steve Nicklin
  • Steve Sharratt
  • Steve Smithson ("40058")
  • Steve Waterman
  • Steven Weller
  • Stuart Gardner
  • Terry Thornton
  • TheStoat
  • Tim Booth
  • Tim Court
  • Tyler Durden

Legal Stuff

North West England V2, an add on for Microsoft Train Simulator is copyright Terry Cunliffe 2004... All rights reserved.

This add-on must NOT be sold on to any parties for personal profit, other than to recover the costs of packaging and postage. As this add-on contains work that is copyright to Microsoft and Kuju, profiteering from this would violate the End User License Agreement for Microsoft Train Simulator

Violation of the EULA could hold you liable to prosecution from Microsoft

I will NOT consider ANY compromise if such a situation is ever brought to my attention, and I WILL report any such violation to the appropriate authorities.


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