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Great Britain simulation in Simutrans Experimental

Started by Carl, May 25, 2011, 03:43:48 PM

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So after this update, will you be looking into the new GWR IET/387 services?


Here's a new video! In contrast to older ones, this shows a fairly unrealistic fictional scenario.

This is the first video in the series that shows the lines from Hitchin to Cambridge and Cambridge to Norwich. While we start in King's Cross, the rebuilt towns start only at Hatfield.

This video has text info rather than a voiceover. I don't really like doing the voiceovers, and they're probably the main obstacle to me making more videos due to the time they take. I'd be curious to know whether you think this alternative approach works.

I've only been averaging about one video a year recently, but I have ideas in the pipeline for some on this map and the Balkans map. Let's see if the rate improves!

The script is below, and is also displayed in the video.

We're following the 11:04 from London King's Cross to Norwich - most unusual one-off service. In this fictional scenario, Norwich City are hosting Arsenal in the FA Cup Semi-Final. Due to huge demand for tickets from away fans, Greater Anglia decided to put on some special trains.

However, the Great Eastern Main Line was closed between Stratford and Colchester. There weren't nearly enough rail replacement buses to handle the load. So they took the unprecedented decision to run two trains from Kings Cross to Norwich, via Cambridge. East Midlands Trains loaned two Class 222 'Meridian' trains for the day.

The first football special left King's Cross at 10:00 and ran fast, calling only at Cambridge, Ely, and Thetford. But there was high demand for travel to the game from stations outside London. So the second train, leaving King's Cross at 11:04, had to stop at many intermediate stations. Yes, even Potter's Bar, Knebworth, Baldock, Waterbeach, and Brandon... So the second train was scheduled to take 2 hours 40 minutes to get from King's Cross to Norwich.

Because of this, most people took the fast train - it was packed to the rafters. The second train left London King's Cross almost empty. Those who couldn't make the 10:00 departure instead opted for the rail replacement buses via Ipswich. The train had filled up by Norwich. There were eighteen stops, and it was only a five-car train.

The 11:04 was only 20 minutes faster than the rail-replacement bus via Ispwich, and far more expensive. Nobody was happy with the outcome. Everyone agreed that the experiment was a failure and would not be repeated.

(Norwich City lost the match, of course.)

Partial timetable:
King's Cross .. 1104
Stevenage  .. 1142
Cambridge .. 1225
Ely  .. 1246
Thetford .. 1312
Norwich  .. 1345

fam621 - Yes, when I get to Berkshire and Oxfordshire, I'll be updating the GWR lines with the IET and 387 services that are now operational.

Kage Acheron

Small issue I've noticed with Peterborough station: the lines on the southern end are misaligned, any fast trains passing nonstop through Peterborough need to slow down and change tracks, which I assume shouldn't be the case.


Well spotted! In this case it's because the whole line bends west after crossing the River Nene. So what looks like changing tracks is actually the central lines moving left one square. However, it looks like trains passing through shouldn't have to go below 100mph (160kph) - I'll check later on whether they're being slowed much below that.

Kage Acheron

I took a look at the train speeds, northbound trains slow down to 150 kph, while southbound trains are limited to 100 kph. One solution would be to shift everything in the station one tile to the southeast, but that would definitely involve a lot of work.


150kph is what I would expect after the cornering penalty, but I may raise the linespeed to 177 to account for this. 100kph is definitely too low, though, so I will check what's going on there and alter the relevant linespeeds accordingly. Thanks for noticing!

Kage Acheron

Thanks, and keep up the great work! It's very impressive what you've been doing with this map!


Today's update sees a good chunk of progress with several large towns and cities covered: Luton, Bedford, St Albans and, most notably, Milton Keynes. I've also been making preparations for adding the first real freight lines to the map. Nothing's operational yet, but a Felixstowe to Daventry route is not far off and may be the subject of a video in the not-too-distant future.

Save game download:

Here's a screenshot of Milton Keynes. This is an unusual city and was difficult to build. Unusually in the UK, it's laid out on a grid system. However the grids mostly run on compass diagonals, meaning that if I wanted to represent them in Simutrans, I had to break my rule of not using diagonal roads in cities except where necessary. I've tried my best to capture the way that the grid divides the city into discrete 'neighbourhoods', with (I think) only moderate success. On this screenshot, Bletchley station is in the bottom left, with MK in the top left. The M1 motorway makes an appearance at the right of the shot.

This 'second pass' on the GB map is progressing nicely. The map below shows which areas have already been rebuilt and expanded (in colour) and those which haven't (in black and white). When revisiting areas I'm doing the following: (a) rebuilding all towns to fit the GB map aesthetic; (b) adding towns and villages not connected to the rail network, and key bus routes, and (c) adding real roads (where possible) and important geographical features like rivers and forests.

Full list of changes since the last update:
- 'City bridge' graphic updated - the old one was a bit of an eyesore in screenshots
- Class 150 (London Midland Livery) updated
- Towns rebuilt/added: St Albans, London Colney, Hemel Hempstead, Harpenden, Luton, Dunstable, Bedford, Berkhamsted, Tring, Leighton Buzzard, Milton Keynes, Bletchley, Newport Pagnell
- Bus routes added: Hemel Hempstead-Stevenage, Hemel-Woodhall Farm, St Albans-Dunstable, Luton-Dunstable, Hemel Hempstead-Luton, Locals in Luton & Bedford & MK, Hitchin-Bedford, Luton-Bedford, Bedford-Biggleswade, Bedford-MK, Cambridge-MK, Luton-MK, MK-Olney


Noice, good luck doing London that will be a challange to do.


It will - it's no accident that I haven't returned there yet. I'll get to it eventually - after all, I built it once before, so I know it's possible...


Sadly that's definitely impossible at this scale! I'll make some changes to the track layout where possible/desirable, but I suspect most of those mainline terminal platforms will have to stay firmly under the dirt.

The London-only map I did in 2016 was mainly inspired by the fact that I couldn't totally do London justice on the full GB map:


Here's a new video showing the first freight route on the map, from Felixstowe to Daventry via London. This has been a long time coming!

Here's a screenshot of Felixstowe Port:

I'm also posting regular image updates to twitter now: @sim4transport.

There have also been quite a lot of updates to the savegame (link below):

Graphics: Class 315 update (TFL and LO); Class 378 update; Class 66 and container wagons added; Major Elevated Rail/Bridge update (based on Fabio's graphics) - this one took some time. Rails are fiddly!
Towns: Aylesbury, Chesham, Amersham, Northampton, and smaller towns nearby
Bus routes: Aylesbury-Berkhamsted, Aylesbury-MK, Northampton locals, Northampton-Bedford

Savegame link:


Hi, I downloaded the latest version of the map and when I launch that savegame, it comes up with an error message that says 'FATAL ERROR' and then crashes me out of the game. I am using Simutrans on Steam. Would I need the experimental version or something? Many thanks, Ross



Ok, I will try this. Thank you very much for your help.


Another large update today, with additions including the Class 800 IET trains on GWR, Class 387 trains on GWR, revised GWR timetables, and the rebuilding of Reading, Maidenhead and Wycombe.

Savegame download link is here:

Here's a screenshot of the Class 800, Class 387, and revised Class 458 waiting at Reading Station. I've added a few IETs to some routes to reflect current implementation - a handful on the Cotswold route, and a couple each on the South Wales and Bristol routes. Green GWR livery has also been added for HSTs and Class 165/166 - these are currently co-existing with the old liveries, as in real life.

Here's a wider screenshot of the rebuilt area from Reading (top) to Wokingham and Twyford.

Full changelog:
- Graphics: Class 800 GWR IET added; Chiltern Class 172 updated; GWR Class 387 added; GWR Green Class 165/6 added; GWR Green HST added; SWR Class 458 updated to blue from its old red/white livery

- Rail network changes: electrification to Didcot; Added Paddington-Hayes & Harlington half-hourly service; revised Paddington metro services; revised Greenford service to terminate at West Ealing

- Towns rebuilt including: High Wycombe, Reading, Beaconsfield, Bicester, Buckingham, Thame, Maidenhead, Marlow, Wokingham, Henley

- Buses lines added: Aylesbury-Buckingham, Wycombe-Chesham, Wycombe-Thame, Wycombe-Reading, Reading Local, Bracknell local, Aldershot-Reading

The bi-mode Class 800s do present a challenge. I can't differentiate between their performance under electrified and non-electrified conditions. They are faster than HSTs on routes they share (e.g. South Wales) - and I'm not entirely sure whether that should be the expected result or not.

I had a couple of blockages on the WCML/Birmingham New Street this week, so don't be surprised to see a recurrence of those if you open the savegame.


Nice to see GWR Finally appearing on the map! I like the Mix of GWR and FGW Liveries.


Here's a new video showcasing the North Downs Line between Gatwick Airport and Reading - with a quick trip to Henley-on-Thames to finish off.

Here's an image of Gatwick as featured in the video:


Very nice! The quality of the videos has increased dramatically as of recently.


Thanks Lewis. A little work on overlays and transitions goes a long way, I think.


Today's update covers most of Oxfordshire, as well as connections to neighbouring counties. I'm occupied with other things for a couple of weeks now, so there will be a lull in videos and updates.

Savegame download:

Screenshot of northern Oxford, where the rail line to Banbury (left) diverges from the line to Bicester and London Marylebone (right).

Full list of changes:

  • Rail line: rebuilt the line between Oxford and Banbury to make it more accurate (mostly as a consequence of re-doing the River Cherwell)
  • Towns added or rebuilt: Newbury, Hungerford, Oxford, Didcot, Abingdon, Wallingford, Wantage, Witney, Carterton, Banbury, Towcester, Brackley
  • Bus lines added: Basingstoke-Newbury, Oxford-Henley, Oxford-Reading, Oxford-Aylesbury, Oxford-Wantage, Oxford-Witney, Oxford-Chipping Norton, Banbury-Brackley, Northampton-Towcester, Milton Keynes-Brackley


A new station is coming soon in the next update.

Happy April Fools Day! :)


Time for an update after a bit of a break. Swindon, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Stroud have been revisited in this update. Timetables need changing in this area, but I'm saving that for the big timetable update in May. That will lead to quite a lot of work - with Southern/Thameslink/Great Northern, Northern, and some other operators making large changes to their timetables.

Savegame link:

Here's a screenshot of Stroud and the Five Valleys in Gloucestershire, with two HSTs passing through en route to Cheltenham and London Paddington. The crosscountry mainline from Bristol to Birmingham is shown in the west of the shot.

Full list of changes:
- Rail network: redoubled the line between Swindon and Kemble
- Towns and cities: rebuilt Swindon, Gloucester, Stroud, and Cheltenham; added Cirencester, Chalford, Churchdown and other small villages
- Bus routes added: Oxford-Swindon; Swindon-Cirencester-Cheltenham; Stonehouse-Chalford; local routes in Swindon, Gloucester and Cheltenham

Further work on Gloucestershire and Wiltshire will follow. I'd like to find time to work on the USA East and Balkans maps soon too - but time always seems to be short. In particular, I'm going to Romania in the summer and would love to fill in the Romanian network on the Balkans map before then...


Hi Carl, just so that your aware. Passenger generation has changed for some reason? Why is it that passenger numbers have reduced?


No change that I've noticed. The finances window will show some lower numbers because I've accidentally clicked the "skip a year" button a few times. In the Line Management window most lines do show lower numbers in the past three months, that's true. I could try fiddling with the generation options in Settings again. The passenger factor has always been set to '1', but maybe it could handle '2' if I also reduce the proportion of long distance passengers accordingly.

Have you spotted any other indicators elsewhere?


Other than that no. Plus when will work on making this map Extended compliant start (even though I know that you have already planned to do so)? Also, how do you increase passenger factor setting ingame?


I ran for a full month and the passenger numbers were higher than they had been previously - so I don't think there's an issue here.

Extended compliance isn't a priority and - frankly - is a lot of work for not much gain. At best it will be after the whole map is re-built. But it's more likely that I would simply start any new projects in Extended rather than Experimental.


A host of improvements to the South West of England in today's update, including the rebuilding of Bath and a bunch of new towns in Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. Filling in Wiltshire and heading down to West Dorset will probably be next. The big IRL May timetable change is coming very soon, which will be my prompt to revise Thameslink services and add Class 700s. However, this is going to be a bit tricky at first, because I understand that Thameslink/Southern/Great Northern are implementing their new timetables gradually. So I may focus on changes elsewhere at first until the Thameslink issues iron themselves out. Lots of other operators have large changes coming next week, too.

Here's a screenshot of Bath, including Bathampton junction to the east. Trains heading east go to London Paddington (twice per hour), while those bearing south head to Bradford-on-Avon and Westbury (again, twice per hour). To the west, all trains head to Bristol.

Savegame download with pak folder is here.

Here's a full list of changes since the last update:

Rail network:
- Fixed Manchester-West Wales trains (which were getting stuck at Shrewsbury),
- Fixed rail alignment between Wootton Basset Jn and Thingley Jn,
- Fixed rail alignment around Bath (mainly due to sorting out the River Avon)
- Fixed Box tunnel rail alignment

Towns added or rebuilt:
Bath, Chippenham, Corsham, Bishop's Cleeve, Nailsworth, Cam & Dursley, Cinderford, Coleford, Tewkesbury, Stow-on-the-Wold, Burford, Tetbury, Royal Wootton Bassett, Malmesbury

Bus routes added:
Cheltenham local, Gloucester-Forest Green, Stroud-Dursley, Gloucester-Dursley, Gloucester-Coleford, Cheltenham-Tewkesbury, Gloucester-Tewkesbury, Witney-Burford/Woodstock, Cheltenham-Moreton-in-Marsh, Stroud-Tetbury, Swindon-Royal Wootton Bassett/Malmesbury, Bath-Corsham-Chippenham.