Friday, 7 December 2018

GWR Pannier Tanks: 5700/8750 British Railways

On the 1st January 1948 British Railways came into being, taking over the assets of the existing "Big Four" railways companies - GWR, LMS, LNER and Southern.
Among the thousands of locomotives in their control were all of the Great Western Railways 5700 and 8750 classes and these continued in regular service performing the same duties as they had under the GWR. In fact they were so useful that from 1948-50 another 41 engines were completed and added to their numbers.

First up is the 5700 variant, fresh out of the paint shop in freight black and carrying the familiar "cycling lion" logo used from 1950-56.


8750 with the same livery.


Just as under the GWR some engines were built without vacuum brakes and steam heating, fitted with 3 link couplings and were only used for unfitted freight and shunting duties.

In 1956 this logo was changed to the "ferret with dartboard" and they carried this until withdrawal.



A small number of engines which worked as Paddington station pilots were also turned out in Lined Black livery and this has also been popular in preservation.



Over the years these engines, primarily used for freight duties, received little in the way of cosmetic care (a far cry from the times of their daily polishing with the GWR) and took on the worn look that is so popular with railway modellers (and us, it's a lot of fun to texture!).



And of course the matching cabs.



Withdrawal begin with limited numbers in 1956 however almost 600 were still in service in 1962 and over 150 were still in use at the beginning of 1965.


The 5700 and 8750's were actually the last steam locomotives used on the BR Western region and No. 9641 was working goods trains and shunting at Croes Newydd until November 1966.

However even the end of steam was not enough to kill off all of these workhorses as 16 were sold on.. and we will take a look at those next week in our final update.

Friday, 30 November 2018

GWR Pannier Tanks: 5700/8750 GWR

Our update this week contains one engine, two designs and covers a massive 852 locomotives!
The 5700 (and later 8750 variant) are one of the most iconic designs of 0-6-0 steam engine and we are delighted to be able to present the most comprehensive and complete models of them ever seen in Train Simulator.

We begin with the original 5700 as built in 1929. Very basically outfitted with no doors or weather screens, no top feed injectors and even lacking steam heating at this time.


Moving on to the 1934-42 livery, this particular engine number still lacks doors and weather panels although some were being fitted at this time as they went in for servicing.


By 1942 all engines had doors and weather panels and some were now fitted with injector top feeds.


And finally seen here in the 1948 temporary livery after the merging of the "big four" into British Railways. You may also notice that this engine has riveted tanks which was a feature of engines that were not built by the GWR in Swindon but were outsourced. Another feature (or lack of) for this particular group of engines is that they carry only a steam brake and no vacuum brake and so would have been used for shunting and unfitted freight duties only.


A view inside a cab shows that this particular engine has vacuum brakes and steam heating as can be seen by the dials and equipment. All cabs are set up to match the specified engines features.


We now move to the 8750 variant of the 5700 Pannier Tank. Featuring a redesigned cab with a higher roof, more akin to the 5400 classes style, these engines were built from 1933 and were fitted with vacuum brakes, steam heating, and ATC as standard where required.
Note: As with the 5700 there were some specific engines that were built for shunting and unfitted freight use only and did not require vacuum brakes or heating.


The 1934 livery and a view of the rear of the engine.



From 1942 onwards the 8750 had the same modifications as the 5700's, added over time when taken in for servicing. Here we see one with the improved top feed injectors.


 And in the temporary British Railways livery.




The cab here is for an earlier date as can be seen by the injector feed pipes on the front of the boiler backhead.
As you expect from Victory Works all cabs have fully working windows, doors, hatches, seats and controls with custom lighting and many realistic features like a wobbling water gauge and working lubricator.



All engines have multiple options available (which will be able to be set using the free tool we are currently working on) one of which is the popular polished safety bonnet. Although not officially used on freight engines many GWR crew would "uncover" and polish the bonnet on their engines and in preservation they are pretty much obligatory for every survivor.


That's it for today - we'll be back next Friday with a look at the 5700 and 8750's under the ownership of British Railways.

Friday, 23 November 2018

GWR Pannier Tanks: 63ft British Railways Autocoach

Autocoach
Auto-coach
Auto Coach
Autotrailer
Auto-trailer
Auto Trailer

Yeah, we can't decide what to call them!
Anyway, they are 63ft long and built under British Railways over two lots in 1951 and 1954 and the perfect accompaniment to the auto-fitted 5400 and 6400 locomotives (as well as our 14xx Pack and Small Prairies Pack).

25 trailers were built in 4 diagrams which provide some seating variation. The diagrams are A38 (No.s 222-234), A39 (No. 220), A40 (No. 221) and A43 (No.s 235-244).
Note that we have built them as original - some of them in preservation have been rather "hacked about"!

So without further ado, the Crimson and Cream livery originally used. Apparently this was a mistake as it was pointed out to those "on high" that these vehicles were NOT mainline corridor stock, but No.'s 220-234 carried it when built.


Maroon was the official livery from 1956 and they carried this until they were withdrawn from service.



Unusually Swindon decided to name this final batch of auto-trailers after British birds and the first two, No.'s W220 and W221 were named "Thrush" and "Wren" and although a full list of names was drawn up and authorised no more were ever applied for reasons that are still unclear.



Finally we have the view of the vestibule driving cab.



All controls are operational and you can use this as a non-powered driving "engine" for any TS consist but if you use it with a Victory Works auto-fitted engine (4800/1400, 4575, 54/6400) in Advanced Mode then you can enjoy the full experience of working as the driver with your fireman back in the locomotive cab working in tandem with you to drive the train. They also work as a sandwich formation and even with multiple coaches.



The trailers also feature a choice of period or modern passengers, intelligent display of the driver in a compatible loco cab and have working steps for ground platforms (require markers to be placed on the route) as well as working doors for normal raised platforms.

Next week we'll take a look at the all new 5700/8750 models in game.

Wednesday, 21 November 2018

Steam Autumn Sale 2018

It's time for the Steam Autumn Sale!
All of our Steam DLC is on sale from today until 27th November with discounts across the board and all but the most recent packs are at half price (and even the Q6 and GWR County are at 40% and 30% off).

Click this link to see all of our DLC on Steam or click on an image below to view a particular pack.

Note: As usual Steam is having it's standard meltdown as so many people try to access it so you may need to refresh the page if it doesn't show some of the offers.. but they are all available as listed below.

GWR 1000 County Class - 30% off
LNER Raven Q6 - 40% off
GWR Large Prairies - 50% off
GWR Large Prairies Lined Liveries (Requires GWR Large Prairies Pack) - 50% off
Stroudley A1/A1X Class 'Terrier' - 50% off









GWR Saint Class & Travelling Post Office - 50% off









BR Saint & Travelling Post Office Livery (Requires GWR Saint Pack) - 50% off









USATC S160 - 50% off









GWR 14xx - 50% off









LNER Peppercorn K1 - 50% off









GWR Small Prairies - 50% off








GWR 56xx - 50% off








GT3 Gas Turbine Prototype - 50% off









GWR Steam Railmotor - 50% off









Southern Bulleid Q1 - 50% off

Friday, 16 November 2018

GWR Pannier Tanks: 5400/6400/7400 British Railways

This week we move on to looking at the GWR 5400, 6400 and 7400's under British Railways ownership.
All 115 engines (25, 40 and 50 respectively) entered BR service under nationalisation in 1948 and continued with similar duties as under the GWR on local passenger services, freight and as station pilots and yard shunters. The first engine was not withdrawn until 1956 and 2 members of the 7400 variant (No's 7437 and 7439) were still in service in 1965.

Turned out in unlined black livery the 5400 is seen here with the early "cycling lion" logo.


And the 6400 (still fitted with the equipment so they could be used with auto-coaches) with the later "ferret and dartboard" logo.


The 7400's were also heavily used in these eras, proving the versatility of these little engines.


With heavy use, and a lack of the constant cleaning that they enjoyed under the GWR, came the well worn look of a true workhorse.




Although never painted in black lined livery a small number of the 6400 variant were out-shopped in lined green, presumably the engines favoured for use on higher profile auto-train passenger services.



And of course every variant and locomotive comes with the appropriate fittings for each of the 115 engines and with fully operational cabs.






Next week we will be taking a look at all of the variants and liveries for the 63ft BR autocoaches in game and alongside these Pannier Tanks that pulled (and pushed!) them.