Thursday, 31 December 2015

Happy New Year

Will get this in early, a few hours from now it will be 2016.

Have a great one.


Sunday, 27 December 2015

Nice Photo!

Great photo added to the Bishop Auckland Station facebook page. If only I had this image when I was making the station!

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Just a quick note from me to wish you all a merry Christmas.

Hope you all have a great time with family and friends.

take care all.


Saturday, 12 December 2015

6 months since it was signed off

How time flies, it has been 6 months since the route got signed off and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

Since then I have been working on the next 12 to 18 month plan, helping new staff and looking at new tech.

It is also coming up to 10 years since i joined the rail sim project and it has played a huge part of my life.
I still play the game every day and route build on a small scale most evenings.
My latest fun thing to do is make small fictional dioramas out of each route pack to see what I can come up with.
I'm not sure I have another route in me, but I do hope to start my Bishop Auckland oil painting set soon.
I turn 44 in January which leaves me 6 years to fulfill my dreams of putting on a show in the Bishop Auckland town hall before I turn 50.

I may well keep my blog going to keep folks that are interested updated with my art.


Monday, 2 November 2015

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Why oh

Because I am a True blue gunner gooner. (fast show)

BR 105 - ran BA to Darlo and beyond,
Class 31, 37s ran to and from Eastgate through BA to Darlington and beyond.
The Deltic ran from Durham through Bishop Auckland on days the ECML had engineering works. Also if you were at Darlington or Durham for any length of time you would have seen a Deltic, so very useful for scenario writing.

Class 03 worked Etherley pit and Darlington yards.
A updated 25 just rounds it off nicely.
It is a nice selection and all have little tweeks and changes from earlier models.

No class 47s as I never saw one at Bishop... ever.
Now if you have the market place blue 08 and 101 then fab, what a lovely set of traction to play with.

looking forward to it myself.


Side note: Bob in trouble.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Fun fan made

Something I put together while I was closing in on finishing the route.

thought I'd share it for a short time.


Friday, 18 September 2015

Locomotion Steam Gala

Come and join me at:
Shildon Steam Gala Weekend Sept 2015

View the latest TS2016. See the game and witness Bishop Auckland and surrounding railway area in the 1960's through a Virtual Reality headset.On show from Saturday morning till Sunday evening.

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Hope all are enjoying it

After a month of it being released I took some time out and have been focusing on other work as well as my painting.

I hope to go back to the route and add the extra assets soon. I am also hoping to demo the route up at Locomotion in Shildon later in September. more on that later.

I will be posting here from time to time but may well move over to my art blog for more regular updates.

take care all.


Saturday, 27 June 2015

And so it was released

And gosh what a lot of noise.

Overall I'd say the majority of the comments are very positive.
I have seen some chat about advanced speed limits.
We discussed and included so totally by design.

It has been a pleasure to share our project with you all. For a long time I thought that maybe only a select few would only get to see route and in an unfinished state.

I am also really pleased to have the 101, 37, 08 included in the pack. these locos were all built by me over the years so to bring them all together was great.

Ben and Mike rebuilt the 25 and Ricardo rebuilt the 105. It is a really nice pack, wish I had chance to put in my 03 though, but never mind.

These past few days I have enjoyed the scenarios myself, it is nice to stop building and actually just enjoy the passing of the scenery.

If I had my time again I'm not sure I would have built it, it has taken a huge amount of my personal time and I only ever really set out to rebuild Bishop Auckland station and surrounding area.

For many old timers they will see lots of assets that have been used over the years. however if you have seen them before just remember they were built for this route first!

Towards the end I kept many of the assets away from the other routes, and even in the last weekend before released I managed to slip in a further 10 new buildings.
But you have to stop somewhere, art is often never finished you just run out of time or energy, I ran out of both!
I felt a huge amount of responsibility for doing this route justice after such a long time in development and it took a fair amount out of me.

I really am cool with people criticising the route. People have paid for it and can feedback whatever they like. I would have just kept it to myself if I was scared of that.

I know it is a good route and I know it is really good value. I know people put their best into it and I am very proud of it and the team.
And really that is all you can hope for.

Not sure I will ever undergo a new route, but this route does have a fair amount of scope for extensions. Richmond, Hartlepool, Sunderland, Newcastle, York, ECML, Saltburn, Tow Law and Consett to name but a few.

I'm not sure where this blog will go from here. I am just going to enjoy the summer and give myself a rest.

Once again, thank you to all who has been involved read my blog and left me comments here.
This place alone has been as much part of the process as the production!

OK, I am off to drive my 101 to Darlo once more!

Fan made film below

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Stations buildings

One task I did not have time to do but I will be doing it.

I did not have time to pull the station buildings from the platforms. (I know some of you want them on their own)

Not sure how many there will be, but lets assume 1 per station  (excluding the large ones) so I guess about 30 - 40.

This will either happen as a post patch release or I will find another way as I promised a few people who helped me research them.

Either way they will be available.

But I guess people will be busy driving it before they start to think about how they will use the other station buildings!




I just had to put this 'shop' in.

For K.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Stop the Clock!

All done,

Pens and pencils down.

and rest.


Sunday, 21 June 2015

Market Place Part 1

Nowhere near the track but hey it had to go in! Back in the day this would be all market stalls etc, but I just made it to how it was now-ish or at least the best I could in a few hours. Bosh.

3am Eternal

This is my cut off time... 6 hours to do all I need to do!
Gonna be tight... will blog my progress tonight.

First up the 4 clocks (with 4 working clocks!)

Little fluffy clouds

I was bored of the 2D clouds so made some new ones.

Close to being finished

So after all these years many miles and many thousands of assets it has all boiled down to this.

This view was the sole reason I started in the first place.

Not long now!


Saturday, 20 June 2015

Time Travel

Busy Week!

After a really hectic week it is looking like everything is in lock down.. Except I still have a few buildings to finish/make so hushh.. I have the route for the weekend for some final tweaks.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Saturday, 13 June 2015


For those of you we missed it or were interested here is the twitch stream where we talk about the route.

Forgive my wooden performance!

Monday, 8 June 2015

Saturday, 30 May 2015

just a pretty picture

Not part of my route but just playing with styles.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Today is a big day

Sorry for the lack of updates, been beavering away to get the first version into QA.

Almost there...


Thursday, 21 May 2015

A weekend Break

After a full on few weeks, I am having a little down time ready for the big push next week.


Sunday, 17 May 2015

Friday, 15 May 2015

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Saturday, 9 May 2015

It's Quicker by Rail

Just playing about exploring ideas for posters.

The countdown begins

The traction is all in and running and I have to say I am really pleased.

I am really grateful for all the help and assistance I have been given over these past 2 months to help bring this to life.
Stuart did a wonderful job laying many a mile of bush, tree and wall too.

More images to follow, but I look forward to it being announced on the main page very soon!

Right back to my huge list of assets to get finished!


Monday, 4 May 2015


Here are a few location shots, now those that know me know I took some cracking close up stone and brick shots!

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Northern research trip

Ok so this will be my last research trip north before the route is released.

I have a number of buildings that I don't have any reference for. Bishop Auckland has to look like Bishop Auckland, just don't tell Dan!

Will report back from the wild if they have wifi up there... :)


Friday, 1 May 2015


Brancepeth Station coming along nicely, missing clutter as with St John's Chapel and it also still has the temp floating platform in place as we test pick ups, these platforms will be made invisible and placed at the correct level of the model platform.

St Johns Chapel

This Station is very much the same as Wearhead, different layout but the building is almost identical but with the added toilet block at the end.
Platform lights, clock, posters and people still needed to be added, but those get added on a clutter pass.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Station Action

With a little help from my friends we have looked to model a further 10 stations.
I now need to get them in game. Spent the day fixing Bishop Auckland Station. The platform was to low and by raising it meant I had to do some major reconstruction on a few walls which will mean a rebake of the light map.

1 more month till I look to submit it to QA!


Monday, 20 April 2015

But back to the Bridges!

Tees Viaduct

Stations I hear you cry...Durham - WIP

Coming along nicely, the Captain has hit the back of the net with this one.
Needs the details and surrounding scenery placed back but I think it looks a tad better than the old Kuju Durham station...

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Large assets

I've been reading a few comments about why stations are placed as huge assets instead of lots of small elements brought together in the world editor.
As if we do it to stop freeware creators from using the assets... it is nonsense of course, there is no motive around it other than it is much easier for the artist to bring the assets together and shadow bake them so they feel solid and then for the route builder to lay the asset once.

It is also a pain trying to select and move small assets in and around larger ones. Over the years we have streamlined the process so we are like world building ninjas... (not me, I'm like a Trex bumbling around with small arms and fat legs shouting a lot)

I have tried where I can to create assets from elements of larger assets, but of course one has to be aware of the asset folder size too.

I really want people to use my assets for their own routes if that is what they want to do but my first concern is what is right for the route.

Take the East Thickely bridge I have just made, It would be a pain to build that bridge from elements from a world building pov and I as an artist would have to make 5 or 6 different assets instead of just 1.

However, that said I can understand the frustration that some route builders have when you don't have the right asset for a location.


East Thickley Footbridge Shildon

I will get round to the stations....

Monday, 13 April 2015

Bridges everywhere!

Honestly I have not made a route with so many bridges!
Anyway, here is Skerne Bridge, a fairly famous one as bridges go...

I have added the extension on the far side too as in my time period there is 5 tracks heading towards North Road.

I rather Bish Bash Boshed this out tonight while sipping a fine wine. However I would like to point out that drinking and poly modelling is not normally advised! :)

Tees Viaduct next?

But what about the Stations I hear you cry!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Eldon footbridge - Shildon Tunnel

Here is a few from my childhood. I use to play around this area, it was great for BMX riding.
This footbridge is still there.
The bridge in reality has the support slightly off centre, but I made mine symmetrical for 2 reasons; 1 to fit the track layout and 2 so that it can be used more generically. There are hundreds of bespoke assets but some just have to be multitasking.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Newton cap viaduct - WIP

Made Skirlaw bridge and now it looks a little but more recognisable!

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Interpretation - A stylistic representation of a creative work

So this is a subject I want to cover... And I am keen for a few to understand.

Over the many years I have been working on this project I have gathered a huge amount of resource.
It has been fascinating to see and understand how the network grew, worked and then slowly closed down.
Seeing once wonderful stations and buildings go to ruin is sad, I also struggle to understand why a number of key buildings were not kept, the powers that be seemed very short sighted.

Anyway, I picked my time period, 1950 till the closure of most the lines in 68.
My network is all open and all stations open for travel even if they would have been closed in that time period.
When anomalies get pointed out to me, I more often than not know if the choices I made were artistic or not. Our subject matter is all about detail and for the most part I love it, but for something to move on artistic compromises are made, but it's ok I am at peace with that. :)

To sum it up a little better, This is more of a painting than a photograph. If I thought something spoiled the view, i'd delete it, Bosh!

I know this may be heresy to a small number but I did not make it for those small few. I made this for myself mostly.

What started out as me wanting to make my home town train station 9 years ago ended up in a very complicated and detailed network that is great fun to drive.


Heighington WIP

Still WIP and missing the main building at the crossing, but give you an idea of the area.
The signals and gantries have not been updated yet but once they are done the whole route will look much more finished.

Friday, 3 April 2015


Middleton In Teesdale WIP. Looking forward to this area, it is such a lovely place with water towers and turntables.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Barnard Castle

A WIP shot from Captain Chris of Barnard Castle.