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


Andy said...

Hi Derek

Thanks again for this wonderful route. Perhaps when you have had a rest you could put up a post about the lessons you have learned on the way. What you would do differently if you knew then what you know now.



Derek Siddle said...

Nice idea Andy, I will give it some thought.

Gérald said...

Hello Derek,

Once again, un tout tout grand merci for this superb road and for all the time you spent for it.

Have a nice summer,


Geoff Potter said...

Hi Derek

I have been at the Bluebell Railway Modellers Weekend today with my showing off kit and there was much interest in W & T and a fair number of miles driven. At one point a man, with his family, asked me to demonstrate the program and I enquired as to what he would like to see, and he said he would like something from the North ... so I said I had just the thing. It transpired that he and his wife come from Bishops Auckland and they were astonished to see the recreated station and the detail in other parts of the town. They loved the simulation as well, as did just about everyone who saw it.

A great day was had by all.


Derek Siddle said...

The is a lovely story, thanks for sharing it. So pleased it was enjoyed too!

Geoff Potter said...

Apologies ... Bishop Auckland of course.


Tim van der Leeuw said...


I must admint, that a few years back, when I first stumbled upon your blog, not much seemed to be moving, so it was - yeah, interesting, but will see when it actually gets done, until then not too excited.

However when it started to get closer to completion my interest picked up and now that it's out, I haven't driven much else since then.

Great route, great way to spend my free time... And I will probably be spending on stuff to buy for this route for some while as new locos appear...

Thanks a lot!


Anonymous said...

Well I for one am loving this route and am glad you saw it through - a real work of art. Would I be right in thinking you tweaked the signal scripting so they do not all go back to danger at the same time? Some seem to go back enthusiastically and others more leisurely. Feels more realistic than the uniform resetting as the last coach passes ?

Chris Rodgers said...

I was looking at Google Earth and had no idea that Richmond branch went off to the right on the line towards York. I always thought that Richmond was towards Bishop Auckland. Loving the route it is incredibly detailed.

Enjoy the well earned rest "Well Met" and there's summer no doubt at all you will be thinking about what to do next with the route.

Cheers Chris

Anonymous said...

Well done Derek. Well worth waiting for!!! Thanks for all your hard work.


Derek Siddle said...

Thanks guys. Yes the signalling had some work done, but not by me, which is why maybe it is doing what it should!

pauls said...

Well done Derek - best of luck with the sales - I'm going to purchase it - thanks for doing this blog as well - its been really interesting seeing your progress.


Anonymous said...

Hello Derek,

the route is fabulous! You and your team did an excellent job on creating this! Finally a fruther prototypical route for steam engines! :-)

Could I ask you for a favour: please tell us which additional locos available for TS at the moment are prototypical for this route. I know you left some hints in a comment, but I can't find it anymore. It would be a nice information for scenario-creation. Thank you very much and congratulations on this route!

All the best,

Tim van der Leeuw said...

Hi Tobias,

Steam engines currently available, which you can use, are for Darlington to Durham the "big engines" A3 and A4, the A2 Blue Peter, the B1, and I believe also the 9F.

For shunting and branchline work the J94 will be a candidate, as are perhaps the 0-4-0 small saddle tanks from the Market Place.

The 2MT will be an acceptable choice for branchline passenger working at the moment.

In near future, VictoryWorks will be releasing the K1 for goods traffic and planned is a J21 for passenger services.

Also planned is a D39 and an A8 from Digital Traction.

However your question is "currently available".

Available from Digital Traction is also a 4MT Tank engine which I believe can be used on the line, based on photos I've seen, and I think that it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to use the 4MT Tender engines on the line, either the one available via Steam or the one seperately available from JustTrains.

I'm not sure anymore about the DigitalTraction B12, if it was used.

Over on the UKTrainSim forum there's a couple of posts and threads outlining shed allocations, although that of course tells only part of the story of what actually worked the lines.


There there are also some other threads that have some information buried in them regarding locos which can be used on the line, such as this thread:



Anonymous said...

Hello Tim,

thank you for those excellent informations! I copied, pasted and saved it in a note on my PC. I produced around 80 scenarios for the West of Scotland Lines. Soon I will take a "scenario creation look" onto the Weardale & Teesdale. :-) Your comment will help me a lot.

Can you also give some hints on the possible classes of historic diesel engines? (Except the already well-known 101, 105, 08, 25 and 37.)

Thank you very much & kind regards from Germany,

Tim van der Leeuw said...

Hi Tobias,

The Western Lines of Scotland is one of my favourite routes, did you publish those scenarios to Steam or elsewhere? How could I find them?

In same threads as I mentioned to you before I also found some information about diesel classes; between Darlington and Durham the Deltics could be found on diverted ECML services.

The class 31could be found on the line, as well as class 24 (but I don't know if we have that class). Various small shunter classes can be used as well, such as class 03.

BTW, I don't know if you prefer to publish scenarios to Steam, or to "independent" sites such as,, etc. But in the latter case, you can also use historic NER/LNER coaches from MatrixTrains for your scenarios, which are not available from Steam and would give some welcome variation to the over-used Mk1 coaches.

Anonymous said...

Hello Tim

thank you for the additional information!

You can find my scenarios in the STEAM workshop. My name there is TobBirk. I published about 110 scenarios so far, all with lots of static stock and plenty of computer controlled traffic, taking care that the rolling stock fits the region and period as good as possible - it's no "low quality in masses". ;-)

The West of Scotland lines is my favourite route, too. But I also did scenarios for the S&DJR, Maerdy Branch, Falmouth Branch and Wycombe Branch (workshop route). I would be happy to hear from you, if you gave some of them a try.

All the best,