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Done whole of Northern Ireland Railways - now building enterprise route

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I am a Trainz railway simulator owner and having been to Ulster many times on holiday and taking boys camps there decided to have a crack at building the whole of NIRailways. Have completed ...

(1) Belfast-Bangor.

(2) Belfast-Newry.

(3) Belfast-Larne.

(4) Belfast-Londonderry.

(5) Coleraine-Portursh.

(6) Lisburn-Crumlin-Antrim junction.

 

Hardest was the Crumlin branch presently mothballed. Went over from Glasgowtook train to Lisburn then waited for a bus to the first station on that route. Took pictures then a wait for a bus to each of the next stations so took a while. Then through a railway contact discoverd someone had a film taken in the cab on that line before it waqs suspended and he sent me a cd.

 

Now I have laid track south of Newry all the way to Dublin. Started scenery from Connolly station and that is compete as far as Drogheda. A couple of miles north of there have a lot of scenery to do to just south of Dundalk. The branch north of Dublin to Howth is complete with scenery. Haven't decided whether to include the Drogheda-Navan branch as no longer passenger and just freight. However when finished my project will be amongst the larger ones for the island. Originally had thought of a second project just on the NIR and bringing back a couple of closed lines but thought more practical with present railways and means eventually Enterprise Expresses can be run between Belfast and Dublin. Trainz Sim is great and you do not need to be a tech wizard to build. One can programme trains and/or hop from driving one to driving just one and so on.

 

The reason I decided to attempt the NIR is because I felt the Province was the worst part of GB for rail closures and was nearly theree-quarters and a shame. You can visit my site listed below but a word first.

 

I tend to use the Opera system on my pc and why it happened I don't know but the slideshows, maps, etc get kicked so to speak but on microsoft MSN you get the site and slideshows on each of the above Ulster routes and what is completed south on the IrishRail extension.. So you railway fans from NI can see the only complete sim for over there!

 

www.northernirelandrailwaysim.moonfruit.com

 

Bobby from the centre of the Universe (Glasgow!)

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Hi Bobby

 

I'm eagerly awaiting the release of this route/set of routes, and hope you will upload it soon, rather than waiting until you have finished - the coverage of the lines completed so far is more than good enough already! I have TRS2009 (plus three earlier versions!) and recently downloaded the Trainz 80 Class, seen below on one of the original routes. How much better she will look on her home turf!

 

Ivor

 

ik33lima_20180308_0001.jpg

 

ik33lima_20180308_0005.jpg

Edited by 33lima

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Hello Ivor,

 

Good to hear from you.

 

I built this in an earlier version of Trainz but moved it a long time back to TRS12.. In hindsight i should have just stuck to finishing just beond the crossover beyond Newry station. It took me some effort to build all those lines and there cannot be many people who fly over to somewhere to do what I did. Although I am still crawling south on the IR addition I should have maybe stuck to my earlier intention to (once put it up for use) to have a second version pretending a couple of lines like Armagh and elsewhere had been brought back! One man actually has a copy of my NIR effort when he sent me a wee dongle to put it on for him. What I also need to do is put in markers at stations so people can plan train stops while they are driving elsewhere. I felt that the area at the NIR depot just beyond Yorkgate statio was left bit missing scnery wise on that sie as  couldn't use Google Earth to look properly at scenery. The nearest I might get is when i get over to the Province is maybe to walk up along that motorway and see if can be sussed out.

 

A while ago a Trainzer did livery for modern NIR trains and that was a help although I still use a previous style as well. Wasn't all easy and doing the Crumlin line was a challenge even getting off and on buses as the station beyond Ballinderry  was blocked off by a giant fence at the end of a lane! It was an NIR worker who helped get me in touch with a former Queen's Uni staff member who did that video in the cab over the whole route away back think it was in 2001 and I did assure him that it was not for commercial purposes and he kindly sent it to me. 

 

It is tempting to have it put up on the Trainz Download Station but the niggle is that I have that big lot of missing scenery in S. Ireland in-between north of Drogheda and south of Dundalks so a bit of a groan. Adding all that stuff to Connolly as well as the DART branch to Howth was slow. The branch leading off Drogheda I have not decided on wehter to bother as no longer does as I said any passenger trains just freight.

 

I am glad that i attempted what is left of Ulster's rail and think it a crying shame it was so heavily killed and reduced to about a quarter.One argument had been that at nationalising most of the controlling staff at the intial UTA were bus people and i say that on my web site. So only that Belfast man who is looking forward to meeting me when I get over there from Glasgow. Since I sent him that I had came across some rail faults north of Belfast which I sorted before going back to the Enterprise Express bit. And on that a Trainzer is now going to build a modern train for that service. We should keep in touchand it is good to know you would love to get it! What I am doing is the largest and most modern project for across the Irish Sea but I want to emphaise the NIR was the main thrust. 

 

Now must plan to get over again.......

 

From the centre of the universe (Glasgow of course!)

 

Bobby

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Shout, if you need any 'boots on the ground' research including pics on the NIR network around Belfast, Bobby, happy to help, as might be others here. Your marathon efforts deserve every support!

 

The depot site is hard to get a view of, thanks to the M2, the lie of the land and the lack of ready pedestrian access, but one vantage point for a long enough lens is the footbridge that crosses the motorway to where the old UTA workshops were, from where I think this pic (not one of mine, just located by Googling 'York Road Station') was taken.

 

 

york-road.jpg

 

I have recently downloaded 'Along UTA Lines' once more...

 

ik33lima_20180309_0000.jpg

 

ik33lima_20180310_0001.jpg

 

...and while my PC has come on a bit since I last tried it out (in TRS2004 probably), the route is still a major frame rate killer regardless of settings, in TRS2009. Far too much scenery, I think - Trainz by nature of its world-building abilities and 'virtual model railway' tendencies, seems to encourage people to plaster the landscape they create with objects, while in MSTS, route builders seem to concentrate on the view from the line and at ground level, often using 'flats' or a backscene to portray housing etc that is further away. It looks worse if you 'helicopter out' but is fine otherwise and is kind on the framerates. I may clone it and use Surveyor to remove most or all of those cows and sheep - many fields seem to be full of them - and see if that makes any improvement. Of course it's set in the 1960s complete with the early LMS-NCC colour light signals and doesn't really suit modern NIR stock. Years back, I did a repaint of a Trainz Metcam DMU into UTA green with wasp stripes but that's long lost. I have seen a couple of repaints of the 80 Class in Youtube videos, 'Sandite Yellow' being one and one of my favourites, Suburban sector, being the other, the latter as seen in this clip but not released:

 

 

I hope your routes will work in TRS 2009; if not, it looks like I'll be in the market for a fifth version of Trainz!

 

Ivor

Edited by 33lima

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Well good of you to say what you did!

 

As I indicated I have had a long kind of link with over there from those early family stays in Lurgan then in my twenties a hostelling time. For years after took camps to a lovely camp centre a minute's walk from Castlerock station and bang next the wonderful beach. Later had camps in buildings at Donaghadee and near Millisle and my lads always enjoyed travelling over there like I have. Always encouraged the boys to travel to Coleraine or especially Portrush by train (of course!). Although I have finisheed the NIR a while ago I was just passingly frustrated by that wee bit at Yorkgate. My large effort was a long temptation and wondered if I would ever actually do all of it and maybe being ambitious. However so far as also indicated only one man has a copy of my project and that in actual practice the fact that much still to fill in re the Enterprise route he was happy just to get his hands on the NIR. Everywhere else is as done as can be and I tried to get it as near as the actual in my efforts. You can see that in particular places. Hope to see him as it is too long a gap since I re-visited Ulster and I hope him and I will meet for lunch. He was surprised to discover what I had actually built and the efforts I made. Sometimes when Trainzers get very ambitious on a project they come to a standstill and also give it u as they are done in! However after a break I was determined that you folk were going to see the NIR complete on Trainz. I spent a lot of time to get a reasonable stance on your system as is. Going to all the extra and time taking effort to see if I could include the Crumlin Line against the odds was something else!

 

Not sure whether it will function on earlier Trainz versions. However mine was being built on an earlier one and got it to 12 without any bother. Just a pity cannot contact more personally if you know what I mean like elsewhere as would have a copy sent over then I would plod on with that big gap on the IRail thing I delayed things with.

 

Bobby

 

ps. Did you know there are modern NIR trains on the Trainz Download station. The only difference is the builder induced different destination screens.

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Hi Bobby

 

Thanks for the tip about those other NIR trains - I assume you had this one in mind, I now have one of these going on 'UTA Lines' and have solved the worst of my FPS problems by disabling shadows (not as much a loss in TS2009 as in Open Rails as the Trainz shadows are quite limited by comparison):

 

ik33lima_20180312_0001.jpg

 

Some of the guys here have Bachmann Class 170s repainted as CAF DMUs, it's a better likeness than the 165, although that is a fine repaint. I see from images that Google turns up online (possibly including some taken by your friend on your route) that there is an NIR Metrovick available as well as a big GM in NIR livery. I have downloaded the former so far but she does not show up in Railyard so if she works at all in TS2009 I'll need to try the invisivble/black textures fix and if that doesn't work, delve back into the wonderful world of debugging faulty Trainz assets. I also need to work out why, in the UTA layout, some signal posts, and most station canopies, are showing up as untextured pale grey. Content Manager here I come!

 

Shout if you need any pics taken of York Road depot and I will do my best. Send me a Private Message here if willing to share your NIR work with me too - I could post over a flash drive or somesuch with postage. You can't have too much of a good thing in my book and while I'm having a ball with my MSTS routes in Open Rails, including Ballyshannon...

 

Open_Rails_2017_12_24_12_52_13.jpg

 

...and Irish Enterprise North...

 

Open_Rails_2018_03_11_10_46_03.jpg

 

...it would be great to drive over all of the NIR network in Trainz, and I doubt that anyone else will ever cover it as you have, in any sim!

 

Ivor

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Some more tasters for anyone else waiting for the release of Bobby's magnum opus, all showing the existing Trainz route 'Along UTA Lines' by Harcourt, available still on the Trainz Download Station. I just recently got this route fully working in Trainz 2009, having worked out that nearly all the 'missing/unable to load texture' errors (resulting in about a brace of objects like platform canopies showing as untextured) could be solved simply by editing the 'broken' asset in Content Manager's 'explorer' mode, finding which [texturename].texture.txt files were (for some reason) named [texturename].convert-tex.txt and replacing 'convert-tex' in each filename with 'texture'. Feeling quite pleased with myself, as this answer was not amongst those that lots of searching turned up!

 

These pics show the Translink-liveried 80 Class by tcorken - a little out of place on a 1960s route but both railcar and route are amongst the best items available for Trainz in my not totally unbiased opinion. The route mixes look-alike structures with more accurate replicas and covers the Larne line, the NCC main line from Belfast York Road to Londonderry Waterside and the Portrush branch and is a wonderful evocation of the original as I fondly remember it from those long-gone days.

 

York Road:

 

ik33lima_20180327_0008.jpg

 

Waterside:

 

ik33lima_20180327_0007.jpg

 

I think this is near Ballycarry, heading towards Magheramorne:

 

ik33lima_20180327_0005.jpg

 

Here we are rolling along the Lough Foyle foreshore towards Lisahally, where I recall that the piers that the surrendered U-Boats tied up at in 1945 could still be seen until about the 1970s:

 

ik33lima_20180327_0003.jpg

 

Taken a bit earlier on the same trip, here we are rolling across the runway at Eglinton, with a slightly anachronistic Lancaster bomber waiting to take off by the look of it (my dad, then an RAF mechanic, once got his name taken by a navigator on a post-war silver Lanc at this very location, when he inadvertently forced it to miss an approach by illegally cycling across the runway, to get to a NAAFI van, in the early 1950s):

 

ik33lima_20180327_0002.jpg

 

Still travelling back in time, we've passed Downhill earlier still in the trip, having left the Mussenden Temple behind and now out of sight:

 

ik33lima_20180327_0001.jpg

 

This is Coleraine, facing north towards the junction with the Portrush branch; the station canopies here were amongst the items that needed the aforementioned texture fix:

 

ik33lima_20180326_0002.jpg

 

Not sure where these last two were taken, but they nicely illustrate both the photographic textures on the 80 Class (that the windows are 'painted on' with no interior detail is hardly noticeable, and the engine sound is outstanding) and the scenery density and placement on this most excellent route - highly recommended:

 

ik33lima_20180326_0001.jpg

 

ik33lima_20180326_0000.jpg

Edited by 33lima

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Hi 33lima,

 

It's a while as anyone coming on here after so long (!).

 

Been away from my Trainz Ulster prject and partly due to some health issues, etc. Now slowly crawling back but have to say that if I had stuck just to my original plan of just the NIR this would have been uploaded ages ago.  Just felt the area was much left out of train sim things and have had a long time visiting the place and was determined to get the NIR done. Originally I had planned just to finish the track beyond Newry at the crossover and then once up there would have been a second edition where I would have pretended some parts had miraculously got long gone lines back! Discovered that well over 10,000 people signed a petition to get the line brought back from Portadown to Armagh City and maybe an odd other place. But it niggled me with track stopped at the Border and gave into my temptation and slowly built all the way to Dublin Connolly and that Howth branch. There is scenery missing for miles between Dundalk-Drogheda and making me groan but wil lsee what happens.

 

A Belfast man has my route sent over hope to meet him when I get over there for a few days hopefully in the not too distant future. So slowly attempting that gap between those two towns on the IRail south  and see how long that takes me. To help i have placed set hill scenery slightly inwards so don't have to spend so much time on extensive scenery.. Been aiming to fly over and stuff my health I want to see to that!

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Hi Bobby

 

glad to hear you're getting over the health issues and back to the project. I still reckon you should release the NIR area as an interim product, even if you intend to keep refining it - which could go on for ever!

 

See what happens if you hold back - if you want to be up-to-date, you're going to have to rename Belfast Central to Lanyon Place and re-work the facade and sineage! :)

 

Anyway by the sound of that you don't have too much left to do, and I'm looking forward to the release, whenever that happens!

 

How about posting some screenshots here? For example, landmarks like Craigmore Viaduct?

 

post-15566-0-69074300-1538244088_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Firstly just in passing i groaned when I heard the new name for Belfast Central which makes me sigh but of course not a problem changing name boards. As for the station it was niggling when I first  got some form of Belfast Central and whether I will footer about again I will see!

 

I am smiling as you surprisingly also touched oddly on putting up the N. Ireland Railway without waiting for that dashed work on the IR and wish I had just stayed with the NIR as the route would have been available ages ago. Having had a great many trips to Ulster over the years and also taking the boys camps for over a decade to Castlerock were always enjoyable. My late mother did have some distant relations in Lurgan and another place holidayed in as a boy. Had always felt annoyed at the shocking massacre of rail in the Province and was the worst of the GB for that to happen collapsing from over 800 miles to less than a quarter of that. Didn't happen in England, Scotland or Wales. Was a part reason for me wanting to attempt doing the NIR and stop it being kind of overlooked in Trainz.  Will muse over whether to put up my project as the NIR and obviously in the future the second thing with the Enterprise Express route later.  Wondered if I would ever get the whole thing done and was very fortunate a while back re the presently "temporay" mothballed Drumlin branch.

 

n NIR staff member gave me a contact with a person who did pictures but through him got a link with a retired staffer from Queen's Uni who had got permission before the passenger  mothballing to film in a cab along that line. Got eventually into a good chat and he agreed to send me a cd copy of the run as long as it was not for commercial purposes which I assured him of. Doing the longest run to Londonderry I wondered if I was being too ambitious but there again my ancestors were Covenanters and they were stubborn! Reason I didn't put pictures up here was there are literally dozens of them and thought giving my site address gave folk an overall picture of every route. There cannot be many Trainzers like me who flew somewhere as part of their build? Now must have a look at my nice hotel just off May Street which is a pleasure and think of flights to a place that gave me many happy times including a Belfast lass as a girlfriend yonks ago!!

 

Now must muse on a revised site for now.so folk can get driving around an overdue project on Trainz....the NIR!

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PICTURES OF MY NI RAILWAYS PROJECT

 

Can I just remind as it was suggested I put pics up on the forum that I listed my site at my first intro. Would be tempting to follow the request but as I have separate slideshows for each Ulster route including the presently suspended and a lot of effort for someone living in Glasgow (!) visiting my site has greater advantages. Slideshows for Belfast-Newry + Belfast-Bangor +Belfast-Londonerry + Belfast - Larne + Coleraine - Portrush + Lisburn - Antrim via Crumlin. There are literally dozens of pictures so if you have not folks visited my site will repeat the link below. 

 

In hindsight wish I had stopped at Newry as would then have spent all that time going into the IR to a second version pretending that the NIR had brought a couple of lines back! One of them would have been Portadown to Armagh for a start!! That was a former line that got thousands doing a petition for a brining back. Ulster is the worst of the 4 parts of GB for rail closures from what it had to barely 25% - shocking.  Anyway here is a reminder of my link folks and what the man from Glasgow has done.

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I live in Derry, so like others have said, if you need any help researching let me know, although everything looks magnificent already!

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I am top-toeing back in here as it has been so dashed long!

 

Like many who attempt something large it is easy to give up Only one person outside of myself has this route (!) and I am sure that Belfast man is happy with that situation. Have been trying to set my mind back on my extension south of the Border. Have all the track all the way to Dublin (Connolly) as thought it would be good to be able to run the Enterprise Express betwixt Belfast and Dublin. Mny months ago I had great parts of the scenery in and in an odd way even for a distant Glasgow bloke. Have scenery from Newry over the Border down to Dundalk and all the scenery from Drogheda to Dublin including the DART branch to Howth but have miles of scenery a few miles north of Drogheda and to Dundalk still empty. With so much it has been putting me off. There is of course a branch line at Drogheda running across country to a town but passneger trains stopped years ago and freight only but haven't planed to take it on as have enough re the space between Dundalk-and Drogheda

 

My original plan was just for the NIR as it is the worst of the 4 parts of the UK for rail closire. My thinking was that once done would have a second version and pretend a couple of lines had been brought back. The only niggle was that stopping just beyond Newry at a crossover kept tempting me. Took boys camps over to NI for years and occasional trips myself but I really must try getting the oomph to complete this rather big project which is the largest ever attempted for over the Irish Sea.  Think must get back over to Ulster for a wee break from my home city  for a few days and the Belfast man whom I sent a copy of my NIR effort is keen for us to meet and maybe have a meal as well. Scenery is complete on the Howth branch and south around Dublin Connolly and just the inside of the station that has gaps! Would be nice to meet a couple of you folks across there.

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Had some health delays again but now slowly trying to catch up on that gap that irritates I said was needing filled on the IR between prt of Dundalk to Drogheda. Wish I had just tuck to the NIR but like Caesar let ambition slide in - wish had just tuck to my original NIR plan then a second version pretending a couple of lines brought back! I had got niggled a wee bit when got to Newry and the crossover beyond the station as well as it being the end of a board. There is a Belfast Trainz fan wh has been in touch personally and we exhanged emails and phone calls. A while back he wasn't bothered with the extension south so i sent him a copy of the project as initially he had got a surprise that I did what i did because it was the whole of the NIR not just a part..

 

That Belfast man is keen to meet me as I said I would like to get round to a trip over to Belfast soon. Used to be a regular visitor over the water and for years took uniformed boys organisation camps to Castlerock. Just a pit we cannot be in touch privately 33lima as you might have got a meal while I am there!!

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Been trying to get back to this ambitious large effort across the Irish Sea. and groaning at the gap I have in part of the thing north of Drogheda and south of Dundalk. Now I know that firstly the Portrush branch station has been modernised and not before time for a resort! Far better than before so I am musing on re-doing my Portrush station and need to have a reviewed look at having to change all my previous tracks used and unused into that terminal. Will search about to find something to be in keeping with the new station building. The other groan is that Londonderry has changed stations for the second time(!). Years ago whilst with being in charge of a boys camp I took to Ulster I recall the old Victorian building then in due course the replaced island platform 2 platform matter.Now the old station has been brought back and my prob here is nothing in Trainz that will be a help to that. Haven't been over in NI for a while and so that might be an encouragement to be over for few days visit both Portrush and Londonderry to take notes and/or pictures.

 

Some folk getting ambitious on rail sim building can actually get put off finishing a thing but I do not want to fall into that as what I have been doing is the largest effort for over there. Maybe a wee rail break over there even in the winter might be a goo encouragement getting me away from my too long a break. At least one Belfast man has a copy of my effort.

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Long time since I have been on here but leaving a message for two of you!

 

33lima

ddoherty958

 

Have a gap of scenery to catch up on south of Dundalk and a few miles north of Drogheda but if anyone wants what done for the NIR please get back to me please. A wee while ago a man from just outside Belfast was taken aback by someone doing the whole of the NIR and he has got a copy! Indeed wants to treat me to a meal when I get over to Belfast from Glasgow!!

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