ECML Project – Introduction

Welcome to the ECML project, which very shortly will be celebrating it eighth year. The project has become very time consuming with this web site having to take a back seat for the last few years. With a shortage of volunteers the cab, which is the other part of the project, has also taken a rest. With myself being involved and can proudly say with all six preserved Deltics of which only a handful of us can say this, Trainz can during the running season occasionally be put to one side. This section of the DPS web site is for those who already have Trainz or thinking of becoming a Deltic driver at home. It is only intended to introduce you to the ECML route and a few tweaks along the way. There are other more in depth web sites for those who wish to go further.

The ECML route has now been released across the world by N3V with the first release in Trainz 2010 DVD. The route includes the ECML from Kings Cross to York via Selby with secondary routes to Hull, Cleethorpes, Skegness, the Joint Line from Peterborough via Lincoln to Doncaster and inter joining routes around Lincoln and Barnetby. Trainz 2012 was released in early 2011 with the route extended to Newcastle including the massive Tyne Yard.

Further extensions and routes are being built with updates to the existing section, which will remain work in progress for some years to come. This is a massive route and will be enhanced as time goes by. A good example being York which for the latest release had a 500 man hour update and still not finished.

The route is roughly based around the year 1976 while the three tunnels at Gas Works were in use and the ‘throat’ at Kings Cross. Some areas, which are modelled for that year had already been bulldozed in 1975. The East side of Kings Cross freight yard being an example. Wood Green HST depot hadn’t been built but is included for the modern image. Drayton Park is being developed as I speck as a BR owned route. This was part of the underground system and transferred to British Rail who shut the route for modernising. After a year of closure the route was reopened for dual voltage class 313 to run trains to Moorgate. This was opened in August 1976 so a good month to say the whole ECML route is based on. It wasn’t until February 1977 that the trackwork at Kings Cross had been streamlined and work commenced on electrifying the short section to Finsbury Park. Those were the days of transferring from a class 312 at Royston to continue to Cambridge by DMU.

The ECML when started was one of a very rare breed of routes that was modelled with gradients. This is becoming more normal practice with free DEM (Digital Elevation Model) being available. This does mean for instance driving one of the new Deltic models will perform correctly as the real thing up and down gradients. Some settings to the coaching stock need to be re configured correctly for the loco to perform accurately and will be shown with other simple alterations to Trainz on additional pages on this site.

Trainz 2012 is a very simple program for both Mac and PC’s but if you get hooked can be as in depth as you wish with all aspects very simple and user friendly. The game comes with a simple to read 242 page pdf file and instruction booklet. Along with being a driver you may wish to take a break and become a creator and build your own route, which is also include with the game.

The ECML Trainz team meet up at Barrow Hill occasionally to put 55008 through it paces running sections of the route. The last test run was in December 2011 operating 1S12 the 05.50 Kings Cross to Aberdeen as far as Dundee. With AI’s operating it became a very realistic session with nail biting moments keeping to time. With the session lasting 6hrs and 470 miles covered with 20 station stops Dundee was reached only two minutes down. The forth-coming session is a 36 hr non-stop operation with train crew shift patterns.

Please keep an eye on this section regularly for updates over the next few months.

Stuart Page
ECML Project Leader

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