West Coast Mainline Midlands and Northwest (aka – ‘Missing Link’)

West Coast Mainline Midlands and Northwest (aka – ‘Missing Link’)

4th August 2019 Off By SpeedyPete202

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Phase 3 - Birmingham New Street to Preston

Phase three of the route completes the route to Birmingham in the south and Preston to the north. It adds approximately 21 miles of route and finally completes the West Coast Mainline via Birmingham. New stations on the route include Birmingham New Street, Smethwick Rolfe Street, Smethwick Galton Bridge, Euxton Balshaw Lane, Leyland, and Preston. Custom models are included for all. Other models include the bridge over the river Ribble, custom signals including the new VMS signals at the southern end of Preston.

Other updates include some optimisation to the route and seven new scenarios depicting the various parts of the route. Issues regarding Liverpool Lime Street have also been fixed.

Phase 2 - Sandwell & Dudley to Wigan North Western

Phase two of the West Coast Mainline Midlands & northwest adds route between Stafford to Sandwell & Dudley and Weaver Junction to Wigan North Western. These sections include some well known railway landmarks such as Warrington Royal Mail (Dallam Royal Mail) Terminal, Acton Grange junction and the viaduct over the Manchester Ship canal, Wolverhampton and the first part of the industrial run into Birmingham New St. Also included are the new VMS signals which are commonplace throughout the west midlands.

This phase significantly furthers the project adding another 42 miles. (23 miles to the south and 19 miles to the north). This brings the overall route mileage to 110 miles (82 miles Sandwell & Dudley to Wigan North Western + 28 miles Weaver Jn to Liverpool Lime Street) Further updates include general performance tweaks and track layout updates across the route to correct errors.

Phase 1 - Stafford to Liverpool Lime Street

Phase one of the West Coast Mainline Midlands and Northwest is the route between Stafford and Liverpool Lime street. This 60 mile route runs from the heart of Staffordshire, through Cheshire and into Merseyside. The route features some iconic landmarks including the Ethelfleda and Silver Jubilee bridges which span the river Mersey between Widness and Runcorn. Dutton Viaduct, which is the longest single viaduct on the WCML and spans the river Weaver near Acton Bridge.


'Missing Link' is a project to complete the WCML between London and Scotland. Originally Stafford to Preston was missing and it stood this way for a long time. Now the gap has been closed and before long, we hope eliminated altogether. This brings us to the next big project; In 2019 the full ECML was released for Train Simulator - this combination four routes was a groundbreaking achievement meaning that for the first time a non stop, full run between London and Scotland was possible. 393 miles of driving on the ECML was possible. Sadly the WCML was not in the same boat. At that time the furthest north from London that was possible on Britain's busiest mainline was Birmingham. Now, the ultimate aim is to replicate the London to Scotland link on the west coast. Building London to Glasgow and Edinburgh via Birmingham and the Trent Valley will be an extensive project calling on the skills of numerous people. The route is hugely varied and will incorporate Britain's highest average speed long distance (non HS1) journey: London to Warrington.


Requirements;

  • RSC Great Eastern Mainline
  • WCML Over Shap
  • DTG Liverpool to Manchester
  • DTG North Wales Coastal (Currently discontinued but available in copies of Train Simulator 2018)
  • DTG West Coast Mainline South
  • OHLE Pack
  • Trent Valley*
  • UKTS Blocks & Lofts / Clutter / Buildings*
    *Updates will remove these as requirements in future releases. The parts of the route using these files can be downloaded free in the supplementary files below.

Scenario Requirements

These aggregate requirements are purely related to the scenarios. You do not need any of of these for the route to function.

  • Class 390 Pack - Steam (Discontinued)
  • Class 390 Intercity Pack (S9BL) - Steam
  • Class 159 Pack - Steam
  • Class 350 EP* - Armstrong Powerhouse
  • Class 170EP* - Armstrong Powerhouse
  • Class 175 EP* - Armstrong Powerhouse (Currently Unavailable as of Dec 2020)
  • Class 66 EP - Armstrong Powerhouse
  • Class 156 Pack - Armstrong Powerhouse
  • Class 150/2 - Armstrong Powerhouse
  • Class 153 - Just Trains
  • Class 158 Perkins EP - Armstrong Powerhouse
  • Class 220/221 - Just Trains (Updated)
  • Class 319 Pack Volume 1 - Armstrong Powerhouse
  • Class 325 Pack - Steam
  • Class 66 Pack02 - Steam
  • Class 66 Pack03 - Steam
  • FTA Wagons - Armstrong Powerhouse
  • JPA Wagons - Armstrong Powerhouse
  • JNA Wagons - Armstrong Powerhouse
  • HKA Wagons - Armstrong Powerhouse
  • IPA Wagons - Just Trains
  • TTA’s from WCML over Shap
  • Class 70 - Steam

 

Reskins: 

  • Class 390 Virgin Pack - BH Reskins - ATS
  • Class 325 Repaint Pack - BodgeItTMD - ATS
  • Class 66 LED Headlights - James Ivell - ATS
  • Class 170 West Midlands Trains  - Lewis Clowes - ATS
  • S9BL Class 390 Avanti West Coast "Half Livery" and Unbranded "Pendolino" Reskins - Alistair Cowell - ATS
  • Class 158 Ex-Arriva Trains Wales - Lewis Clowes - Major Wales
  • Class 158 Northern Variants - Lewis Clowes - ATS
  • Transport for Wales Class 158 - Lewis Clowes - ATS
  • Class 350 Cab and Pass View Patch - James Ivell - ATS

Installation

Follow the steps below to complete the installation;

- Download the latest installer from your account
- Run the installer as administrator - It may be necessary to disable your antivirus software temporarily as the installer is sometimes flagged as a false positive.
- Enter your alanthomsonsim.com account details
- The installer will install the route automatically for you

N.B. If you have any third party Class 390 reskins and use the Armstrong Powerhouse Class 390 Sound Pack, please re-download the sound pack from AP and install after completing the route installation. 

Done!

The route installs as "West Coast Mainline Midlands and Northwest" and is Quick Drive compatible.


Future phases

There are future phases for this route which will be released as they are completed. The overall route is proposed to connect Rugby, Preston, Liverpool and Manchester.

  • Phase 1  – Stafford to Liverpool – Release 04 Aug 2019
  • Phase 2 - Sandwell & Dudley to Wigan Northwestern - Release 04 May 2020
  • Phase 3 – Extension to Birmingham and Preston - Release 19 Dec 2020
  • Phase 4 – Stoke Loop
  • Phase 4a - Rugeley Trent Valley to Manchester Piccadilly via Stoke-on-Trent
  • Phase 5 – Rugby – Rugeley Trent Valley

Once complete the route will be merged with other available WCML routes


Known issues

  • The OHLE will sometimes be slow to load around the Crewe area, especially on lower end computers.
    - Cause - The very large amount of loft items in the area. Crewe has a lot of tracks and many of them are electrified.
    - Fix - reduce scenery density or texture quality.
    - Development - We are working to add further lines to Crewe - once these are added we will optimize the area.
  • Signals in Birmingham area sometimes do not clear. Just press TAB
  • Missing or badly rendered scenery or ground textures
    - Cause - Not having all of the requirements installed or working correctly.
    - Fix - Ensure that you have ALL of the route requirements ans they they are installed correctly.
  • Installer fails to install
    Please click here for general troubleshooting of installers
  • I can't find the installer for Phase 1 or Phase 2
    - These have been discontinued please use Phase 3

Found a problem? Get in touch


You can download alternative supplementary files for this route here although please do not use these if using the automated installer.


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