Dec 18, 2014

Out Now: VNHRR Springfield Line 2.0

The second version of the VNHRR Springfield Line has just been released! The route is available exclusively at the Trains & Drivers online store.

Customers who already bought version 1.0 will be sent an email with a coupon for a discount on version 2.0

Dec 16, 2014

Dec 15, 2014

Random Beta Testing Screenshots

As the 2.0 release of the VNHRR Springfield Line draws closer, here are some random screenshots from beta testing.

Dec 8, 2014

South of Hartford

While Hartford, CT, marks the southern end of the developed trackage on the Springfield Line 2.0, a few miles south of downtown are going to be included in this version too. To the southwest, scenery extends along the Park River for a little bit, that's where version 3 will later continue in direction of New Haven. Southwards along the Connecticut River, a few miles of the Valley div. have been included too, all the way to the Colt Firearms factory and the large CP&L power station, which should provide an interesting background for freight/switching scenarios.

At the Park River in Hartford. The large building to the left is the Aetna Insurance headquarters, looking along the river you can see the Armory just in front of the downtown skyline.

CP&L power station just south of Hartford.

Dec 5, 2014

Bloomfield Branch

Leading into the hills and forests northwest of Hartford is the Bloomfield Branchline. It runs from Hartford Union Station to the small town of Bloomfield and onwards to its terminus at Griffins, a small settlement. In northeast Hartford there are a dozen or so industries that generate some traffic for the NH, but outside of Hartford it gets rather quiet very quickly. Bloomfield has a freight house and a siding that the few local industries can use as a team track, halfways along on the way to Griffins is another fairly large industry. Griffins itself generates no regular freight traffic, just the occasional car for local enterprises or seasonal agricultural traffic (tobacco!).

Leaving Hartford on the Bloomfield Branch

Bloomfield and the old passenger station.

Griffins, the terminus of the line. Just a single siding next to a small settlement.

Dec 2, 2014

Starry Starry Night...

The Bond and Hilton as seen from the Capitol...

Hartford seen from across the Connecticut River
Historic Windsor Station
Let's all go to the Lobby, let's all go to the lobby...

Dec 1, 2014

Bushnell Park

Almost the last piece in the puzzle for Hartford: Bushnell Park, right next to Union Station.

Nov 29, 2014

At the Freight House

The New Haven operated a large freight house complex along Market St. in downtown Hartford, which now found its way onto our route.


Nov 27, 2014

Walnut Street

At the beginning of the Bloomfield Branch in Hartford, which starts at the wye next to Union Station, is a district of various light industries. About a good dozen customers with rail access can be found here, and a lot of scenario potential on a complex track network. Beyond this area the branch line soon changes its character fundamentally, exiting Hartford's suburbs and turning quite rural quickly, with only a couple of sidings in Bloomfield and one industry along  the way to the terminus at Griffins.

Nov 21, 2014

Some say...

...that Hartford wasn't built in a day. We from the route building team certainly agree with that, and here are some screenshots from the progress made in downtown Hartford over the last few days.

Nov 17, 2014

Video: Springfield - Hartford Mainline

This video was shot during a full length run of the version 2.0 mainline of the Springfield Line, running with a Budd RDC from Springfield Union Station to Hartford Union Station. While the route is still a work in progress (which is obvious in some parts of the video), our overall progress is quite good. The branchline to Griffins and the outer parts of Hartford still need some more attention though.

Nov 15, 2014

Things will be great when you're downtown

A first glance at Hartford Union Station with the most important surrounding scenery in place -- a few buildings here and there and a lot of clutter are still missing. The two double tracks are of the Springfield and Highland Divisions, heading around the bend to the right side of the picture (where Albany Ave. tunnel will follow next). Exiting to the left, under the road bridge in the background, is the branch line to Bloomfield and Griffins, which serves several industries in the Hartford area, a freight house in Bloomfield, and then quickly becomes rather quiet and rural.

Nov 10, 2014

What a deference a day... no... three days make...

On the fist day he set buildings, streets and bridges...
...on the third day he set everything else (phew).

Hartford Engine Maintenance

Meadows Yard (the main freight yard in Hartford) is beginning to take shape at last. Here are some screenshots of the engine maintenance facilities.

Oct 23, 2014

NH Passenger Run

Here's our new GP9 in action on a Springfield - New Haven local. The NH's GP9s were dual service units, geared for passenger speeds, and were used frequently on the NH's local and commuter services.


Oct 21, 2014

Great Northern Budd RDC Now Available

The Great Northern Budd RDC Pack has been released at Trains and Drivers. It costs €8.95, which includes 19% VAT for EU customers.

The Great Northern Budd RDC Pack includes the single Budd Rail Diesel Car (RDC) of the Great Northern railroad.

The RDC features custom couplers and sounds, real roster number, light and rain effects, animated wipers and cab controls. This add-on includes the single Budd RDC that the Great Northern owned, GN 2350. This car was a phase-2 RDC-3, bought by the railroad when their originally quite extensive network of branchline passenger service was already under severe pressure from the rapidly increasing highway traffic. This RDC saw service on the Great Northern's Butte division for several years, running the Great Falls – Helena – Butte round trip. #2350 remained with the GN until the Burlington Northern merger, soon after which it was acquired by Amtrak. When Amtrak could not find any use for this car, it was sold on to BC Rail, until it finally ended up in Oregon where it ran the Lewis & Clark Explorer excursion train in the early to mid 2000s.

Oct 16, 2014

New Haven Geep

We had already shown the NH GP9 a while ago, yet here it is again after another round of updates to install the New Haven specific components:

On the Walkway along the Long Hood: Steam Boiler Water Tank. On the Roof: Hancock Air Whistles, Steam Boiler Exhaust and Safety Valves.
Another better view on the roof installations. The walkway water tank should be present on both sides, we still have to add that to this side of the engine.

Oct 15, 2014

B&M Geep

Still work in progress, but in-game and running: our B&M GP9. It will be included in version 2 of the Springfield Line.

Oct 8, 2014

GN #2350 Budd RDC-3

Here are two new screenshots of our first phase-2 RDC, GN's single "Budd Car" RDC-3 #2350, which is currently in beta testing.

Sep 30, 2014

Penn Central Budd RDC Now Available

The Penn Central Budd RDC Pack has been released at Trains and Drivers. It costs €11.95, which includes 19% VAT for EU customers.

This add-on pack includes three variants of the Budd Rail Diesel Car (RDC) in the colors of the Penn Central railroad.
Included Cars:
- Budd RDC-1
- Budd RDC-2
- Budd RDC-3
Each car comes in the Penn Central RDC livery with "zebra stripe" end sides, the RDC-1 is also available in two additional liveries with red bands above and around the side windows.
Here's a preview video if you'd like to see the cars in action: