About the simulator
Background to the simulator
Bugs and other problems - suggestions
Possible future developments
About the author
Download the software
Installing the software
Links to other sites
|I have uploaded this site to a new
server, but the program is no longer being developed. I have tried to
ensure that the internal links all work, but some of the external sites
have been closed down. The program remains great fun, if you are able
to use your imagination! Unfortunately it won't run under native
Windows 10, but it will run using an emulator, see Hardware requirements below!
The program simulates the thermodynamics of a steam locomotive, including the engine, boiler, and all major controls. It allows the user to "drive" a simulated locomotive over a nominated route. Controls available include regulator, brake, cut-off, damper, injectors, blower, firing rate, sand, and water scoop. Gauge information includes boiler pressure, water level, speed and superheat temperature. Over fill the boiler, let the fire go out, forget to open the cylinder cocks, or exceed the speed limit, and your journey will come to an abrupt end.
The route simulation comprises distances, place names, gradients, speed restrictions and water troughs. You can modify existing routes or design new ones.
There are currently over 200 locomotives available, the British contingent represent the big four companies in about equal measure, as well as the BR standard and some pre-grouping types. In addition there areAfrican, Argentinian, Australian, Canadian, Italian, U.S.A represented. Some other European locos are to be found in the other category. It is easy to add locomotives and to design new machines. The simulator provides over 50 different routes over which you can drive your locomotives, again mainly British, but including such classics as the Settle and Carlisle, the Waverley, the GCR, the GWR, the SR and the ECML. NYMR enthusiasts will see that they are catered for, as are those who have an interest in the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Lines, while the Tanfield Line, and the Weardale Railway are not forgotten.
Italian enthusiasts now have a translation of the complete manual from English to Italian, thanks to Ugo Poddine. Videata guida della locomotiva
Spanish speaking enthusiasts also have a translation of the entire help document, provided by Carlos Alberto Fernández Priotti of Argentina. Carlos has also provided a description of all of the locos in his collection, in both Spanish and English, see: argentin.html
Para usuarios en Castellano, hay una traducción del manual instructivo en el archivo loco_esp.rtf y un detalle bilingüe Castellano-Inglés de locomotoras y recorridos de la República Argentina en el archivo
Argentinians can travel
over metre or wide gauge tracks, including a
climb over one of the worlds highest lines to Chile
Australians can go from Sydney to Bundanoon and explore the suburban tracks around Brisbane, while the Puffing Billy Railway also features.
Canadians have five routes to choose from.
Italians can climb the mountains from Bologna to Pistoia
South Africans can drive the Orange Express from Kimberley to De Aar
USA enthusiasts can drive from Cheyenne to Laramie, San Francisco to Los Angeles, or try a narrow gauge line.
You can add new routes, and the author would like to receive copies of new routes that users develop. Several contributors have written short descriptions of their routes, some providing timetable and other information.
It is quite difficult to get the hang of the controls to begin with, particularly if you know nothing about driving a steam loco, but there is both a comprehensive help document (Word loco.doc or loco.rt) that you can print out, and a quick help screen within the program. There is a "Practice Mode", for driver training, that you should use initially to familiarize yourself with the keys.
When (if) you successfully complete a journey, the program provides an analysis of the locomotive's performance, and a log of the journey that can be saved to disc for further analysis. It is possible to produce performance plots, similar to those made during real road trials using data from the program and a spreadsheet. Is a "Jubilee" thermodynamically superior to a "Clan", or "V2", or "Castle", or "West Country", is the "B1" better than the "Black 5" ????
The simulator was written
in Turbo Pascal and is a DOS program. This means that is a relatively
small program that will not eat up
too much of your hard drive. It was developed on a 286 machine, but it
a faster steed, running very nicely under native DOS on a 486. I have
successfully run it under Win95, Win98, Win NT, and Win XP Pro, but I
am told that Win ME it does not like. You can tune the speed of
response a quite a bit, and save your settings - see the downloaded
instructions. One day it might be modified to automatically adjust
itself to the speed of the computer.
One slight problem, the program requires a maths co-processor to run. All modern computers are fine, e.g. if you have a Pentium or a 486DX, then you will be okay as the co-processor is built into the chip. For really early machines, you will need an xxx87 co-processor to run the program.
Running Under Windows 10
The program will run under Windows 10 but you need to use the freeware DOSbox emulator to make it work.
I am very grateful to MikenErea Field for finding the way to do this!
In essence you need to create two STEAM folders on your hard drive, one a sub directory of the other, and download the loco software into the subdirectory c:\STEAM\STEAM
When you get into DOSbox you then MOUNT the directory c:\STEAM as the DOSbox virtual working directory. (Using DOSbox, it's easier to see what you are doing if you first use ALT Enter to get into full screen mode.) Enter the following
mount c c:\steam
DOSbox always calls the mounted directory c, so your directory c:\steam has become DOSbox c:
go to that directory by entering
however the program needs to operate from directory c:\steam so Change the Directory by entering
when you should see c:\steam now enter
and that should run the program!
On my machine it all appears to work, even the graphics present correctly - although leaving the graphics screens you encounter a a screen full of text that you can ignore. This might depend upon your graphics card. I found that is better to use the minimum time delay of 0 in the program configuration, but this might depend upon the speed of your computer.
The author was engaged to write a software model of the processes involved in the generation of electricity from geothermal sources. Various engine cycles were examined, including steam turbines. This work involved modelling steam properties, hence providing the basis for a steam locomotive model. Further, the author was responsible for teaching mechatronics where an exercise set to students involved the automatic control of a train which was itself simulated by a computer. Put the two together, throw in a few thousand happily spent programming hours, and out pops a simulator.
Versions of the program before release 1.11 would only accommodate a maximum of 150 locos, and would crash if more than that number existed in the 'steam' directory. Release 1.11 allows 180 locos, and will ignore any in excess of that number. Release 1.14 provides a separate directory for the locos of each country, so allows 180 from each. It is essential that versions 1.14 and later be installed in directory c:\steam. Please take note, if you add more locos of your own design, and the total number in any one directory exceeds 180, some will be ignored. In that instance move some out to another “shed” elsewhere.
The program appears reasonably bug free if you stick to sensible parameters, but the part load performance of a boiler is a bit tricky and things can go wrong if you get into unknown territory. All inputs have error checking, but it is possible to arrive at a situation where a combination of extreme values of different parameters creates difficulties, and the program will get stuck in a loop. Some users report problems of "exploding boilers" where the pressure rises uncontrollably - fortunately there have been no known fatalities, and it has not been possible to replicate this situation under laboratory conditions! If you "gan canny" there should be few problems.
In practice, provided that you are reasonably careful, the thing works just fine. Should you have a problem that you do not feel responsible for, let the author know, but provide all the details.
Please e-mail the author if you have any suggestions on how the program could be improved, or with new routes or locos that you have constructed that can be added for the benefit of all users - sources will be credited.Contact the author about this program.
They are all pipe dreams at present. What would you like to see?
Contact the author with your views
Before retirement, Bryan Attewell was a principal lecturer in the department of Computing, Engineering and Technology at the University of Sunderland. When wearing that particular hat he was the academic team leader for engineering. Prior to that he worked as an engineering designer, including time spent designing diesel engines for railway locomotives (GEC/Rustons). He is a paid up member of the Weardale railway and an admirer of the Tanfield railway. He is just old enough to have appreciated the last years of steam on British Railways and is happily married to Carol with two grown up sons. His other favourite pursuits are cycling and photography , and he is member of both Sustrans and the Cyclists Touring Club. He would like to persuade you to leave your car at home and use a bicycle. If you are prepared to consider this option click here. Finally, mention must be made of the time wasted at the Stadium of Light, home of Sunderland AFC
Contact the author about this program Bryan Attewell
This program is provided free of charge, but its use is subject to the following conditions:-
The files have been compressed using Freezip. If you have not got a zip/unzip utility get the excellent and truly free Freezip from Tucows shareware site. Unfortunately it only works with Windows 95, 98 and NT. Freezip compresses a whole directory at a single keystroke.If you are running Windows 3.1 or DOS, then the good old PKUNZIP will be what you want.
Download all of the files 441 KBIf you have a problem downloading the software, give it another go some other time as the server might be down. Should that fail, please contact the author.
The program is free, but, if you enjoy using it, perhaps you would consider making a donation to a charity of your choice. There are some links below, or maybe you could throw some coins into a tin next time you see a collector: -
This is an MSDOS program. It will run under native MSDOS provided that your machine has a maths co-processor (most modern CPUs). It is known to work with Windows 3.1, 95, 98 and NT. I am running XP at home and find that it works OK, but that it starts with a small text window that only occupies the full screen once you have opened and closed the graphics window.
Probably the easiest way to launch the program from Windows is to double click on the program "loco.exe" from within Explorer, but an icon is provided for those clever enough to install it on their desktop.
Those who regard the instructions (Word file loco.doc, also RTF file loco.rtf) as being something that should only be consulted in extremis might welcome the handy H key, which brings forth condensed Help when the simulator is running.
If you are unfamiliar with using programs under MSDOS, you might like to know that EXIT returns you to Windows.
For more details of the
new routes, see this page.
For a list of all routes see the tables.
For a list of all non-BR locomotives available, click here
For details of the new locos, click here and see the file scotloc.txt
For details of mods to the program, see the file mods.txt
Colin Summersgill has provided a boatload of South African routes and locos, with 20 new routes and 75 new locomotives (plus one correction to an existing type)! This is one the largest single contributions ever received, many thanks to Colin.
Having written these pages in Netscape Composer, I was appalled to find that editing them using Word caused a total wipe out. Several nights' work has gone into restoring sanity in general and the links in particular. If you find any that don't work please let me know!
Peter Abraham has been in action again to provide a range of routes around Barnstaple. BNJ_ILF covers the line from Ilfracombe to Barnstaple. IL_BN_TN is the route from Ilfracombe to Taunton. BNJ_HWJ goes from Barnstaple to Hawill Junction; SR_HW_BU runs from Bude to Halwill Junction and, finally, SR_HW_OK is the line from HalwillJunction to Okehampton. New locos are a brace of GWR 4-4-0s, the Dukedog and the superheated version of the Duke class. Staying with the GWR theme there is a 4575 2-6-2T, while to content SR fans there is an E1-R 0-6-2T.
Peter Abraham has kindly provided a circular route around Bristol BRI_CIR1 (and BRI_CIR2 for the reverse direction), and the route from Berkely Road Junction to Cinderford via the Severn Bridge BKY_CFD. In order to provide suitable motive power, Peter has also supplied two new GWR locomotives, a 4500 Prairie tank and a 57xx 0-6-0PT.
I have been in correspondence for some while with erstwhile NZ footplateman Kelvin Williams. Kelvin has kindly supplied me with a number of books and pamphlets about NZR, and has even sent me a video of steam operation in that country. The shots of locos blasting their way up steep grades through a snow covered landscape, with mountains in the background, are enough to make any true steam buff want to visit that land. Well Kelvin has recently supplied a couple of gradient profiles. The first route is a mountainous one, from Piriaka via Raurimu to Pokaka and Cropito
Peter Abraham, using information based upon the original track plans published by the Midland Railway Group, has put together the Bristol to Birmingham route BRI_BIR, and, because the speed restrictions are different, the corresponding route in the opposite direction BIR_BRI.
Brad Collins was one of the first people to contact me when the simulator program was introduced. He has now contributed a useful new combination of several routes to provide a single file that represents the ECML from Kings Cross to Newcastle. Brad has had to simplify existing routes to achieve this, and some purists might prefer to use the original, unexpurgated, versions. Brad is at pains to point out that this new route is based upon the work of others, and he does not claim credit for the whole job.
Peter has written a linking section of the SDJR from Bristol to Bath (Br_Bth) and return (Bth_Br) and he promises more developments for the future. Watch this space!
Three new routes from the keyboard of Peter Abraham, an Englishman resident in France. Peter has provided us with the MR route from Bristol to Gloucester Bri_glos (and back - different speed restrictions Glos_bri) along which hard pressed Jubilees hauled trains in excess of 400 tons. He has also written the LSWR route from Waterloo to Exeter (Wat_exe), and finally a very short, but excccdingly hilly abstract from the Severn and Wye railway, from Coleford Junction to Coleford Station (Coleford.rut).
The Portsmouth line was extensively used by military traffic and, according to author Richard Keene, is quite difficult to drive. Richard has provided timings based upon the 1909 LSWR timetable, see the route details link above. SAL_PORT and SAL_BRI
Kelvin Williams has very kindly sent me a video of NZ steam in action along with a number of books and other information about the steam locos of that country. I have used this source to provide three new locos, the J class 4-8-2, and the K and KB classes of 4-8-4 wheel arrangement. The KBs had detailed improvements over the Ks, but more significantly for the simulator, were fitted with booster engines with 7x10" cylinders providing an extra 14.25 ton of adhesive weight. The NZ locos are currently shedded in the "others" directory. If anyone else out there can provided data on other NZ locos then please get in touch.
Another welcome contribution from David Lord, DONLDS takes use from Doncaster to Leeds while LDSNOR starts at Leeds and ends atNorthallerton
David Lord has provided
the entire NBR West highland Railway as three
separate stages WHIGH1, WHIGH2 and WHIGH3, to take us from Glasgow to
A very interesting development this. David Lord has provided the southern section of the WHR from Glasgow to Crianlarich, which is a find in itself, but there is more to come. David is the author of another simulation, one that models the railway system rather than just the locomotives. He has many route and loco files that could be translated into steam loco simulator format, if only one of the two of us can write a piece of conversion code. Further, David is thinking of publishing his simulator as freeware. Watch this space!! Back to the WHR, if you have not read John Thomas's book The West Highland Railway, order a copy from your local library now. One of the best written railway books I have read, and after reading it I guarantee that you will want to drive the route.
David Lord has provided us with models of two GWR 0-6-0 pannier tanks, the 1500 and 1600 series, but there is more to come, see above!
We have finally got a model of the route out of the main LMS London terminal thanks to Spencer Jackson, an ex railwayman who was based at Cricklewood in the 60's. Spen's route runs the 83 miles to Rugby.
Kelvin Williams, an ex steam loco fireman and driver and member of the NZ Mainline Trust, is supplying us with details of a range of NZ locos, the first of which is the Ab class 4-6-2. Hopefully this will be the first of many, and there might just be someone out there who could supply a suitable route, or failing that, a gradient profile that we could use to provide a line for our new NZ locos.
A collection of Maunsell
locomotives from new
contributor Simon Dixon. This is how Simon describes the new additions:
The D-1 and E-1 4-4-0s - rebuilds of Wainwright's earlier D and E classes. These are of similar performance to the L-1, and were originally used on Passenger Expresses on the Chatham route.
The K class 2-6-4T - the ill fated Rivers I understand that working from Folkestone up to London, they took on water at Tonbridge.
The U-1 2-6-0 was a development of the U class for the Hastings line. I have found it more forgiving than a Schools Class over that route.
The W class 2-6-4T and Z class 0-8-0T were designed for freight and heavy shunting respectively.
See the Weardale Railway web site for details of the newly granted Transport and Works Order that will enable the line to operate passenger trains, hopefully from Easter 2004. Members and active volunteers are urgently required to prepare the line for its new lease of life.
Frank Holmes of the Weardale Railway Trust has provided me with a gradient profile for this ex NER line from Darlington to Wearhead. Passenger traffic was handled by J21 (0-6-0), G5 (0-4-4T) and A8 (4-6-2T) locomotives, with loads of between 3 and 4 non corridor coaches. Efforts are being made to re-open the line between Bishop Auckland and Eastgate, along which the track is still in place, and the Trust welcomes new members.
Richard Keene has given us another Southern Railway route, from Southampton to Weymouth via Dorchester. He has also supplied a log of a journey made by a Merchant Navy pacific which appears to be well in control of the situation. SOUT-DOR
It is fitting that in the first month of the new year we have the first locomotive from Denmark. New contributor Erik Poppe has sent information relating to the two cylinder R class (Litra R - in Danish). Most of the top link locos in Denmark were compounds, but the R class were simple expansion engines, used on the 12.5% gradients in Jutland.
One of the last types of steam locomotive to be fully operational in normal revenue earning service, the standard heavy freight locomotive of the Chinese Railways, the QR class continued to be constructed until the late 1980s. As far as I am aware, examples of the class are still hard at work as I write these notes! I am told that main line steam operation in China will cease by 2005, although, hopefully, specials will continue to run. Details were taken from David Wardale's book "The Red Devil", although some dimensions have had to be scaled from a small drawing or estimated - corrections would be appreciated. Wardale felt that the class had limited adhesion, and the simulator certainly bears that out, but the superheat temperature comes out way too high - it should be around 400 degC (752 degF).
The route that the Schools class 4-4-0 was constructed to serve provided here by Richard Keene. Richard also supplies a log of a prototype run complete with timings, regulator, cutoff and pressure readings. See if you can match the real thing ! (CHX-HAST).
Richard Keene pointed out to that thePrintscreen command, used in DOS, writes the information to the Windows clipboard. You can then paste and edit the image using a program such as Microsoft Photo Editor, before printing it out. Richard was concerned that the image so obtained had a black background, as the print then used a lot of ink, and asked if the background colourcould be changed to white. There is now an alternative version of the route design program that uses a white background. This program can be downloaded from here. Copy it to your routes directory and unzip it there.
Another welcome contribution from Martin Greenland, this comprises the old FR railway route (FR_OLD) which existed before the construction of the pumped storage scheme in 1956. Martin also provides two new locomotives, the Alco prairie tank "Mountaineer", in both superheated (ALCO_FR) and non superheated or war department (ALCO_WD) guise, and the Fairlie 0-4-4-0T locomotive "Little Wonder" of 1869 (LIWONDER).
The last link in the East Coast Main Line falls into place with Martin Greenland's contribution of the route between Doncaster and Newcastle (DONCNEWC). This latest line includes the NER's famous racing stretch over the plain of York, and ends with the hilly traverse of the Durham coalfield. While it is still not possible to drive all of the way from Kings Cross to Edinburgh as a single journey, the full route now exists as three separate files.
Another new SR route from the keyboard of Richard Keene. Richard says of the route that " ....the profile beyond Wokingshows that a high degree of enginemanship was required to keep time on a steeply graded route with some significant speed restrictions" . WAT_PORT.
I did promise myself that all development on the simulator would be frozen, and that any new work would be directed towards a Windows version, but two factors have mitigated against this. Firstly I detest Windows programming, and secondly I have bought a new speedy computer that runs the simulator far too fast for comfort. I had received a request to provide the option of a slower simulation for faster computers, and this is it. More importantly perhaps, the simulator now allows users to set up a configuration file that stores the selected speed and a few other parameters including the loco directory.
It is timely to introduce the classic Churchward taper boilered 4-4-0 City of Truro as the prototype is about to be restored to main line service. The controversial claim that this locomotive was the first to achieve the magic ton has been debated over the years and that debate has been re-kindled as funds are sought to finance its restoration. When the original run was made it had a un-superheated boiler, and that is the version that is provided here (GW_CITY.LOC). What about the track? Well we have that as well, or at least the critical stretch between Exeter and Wellington (GW_EX_WE.RUT). For those who don't know the detail, the run took place on May 9th 1904, and it was recorded by Charles Rouse-Martin. The weight of the train is open to dispute, but, while 140 tons might be on the heavy side of many estimates, that weight might compensate for the lower train resistance of the more modern stock that the simulator assumes. According to the legend, the train topped < class=SpellE>Whiteball summit in the high 50's and then plunged down to record just over 100 mph on the 1:90 downgrade that followed. The train braked heavily on the approach to Wellington as "platelayers were seen on the track". I don't know if the locomotive was fitted with Churchward's long travel valves, he had only recently taken up the post of Chief Locomotive Superintendent of the GWR. Did the train exceed 100 mph? Run the simulator and find out if it were possible!!
A very warm welcome to new contributor Ives Dessaux. He has attempted to get around the problem that the simulator won't handle compounds by making all four cylinders the same diameter and adopting a value for the diameter that gives somewhere near the correct overall tractive effort. The resulting simulation does not reflect the improved efficiency of the compound locomotive, but does give a reasonable representation of the type, in this case, economical and powerful but slippery. There is a 231G active in preservation, while it was a very similar locomotive that starred in the classic film La Bete Humaine. Yves is working on further additions to the stud of French locomotives and we might even get a route - fingers crossed!
We can now drive from London Victoria to Dover Marine, thanks to Richard Keene VICT_DOV. Richard has also provided loco files representing the unrebuilt WC and MN locomotives, with reduced boiler pressure. SRWC_LP and SRMN_LP.
While in the past contributors' notes on their locos were to be found in the file "loco.txt", this has now been replaced by an HTML file (see above) and one day there might even be an index!
David Fryer is adding to the stock of L&Y locos by providing the rebuilt version of the 4 cylinder "Dreadnought" 4-6-0s (LY_460RB.LOC) and the very popular 2-4-2T (LY_442.LC). You can drive both of these locos on David's Manchester to Liverpool route (MAN_LIV.RUT), while David has provided interesting notes on both classes.
Another interesting contribution from Richard Keene, Bulleid's controversial Leader. This locomotive used two bogies diesel so that all of the weight was available for adhesion. Good in concept, it failed because of a number of detail design problems. As Richard points out in his notes, however, the program does not simulate the problems, so this gives a glimpse of "what might have been!"
Richard Keene describes this route as a switchback, and warns that your fingers will feel like those of a concert pianist if you manage to get to the end of this demanding journey - not a route for the beginner! Richard has also provided us with a new loco, the SR T9 4-4-0.
Aspinall's famous insidecylinder 4-4-2s (LY_442.LOC) are well described by new contributor David Fryer in his accompanying text, while he also provides a new route file of the L&Y Manchester to Liverpool line (MAN_LIV.RUT).
Another major SR route, this time provided by Richard Keene. His work is in three parts, Waterloo to Salisbury, Salisbury to Exeter and then the severe climb from Exeter to Plymouth. As Richard points out in his notes, this route was one of those used in the 1948 locomotive trials, so you can compare the theoretical performance of the big four machines with that actually achieved.
A visit to the French National Railway Museum at Mulhouse prompted me to include a French locomotive. Unfortunately most of their famous types are compounds, which the simulator will not handle, but the popular and efficient 141R (2-8-2) supplied by a number of companies in the USA is not. The original design was an effective, low maintenance machine, but then Chapelon breathed his magic on the class and the later locos were thermodynamically in the first division. According to my researches, 12 have been preserved. This loco appears in the OTHER folder, under the name 141R. You can compare this loco to the Liberation 2-8-0s supplied by Vulcan works at about the same time.
Paolo Scarazzato has provided us with another steeply graded Italian line, the single track route from Trieste to Jesenice in Slovenia. He also supplies three appropriate ex-Austrian locomotives to run on that track.
Some of you might be interested in the small selection of photos of locomotive valve gear that is available for perusal. The locos involved are a K1 2-6-0, a SR rebuilt WC pacific, and a BR standard 4MT 2-6-4T.
While most UK enthusiasts will know the big four loco classes fairly well, e.g. LNE_A4, SR_MN, GWR_KING etc., they might not be so familiar with the pre-grouping designs. The site has always provided a list of the non-UK locos, primarily because many of those files have been written by external contributors, but also to help users find the locos they want. This list has now been extended to include some of the pre-grouping companies.
A trip on a Xmas special prompted the author to model the Tanfield railway along with two locomotive types that ran on the line in the past. The two locos are an austerity 0-6-0ST (LNER J94) and a NER Class U 0-6-2T (LNER N10). Try driving a typical coal train of about 200 tons behind the N10, it's quite tricky. If there are any Tanfield enthusiasts out there who would like some of the present stud of industrial locos added, please get in touch.
In 1939 Belgian railways introduced a unique class of streamlined 4-4-2s with inside cylinders. Timed at over 100 mph, the locos were never used to their full potential due to the second war. The principal German express passenger locos over many years, the 01 2 cylinder 4-6-2s were introduced in 1926. In 1939 a streamlined 3 cylinder version (01-10) was introduced for high speed services. After the war the 01-10s had their streamline casings removed and survived until the end of steam. Try them all on the simulator - they are shedded in the "other" directory.
Carlos Fernández, a prolific writer of both locomotive and route files, has contributed another batch of locomotive types. There is much to interest the British enthusiast here with locos from several of the private UK builders. Try comparing the performance of an LNER A3 with pacifics from the Vulcan Foundry or Armstrong Whitworth! Carlos has provided details of all of the many locos from his country, in both Spanish and English
Four new routes from the North Eastern area of Italy. You can understand why the Italian railways wasted little time in converting to electric traction when you see the gradients involved! We now have a good mileage of appropriate permanent way to exercise all of those Italian locos. Many thanks to a new contributor, Paolo Scarazzato>
The sleeper train from Crew to Perth was regarded as one of the toughest turns on the LMR. A single Stanier Pacific was normally rostered for this duty which involved a heavy train and some very serious climbing. Jim McDonell has provided modified pacific files LmCorLs and LmPrinLS which have reduced superheat area, to more accurately simulate the performance of the real locos, who, Jim reckons, were heavy on water because they never attained a superheat temp. above 600 deg. Jim tells us that the crews sometimes had to stop for more coal at Carlisle on this run, a fireman's nightmare! The route file is crew_per.rut, try it if you dare.
Previous versions of the program file download inlcudedthe HTML file containing details of all of the new routes. This file is now very large and I know that people are having difficulty downloading all of the information, so I have deleted it from the download. You can still access the information from here, see the above link entitled "this page".
One fateful night in 1879 a NBR train strode out in the darkness across the Tay Bridge but never made the far bank, as the bridge collapsed, throwing locomotive, crew, train and passengers into the river. 75 people died. The locomotive was later rescued and continued to serve the NBR for many years. Jim McDonell provides a model of the 4-4-0 involved, No. 224. (NBR_224.LOC).
Welcome to a new contributor, Charles F Gerow, who has put together the route of the Delaware Lackawanna and Western from Holboken to East Stroudsburg Pennsylvania. Charles has also provided a fleet of locomotives for the line, including a switcher, freight, and passenger engines. Included in this thoroughly researched piece of work is a table of freight locomotive loadings, while Charles has used a locomotive classification system to derive the file names - see ruttext.html for more information.
Carlos Fernández has been very busy supplying many more Argentinian locos and routes. He is arranging for photos of some of the locos to appear on his web site. Carlos has provided a description of all of the routes and locos in both ish and English. If you have not stopped to look at the large Argentinian locomotive collection before now, I suggest that you do so, as it contains examples of machines from most of the major independent builders from around the world.
Your webmaster found himself talking to the local radio station, Radio Newcastle, about the steam loco simulator during the week, while several of the local papers have contained articles about this site. The Tanfield Railway obligingly allowed the press photographer to take some photos with an austerity 0-6-0 smoking in the background. If you are in the NE of England on a Sunday, I would recommend a trip to the Tanfield Railway. It's a very friendly line with a good collection of industrial locos and wooden bodied carriages.
Jim McDonell has provided the classic route of the railway race to the north including the infamous Beattocksummit. The route is modelled on that existing in the late 1880's, so there are no water troughs, but fewer speed restrictions (CAR_ED88.RUT and ED_CAR88.RUT). See Jim's notes for a more complete description, including a comparison of an actual and simulated run. To complement the line, Jim has also provided some new Caley locos, CR_DUN2.LOC, CR_DUN3.LOC and CR_CL903.LOC. See the file SCOTLOC.TXT for more details.
Owen Chapman has added to his work on the Cumbress and Toltec Scenic line, by constructing more of the old D&RGW line through Colorado, from Alamosa to Durango (D_RG.RUT). He also provides a revised version of his Durango to Silverton line (D_SNG), together with two versions of the "Mudhen " 2-8-2 narrow gauge locomotives (RG_K27.LOC and RG_K27s.LOC).
We now have the entire help document translated into Italian thanks to Ugo Poddine. Ugo has also provided additional Italian locomotives, complete with a brief description of each (ital.txt) and a more refined version of his Porrettana line.
Some while ago the loco stock was augmented by the addition of the railway race to the north NER class M1. Now we have one of the competing designs from the west coast route, the famous Caley single No. 123. Jim Mcdonell has provided four new locos from north of the border, in addition to No. 123 we have a Caley 0-6-0 "Jumbo", a Highland "Barney" 0-6-0, and a Highland 0-4-4T. As usual Jim has written appropriate and interesting notes, see loco.txt.
Owen Chapman, a prolific contributor, has provided us with a model of the unique LNER six cylinder Beyer Garratt 2-8-0+0-8-2 and the Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul and Pacific line S3 4-8-4.
Another mammoth undertaking, this time by Carlos Alberto Fernández Priotti. This is our first venture into the railways of Argentina, with 10 new routes and 34 different locomotives. Carlos provides both ish and English versions of his descriptions of the routes and locos, and a complete translation of the help document into Spanish.
Para usuarios en Castellano, hay una traducción del manual instructivo en el archivo loco_esp.rtf un detalle bilingüe Castellano-Inglés de locomotoras y recorridos de la República Argentina en el archivoargentin argentin.
There is now an Argentine directory to accommodate the locos provided by Carlos. In addition the maximum fuel and water feed rates have been increased to allow improved modelling of the very largest locos. The increment in firing rate has also been increased for mechanical stoker fed locos. These enlargements are due to a lad called Brad who likes driving at maximum power!
We had none, but now there is an excellent collection of Canadian Pacific routes and locomotives, courtesy of Bill Hallett. There are five new routes and 11 new locomotives. The simulator has been updated to cope with this influx, an additional directory "Canada" has been added to store the new machines. Read Bill's description of the routes in ruttext.html and the locos in loco.txt.
The 4-4-2 class A and 4-6-4 class F7 of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St Paul and Pacific Railroad. With 7 ft driving wheels, these two speedsters were capable of pulling the heavy Hiawatha express in excess of 100 mph. There are unauthenticated records of the 4-6-4 travelling at 125 mph. Thanks to Mark Ayliffe (one of the original contributors!) for these gems. The files are CMSPP_A and CMSPP_F7.
This little known railway could have formed the basis of a major trunk route through the Great Glen in Scotland. Politics prevented this, and it was never profitable as a branch through remote countryside. Ian McDonell tells the story in some detail. He also provides two suitable locomotives, the NBR 4-4-0T (LNER D51) LNER_D51 and the Highland Railway "Yankee Tank" 4-4-0T HR_YTANK. As Ian suggests, although this line was not financially successful and closed early, that does not prevent users from imagining they are driving the through route from Fort William to Inverness, with a Black 5 or B1 at the head of the train. The two route files are I&FA_UP and I&FA_DN.
I have suspected for some time that the line speed limit of 60 mph over the Whitby to Malton line was a tad optimistic. More accurate speed restrictions have been obtained courtesy of an ex BR man. The limits are different in the two directions, so the route is now available as MAL_WHIT and WHIT_MAL. Our source has managed to find data relating to both 1947 and 1960, they are the same!
The LMS main line north from Preston includes the formidable climb over Shap which kept banking engines employed during the steam era. Not all trains required assistance however, the fabulous Stanier Pacifics would lift 15 coaches over Shap unassisted. We have already been introduced to the locomotives and tracks involved in the Railway Race to the North on the east of the country, well this new route formed a part of the western challenge. Richard Gibb has provided both up and down lines, Preston to Carlisle (PRESCARL) and Carlisle to Preston (CARLPRES).
Owen Chapman has provided us with another three locos. A Southern Pacific P8 4-6-2, as built by Baldwinsin the 1920s. The loco is suitable for the Los Angeles route. The second machine is the huge Norfolk and Western A class 2-6-6-4. Finally a much smaller machine, the SAR NG15 2-8-2, examples of which are currently being restored for use on the Welsh Highland Railway.
You may have tried to drive the SP line from San Francisco to Los Angeles only to reach the gradient at Cuesta to find that your loco is not strong enough for the job. Owen Chapman has abstracted that section of the journey from Morgan Trotter's route so that you can try out your loco on the hill. (CUESTA).
"This was the last great steam route in Britain and finally it succumbed to an electric shock on July 9th 1967" begins Jim McDonnell as he describes his latest contribution which is the line between London - Waterloo and Bournemouth. Jim provides useful background information and specimen timings in his write up of the route. Both Up and Down lines are separately catered for. The files are BMTH_LON and LON_BMTH respectively.
In 1895 the railway companies operating on the East and West sides of the UK got involved in a series of races from London to Aberdeen in Scotland. They had different routes and locomotives, and caution was thrown to the wind in their attempts to beat the opposition. Finally prudence prevailed and a truce was agreed. One of the most dramatic runs was that made by NER M1 4-4-0 locomotive, No. 1620 which managed to average 66 mph between Newcastle and Edinburgh. That famous locomotive is now available as NER_M1, while the route is NEW_EDIN. For more details read the loco.txt file in the download.
Richard Gibb, an ex-LMR fireman, has very kindly assembled the GWR main line from London Paddington to Bristol. Now you can drive all of those characteristic 4-6-0 types over their home territory along route GWR_PDBR Many thanks Richard!
The program instruction manual is a Word document file called LOCO.DOC (Also available as a rich text file LOCO.RTF). This has been updated to reflect modifications in the simulator program. Both files are included in the download.
Welcome to the work of Charles Crailof Los Angeles. He has provided us with the route of the scenic, although currently troubled, Cumbres and Toltec 3' gauge line in Colorado. You can use the K36 2-8-2 loco over this route, and Charles provides details of the train loads in his write up. Let's hope that the real CTS overcomes its difficulties in time for its first season in the new millennium.
Due to circumstances entirely within our control, it has been decided to withdraw the facility of allowing users to download little bits and pieces, e.g. latest locos, latest routes etc. In fact, as the data files have become larger and the structures more complex, errors have been creeping in due to the ineptitude of the site superintendent. There is now only one gloriously large download - you get all or nothing! There will still be errors, but hopefully fewer than before. The latest version of the program is V16, that has tidied all of the route files into c:\steam\routes.
This site was featured in the inaugural issue of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) new "Mechanical Engineering Design" magazine. A sympathetic article, occupying a whole page, was written by Jay O'Leary. Many thanks for an excellent piece of work Jay, the hit counter has been buzzing ever since it appeared! You can read the articleif you visit the site of the ASME.
Jim McDonell, in addition to building routes across Scotland, has now provided us with the GER main line - with appropriate speed restrictions in both directions. he also provides timetable information and a description of a typical journey. This was the home of the B12s, B17s, B1s and, in the last days of steam, the Britannias. Anyone who has read the writings of R.H.N. Hardy will want to drive this line.
Ugo Poddine has generously translated the key expressions used in the program from English to Italian. He includes advice on appropriate settings for Capprotti and Walschearts valve gear, and conversion factors between continental and UK units.
After receiving Owen Chapman's Welsh narrow gauge lines it became apparent that the simulator did not take kindly to small locomotives. A few minor mods have been made to accommodate those engines, including a new category of injector, T for "Tiny".
The Ffestiniogand Welsh Highland railways are now available thanks to Owen Chapman. Owen has also included a few suitable locos, namely Linda, Prince and the ex SAR NGG16 Garratt. Do we have any volunteers to put together a Fairlie, or even the original Garratt? (Yes Owen the original Garratt was a compound - sorry about that! 24/11/99)
Narrow gauge enthusiast Owen Chapman has assembled the PBR route and a suitable locomotive, the Baldwin NA class 2-6-2.
In addition to his interest in narrow gauge routes, Owen Chapman has a love of international steam locomotives. We have him to thank for the following fine additions to the stud:
South African Railways classes NGG16 Garratt, 15F 4-8-2, 16E 4-6-2, and 21 2-10-4.
USA locos, Nickel Plate Road class S3 2-8-4 Berkshire, and the huge Northern Pacific class Z5 Mallet known as a "Yellowstone".
The Weardale Railway company has applied for a Transport and Works Act, and has also submitted a bid for grant aid under the Rail Passenger Partnership. These applications would have a greater chance of success if there were more people involved in the project
Jim McDonell had already produced the Inverness to Perth route, he now provides the return journey complete with realistic speed restrictions (higher than the official ones!) and information relating to locomotives used, train loads and timetables. He also provides a new loco, the HR Loch class 4-4-0.
A reluctant return to the old DOS program has had to be made because the number of locos now exceeds that which will fit onto a screen. A quick fix has been provided, and the locos are now stored in sub-directories according to their country of use. This makes it easier to pick the one that you want, so there is a definite benefit from the change.
There is a new option in the loco selection menu, country. The default is Britain.
In order to use this newest version of the program, it is essential that the locos are all in the various sub directories. A download of all of the files will ensure that you get the new directory structure. As before the program expects to operate in the c:\steam directory. If you create your own loco files, be sure to store them in one of the new sub-directories, i.e. 'africa', 'australi', 'britain',' italy', 'usa', and 'other', e.g. c:\steam\italy.
Owen has provided a route description for this spectacular 3 ft gauge line in the USA. Originally constructed to handle mineral traffic (gold and silver mines!), it is now a thriving steam operated tourist attraction. Owen has also provided an appropriate locomotive, the K36 2-8-2.
Two more African locomotives to add to the stud, an South African Railways GL class 4-8-2+2-8-4 and a East African 59 class of the same wheel arrangement. These locos are the work of Owen Chapman, a volunteer on the Welshpool Railway.
Ex Cricklewood fireman Richard Gibb has provided a short piece describing his experiences firing on the Midland line between St. Pancras and Kettering, see the file ruttext.html described below.
In this latest update of the page the text files provided by the authors of the various routes have all been combined into a single HTML or web page file. This enables the provision of a simple indexing system using standard web page links. The file is called ruttext.html, and should be read, off line, using your web page browser. If any authors find mistakes in this new file, please get in touch!
Jim McDonell has provided three new HR loc files, representing classes Jones Goods, Clan and River.
Thanks to Richard Gibb who has extended his Midland route as far as Derby and has added an Ivatt 4MT 2-6-0, a Midland 2P 4-4-0, and 3F 0-6-0 to the loco stud. Richard says that the Ivatt had a very powerful injector, which the model depicts. Problem is, we need a compound now!>
Richard Gibb, an ex fireman who was based at Cricklewood 14A, has provided this hilly route between the capital and Kettering. Richard remembers working fitted freights with Black Fives and Scots along the line.
The former Highland Railway mainline, a testing journey for the fireman this one with a 1:60 up followed by a 1:70 down. This is the most mountainous UK route to date, courtesy of Jim McDonell. Try the BR limit of 255 tons for a Black 5.
Peter Cokley has
provided a new freight route called E'South.rut. Enfield is the
main Sydney freight marshalling yard. He called the file>
E'south as it goes from from Enfield to the Main South line which itself goes to Moss Vale and Melbourne. The gradients are severe. Peter has also provided some freight loco loadings, from Picton to Moss Vale. They are D53 - 575 tons, D57 and AD60 Garratt - 900 tons.
Our first Caley line, and, as a result another LMS route. The work of Jim McDonell. Jim promises more lines north of the border. See the routes.html file for Jim's comments and a timetable. (LNER buffs - this was the last stamping ground of the A4s).
Peter Cokley has been busy again, and has added three NSWGR freight locos, including the magnificent AD60 4-8-4+4-8-4 Garratt.
Thanks to Ugo Poddine, we now have a fleet of eleven Italian locos to use. See the text file ital.txt for more information.
Ugo has been busy again, providing the route between Bologna and Pistoia.
The LNER (NER) Booster fitted Atlantics are now available as class C9. The booster had two cylinders 10.5 ins bore by 14 in stroke, assume that the extra adhesive weight available was 18 tons.
Dave has provided an interesting little collection of British machines, they are
GWR pacific "Great Bear"
NER pacific - NE_PAC
LMS Streamlined Coronation pacific- LM_CORN
SR rebuilt West Country pacific- SR_WC_RB<
SR rebuilt Merchant Navy pacific - SR_MN_RB<
LNER J38 - LNE_J38
LNER V1 - LNE_V1 ( read Malcolm Braim's description of a journey behind a V1 in routes.html)
The good old LNER J21 0-6-0, as used on the Stainmore line, and currently preserved at Beamish Museum, is now available.
Jim McDonell has written eight loco files relating to Caledonian and Highland Railway locomotives. See the text file McDonell.txt
He has also provided corrections to the NBR 476 class loco file (31/7/99)
A read of David Wardale's book "The Red Devil and Other Tales from the Age of Steam", prompted the inclusion of the Kimberley, Orange River, De Aar line. What locomotive could be better than the "Red Devil" itself, Wardale's modified SAR 25NC or SAR_26 class 4-8-4 no. 3450. This is one locomotive where the simulated performance is probably inferior to the real thing! Read ruttext.html for more details.
Mark Ayliffe has provided a couple of new routes, Union Pacific lines between Cheyenne and Laramie. He has tried his best from this side of the Atlantic to get the details right, but would appreciate any feedback on accuracy.
SP fans now have their own route and locomotive thanks to Morgan Trotter. He has supplied the line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, a perfect complement to the GS-4 (Daylight) locomotive. This is a pretty severe test of motive power, with a long 1:45 gradient to contend with. The "Daylight" locos were equipped with booster engined to enable them to climb that gradient, and the latest release of the program can handle the booster. (What is needed are the dimensions of the booster - Help!) For a timetable and other details, read ruttext.html.
Malcolm Braim has put fingers to keyboard again to provide a circular NER route from Newcastle up the Derwent Valley, to Consett. Malcolm's route then follows the Consett-Tyne Dock line down to Pelton and so back to Newcastle. Much of the route is now a cycle path, (the Coast to Coast or C2C cycle route) and very attractive it is, particularly the outward journey as it passes through wooded countryside high up the side of the valley. You have got to read Malcolm's graphic re-construction of a journey along the route, see how many different engine types you would have encountered! (ruttext.html). Malcolm has provided the times for a passenger train along the line, but would welcome any information on speed restrictions.
Yet another Malcolm Braim masterpiece, this time with the assistance of Duncan Wilcock. Two NER routes crossing the pennines, one from Bishop Auckland to Tebay (BISHOP), and the other from Darlington to Penrith (DARLINGT). You might be aware of the particular difficulties that these lines posed, with high slender viaducts restricting locomotive weight, yet severe gradients. The authors have provided a text file with further details on both routes, including loco types, train weights and times, see ruttext.html.
The J21, a regular on these routes, is now available.
Alastair Dalgleish, a volunteer on the NYMR, has been very busy. He has provided an extension to the existing route NYMR route as far as Malton and incorporated speed restrictions that he feels would be operative in the 1960s. Further to that, he has written two completely new routes, one from Scarborough to Saltburn - the notorious cliff top roller coaster, and a shorter line along the Forge Valley from Pickering to Seamer. Read Alastair's description of these new lines in ruttext.html. What is more, he is threatening to write more routes from this region - watch this space.
Malcolm Braim has provided the route of the old GCR, from London to Nottingham. Whether your taste be for GCR Atlantics, LNER B17s, or more recent machines, this line provides the opportunity. Malcolm has also written a short history and description of the route with some typical train times, see ruttext.html.
This addition is the Australian route between Sydney and Bundanoon. Peter Cokley drew this one up, and he has also provided a good description of the area and of the principal trains using the route. He would like to thank contributors amongst fellow enthusiasts and especially those from the aus.rail newsgroup. This looks to be a thoroughly researched effort, but Peter would welcome any corrections or further comments.
Peter Cokley has delivered two versions of a local line starting in Brisbane, Queensland. There is the suburban passenger line, starting at South Brisbane Terminal Station, and ending at Beenleigh. The second variant starts at the Wooloongabba Goods Yard and also terminates at Beenleigh. Peter has called this second route GABBA, a name familiar to many cricket fans. Read all about it in ruttext.html.
In order to operate these lines Peter has provided a P15 4-6-0, a long lived, lightweight, unsuperheated, design originating in 1899, but built over many years and still in service at the close of play, as far as steam locos were concerned, in 1969.
The line is a switch back with quite steep gradients and very severe speed restrictions - it's quite a challenge!!
Version 1.5 of the main program incorporates a watering stop, apparently troughs were not a universal feature; and a bug with the cylinder cocks has, hopefully, been fixed.
Version 1.6 has a shortened water stop - 5 minutes, and you can now halt the journey at any point and still obtain a performance log (Control Q). Peter Cokley requested this feature as it enables the user to drive to a terminal station and stop.
Version 1.7 has much improved modelling of the total air resistance of train and locomotive. Dave Maclaren pointed out some anomalies with the previous algorithm.
Version 1.11 increases the number of locos that can be stabled to 180, and ignores any in excess of that number. If you want to use more than 180, create a separate directory for the "out of use locos" and copy them in and out of the main "steam" directory as required. This version will not start the journey clock until the train begins to move, allowing the user to prepare the fire and boiler without eating into the journey time. The clock feature was suggested by David Bromage.
Version 1.12 fixes a bug with the continental units - thanks to UgoPoddine.
Version 1.13 fixes a bug with the route section count - thanks to Jim McDonnell. (The route design program also benefits from this fix, now up to version 1.2)
Version 1.14 allows locos to be stored in sub directories according to their country of use. This version MUST be installed in directory c:\steam
Version 1.16 uses a separate directory c:\steam\routes for all of the route files, part of a drive to reduce complexity and reduce errors!
Version 1.18 includes an Argentina directory and has increased max firing rate, firing rate interval, and injector water flow to handle the largest locomotives.
Version 1.19 provides a configuration file (config.con) so that you can save your favourite set up, it also has the facility to insert a longer time delay for those lucky enough to have super speed Athlon and Pentium computers.
Version 1.20 fixes a bug with the rime delay setting and increases the duration of the maximum delay. Thanks to Gordon Batchelor for pointing out this problem.
In response to those who like to know when a speed limit is approaching, release 1.1 of the route design program allows users to print out a list of all of the speed restrictions, together with the distances at which they begin.
A description of all the changes, and an acknowledgement of the contributors, is included in a text file as a part of the download.
Feedback on the accuracy of any of the routes/locos would be welcomed, as would details of engine performance, train loads and timetable details.
There is a text file with more details from the contributors, ruttext.html.
Special thanks are due to Dr. Michael Duffy, a friend and ex colleague, who has allowed free access to his substantial library of texts relating to steam locomotives, while he has been happy to discuss and advise upon the more esoteric technical aspects of the breed.Anybody else out there got a route or loco to add ?
Contact the author with new locos or routes.
Charles Dockstader's set of MSDOS programs intended primarily for model makers, but covering an incredible range of types of valve gear - good graphics.
Another valve gear design program hasbeen written by Allan Wallace, available in both DOS and Windows versions. Contact him
For an excellent overview of North American Locos see Wes Barris's site
To see super photos of Australian and other locos take a look at John Hurst's site - look out for his pictures of Flying Scotsman at speed.
There are several very good UK steam photo sites, although none provide the same range of coverage as John. Geoff Cryer's Railway Pages, for excellent UK steam action shots.
For LNER enthusiasts (including pre-grouping), Mad Martin's extensive collection of photographs is worth a look.
Those of you who have an interest in Australian steam might want to talk to Peter Cokley, author of several of the routes and locos for the simulator. He would welcome a chat with like minded enthusiasts.
Modellers and others mightwish to take a look at some photographs of steam locomotive valve gear.
Try Ewan Crawford's site for details of the Waverley route and other North British items of interest.
This new addition looks at the locomotives and timetables that were used on the Waverley line, between Edinburgh and Carlisle. Ian Graham, who worked on the line in the late 50s, has supplied a copy of the 1879 timetable, while there is a new locomotive, from that era, to go with it. Dave Maclaren has supplied details of journey logs involving a Reid Atlantic and an A3. For these, and other goodies, download the zip file below - that file contains the new loco definition as well as the text. The text is supplied in RTF format, hopefully readable by most word processors.
Thanks are due to Howie Milburn who has provided a copy of the 1963 passenger timetable, this latest update includes details.