Freeware Route Of The Year - Nominations

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by inversnecky, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    I know we’re only about third of the way through the year, but after the appreciation just given to third party freeware routes such as 4Aspect’s Fen Line, I thought we should see which is regarded as the best.

    First step is to collate a shortlist of our favourites, and then we can run a poll from November/December (not sure if there’s a limit to poll options?) to crown the ‘Freeware Route of 2021’.

    My own starting nominations are:

    • The Fen Line Phase 1 - 4Aspect
    • The Speyside Line - Hamish Weir
    • Wycombe Line -
    • Northern Lines - One Track Simulation
    • North East England Vol. 2 - DPS

    (I’ll edit in subsequent nominations - it doesn’t have to be a route made this year.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
  2. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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  3. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    European routes
    Amstetten - Kleinreifling [Austria]
    Krammerdijks Deltaland v2.0 [Holland]
    Projekt Freiberg (Sachs) V2.01 [Germany]
    Rodachtalbahn [Germany]
     
  4. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    We can have different categories eg for areas - otherwise it will be overwhelming.
     
  5. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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    Noticed that the other day, did wonder if it was any good, might give it a whirl now that I have a months sub idling. Probably missing some payware dependency though knowing me.
     
  6. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    I would nominate the following four (if that is how many we are going for):

    Wycombe route (well it is so much more than that) on SSS, looks like version 5 is not too far away
    South Lancashire and Cheshire BR Blue route on Backdated Trainsim and WW
    North London Line backdated on Backdated Trainsim
    Devon Rails 1985 on Vulcan Productions/On Track (I can't remember which one) excellent rebuilt of the Riviera Line covering a neglected era for TS routes,

    There are many more I could name.
     
  7. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    The requirements are not all that much for the Ay Valley

    *RSC European Loco and Asset Pack & *RSC US Loco and Asset Pack you should have

    *RSC Portsmouth Direct Line (original Woking - Portsmouth version)
    *RSC Industrial North (Doncaster Works) route
    *Keith Ross' WCML North
    *Thomson Interactive Edinburgh to Glasgow route
    *Just Trains Bristol to Exeter route (original standalone route)

    *RSC Riviera Line in the 50s - these assets are used exclusively to provide signals and station clutter on the preserved and mostly self-contained Bilchester & Stevebrook Steam Railway and are not required for any other section of the route
     
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  8. tsted.designs

    tsted.designs Member

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  9. Reef

    Reef Well-Known Member

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  10. SJA

    SJA Active Member

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    Another vote each for:
    • Fen Lines - 4Aspect
    • Breckland Line - Gu
    ..based on their build quality pushing the sim into new territory and keeping it alive and well. Plus:
    • 1066 Line - Backdated Trainsim
    If we are okay to add in freeware extensions to existing payware routes, I personally really like the SWE to Reading extension.
     
  11. AirbourneAlex

    AirbourneAlex Well-Known Member

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  12. Chuckles2k3

    Chuckles2k3 New Member

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    Agreed, it is excellent.

    My very favourite freeware is version 3 of North East Rails, available on ukts.

    It's absolutely fantastic.
     
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  13. Pookeyhead

    Pookeyhead Well-Known Member

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    I've decided to expand my list. (deleted original post)

    In no particular order:
    Northern Lines Electric: OTS
    Brecklands Line: Gu Studios
    Fen Lines Phase One: 4 Aspect Simulations
    Manchester Stations to Huddersfield V2.1: PenninePacer
    Harrogate Loop: OTS
    North East England: DPS
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
  14. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, with so many different nominations, maybe the best thing is for me to tally up the nominations, and the top twenty or whatever will make it to the final poll.

    That was the other one I was going to nominate, that slipped my mind!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
  15. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    A note on this: there are some five scenario packs, all also available on UKTS, from the author. I also found one I believe is by someone else. An older version of the route also sports two packs, but I have not tested if they work on the 2020 version.

    So Ay Valley is a great one to get if you have the needed stock for the scenario packs.

    North East Rails also has three scenario packs by the owner of the BeluxTrains site.

    We should add Sutton and Mole Valley. It's not complete with empty places, and I don't think Horsham works yet, so this won't win. But it's worth keeping an eye on. He does have workmen around known faulty signals, though, and is still working on it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2021
  16. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    Am downloading this now - I managed to download the five small packs inside 15 mins, must be a record for UKTS, now just another 3.5 hours till the route itself downloads!
     
  17. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    You spend a load of money on routes and other stuff but £2.50 for a month long subscription to UKTS is out of the question?
    I downloaded the route again in about 20 seconds
     
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  18. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    I must admit I don't understand that either. £2.50 is a pittance and you can get so much content for a mere fraction of the cost of a full route. Also the money helps to maintain a valuable freeware resource.
     
  19. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    It's not the money, it's the business model I disapprove of. Sorry, just feels like extortion to me. If I saw the site being upgraded as a result of all the money they bring in, or the developers got a cut that might change my attitude :) Anyway, think I've been through this in another thread!
     
  20. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    I don't think the money goes into the owners pockets, I imagine it probably covers the running costs if that. Developers donating their products don't do it for the money. I have uploaded a few scenarios to it, I have a load more to do, but wouldn't want any money as that is not what it is all about, plus the fact if you get money for your products you are more open to complaints and criticisms.

    If it becomes uneconomical to operate then the site shuts, and most of that content would be lost. Not forgetting there is a lot of MSTS content on their which for the remaining users of that sim would probably be a big kick in the teeth.

    Extortion is obtaining money through threats!
     
  21. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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    Depending how it goes, they might just prise another £2.50 from my hands :)
     
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  22. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    Basically the £2.50 gives you a full month of Bandwidth to download stuff.
    If you don't wish the quicker downloads then fine but dont moan when you are in the Slow lane
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2021
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  23. SJA

    SJA Active Member

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    There are some good scenario makers on UKTS. I have enjoyed a number of the user tubemad's creations, and obviously £2.50 gets you the lot plus whatever routes you want to download.

    Have you put up some BR blue ones? It's a tiny bit before my time but I can feel a BR blue phase coming on :D
     
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  24. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    Tubemad does make some very good scenarios, there are many gems on there.

    BR blue is my favourite period however most of the ones I have uploaded so far (there aren't that many) are steam period but I have spent the last year buying working timetables and making mainly BR diesel and steam period scenarios, mainly due to having more time as most of my other activities, apart from work have been put on hold. I intend to upload many of them them. I just need to test them, I keep building them but not often driving them. I had one in mind for last weekend to upload for WCML Shap but it has a few problems which need fixing. I will make an effort over the next few weeks.
     
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  25. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    Trying to figure out if I came across Tubernad. Besides scenario packs, I know I also downloaded the Changing Faces series, and might go back to grab Snacktime and the What If series, all by the same authors (a couple).
     
  26. nwp1

    nwp1 Well-Known Member

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    Following your recommendations I have seen three of these routes on Sim Together and You Tube. Can I ask you to please add download links which would be very helpful to all readers. Thank you.
     
  27. Kim Olesen

    Kim Olesen Active Member

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    Rodachtalbahn.
    Wetteraunetz
    Honorable mention: Bremen - Bremerhaven
     
  28. SJA

    SJA Active Member

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    I know what you mean about driving/testing them. I'm working on one or two in the south, using realtimetrains. I'm just focusing on pathing things at the moment. Maybe I will start with something a bit more straightforward to current day WTT scenarios involving London and nearby hubs :D But fair play to you -- WTTs from days past often cost money and that shows the strength of the train sim community, that you are putting scenarios out there for people to enjoy out of your own pocket.
     
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  29. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    I am not nearly as prolific as many sadly. Most of the ones I uploaded to UKTS are early ones, often fictional or using passenger timetables. I do want to share more as I have got so much enjoyment from the various free routes, rolling stock, reskins, assets and scenarios that I would like to give something back. I am quite self deprecating so I always worried they wouldn't be interesting enough.

    I do it primarily for my own enjoyment and the ones I have been creating recently are payware heavy and quire reskin heavy. I love using the WTT's to recreate real life operations, I do find them interesting reading too and they give a lot of detail about the trains make up. They can be a bit expensive but I have found many on ebay which are not being sold by book dealers and you can get them quite cheap. I was bidding on a 1957 Southern Region Exeter division one last night, I gave up at £20 it finished at £77! Conversely I paid less than £10 for a WR Exeter division 1961 passenger timetable.
     
  30. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    I would settle for photocopies if they are single pages. But if they are full books...yeah, definitely interesting reading.
     
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  31. theorganist

    theorganist Well-Known Member

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    There are some PDF's on Michael Clemens site. They are all steam era and virtually all Western Region. They have the whole Western Region for 1949.

    There are archives on the Network Rail site covering the last 10 to 15 years or so which can be downloaded.

    Now that steam railways have reopened I shall be trawling some of the local ones second hand stalls.

    The National Archives has a large collection and looking on their website it looks like you can request copies at a cost, which could be around £50. I might enquire as there are a couple of freight timetables I would like but it could be quite a cost.
     
  32. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    Where are the archived timetables? I see this page which shows from May 2020.

    Stumbled upon the Scottish area. And it validates my suggestion of the path from Glasgow Central to Ayr. Each branch is a standalone and terminates from that main line, including one I did not notice from Kilkinning. Glasgow Airport still shows on the map, however, I thought that link never got constructed?
     
  33. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    Amstetten - Kleinreifling https://forum.railworks-austria.at/...99-rudolfsbahn-amstetten-kleinreifling-64bit/

    Krammerdijks Deltaland [Holland] v2.0 https://simtogether.com/files/file/927-krammerdijks-deltaland/

    Projekt Freiberg (Sachs) V2.01 [Germany] https://rail-sim.de/forum/filebase/entry/1836-projekt-freiberg-sachs-v2-01/

    Rodachtalbahn [Germany] https://rail-sim.de/forum/filebase/entry/1604-rodachtalbahn-plus-2-01/
     
  34. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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  35. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    https://history.networkrail.co.uk/?s=WTT&hh_cmis_sort=$c2 asc
    2001 seems to be the oldest available
     
  36. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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  37. martschuffing

    martschuffing Well-Known Member

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  38. nwp1

    nwp1 Well-Known Member

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  39. martschuffing

    martschuffing Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is. Can't say about dependencies though?
     
  40. inversnecky

    inversnecky Well-Known Member

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  41. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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  42. ntypeman

    ntypeman Active Member

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    I paid my £2.50 & downloaded the route & required extras in less than 10 minutes... the saw mill on RW America was free & downloaded that in about 2 mins!!!

    I downloaded the ambient sound pack off UKTS (for a different add on) which was about 165mb before i paid my money but wasn't in a rush for it so left it downloading overnight whilst i went to bed!!!

    Eric

    I remember now... The ambient sound pack was for The Northern Lines... Just need to get Goblin Lines for it now...
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2021
  43. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    Just FYI, the Ambient Sound Pack on the Marleyman site is an older version and missing some sounds. Just noting this for anyone who might ask that. I had to turn back to UKTS for this and one or two other packs that were similarly outdated (though for minor things like Quick Drives, might as well get the latest version).

    Download the Chinese pack if you're interested (they call it a CN pack, which does NOT stand for Canadian National). It gives you some things to try with your Chinese routes, if interested. Not sure if the stock fits the high speed route, but maybe another one?
     
  44. R3dS41ft

    R3dS41ft Member

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    Has anybody been able to register recently with Marleyman?
    To download hs2 I was told to register. The registration required manual approval which has remained outstanding.
     
  45. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    I've been able to download things without worrying about registering. I wonder if that is a special exception. You provide your info on the checkout page anyway, and downloads should be immediate. Not sure about whether anything paid for is wise to pay for today...
     
  46. IsambardKingdomBrunel

    IsambardKingdomBrunel Member

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  47. NEC Railfan

    NEC Railfan Well-Known Member

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    Well since America seems to be a minority in these discussions, I might as well give out my own little nominations:
    - New York Division: Bergen Line by Minerman146, arguably one of the most detailed routes to date.
    - Washington - Philadelphia by CaptainAce and Co: In WIP, but shows great promise.
    - Powder River Basin by Tomcat (RWA): Yet to actually try this one, but it looks superb.
    - Hudson Line Extension (New York - Albany) by PennCentral670: Definitely an impressive undertaking, but one that seems to be paying off very nicely, also is one of my most played routes since it is my home line.
     
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  48. frank351981

    frank351981 Member

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    I nominate following routes
    GERMANY & AUSTRIA (named routes available at rail-sim dot de):
    - Bremerhaven - Bremen (very nice route built by a newcomer)
    - Wetteraunetz ´90 (one track diesel route, really idyllic)
    - Hagen - Siegen v3 (a classic one, old but still great. It is also required for lot of other freeware routes)
    - Rudolfsbahn Amstetten-Kleinreifling 64bit (nice one track route into the austrian alps)

    NETHERLAND (named routes available at simtogether dot com):
    - Zuidwest Nederland v2 (especially the last added section to Rotterdam ist very good)
    - De Ijssellijn v1.7
    - t´Zuiden van Nederland
    only bad thing about netherland-routes - you need a lot - I mean really a lot - of assets - and other netherland routes - with their assets. But when you had all installed right (you need one or two days), you get one of the nicest routes in the freeware area

    UK (named routes available at alanthomsonsim dot com & backdatedtrainsim.weebly dot com):
    - Manchester Stations to Huddersfield (I wait longing for the extension to Leeds that is in development)
    - West Coast Main Line South 5.3 (already my favorit before DTG released their version, but the freeware has a additional section to Northampton)
    - Virtual District Line Phase II (makes fun to rumble over the overground/underground lines in London)

    So, that´s it (for now ;)). Might be a lot, but one of the bests
     
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  49. Cyclone

    Cyclone Well-Known Member

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    I DEFINITELY second the Bergen Line, and that's based on the video from 2015 or 2016. It's now a final version and it was superb then, it must be amazing now. I'll get to it eventually.

    I am curious about these others. Though I have not picked up Hudson Line yet, the extension will eventually be of interest.
     
  50. SJA

    SJA Active Member

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    Adding another vote for Virtual District Line - comes complete with highly functional stock and proper tutorials on stock usage, LUL regs versus Network Rail regs, etc. Didn't really get too involved in using it before but it is excellent.

    Edit: and NE V3 from DP Simulation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021

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