North Downs Line - And An Updated Networker Turbo

Discussion in 'Route Suggestions & Proposals' started by trainbraint, May 12, 2021.

  1. trainbraint

    trainbraint Active Member

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    The North Downs line is an interesting route that runs through beautiful Surrey Hills scenery for about 30 miles. The line runs from Reading on the GWML through Guildford on the PDL and Dorking on the Mole Valley Lines to Redhill on the Brighton Main Line. A lot of trains reverse here and carry on to Gatwick Airport. In the modern day, trains consist of 165/166 turbos (I will get to this later). The interesting thing about it is that it is a non-electrified branch route deep in third rail territory, and a GWR route in the middle of Southern and South Western territory. In the future, Tri-Mode Class 769s (converted from 319s) will operate the route. There is a daily cross country service operated by voyagers that runs as far as Guildford. Sections of the route are third rail electrified and shared with SWR, these include Reading to Wokingham and Ash and Wanborough to Guildford. The Reading section in recent years has been operated by 455s, 450s and 458s, and the Guildford section by 450s and 456s. In the past, even more interestingly, the line was originally operated by the South Eastern Railway. During the steam era, operation was transferred to the GWR and in the later years it was operated by first-gen DMUs and Moguls.

    The Route in TS
    I think the route would be a nice one for TS. It is relatively short, which fits what DTG have been doing recently quite well, and I think the main advantage it could bring is an updated 165/166 to TS. The only networker turbo we have in game now is nigh on 15 years old from the original railworks, so I think it is high time for a new one. I think it would be great if the branch line from Ash and Wanborough to Farnham could be included, which would greatly increase the run-ability of the route, to simulate the SWR Guildford - Farnham services. In terms of stock, I think a networker turbo, a 450 desire for the SWR sections, and maybe even the return of the XC voyager, albeit unbranded, for the once-a-day service. Perhaps an AI only 377 for the Redhill - Gatwick Airport section as well.
     
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  2. Cat

    Cat Well-Known Member

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    The original PDL Woking-Portsmouth has track and basic landscape only radiating from Guildford including Guildford-Redhill and points towards Reading so there is a (remote) possibility that this could happen. (I backdated Guildford-Redhill to steam era a while back),
     
  3. trainbraint

    trainbraint Active Member

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    Ah yes - I’d forgotten about that. I think the fact that DTG recently released an updated HST means an updated networker seems more likely, and I think the north downs line would be a good route for it.
     
  4. UP13

    UP13 Well-Known Member

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    I think a full length route from Reading to Gatwick Airport with a 165/166 would be great. HST, 450 and 377 as AI only trains to keep it simple.

    It would be a great way of linking the GWML, PDL and BML for scenario creators. Very useful route for steam tours. I know that Clan Line has already been released, but a remake of the Flying Scotsman and Pullman carriages could use the route as the location for the scenarios.
     
  5. trainbraint

    trainbraint Active Member

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    Ah yes, I myself have been on a Flying Scotsman railtour around that area a couple of years ago, I’d forgotten about that until now. I think it would be nice to have scenarios for the 450 with the route extension to Farnham, to get much more value for money out of the route for not much extra work, considering there is a perfectly good recent 450 out there.
     

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