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West Somerset: Early Impressions

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by LastTrainToClarksville, May 29, 2018.

  1. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2017
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    As this post proves, I've bought the WSR route despite earlier hesitation. And as the title suggests, these are my early impressions.

    So far, I've completed the two tutorials and a couple of scenarios, and at least started a session or two.
    Tutorials: delighted by the return of spoken introductions, disappointed by their absence elsewhere; if they're permissible in one circumstance, why not throughout? The 09 tutorial contains an impossibility common on other routes: having the driver sit down before instructing him to turn on a switch not reachable from that position. Otherwise, both sets of tutorials do their jobs as far as they go, but that's not really far enough. In both the scenarios and the sessions that I've tried, changing points is occasionally required, but whether this should be done by the driver in person or by the player using the 2D map is never mentioned and shunting practices are not covered in the tutorials any more than are coupling and uncoupling, which is especially important since having two types of couplers complicates the process. Naturally, the "Driver's Manual" does not stoop to such mundane matters.

    The scenarios I've run have worked quite well, aside from requiring techniques not covered in the tutorials (which obviously strikes me as important enough to be noted again).

    Sessions are quite the opposite, and I have yet to complete one because the time required to set up the engine makes reaching the destination impossible while obeying the posted speed limits. the meager instructions that appear as the session begins do not mention whether the engine is ready to run or not, but for the Class 09 no marker lights are on when the session begins, although in some cases, the marker light switch has been turned activated (presumably by the driver (?) already present in the cab.

    I'm not at all familiar with British Heritage Railways, but here most of the people on passenger platforms seem completely unaware that they have come to the station to watch historical railway operations: more often than not, they stand or walk ignoring what is going on, checking their watches as though expecting the intercity for London to arrive at any second. Only once have I seen a small crowd of fans waiting for a demo train to stop and its doors to open. I'm not sure what could be done about this, but it certainly detracts from the premise of a heritage railway celebrating "diesel days" or whatever the developers decided to call it.
    So as not to end on a negative note, let me highly praise the two "Minehead Shunter" scenarios, both of which involve some hefty shunting, especially Part 2, that requires using the turntable and swapping engines.

    While I hope that some freight-handling demos will be added later, there's certainly enough activity already to keep me busy for a while.
  2. Corvan

    Corvan Well-Known Member

    Sep 23, 2017
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    A diesel gala, as named by the West Somerset Railway themselves: https://www.west-somerset-railway.co.uk/events/detail/diesel-gala-and-rail-ale-trail

    Although, unfortunately, the route we've been provided doesn't quite live up to the real thing which has 13 locomotives in operation over the event this year.
  3. Tony

    Tony New Member

    Jun 29, 2018
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    Would so love this to be added to the WSR

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