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Weardale and Teesdale Scenarios

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Several thousand scenarios have been developed for Train Simulator by its enthusiastic user base and made available for free through the Steam website. Those listed here have been chosen because they work with the edition of Train Simulator that is free to members of the Friends without any additional downloads. Specifically they use the Weardale and Teesdale Network in the '60s route.

These are just a few of the hundreds of scenarios that are available for this route most of which require additional DLCs. Many of those are locomotives (and if you have one available, be it a tank engine or a Deltic, why would you not want to try it on the route?) but one DLC in particular crops up time and time again- the European Loco and Asset Pack. This was included as standard with several earlier versions of Train Simulator so it is understandable that people who have been developing scenarios for a while would make use of some of its features. My understanding is that the pack is quite old and Dovetail now regards it as below par but that is cold comfort to new users. One might hope that it will be made available for free some day as has happened with a few of the other older assets or as part of TS Rewards although that seems to have petered out recently. If you decide you want to download it look carefully- it can be bought separately but is included in other DLCs. For some reason the requirement for the Pack is not always noted in scenario descriptions, perhaps because it is so familiar to the majority of TS users, so it can easily be overlooked.

Adding a scenario is simple enough. If you have Train Simulator, at least if you got it through the Friends' offer, you will have an account with Steam. Log in to Steam and click the Subscribe button by the scenario's title. Next time you start Train Simulator the scenario(s) you have chosen will be downloaded and available to drive. All of these links will open in a new tab (or browser window depending on which browser you use) and, of course, they will take you to the Steam website and the page for the scenario you are interested in. If you are not already logged in the link to do so will be at the top right then you can subscribe. If you leave that tab/window open, come back to this page and click on another scenario it too will open a new tab or window but you will still be logged in and can just click on subscribe. Bear in mind that, for reasons described below, I would not recommend subscribing to many at a time.

It is worth noting that installing a scenario can go wrong. In some cases it can go very wrong. The Middleton to Sunderland run is a Career scenario and worked as such on the Friends' laptop but, for some reason, it was listed on my machine as a Free Roam for the Class 37 with no title. Single Line Coal and Middleton Shunter were both identified as Free Roam scenarios for the Class 25. Deleting and resubscribing has sorted things out for all of these and did not take long. It seems there was nothing wrong with the scenarios themselves but the process of installing them did not work properly the first time. A far greater problem was encountered on the Friends laptop which simply stopped running TS altogether for a while. The problem was a scenario that become corrupted when it was downloaded and unsubscribing did no good because TS would crash before it got to the point where it registered the change. In that instance the scenario file itself had to be traced and deleted and, once that was done, all was well. For this reason I would suggest not subscribing to several scenarios at once- if one went on to give problems you would not know which it was.

This problem does not speak very highly for the way in which TS handles errors- one can understand the program having problems when it tries to execute a corrupted scenario file but to crash on start-up because of one is just odd. Dovetail Games' customer support did not come out of this incident well either insisting that the laptop was incapable of running TS in spite of the fact that it had been doing so for the best part of a year (I am assured that their support procedures have improved since). Instead the solution came through the Discussion section of Steam, accessible either through the program or the website, within a few hours of me posting my enquiry. There is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable community of players there which is a great asset to TS, Dovetail and Steam.

One odd thing about a few of these scenarios is that they start before TS has finished setting up the scenery. I do not know why but it is consistent- the scenarios that do this do it every time and on each of the PCs that I have tried them on. You can still drive the trains in these featureless landscapes and the scenery will start to appear around you almost immediately but it does spoil the effect.

Some of these scenarios are better than others but all have been created by Train Simulator users in their own time and made available for free just because they wish to share their enthusiasm. If you enjoy a scenario take a minute or two to thank its author. It is always good to know that your efforts are appreciated and you may encourage them to create more. If you find a scenario you think worth including here please let me know about it by sending a link to trainsimulator@friendsofdrcm.org.

Shunting at St. John's
Class 08
The 08 gets used as the line pug in this Standard scenario running errands between stations as well as just shunting. You start in the siding on the triangle between Eastgate and Westgate up Weardale. When the line clears propel your stock to Westgate, swap it for wagons and propel those to St. John's Chapel where you shunt a train together. Not much else going on but then there is not much scope on a single line. This has the highest difficulty rating but I honestly do not see why. Starts before the scenery is ready.
A Short Shunt
Class 08
Push a few wagons together then fetch them in to Bishop Auckland across Newton Cap Viaduct. This Standard scenario offers some easy shunting practice with the 08.
Middleton Shunter
Class 08
Some more shunting in this Standard scenario where you assemble a freight train at Middleton in Teesdale. No rush and, in spite of the description, not much point setting so the main onus is to look out for the signals. There is a little other traffic which is all you can expect really.
The Gronk Rescue
Class 08
A Class 37 has failed on a local passenger service at Spennymoor and the only loco' available to complete the run to Bishop Auckland is your Class 08 shunter. Unless the train gets away from you on the steep descent after Coundon you will be in little danger of breaking line speed limits but keeping to schedule might be another matter. A short and quite easy Standard scenario but one with some novelty value and it's nice to get a look at Spennymoor so one will draw a veil over the fact that it lost its passenger service in the '50s. This is one that starts before TS has finished setting up the scenery and time is tight at the beginning so you definitely want auto pause on.
Morning Milk Run
Class 25
Drive a Class 25 on an early morning milk train from Darlington to Barnard Castle stopping to drop wagons off at the stations en-route before completing your journey light engine in this Career scenario. A pleasant enough drive with some business going on around you but I do wonder what they are going to do with all that milk at those stations. Broomielaw in particular was built as a private station for the Bowes-Lyon family at Streatham Castle and only ever served a few farms. This scenario starts before the scenery is ready. Do not uncouple wagons until prompted to do so or you will be penalized which seems harsh.
Freight Rescue
Class 25
A Class 25 on a Weardale freight train has limped into Frosterly. Starting from the engine shed shunt the crippled loco into a siding (the points will be set for you but not the signals so press Tab for permission to pass them although this Standard scenario will not end if you forget) then take the train the rest of the way to Wearhead. A satisfying drive with some operational interest and other trains to look out for.
Hill Climb
Class 25
You are in charge of a train of Pressflos coming off the Stainmore line. Take it through Barney and over Cockfield Fell to Shildon. Enlivened by some other traffic and operational interest- you will be following another train over the Fell and the long sections will see you stopped at signals on the climb. Stopping is easy. Getting started again... not so much. A diverting Standard scenario in spite of the fact that it starts before the scenery is ready and never seems to get over it- in my case at least. Your experience may vary but I always seemed to be driving towards the edge of the world.
Milk Train to North Road
Class 25
Night and the locomotive on a milk train has failed. Starting from the sidings at Bishop Auckland couple up to the train once its driver has coaxed it in to Platform 1 and take it the rest of the way to North Road sidings in Darlington. Yes it's set at night but this standard scenario is very dark and a few lights would be helpful. Apart from the fact that you cannot see much (which will give you some practice with the HUD after all) a nice run with some other traffic contributing to the atmosphere.
Barnard Castle to Middleton in Teesdale Coal Train
Class 25
Whimsically the mine at Middleton in Teesdale has run out of coal (quite possible since it was a lead mine) on a drizzly Autumn day. There is a bit of a wait at the start but you can watch other traffic while your train is readied before coupling up. The oncoming train you will be warned about is unlikely to affect you and if it does you should probably slow down- this is a heavy train deceptively easy to get moving but hard to stop even with the brake tender. In reality a service such as this would probably be limited to 35mph or less. My advice- take that to heart and watch the signals (of course) especially the one at Cotherstone although you will have to Tab to pass it anyway. Not that it matters but I've tried this a few times now and I always get a black mark for jostling the train. Thanks to Jack Baldwin who created this enjoyable Standard scenario and drew my attention to it.
Coal to Iron Works
Class 25
In this tersely titled Standard scenario you take a heavy coal train to Tudhoe Ironworks at Spennymoor starting from the siding at Wolsingham brickworks a little randomly. Change the points yourself to get started (you will not be prompted to) then take things steady- dreary weather does not make the signals any easier to see. You are routed through the platform at Etherley for no apparent reason other than to hold up a passenger service which should really have priority and the train includes a brake tender which is coupled behind the loco' rather than in front of it as was the common practice. Some operational details add the chance to do a little exploring at Spennymoor which is novel.
On the Downward Slope
Class 37
An easy Standard scenario. Couple up to some empty cattle wagons at Wearhead and take them to Frosterly which is downhill all the way, hence the title, so this is mostly a matter of covering the brake. One slight wrinkle (which is not unique to this scenario) is that the computer generated driver is sitting in the locomotive’s rear cab which you cannot help but notice in an external view. The head-out-of-the-window views are also centred on the rear cab so if you select one you will be looking back along the train at first. That is slightly distracting but will not affect the drive.
Coal to Spennymoor
Class 37
You start held on the ECML just north of Durham in a coal train hauled by a Class 37 or an EE type 3 as it would have been known at the time. Once you get the signal drive it to Spennymoor. An easy Standard scenario so you can admire the scenery and rain effects on your journey.
Over the Top
Class 37
You have a bitumen train to take from Fielden Bridge sidings near West Auckland to Barnard Castle in this Standard scenario which means slogging up the incline to cross Cockfield Fell. The good news is that your heavy train is double headed by Class 37s- 3,500hp! The bad news is that one of them has just broken down- 100 tons of dead weight! The worse news is that there is a swingeing speed restriction through the junction at the start of the climb. Well it could be worse- you might be held there by signals to allow a freight from Butterknowle through...
Single Line Coal
Class 37
Starting from Spennymoor once the line is clear you make your way to the steelworks at Wolsingham in this Standard scenario. Some other traffic so keep an eye on signals. You will need to set the points to finish in the right siding but you have plenty of time to do that. In fact you can set them before you start- they will not be changed in the mean time.
Darlington to Crook
Class 101
You start this Career scenario in the sidings on the east side of Bank Top and move to the platform before running the service. A tightish schedule offers plenty of opportunities to lose points but you will have a bit of a breather at Bishop before the climb up to Crook. To be fussy I think the DMU depot was on the west side of the main line but the opening manoeuvre adds some operational interest so it would be churlish to dwell. Lots of other traffic and Crook is a little used location making this scenario doubly welcome.
Darlington to Durham
Class 101
If you care about scoring points this Career scenario is the one for you. This run stops at all stations awarding 250 points for arriving at each on schedule and, since you can only score a maximum of 1,000, if you lose a few points here or there you will soon make them up. If you do not care about scoring try this anyway- it is a pleasant drive with lots of traffic around including a delayed train in front of you so pay attention to the signals. Of course you should pay attention to the signals anyway.
Spenny Rattler (Middleton to Spennymoor)
Class 101
An involving Career scenario where you take the 8:00am service from Middleton in Teesdale to Spennymoor via Barney and Bishop Auckland. There is plenty of other traffic about to distract you from the signals and timetable but you will have a few minutes to watch trains go by at Bishop after you change ends (the driver stubbornly stays in the rear cab) before the schedule relaxes considerably for the run up to Byers Green and Spennymoor.
Middleton to Sunderland
Class 101
The late morning Class 101 DMU service from Middleton in Teesdale to Sunderland through a snowy Winter landscape. A Career scenario with one of the longest journeys you can take on this route (although you will only drive as far as Durham of course) with computer controlled traffic to add to the atmosphere, a breezy non-stop run from Barnard Castle to Bishop Auckland then a tight schedule to Durham.
Long Distance Morning Run
Parts One and Two.
Class 101
A passenger run from Darlington to Middleton in Teesdale split into two Career scenarios for no doubt excellent reasons. In Part One (which starts before the scenery is ready) you set the train up and Part Two is the journey itself. There is plenty of other business going on and some operational interest with you needing to fuel up and the addition of a coach to be detached at Barney but there is a problem- at least in my experience. In part one a disc signal keeps you from the fuel point, it will not clear no matter how long you wait and pressing Tab for permission to pass is not even acknowledged never mind granted. Part two is an engaging drive to Middleton only to encounter a similarly recalcitrant signal barring entry to the platform. These being Career scenarios if you do pass the signals you fail the task. I understand these scenarios do work for some people and they are included here for that reason.
Stanhope to Bishop Auckland and Crook
Class 101
On a clear Winter's day take the service down Weardale to Bishop then change ends for the run to Crook. A fairly tight but perfectly achievable schedule with the 1:44 climb from Beechburn to Crook to test the gearbox. An enjoyable Career Scenario with lots of traffic about.
Wispy's Early Morning Commute
Class 101
This Career scenario puts you in charge of a passenger service from Wearhead to, randomly, Etherly (sic). Easy to get caught out by the 1:75 right at the beginning but there follows an undemanding schedule with some other traffic waiting for the single line to clear and Weardale looks lovely. Other scenarios tend to go to Wearhead so this seems quite novel. Starts with no scenery and your train badly positioned but you can still open the doors.
Snowy Run to Barnard Castle
Class 101
An early evening run in Winter from Darlington to Barney. The timetable is quite generous for the most part making this Career scenario a good one for practising with the keyboard controls. Unlike most scenarios passengers are boarded and the train is ready to go right at the start so waste no time opening the doors.
Durham to Bishop Auckland Early Stopper
Class 101
This Career scenario is just what you would expect from the title- run a morning service to Bishop with no snags, some other traffic to liven up the scenery and a pretty relaxed timetable so a good one for learning the ropes and an easy thousand points if you care. Once again you start ready to go with the passengers boarded.
An Unusual Destination
Class 101
A short Standard scenario imagining the end of a journey to Bishop Auckland in a service ahead of another train that is running late but which has priority. Rather than terminating at Bishop you will have to run on to West Auckland then clear the path by reversing into the siding formed by the stub of the old line to Shildon. Easy enough with no schedule to keep to in spite of the premise. Starts before the scenery is ready. Illustrated with the wrong screenshot on the Steam website but don't let that put you off.
Late Night Passenger
Class 101
You start in the sidings at Bishop before moving forward to the station and running the service to Durham. Lots of other traffic to admire in this Standard scenario but don't let that distract you from the signals. You will have to ask for permission to gain access to the bay at Durham.
Middleton to Barnard Castle
Class 101
A straight forward passenger run on a hazy Summer's day in a Class 101 from Middleton in Teesdale to Barnard Castle. The route is single line for the most part but there are a few computer movements at each end to add some colour to this Standard scenario. Do not wait for the guard's buzzer before setting off or you will get nowhere.
Treno locale serale da Barnard Castle per Darlington
Class 101
...Which I gather is Italian for Local Night Train from Barnard Castle to Darlington (mistranslated as Darlington to Barnard Castle on Steam you will notice). A pleasing Standard scenario with quite a lot of other traffic about especially at Barney where you will be kept waiting for a few minutes before the off. An easy schedule to keep to but you will need to pay attention to the signals speaking of which those at Broomielaw will not clear so you will have to secure permission to pass them.
WT Free
Take Your Pick
In the original write up for the Friends of Darlington Railway Centre and Museum Newsletter I described Train Simulator's Free Roam mode which since vanished during an update. This scenario reintroduces it for the Weardale and Teesdale at least. You will start in Bishop Auckland with no controls because you do not have control of anything. You will also be staring at a brick wall which is unhelpful but don't worry because you are in free camera mode. You can move around as usual and click on whatever you want to drive and take it where you will using the map to set points. If you want to drive something else click on that instead. Illustrated with a screenshot of the G-Tel for some reason but do not be fooled.

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