THERE IS a wonder in having a simulator in which you can import (reasonably) accurate terrain data and satellite imagery that allows you to create the past, and get some sense of what it must have been like to travel on a long closed line in the past. Stainmore as a railway was documented in wonderful detail by the late Peter Walton in his book, and along with other authors and the archive of the NER Association we have little excuse for getting the details wrong.
Naturally, you’d thing that was the hard part of route building – but you’d be wrong. The greatest compliment to a route is that it “feels right” or “has the right atmosphere” – code I think for not looking like every other route out there, and having little details that you notice and that’s what we’ve been trying to achieve here. Grand custom buildings are all well and good, but they are unlikely to feature more than a few times in a route. Phil has gone for signal boxes and stations as the main eye candy, but to me what makes this look like a railway is how it relates to the landscape. This has always been at best a compromise ever since Kuju Rail Sim given the crude 6 m terrain mesh, but with some thought and scenic assets, cuttings and bridges can be accurately put in place.
|An example of an accommodation bridge, this one being at Stainmore Summit|
|Looking towards Bowes, fencing lining the railway boundary can be seen on the cutting sides|
|Extensive stone walling in the Bowes area|