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Mick Berg

I have always liked railways, especially the steam era in the UK. When I was young I lived very near a very picturesque branch of the LNER, the Finsbury Park to Alexandra Palace line. It wound its way through the “Northern Heights”, the hilly area north of London. Sadly it closed in 1954, so I was lucky to ride on it a few times as a young boy.

I stumbled upon a train simulation game for Windows called “Trainz”. I realised I might be able to re-create this railway with the software, and have been working on it for the last thirteen years! It is finally nearing completion, and I believe it might be the most complete representation of the line that exists today.

I have always been fascinated by the “Widened Lines” from Kings Cross to Moorgate, and since my father used to travel to work all the way from our house to Moorgate, I decided to model his entire route. The “Widened Lines” are now part of the ECML route, which is the signature route for the latest version of Trainz, “Trainz: A New Era”.

As part of this project, I have learned to make 3D models of buildings and locomotives using Blender open-source software. This is extremely challenging, and it keeps my brain well exercised.

Here are some screenshots from the game. The N2 locomotive, the Gresley Quad-Art carriages and the London Transport R-Stock are made by other very talented Trainz Content Creators. The London Transport Battery Locos are my contribution.

The route from Finsbury Park is part of the ECML route. I have just changed it somewhat to bring it into the late sixties era when steam trains were still running. The route was originally set in the late seventies.

If you are interested in purchasing the Trainz software, it is inexpensive and has a large and helpful community. However you will need a powerful computer to run it satisfactorily, as it requires photo-realistic images, fast updates and quite a lot of intense logic processing. Action video games are a lot less demanding, contrary to popular belief.


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