Written by: TrainSim-James
Sean Harris brings us part 1 of a complete play-through of Newhaven Aggregates (S14), available from Steam Workshop (click here).
This scenario puts you in charge of a Class 66 diesel locomotive working a train of aggregates from Newhaven to Brentfort (Clapham Junction) along the Brighton Main Line, with your train running about 3 hours behind schedule.
I relieved another driver at the junction just outside Wivelsfield, on the Lewes line. I had to wait for an express to use the junction firstly though, so I set the cab up appropriately for my shift. Not too long after, the signal turned to green and away I went.
Powering through Wivelsfield, now on the mainline.
However, with my train being loaded, it was very heavy so I encountered some wheelslip upon departure. Not to worry though, I soon had this under control by easing back on the throttle! We passed through Wivelsfield station and the speed picked up quite nicely; so I threw the throttle back to full – every second counts when you’re late!
Climbing a slight incline again, we were approaching Haywards Heath. Through the tunnel we went and we blasted through the station at a good 50mph or so.
Next I undertook my running brake test. I would have done it earlier but we were slightly climbing a hill, so it would be best to do it when on the flat. I put the brakes to 3 bar or so, just to hold them. Satisfied that the brakes are OK, I then took power again now on a very slight upward gradient.
I only really hit 60mph at Three Bridges, where the speed limit was reduced to that speed on the slow lines. Soon it was back up to 90mph but I would have to stick to 60, as that was my train’s top speed.
Storming along under a road bridge.
I passed another rake of Aggregate hoppers in Crawley New Yard but there wasn’t enough time to view them properly as I soon got an AWS horn for a double yellow signal with a diversionary feather signal for Gatwick Airport. I hit the brakes and rolled into Gatwick Airport smoothly as I was approaching a red signal. I passed the AWS magnet at 4mph as to not create any SPAD risk.
At the same time, a Class 377 arrived with a service presumably bound for London Victoria. This didn’t put me off at all as I know the risks a red signal can have!
I stopped in the platform at Gatwick Airport and then put the locomotive into Neutral and then sat in the secondman seat. This is a technique that is taught to us as the Class 66s do not have DRA (Driver’s Reminder Appliance) because they are a freight locomotive. To stop any accidental SPADs, there are several techniques that you can use and sitting in the other seat is one of them. Other drivers use things like putting a glasses case on the throttle, newspaper over the brake gauges etc.
A Class 377 (again, London-bound I think) arrived and departed in the platform just next to mine, which I assumed was the cue to go. It definitely was as I then received a single yellow signal with a route indicator feather, which then turned to double yellow as I applied the power.
After having emerged from the tunnel, the train approaches the four-track section at Three Bridges.
I didn’t apply much as I knew the speed limit was a low 30mph, coupled with the fact that I was now running under restrictive signals so I didn’t encounter any wheelslip. I then passed yet another Class 377, this time heading southbound. A plane then flew overhead as I looked back to check on my train!
Soon after I caught sight of a green signal so I put the power to max. I passed Horley at a steady 34mph. Here was the start of another ‘green’ run!
All screenshots by Sean Harris.