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"An interesting, if not brilliantly realised, piece of software."
A&B Computing

1. Introduction

The Flying Scotsman, running between Kings Cross and Edinburgh, has been one of the prime Anglo-Scottish expresses since its inauguration in 1862.

In this simulation you are given the opportunity of driving the train in relatively modern times around 1978-9 when Inter-City 125 (High Speed Tain) sets were beginning to replace coaching stock hauled by Deltic (Class 55) and Brush (Class 47) locomotives on the principal East Coast mainline (ECML) services.

The train is scheduled non-stop to Newcastle, but it is assumed that you are rostered to drive for only the first part of the run to Doncaster before handing over the controls to your co-driver for the remainder of the journey northwards.

Driving a modern diesel locomotive may not have the nostalgic glamour which some may associate with say storming up Stoke Bank with a Gresley Pacific, but you will nevertheless find it quite a challenge to cope with signal checks and speed restrictions and yet keep your train running to time.

2. Display Format

The simulation is presented as a two part display on the television screen: the upper section giving information a driver would have from visual observation and his background knowledge of the route, and the lower section being a monitor of the locomotive controls and performance.

3. The Route

The ECML to Doncaster climbs out of the London suburbs over a series of gravel ridges to the Hertfordshire new town of Stevenage, with the major challenges to locomotives being the steep incline through the tunnels out of Kings Cross and an 8 mile stretch of near continuous 1 in 200 gradient between Wood Green and Potters Bar. The line then drops through gently-rolling countryside to Stilton Fen and the city of Peterborough. There then follows a stiff climb to Stoke summit before a descent through the Vale of Trent and the market towns of Grantham, Newark and Retford to the beginnings of the South Yorkshire coalfield north of Bawtry.

Restrictions are in force due to maintenance work on the track near Huntingdon and Retford, you will be given details of these at the start of the simulation. Warnings of reductions in the permitted line speed will be given during the run, 1.5 miles in advance of the permanent way slacks and the major restrictions to 60mph approaching Doncaster, and 1.0 miles before all other restrictions.

4. Schedules

Two schedules are available in the simulation; one destined for HST power and the other for a locomotive hauled formation of 11 coaches weighing 385 tons. Details of the passing times of the principal locations and of the recovery allowances built into the schedules are given in the Appendix, and during the run you will be given reports on your progress as you reach the various timing points.

Either HST, Deltic or Class 47 power may be selected for your chosen schedule (Electron owners only have HST or Deltic facility with their machine). If a Deltic or Class 47 is specified for the locomotive hauled schedule, the train will comprise the planned 11 coaches, but if these classes are chosen to run on the HST schedule it will be assumed that the train is a substitute for a failed HST set and a lower capacity 8 coach formation will be provided for the journey. HSTs will, of course, have plenty in hand if selected for the locomotive hauled schedule, the Class 47s (which in practice only worked the Scotsman when the rostered HST or Deltic was unavailable) will struggle to keep time on even the locomotive hauled schedule, never mind the more demanding HST schedule.

5. Motive Power And Coaching Stock

  Deltic Class 47 HST
BR Designation 55 47/4 254
No. available in
55001-22 47401-24 254001-32*
Builder English Electric Brush BREL
Introduced 1961 1962 1977
Axle type Co-Co Co-Co Bo-Bo
Engines Napier Deltic Sulzer Paxman Valenta
Horsepower 3,300 2,580 4,500+
Max Speed (mph) 100 95 125
Length 69' 6" 63' 7" 58' 5"
Height 12' 10" 12' 9.5" 12' 9"
Width 8' 9.5" 9' 2" 8' 11"
Weight (tons) 100 121 70

* For details of power cars allocated to individual sets see Modern Railways Pictorial Profile: 1 High Speed Trains, Pulb. Ian allan (1983), + From 2 power cars

The class 254 HST sets are the standard East Cost formations with 8 essentially Mk III coaches. The stock for the locomotive hauled trains is late-type Mk II air conditioned coaches. Appropriate resistance curves for near still air are assumed, with an ETH/air conditioning load of 24Kw per coach.

6. Locomotive Controls

For simplicity, all locomotives in the simulation have been given a standardised controller with five power settings (1-5) rather than the differing notch systems of the originals. The braking system is similar but position 5 is for emergency only, the maximum application in normal service being position 4.

> - Increase Speed, < - Decrease Speed, X/Z - Brakes

Use SHIFT for horn, a short press for one note and longer for two tone horn

7. Driving Technique

The tractive characteristics of the different locomotive classes are realistically reproduced in the simulation and as such it is necessary to become familiar with the individual handling responses.

Deltics had their engines optimized for high speed running and were notoriously poor (as well as at times messy) starters. Gentle handling is needed to avoid overloading the generator, which in this simulation drops out a contactor and returns the controller to the idling setting. As a consequence, power should gradually be increased from notch 1 to start up to full power (notch 5) between 18 and 20mph. A warning of high generator current (which corresponds to between 2000 and 2400 amps compared with the continuous rating of the generator of 1650 amps_ means that the controller should not be notched up further at that speed, and the current should only be kept in this range for short periods at a time.

Generator field diversion occurs at appropriate load values, which on full power acceleration correspond to speeds of about 51 and 77mph; brief notification is given but no action is required.

The maximum speed limit of the Deltics of 100mph was closely adhered to for most of their lifetime, but around the time of this simulation, when much of the line was approved for faster running and schedules were based on the full power capacity of the locomotives, it was not unknown to experience excesses of 5-10mph. An overspeed trip is however fitted in the simulation to avoid major engine damage.

Class 47 locomotives are less powerful than Deltics but as low speeds have more tractive effort and are quicker to attain their full rated horsepower. They should again be started gently, with full (notch 5) controller not selected until 12-14mph. Warning of high generator current is given when the ammeter is in the range 3000-3750amps (c.g. the continuous rating of 2130amps), but as with Deltics such currents should only be sustained for short periods and any further notching up of the controller will activate the generator overload trip.

There the three stages of field diversion, and these occur at speeds of about 35, 45 and 60mph on full power acceleration. At speeds greater than 77mph there is a marked unloading of the generator, and this severely restricts the performance at high speeds and makes it difficult to exceed the nominal maximum speed of 95mph except on sustained downgrades.

HSTs have alternators rather than generators to provide current for the traction motors, and there is a sophisticated control system to co-ordinate the output of the two power cars. The full engine power is not available until above 30mph, and if too high a controller setting is selected at lower speeds an automatic current limiting sysem will come into operation. There is no field diversion, and it is an electronic trip fitted to all ECML units which limits the maximum speed to 3mph above the nominal value of 125mph.

On all types there is automatic compensation for wheelslip, but excessive of prolonged wheelslip should be avoided by notching down the controller appropriately. Notification of wheelslip and other locomotive events is given on the control panel, with a clear display indicating that all is normal. Major failures are possible from time to time and if you experience an engine shutdown whilst driving an HST or Deltic you should continue on the reduced power of the remaining engine, although naturally you will have a struggle to keep to schedule.

8. Signalling And Braking

The ECML has multiple aspect colour-light signalling so that a sequence of at least a double yellow and a yellow signal will precede a signal at red. The distance from passing a signal at double yellow to the signal at danger is generally only 2,200 - 2,400 yards, and as shown by the following data you will need to brake hard for much of this distance to bring your train to rest from high speed.

Specimen braking distances (in yards) on level track for a full application of the service brake.

Speed 125mph 100mph 70mph 30mph
Loco hauled train - 1933 931 140
High speed train 1931 1244 602 97

An application of the emergency brake will shorten these distances by about 20%, whilst on a 1:200 downgrade stopping distances are increased by about 10%.

If a signal is at red, you should bring your train to a halt within 35 yards of the signal in order to obtain telephone instructions form control about the situation.

As you approach a signal a caution you will receive a visual A.W.S. (Automatic Warning System) indication on the instrument panel and in the case of BBC owners an audible warning also. This must be cancelled within 6 seconds by pressing Space bar (BBC and Electron only) or 0 (Zero, Spectrum and Commodore) - or else, as on the original there will be an automatic application of the emergency brake.

9. Getting Started

PAGE = &E00

The required input parameters are:

L or H for loco-hauled or High Speed Train schedule respectively.

Loco Number
Type a number in the range 55001-55022 for a Deltic, 47424 for a Class 47 and 254001-254032 for a High Speed Train set. If a Deltic or Class 47 locomotive is selected with L you will be given an 11 coach train; if they are selected with H you will be given an eight coach train.

Details of your train, locomotive condition and speed restrictions will be given as a "Roster Board" information, and the computer will make its random selection of signal checks and other out of course events for your run.

The simulation begins two minutes before the scheduled departure time of 10:00 with the train (with official reporting number 1S20) standing in Platform 8 of Kings Cross station with engines idling. Wait for the starting signal to be set and the guard's clearance (which may of course be delayed if there are late passengers or loading is not complete) and then away you do.

If you want a break during the run, the simulation can be suspended by pressing the H key (for Hold), with action restarted by pressing the R key. Otherwise, good driving on your journey.

A Reminder Of The Line Manager's Standing Instruction

When trains are running late, drivers must endeavour to make up time with due regard to all speed restrictions and braking capability of the train.


1S20 10:00 Kings Cross-Edinburgh

Location Scheduled Time
HST LH(D385+)
0.0 Kings Cross Dep 10:00:00 10:00:00
12.7 Potters Bar Pass 10:11:30 10:14:00
20.3 Welwyn Garden City Pass 10:16:00 10:19:00
31.9 Hitchin Pass 10:22:00 10:26:30
58.9 Huntingdon Pass 10:36:00 10:43:00
(Recovery Time + 4 min)
76.4 Peterborough Pass 10:49:30 10:58:00
100.0 Stoke Summit Pass 11:01:30 11:14:00
105.5 Grantham Pass 11:05:30 11:17:30
120.1 Newark Pass 11:13:00 11:26:30
138.6 Retford Pass 11:24:00 11:39:30
(Recovery Time + 4 min)
156.0 Doncaster Pass 11:38:30 11:56:30


Cover Art Language(s): English
Compatibility: BBC Model B, BBC Model B+, BBC Master 128, Acorn Electron
Release: Professionally released On Cassette
Original Release Date: 1st Feb 1985
Links: Everygamegoing,

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Flying Scotsman (Cassette)