Train Sim World 4

The Sound Of Steam!

In January members of the Dovetail Games team and I headed to the Great Central Railway, our mission was simple, capture brand new audio from the awesome Stanier 8F Class locomotive 48305 that resides there!

Tell us a little about yourself!

Chris: My name is Chris, and I am the Marketing Assistant on Train Sim World. You won't be familiar with me, but if you are reading this article you are likely to be familiar with my work. I write most of the Train Sim World articles. I also work alongside my team and our Creative department to bring you the awesome images and videos for all things Train Sim World 2.
I was on hand during our visit to the Great Central Railway to ensure the day was documented, and every opportunity to get great shots didn’t get missed.

How did the day start?

Chris: One very cold and very early January morning we arrived at the Great Central Railway in Leicestershire at a time of day generally reserved for nocturnal animals, thankfully the team and I received a warm welcome from the railway’s staff that were on shed that morning. They had already got to work preparing our office for the day! Once we had acquainted ourselves with the locomotive and where we could potentially fit the necessary equipment, the team began setting it up for the day ahead.

Did you have anyone else helping?

Chris: We didn’t come to the railway alone. On hand for the day was a video team whose job was to document the trials, tribulations, and of course trains of the day. They were with us every step of the way, giving us the incredible footage you can see in the Audio Developer dairy video above. We also had Ben from Bossman Games join us, he was there to give us assistance in the recording process, and share his experience with the team. We also had loads of Great Central Railway volunteers on hand throughout the day, it would have been impossible to get those high-quality recordings without them. From Drivers to Guards and Signalmen, they gladly facilitated our obscure requests.

What were the first things the team achieved?

Chris: Shortly after sunrise, with the locomotive in full steam and the necessary recording equipment attached we left the shed with great anticipation. Before leaving Loughborough Station we took the opportunity to grab a variety of awesome station shots, audio of the locomotive idling, oh and jump on board before we got left behind. The smile on Adam’s face at the prospect of firing such an incredible locomotive for the day really summed up why we do what we do.

What sound did you capture along the line?

Chris: Our trips up and down the line gave the team ample opportunity to get all the sounds they could. Throughout the day they grabbed some incredible audio recordings of this almost 80-year-old behemoth, from the little squeaks of a firebox door to the wonderful and powerful beats of pistons. It was an absolute pleasure to be standing in the lead coach, you could hear and feel the footplate crew doing all they could to get the locomotive to produce all manner of sounds. The power of the 8F was amazing.

Did the team manage to fit in anything else other than recording sound?

Chris: We then took a few moments to review the recordings that had been captured, this gave us a great opportunity to speak to the Audio team members. Channeling his inner Michael Parkinson, our Junior Community Manager Jamie interviewed each of them, getting us an insight into their thoughts on Spirit of Steam, and the processes they will be using to bring it to life. As you can see from the video above, they are very passionate folks and want it to sound authentic.

What was the most memorable experience of the day?

Chris: On the last run of the day I seized my opportunity and asked the crew if I could join them on the footplate for the ride back. Amazingly, they obliged! So I waited, expecting a quick run around, pick up the train, and return to Loughborough in time for tea. What happened next will be a memory for the rest of my life. Before departure, the decision was made to capture one last clear whistle recording from the line side. Adam then proceeded to give three incredibly long and immensely loud blows of the whistle, and I stood right below it. Amazing! Couple with an amazing footplate journey back, I'm one very happy railway enthusiast. If you fancy seeing footage of this noisy whistle blow, check out this evening's RFTV stream.

How did you wrap up the day?

Chris: Arriving in Loughborough one final time the 8F was uncoupled and returned to the shed. Once Adam had reluctantly stepped down from the footplate we got to work carefully removing the sound and video recording equipment, some of them had experienced all the soot, dirt, and oil you may expect a steam loco to produce so were filthy. Once the loco crew had completed their usual end-of-day routine we managed to speak to them about their thoughts and experiences of driving the 8F, these interviews were brilliant and will feature on We are Railfans in the near future!
The sun had truly set on our memorable and highly productive day, leaving fully 12 hours after we had arrived we left with a smile on our faces, knowing we had done our all to bring you brand new and highly authentic sound for Spirit of Steam! The smile may also have had something to do with us spending the day playing with steam trains too…
Thanks to everyone from the Great Central Railway for making this possible, and helping to get authentic sound for the 8F. You can find out more about the railway and plan your visit on their site here.
Pre-order Spirit of Steam: Liverpool Lime Street - Crewe on Steam here!
Find out more about Spirit of Steam: Liverpool Lime Street - Crewe here!
Join us tonight, Thursday May 12th at 20:00 UTC, on Twitch, YouTube, or Facebook. where RFTV’s Jamie and Matt will be joined by Adam, they will be discussing the sounds of Spirit of Steam, and answering your questions.
Stay up to date with Spirit of Steam: Liverpool Lime Street - Crewe and everything Train Sim World 2 by following @TrainSimWorld on Twitter and Facebook.
Train Sim World 4
The Sound Of Steam!