TS18: Shenfield Stopper, Metro Master
The BR Class 315, in distinct Great Eastern Main Line liveries, is coming soon from Waggonz and Armstrong Powerhouse, and brings with it the missing link out of Train Simulator’s London Liverpool Street, the Shenfield Metro.
Over the last 28 years, the Class 315 fleet has spent its days working both the GEML, the Lea Valley Lines, and occasionally stretching further afield to the likes of Braintree – however their most notable work is the stopping ‘metro’ services between London and Shenfield, a distance of around 20 miles.
In those 20 miles, the Class 315s work in pairs to shuttle commuters from Essex in and out of East London, many of which interchange at the complex hub that is Stratford station for onward travel, such as along the North London Line. It is this key service which is represented by Waggonz and Armstrong Powerhouse, and they have pulled out all the stops…
New Feature – Guard Operation
Class 315s were historically operated by a driver and guard, the latter of which would be in charge of all the door controls – this is been (optionally) replicated here, where upon stopping at a station you no longer need to press T to open the doors, the guard will do it for you.
Driver Only Operation
In recent years the Class 315s have been subject to Driver Only Operation, which gives you full control of the doors’ opening and closing at every passenger stop.
Wheelslip & Wheelslide Protection
When there is poor adhesion, traction can often slip along the rails, the Class 315 automatically protects against this by regulating their power when slipping is detected, it is then best to find a balance between minimal slipping and maximum acceleration.
The same is true for braking, the Class 315 will adjust brake pressure if sliding is detected, returning to normal when what adhesion there is has been restored.
CSR & GSM-R
Depending on whether you’re driving a mostly original condition or a refurbished Class 315, you will be able to register with CSR or GSM-R as appropriate. This is a vital step to ensure communication between the driver and the signaller, and bar being able to actually talk to them, you can for example use each system to bypass using Tab to pass a signal at danger.
In the main pack, the older, manual destination blind features, and can simply be scrolled through to find the right destination in the list. However, in the TfL Rail Marketplace livery, a dot matrix display replaces this, with each destination having its own code to key in for display.
When cold, the Class 315 has no brake pressure, tripped out batteries, open traction motor contacts and no saloon lighting – setting up from cold adds to the immersive nature of the 315, and, along with every other feature listed above, ensures the final PEP a firm place within the Pro Range.
Look forward to Waggonz and Armstrong Powerhouse’s master of the Shenfield Metro, as the GEML BR Class 315 is coming soon!
A pairing of Class 315s, headed by 315812, eases into Stratford Platform 8 under typically British skies on a stopping service to Shenfield. Note that 812 features a modern light cluster, a feature which dynamically applies to specific unit numbers to reflect reality.
Somewhere new. The 315s were mainly kept near London, however they have stretched further afield, the case being demonstrated by 315825 which is currently working the Braintree branch from Witham (above). Meanwhile, 315837 passes 315845 at Manor Park, forming the aptly named ‘Shenfield Metro’ in both country and capital bound directions (below).
A mixed-livery set of Class 315s, with 315833 at the front, makes its way along the stretch between Stratford and London Liverpool Street, where it will take a very brief rest before heading back on the 20-mile run to Shenfield (above). Under similar skies, the scene is ever-busy at Gidea Park – the service between London and Shenfield runs 6 times an hour in each direction so there’s always traffic about (below).
The cab of the Class 315 harkens back to a classic era of electric multiple unit design, and it’s where you’ll be spending a lot of time providing vital services. The GSM-R unit can be seen adjacent to the window, and above the brake gauge are the car reminder indicators, which are set automatically.
In addition to the main pack (which contains a Blue/White and White livery), a fully licensed TfL Rail livery will be available as a Marketplace addition. Transport for London took over the Shenfield Metro in 2015 under the brand ‘TfL Rail’, which is the precursor to the Elizabeth Line. Opening in December 2018, the Elizabeth Line and its new Class 345s will mark the end of Class 315s in GEML services.
315821 heads a special driver training run from Gidea Park Sidings to London Liverpool Street, and a select few are also on-board to obtain sounds for a virtual PEP, this virtual PEP in fact, as the GEML BR Class 315 is coming soon from Waggonz and Armstrong Powerhouse!