I think I shall start the update here with extracts from a poem I have come to feel is one of the most appropriate First World War Poems for this project -
"When the Waters were dried an' the Earth did appear,
("It's all one," says the Sapper),
The Lord He created the Engineer,
Her Majesty's Royal Engineer,
With the rank and pay of a Sapper!
We lay down their sidings an' help 'em entrain,
An' we sweep up their mess through the bloomin' campaign,
In the style of, etc.
They send us in front with a fuse an' a mine
To blow up the gates that are rushed by the Line,
But bent by, etc.
They send us behind with a pick an' a spade,
To dig for the guns of a bullock-brigade
Which has asked for, etc.
We blast out the rock an' we shovel the mud,
We make 'em good roads an' -- they roll down the ~khud~,
We make 'em their bridges, their wells, an' their huts,
An' the telegraph-wire the enemy cuts,
An' it's blamed on, etc.
We build 'em nice barracks -- they swear they are bad,
That our Colonels are Methodist, married or mad,
They haven't no manners nor gratitude too,
For the more that we help 'em, the less will they do,
But mock at, etc.
I have stated it plain, an' my argument's thus
("It's all one," says the Sapper),
There's only one Corps which is perfect -- that's us;
An' they call us Her Majesty's Engineers,
Her Majesty's Royal Engineers,
With the rank and pay of a Sapper!"
Verse taken from Rudyard Kipling's The Sapper.
Today is of course Armistice Day, and just over an hour ago the nation largely fell silent in honour of those who have fought and died in the name of Britain and her erstwhile Empire. It is in this spirit of remembrance and commemoration that I initiated this project just over a year ago, and despite very slow progress I have nonetheless been amazed by the amount of support that we have received.
I thought that today would be the most appropriate day on which to give an update on where the project stands currently, and I posted this n the UKtrainsim forum earlier. It is repeated here also.
Thus far we have released or had released for us:
Great War Scenario Pack (Thanks to team member Gaetan/Locomotiveman1994)
ROD Reskin for NER T2 0-8-0 (Courtesy of Victory Works)
LBSCR Wagon Reskins (By myself)
Beta Ambulance Coach reskin (By CDC Designs)
Great War period French wagons and assets (Made and Released by Pierre Gauriat)
Belgian 'GC' Coaches (Made and Released by Pierre Gauriat)
WW1 Period Paris-Orlean Tank Livery (Made and Released by Pierre Gauriat)
Content in Development
British and French Basic Troops (Pierre Gauriat)
British and French Trench Railway Stock (Pierre Gauriat)
Andrew Barclay 0-4-0WT (Steve Pontin)
Baldwin 4-6-0PT (Kevin Martin/Pierre Gauriat)
Plus something very exciting from Victory Works (More on that shortly).
Hazebrouck District Route (Joint Project, progressing very slowly due to computer issues at CDC Designs, where tracklaying has been progressing)
Fictional ROD Western Front Route (Based on the freeware 'Norford Branch' route, made by myself)
'Home Front' route. We are currently investigating several options for this (see these below).
'Home Front' Routes
There are currently no period TS routes available, so we are looking to create one. The options currently being considered are largely based around industrial centres, and I'm going to be taking a look at the Southampton end of Southampton-Weymouth with a view to removing the later Western Docks and backdating a portion of the route. Other possibilities, which are probably still going to be pursued eventually, include a route set in NER territory and one representing the huge military port complex at Richborough. I might also take a look at the Longmoor Route with a view to take it back to WIMR WW1 condition.
Victory Works Announcement
The most exciting part about this update, for me, is announcing the development of what is certainly a first for Train Simulator - A working rail-mounted gun. If you are reading this then you likely to have an interest in military railway subjects and train simulator, so are likely to be aware of Victory Works' recently-released WD 2-8-0 pack, which includes a 'towable' but otherwise static rendition of the 'Boche Buster' type British rail-mounted gun. Before this was even released, however, Pete of Victory Works had begun transforming it into something truly special, to be supplied as a free addon to the WD 2-8-0 Pack via the ROD project team.
I think I shall let the video speak for itself:
I should clarify that this is still very much in development, and that we have found a few issues during testing. We have also yet to decide how and when we release this.
I think that concludes this update, and I thank you for reading it!