Cambridge Branch Lines

Modelling Cambridgeshire Railways in the 1950s


Tue, 03/20/2012 - 00:45 -- ruth

Sometimes life gets messy. So example, when is a model railway not, in fact, a model railway? Well some people would argue that a virtual model railway - a model built inside a computer, using images and geometry and 3D graphics - wasn’t a model railway. And yet, just this weekend the model that is the subject of this website was shown to a group of modellers and “was found to be good”.

More precisely, the subject of this website is a model of the railways around Cambridge as they were in the 1950s. It encompasses the route from Great Shelford in the South to Ely in the North on the Great Eastern main line, and from Royston, from St Ives (possibly Godmanchester), from Newmarket and from Swaffham Prior (hopefully Fordham) in to Cambridge, and finally the link from St Ives to Ely via Sutton.

The model is being built using a program called RailWorks, which is a 3d simulator you can run on a decent-spec home PC (as opposed to the multi-million dollar things used by the pros!). Modelling consists of placing things in the 3D world so as to best match the feel of the real life version: once you’re done, you can tell the program to run trains around, or control them yourself, with a 3D view from all angles at your fingertips.