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history

celtictrainsim has been creating free routes and trains for the freeware OpenBVE trainsim program since 2009. OpenBVE is a freeware program, originally designed and developed as 'open source' software by a team of commited and talented programmers. Some of these have also produced routes and trains to run on the program. In addition, the programmers made the simplified route and object building coding available to anyone who wants to get involved in producing additional items for personal or for public release. (This code is nowhere as complex as knowledge of C# or other languages, it's not too difficult  to learn how to construct routes and object once the principles are explained).

The first cts route produced was a recreation of a portion of the abandoned line from Athenry in Co Galway to Collooney in Co Sligo. It was made at that time for the earlier Japanese "BVE4" program, which was a simpler "cab-view only" product.
That "Ireland West" route is no longer available, but it was a useful step towards building improved Irish routes for the visually superior
OpenBVE program. An important difference, by the way, the OpenBVE program will usually manage to run the earlier BVE2/4 material, but not the other way round.
Before "Ireland West" there were no Irish themed routes to be found for this sim. CTS founder,
graymac, wasn't happy about that, which was why he got stuck in and found how to build routes and objects using a simplified coding system which anyone can learn  (though it involves a very considerable investment in time to finish the job).
The first OpenBVE compliant celtictarimsim offering was the "
Ballyfeckin & Waterville" railway. This was released in stages, eventually offering a variety of routes and trains along more than 160km of trackwork, with mainline, branch, express passenger and commuter workings. Even a ferry port and docks!

Subsequently, graymac noticed there weren't any Welsh routes for OpenBVE either. Having lived next to the border, suffering the marauding Welsh raiders ('specially on Sunday, when the pubs were dry!!) it was obvious a Welsh route was needed, so "Cwm Twypsin" was born.

Another Irish-themed route followed. "Kilmagranny" is a "heritage" route, set about 35-40 years ago, with manual semaphore signals, manual gated level crossings and early General Motors diesel types, the 121,141 and original orange and black 171 classes as well as a CIE multiple unit representation.

Nostalgia (which ain't what it used to be!!) saw to the creation of "Cheltenham", another "heritage" product. Now this UK route, from Cheltenham Spa (St James) to Andoversford, closed by 1965 and little trace remains today. Using old OS maps, satellite pics (Google Earth) and a shovel full of local knowledge of Cheltenham, gray thinks the recreation should feel right for heritage train fans.

The latest production is back on Irish soil. "Kilmagranny 2016" is basically the original Kilmagranny route, but modernised thoroughly. As it might well be today. Modern signalling and use of the Hyundai 22000 units sets the scene.

The main focus has always been on the routes. As for trains, though there aren't many builders making UK routes at present, there are a few more making trains. At the outset, gray wouldn't have bothered trying to make a train. Except there were no Irish trains because there were no Irish routes! So, the first "Irish" train for the original "IWR" BVE4 route was actually a "borrowed" UK class 168 dmu with the side images from an Irish 2700 Photoshopped in!! Hardly kosher, but oddly enough it didn't look too bad!
Since then gray has spent a little more time producing any necessary stock to run on cts routes, rather than rely on third-party providers. With the notable exception of collaborations with Steve Thomas, who kindly provided scenic trains for the Welsh route and the ATW 175 cab. And Martin Corbett, who made the cabs and running gear for both the heritage DMUs and the class 25 diesel.

Although the original creators of the program have mostly moved on to other matters, the program is still improving and continuing development. See the “project” site for news and details (in “links* page). Chris Lees (he of “BVE Cornwall” fame) is responsible for a huge amount of upgrades and improvements. Features such as the  DMU destination signs automatically being set by the route are just one example.

The Irish trains and rolling stock have seen a lot of upgrades and improvements for 2018. 071 and 201 class locos have been rebuilt entirely and most examples of modern Irish stock are now made, though not all have been released pubicly yet. The 29000 units are also rebuilt and all modern era Irish DMUs have interior detailing.

Although the routes and trains offered on this site are "freeware" it isn't free for graymac to provide the hosting for these items. If you enjoy the use of any of these routes and trains and want to continue to see them available here, then do please consider making a small donation to support the continuation of this site. You can donate through PayPal, using the "support" button on this site.  Thank you.

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graymac would like to thank the following people on the sim scene for their contributions to the celtictrainsim project. Remember, this freeware sim is only possible because of the hundreds of hours of work put in without pay by the programmers and material builders of the OpenBVE program plus all the route and train builders out there.

I’m grateful particularly to Chris Lees (BVE Cornwall) for his work on the CAWS plug-in; to Steve Thomas for his contributions to the Welsh route and the Class 175 cab; To Kieran Marshall for photo images including those used with the 22000 and 201/Mk4 stock. Also to route testers (anonymous, but Stephen, Alan, John and Bill know who I mean). To the creators of the OpenBVE programme; to fellow developers who helped or encouraged, may they be blessed. And last but not least, grateful thanks go the several generous supporters who cared enough to kindly donate funds to keep  this site running year on year.

the story so far. . . .