Those wishing to attend were asked to fill in a Google Docs form and the list of those attending was available as a Google Docs spreadsheet.
The venue is situated in Museum Street which is a side turning off New Oxford Street halfway between Tottenham Court Road (Central and Northern Lines) and Holborn (Central and Piccadilly Lines) tube stations. The other end of Museum Street is (perhaps not surprisingly) opposite the British Museum.
Transport for London publish spider maps of bus routes to Tottenham Court Road and Holborn . There are direct services from most London termini to bus stops within easy walking distance of The Plough.
A limited amount of parking is available in bays in the nearby streets. There is also an NCP multi-storey car park where you can pre-book a space further down Museum Street towards Covent Garden. You would be strongly advised to give yourself plenty of time if you are travelling via car. There is no congestion charge at weekends - it ends at 18:00 on Friday and restarts at 07:00 Monday.
No food will be provided at the meet but food can be purchased from the bar menu .
Real ales, ciders, beers, lagers, wine, soft drinks (brand name cola, lemonade, etc.) and water. Tea and coffee are be available.
A private WiFi network will be set up for the meet laptops to connect with each other but not for internet access. WiFi access to the internet is available through the pub system.
The meet will be held in the upstairs room. This is a rectangular room with windows along two sides overlooking Museum Street and Little Russell Street. As normally set up the room has small tables able to sit 40 covers for meal service. Arranging the tables round the walls under the windows will allow ample space for the laptops to be used in any multiplay with room for circulation and socialising in the rest of the room.
There is no upstairs bar so drinks will have to be purchased downstairs and carried up to the room.
Planned from 12noon to 6pm, those with laptops for use by the SimSig public are asked to arrive by 11:30 and register. Those without laptops are normally asked to wait until noon when it is hoped everything will be ready.
The event will take place without any entrance fee.
Shared access to multiplayer simulations, tutorials on how to play SimSig if needed.
There are hotels of all grades and prices from guest-houses to four- and five-star hotels within easy walking distance of the venue. Be aware that even Travelodge/Premier Inn type accommodation within walking distance is often priced in the £80 to £100 range per room so it may be better to get accommodation away from the centre of London and travel in on the day.
An informal meet-up may be planned on the Friday night for drinks and perhaps a meal too, but as said this doesn't always happen. More details closer to the time, once location and venue has been decided upon.
The venue is within easy walking distance of Covent Garden and Soho so there will be ample opportunity for some sort of communal meal after the meet. Alternatively, the traditionalists can go off to Brick Lane (tube from Holborn to Liverpool Street or Bus 8 or 242 from the corner of Museum Street and New Oxford Street to Primrose Street). Travel time by either suggestion is about 40 minutes.
On Sunday 16th. October a visit was arranged to the Tramlink Control Room and Depot at Croydon. 10 people attended.
Cardiff, Cardiff Valleys and Cardiff Vale of Glamorgan.
Just over 20 people attended to be given the surprise news that Karl Latham (headshot119) was allowing us to preview three sims he is in process of developing. Only half a dozen laptops were made available for public use although Karl and his team of testers also had laptops linked to the network to act as the hosts for each sim. We started running at 12:50 with an 04:45 start TT and continued through until 17:20. There were a number of shift changes so all who wanted to try out the new sims were given some keyboard time.
The venue itself was well-suited for our needs although the food and drink was priced at Central London tourist levels. We were also graced with a visit from The Boss, Geoff Mayo in person. Geoff's visit was the reason for having the meet in October rather than our more usual November. Geoff had an advantage over most of us because the recent decline of the pound against the US Dollar meant that he found the prices less eye-watering than the rest of us. Geoff was leading a team in the direction of a curry when the meet broke up at 18:00.
It was a good, sociable meet and all seemed to enjoy themselves. Particular thanks to Karl and his team for the surprise preview of his latest sims and also congratulations that the sims worked so well straight out of the box.
We were met at Therapia Lane Tramlink Stop by Mike Garratt of TfL and a member of his team. We were split into two groups of 5 with one group being taken round the depot and engineering side of the operation then visiting the Control Room while the other group visited the Control Room first before seeing the depot and engineering functions.
Tramlink carry out an impressive amount of heavy maintenance in a tightly confined depot including a lot by necessity as Bombardier can no longer guarantee to supply parts for the original trams used by the system. These trams are currently undergoing a mid-life refurbishment which should keep them going until the end of the next decade. New trams supplied by Stadler are now being brought into service and there are already plans to lengthen these new sets to supply extra capacity.
The Control Room covers all aspects of the operation of the system (signalling, routing, regulation, power supply, interface with the public etc. etc.). The Shift Manager in the Control Room talked each group through the work that had to be done and showed us the various computer interfaces which were used to manage the system.
We were on site for nearly 2 hours and all felt we had enjoyed an interesting and informative visit.
Last edited by postal on 19/11/2018 at 15:16