London Midland Region
Manchester North box controls Manchester's second-largest station, Manchester Victoria. Though somewhat reduced from its heyday (the opening of Manchester North coincided with the rationalisation of the station, and the construction of a concert arena adjacent to it), the station is still very busy, handling the bulk of suburban traffic to the north west and north east of Manchester. In addition, the smaller boxes controlling the line out to the fringe with Preston PSB beyond Rochdale are simulated; the box at Castleton is one of the few surviving semaphore installations in Greater Manchester.
The three eras supplied have vastly different 'feels'. The earliest, pictured above, features the Oldham Loop prior to its conversion to Manchester's Metrolink network in 2010, and much more mechanical signalling which was taken out of use at around the same time. By contrast, the latter era brings the area up to the present day, with electrification at Victoria and the new Ordsall Chord line to Deansgate- one of the supplied timetables is for this era, and presents a formidable challenge to keep the station moving, especially if chained with Piccadilly!
The unusual layout at Victoria presents a platforming challenge, with decisions having to be made several signals away. In addition, prior to the Ordsall Chord most trains terminated at Victoria, and it's very easy to block all the through platforms with terminating trains. There's a modest amount of freight traffic, some serving terminals in the Salford area, some using the connections at Phillip's Park to bypass central Manchester.
Manchester North is a payware simulation- to play beyond a short demo period requires the purchase of a license from the Products area .
Last edited by Steamer on 09/07/2021 at 14:55