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London Midland & Scottish by Lightnin' Bill French [Download] [TSC]

Goal: London Midland & Scottish Railway, 1923.
Author's Comments: The London Midland & Scottish was a shotgun marriage, compelled by the government, after World War One. There were two main constituents, (along with their Scottish partners). They were the London & North-Western, (LNWR), based at Crewe; and the Midland Railway, based at Derby. They were serious rivals before amalgamation, and no love was lost after the merger. The Midland won the battle for the soul of the company, and Midland policies and practices were imposed on the other divisions of the LMS. The small-engine policy, (4-4-0's, & lots of double-heading) was one visible sign of this "Midlandisation". Every British railway used very basic 0-6-0s for goods trains; and the Midland saw no reason to change.
The LMS suffered as a result of this internal strife; and it was not until the mid-thirties that the company developed a style and character that was all its own. This LMS practice & style was very distinctive, and had a lasting influence. The Second World War put a stop to all forward progress however, and once that was won, Government intervened again. The LMS, and all the other companies, were nationalised to create British Railways. But that's another story....
The LNWR was basically London-Birmingham-Crewe-Carlisle. North of there the Caledonian Railway took over to Glasgow. The LNWR also had lines to South Wales, and Holyhead, and had absorbed the Lancashire & Yorkshire company in 1922, just before the LMS was created.
The Midland Way was London-Derby-Settle-Carlisle, and thence the Glasgow & South-Western Rly, via Dumfries. It had lines to Bournemouth, and Morcambe, and a (joint) line to Norwich. The Midland mainline from Birmingham to Bristol was shared with the GWR; hence the Iron Duke trundling up and down that section.
The train routings in the scenario are very much divided into LNWR & MR halves. For simplicity, the Midlands' London terminus is no longer St Pancras, but Euston. Well, one of them had to go! There is only one Glasgow station; but there are three stations in the Leeds area. The lines in Lancashire are set up to need sorting out. This is meant to reflect the takeover of the L&Y in 1921. Another problem for the enthusiastic student!
This scenario used RLs Britain 1830 map as a starting point. (A very good scenario: Respect!). The idea for the LMS one sprang from a desire to model a real historical situation; and a desire to play a game with victory conditions different from the usual "personal wealth/start from scratch/random industry" targets. I found that I had to compromise both ideals, but I didn't know owt when I started; and I am quite pleased with the outcome. It is still running trains, but here you take over a difficult situation. And it is recognizably the LMS.
It is a scenario for those who like to study every train schedule closely. Many people do not, for it is easy to get bogged down in the detail; and the first thing a computer game should be, is fun. So I am worried that the scenario might be too much like hard work. The other big problem is controlling costs. These escalate as engines get older. There's a fine balance between getting the company profitable, and never making money. I need other players to tell me if the balance is right. Are there too many problems to solve? It's not supposed to be a torture puzzle.
I would appreciate any feedback from any players about how the scenario plays. I know my favourite way of doing things: will it play fair for other peoples' style of play? And if anyone has the urge to take this scenario further, and develop/improve it themselves, then by all means do.
-Lightnin' Bill French

Site created April 23, 1998. © Jesse Reid, All Rights Reserved, 2003.