ScotRail’s classic Cathcart Circle Line is the star of a new train simulation video game, Train Sim World 2: Cathcart Circle Line.
Players will be able to take control of the many different services on the route, carrying commuters from the city’s leafy fringes to densely populated towns, and across the River Clyde.
The much-loved Class 314 train, bedecked in the train operator’s famous Saltire livery, shuttles between Glasgow, Newton and Neilston including the Shields depot and Neilston turnback siding as it links the city’s suburbs to the historic Glasgow Central station.
The creators, Kent-based Dovetail Games, enlisted the help of veteran ScotRail driver trainer, Ian Gilfillan, to talk about his experience on the first Scottish route for players of the game.
Ian joined the railway as a trainee in 1985 at Eastfield depot, qualified as a highly skilled driver and is now a driver trainer.
Ian’s experience of the Cathcart Circle line was invaluable with vivid memories of what driving on the route was really like.
“The acceleration was exceptional and, overall, the 314s were particularly good to drive.
“They were prone to rain and loud whistles and drafts at high speeds coming in through the gangway door, but if you shut the wee door next to you, you would get quite cosy with the heaters on, and you didn’t notice all the bad points.”
On 14 December 2019, the final scheduled passenger service by a Class 314 ran between Paisley Canal Street and Glasgow Central.
A special farewell tour was held by ScotRail later that month with two 314s operating a special service around the network, running to Ayr, Carstairs, Cumbernauld and Helensburgh.
Ian drove the last leg from Glasgow Central to Helensburgh and back and remembers crowds of people out on the route watching the train for the very last time.
“On the tour there were lots of photographers and people recording the event.
“When we left Glasgow Central about 16:30, there were a lot of people taking pictures or just there to see the last 314 leave Glasgow High Level.
“The simulation looks fantastic and really realistic. I’m particularly impressed with the cabin detail and the fact that the Class 314 even has a dirty front end, which they normally had!
Phil Campbell, ScotRail Head of Customer Operations, said:
"Seeing the Cathcart Circle Line come to life in Train Sim World 2 has been an incredible experience.
“We can't wait to see what players think as they take a virtual tour around our scenic route on the classic Class 314 which has been preserved here for all to enjoy."
Mike Richardson, Marketing Director at Dovetail Games, said:
"We're incredibly excited to be bringing Cathcart Circle to Train Sim World 2.
“The reaction when we announced our first Scottish route has been fantastic.
“Talking to Ian from ScotRail has given our players a great insight into what it's like to drive a BR Class 314, something they will be discovering for themselves in June!"