GWR 4700 ‘Night Owl’ Crowdfunder

PROJECT NEWS 13TH JULY 2020 (scroll down for project information)

We are currently hoping to complete the project by winter 2020. It has been delayed by numerous issues including the business transition in March, COVID-19, and the real world commitments of our team members. We apologise for this delay, but please rest assured that work on the project will resume in earnest during August.

 

PROJECT INFORMATION 

The Forge Simulation have teamed up Steaming Westwards Productions and IronLawl to present a crowdfunded locomotive pack. We would like to bring the GWR 2-8-0 4700 ‘Night Owl’ to Train Simulator 2020.

The ‘Night Owls’ were a 9-strong class of heavy mixed traffic engines built by the GWR between 1919 and 1923. The prototype, no. 4700 built in 1919 was essentially an enlarged 4300 mogul with the Swindon no. 1 boiler. This boiler was soon considered inadequate for the size of locomotive it was fitted to, and the Swindon no. 7 boiler was added to the production locomotives, built between 1922 and 1923 – it is disputed whether this boiler was always planned but simply not ready for the prototype engine, or whether it was designed and built in response to the poor performance of no. 4700. Although mechanically successful, the locos’ route availability was restricted by their size, meaning further potential examples were shelved in favour of Collett’s Halls, and, later, the Granges – which, essentially, were exactly what had originally been envisaged when the need for these locomotives was identified.

The ‘Night Owls’ gained their nickname through their initial primary workload, which was to run fast overnight freight services between London, Exeter, & Plymouth, London & Bristol, and Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Rarely worked in sunlight during their early years, these engines gained daytime reprieve when their strength and speed was put to good use on heavy summer West Country relief expresses. 4702 was the first to be withdrawn in 1962; 2 others followed the same year, 2 in 1963, and the remainder before the middle of 1964. No examples survive in preservation. However, the Great Western Society is using a mixture of existing parts from other locos alongside newly made parts to build the next in the sequence, No. 4709.

A ‘Night Owl’ will eventually grace Britain’s rails again, but as a consortium we want to make this happen in the comfort of your own home by way of an Advanced Locomotive Pack for Train Simulator, with all the realism, quality, and extensive features you would expect from The Forge Simulation.  With an expected price upon release of €19.99 the 4700 Pack will include:

  • Prototype No. 4700 with Standard No. 1 Boiler
  • All examples (4700-4708) with the Standard No. 7 Boiler
  • 3500 gallon and 4000 gallon tender variants
  • Clean, Intermediate and Weathered variants of all included liveries
    • GWR unlined green (with all logos/crests)
    • GWR lined green with 1925 tender insignia (4700 only)
    • BR unlined black with early crest
    • BR lined black with early crest (4702 only)
    • BR lined green with late crest
  • Standard and Advanced Driving Modes with extensive realism features, for example:
    • Authentic GWR locomotive audio with recordings from Steam Sounds Supreme
    • Brand new bespoke vacuum braking simulation
    • Our most realistic steam simulation scripting
    • Train Simulator’s only talking fireman – now available in English! Your fireman will call out the next signal to you. Not only does he talk, but you can also use him to fire for you of course – our advanced firing scripting will handle the shovelling, water, etc while you focus on the line ahead (all optional)
  • Engaging and prototypical scenarios based on routes they would have traversed in service such as the Riviera Line in the 50s and the Wycombe & Joint Railway
  • Optional names for the locomotives – although never assigned in reality, many names were planned, and you will be able to use them if you wish

We intend to make this a Train Simulator first and gain crowdfunding to get the project underway, but we can’t do this without your help. The price and perks packages initially planned as follows:
Goal: £800 | €920
Backer total from old website: £590.38 | €678.93 (funds still locked down due to Coronavirus)
Backer total from new website: €262.77
Backer total: €941.70 of €920 - GOAL SURPASSED!
Number of backer orders: 42 (39 backers)
Please note the current totals are updated manually (last update – 20/04/20), and the money raised is an approximate value after deducting an estimated amount for the fees and taxes we have to pay on each pledge. We can only approximate based on our best knowledge, and the fees can vary.

Please note: we have replaced the tier system from the previous website with a much simpler system. We also now trade exclusively in Euros, so the prices for the tiers have been converted from Pounds to Euros. For any future crowdfunders, we will use tier prices that make more sense in Euros, but we wanted to make it fair to existing backers this time round by matching the prices in Euros as closely as possible to the original prices in Pounds. Original backers have a receipt download for their original backing in Pounds, but new backers will receive one for the correct price paid in Euros.

The backer tiers (levels) are split into two sections.

Contributions

Backing below full price provides an early, discounted purchase of the completed full product with options to back by paying €5.75, €9.20, €13.80 or €17.25 – the discount being equal to the amount you pay when backing. All those who contribute these tiers will be able to place their relevant discounted order 7 days before public sale, and will receive their download before public launch (tier number is the same as the number of days before public release you will get your download). Each tier also receives a one time use discount code for other products, with a larger discount per tier - 5% at Tier 1, 8% at Tier 2, 12% at Tier 3, and 15% at Tier 4. Click a tier below to purchase.

Tier 1 (€5.75) | Tier 2 (€9.20) | Tier 3 (€13.80) | Tier 4 (€17.25)

Full backer tiers

Full backers will receive a copy of the fully completed DLC and early access to the finished product in their tier prior to public release for sale. The higher the tier, the more early access time you get. Tier 9 backers will receive an invite to participate in closed beta testing, subject to the signing of an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement), and a free product of their choice from our shop – which could even be given to a friend. Finally, each tier also gets a discount code – the higher the tier, the higher the discount (except Tier 5 due to the free product). Click each tier to purchase, making sure to read the rewards in full first.

TIER 5 (€20.11)

YOUR REWARDS:

  • Full copy of the finished GWR 4700 ‘Night Owl’ pack
  • 1 week early access to the finished product before it’s released
  • A discount for 10% off for our shop (released locomotive products only) which can be used by you twice, and will work with any other sale/discounts available publicly at the time of use
  • Be in the backer ‘hall of fame’ on the website and in the product documentation

TIER 6 (€34.50)

YOUR REWARDS:

  • Full copy of the finished GWR 4700 ‘Night Owl’ pack
  • 2 weeks early access to the finished product before it’s released
  • A discount for 15% off for our shop (released locomotive products only) which can be used by you twice, and will work with any other sale/discounts available publicly at the time of use
  • Be in the backer ‘hall of fame’ on the website and in the product documentation

TIER 7 (€46)

YOUR REWARDS:

  • Full copy of the finished GWR 4700 ‘Night Owl’ pack
  • 4 weeks early access to the finished product before it’s released
  • A discount for 20% off for our shop (released locomotive products only) which can be used by you twice, and will work with any other sale/discounts available publicly at the time of use
  • Be in the backer ‘hall of fame’ on the website and in the product documentation

TIER 8 (€80.50)

YOUR REWARDS:

  • Full copy of the finished GWR 4700 ‘Night Owl’ pack
  • 4 weeks early access to the finished product before it’s released
  • A discount for 25% off for our shop (released locomotive products only) which can be used by you twice, and will work with any other sale/discounts available publicly at the time of use
  • Be in the backer ‘hall of fame’ on the website and in the product documentation

TIER 9 (€115+)

YOUR REWARDS:

  • Full copy of the finished GWR 4700 ‘Night Owl’ pack
  • 6 weeks early access to the finished product before it’s released
  • 1 week access to final beta version – the only tier to receive this reward! (project members and YouTubers etc may also receive this)
  • Any one released product from our shop FOR FREE (can be gifted to a friend but is not returnable, does not include the Night Owl!)
  • A discount for 15% off for our shop (released locomotive products only) which can be used by you once, and will work with any other sale/discounts available publicly at the time of use
  • Be in the backer ‘hall of fame’ on the website and in the product documentation

At this tier, you can choose how much to contribute, so long as the minimum of €115 is met - if you'd like to contribute more, you can specify the exact amount. We are unable to offer further benefits, but it means you can be as generous as you like, and we are very, very grateful to those who have done this, completely of their own volition. We created this tier specifically for those people, not expecting anyone to give so much!

BACKER HALL OF FAME

TIER 9
Lawrie's Mechanical Marvels - lawriesmechanicalmarvels.com
A. Beck
O. Pocock

TIER 8
O. Pocock (upgraded to Tier 9)

TIER 7
R. Davies
A. Stovold
T. Ip
T. Carter
C. Rasmussen
E. Pentland
B. Booth
S. Achterberg
R. Cornwall
T. Dibden
J. De Jong

TIER 6
M. Boon
S. Bell
P. Swarbrick

TIER 5
V. Brigance
R. Taylor
A. Brown
P. Goodearl
R. Everitt
J. Brewer
C. Muir
J. De Jong (upgraded to Tier 7)
J. Arndt
M. Baughan
V. Broskie
H. Hughes
K. Heath
K. Dare
G. Dobson
J. Dunn

TIER 4
C. Ho

TIER 3
B. Jones

TIER 2
M. Hendle

TIER 1
J. Brannan
A. Sinclair
E. Bull
O. Kenny

Total backers: 39 | Total orders: 42

All backer rewards, as well as early access and public sale and release dates, and the product contents and features, will be subject to the usual caveats of Train Simulator product creation and may be altered, rescinded or changed without notice in order to meet the needs of the development process to ensure that the product is completed to the ideal standard. We reserve the right to provide rewards on our own terms, which may involve them being provided late (or early!). We will do our best to ensure that everything is performed in an efficient and timely manner, but, ultimately, the quality of the final product is the main priority. In 2020 we have majorly overhauled and expanded the rewards offered to backers, so it isn’t all about potentially taking away!

Please note that once you have paid to back the project, your order is not refundable. We are committed to delivering what we have promised, and it will come, but the more backing we get the more quickly we can make it happen. Bear this in mind when making your decision on backing the project. However, if for any reason we become unable to deliver on this project, then you will receive a full refund.

Although we are not associated with the project to recreate a living, breathing Night Owl, run by the Great Western Society, we will be charitably donating to their project when our own Night Owls are finished in Train Simulator. Details on this will be finalised close to release of the product.

We hope you’ll consider taking us up on this exciting proposed project and help us bring the sight and sound of Churchward’s final masterpiece to life in Train Simulator. If this experiment is successful there’s the potential for other locomotives to be crowd funded in much the same way and allow more choice of DLC in the TS Community, chosen by you! We have now surpassed the goal, but are continuing to offer the chance to back the project to allow you to obtain the fantastic rewards available, and will keep this going until close to the backer pre-orders and rewards start.