COMPUTER SOFTWARE

BATH GREEN PARK 1961 - £27.00.

SIAM Ltd. (Dept. WWW), 1 St David's Close, Leverstock Green, HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, Herts., HP3 8LU, England.
www.siam.co.uk
.  Phone - 01442-395645.  Fax - 07020-971134.  Email - [email protected]

This is a ‘Traffic Controller’ type game from S.I.A.M. - you have to accept trains from both the Midland main line and the S & D, allocate locomotives to outgoing trains and ensure engines are coaled, watered and turned as necessary. There are three screens to flip between - the main one shows the station and its approaches, with more detailed screens of the loco shed and passenger platforms. You enter codes such as ‘PN’ to ‘SD’ (which would send a train from the north platform to the Somerset and Dorset) or ‘S1’, ‘WW’ (which would water a locomotive in shed road number one). When a va1id movement code is entered the relevant part of the track diagram changes to red, reverting to yellow as the engine ‘moves’ along the line - obviously you cannot have conflicting movements. The program works its way through a busy summer Saturday, from the early hours of the morning to early evening and, as in real life, there are periods of relative quiet (although thankfully not too many) - and periods of absolute mayhem!

From an authenticity point of view I can hardly fault this program - track diagram, timetable, locomotives, operation are all spot on - indeed the only thing you cannot do in this simulation that you could in real life is to run round local trains in the north platform. Whether this was left out by mistake or on purpose to make it more difficult I do not know, but it hardly detracts from what is obviously a very well researched simulation. It is a challenging program (SIAM have rated it with a dificulty of four, their highest), and even when (after many, many hours of play) you think you have got the whole operation running relatively smoothly, you can start the program and leave it running whilst you go and make a cup of tea; then come back to one hell of a mess to sort out with trains tailed back on both lines waiting to enter the station and continue on their journey hours late with a shed full of engines awaiting coaling, watering and turning. There’s no way you will get a very high rating at the end of the game (in fact you’ll probably get sacked), but it’s great fun!!

This is a superb program that has everything you could ever wish for in a ‘Traffic Controller’ simulation - made all the more interesting, of course, by being based at Bath Green Park. If you have my doubts at all as to whether you will enjoy this game then try SIAM’s much simpler ‘Public Domain’ software (see later reviews) which you can download from their website - if you like them, then you will love this one!

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This page last updated by Tony Wray on 02/01/2001.

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