Penarth photographer, pleasure boat operator and local history enthusiast Ben Salter has just released an excellent new train simulator video on YouTube (just press the arrow above to run it).
Unlike Ben’s previous productions, this movie based in the present time, and features genuine authentic 25-year-old Arriva Trains Wales rolling stock – just like the the ones today’s commuters have to travel on.
The movie presents drone-type aerial shots of the Arriva Train wending its way on a sunny day from Cardiff Central Station to Penarth via Grangetown and Dingle stations.
The virtual scenery is even more realistic than it was in previous videos – although there are still some surprisesm – including attractive displays of flowers at Grangetown Station and a large red double-decker bus on Stanwell Road rail bridge – (probably a school bus that doesn’t need to squeeze under the Brains Windsor Road bridge).
The Cardiff scenery was created by Stuart Galbraith and the Penarth scenes by Ben Salter himself – working around the busy schedules of his well-known passenger-boat Daffodil.
Accurately rendered, is the railbridge over the placid River Ely although we don’t see (at least on this particular journey) the bridge being illegally used – as it sometimes is – by yachtsmen to sort-out rigging problems on their masts
The complex junction at Cogan is also perfectly portrayed as the train clatters over the points and heaves itself uphill towards Penarth.
It’ll be a disappointment to the Friends of Dingle Park that the disused second platform at Dingle Station – which they’re campaigning to get cleaned up – is still seen covered by overgrowth but, as the station is still awaiting the attentions of Network Rail’s long-overdue maintenance crew, it’s an accurate impression of how it looks at the moment.
Purists may find that the least realistic element of the whole movie is that, here at least, the Arriva train actually (a) turns up when it’s supposed to and (b) runs on schedule.
The YouTube link to the video is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q-f1HMzkGOs&feature=youtu.be