Train Simulator 2021: GWR Cathedral and 4700 Night Owl Locos Incoming

The popular Train Simulator developer is launching two new GWR locomotives: a much-missed freight loco and a never-created express loco.


Image Source: Caledonia Works, via Facebook
Image Source: Caledonia Works, via Facebook

Caledonia Works is currently one of the leading developers when it comes to Train Simulator add-ons, boasting a huge range of machines available from their catalogue.

The team at Caledonia Works seem very much set on a bumper Great Western Railway month, with two new releases from the GWR coming up.



These are the fictional GWR ‘Cathedral’ Class passenger locomotive and the 4700 ‘Night Owl’ heavy freight engine. Here’s what you need to know about these upcoming Train Sim 2021 additions.

Train Sim 2021 to get the GWR 8000 Class ‘Cathedral’

Image Source: Caledonia Works, via Facebook

The GWR Cathedral Class was an engine put to the drawing board by designer Frederick Hawksworth. It would have been only the second Pacific Class passenger loco built by the GWR after ‘The Great Bear,’ but the economics following World War II meant that the class never left the design stage.

Getting the Cathedral close to real life as possible

Image Source: Caledonia Works, via Facebook

Caledonia Works’ Cathedral Class will aim to replicate the designs as closely as possible. The add-on will include the loco in a wide range of liveries, from GWR to the British Railways’ post-1948 liveries. So, it will depict what the class could have looked like had it been built and entered service, right up until the end of British steam.

The usual high quality associated with Caledonia Works models will be applied, such as with the animated valve gear, 3D firebox, and SimNation’s 1.4 scripting – which is set to be updated to 2.0 when released. Plus, there’ll be custom sounds from Steam Sounds Supreme, as well as 22 GWR and BR passenger headboards.


A significant change in the Train Sim ethos

Image Source: Caledonia Works, via Facebook

Fictional locomotives rarely make it into the Train Sim world: players often prefer classes of engines that exist or at least did exist. The Cathedral is a big change to that ethos. It’s a significant shift, too, as it will give us, perhaps, the best opportunity that we’ve ever had to see what a Cathedral could have looked like and how it might have performed.

With Caledonia Works’ high quality as a standard, this is set to be a very well-received release. The Cathedral is scheduled to be released in early May. Its price has not yet been announced, but it will probably be in the £14.99 region and available from the Caledonia Works shop.

Update: The Cathedral launched on 1 May and is available to purchase now.

GWR 4700 ‘Night Owl’ heavy freight loco comes to Train Sim

Image Source: Caledonia Works, via Facebook

Another hugely popular GWR locomotive was the 4700 ‘Night Owl’ class. These were heavy freight 2-8-0 locos. They earned the nickname of ‘Night Owls’ as they were primarily designed to haul heavy goods trains at night and were often spotted simmering in the evening light, awaiting their next assignment.

This was a remarkably rare class of loco, with only nine ever built, and sadly, all of them were scrapped – leaving a big hole in the preservation world. Despite this, though, the Great Western Society at the Didcot Railway Centre are building the tenth member of the class, No.4709, to fill in the gap left by the scrapping of the original class members.

Filling a void in Train Simulator

Image Source: Caledonia Works, via Facebook

A 4700 was in development for Train Simulator by The Forge Simulation, but this project was recently abandoned. As such, Caledonia Works are stepping into the void with an all-new model. The simulation and attention to detail on this model will be in line of that with the Cathedral Class above, and the rest of the Caledonia Works lineup.

Being an engine that did once exist, we have a better idea of what to expect from this pack. The Night Owl is a loco that could put in a good turn of speed on occasion, despite being designed for freight, and is one of the most powerful locos ever built by the GWR.

Have your pick of Night Owl liveries

Image Source: Caledonia Works, via Facebook

Liveries of the Night Owl loco will depict it in both GWR and British Railways colours. There’ll also be some dirtied up weathered examples to show the class in a condition that’s perhaps more akin to the final days of British steam – when cleaning standards were slipping.

Screenshots on the Caledonia Works Facebook page show an example of the class pulling the famous ‘Royal Duchy’ express train in Traim Simulator. So, we might be able to expect headboards to be included with the loco pack.

A highly-anticipated loco thanks to its mysterious service life

Image Source: Caledonia Works, via Facebook

As is the case with the Cathedral, the Night Owl will be a highly-anticipated release. The real 4700s always had this enigma about them thanks to their nocturnal habbits. So, there have been calls for the loco to be in Train Simulator for a few years now.

With the release last year of the GWR 2800 freight loco by Caledonia Works and Steam Sounds Supreme, two of the GWR’s finest freight locos will, at last, be in the simulation game. The 4700 has now been released, coming out before the Cathedral. You can get the Night Owl for £14.99 via the Caledonia Works shop.

These could be two of the hottest Train Simulator DLC releases of the Spring due to the intrigue around both classes of locomotive and the high quality of the work. Along with these two, more DLC is soon to come from Caledonia Works, with the Lancashire & Yorkshire Class 5 and LMS Princess Royals in the works.


Henry K

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