It’s that time of the month again when Clare asks us to Share our Desktop. This month I am using a shot that I took back on 24th June this year…

…Taken with the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the 55-200mm zoom lens, it shows Class 66 locomotive 66596 hauling an intermodal service through Ealing Broadway on an overcast, typically English, summer day. The train is travelling from Wentloog near Cardiff to Felixstowe North freightliner terminal where the containers will mainly be loaded onto ships for international destinations. To get from West London to the east coast, the train will route over the North London Line and has slowed to around 30mph in preparation for diversion into Acton yard where it will await its slot between passenger services on that busy route. You may notice that the containers are sitting on wagons that sit very low to the track. This is because larger containers were introduced some years ago and wagon designers had to come up with a solution to allow them to be transported within the restricted British Railways loading gauge. Some routes are being re-engineered to overcome this issue but on others it is not viable to carry out such work in the short term.

Here we are in the middle of testing Euro truck v1.35 Beta when SCS and DAF announce a joint ‘competition’ called #IDriveDAF. There is a link to a DAF promotional video in the post and we are exhorted to look at it closely and “Take an in-game screenshot of your DAF truck (XF 105 or XF Euro 6) at a location similar to that in the video.” I’m always up for a challenge, even when I’m cash-strapped by being in the middle of testing with a new profile! That same morning I was heading up to the suspension bridge in the early part of the video and got this shot as I crossed it in horrible weather…… I decided to splash some cash on an upgrade of the DAF I was driving and subsequently got this shot on the return leg as I crossed the Storstrømmen once more…

Twitter has been awash with lots of images from my fellow truckers showing many of the different suspension bridges in the game and also some of the industrial type environments from the video. I don’t think DAF realised just what level of response they were going to get – though I’m sure SCS trusted their community to come up with the goods 🙂 The screenshots have expanded from suspension bridges to just about anywhere on the map (as long as there is a DAF in the shot) and there have been some lovely scenic views. Here is one I took on the road in to Nuremberg while testing the new Container Trailer. This is one of the latest roads to be updated to the new standard in central/southern Germany and it looks really good in the moody lighting of late afternoon…… I spotted one new addition along the roadside between Nuremberg and Stuttgart – signs banning trucks from using the fast lane. I quipped in a tweet – “Does this mean the Autobahnpolizei will be issuing fines for being in the wrong lane SCS software? I know… be careful what you wish for!”

Testing itself has been going well. I tried out the experimental DirectX11 upgrade and found that it ran well. That upgrade is not due for deployment in v1.35 as there SCS still have a lot of work to do on it, so we’ll soldier on in the ancient DirectX9 for the time being. It’s great to see the game being brought up to more modern standards. I have been trying out the new ownable trailers and these are working well. What isn’t working well is my company trailer skin, which is a shame. I have also tried out the demo skin that I used for tuition when making my own skins and that is broken too. I guess that I’m going to have to investigate why when I get the time. However, that means issues with my existing profile when v1.35 releases – lots of trailers that will crash the game! I think I may find myself starting the company from scratch yet again… sigh! That may not be a bad thing (actually it won’t) because I’ve suddenly found my DAF mojo and maybe it will be a DAF / MAN / Scania company. We could run using a mix of the Krone-liveried curtainsiders and other in-house ownable trailers – perhaps specialising more in containerised loads. Anyway – on with the testing for now! To close, here are screenshots of my current DAF in an ‘industrial’ setting – departing a farm with a load of Apples……and crossing one of my favourite suspension bridges, Pont de Brotonne over the Seine…