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Signals, Security and Track Sections
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Zorro



Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 19
Location: Area of Hamburg, Germany

PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2006 2:48 pm    Post subject: Signals, Security and Track Sections Reply with quote

When I play with model railroads, my main attention lies on the technical functionality of the layout. It should be a good simulation of a real railway. To give you a little inside of what I mean, I have constructed a little example: http://people.freenet.de/oliver.tell/rtr/signal1.zip

In the real world, the main purpose of a railway is to carry people and goods from one town or location to another. Main point is the security of the travel followed by the speed. Security is maintained in this way:
Each track is divided into sections. At a given time, only one train may occupie a single section. Each section has a signal (or two signals if bidirectional) attached to it to control it. If a section is not in use, its signal is set to 'Stop'. Each section has also a sensor to report its state: 'Occupied' or 'Unoccupied'. A section's signal can only be switched to 'Go' if the sensor reports 'Unoccupied" and the next section is 'Unoccupied', too. The last rule ensures that there is always one free section between two trains thus creating a kind of security buffer.

I tried to rebuild this functionality with my example. Set signal 'Approach' to 'go' and watch it. To keep the chain of control simple, I omitted the last rule (one free section between trains).
I must also admit that my layout is still not perfect. If a following train is stopped by the train ahead, operator control is needed that this train continues its schedule or it has to wait for the next following train but then a crash is possible.

/EDIT
If you want to get more info on this topic, you can have a look here : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Railway_signalling
/EDIT


Last edited by Zorro on Wed Mar 15, 2006 9:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Chris



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 644
Location: Wisconsin, USA

PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 6:56 am    Post subject: Signals, Security and Track Sections Reply with quote

Zorro's comments led me to consider automating two trains running on the same track in the same direction in light of his comments on operational security.

We cannot have a locomotive power sections ahead of itself as this could lead to collisions with stopped/slower trains since there is no occupied/unoccupied sensor available to us in this game (pity since we could then programmatically run even more trains on a line - correct me if I'm wrong).

Anyway, the attached file should handle the issue Zorro had about restarting stopped trains.

There is also an example of how a faster train can eventually pass the slower.

signal2.roa


Last edited by Chris on Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:07 pm; edited 1 time in total
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peter



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 581
Location: germany,Thuringia

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Zorro and chris,
Do you use analog or digital?
Blocking trains in sectors is digitaly easy,set signals every length on sector and chain it (uni-or bidirectional) for direction to block you have set control from red or blue side and ready. On analog tracks you need xtra psu and isolators. Smile
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for next time and thanx Peter
如 如 Nothing is impossible if we make it together.
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Chris



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 644
Location: Wisconsin, USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 10, 2006 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Peter,

I use analog and 'control' two blocks behind the one the train is using. The block immediately behind the train is 'off,' the second block is at a percentage of power less than the limit of that section of track, the third block would have been restored to the operating limit whether it be yard speed or something faster.

Regards, Chris
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AZRoger



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 29
Location: Prescott, AZ, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris,

I'm working on a layout that has block control using analog. There is a yard with 6 lanes. Each lane has an entrance and exit to a main line. Only one yard lane is on at a time. The main line has a split (every other train goes on a separate run). The main also has a join where the trains on the main line wait to go into the yard. The main is long enough that I should be able to run 11 trains simultaneously (5 parked in the yard and 6 circulating).

I have implemented the safety feature by having controls near the beginning of each block. These set the block just exited to STOP (with a signal), leave the one behind that alone and set the block before that to GO (with a signal). This keeps the trains separated.

On the merge part of the main line, there is a control after the switch that toggles the states of both feeder blocks before the switch. This makes fast trains wait for slow ones to get into the yard. I'd like it to operate on a first-come first-served basis. Your post about passing trains sounds like just what I need. However, when I click the link

http://www.behrens.selfip.net/files/signal2.zip

from your earlier post, it says the page is unavailable... Any ideas on what I'm doing wrong? Or is there an alternate source? Or a simple word description? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks, Roger
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Chris



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 644
Location: Wisconsin, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Roger,

I've just started recovering from a server crash I had some time back. I'll have that layout and other stuff available shortly (I'll leave you a post on this forum when signal2.zip is up.)

I've moved the file to my new shared hosting site and refreshed the link.

Regards, Chris
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AZRoger



Joined: 17 Aug 2006
Posts: 29
Location: Prescott, AZ, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris,

Thanks. I loaded it and watched it run. I didn't know you could have engine IDs on analog layouts. Having the fast train reach forward and block the freight is cool. With further testing I learned that you can have more than one engine with the same ID. It's like a kind-of-train rather than a specific train. I added another fast train (ID-1) to the loop and was able to crash on the outbound switch. Sad It happened when the first passenger train unblocked the freight while the second passenger train was sailing through. I'm going to have to think some more about the details - but using the engine IDs really opens up the possiblities. Thanks.

Roger
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Chris



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 644
Location: Wisconsin, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger,

I use an expanded blocking method now. The block immediately behind the train is off, the second block is at a percentage of the 'normal' speed of that stretch of track, and the third block is back to 'normal' speed. I didn't like the visual effect of the faster train coming to a complete stop as it entered the block immediately behind the slower train.

I think expanding the blocking method on the signals layout would help solve the problem you ran into as it tends to increase the distance between trains from one block to two.

I was going to post another layout for you to see. It's what I call my through line that is intended for (sorta) eye candy but can also be used to switch consists into and out of the 'real' layout. Basically, it represents a main line that runs through the layout providing another focus of interest. This is where I typically run my longer consists while the layout itself would be a local feeder line switching into industries, etc.

I'll post it once I find it.

Chris
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Chris



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 644
Location: Wisconsin, USA

PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Roger,

Here we go. The idea is to switch ore trains between a mainline and local line. This would have been expanded to actually switch cars between the mainline motive power and local motive power simulating the delivery of full cars and return of empties.

I doubt I would have run this number of trains either. I believe I have all those running to test the blocking.

You'll notice that I've used engine IDs to class a type of train as well - the ore trains.

I've also got passenger service running adjacent to the mainline.

Draft Interchange

Regards, Chris
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peter



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 581
Location: germany,Thuringia

PostPosted: Sat Sep 09, 2006 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Chris,
Iīd download the draft interchange allready,thatīs right way to use idīs and expanded blocking. If i see it right you also can use timelines inbound of a block to increase or decrease the speed of the first free block after the train.
Is it right? Itīs only an Idea from me to try it.
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for next time and thanx Peter
如 如 Nothing is impossible if we make it together.
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Chris



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 644
Location: Wisconsin, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Peter,

If you're running multiple engine trains you'll need to delay turning off power to the block behind the train entering the new block otherwise you could end up stalling the train because the following engines hadn't yet cleared the block boundary and will have lost power.

Regards, Chris
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peter



Joined: 08 Jul 2006
Posts: 581
Location: germany,Thuringia

PostPosted: Sun Sep 10, 2006 10:47 am    Post subject: Timelines in controls Reply with quote

Hi chris,
That is exactly that what iīm meaning. I use the machines and the timeline of controlers to set speed for multiople engine trains to control speed for digital and analog as unique. Idea If i have a 3 loco train and want to enter the station i let the secon or the third engine lost power to slow down the train.
In the station if i set signal to go then train starts with 1/3 speed and increase to the topspeed when the last engine passed the signal. I just create and test that on my testboard. Had i sent a layout from me yet? If not then send me a PM.
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for next time and thanx Peter
如 如 Nothing is impossible if we make it together.
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austindave



Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 391
Location: UK

PostPosted: Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had a go at the Signals, Security and Track Sections, control system. I found it hard to do but here is my effort. It is called auto control 5t. It is a single loop with all trains going the same way. A few sidings for goods trains and a fast past siding to let fast trains pass the slow goods trains. This allows different train types on the same track. The conrtol is quite simple. But I can't help to think how hard it would be to get trains going in the opposite direction and using the same station, but I'll give it ago. If you look at my coal track 125 this is using trains with no real automatic controls. 4 of the 125 stop them selves and the train in it's way starts it off again once it's out of the way. 2 of them just go round by them selves and could crash into the back of some of the 125 if they got to close. All the trains have to be the same type so they go around the loop at the same speed. It uses fingers crossed timing and nowt has crashed yet. But it would if it got outa cync. All stuff found at the link below. Keep on tracking. Laughing

http://freespace.virgin.net/dayle.dave/stuff/

Thanks Dave
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austindave



Joined: 19 Feb 2006
Posts: 391
Location: UK

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have modifed the track Auto control 5t. Auto control 5x2, has still 5 trains but abit different controls. Auto control 6t is simular to Auto control 5x2 but has 6 trains running. I think they don't crash only time will tell. All stuff found at.

http://freespace.virgin.net/dayle.dave/stuff/

Thanks Dave
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Chris



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 644
Location: Wisconsin, USA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dave,

I think you've done a fine job. Thank you very much for sharing them with us. I look forward to seeing the progress you make.

Regards, Chris
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