Realistic Timetabling

Discussion in 'Running Your Trains' started by Tallpaul70, Mar 3, 2019.

  1. Echidna

    Echidna Full Member

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    Hello All,

    I think it would help to construct a graph ( or buy a graph book from the newsagent ) with the stations or timing points ( junctions for example ) listed in order down the side with the nominal times across the top, and each station has one line per platform if the number of platforms exceed 2 ( this assumes one up and one down line ).

    It is also not unusual for a goods train to "disappear" and not do a return run. For instance an early morning down branch goods loco may actually form the first up passenger train, anda later down passenger train will not have a returning up service as the down pass loco actually does the return goods service, if required.

    Goods trains on the mail line may have a destination in the down direction, but the returning up service may be attached to an up goods train from further afield. This was more likely in the UK due to the number of possible alternate routes that services may be run on. A Train Graph of services may make this more apparent than a simple tabular column time table.

    The Train Graph makes it a lot easier to both plot existing timetabled trains from a WTT ( or even a public time table ) and potential paths to return a train where necessary.

    Some Train Graphs also have the line diagrams on the left hand side as well, this could be an advantage when drawing up a proposed time table.

    Regarding shunting of trains, far too many layouts shunt far too fast. In real life shunting was an extremely hazardous occupation, ( major shunting yards would average a serious injury once a week ) , which means that shunting should be slow. ( Fast clocks are ok for passing trains, but are decidedly a problem if shunting is to be performed correctly )

    Lance Mindheim "How to Operate a modern era Switching Layout" book is very instructive, even if his example is current day CSX in Florida, USA. A lot of procedures now have "National Code of Practice" formal rules which clearly defines each part of the process, however, the fundamentals of shunting/switching has not changed.

    Basically, the shunter has to walk around, set the road, indicate to the train crew when the shunting train has to move, and when it has to stop, all of which takes time. When shunting in private sidings, gates may need to be opened/closed, Scotch Blocks/Wheel Crowders removed or replaced, during which time the shunting train is stationary.

    When the shunting train has to couple to stationary vehicles, the attachment speed is slow to prevent the stationary vehicle taking off when the shunting train is attached. This is more so where buffers and links are used, as the US Janney/MCB/knuckle(Kadee) coupling will normally attach and lock after impact, this is clearly not the case with buffers and links. In the latter case, the vehicle has to be attached to the shunting train, and this may require the shunter to get between the attaching vehicles to correctly couple up to the shunting train. Obviously, the train will need to be stationary whilst this happens.

    When a locomotive has to run around its train, the vehicles need to be secured, the couplings and piping ( brake and steam, electrical where provided ) need to be disconnected and stowed, before the locomotive moves off. When the locomotive re attaches to the other end of the train, this process is reversed, all attachments checked, and a brake test performed, usually 30 secs to 1 minute per vehicle. This whole process may take up to 10 minutes, all going well !

    ( Yes, I am aware that BR-SR could do a divide or attach at Virginia Water in under 3 minutes, but shunters were rostered on especially for that process. The VR did a similar process at Flinders St for many years when a 3 car unit would be attached or detached to a 4 car block to form or divide a 7 car set, again shunters were in place to expedite this. )

    Another oft seen happening on model railways is vehicles being pushed onto the buffer stops. If this is done in real life, 12"=1' scale, damage to the vehicle , or even the locomotive, is assured.

    Lance Mindheim has written a number of articles in "Model Railroader" ( Kalmbach ) on shelf based shunting layouts.

    Interesting article, TallPaul70,

    Best wishes and regards, Echidna
     
  2. class48nswfan

    class48nswfan Full Member

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    I have been enjoying this thread. Writing railway timetables is my job yet I have not fully managed to do this satisfactorily for my model railway as trains take about 45 seconds to do a full run round the layout (which in theory is 20 miles distance). This I tend to operate either free lance or to a set order fo train movements. I did attempt to graph it in excel using the drawing module and have considered setting it up in timetable software to write a proper timetable.
    I have also added in critical locations at each station (platforms/loops etc) to show what is occupied when.
    What I have not done is allocated any specific times - the diagonal lines just indicate the journey between the stations. Because the line has a circuit then some trains disappear at one point of the graph and reappear at the other. e.g T123v starts in Wallace Creek goods yard and then runs off the end of the timetable (B) and re-appeaers above it at B next to Mowarra Bridge end.
    I used the snip feature to take a picture of the Excel file and saved as a picture if that helps anyone.

    WTT GRAPH.png
     
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  3. Peter K

    Peter K Full Member

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    Personally, I leave a section of plain track in between each station and halt the train there for x minutes to simulate the travel time, but it only works for single track lines.
     
  4. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    I think timetable running is intriguing in the critical nature of the setting up. I could not do it myself as I think I would go mad trying to adhere to it. Maybe something in it's most simplistic form but a busy timetable with the challenges that would bring on signalling and route selection ...... more than a one man task. :avatar:

    Good stuff though...... if you like a lot of pain and stress. :avatar:

    Cheers

    Toto
     
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  5. Toto

    Toto I'm best ignored Staff Member Founder Administrator

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    Just thinking ... a useful tool for this would be JMRI as this could help with loco rostering. Dundee would be able to advise better on this though as I am a bit vague on this yet. I'll need to revisit that software again.

    Toto
     
  6. class48nswfan

    class48nswfan Full Member

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    HI P
    I don't see why that could not work for double track (especially if hidden). Having a continuous circuit I sometimes run trains round several times to simulate a longer run (and because I enjoy train watching). D
     
  7. class48nswfan

    class48nswfan Full Member

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    Not for me - I spend my working life with computers! And too much time on here - off to run the railway whilst the sun is out. D
     
  8. Peter K

    Peter K Full Member

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    You'd need one block for one real block. So an imagined 20 miles of mainline with blocks of 2 miles means needing 10 train lengths. Or you could have sidings, which means essentially another fiddle yard.
     
  9. class48nswfan

    class48nswfan Full Member

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    Not sure I quite understand your point or whether I should have explained my point more clearly. If you have two stations (or signal boxes if you prefer) called A and B and these are connected by an up and a down track then assuming Absolute Block signalling (AB) surely you could have a B to A and an A B train between the two stations at the same time? How you represent that in operating your model railway is up to you (stop the train, hide it in a tunnel, move the clock forward).
    Dave
     
  10. Peter K

    Peter K Full Member

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    One train = one block for the purposes of this.

    If in your imagined 20 miles there are 10 blocks then at full capacity 10 (in reality probably about 5) trains can be in those 20 miles. So you need enough storage for 5 trains each way. This takes up a huge amount of space.
     
  11. class48nswfan

    class48nswfan Full Member

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    Pete
    I think we are talking about different sorts of signalling. On my layout although the locations are notionally 20 miles apart there will only ever be one train in section. This is rural Australia so traffic is sparse! The number of trains I run in four hours would equate to a days worth if this location was real.

    A down train from Mowarra Junction will pass the down starter and blocks that line until it clears the points at Wallace Creek. So the next signal the train driver sees is the Wallace Creek distant and then the Wallace Creek Home which may inform him/her of the route the train is taking though Wallace Creek station (shown as a feather on the diagram). The distance between the points at Mowarra Junction and the distant is 19 miles and the distant to Wallace Creek around a mile. (so note drawing not to scale). Simplified signalling.png

    Because the train is in section no other trains can enter that section. You could supply intermediate signals if traffic levels were high enough to allow trains in the same direction to be flighted and I think that is the scenario you are envisaging. There you would require multi aspect signalling (red/green) (R/Y/G) or (R/Y/YY/G).

    You could have one additional signal (commonly known as an intermediate block signal) which would allow a second train to depart Mowarra whilst the first was in section and there are a number scattered around the UK.
     
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  12. Peter K

    Peter K Full Member

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    It seems to be that we are talking about very different train frequencies indeed. The diagram I see is what's best described as single track, so what I was saying would almost certainly work. In fact, save for a couple of urban areas, I think it would work for anywhere in Australia, even some of the double-track lines with limited traffic. What it doesn't work on are high-frequency main lines. Well, the space would need to be modified accordingly. So, at 1 train each way every 10 minutes, a distance of 30 miles and a speed of 60 miles per hour, then you need 3 blocks between stations etc. etc.

    How long's your longest train?
     
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  13. class48nswfan

    class48nswfan Full Member

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    Pete
    Never long enough! I recently changed the layout at Mowarra Junction so I can at least pass trains consisting Loco + 10 bogie wagons. Typical length is Loco+6.
    D
     
  14. Peter K

    Peter K Full Member

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    I'd assume that a hopper and/or loco is 20 metres each, so 240 metres, thus 2m80. So you'd need at least 3m between stations, ideally more. At 6 metres you could get two trains in.

    By the way, I saw a message on your Wallace Creek thread saying that it's your birthday around now, so happy birthday...
     
  15. class48nswfan

    class48nswfan Full Member

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    Thanks Pete - another year older etc. Been building an Aussie pub seeing as I can't go down a Brit one.

    The longer trains only operate when i am in train watching mode (e.g round and round they go) and have an appropriate beverage to hand. Tea of course.

    I would need a bit more space for a typical Aussie 1500m intermodal.


    D
     
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