New signalling

On this page we'll look at the new signalling system for the next Trainz Classics release

The new signals bring brand new logic and scripting. It completely replaces the old logic, yet should be backwards compatible to the vast majority of previously made signals allowing you to use your current favourite signals in TC3.

New signal types:

The new signalling sytem will now understand the concept of a 'home' or 'starter' signal, a 'distant' signal, and a 'repeater' signal. These are specified with tags in the config file. The new logic provides better support for semaphore signals, and should make creating semaphores easier - much less scripting will be required.

The ability to differentiate between different signal types will facilitate the accurate implementation of realistic 'absolute block' working of signalling systems and will enhance the accuracy of the signaling of routes. (See the examples below).

New features:

Improvements aren't restricted to semaphores only - for colour light signals, flashing aspects are now fully supported.

Another improvement is the ability to specify a speed limit for individual states the signal can display. This means the line speed limit can be changed dependant upon the state of the signal.

New scripting hooks for implementing aspect display have been added, this should make creating animated semaphores easier

Signals will now be fully scriptable, to the extent where extending the logic will be possible when creating new assets. This should enable more accurate representation of signalling systems from around the world.

There will be new models included in TC3 that take advantage of these new features and demonstrate the different signal types.

 

So, that's what it can do. What is going to be included in TC3?

The TC3 route will be equiped with a set of Upper Quadrant signals which are relevant for the timeframe and location of the route. These will be supplemented with some multi-aspect colour-light signals. These will be high detail meshes and will included examples of each type to help people make further variants if they want. The pictures below are a representative selection of the new signals.

 

Home, Distant, Combined
Colour light - 2,3,4 aspect
Cantilever
Banner repeater
2-way Junction
3-way Junction
Co-acting, co-acting combined
Rod activated and motor driven
Signalman's indicator, on and off

 

Non-Block working

If you signal your line with only home signals then each signal will wait for the train to approach before checking for the status of the line and displaying the relevant aspect. This means that you will need to be going slow enough to stop at the signal if the line is not clear ahead. The picture below shows the status of each signal on a single track with only home signals. I've obviously had to place them very close together here to get all the information in one picture. Click on the picture to open a larger version in a new window.

 

Block working

If you signal your line with blocks then the system will check for the status of the line ahead and display the relevant aspect for the entire block. This means that you will be able to travel at line speed if a clear indication is given, confident that all signals in the block are clear. The picture below shows the status of each signal on a single track with block working implemented, but no train this time as the assumption is we are approaching this set of signals. I've again had to place them very close together to get all the information in one picture and I've used a combined home and distant signal in places to facilitate this. Click on the picture to open a larger version in a new window. To make the line suitable for bi-directional running simply repeat the process going the other way. One thing to note is that the system reverts to non-block working at the end where the block signalling ends.

Things start to get a little complicated when we deal with junctions, but fundamentally you split the blocks at a home signal. The picture below shows a block signalled junction with the points set to the left route.

If all that seems a little baffling, don't worry. We'll be including some detailed instructions with TC3 to help you get it all working.

 

Signals in action:

Movement of signals

(click on the picture to access the video - 450KB)

Non-Block working

(click on the picture to access the video - 2.7MB)
Block working

(click on the picture to access the video - 2MB)

 


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