Traincontroller allows a lot of different kinds of windows. It is up to the user to decide how to use them and how to lay them out on screen. Some people have one monitor, shared among all uses; others have several monitors to make sense of the railway. traincontroller 7 has allowed much better control over window layout that previous version; windows can be tabbed within a "main window" or can float and overlap others. Some of the windows you will come across include:
All TC controlled railways have a diagram of the layout known as a switchboard. The switchboard is fixed size - it can't be "zoomed". Getting the size of this right will determine how the rest of the windows can be displayed! The switchboard shows the following:
- The position of all points;
- Whether occupancy detectors are occupied or not;
- Whether blocks are occupied;
- Which train is in a block, and its orientation;
- Whether a block can be entered or exited by trains;
- Whether a train can proceed (by indicating a signal).
A switchboard can also have control elements e.g. "pushbuttons" and "toggle switches". These can be used to control aspects of operation. It may be appropriate to put these on a separate switchboard.
The Dispatcherwindow is used in the schedule display. This is normally auto-generated from a switchboard and shows the blocks in less detail. It is used to highlight the blocks in use by a schedule. It can be zoomed in and out, unlike the switchboard.
The Engines & Trains window shows information about all of the engines & trains available. It shows which blocks they are in, and the speed they are running at. This is useful to diagnose why a train has stopped, for example: if it is stopped by this window shows a speed, suspect a problem with the model (e.g. poor pickups).
The Messages window provides feedback about what the program is doing, and critically what it is not doing. If a train won't start on a schedule, this window can provide clues as to why.