South Downs Railway

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Traincontroller overview

About Traincontroller

"Traincontroller" is the main component of the "Railroad & Co" suite of programs. It allows both simple and advanced control of railways; it allow manual control to be mixed with automatic control. It doesn't assign any one way to "do business": instead it provides a range of ways that it can help with your railway.

Traincontroller is available in three version. "Bronze" is the entry level version, and does have some limitations. "Silver" is a very capable package; "Gold" includes some high-end functions. We've recently upgraded to version 8 "gold"; previously the railway ran effectively eith "silver" but we wanted access to some of the high-end features.

It is important to recognise that there isn't any one "right way" to do things. It is often possible to find several ways to achieve an end goal; some may be better or worse for any given railway but none is "right" or "wrong". This website is limited to describing how I've used it for the South Downs Railway; it may well be appropriate for other users to do differently!

There are things that Traincontroller will do well, and not do well:

  • It is good at providing a display of "what is where" on the railway. When engines move - either under manual or automatic control - the switchboard display will update.
  • It is good at providing a range fo ways to move a train from one location to another: for example from platform to platform between stations.
  • It doesn't know the exact position of trains on the railway. Instead it only knows when certain locations with sensors have been reached. Consequently it is not good at shunting trains: activities in goods yards with coupling & uncoupling, and attaching a new engine at a station terminus, remain manual operations.

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