A full, accurate simulation of a mechanical signalbox.
The application '!SignalBox' is a full, accurate simulation of a mechanical signalbox. In the simulation, you see the signal box lever frame, block shelf and instruments and track diagram in one window.
The working timetable showing the trains that will run is available separately but the train register book, which records the trains that pass from box to box, is shown on screen in another window. The track circuit indicators on the box diagram and the train register are both displayed and kept updated by the computer.
All interlocking, both mechanical and electrical, is fully implemented using original technical data as source data. Context sensitive help messages lead an inexperienced user through the process and the level of difficulty can be selected. The points and signals on the track diagram may be operated by a simple mouse click over them (and signals and points move to show they have been operated). If interlocking is
not free a helpful message is given explaining why the lever or electric lock cannot be operated. When a box is operated as a ground frame, then the mechanical locking, below the operating floor, can be viewed as the levers are operated – this is included for all boxes where the data are available and excludes those currently in operation.
As trains move from track circuit to track circuit, lamps light up on the track diagram, and an image of the train concerned moves over the track diagram on both track-circuited and non-track-circuited lines showing the position of every train continuously. A right-mouse-click (‘ADJUST’) over an occupied track will give a menu permitting the engine to be reversed or the stock uncoupled. Context-sensitive help messages will give additional information about whatever the mouse
pointer is pointing at. Simulation speed can be adjusted at any point and the simulation paused.
Full simulation is implemented of both Kidderminster Station (SVR, circa 1998) and Exeter West (circa 1964 but using a train service based on Summer 1982). Full simulation gives a choice of timetables, but in the ‘free’ version only a limited number of train movements are included. Also provided are Morlais Junction, Radyr Junction (as at 1961 and 1987) and Bewdley North (1956), which may be operated as a ground frame (animated mechanical locking is provided for all three boxes, Radyr Junction 1987 only).
In the full (purchasable) version Rotherwas Junction, as well as the other SVR boxes, may be operated as ground frames and many alternative timetables are provided for Exeter West and Kidderminster Station including gala timetables and over six hours of timetabled trains and shunting. In addition, further boxes may be purchased as data files that will operate under the full version: currently available (or in development) are Acton Yard, Oxford Station North, St Austell and
Resolven East (these complete with animated 5-bar locking); Penwithers
Junction (with mechanical locking, not animated) and Neath & Brecon Junction and St Erth (available with box diagram but not mechanical locking).