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July 16th
Signals and Speed Limits

There has been much conjecture lately from many quarters regarding signals and speed limits in Trainz. The scripting community have been requesting more control over AI trains and player trains, Trainz users have been wanting more prototypical operation from signals, and some in the 3rd party group have wanted the ability to combine the two!

I'm happy to say that once again Auran have listened, qualified, and implemented the tools to enable many of these things.

Before I get into the nitty-gritty (detail!) let me set the scene ...

[imagination on]
You're driving along a stretch of track that is speed-boarded at 80km/h with you local goods train and Train Control radio to tell you that 4km ahead you are to be placed into a crossing loop to let an express passenger consist behind you run through.
Ok, no problems with that, as you were half expecting that anyway as you are running late and starting to hold-up traffic! You see a yellow over green ahead; that confirms Train Control's instructions - slow to Approach Speed. You know that on this section of track this means the speed limit drops to 50km/h and to confirm it, as you pass the signal, the speed limit on your HUD changes to 50km/h. Your Operations Book tells you that this will mean you are heading to a diverging line ahead so you throttle back further, and as you come around the next bend your see your next signal - a red over yellow. Ok, the rule book says that this means no more than 30km/h as you pass the signal as you are being routed onto a diverging line. Sure enough, as you pass the signal at 28km/h, your HUD confirms that your speed limit is now 30km/h. You exit the mainline and with a reassuring clicketty-clack you are onto the crossing loop track staring down a double RED signal at the far end. Throttle to neutral, release some air and you come to a stop right before the RED signal. Train Control detects that you have entered the loop so they throw the switch behind you for the mainline again; you are now locked away! In the distance you can hear the passenger consist coming up the hill and it goes past you at 85km/h - just a tad over the speed limit for the mainline, but hey, who would notice out here!! After a while, Train Control let you out of the loop, you get a RED over YELLOW and away you go again, back onto the mainline!
[imagination off]

Ok, back to the computer screen now ....

A much requested feature in TRS2004 is SetSpeedLimit(). Many people have had their own version of it, but the request is essentially the same. SetSpeedLimit() is able to be applied to any trackside object (ie a signal) and may be manipulated via Trainzscript.

Scenario creators - you now have the ability to reset Speed Limits via any trackside object.

3rd party content creators: Through the ability to attach scripts to objects, you now have the ability to have signals control speed limits depending on their aspects.

Trainz users: Under the new rules system in TRS (more on this in tomorrow's post!), it will be possible to apply a "diverging Signal Rule" across your entire layout. The script for this will need to be written by someone, but once it's written, it can operate over your entire layout in a normal Driver Session.

I'm sure there will be a lot of interest in the facility and it's implementation but the bottom line is this will enable prototypical, intelligent operation of signals over scripted, AI, or Driver Trains.

Thanks to the Trainz team for listening as this request has been a hot item!

Greg (Shutter)





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