Contents of the CW86SAMP.TXT file
Traffic Control - Crewe 1986
This simulation is set at Crewe, an important junction on the West
Coast main line from London Euston to Glasgow, with major branches
to Chester (for North Wales and Holyhead) and Manchester, and other
routes joining from Stoke (for the East Midlands) and Shrewsbury
(for Mid-Wales). You are in control for a three-hour shift from
14.26 to 17.30 on a busy summer Saturday.
The traffic to be handled is based on the timetables for summer
1985 and 1986, with some additional relief services. As usual at
busy weekends, some delays can be expected. In addition to the late
running of individual trains, there may be patterns of delay on
particular routes due to engineering work and other operational
2 The track layout
Following a major remodelling exercise during the summer of 1985,
the station has four through platforms, numbered P1, P5, P6 and
P11, as well as a number of bay platforms for terminating traffic.
In this simulation the bay platforms are dedicated to particular
routes, as follows:
- P4 Stoke line services
- P7 Shrewsbury line services
- P9 Chester line services
- P10 Liverpool or Chester services
Local trains to and from Altrincham on the Manchester line use
platform 1. For the purposes of this simulation, the remaining
platforms are assumed to be in use for stabling parcels vans. The
screen shows the general layout of the station; some details are
not shown, including the many single and double slips where tracks
cross. It is generally safe to assume that if a route appears to be
possible, it is possible.
Following this remodelling, maximum speed through the station was
raised from 30mph to 80mph; it is therefore important to avoid
delaying non-stop services.
All through platforms are now bidirectional, though in this
simulation the two through lines (UT and DT) are dedicated to up
and down traffic respectively. In addition, it should be noted that
Chester traffic has no access to platforms 5 or 1, that Manchester
traffic has no access to platform 11, and that Shrewsbury traffic
has no access to platform 1.
From the south the main lines, although labelled fast and slow,
tend to be used for London and Birmingham traffic respectively, to
simplify working at the junction further south at Stafford. From
the north there are again fast and slow lines; in this simulation
non-stop trains always approach on the up fast line, and stopping
trains on the up slow line.
When you are notified of its approach, an arriving train may be
signalled to a platform (if stopping) or directly to its onward
route. In some cases more than one route is possible between a
platform and an arrival or departure line. In this case the control
panel will automatically select a route if one is available. The
plan on the screen will give you a reasonably clear idea of which
routes conflict, though the screen mode does not permit every
detail to be shown.
For each stopping train there is a booked platform stop. If the
train is running late, this stop may be shortened; you will be
notified when each train is ready for departure.
3 Traffic workings
Each service is identified by its four-character reporting number,
which is shown on the screen. Also shown is the scheduled arrival
or passing time, and the origin and destination of the train in
abbreviated form (see below for details); you are also told whether
the train is on time, early or late. For your convenience the
reporting number of non-stop services is preceded by an asterisk.
Each arriving train will be indicated up to fifteen minutes before
it is due, and three minutes warning will be given of its arrival
within your area; you must then accept it within those three
minutes by setting up the desired route. One exception to this is
that non-passenger trains may be delayed for up to ten minutes
without penalty. Some allowance is also made for trains which reach
you early or late, when their paths may not be clear.
To set up a route, press the space bar, and then respond to the
prompts by entering the two or three character codes of the start
and end points of the desired route. After the start point is
entered, full details of the train will appear above the track
When a terminating train arrives at Crewe, it will automatically
take up its booked return working.
Some services from London to Holyhead and North Wales change from
electric to diesel power at Crewe, and vice versa in the return
direction; this will happen automatically, and the display will
show when the change-over is complete.
For operational reasons, local services to Liverpool must use the
down slow line.
4 Motive power
You are not responsible for the choice of motive power in this
simulation; an appropriate selection is made automatically. Details
of the motive power for each service are given when it is moved.
All types of main line AC electric locomotives may be seen; diesels
may include classes 33 and 47 on passenger services, and class 58
on freight. Electric multiple units operate the Liverpool and
Altrincham services, and some main line relief services. Most local
services on the Stoke, Shrewsbury and Chester lines are operated by
Sprinters (class 150) based at Derby. Where a service is operated
by more than one locomotive or unit, only the number of the leading
locomotive or unit is shown.
5 Getting started
The program name is CW86SAMP.
The simulation begins at 14.26 (2.26 pm). Local services to
Altrincham, Skegness, Shrewsbury and Llandudno wait in platforms 1,
4, 7 and 9 respectively. Depending on the pattern of delays of
which you were informed by the previous shift, there will be a
number of arrivals shown at the top of the screen.
After each minute of the simulation the screen will be updated, and
a message will appear inviting you to make a move. To do so, press
the space bar, and respond to the prompts for entry point and exit
point. If at any time you decide not to make a move after having
begun this sequence, just press Enter (Return on some computers).
Note that more than one move may be made per minute; the clock will
only be advanced when there is no response to the prompt.
If you want to stop the game before the end (which is at 17.30),
just press Q at the prompt.
6 The screen display
The main screen display shows a much simplified track plan of the
station approaches. A number of loops and connections have been
omitted, as have the freight lines which avoid the station at a
lower level. Vacant sections are shown in yellow, green or low
intensity, and occupied sections in red, high intensity or
flashing. In addition, information is given about the next arrival
on each line. To avoid dependence on any particular graphics
adapter, text mode is used for the display. Regrettably this means
that only a general impression of the track plan can be shown, but
this should be sufficient to make it clear which movements would
conflict with others already in progress.
As a train moves, the screen is updated to show its progress. A
route may be signalled as soon as it is clear; several trains may
be moving at once.
7 Location codes
Main lines north (arrivals UF/US, departures DF/DS)
Fid Fiddler's Ferry power station
Gar Garston Docks
Main lines south (arrivals DF/DS, departures UF/US)
Cws Crewe South carriage sidings
Brs Bristol via SW
Tot Toton Yard
For parcels and freight workings, the short descriptions show the
type of train in place of the originating location, as follows:
- PCL Parcels
- COY Company train
- MGR Merry-go-round
The abbreviation for Crewe is Crw.
At the end of the shift your performance will be assessed and a
rating given. You will be told each time you lose points; among the
reasons are the following:
- Delaying an incoming passenger train (though allowance is made
for early or late arrivals)
- Starting a departure late, except when the incoming stock was
- Delaying a non-passenger service by more than ten minutes (though
allowance is made for late arrivals)
This program is based on an idea by R Pritchard and Dr D Stannard,
who have kindly given their permission for the publication of this
Program and instructions Copyright Structured Information Analysis
Methods Limited, 1987-1991