Train Operations

Overview

In order to make profit you must run trains to transport passengers and freight. To do that you must create timetables. Operations are controlled with three elements. First you must define routes that consist of start and end stations and the lines connecting these stations. Each route has one template that defines some common characteristics of a set of services, such as service types and the stock used to operate them. The final elements are the actual services, associated with a template (and therefore with a route). Services inherit the common properties from the template, but also include some individual settings, such as starting time and ticket price etc.

 
 

Creating a Route

You may create up to 30 routes.

First you must choose a route you wish to operate from the network map. A route is created from legs, a leg being the connection between any two stations. A route must consist of between one and eight legs and must start and end at a depot (a white station). Each leg must start from the same station the previous leg ended at, but it is not necessary to end the route at the same station you started from.

To create a route you must go to the create route page. On this page you will find a copy of the network map. Start defining the route by clicking on the station names on the map, in the order they make up the route of your choice. The station names appear in a list on the right once you click them. Finally click Finish route, and you will be allowed to set properties for the related template.

If the route is invalid, the Finish route link will not be available. Remove last station deletes the last station on the list. At the bottom of the page is given the suitable traction types and smallest structure gauge for the route. These are helpful for determining what kind of stock is allowed to run on the route. In addition you'll see the contracts that are included in the route you've defined.

Defining a Template

After you've defined your new route and clicked the Finish route link, you will be able to define the template properties. It's also possible to modify the properties later on. You can create one template per route.

You will then be presented with 4 data-entry boxes; each box shows the names of the stock you have purchased. Note: this list is of all the names of stock you have purchased whether available for or allowable on the route you are creating the template for. Some warnings of incompatibility may be given as you progress but not all, so be careful!

On the right is a list of the stations that make up your route and choices for service types for each leg. At the bottom of the list is a box for setting the slack in the timetable. Slack is the number of minutes added to the default optimal timetable and it is divided evenly across the legs. Note: in practice you will need a couple of minutes of slack for all your templates to avoid services being late! The required amount may vary depending on the time of year.

Selecting Stock

The first step is to select the primary stock you wish to run your service in box 1. For MUs this will be the type you wish to normally run the service. For locos this will be the normal train loco.

For MUs boxes 2-4 are optional, to select secondary or back-up units of a different type to the primary unit. For locos you must also select a wagon type in a subsequent box. You may select up to 2 other locos as back-up in boxes 2 and 3 or select up to three different wagons, primary and back-up, in boxes 2 to 4. Within any template all stock must be from the same coupling group.

Notice that this configuration allows 1-4 different MU types for a template (all of which could be coupled to the same train when actually running), or for loco-hauled trains, 1-3 alternative mutually exclusive loco types (double heading is not permitted) and 1-3 different wagon types. Like MUs, a loco-hauled train may actually pull wagons of three different types, as long as they all carry the same cargo.

Service Types and Timing

After selecting the stock, set the service type for each leg of the journey and the total slack.

To see the resulting run times of each leg, and the total duration of the journey, press the Calculate timetable button, and the values will appear. Slack affects the times directly by adding the number of minutes to the result. The effect of service type depends on the route and stock characteristics. Stopping services usually have longer travel times, because the trains have to stop more often. On the other hand, some lines do not have intermediate stops at all, so timing is identical to expresses (which do not stop at intermediate stations), or to semifasts (some stops are made). Obviously the train/line maximum speed and acceleration have an impact. Note: the timings will always be based on the slowest train selected for the template no matter whether it is the primary or back-up train.

Once finished, press Create template to save the template.

 

Managing Services

The stations included in a route are displayed to the right of each route. The station names are truncated to save space.

All service info is displayed on the Service Management page, and all the service manipulation is also done from there.

You can have a maximum of 500 services consisting of a maximum of 700 legs across all templates. Your current number of services and legs are shown at the top of the page. The numbers allowed are limited for technical reasons (not e.g. for gameplay reasons). This is why you should plan your operations efficiently.

To view the services associated to a template, click its name. This will expand the template information. To expand all templates, click the Show all link at the top of the page. Each template has a largish textbox that contains the services. Each service is a row of text in the textbox and has a corresponding row of feedback to the both sides of the textbox.

The template information is shown on a horizontal bar at the top of the template box. The information includes the journey time from the starting station to each station along with the service type on each leg. You can edit the template through the Edit link. If you save any changes to the template settings, they will immediately affect the services associated with the edited template. There is more information at the bottom of the template box: the stock used and required, and the contracts served with this template.

Service Feedback

Beside the service lines is the feedback data from the last day’s runs. Profit is that made on the previous day and +chg is the change in profit from the last time the service properties were amended. Between the timetable times is a column of figures which tell you the loadings of the service as a percentage with the last nil-digit removed. I.e. 1 = 10%, 4 = 40% etc. Loadings over 10 (100%) are emboldened to highlight overloading.

Stock Requirements

The stock and staff requirements for the template are displayed under the service box. Note: this is the total requirement for the single template. If you time the stock to be used on more than one template, it may appear that you will need more stock than is actually necessary overall the templates. If you are a beginner, it is recommended to create only templates that end at the same station they start from. The requirements shown here may actually be wrong!

Managing Services

Services are managed from the Service Management screen by first expanding the template and then making the changes in the template services textbox. Using the Link display with selector you can arrange for another template to be linked for opening at the same time as your chosen template. In fact you can arrange for a chain of links to be made to display specific templates in any order you specify. There is also a Show all link at the top of the page which will expand all the templates.

To modify e.g. a service fare, simply remove the old value and type in the new value, and press Apply changes. You may want to make all changes at one time and only apply them once, as this will be easier and faster.

The actual commands and syntax for amending, creating and removing services are not discussed here. You can access a separate Quick help page from the top of the service management page.