A Few Questions About Pzb And Afb On Ice Trains.

Discussion in 'Train Sim World Discussion' started by Easy301, Sep 4, 2022.

  1. Easy301

    Easy301 Active Member

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    Hi everyone,.

    I usually stick to US routes but I've been having a blast playing the ICE services in TSW3 and stepping outside of my usual route bubble, so much so that I picked up every route that includes the ICE trains yesterday.

    I went through the training for AFB and PZB and did my best to do my own research but I have a few questions I hope someone would be kind enough to answer.

    Thanks to anyone whose able to take the time to help me out. I've done my best to search for the answers beforehand but with updates and various TSW versions it's hard to tell what's applicable.

    1. During the PZB training mission the narrator said I was leaving PZB territory and that after acknowledging the PZB release, as I'm approaching a station stop I should just set the AFB to zero and manually control the stop/speed into the station.

    This confused me as I think it might be a bug? Turning the AFB to zero caused my train to not move as it was attempting to maintain zero speed. Turning off AFB fixed this but the tutorial seemed to indicate turning AFB to zero disables it and that's not the case. Is this a bug? In the old ICE trains the disable AFB switch is on the back wall, surely the engineer doesn't turn around and mess with those switches while the train is in motion do they? Should the AFB be disabled when setting it to zero? When leaving PZB territory and approaching a station stop isn't it a better idea to just leave the AFB where it is or the speed I don't want to go over when approaching the station instead of putting it on zero like the tutorial so it doesn't try and stop my train unless I turn it off via the MFD or switch behind me?

    2. How often do the real engineers use both AFB by itself and PZB/AFB, is this something that's used whenever they are available? The tutorial makes mention to time you decide to drive without using AFB but is there ever a time where AFB shouldn't at least be set to my max speed I don't want to go over?

    3. Do the real engineers when using PZB with AFB allow the system to control everything such as slowing for speed restrictions, stopping for red signals, etc while they basically just monitor? Do they pretty much just turn PZB and AFB on in the proper track territory set AFB to max track speed, put the throttle to max and monitor?

    Thank you in advance for reading all my questions and possibly taking the time to help me out, sorry about all the questions the training was nice but it didn't cover much of the theory, useage scenarios, operational conditions, and other points of this system.
     
  2. Hiro Protagonist

    Hiro Protagonist Well-Known Member

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    There is no PZB training. You're referring to LZB. Confusing I know, but two very different things
     
  3. DTG Matt

    DTG Matt Executive Producer Staff Member

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    (1) there was some confusion about how this was going to work when I wrote the tutorial - so its a little confusing here. Just leave AFB handle exactly where it is :)

    (2) AFB and LZB are used together pretty much all the time. The tutorial mentions using one without the other becaues some players lke the challenge, but in reality it's not permitted I think unless there's a system fault.

    (3) Essentially, the driver is simply unable to do what the LZB system can do because it can see so much further ahead, so the driver is there as an organic backup and failsafe incase something isnt right, really, you're still responsible for the train.

    I tried to distil the tutorial down - it's a complexx subject, and drivers would normalyl take weeks to learn and practice it - so while its not got enough for you, i've had feedback from many others saying its a total information overload and they dont get it at all. Very difficult to balance but i'm keenly looking for feedback as i'd like to get more advanced tutorials in the sim.

    Thanks!
    Matt.
     
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  4. JustWentSouth

    JustWentSouth Well-Known Member

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    You are getting in deep! Like you, I started out is the US bubble, but learning the German safety systems drew me in. Using them properly is what makes TSW immersive for me.

    Things are tricky with AFB when you come out of LZB territory. In the ICEs, here are the steps to follow:
    When the Ende warning comes on press PZB release in the cab or End on the keyboard. When you leave LZB control, AFB becomes non-functional. You can just leave it where it is. Or, if you want to reset it, just quickly take it down to zero and back up to track speed and it should be reset.

    If you are collecting German content on TSW - something I highly recommend! - you will want to get the 101 which is in a tie with the 612 as my favorite German loco. Resetting AFB in the 101 is a bit more complicated. When LZB supervision ends, zero the throttle, turn AFB off, put AFB on the max speed setting, and then turn AFB back on again. You can then throttle up.

    As for driving with LZB and AFB on, it is good form to feather the throttle to match what LZB is doing. When the loco is accelerating, this can prevent wheel slip, especially in bad weather. When the loco is braking, having the throttle at or near off can prevent sudden reapplication of too much throttle when LZB allows a speed increase.

    Also, controlling you speed with AFB can make for jerky ride. When the speed limit increases, throttle down before increasing AFB and then re apply power. When the speed limit decreases, throttle off, use the brakes to get down to the desired speed, and then move the AFB speed down to match before reapplying throttle.

    I have no personal experience as an engineer outside of TSW, but I hope this helps and I am sure folks will correct me if I got something wrong! Have fun!
     
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  5. tsw2

    tsw2 Well-Known Member

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    It's not up to the driver to decide when to use PZB / LZB.

    AFB is usually used because it helps save energy and is not so harsh on the parts then a human would be.
    But it's usually down to the company I think. Some make it so that the driver must use AFB, some make it optional, sometimes it's a must to use in certain situations. Sometimes you should always slow down yourself instead having the AFB do it.
     
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  6. Easy301

    Easy301 Active Member

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    Thanks so much for the information, this was incredibly helpful and I feel a lot more informed as to the nuance of the system.

    I completely understand the issue of balancing with a subject like this. Heck, even as someone who enjoys doing things by the book I had to run the tutorial a few times and look at the transcript to make sure I was grasping the basic fundamentals.

    The tutorial is great, conveying information on topics like this that can be quickly understood and engaged with by a wide array of people with varying interest and skill levels all while in the process of still having the user operate the train is exceedingly a hard task.

    I think more advanced tutorials for those who want it would be wonderful. Maybe some separate advanced tutorial scenarios that go deeper into previously covered systems on a route/loco may be a good idea. You'd still have the basic tutorial for all users to get a basic understanding but there would also be advanced for those who want to dive deeper into the subjects. Of course this also requires two times the amount of work on a subject for a development team whose most likely already got their hands full!

    Anyway, I very much appreciate and am grateful for the time spent answering my questions above and giving me a lot more info in regards to these systems.

    Thanks gents.
     
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  7. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to put this into a bit more context. The reason to have AFB always switched on, under LZB supervision, is a safety measure, as it will always protect you from going above the current speed limit. However, everything below the speed limit, you, as the driver, have full control. DB actually encourages its drivers to save as much energy as possible, and drive below speed limits, when the situation allows. On high speed lines, like Köln to Frankfurt, which has the steepest (I believe) gradients for any high speed line, it simply does not make sense to keep full power on, while driving up a hill, just to go into heavy breaking, once you reach the peak and roll down the other side. If we had a working EBuLa (small hint to Matt;)), you would always have full situational awareness about your schedule and how much you are ahead or behind it, you can cut power miles ahead of a station or drive well below the max speed.
     
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  8. DTG Matt

    DTG Matt Executive Producer Staff Member

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    Ebula? What's that then?

    j/k

    runs away

    :-D

    Matt.
     
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  9. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

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    Bei der DB? Niemals! :D

    Cheers
     
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  10. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    Probably true:o But in TSW... nearly always:cool:
     
  11. joerg.lange

    joerg.lange Well-Known Member

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    Matt, if you ever implement Ebula, I'll definitely include you in my top ten list of coolest people on earth (maybe even top five - not yet decided).
     
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  12. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    The problem with this tool is, its so essential if you want to drive trains realistically in Germany, that the question must not be IF you ever implement it, but WHEN do you implement it:D
     
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  13. 2martens

    2martens Active Member

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    An easy solution to an Ebula would be multiple pages of the relevant route data with kilometre info and speed. However, that would not be close to reality. In reality, it updates itself automatically.

    That adds an entire layer of complexity, as you know have to correlate the position of the train on the map with the position inside the tabular data of the Ebula.

    DTG has to tackle two fronts here: collect all the data per route and edit it into a readable format, ready to be consumed for the Ebula. This can be started right now (or has been done already in the background maybe). That way, DTG could retroactively enable Ebula for locos once it is developed and the locos would draw the info from the route just like the new PIS does. The second thing to do is the actual implementation in the code to support Ebula. Until such a time, DTG could provide the readable route info on the forums for interested players to have open on a second screen, for example.
     
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  14. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    Maybe you mean something like this:cool::
    https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/buchfahrplan-tool-for-dresden-–-chemnitz.52161/

    The community has taken care already, at least for one route. We have also tried to do something similar to emulate an EBuLa on that route:
    https://forums.dovetailgames.com/threads/beta-ebula-tool-for-dresden-chemnitz.53414/

    But it does not work so well, due to various reasons.

    I see your point, regarding route information embedded into the routes. DTG has apparently experimented with it, however, it seems more complicated then what we see.
     
  15. 5cip

    5cip Active Member

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    a working Ebula is for me the most important thing i always use them on external screen as pdf or as vEBula ( small tool which slowly updates all german routes avaible in microsoft store)
     
  16. joerg.lange

    joerg.lange Well-Known Member

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    Ebula is essential for german trains, because it also reflects the philosophy that every train driver can be assigned relatively easily and quickly to any route. So its not just a gimmick.
    When I drive Zusi, I always notice that Ebula is even better and more detailed than the HUD in TSW, because it displays more. You only have to recognize the signal aspects yourself. But otherwise it's almost like cheating - compared to TSW.
     
  17. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    DB regs state that braking to conform to PZB reductions must be done manually; relying on AFB alone is a no-no. This is because AFB only controls the dynamic brakes, and for serious deceleration you need air.
     
  18. chirimu

    chirimu New Member

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    Nope, AFB can indeed use indirect brake, it just uses ed-brake first. Else it couldnt be used with longer Trains on strong inclines. (For PZB brakes u are right tho, especially for reds.)

    AFB have to be enabled to increase security. You cant speed (unintended) if you limit yourself with AFB. And I found out at a simulation training in my early driver days that driving without AFB is saving more energy (as you can reach target speed faster as without it). To save energy you have to know the route gardients, accelerate fast to target speed and utilize coasting at good spots.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2022
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  19. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    It could, yes, however, on German 185s they apparently do not. Taken directly out of the manual:
    79E593C5-E444-4319-98D0-9CCA39592AB3.jpeg
     

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  20. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Another piggyback…

    Driving the Wurzburg route yesterday evening with LZB enabled, I got distracted (wife nagging) and ended up overspeeding. Much to my surprise that triggered an emergency brake application down to a stand. My understanding is that LZB simply intervenes to bring you back under the speed limit, or in the case of an adverse signal should bring your speed down following the predicted curve. I did not have AFB on at the time.
     
  21. joerg.lange

    joerg.lange Well-Known Member

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    It is not allowed to give unauthorized persons access to the driver's cab. Not even family members.
     
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  22. 2martens

    2martens Active Member

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    Well, LZB itself does not operate the brakes. It alerts you of the braking curve but if you do not apply brakes then it must assume that you are not able to react and the train is stopped as a safety measure.
     
  23. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    According to ril483.0202 you are correct. It should only brake you below allowed speed:
    F5515EDF-B3E3-4582-B60C-402C85987D84.jpeg
     
  24. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    I am really interested to learn more about this. Do you have a reference to this? It seems to be very confusing to me. In post #19 I have referenced the Bombardier Manuel for the Traxx. Interestingly in the DB 185 manual (same version), it has no such statement that AFB is using no air. In fact, it references the fact that AFB will commence 0,5m/s2 deceleration in case brake selector is in P/R and 0,3 if in G, which, for me, means they are using air…
     
  25. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Interesting then as that directly contradicts the post above.
     
  26. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    My experience with trains is: everything is possible… If you ask two train drivers the same question, it’s very common to get 2 to 3 different answers. The ril is based upon the PZB80, which is by far the most common one. However, other equipment may have other functionalities.

    Having said that, I do not believe what was said in post #22 is true, as it is not the LZBs job to judge if the driver is still present or not. That is what the Sifa is for… at least I have never heard this connection before.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2022
  27. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    That doesn't necessarily follow. Rather, LZB may be programmed to brake harder or more gradually depending on what the consist comprises, and brake mode essentially encapsulates that in an electronic state the LZB computer can read.
     
  28. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    I know, I was specifically talking about the AFB, nothing to do with LZB. LZB will take your BrH plus your brake setting into account, however, its only fed through the data you put in. It does not check that your brake setting is actually what you have put in. AFB apparently does, and it only makes sense if it is taking the air brake into account.

    Hence I was wondering whether you have any reference you could point me to, that they are, in fact, not using air for the AFB, as I have only contradicting information's. During the DCZ cargo train thread on this forum, this question came up as well, I went and asked a 185 driver and he told me that air is used. But then, as stated above, 2 people, two different answers...
     
  29. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

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    I have no direct RW knowledge at all; I'm simply on the thin ice of relating the game simulation- which I have never seen putting an erg of pressure into the brake cylinder under AFB. OTOH, on many occasions on steep grades (say, coming down the Spessart Rampe), I have seen it completely max out the dynamic brakes, still be accelerating, but not add any air at all.
     
  30. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    Other locos definitely do it. 101 for example, also in TSW. It’s something with the 185 that it seems restricted, somehow. And then, obviously not on all versions.
     
  31. 2martens

    2martens Active Member

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    Thanks for the info. I stand corrected.
     
  32. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    Just wanted to give a final conclusion on the question whether air is used or not on the 185 AFB, for all that are interested.

    I have finally confirmation from someone who knows, that the AFB of the 185 is, indeed, also using the pneumatic brake. Therefore, it is a bug on the TSW 185, right from the beginning.
     
  33. JustWentSouth

    JustWentSouth Well-Known Member

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    Thank you! I assume it is still better form to use the brake directly to slow down for a speed change and then adjust AFB once the target speed is reached.
     
  34. OpenMinded

    OpenMinded Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely correct. You use it to maintain speed, under PZB you should not use it to reduce your speed.
     
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