These controls have bugged me ever since TSW2020, so I thought I would finally start playing with them to find out what they can do. First off, H/T to Ninetofive925, for finding Bedienungshandbuch Re 485, Zugförderung BLS (Re 485 is the Swiss designation for the TRAXX F140 AC, which DB calls the 185.1. BLS is a Swiss rail-cargo company). http://reslischecklisten.ch/media/files/BR-185-Gesamt-01.pdf Here is what it actually says, followed by my rough 'n ready English translation; I include the original so that German speakers can correct what I got wrong: _________________________________________________ 2.18 Bedienung Seitenfahrschalter Mit den Seitenfahrschaltern in den Führerständen kann die Lok in einem beschränkten Rahmen bedient werden. Es gilt zu beachten, dass über die Seitenfahrschalter nur die Zugkraft +/- beeinflusst werden kann und gewisse Manipulationen der deutschen Zugsicherung möglich sind. Es ist nicht möglich über die Seitenfahrschalter betriebliche Bremsungen vorzunehmen. Im Notfall kann über die Stellung „SOS“ die Hauptleitung entlüftet werden. Bedienung der Seitenfahrschalter • Fahrschalter in Stellung F (erste Rasterstellung) • Seitenfahrschalter in Stellung 0 • Taste [Frei] drücken • Mit Seitenfahrschalter in der tastenden Stellung [↑] Zugkraft aufbauen (0 – 100% = 8s). Eine anstehende Haltebremsung von der AFB wird gelöst. • In der rastenden Stellung [F] bliebt Zugkraft stabil • Mit der tastenden Stellung [↓] kann die Zugkraft reduziert werden (100 – 0% = 4s) Sobald über den Fahrschalter oder über das Führerbremsventil eine Bedienung erfolgt, wird der Seitenfahrschalter abgeschaltet. Wird der linke Seitenfahrschalter freigegeben, wird die direkte Bremse für 10s gelöst. Wird der Seitenfahrschalter nicht mehr benötigt ist er wieder in die Stellung 0 zu verbringen. ________________________________________________ 2.18 Operation of the side drive control With the side drive controls in the driver's cab, the locomotive can be operated to a limited extent. It should be noted that only the traction force [i.e acceleration] +/- can be influenced via the shunting lever and that It is not possible to use the side drive control to apply the brakes. Certain interactions with the German safety system [PzB] are possible. [i.e. the shunting panel has PzB Acknowledge, Release and Override buttons]. In an emergency, the main line can be vented using the "SOS" position. [i.e. blowing the brake pipe, which causes all the air brakes to lock down] Operating the side drive control • Throttle in position F (first notch position) [F for Frei, that is, Off, not Minimum*] • Shunting lever in position 0 [neutral] • Press the [Free] button [the PzB Release, either on the shunting panel, the main dashboard or keyboard End key] • Build up traction with the shunting lever in the "increase traction" position (0 - 100% = 8s). Any holding brake from the AFB is released. [i.e., if AFB is on and set to 0 km/h, this will disable it] • The traction force remains stable in the neutral position. • The traction force can be reduced with the "decrease traction" position (100 - 0% = 4s) As soon as the throttle or the driver's [automatic] brake valve is operated, the side drive switch is switched off. [Important: the direct (independent) brake does NOT switch it off] If the left side control lever is released [set to Neutral], the direct brake is released for 10 seconds. If the shunting lever is no longer required, it must be returned to position 0 [off]. *The confusion in the original thread stemmed from the fact that to Anglophone railroaders, "Notch 1" means the first power position _____________________________________________________ So, what does all this mean for the TSW virtual train driver? Well, there aren't many cases where it is much use, but there are some coupling operations with the 185, especially banking locos on MSB's Spessart Ramp. But if you want to play with it, here are a couple of pointers. This is NOT a "slow speed cruise control" like the C-40 or AC4400 have. You cannot set a speed; left alone, the loco will accelerate indefinitely. What it does provide is fine throttle control for low speeds, as well as controls operable with your head stuck out the window! Instead, treat it as something of a 'bump' control. While holding the lever in the Increase position for 8 seconds will built up 100% traction, which means the loco will take off like a rocket, if you just "blip" it (it's spring-loaded; as soon as you let go it returns to neutral), then you will get minimal traction power and the loco will accelerate at a gradual rate; when you have reached the desired speed "blip" the decrease position and you'll coast. A little known feature of this DTG loco model is an actual "shunting position" from which you can operate the train: get out of the driver's seat, open the window, and as you approach it a prompt (E key) invites you to take the shunting position. You will get the same view as you would by using the arrow keys, but with a major difference: your key maps are now to the shunting controls, not the main dashboard. The A key is "increase traction" and the D key is "decrease traction" (only so long as pressed; releasing the key returns the lever to neutral). Apparently, the right-side controls are used for shunting movement forward, whereas the left-hand controls are used for backing up. Important: if you try it the other way, you'll find the control keymaps are reversed: A gives less power, D more power. At a guess, I would say this is so the driver can see trackside signage in the direction of travel. In any event, the reason only the left-side shunting control can temporarily override the direct brake is because that is apparently a reversing thing, where visibility is very limited; you can have the direct brake set, use the shunt control and know that after 10 seconds of movement the loco will stop again. I speculate that in RL, the driver would be moving in gradual steps while talking with a spotter by radio.