1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Thoughts About Switching And Switches

Discussion in 'PC Discussion' started by LastTrainToClarksville, Jul 26, 2021.

Tags:
  1. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    1,703
    During the past couple of days, I've taken on various switching duties at Oakville Subdivision and Peninsula Corridor, which have had me scratching my head over the handling of switches; so here are a few thoughts:

    1. To refresh my memory, I started with some tutorials, several of which clearly stated that switches were to be hand-thrown: i.e., get out of that cab and walk! So I did that -- since I enjoy it anyway, but quickly found (again) that sometimes I had to switch to the 2D map to make sure whitch-es switch-es had to be changed.

    2. Then I proceeded to the sessions or scenarios, none of which told me to leave the cab and throw those levers, although one instruction did note that switches might have to be checked. In numerous cases, getting from here to there required one or more switch changes but there was never a reminder that this had to be done.

    3. Why do tutorials and activities present conflicting instructions? In a given yard, switches are either remotely or directly handled (since TSW doesn't hire ground crew members), but this task is not presented consistently.

    Conclusions:
    a. If passengers can be made to walk around and to enter or exit coaches, why can't brakemen* be made to move to a switch, the switch changed, etc.? Would such "behavior" be possible in TSW?

    b. If a is not possible, how about at least providing consistency: all switches to be set by the engineer or thrown automatically via programming; perhaps with an accompanying instruction such as, "Wait while your brakeman changes the necessary switches"?

    (If you don't care about or understand these thoughts, please just depart quietly; if you do, on the other hand, please feel free to leave a note. Thanks.)

    * While I realize that this term may offend some folks, I refuse to change it to whatever those folks might find acceptable.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
    • Like Like x 5
  2. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2020
    Messages:
    4,585
    Likes Received:
    6,555
    IRL, some switches are operated remotely by central traffic control, but others (mostly in yards) are still hand-set. Both are needed to reflect the real world.

    (I just use the flying camera and tell myself it's the brakeman or a yardbird, same as spotting the front end of a cut of cars)
     
    • Like Like x 5
  3. Michael Newbury

    Michael Newbury Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2016
    Messages:
    3,139
    Likes Received:
    2,756
    Switching switches in yards, so in a yard switches are generally done by the conductor on the ground, or in some cases they will have yard crew member with them to change the switches.

    Switches that are mostly done by RTC would be any switches that come off the mainline into the yards. I myself do not mind having to change switches find it fun to do.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  4. Crosstie

    Crosstie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2016
    Messages:
    1,562
    Likes Received:
    2,767
    I always use the "8" exterior camera and mouse, or the 2d map if there are multiple switches. On very long freight trains, it can really slow you down to throw switches manually. I do the same thing to couple/uncouple cars. Anyway that's the way MP always does it on stream, so there! :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2021
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Rudolf

    Rudolf Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2016
    Messages:
    1,470
    Likes Received:
    1,888
    I have the impression that sometimes for scenarios use of the 2D map is blocked. In general, you can use one out of three methods:

    - Leave the can and walk to the switch
    - Use camera 8 to throw the switch
    - Throw the switch at the 2D map

    The last one is in general to most easy because it shows clearly the set direction of the switch.

    I was thinking that for multiplayer it might be an idea to have a separate role to handle switches, couplings and track monitoring. In large yards there also might be trucks for crew transportation. Maybe a first nice step would be to be able to tell the second man to do these tasks.
     
  6. junior hornet

    junior hornet Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2018
    Messages:
    720
    Likes Received:
    1,108
    I really hate switches. I can’t get the hang of them at all. It really puts me off freight. Surely the driver wouldn’t flip the switches in real life. I’ve been having real problems with the aggregate industries scenario in GWE, even when trying to follow a Youtube video. It’s no fun at all. You don’t need multiplayer. It could just be done automatically by an off screen signalman.

    Conversely, I’ve just got Hamburg-Lubeck in the sale though and there is a scenario where you are shunting carriages round a yard and all the points seem to be automatically set. This was a much more enjoyable experience.
     
  7. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2020
    Messages:
    4,585
    Likes Received:
    6,555
    Sometimes actually he does; more usually it's done by the conductor(US)/secondman(UK), or by a brakeman (especially in reversing moves), or by a yard worker.

    I believe, though I may be wrong, that most German switchyards have central remote control, but there are some (notably on RSN) that still have some manual switches.

    (As an aside- I'm not sure what the situation was in 2016, but today Cumberland Yard (SPG) is all remote).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    1,311
    Interesting discussion here, I only found out the other day I could use the 3 camera and be able to interact with the world. I don't seem to be able to do it with the 8 camera. That doesn't seem to interact with things. Off to do some more experimentation...
     
  9. Callum B.

    Callum B. Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2018
    Messages:
    937
    Likes Received:
    1,630
    The 8 camera can be used to interact with the world as well. You just need to be close enough to the thing you're trying to interact with (which may be deceptive with a fast, free-moving camera).

    Cheers
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Helpful Helpful x 1
  10. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    1,703
    If -- and this is a very big if -- the editor that DTG creators use to make activities is similar to the TS editor, pre-setting switches either at the start or as the action progresses is the prerogative of the activity's maker. In almost every switching activity on almost every route, some switches are correctly preset and others are not and it's this inconsistency that bothers me more than anything else in these activities. For the most part, switches are correctly preset correctly or changed as the action proceeds and cannot be manipulated by the engineer/driver/player. This is also true on some British routes, in my experience.

    Although I've never worked for a railroad, I can imagine that there are some cases in which an engineer would be responsible for operating switches. Examples that come to mind involve early morning or late night shunting on the Tees Valley line. While driving these, I always make an effort to leave the cab and change switches "manually".

    As I noted in my OP, what irritates me are instances in which some switches that need to be changed are left to the driver while others just change via programming. Another inconsistency involves tutorials in which the driver/engineer is told that all switches in the yard being worked are hand thrown, but in scenarios and sessions this is not true. I can easily imagine that this occurs because one creative team handles tutorials while another makes activities and no one ever examines the products before the route is released. This is one of those famous situations "up with which we should never put".
     
  11. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    1,311
    Working on trains LastTrainToClarksville my experience is that a driver would not ever get out of the cab to attend to the points, that is the second person's job - however if it was driver only operation then they're not going to have a choice. I'm usually that 2nd person that gets kicked out of the cab to go and change the points :).

    Paul
     
    • Like Like x 5
  12. LastTrainToClarksville

    LastTrainToClarksville Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2017
    Messages:
    1,932
    Likes Received:
    1,703
    Thanks for both parts of this information, paul.pavliovich! Of course, in most TSW shunting activities the second seat is empty -- no kicking necessary.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. solicitr

    solicitr Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2020
    Messages:
    4,585
    Likes Received:
    6,555
    Two things which DTG sometimes get wrong:

    1) Many manual switches are spring switches, which reset themselves to their default position after the train passes.
    2) Whenever cars are stored on a siding, the switches should be turned away from the siding back to the main line or balloon spine. This is an Inviolable Rule on most US RR.
     
    • Helpful Helpful x 1
  14. paul.pavlinovich

    paul.pavlinovich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2020
    Messages:
    1,136
    Likes Received:
    1,311
    On pretty much any railway. You'd never leave the line set up to run into the siding unless you're in the process of shunting and will be keeping the main blocked.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Helpful Helpful x 1

Share This Page