# Idea: Signal visibility mechanic

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• #3612
Tossi
Participant

So the idea is about signals having parameter saying from how far the signal is visible. So what would it do to the game? How would it affect the trains? Consider following example:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=305922533

Now what happens is this:

1. Train travels along this track
2. It reaches point B and has to start breaking because it doesn’t yet know what is displayed at the signal
3. Then it reaches point A and can now start accelerating again because he sees the signal is green

With such a mechanic we can introduce presignals into the game and they would make sense and have a purpose:

In diagram above train traveling along the track reaches visibility of presignal and no longer has to start breaking at point B because presignal told him the signal ahead is green.

With all that we can introduce wagons and locos with different breaking power and also break vans that were used in earlier railroad days and all that would have a meaning in the game. The semaphore and searchlight signals could have different visibility ranges. We could also introduce 3, 4 and 5-aspect signals into the game.

In the current state of game the distance between signals only affects the distance between trains and to make the line as efficient as possible user is tempted to place signals as close as physically possible to reduce the distance between trains. This will produce ugly and unrealistic forests of signals along the tracks. With signal visibility mechanic such dense placement would cause the train to travel with a speed far below his maximum speed as it would only be aware of the closest signal ahead and would have to be able to stop at a very short distance. To increase the speed of his trains user would have to place signals far enough so train can travel with maximum speed.

All that would indroduce realistic and interesting mechanic that users would have to play around like the real engineers designing railroads have to, to make their lines as efficient as possible.

Oh, and for those who don’t know what aspects are below is an explanation:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=305940315

#3653
Steve
Participant

Well railway signal visibility in the UK is required to be over 2 miles by law – in that a driver must be able to distinguish the aspect of the signal from that distance. As defined by the RSSB, Regulation GE/RT8037. Particularly on high speed sections where the limit of speed means a train is travelling a mile every 30 seconds.

Braking Distances are variable based on train weight vs speed vs grade however the legal requirement for braking from 125 to 0 in the UK is 2050m on a level grade and 3500m on a falling grade of 1:100. See RSSB Regulation GK/RT0075.

Should you introduce this requirement then you would need to position signals at appropriate distances apart and you’d need some way to measure it. In the UK particularly on high speed sections, they’re placed at intervals of 2km unless the grade of the line and the inclusion of diverging routes require an extended or decreased area of protection particularly for heavier trains. You would also need some means to measure the grade of the track so that you can adjust for placement of related signals.

By pre-signal I assume you mean a Distant and/or Outer-Distant? Also referred to as repeaters or related signals.

The system you say is simple in the UK is actually infinitely more complex than you think it is. Particularly when it comes to signal control types as well as signals with route indicators and limited aspect displays as well as approach control and interlocking. Throw on top of that ERTMS and TVM430, ATP, TPWS, AWS and RETB and it gets even more complicated.

• This reply was modified 9 years, 8 months ago by Steve.
• This reply was modified 9 years, 8 months ago by Steve.
#3656
Steve
Participant

Also, please could you explain the 5 aspect signal because that’s a new one on me.

#3657
Tossi
Participant

Theoretically you can make up as many aspects as you want and they don’t have to look like they do in the UK. And yes by presignals I meant  distant signals. Also I know that there are many rules about signals in the real railways but those would just make thing too complicated for a game I think. We could do with a simple logic that with years going new signals would be introduced that would warn trains about signals further away.

I know of two cases where there was fifth aspect made up to use experimentally on a line. One was long long time ago before WW2. The aspect was “yellow over green” and it was put between “green” and “double yellow” aspects. The other case was when some high speed trains were tested in 1988 and a “flashing green” was added which was even less restricting than “green” and allowed the driver to exceed 125 mph.

#3658
Steve
Participant

Ah I see what you mean, might be interesting to see multiple aspect systems. Yeah I know about the flashing green, is still in use north of Peterborough.

Well as I mentioned in my other threads, I will be looking very closely at signals upon release and making my own set, based on UK regulations. One thing I’ve yet to see in videos is signals actually showing an aspect at all. Have you seen anything yet?

#3660
Tossi
Participant

As far as I know the signals aren’t animated yet. Some person said that on video.

#3661
Steve
Participant

Ah ok, hopefully they’ll have that fixed in just over a week’s time.

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