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Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

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Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

Unread postby Peter Jordan » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:40 am

I think that the difficulties we have experienced in helping Ingram signal his layout have highlighted some shortcomings in the system and that, maybe, it would be best to adopt some standard format for dealing with queries of this type.

My suggestion is (and the DI would have to confirm the practicality of this, both from the point of view of software capability coupled with his own time restraints) that somewhere there is a 'form' that modellers can complete and submit to the forum. The form would have a section where the modeller could place their layout plan, and it would be made clear that the plan should show not only track layout but also proposed position of all relevant structures (platforms, overbridges, sheds, signal boxes etc.) Detail would also need to be provided of the owning company being represented, the period being modelled datewise and, if appropriate, whether semaphore or colour-light signalling is required.

What do folk think of that idea? Are there any important points of informatiom I have left out?

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Re: Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

Unread postby kbarber » Wed Mar 16, 2011 10:28 am

Peter Jordan wrote:I think that the difficulties we have experienced in helping Ingram signal his layout have highlighted some shortcomings in the system and that, maybe, it would be best to adopt some standard format for dealing with queries of this type.

My suggestion is (and the DI would have to confirm the practicality of this, both from the point of view of software capability coupled with his own time restraints) that somewhere there is a 'form' that modellers can complete and submit to the forum. The form would have a section where the modeller could place their layout plan, and it would be made clear that the plan should show not only track layout but also proposed position of all relevant structures (platforms, overbridges, sheds, signal boxes etc.) Detail would also need to be provided of the owning company being represented, the period being modelled datewise and, if appropriate, whether semaphore or colour-light signalling is required.

What do folk think of that idea? Are there any important points of informatiom I have left out?

Peter Jordan

Supposed traffic patterns might also be important. If a layout were simply "based on Little Snoring" there would be no problem - there would be people here who could quickly recommend a suitable installation from their knowledge of suitable prototypes. But if it turns out that Little Snoring has moved a few miles up the coast and become a major holiday resort - and acquired a coal mine or two in the process - but the penny-pinching management has left it with (more or less) the original track layout, just adding sufficient signals to make the traffic workable, our relevant experts might have rather a lot more to chew over.

Of course there might be a substantial supposed history, with the track layout showing signs of several phases of development (or at least capable of being modelled in that way). Oh what fun we could have then, working out what of the earlier installations might have been retained and how it would have influenced the placement of newer facilities. (But I suspect anyone creating such a history would most likely be capable of working out their own signalling - including authentically placed signals in advance of fouling points!!! - without our help.)
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Re: Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

Unread postby edwin_m » Wed Mar 16, 2011 11:48 am

I don't think a form is necessary - posting a trackplan is hard enough for some without asking for it to be inserted in some thing else. However a sticky topic with some sort of checklist would be a good idea.

I suggest people would need to know the "purpose" of each piece of track where not obvious from the plan - for example whether a particular loop is used for recessing passenger-carrying trains.
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Re: Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

Unread postby John Hinson » Wed Mar 16, 2011 12:53 pm

edwin_m wrote:I don't think a form is necessary - posting a trackplan is hard enough for some without asking for it to be inserted in some thing else. However a sticky topic with some sort of checklist would be a good idea.

Agreed. I will try to put something together when I can.

We should not assume everything from a single enquiry, though.

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Re: Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

Unread postby Signalhunter » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:28 pm

Of course, one of the difficulties in giving the right answer is, that by the very nature of them needing to ask for help, they don't always know the right qustions to ask. :?
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Re: Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

Unread postby edwin_m » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:15 pm

Indeed there will normally be some dialogue involved, but I don't think there's any harm in asking the original poster to think a bit about what they want rather than one of the responders having to ask moreorless the same question to every enquiry. Otherwise the responders might feel more like transponders!
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Re: Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

Unread postby Keith » Thu Mar 17, 2011 12:01 am

kbarber wrote:(But I suspect anyone creating such a history would most likely be capable of working out their own signalling - including authentically placed signals in advance of fouling points!!! - without our help.)
I'm not so sure of that - Ingram gave us a very good history, but needed help with the signals. I think the fact of thinking about the history can lead to the desire to make the signalling accurate, as well as vice versa.
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Re: Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

Unread postby Chris Osment » Thu Mar 17, 2011 9:25 am

Even when modelling an actual prototype there can be problems. For example, a modeller may well need to compress the layout a bit by omitting certain features, but then will not understand how the signalling may need to be altered to suit the revised layout.
Also there is the problem of reference books which include track plans and signal diagrams which do not match, because they reflect different stages in the development of the prototype, but this fact is not always obvious to the casual reader.
By coincidence, in the last 3 months I have had two separate (but almost identical) conversations with different people trying to model the same prototype. They had both been caught out by the fact that the book to which they were referring had an incorrect date on a track plan, with the result that they could not match it with the information provided about the signalling.
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Re: Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

Unread postby John Hinson » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:09 am

signalman wrote:Agreed. I will try to put something together when I can.

Now done.

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Re: Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

Unread postby Peter Jordan » Sat Mar 19, 2011 7:52 am

Well done, Mr DI, Sir! That looks as though it will be most useful.

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Re: Ground rules for help with signalling a layout?

Unread postby Keith » Sat Mar 19, 2011 8:26 am

Peter Jordan wrote:Well done, Mr DI, Sir! That looks as though it will be most useful.
Hear, hear!
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