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Hi again, sorry for the questions but I have another point of confusion. I was running the Empty terminus down siding 30 and stopped at signals that I believed were against me. But after waiting there until after the predicted end of the scenario, without any change, I'm now in doubt. Is this signal telling me to stop? BTW I did overrun this signal initially - stopped before the points - and then reversed back, not sure if that caused an issue...

My score did include 1 signal passed at danger but that may have been the next one that I didn't see until too late  :-/

The signal in your picture is cleared for the rightmost depot track, hence the semaphore arm on the right is pointing upwards. I'm preparing more instructions for the next update so the signals will be easier to understand. In addition there will be a new helper that displays the signal as green or red blob in the route minimap depending on whether you can pass it or not.

In the meantime you can always access the helpers while running the sim by pressing ESC and going to the driving settings screen. If you temporarily enable the key helper, you'll get an idea of whether you should just accelerate past the signal or stay put.

The sim should be able to handle without problem the case where you overrun a signal and then reverse back.

I hope this clears things up!

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Thanks for the reply. I'd like to say it does but after running the scenario some more times, both driving and watching (have I mentioned how useful that is?), I must still be missing something obvious. Each time I come down the line the AWS horn sounds, the distant signal is at caution,  and the stop signal is at danger. So I stop. But if I enable Show target speed while I'm sat there it shows 34mph... and if I'm watching the AI driver they reduce speed to ~34mph and sail right through. So my question this time is: how can one tell when one can pass a signal at danger? Is it something to do with it being a junction signal (assuming it is one)?

BTW would you prefer I post any future questions in the trainsim.com Diesel Railcar Simulator thread? My questions seem mainly academic rather than DRS specific and others there can probably correct any further misunderstandings I have.

P.S. I've just bought the game - the copy I got was won from RPS - after all the game's great and I've been bugging you with my questions :-)

Thanks for the purchase! Regarding the trainsim.com thread, feel free to post at either place. You'll probably get faster replies over there, but your posts here are useful for those who are not familiar with that thread.

Thinking more closely about your question, I think someone else asked the same thing at the trainsim.com thread, and it was even the same signal! Here's the first page of that discussion on the thread. What isn't mentioned is the approach control: you get a caution from the distant and the actual signal remains at danger until the signalman is satisfied that you're not going to exceed the 25mph limit for the turnouts of the diverging route.

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Ok I'll keep posting here since I don't have an account on trainsim.com. I think I understand now where my confusion is coming from. I was taking the 4 semaphore gantry in the picture above to mean only a train on the 4th (rightmost) track had the clear signal and that my train, being on the third from left, had a danger signal.

But I wasn't taking into consideration that signal poles (always?) appear to the left of the track they are relevant to. Given that, I now believe that the signal in the picture is telling me that the route I'm on is diverging to the right (the 4th track) and, given the height of the 3rd and 4th semaphores are identical, the speed limit is the same as my current one.

Which leads me to another question (sorry!). The picture below shows what I'm calling, until told otherwise, a pair of merging signals. They seem backwards... why do the semaphores not correspond to the tracks? I.e. the leftmost semaphore is mounted on the taller pole which indicates it's the faster line... but the faster line is to the right of the train.

The number of semaphores relates to the number of options you can be routed to from that signal onwards. In this case the tallest means the route "straight" along the leftmost track of the set of four main line tracks. The smaller semaphore indicates that you are clear to proceed and will be routed to the next "option" to right, which is the third main line track from the left. The "options" are the same for the signal on the right, i.e. when coming down that track. The reason why there are only two semaphores instead of four is that half of the main line tracks are designed to be run in the opposite direction, thus you won't ever be routed to them from this signal and therefore no semaphore is required for them.

This is actually trickier to explain than I thought!

I feel your pain :-)

I was really overthinking things in my confusion. What seems to be working for me is: scan the semaphores that apply to my track and if none of them are clear then stop. If one of them is clear then continue at the speed limit knowing (from the semaphore placement) which track I'm going to end up on. Simple!

I also learnt I didn't have the correct goal in mind when I was previously running routes and this was affecting my scores. It seems silly in hindsight (given I catch trains every day) but I was trying to get 'my' graph line (the red one on the end-of-run graph) as close to possible with the grey line (I can't remember the name of it currently) but in doing so I was running consistently early because I was trying to get as close to the speed limit as possible. So I decided to back right off and just try to hit the timetable times... and my score doubled!

Now I'm wrestling with the handling differences between the smaller single and 4 car trains and the 12 car ones. The acceleration and braking is so noticeably different with 12 cars: the brake air-bleed duration really draws out starting and stopping.

Loving this game, you've done a bang-up job with the whole feel: sounds, movement, palette, controls. Really impressive, and I'm really looking forward to future patches of this simulation and to experiencing the future simulations that build upon it.

Yes, that's probably the best way to read the signals. You can't know which route each semaphore refers to until you're familiar with the track layout.

Thanks for the compliments! You might be interested in first-hand accounts of operating these type of trains. The stories on that page are the inspiration for the sim.

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Thanks for sharing! Enjoyed reading that and seeing some of the locos featured here talked about. It explains why the engine on the 127 drops to idle for a while at 44mph, which was puzzling me, as it's changing from the torque converter to direct drive. Nice!

Also, I was growing up in the UK at that time so it's always interesting to get perspectives on what was going on.

One small thing I've noticed (and it is small and may already be taken care of in the next patch): ESC from the game opens the menu but to return to the game one has to use the mouse. Do you think it might flow better to also allow resuming the game with ESC?

Yes why not! It's not difficult to do so I'll include it in the next update.