Welcome to the world of railway signalling! SimSig brings the signal box to your home PC and with it the enjoyment and frustrations of running today's (and some of yesterday's) railways. SimSig is not an arcade game, it is a simulation. Having said that, it can be very enjoyable to play! How often have you waited for a late train, delayed because of a points or signal failure, and wondered why trains can't be routed around the problem - or why it is even a problem in the first place? You'll soon see exactly why - with SimSig!
SimSig is a simulation of a type of signal box used in the UK known as an Integrated Electronic Control Centre or IECC. First-hand railway experience along with the valuable input of others in the industry have helped to make this the most realistic signalling simulation available in the UK today. The ultimate test of this realism came when Railtrack trialled a version of SimSig for the Swindon B IECC. They were very happy with it, not having had a proper simulator for IECCs before which enabled them to assess and train signallers. While the Railtrack version of SimSig now has more features at their request, the underlying core and data are the same. Hence what you see is almost identical to what real signallers are being trained on and what they use every day!
What SimSig attempts to do is to place the user (you) in the signaller's seat and let you control the trains. You will be presented with an environment closely resembling a real signalling control centre, including the screen display and controls. The sim recreates the signalling of the area being simulated as realistically as possible and it is up to you to route the trains to their destination and do your best to keep them on time. This will involve you having to make the same kind of decisions that a real signalman have to make in order to keep the railway running as smoothly as possible.
Sounds easy doesn't it? Well, it is until something goes wrong. SimSig can provide random realistic problems such as late running trains, random delays, signal and point failures. Some sims also have special scenarios such as engineering works or bad weather that make it a real challenge!
And it's not just a single player experience either. Simsig can be run in either a single player mode or multiplayer mode. In single player mode, you control the entire signalling area and all aspects of the simulation. In multiplayer mode, multiple users can help control a particular area. You can also link certain sims together to form a larger signalling network. This can be by using PCs linked on a local network or even with remote PCs over the internet.
Finally, SimSig is provided on a donation basis and, as such, is not regularly maintained. However, updates do happen from time to time and new simulations are released every now and again, so keep an eye on the Forum for news!
Full time work commitments meant that we could not guarantee to maintain the software in a manner provided by commercial, paid-for software. Therefore, what you see is what you get - for free or, if you can, by donation. But you can help. See those adverts dotted around the website? That's what pays for the website hosting. Without those ads or donations, no website, no SimSig. What we do is a hobby which we hope you'll show your appreciation for. Remember - we don't get paid for our time. The adverts just about cover the costs of the website hosting and that's about it. Research visits come out of our own pockets. However, you can now donate - see the Donations link on the main website.
Existing simulations will remain free. However, SimSig reserve the right to charge for future simulations.