Hours of operation: 04.58 - 00.30. 1025 trains in timetable; number operating varies by day
The simulation is now compatible with ARS versions of Piccadilly (V2.2 onwards), but MUST be run with ARS disabled. It will not work with ARS enabled. You are also strongly recommended to turn ACI off. This then matches the real London Road PSB as in use in 1969.
This timetable MUST be run in 1990 mode. PLEASE - read the guidance in the "General" tab of the timetable before use!
This simulation covers the area covered by the former London Road PSB, replaced by Manchester Piccadilly PSB in 1989. Traffic therefore involves only the southern part of the SimSig Area, plus – purely for convenience - the link to Ordsall Lane, used by just 5 trains per day in July 1977. Traffic on the Liverpool-Manchester main line via Chat Moss is not included in the timetable. The Windsor Link is a mere planner’s dream and the lines from Manchester Victoria considerably more complex and busier than shown in SimSig.
The timetable reflects a very different era with much less long-distance traffic around Piccadilly, but an intense local service. On most routes more rush-hour local trains (and longer ones) ran in 1977 than do at the time of writing in late 2019. Both Altrincham and Buxton lines feature especially intense services at intervals of 5 minutes or less in rush hour. All main line passenger trains were loco-hauled by AC electrics with complex associated light engine movements.
On the Eastern Lines, there is a regular interval service on all routes, with the Hadfield line still operated by LNER designed EMUs at 1500 volts DC. Hadfield EMUs can NOT be routed off the Eastern Lines and must only use platforms 1-4. Equally, no AC EMUs may use those platforms. There was nothing to stop the PSB operators making an error in real life, save for the prospect of a loud bang and a very uncomfortable subsequent interview.
Freight features too. There is container traffic to and from Trafford Park, plus to Longsight Freightliner depot, on which site the wheel lathe now exists and provides an ideal replacement entry/exit location. Trafford Park is not electrified, so loco or crew changes are required at Longsight. There is also a single container train over the Cheshire Lines route to Liverpool via Warrington that arrives from Garston container terminal early in the day and reverses into Trafford Park.
Timings are taken from WTTs CM, CN, CP & CU for July 1977. All trains capable of being represented in SimSig’s interpretation of the 1990s are represented. Notes on omissions and changes are provided in the full simulation notes.
Headcodes may prove an issue for signallers: they are used as route codes so multiple trains with the same headcode are likely to be present simultaneously. Using the simplifier facility in the timetable and "sticky notes" both help, but ultimately there is no alternative other than learning the timetables
It is possible for a single user to operate the timetable, but in rush hours you are strongly recommended to operate in real time. Beware the order in which trains are due to arrive at Piccadilly and Oxford Road: first-come at a junction is not always first-served!
I wish operators good luck. It’s all rather trickier than it first appears and brought back many happy memories for me.