Operating Hours: 04.55-00.30. 991 trains, varying by day of week.
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. Note especially that Altrincham EMUs with headcode 2H96 MUST use the bay platform (5) at Oxford Road. Since 1969, it has been the only one electrified at 1500 volts DC.
This simulation covers the area covered mostly by the former London Road PSB, replaced by Manchester Piccadilly PSB in 1989. Exceptions are the lines from Cornbrook Jn to Glazebrook, manually signalled in February, but brought under London Road from August 1971, plus the link to Ordsall Lane and beyond, unchanged until late 1988. Traffic involves only the southern part of the SimSig Area, plus - purely for convenience - the link to Ordsall Lane, used by just 2-3 trains per day in 1971. The Windsor Link is not even thought of and the lines from Manchester Victoria considerably more complex and busier than shown in SimSig.
The timetable reflects services in February 1971, a difficult time around Piccadilly with services from the recently closed Manchester Central crudely grafted onto the Sheffield and Cornbrook Jn-Oxford Road routes. There are far fewer long-distance trains at Piccadilly, but intense local services. At Oxford Road traffic has largely been split since 1959 between AC EMUs to/from Crewe and the Altrincham DC EMUs in use since 1931. The latter only have months to go. AC electrification will be extended to Altrincham in May. A few DMUs run through Oxford Road to terminate at Piccadilly.
On most routes more rush-hour local trains (and longer ones) ran in 1971 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 LNW line and several Midland route passenger trains were loco-hauled 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. As at Oxford Road, 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 traffic comprises containers 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 are also ordinary freights to destinations on the Liverpool line, plus 1-2 freight daily to Ordsall Lane via Liverpool Road goods depot.
Timings are taken from WTTs M, N, and P for February 1971. 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!