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Sims good for learning ARS?

You are here: Home > Forum > General > General questions, comments, and issues > Sims good for learning ARS?

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Sims good for learning ARS? 14/01/2015 at 11:17 #67800
maxand
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Up to now I haven't found it particularly easy to learn to use ARS, so have avoided sims which employ it. However, I would like to master it and have read the Wiki documentation.

What sims can you guys recommend for starting off? I would prefer a scrolly rather than paged display, something easy enough for one-person operation, and preferably donationware. Not too much to ask for, I hope.

Last edited: 14/01/2015 at 11:19 by maxand
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Sims good for learning ARS? 14/01/2015 at 11:18 #67802
Peter Bennet
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Peterborough.

Peter

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Sims good for learning ARS? 14/01/2015 at 11:50 #67804
postal
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" said:
Up to now I haven't found it particularly easy to learn to use ARS, so have avoided sims which employ it. However, I would like to master it and have read the Wiki documentation.

What sims can you guys recommend for starting off? I would prefer a scrolly rather than paged display, something easy enough for one-person operation, and preferably donationware. Not too much to ask for, I hope.
Not really a case of mastering it; when things are all going OK it is a case of sitting back in the armchair, lighting the cigar and watching the sim run itself. However, ARS in both real life and SimSig is not perfect so you need to keep an eye open for potential conflicts, application of the wrong priority etc.

At a more arcane level, some TTs on some ARS sims have things like loco run-round moves set with 00:00 and 00/00 timings. You need to collar the signals governing the move as otherwise ARS will assume that the RR loco is running behind time and give it priority in front of a service train. Take the collar off when it is clear for the RR loco to start its manoeuvre then put the collar back until the next RR move. On the other hand, if the RR moves are timed moves, ARS will make the loco wait until due time even if things are running early. You can manually move the loco earlier (and quite often the driver will ring in fretting when he is held to time) so it is not a show-stopper.

I would go with Peter's advice and start with Peterborough (even though it is still a paged sim) as it is probably the least complicated but if you do want to start with a scrolly, you could try Swindon A & B. This is a bit more complex but probably no more difficult than Exeter.

“In life, there is always someone out there, who won’t like you, for whatever reason, don’t let the insecurities in their lives affect yours.” – Rashida Rowe
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Sims good for learning ARS? 14/01/2015 at 12:16 #67805
delticfan
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" said:
Up to now I haven't found it particularly easy to learn to use ARS, so have avoided sims which employ it. However, I would like to master it and have read the Wiki documentation.

What sims can you guys recommend for starting off? I would prefer a scrolly rather than paged display, something easy enough for one-person operation, and preferably donationware. Not too much to ask for, I hope.
Ditto Peter's comment. I started with Pboro, running everything under ARS and just controlling the station area. I've had a couple of instances where, probably due to a glitch in the timetable, ARS sent a couple of trains on the wrong route. Edited the affected trains' TT and all sorted.

Mal.

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Sims good for learning ARS? 14/01/2015 at 19:18 #67813
Dick
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Personally, I would forget about ARS, turn it off and persevere with learning the sim. First thing I do with any sim is to turn ARS off, defeats the object of playing the sim as far as I'm concerned, YMMV.
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Sims good for learning ARS? 14/01/2015 at 22:01 #67818
ozrail
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ARS is a little like the Auto-Pilot on an aircraft. You have to be philosophical about it by knowing what you what it to do and how it can help you. It’s like working with another Signaller beside you who is not very good at doing the job and you’re watching him as well as doing your own signalling.

Using reminders and locking points is a good way of slowing ARS down so you can intervene and regulate train running. The basics of ARS. At a flat junction the ARS will set the route without question. While at a converging junction the ARS will wait for the next timetabled train, which may also include crossovers.

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Sims good for learning ARS? 15/01/2015 at 03:25 #67827
maxand
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Thanks everyone for your feedback. I think I understand what a converging junction is, but what's a flat junction?
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Sims good for learning ARS? 15/01/2015 at 05:42 #67832
BarryM
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" said:
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I think I understand what a converging junction is, but what's a flat junction?
A junction on the same level. See here

Barry

Barry, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
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Sims good for learning ARS? 15/01/2015 at 07:10 #67834
maxand
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BarryM wrote:
Quote:
A junction on the same level
But a converging junction is also on the same level. :doh

Anyway, the official UK term seems to be flat crossing (aka diamond crossing). No junction here.
Thanks for the link anyway.

The opposite of a flat junction is a flying junction or flyover.

Last edited: 15/01/2015 at 07:11 by maxand
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Sims good for learning ARS? 15/01/2015 at 07:16 #67835
Cedric
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I think there may be a confusion of terms by Ozrail?

At junctions routes either converge or diverge (the meaning hopefully being obvious), depending which way you are traveling. The junctions themselves are either flat or grade-separated. On a flat junction one of the diverging routes will cross the main route creating potential conflicts for trains running in the opposite direction. On a grade-separated junction there is a flyover or dive-under so that trains on the diverging route are taken over or under the main line, thus reducing potential conflicts.

Grade-separated junctions are much easier to operate but hideously expensive to build.

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Sims good for learning ARS? 15/01/2015 at 09:02 #67840
clive
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" said:
BarryM wrote:
Quote:
A junction on the same level
But a converging junction is also on the same level.

Not necessarily. Look at the King's Cross sim. The junction south of Stevenage is converging for northbound trains, but is not flat: it involves a diveunder. The junction at the north end of Hitchin is converging for southbound trains and is a flat junction.

Quote:

Anyway, the official UK term seems to be flat crossing (aka diamond crossing). No junction here.
That's when two lines cross without having points allowing trains to move from one to the other. The most famous example is the one at Newark on the ECML.

Quote:

The opposite of a flat junction is a flying junction or flyover.
Right; or a diveunder junction.

Basically there are three separate concepts here: junction versus crossing, which depends on which routes exist; converging versus diverging, which depend on the direction of the train; and flat versus flying/flyover versus diveunder, which depend on *how* the tracks cross each other.

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Sims good for learning ARS? 15/01/2015 at 17:22 #67881
Muzer
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" said:
Quote:

The opposite of a flat junction is a flying junction or flyover.
Right; or a diveunder junction.
The generic term for either a flyover or a diveunder being a grade-separated junction, though I suspect this might be considered an Americanism. Anyone?

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Sims good for learning ARS? 15/01/2015 at 19:34 #67892
AndyG
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Well, being Americans, they call flat junctions 'at-grade', another example of 2 nations separated by speking the same language.
I can only help one person a day. Today's not your day. Tomorrow doesn't look too good either.
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Sims good for learning ARS? 15/01/2015 at 22:04 #67898
ozrail
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My reference to a "Flat junction" was as an ARS reference only. An ARS Flat junction is just one set of points where trains could be sent in two directions. At these junctions the ARS will set the route for a train as long as it's timetabled. Regardless of whether the train is in timetabled order or not.
At a converging junction where points lead into one direction or at crossovers that intersect with the route the ARS will keep the trains in timetabled order even if one train is four hours late. Although I suspect that UK ARS software has a little more flexibility then what is used here in Australia.
As an example look at Otford junction on the Victoria South Eastern. There are three types of ARS junctions. 1. A flat junction leading to Maidstone. 2. A flat and converging junction leading to Sevenoaks. 3. A converging junction coming from Maidstone or Sevenoaks. Signal 321 will set the route all day to the Down Maidstone, but will only set the route onto the Down Bat & Ball if no train is timetabled through the up crossovers first. The same applies to all trains approaching in the up direction. In NSW Australia the ARS will sound an audible alarm if a train is approaching the junction out of timetabled order so the Signaller can intervene.

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Sims good for learning ARS? 15/01/2015 at 22:07 #67899
Steamer
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" said:

At a converging junction where points lead into one direction or at crossovers that intersect with the route the ARS will keep the trains in timetabled order even if one train is four hours late. Although I suspect that UK ARS software has a little more flexibility then what is used here in Australia.
UK (and SimSig) ARS can do much more- it will take delays and train class into account and then decide which train should get priority. However, it isn't perfect and the more chaotic the situation, the greater the chance of it doing something weird.

"Don't stress/ relax/ let life roll off your backs./ Except for death and paying taxes/ everything in life.../ is only for now." (Avenue Q)
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Sims good for learning ARS? 15/01/2015 at 22:22 #67900
Danny252
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It does seem quite misleading that ozrail is referring to the rather limited Australian ARS functions and using Simsig ARS locations as his examples!
Last edited: 15/01/2015 at 22:23 by Danny252
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Sims good for learning ARS? 15/01/2015 at 23:52 #67902
clive
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" said:
" said:

At a converging junction where points lead into one direction or at crossovers that intersect with the route the ARS will keep the trains in timetabled order even if one train is four hours late. Although I suspect that UK ARS software has a little more flexibility then what is used here in Australia.
UK (and SimSig) ARS can do much more- it will take delays and train class into account and then decide which train should get priority. However, it isn't perfect and the more chaotic the situation, the greater the chance of it doing something weird.
As I understand it, when ARS sees two trains converging on the same piece of track (whether a converging junction or entering it from opposite ends), it is supposed to calculate the total delay of each train if it chooses train A or train B to go first, then weight each of these according to the importance of the train, then make the choice that involves the lowest total delay. So suppose that A first means A is on time and B is delayed 10 minutes, while B first means A is delayed 7 minutes and B is 2 minutes late. If A and B have equal priority, it lets B go first. But if A has a weighting of 1.5 and B a weighting of 1.2, then it's 12 versus 7*1.5 + 2*1.2 = 12.9, so A goes first.

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Sims good for learning ARS? 16/01/2015 at 00:25 #67903
Finger
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" said:
" said:
" said:

At a converging junction where points lead into one direction or at crossovers that intersect with the route the ARS will keep the trains in timetabled order even if one train is four hours late. Although I suspect that UK ARS software has a little more flexibility then what is used here in Australia.
UK (and SimSig) ARS can do much more- it will take delays and train class into account and then decide which train should get priority. However, it isn't perfect and the more chaotic the situation, the greater the chance of it doing something weird.
As I understand it, when ARS sees two trains converging on the same piece of track (whether a converging junction or entering it from opposite ends), it is supposed to calculate the total delay of each train if it chooses train A or train B to go first, then weight each of these according to the importance of the train, then make the choice that involves the lowest total delay. So suppose that A first means A is on time and B is delayed 10 minutes, while B first means A is delayed 7 minutes and B is 2 minutes late. If A and B have equal priority, it lets B go first. But if A has a weighting of 1.5 and B a weighting of 1.2, then it's 12 versus 7*1.5 + 2*1.2 = 12.9, so A goes first.

Oh! does it realy do that? How does it know the projected delays to the trains? I mean the intervals between possible runs of the trains, like that a train from Hitchin to Royston will delay an oncoming HST by xxx seconds?

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Sims good for learning ARS? 16/01/2015 at 02:45 #67905
GeoffM
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" said:
Oh! does it realy do that? How does it know the projected delays to the trains? I mean the intervals between possible runs of the trains, like that a train from Hitchin to Royston will delay an oncoming HST by xxx seconds?
Yes, plus there are thresholds (inside of which it won't change the scheduled order - can be tweaked per simulation but generally 2 minutes for a simple crossing, plus other thresholds for following trains, and opposing trains (eg single line)).

It uses the timetable and track data to determine running times, adding factors for starting from a stand, overlap releases where appropriate, minimum dwell times (ie recovering a late running train), and more.

My ARS is much misunderstood and underrated :S

SimSig Boss
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Sims good for learning ARS? 16/01/2015 at 03:13 #67906
ozrail
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I have a great deal of respect for SimSig's ARS and we have been friends for a long time, but I also understand that like me it has failings and that is one of the things I find interesting about running the ARS simulations.
Strathfield ARS 1983

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Sims good for learning ARS? 27/01/2015 at 04:32 #68443
maxand
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Returning to learning ARS, I understand how the pink ARS area labels work, but is there any quick way of finding out the geographical extent (beginning and ending signals) of each, or is this idea impractical? What do most users do? Turn the label off and learn by trial and error, if ARS makes a mistake and they need to route manually?
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Sims good for learning ARS? 27/01/2015 at 07:16 #68450
Hugh Jampton
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" said:
Returning to learning ARS, I understand how the pink ARS area labels work, but is there any quick way of finding out the geographical extent (beginning and ending signals) of each, or is this idea impractical? What do most users do? Turn the label off and learn by trial and error, if ARS makes a mistake and they need to route manually?

I find that some application of common sense on the part of the user works best, though some might call that guesswork. The ARS subarea names usually give a pretty good indication of which areas they apply to. If it is so critical for you to work out exactly which signals fall within which ARS subarea boundaries I suppose you could set up a route from one signal to the next, cancel it and see which subarea label flashes. I can't be bothered, though. I'd rather just practise by playing the sim.

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Sims good for learning ARS? 27/01/2015 at 07:24 #68451
maxand
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Thanks, that's exactly the type of practical answer I was hoping to find. I had wondered why sim manual writers don't seem to include much info on ARS area labels as they do for Route Tables - I guess that's why.
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Sims good for learning ARS? 27/01/2015 at 12:47 #68469
maxand
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Another question. Why are all the ARS area labels in Swindon A&B prefaced by "L", e.g., LUPBOUR, LDNBOUR? Just checked Peterborough and it doesn't use any prefix.
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Sims good for learning ARS? 27/01/2015 at 12:54 #68470
Peter Bennet
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" said:
Thanks, that's exactly the type of practical answer I was hoping to find. I had wondered why sim manual writers don't seem to include much info on ARS area labels as they do for Route Tables - I guess that's why.
Possibly because it did not occur to them that someone would want to know. Unless you want to switch out an area (which i acept you do) there's no particular reason why you should need to. In most cases, as has been said, it's probably common sense, if it's something like MWELUF (made up name) on Motherwell and placed in the location of Motherwell station then it's a pretty good guess that it's the routes on the Up fast in that area. Where it can get slightly complicated is if a route goes from the DF to UF then that route is likely to be allocated to MWELUF and MWELDF ARS subareas - again not a Mensa level concept.

However, if I were minded to write a table it'd likely be quiet a large one to the extend that it'd be infomation overload and un-usable. If you or anyone wants to write such a table then I'd be happy to let you have sight of the file (subject to Geoff being OK at making it public) from which you can dig though and write such a table.


Peter

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