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Change of platform penalty

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Change of platform penalty 07/06/2019 at 10:31 #118808
kbarber
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Arising from a thread on the 'Carlisle' sim...

Maybe a more realistic (if perhaps rather difficult to implement) way of imposing a 'change of platform' penalty would be that an altered train would have extra time put into its stop, without any other penalty. Of course, to make it realistic it would have to be something more sophisticated than just slapping a couple of extra minutes into the stop. And it would be something extra to code into each sim.

I'm pretty sure it would need some core code changes. As I imagine it, there would be a 'change platform ahead' option on right-clicking a description, and it would only apply to the station the train was approaching (or, better still, the next station where there was an option to change platforms). Input could be by typing (just a number), drop-down box or both. No need to go through the process of editing the timetable (quite time consuming when the job's around your neck!) Timetable editing really isn't the signalman's job anyway.

The amount of time added would depend whether it was an 'opposite side' change or not (as for the points at present), and would be rather less for a crew change than for a traffic stop. For traffic, there might even be a different scale of minutes depending on the class of train; I suspect Postal would want to see a pretty hefty penalty if you make his old mates cart their traffic across the station for a class 3! Meanwhile, a crew change would attract a lesser penalty even if it was non-opposite; traincrew might well be expected to have ways of getting about the station that aren't available to passengers (of which I will speak no more, just in case there's management around).

What would make it particularly realistic is that the penalty would reduce in proportion to how early the decision input was made. If a replatforming is, say, 10 or 15 minutes before the train arrives, there's no reason at all for a penalty - everyone has plenty of time to get to the right platform. (Again, that's something that could be altered by the sim developer - some stations are more complicated to get across than others.) If it's a last-minute decision as the train arrives at the inlet signal and something's blocking the booked platform, there's a full penalty (and it isn't even worth inputting the change, because you get the delay in any case). But because the penalty's in minutes, you aren't bothering about points (and you may be planning quick moves later to recover the time). The essential thing here is that there's no point pausing the sim while you edit the timetable for the train you cleared the wrong route for and that's already entering the platform (which would currently get you off any penalty).

If you wanted to enhance it a bit further, you might even add a random element - sometimes the penalty delay will be a bit shorter (never much, but it would make a difference) and sometimes it might be a minute or two longer (frustrating when you see the possibility of that quick move evaporating while tardy pax drag themselves aboard).

Any thoughts?

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Change of platform penalty 07/06/2019 at 11:23 #118809
jc92
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At the most basic level a simple penalty would be:

Train uses incorrect but adjacent platform - no penalty

Train uses completely in correct platform - 2 min dwell time penalty.

While a complicated solution is more accurate I imagine it's also way more difficult to implement. This would capture the feel of the situation without over complication.

Regarding platform amendments I think it should be done via the train list but no penalty is applied if the train is booked to stop more than 10 mins ahead

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Change of platform penalty 07/06/2019 at 16:14 #118813
GeoffM
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kbarber in post 118808 said:
Arising from a thread on the 'Carlisle' sim...

Maybe a more realistic (if perhaps rather difficult to implement) way of imposing a 'change of platform' penalty would be that an altered train would have extra time put into its stop, without any other penalty. Of course, to make it realistic it would have to be something more sophisticated than just slapping a couple of extra minutes into the stop. And it would be something extra to code into each sim.

I'm pretty sure it would need some core code changes. As I imagine it, there would be a 'change platform ahead' option on right-clicking a description, and it would only apply to the station the train was approaching (or, better still, the next station where there was an option to change platforms). Input could be by typing (just a number), drop-down box or both. No need to go through the process of editing the timetable (quite time consuming when the job's around your neck!) Timetable editing really isn't the signalman's job anyway.

The amount of time added would depend whether it was an 'opposite side' change or not (as for the points at present), and would be rather less for a crew change than for a traffic stop. For traffic, there might even be a different scale of minutes depending on the class of train; I suspect Postal would want to see a pretty hefty penalty if you make his old mates cart their traffic across the station for a class 3! Meanwhile, a crew change would attract a lesser penalty even if it was non-opposite; traincrew might well be expected to have ways of getting about the station that aren't available to passengers (of which I will speak no more, just in case there's management around).

What would make it particularly realistic is that the penalty would reduce in proportion to how early the decision input was made. If a replatforming is, say, 10 or 15 minutes before the train arrives, there's no reason at all for a penalty - everyone has plenty of time to get to the right platform. (Again, that's something that could be altered by the sim developer - some stations are more complicated to get across than others.) If it's a last-minute decision as the train arrives at the inlet signal and something's blocking the booked platform, there's a full penalty (and it isn't even worth inputting the change, because you get the delay in any case). But because the penalty's in minutes, you aren't bothering about points (and you may be planning quick moves later to recover the time). The essential thing here is that there's no point pausing the sim while you edit the timetable for the train you cleared the wrong route for and that's already entering the platform (which would currently get you off any penalty).

If you wanted to enhance it a bit further, you might even add a random element - sometimes the penalty delay will be a bit shorter (never much, but it would make a difference) and sometimes it might be a minute or two longer (frustrating when you see the possibility of that quick move evaporating while tardy pax drag themselves aboard).

Any thoughts?
That's pretty much the plan! Good to know our ideas are very similar.

SimSig Boss
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Change of platform penalty 07/06/2019 at 23:14 #118829
Jan
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See also Mantis #15104 about the original proposal when this came up originally (I think there might have been a forum thread, too?).
Two million people attempt to use Birmingham's magnificent rail network every year, with just over a million of them managing to get further than Smethwick.
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Change of platform penalty 07/06/2019 at 23:48 #118830
pedroathome
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kbarber in post 118808 said:

I'm pretty sure it would need some core code changes. As I imagine it, there would be a 'change platform ahead' option on right-clicking a description, and it would only apply to the station the train was approaching (or, better still, the next station where there was an option to change platforms). Input could be by typing (just a number), drop-down box or both. No need to go through the process of editing the timetable (quite time consuming when the job's around your neck!) Timetable editing really isn't the signalman's job anyway.


My only comment would be suggesting a phone call to either the Station or to Control. I would suspect this would be a more realistic method of preparing for platform alterations than just clicking about on the headcode.

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Change of platform penalty 08/06/2019 at 05:14 #118833
DriverCurran
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Well as a controller if you called me you would be told to call the person who needed to know and if it was before the time that calls were recorded that would also include being told to go and produce numerous off spring (not quite in those words). To add to that when you call the station are you talking to the LTSC, CP, RO2, CO2?

Paul

You have to get a red before you can get any other colour
Last edited: 08/06/2019 at 05:14 by DriverCurran
Reason: None given

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Change of platform penalty 08/06/2019 at 08:05 #118838
JamesN
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DriverCurran in post 118833 said:
Well as a controller if you called me you would be told to call the person who needed to know and if it was before the time that calls were recorded that would also include being told to go and produce numerous off spring (not quite in those words). To add to that when you call the station are you talking to the LTSC, CP, RO2, CO2?

Paul
While I think I understand what you’re getting at; that’s certainly not true of everywhere - there are a number of train operators where signaller making a call to the CIS Desk in control is the correct process. And in the cases where the signaller would contact the station, there’s generally a direct line to the relevant office/staff member on the signallers’ concentrator.

For SimSig purposes it’s probably over complicating it all somewhat, it’d be a nightmare of differing persons and contacts to code in.

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Change of platform penalty 08/06/2019 at 09:20 #118840
Hap
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Generally for Edinburgh Waverley the CIS lot at in the box, So they communicate with the signaller. We [SR] on occasions have to phone over to ask for alterations to some info showing on the service, for example formation discrepancies or in extreme circumstances we aren't working of the same docker.
HAP
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Change of platform penalty 08/06/2019 at 10:04 #118842
kbarber
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pedroathome in post 118830 said:
kbarber in post 118808 said:

I'm pretty sure it would need some core code changes. As I imagine it, there would be a 'change platform ahead' option on right-clicking a description, and it would only apply to the station the train was approaching (or, better still, the next station where there was an option to change platforms). Input could be by typing (just a number), drop-down box or both. No need to go through the process of editing the timetable (quite time consuming when the job's around your neck!) Timetable editing really isn't the signalman's job anyway.
My only comment would be suggesting a phone call to either the Station or to Control. I would suspect this would be a more realistic method of preparing for platform alterations than just clicking about on the headcode.
Sure, though as Paul says the Brains wouldn't have been very interested in my day. But also there's most likely to have been a direct line to the station (Marylebone was an interesting exception, but had a private dial phone system completely separate from the main railway system, with 2-figure numbers!) and usually a long enough cord that you could clamp the phone to your ear, press the ring key, then carry on workng the panel (or even the frame in some cases) while waiting/talking. So although it's the 'wrong' action, a very quick/easy way of selecting a new platform would be appropriate from the workload angle.

Of course, we could make it even more 'interesting' by having the station occasionally request a platform change. That might need rather a lot of per-sim coding so you didn't get impossible requests (a through train in a bay, for instance, but I suspect it culd be done). The experienced person who can run the timetable through without having to think too much then has something to have to remember. And where there's ARS, that has to be worked around as well.

But maybe that's just plain evil...

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Change of platform penalty 08/06/2019 at 22:40 #118855
Red For Danger
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I've often wondered why the penalty is applied for wrong platforms at main termini such as Kings Cross etc. At stations such as this, the train is held while being serviced / cleaned / staff break etc until about 15 mins before departure time when it then appears on the departure board. Surely there should not be a penalty in these cases if it uses the wrong platform as there won't be any passengers waiting for it...…?
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Change of platform penalty 09/06/2019 at 01:10 #118858
jc92
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kbarber in post 118842 said:
pedroathome in post 118830 said:
kbarber in post 118808 said:

I'm pretty sure it would need some core code changes. As I imagine it, there would be a 'change platform ahead' option on right-clicking a description, and it would only apply to the station the train was approaching (or, better still, the next station where there was an option to change platforms). Input could be by typing (just a number), drop-down box or both. No need to go through the process of editing the timetable (quite time consuming when the job's around your neck!) Timetable editing really isn't the signalman's job anyway.
My only comment would be suggesting a phone call to either the Station or to Control. I would suspect this would be a more realistic method of preparing for platform alterations than just clicking about on the headcode.
Sure, though as Paul says the Brains wouldn't have been very interested in my day. But also there's most likely to have been a direct line to the station (Marylebone was an interesting exception, but had a private dial phone system completely separate from the main railway system, with 2-figure numbers!) and usually a long enough cord that you could clamp the phone to your ear, press the ring key, then carry on workng the panel (or even the frame in some cases) while waiting/talking. So although it's the 'wrong' action, a very quick/easy way of selecting a new platform would be appropriate from the workload angle.

Of course, we could make it even more 'interesting' by having the station occasionally request a platform change. That might need rather a lot of per-sim coding so you didn't get impossible requests (a through train in a bay, for instance, but I suspect it culd be done). The experienced person who can run the timetable through without having to think too much then has something to have to remember. And where there's ARS, that has to be worked around as well.

But maybe that's just plain evil...
Like certain stations where if the lifts aren't available, trains may get replatformed to allow wheelchair bound passengers to board?

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Change of platform penalty 09/06/2019 at 02:57 #118859
GeoffM
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Red For Danger in post 118855 said:
I've often wondered why the penalty is applied for wrong platforms at main termini such as Kings Cross etc. At stations such as this, the train is held while being serviced / cleaned / staff break etc until about 15 mins before departure time when it then appears on the departure board. Surely there should not be a penalty in these cases if it uses the wrong platform as there won't be any passengers waiting for it...…?
Sometimes it makes sense, sometimes it doesn't. A couple of scenarios where you should be penalised:
- Wheelchair passenger needs assistance off the train, but the assistant is waiting on a different platform. Needs to either transport the ramp around to the correct platform, or lock this one up and go to the other platform and unlock that one.
- Where there is a fast turnaround, cleaning staff or buffet trollies/supplies may be waiting to board. Again, they would all need to move to the new platform.

Side note from our trip to Japan recently: cleaners were waiting to board our train as it arrived from another service. Train arrives, on they get, 12 minutes later they're all off and the train is ready to board. Five minutes after that it departed - exactly on time to the second, of course.

SimSig Boss
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Change of platform penalty 09/06/2019 at 23:11 #118868
ajax103
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DriverCurran in post 118833 said:
Well as a controller if you called me you would be told to call the person who needed to know and if it was before the time that calls were recorded that would also include being told to go and produce numerous off spring (not quite in those words). To add to that when you call the station are you talking to the LTSC, CP, RO2, CO2?

Paul
Umm while I've heard of RO2, I can't remember what it actually stood for? I think on the GN, if you were a RO2 then you were a General Purpose Relief staff member on Level 2 pay and RO2S of course was the same but with supervisory responsibilities on Level 3 pay.

No idea what LTSC, CP, CO2 stands for either?

As to platform alterations while most are usually done by the TOC control, I have found from experience that the signallers can be flexible and station staff can ask for a platform alteration if they feel the need for one.

It also helps if you're on good terms with the signallers too!

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Change of platform penalty 10/06/2019 at 04:48 #118872
DriverCurran
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LTSC - Local Train Service Co-ordinator
CP - Station Contol Point
RO2 - Rail Operator Grade 2
CO2 - Clerical Officer Grade 2

Paul

You have to get a red before you can get any other colour
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