You are here: Wiki > start > simulations > sandhills

Locked Page is locked

Table of Contents

Sandhills
Official Files
Introduction
Start-Up Options
Scenarios
Eras
Other Options
Features
ARS
Interlocking Labels
IECC Labelling
Electrification
CCTV crossing Picture-on Messages
Workstation Notes
Wirral Workstation
Northern Workstation
Timetable Notes
08 / 04 / 2015
Level Crossings
Multiplayer and Chaining
Hot Keys
Acknowledgments
Reference Section
Signal Number Plan
Signal Box Prefix Codes
Platform & Loop Lengths
Destination Indicators
Splash Screens
Additional Information
External Resources
Routes not Allocated to ARS
Version History

Sandhills

Official Files

Title Version Released
Simulation (Payware) 1.0 13-05-2019
08/04/2015 WTT (Midnight, 0400 & 1400 starts included) 1.1 01-06-2019
29/12/2018 (Loop Line Closure) WTT (0515 and 1400 starts included) 1.0 13-05-2019
02/01/2019 (Hamilton Square- Birkenhead North Closure) WTT (0515 and 1400 starts included) 1.0 13-05-2019

Additional user-written timetables are available to download here .

Introduction

This simulation covers the area controlled by Sandhills IECC, which controls almost the whole of the Merseyrail network (A small part of the Wirral line is controlled by Chester PSB, and Ellesmere Port, and part of the Northern line by Hunts Cross signalbox.) It is roughly set from 2006 when Hall Road TMD closed through to present day, however a compromise era is available for slight older timetables.

The Wirral desk of the simulation looks after the Liverpool loop line, and the electric services to the four spokes of the Wirral line network; Chester, Ellesmere Port, West Kirby, and New Brighton. The lines drop underground on the approach to Conway Park, and just after Birkenhead Central heading towards Liverpool. It also looks after the diesel services which arrive from Dee Marsh Junction. One of the networks two EMU depots is located at Birkenhead North.

In contrast to the Wirral desk, the Northern desk network is more like a trident, with services running from the three branches of Southport, Kirkby, and Ormskirk through to Liverpool Central, and beyond to Hunts Cross. Southport is also home to diesel services, which run on the line to Wigan. A number of freight services also run briefly through the area from the main route into Liverpool, and onto the docks. Merseyrail's main depot is located adjacent to Kirkdale station.

Start-Up Options

Scenarios

None

Play with no special scenario

Won 40 - Item 141

This scenario is designed for use with the Sandhills SO 29 12 2018 timetable.

The Liverpool loop line was shut with all train services turning back at Birkenhead Central and Birkenhead North. There was also no services operated by Northern Rail in or out of Southport due to industrial action (Not to be confused with the Northern Line of the Merseyrail network).

The simulation starts up reminder appliances in place. Detonator protection was provided as follows.

Line Protection Point
Down West Kirby Approach ML561#
Up West Kirby Beyond ML564#
Down Chester Approach ML715#
Up Chester Beyond ML716#
Stock Interchange Line Approach ML44#

NB - # Denotes substandard distance.

Won 40 - Item 144

This scenario is designed for use with the Sandhills SX 02 01 2019 timetable.

Following on from the Loop line closure, work continued between Hamilton Square and Birkenhead North, while services around the loop from Chester and Ellesmere Port resumed. There was also a normal Northern Rail service to and from Southport (Not to be confused with the Northern Line of the Merseyrail network).

The simulation starts up reminder appliances in place. Detonator protection was provided as follows.

Line Protection Point
Down West Kirby Beyond ML553# to Approach ML561#
Up West Kirby Beyond ML564# to Approach ML554#

NB - # Denotes substandard distance.

Platform Closure

A random platform will be closed at Birkenhead North, Rock Ferry or Southport, depending on the option selected.

Eras

The simulation is primarily set after 2006.

Full information to simulate an earlier era was not available. As a compromise, selecting 'Hall Lane TMD' turns the Wall Siding at Hall Road into an entry and exit point to allow slightly older (Pre 2006) timetables to be written.

This option also enabled the Canning Street North line.

Other Options

Scale of problems: Select the probability of failures and late running.

Extra TD Interpose: With this option turned on, depots, sidings, and yards will automatically interpose the TD for entering trains. This is turned off by default, which is more realistic.

Features

ARS

Full ARS is provided.

Rail Head Treatment Trains - It is highly recommended you do not enable ARS for class 3 trains. Please note that because certain Class 3 trains (Which are generally Rail Head Treatment Trains, but can also be de-icer, weed killing, or infrastructure test trains) which traverse a location more than once are not properly handled and have a risk of ARS setting an incorrect route. All such affected trains seed, or enter, the simulation with ARS turned off. The risk of an ARS mis-route is true to real life.

Interlocking Labels

Interlocking labels can be turned on per workstation using the "INT" control located near the on duty berth.

IECC Labelling

By default the screen labelling is per the real IECC. Extra labels can be turned on using the "LBL" control located near the on duty berth.

Electrification

The entire area is electrified with 750V DC third rail, with the following exceptions:

  • Port Sunlight siding.
  • The Up and Down Wrexham lines.
  • The Down & Up Goods between Bootle Junction and Aintree Emergency Ground frame
  • The Up and Down Bootle between Strand Road Crossing and Edge Lane Junction
  • Platforms 4,5 and 6 at Southport
  • The Up and Down Wigan lines

CCTV crossing Picture-on Messages

  • When a route is set over Hoylake, Leasowe or Maghull

    CCTV crossings , a message is generated to remind the user that the CCTV picture has been switched on. Assign a sound to Simulation Message 1 for an audible alarm at Hoylake and Leasowe, and Simulation Message 2 for Maghull.

Workstation Notes

Wirral Workstation

Permissive Working

Permissive working (PP) is authorised at the following locations:

  • Rock Ferry Platforms 3 and 4
  • West Kirkby Platforms 1 and 2
  • New Brighton Platforms 1 and 2
  • Birkenhead North on the platform loop line (Platform 1), only during times of disruption.

Passenger Trains Using Shunt Signals

During service disruption, passenger trains are authorised to start back from:

  • 1560 signal at Hoylake
  • 1759 signal at Birkenhead Central

Self Restoring Points

Auto-normalising points are provided at the following locations:

  • Points 2517 at James Street Stabling Siding
  • Points 2519 at James Street Link Line
  • Points 2572 at Birkenhead North A&D
  • Points 2579 at Bidston Stabling Siding

Working of Birkenhead Central Sidings

  • Before sending trains into Birkenhead Central sidings you must obtain permission from the PIC.
  • The PIC at Birkenhead Central sidings will advise you of the description of trains due to depart

Working of Birkenhead North EMUD

  • You must advise the PIC at Birkenhead North Depot the description of the approaching train in order to obtain a slot. The East end PIC looks after the Birkenhead North end, the West end PIC looks after the Bidston end.
  • Note the PICs will accept trains for the "wrong" end to assist you in times of disruption.
  • The PIC at Birkenhead North Depot will advise you of the description of trains due to depart
  • If advising you of a shunt move into the Back Road the PIC at the East end will give you the slot at the same time the train is described to you.
  • 1528 / 1527 are opposing locking omitted, if using this feature the A/D slot will stay off until the route from 1527 is restored. When both routes are off TDs will not step from the signals concerned.

Loop Line Signalling

All Stop signals between Green Lane / Birkenhead Part and around the Liverpool Loop Line are two aspect (Red/Green). As repeaters are not provided for all signals, it is possible for a Green-> Red aspect sequence to be displayed to drivers. Unusually, however, there are no restrictions on operating these signals- they may be cleared at any time, and drivers will accept a Green-> Red aspect sequence without a Yellow aspect, or delayed clearance of the preceding signal. This reflects real life practice.

Combined Repeater Heads

  • Certain signals on the Liverpool loop line are combined with a separate repeater head. This head shows unlit when the signal it is mounted on is at danger.
  • S539 at Hamilton Square has a repeater head for S541, the repeater head does not operate when a route is set to S711
Aspect Chart
Aspect Image Meaning
Red / Blank :simulations:sandhills:ML_CombinedHead_R.PNG Signal at Danger
Green / Yellow :simulations:sandhills:ML_CombinedHead_GY.PNG Signal Off, next signal at Danger
Green / Green :simulations:sandhills:ML_CombinedHead_GG.PNG Signal Off, next signal Off
Green / Blank :simulations:sandhills:ML_CombinedHead_G.PNG Signal Off, next signal not repeated

External Berths

  • Last Sent berths to adjacent locations are not labelled as such in line with the real IECC. It is also possible to manually interpose into them, or to cancel them. Some of these berths do not clear out after the passage of a train.

Other Instructions

  • You must not allow any movement to enter or leave Siding 2 at West Kirkby if platform 2 is occupied
  • The lines to Canning Street North are mothballed out of use. The sim starts up with the relevant remember appliances in place. (Unless you have selected the Hall Road TMD era)
  • Drivers booked to terminate in Bidston platform 2 (Down platform) will not call wrong route if routed to platform 1 from signal 580 as per real life. Trains need to instructed to abandon timetable and shunt as appropriate.
  • The

    Warner exit for Signal 576 at Bidston is only available for routes from Signal 580 on the Down Wrexham.

Northern Workstation

Permissive Working

Permissive working is authorised at Southport Platforms 1 - 6

Passenger Trains Using Shunt Signals

During service disruption, passenger trains are authorised to start back from:

  • 1072 signal at Hillside
  • 1205 signal at Aintree
  • 1218 signal at Town Green

Self Restoring Points

Auto-normalising points are provided at the following locations:

  • Points 2020 at Liverpool Central
  • Points 2030 at Liverpool Central
  • Points 2051 at Sandhills
  • Points 2150 at Southport
  • Points 2202 at Kirkdale
  • Points 2203 at Kirkdale

Working of Kirkdale EMUD

  • You must telephone the Down or Up Kirkdale PIC for permission for a train to enter the depot.
  • The Down or Up Kirkdale PIC will phone you for permission for a train to leave the depot and advise you of its description
  • When asking permission for a train to use the shunt neck the Down PIC will also grant you the Down end slot. This will be withdrawn when the train returns to the depot.

Working of Strand Road

  • You must telephone the PIC at Strand Road to advise them of a down train.
  • The PIC at Strand Road will telephone you to advise you of the description of up trains.
  • ARS is capable as per real life of setting the route towards strand road before you have telephoned to advise the PIC.

Working of Southport CSD

  • Drivers of departing trains will call you for permission to approach the exit signal from the siding they are on.
  • Trains may be sent in without reference as long as you have not given permission for a train to approach the exit signal.

Northern Line Crossing Desk

  • 10 CCTV crossings on the Northern workstation are controlled by two separate crossing desks, these desks are not simulated to the player, but the signals over the crossing will not clear until the virtual crossing keeper has taken care of the crossing.
  • The crossings are labelled as WO, BC, HR, ES, FD, AE, BE, AR, DS, PS CCTV on the workstation

External Berths

  • Last Sent berths to adjacent locations are not labelled as such in line with the real IECC. It is also possible to manually interpose into them, or to cancel them. Some of these berths do not clear out after the passage of a train.

Other Instructions

  • The line between Bootle Junction and Aintree Emergency

    Ground Frame is mothballed out of use. The sim starts up with the relevant reminder appliances in place

  • The Goods Yard Ground Frame is out of use. The sim starts up with the relevant reminder appliances in place
  • There are steep gradients climbing out of the Northern line tunnels towards Sandhills, and approaching the Merseyrail line when approaching from Edge Lane Jn and Strand Rd. As such, trains should not be brought to a stand at Signals 39, 41, 61 and 62 unless absolutely necessary. The latter two are particularly important given the freight-only nature of the line.
  • Signal 25 on the Down Southport at Liverpool Central applies to routes both on the Down Southport, and on the Up Southport to Down Southport crossover. The signal is accurately drawn per the IECC screens.
  • There are three stations between Burscough Bridge and Southport (New Lane, Bescar Lane and Meols Cop) which are not shown on the workstation. Take care not to set a route into Southport station too early for an arriving train.
  • Drivers of trains into Sandhills Neck will phone you to advise they are in clear of ML1022 signal (Assuming they fit)
  • 2055 points at Sandhills and 2209 points at Walton Junction are switch diamonds.

Timetable Notes

08/04/2015

This is a standard weekday timetable for the area. To add interest, the autumn Railhead Treatment Train movements have been included in this timetable.

It is not advised to put any of the Class 3 trains into ARS.

Level Crossings

There are several different types of level crossings on the sim.

Crossing Short Code Type Workstation Interlocking Area Notes
Ainsdale AE CCTV Northern STHPORT Controlled by the Northern Desk Crossing Keeper
Aughton Road AR CCTV Northern STHPORT Controlled by the Northern Desk Crossing Keeper
Birkdale BE CCTV Northern STHPORT Controlled by the Northern Desk Crossing Keeper
Brook Hall BC CCTV Northern BOOTLE Controlled by the Northern Desk Crossing Keeper
Carlton Lane CN UWC Wirral WKIRBY Combined into SA/CN on the dial window
Carr Lane CE UWC Wirral WKIRBY
Clover-le-Dale CD UWC Northern STHPORT Combined into CD/FP on the dial window
Crescent Road CR AHB Northern STHPORT
Duke Street DS CCTV Northern STHPORT Controlled by the Northern Desk Crossing Keeper
Eccles ES CCTV Northern BOOTLE Controlled by the Northern Desk Crossing Keeper
Elm Grove EG UWC Wirral WKIRBY
Fazakerley FZ MCG Northern ORMSKIRK
Fisherman Path FP UWC Northern STHPORT Combined into CD/FP on the dial window
Freshfield FD CCTV Northern BOOTLE Controlled by the Northern Desk Crossing Keeper
Hall Road HR CCTV Northern BOOTLE Controlled by the Northern Desk Crossing Keeper
Hesketh HH UWC Northern BOOTLE
High Ground - UWC Northern STHPORT Not marked on the display as per the real IECC. Located between Freshfield and Ainsdale, and protected by signals 99 and 100. Call is received from Woodvale Aerodrome Tower for permission to use
Hoylake HE CCTV Wirral WKIRBY
Leosowe LW CCTV Wirral WKIRBY
Maghull MG CCTV Northern ORMSKIRK
Melrose Avenue MA UWC Wirral WKIRBY
Portland Street PS CCTV Northern STHPORT Controlled by the Northern Desk Crossing Keeper
Sandringham Avenue SA UWC Wirral WKIRBY Combined into SA/CN on the dial window
Tolans TS UWC Wirral WKIRBY
Waterloo WO CCTV Northern BOOTLE Controlled by the Northern Desk Crossing Keeper

Multiplayer and Chaining

With the help of ARS, Sandhills can be played with reasonable ease in single player. In multiplayer , Sandhills is ideally suited to two players, with each person controlling one of the workstations.

The simulation chains at the following locations:

Simulation Location
Edge Hill Edge Lane Jn
Hunts Cross Liverpool South Parkway
North East Wales Dee Marsh Jn

Hot Keys

In addition to the standard shortcut keys , the following are available:

Key Area Wirral Area Northern
1 Hoylake Liverpool Central
2 Wallasey Grove Road Sandhills
3 Birkenhead North Bootle Oriel Road
4 Hamilton Square Hall Road
5 James Street Formby
6 - Hillside
7 - Southport

Acknowledgments

Simulation by Karl Latham.

08/04/2015, 29/12/2018 and 02/01/2019 WTTs by John Mills.

With thanks to the 65.

Reference Section

Signal Number Plan

Sandhills Signal Number Plan

These are Adobe Acrobat PDF files. If you don't have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer you can get a free download of the latest version from the Adobe website . Use the built-in Find function (Ctrl+F) to locate signal numbers.

Signal Box Prefix Codes

Code Box
No Prefix Sandhills IECC
BB Burscough Bridge
DM Dee Marsh
HN Hooton
LE Edge Hill

Sandhills IECC signals are plated ML on the ground.

Code Ground Frame
- Aintree Emergency GF
- Goods Yard GF

Platform & Loop Lengths

Generally speaking all platforms,loops, and sidings can accommodate 2 x 3 car 507/508 units. Exceptions are listed below.

Location Length Notes
Bidston Stabling Siding 90m NO DC
Port Sunlight Down Siding 530m NO DC
Sandhills Neck 22m NO DC (Timetable must be far end + exact)
Southport P1 136m
P2 179m
P3 186m
P4 170m
P5 243m
P6 241m
Hall Road Siding 195m

Destination Indicators

Headcodes used on the Merseyrail DC network have remained static for many years, though please note if playing timetables pre 2006 they may not match the list below.

Note - On the Wirral workstation letter generally indicates service destination after traversing the loop

Code Destination
B Birkenhead North
C Chester
D Kirkdale C.S.
G Liverpool Central
H Hooton
K Kirkby
N New Brighton
O Ormskirk
R Rock Ferry / Birkenhead Central / Hamilton Square
S Southport
U Hunts Cross
W West Kirkby
Y Ellesmere Port

Headcodes used on the Wales & Borders services to and from Bidston have remained static for many years, though please note if playing timetables pre 2006 they may not match the list below.

Code Destination
F Bidston
J Wrexham

Splash Screens

All splash screens of the IECC for this simulation where taken on official organised visits. High resolution versions can be viewed in the links below. Splash Screens of stations and trains where taken by Richard Houghton (Steamer).

Andrew Gardiner

Karl Latham

Additional Information

The following features are not simulated in SimSig, but are present in real life:

Trip Cock

The Liverpool underground area uses Trip Cock equipment rather than TPWS. There are special rules for trains without Trip Cocks to traverse the Liverpool underground area.

Wirral Line:

  • On the Up West Kirkby this commences at signal 562 just before Birkenhead Park, and on the down ends at signal 557.
  • On the Up Chester this commences at signal 722 just after Rock Ferry, and on the down ends at signal 719.
  • Trip Cock test equipment is provided at the Up platform at Birkenhead Central, and in both Up platforms at Birkenhead North.

Northern Line:

  • This applies between signals 36 / 35 and signals 21 / HC108 on the Up & Down Southport lines

External Resources

Cab Rides

Route learning video

Northern Line video

Routes not Allocated to ARS

Non-ARS routes

Version History

Version History


Last edited by Steamer on 01/06/2019 at 16:48