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Doncaster PSB North
Official Files
Start-Up Options
Other Options
Approach Locking
Level Crossings
Combined TC Indications
Panel Notes
Panel 4
Panel 5
Timetable Notes
2009 Timetable
2015 Timetable
2019 Timetable
Level Crossings
Multiplayer & Chaining
Hot Keys
Reference Section
Signal Number Plan
Signal Box Prefix Codes
Platform, Loop & Siding Lengths
Timetabling Details
Splash Screens
Additional Information
External Resources
Version History

Doncaster PSB North

Official Files

Title Version Released
Simulation (Payware) 1.2 14/11/2023
15/10/2009 WTT (Midnight and 0445 Start included) 1.2 14/11/2023
08/04/2015 WTT (Midnight, 0400 & 1400 starts included) 1.0 27/11/2021
09/01/2019 WTT (Midnight, 0400 & 1400 starts included) 1.4 05/12/2023

Additional user-written timetables are available to download here .


Doncaster PSB was opened in stages from 1979 to 1981, replacing a number of smaller signalboxes which closed or were relegated to gate boxes. Located nearly 156 miles from London King's Cross, the PSB has a downstairs interlocking room and an upstairs panel control room, along with ancilliary equipment. The 110ft long panel requires five signallers on duty at a time during the day.

The Doncaster North simulation comprises Panels 4 and 5 of the real signalbox. Panel 4 controls the Main, Skellow, and Leeds lines north of Doncaster station, while Panel 5 controls the Scunthorpe line to Scunthorpe and to Goole. Note that the Scunthorpe lines have Up/Down directions reversed compared to the rest of the simulation. This is a legacy of the line's original construction where 'Up' was defined as 'Towards Cleethorpes'; the route was never brought into line with the general convention.

The simulation is busy with freight traffic, some of it between Knottingley and Hatfield, some between York and Hatfield; while others pass through Doncaster station. Passenger traffic tends to involve high speed trains between York and Doncaster, and between Leeds and Doncaster, and local trains between Doncaster and Adwick, Goole, and Scunthorpe. Trains do therefore go in all different directions so schedules should be read carefully.

Like the real signalbox, there is no ARS or ACI.

Start-Up Options


Easy Mode

Easiest option with the most help and minimal failures.

Normal Mode

Normal option with some failures.

Hard Mode

Hard option with multiple failures and delays possible.


The Up and Down Slow lines are closed between Kirk Sandall Jn and Hatfield & Stainforth.


Each of the three Doncaster simulations has the same era options for simplicity. However, there are no differences between some eras on some simulations.


The original layout from when the PSB opened.


Keadby Power Station, Hatfield Down Sidings, Markham Main Colliery, Thorpe Marsh Power Station, Askern Colliery, Brodsworth Colliery, and Bentley Quarry are now all closed.

Stainforth and Hatfield station is now known as Hatfield and Stainforth.


No known changes.


No known changes.


The Doncaster North Chord opened, enabling freight trains between Knottingley and Hatfield to bypass Doncaster station.

Hatfield Colliery suffered from a landslip in 2013, closing all four lines for nearly six months. The colliery itself closed in 2015. As this was a relatively short closure, this is not simulated, though timetables can be produced covering the event.


Hatfield Colliery is now closed. Some crossings with gate keepers have been converted to MCB-OD, though this makes little difference to the signaller during normal operation.

Other Options

Bad Weather

Trains may accelerate more slowly due to wheel slippage, and brake earlier as a precautionary measure, meaning delays can occur.


Train Operated Route Release does not feature on the real interlockings. For full realism, untick this checkbox, but beware that this is extra work.


Approach Locking

The interlockings do not have comprehensive approach locking. Most signals will time out at 30s (shunt signals) or 120s (main signals) if the signal is showing proceed and then cancelled. Note that shunt routes from main signals will time out the same as a main route, typically 120s, due to the common timing relays in the interlocking.


The main line is electrified throughout, from Doncaster station to Temple Hirst Junction. The Leeds line from Doncaster station to South Kirkby Junction is also electrified. No other lines, sidings, or yards are electrified.

Level Crossings

CCTV level crossings are simulated as if a crossing keeper is controlling them, as per real life. In reality there are crossing panels inside Doncaster PSB who control some of the crossings, and lineside gate/crossing boxes controlling the others. In each case, no user input is required for the crossing keepers to lower the barriers, but ensure the crossing keeper can see the trains approaching by setting route far enough in advance. On some plain line sections the crossing keeper can see the trains coming even without routes. The signals protecting the crossings will remain at red until the crossing keeper operates their slot/control on the signal.

The exception is Kirton Lane, which is supervised by the Panel 5 signaller in real life and is therefore controlled in the simulation.

Combined TC Indications

Some TCs are detected separately on the ground but shown combined on the panel. When a train passes a signal with a separate TC for the overlap, the automatic signal will return to danger, but the combined track indication still shows astride the signal. When the train reaches the end of the overlap track, then the next track will show occupied and the TD will step. It looks odd but is this way it is shown on the real panel. However, on the real panel, automatic signal aspects and those controlled by gate/crossing boxes are now shown so the effect is less obvious in real life. The user can use the F3 option to not show automatic signal aspects to replicate this.


Sadly (in terms of interesting traffic, but good for the environment) most, if not all, collieries have been closed for a couple of decades now. However, there is still plenty of other freight traffic and more passenger trains since.

Panel Notes

Panel 4

Doncaster Station Approaches

Doncaster station has three connections to Doncaster North simulation. The Leeds lines and Scunthorpe lines are shown as simple approach berths as most trains will not be travelling fast to reach those connections - in fact, many trains will have stopped at Doncaster. However, the Down Main shows as two approaches: one for trains that stop at Doncaster and thus are travelling at low speed; and the other for fast, non-stop trains which travel at up to 100mph through Doncaster. This gives appropriate advance warning for decisions to be made just a few miles up the track at Shaftholme Junction.

Controls at Doncaster Station allow the North signaller to override the Down Fast or Platform Approach decision. Normally the Auto button will be enabled which broadly gives preference over a train that has struck in on the Down Fast over a train yet to strike in on the Platform Approach berth. If the user wishes to override this, right-clicking on the Auto roundel to cancel it and then left-clicking on the appropriate routing arrow just above the Auto roundel will set route for that line (Down Fast or Platform Approach). Left-click on the Auto roundel to set back to auto working.


Fast trains between Leeds and Doncaster spend very little time on the panel, and approach with little warning. Reading the timetable 15 minutes ahead will help with regulation over the Adwick/Carcroft/Skellow triangle, as will holding terminating/originating trains at Adwick until near their booked time.

Shaftholme Junction

Signal D824 is a fixed red with a position light aspect for Bentley Quarry only. There is no signalled move from D824 to D814.

In later eras, D827 is approach controlled from red unless D829 has a route set. This is a SPAD mitigation strategy for Shaftholme Junction. In all eras, D829 will at best show YY for the Knottingley branch.

Level Crossing Key Releases

Noblethorpe, Dormer Green and Joan Croft crossings are manned by crossing keepers, however they are normally closed to road traffic. When a user requests permission to cross, the gate release must be granted to allow the crossing keeper to open the gates. The protecting signals must be replaced to red (or, for Joan Croft, routes cancelled across Joan Croft Jn) before the release can be granted. Note that there is no lever frame to operate; activating the release is the only action required.


York North/South controls the Heck siding. A train coming from York and reversing back into the siding will show track occupancy and TD berth occupancy up as far as D866, whereupon it will disappear. Timetables for Doncaster North will not include these moves so when chained to York North/South, they will shows as "no timetable" and can be ignored.

Norton Signal Box

Norton signal box is included but controlled as if it were part of Panel 4. In real life, Doncaster would release points around Norton signal box so Norton could route in to, and out of, Askern Colliery, but as far as Doncaster was concerned, it was pretty much plain line.

Doncaster North Bypass

The Doncaster North Bypass was a connection added between a new junction called Haywood Junction and another new junction called Thorpe Marsh Junction. This enabled freight trains from Knottingley and other parts of West Yorkshire to bypass Doncaster station itself and head east towards Scunthorpe and environs. Previously they would have to pass through Doncaster station to the yards beyond, run-round, and then head back north again, through the busy Doncaster station and across the whole throat to get to the Scunthorpe lines, saving a good hour off their journey time too.

Panel 5

South Yorkshire Joint Line

There is a stretch of single track bypassing Doncaster station, avoiding trains between Hatfield and Firbeck Junction from crossing over the busy main line on the level. Panel 2 (the panel controlling the other end of the line) and Panel 5 each have a slot, both of which can be given at the same time, and neither of which cancel when a train passes.

Note that it is possible to create a stand-off on this line by signaling a train towards D676 with the slot from panel 2 granted.

Hatfield Colliery

Trains load via the Bunker line. The ground frame must be used to allow trains out of the north (left hand) end, and is also used to control the hand point between the Bunker line and the Up Reception.

Hatfield and Stainforth

Hatfield and Stainforth station was originally known as Stainforth and Hatfield.

The section between D1124 and D641 on the Down Scunthorpe Slow at Hatfield & Stainthorpe is very short. Anything longer than around two carriage lengths and needing to reverse into the Down Sidings will need route set from D641 to D649, and that route will need to be manually cancelled after the train has left because it will not have operated TORR (when TORR is enabled).

D1120 has an override control for routing to D648 with the berth track (final TC in the route) occupied. Right-click on the O/R roundel after setting the route to enable the override and allow the signal to show proceed.

D1130 has an override control for routing to D666 or D668 with the berth track (final TC in the appropriate route) occupied. Right-click on the O/R roundel after setting the route to enable the override and allow the signal to show proceed.

Timetable Notes

2009 Timetable

ECML services are operated by National Express East Coast, then in its last days. Services comprise four trains per hour from King's Cross; though varying through the day, this generally comprises 1tph to Scotland, 1tph to Newcastle and 2tph to Leeds. The stopping pattern of these services at Doncaster varies throughout the day. NXEC's operation is complemented by two 'Open Access' operators, Hull Trains and Grand Central, operating services from King's Cross to Hull (7 per day) and Sunderland (4 per day) respectively.

TransPennine Express operate an hourly service from Cleethorpes to Manchester Airport.

Local service are in the hands of Northern Trains, operating an hourly stopping service Doncaster and Leeds, Doncaster and Hull and Doncaster and Scunthorpe. There is an additional hourly semi-fast service between Hull and Doncaster, and an hourly stopping service from Doncaster which terminate at Adwick. The latter service runs to Skellow Jn to cross over. Most services originate/terminate at various locations beyond Doncaster.

All services operated by Northern's fleet of DMUs except the Doncaster - Leeds locals which are in the hands of the class 321 EMUs.

Note that some early morning and late night services on the Thorne Jn route run via the Skellow lines to maintain route knowledge, similarly a handful of ECML services run via Knottingley.

2015 Timetable

The ECML service, now in the hands of Virgin Trains East Coast, operates a 5th every other hour service from King's Cross to York. The stopping pattern is now standardised, barring early morning/late evening exceptions: the hourly 'Fast' services to/from Scotland do not call at Doncaster, all other services do.

Grand Central operate an additional four trains per day between King's Cross and Bradford Interchange, running via Knottingley.

Northern and TransPennine Express services remain largely unchanged from 2009.

2019 Timetable

ECML services, nationalised once again in the form of London North Eastern Railway, are basically unchanged, however services north of Edinburgh now run under 1W## headcodes in place of the usual 1S##, as part of a policy to give them enhanced priority and avoid them losing their path north of Edinburgh. The timetable marks the last months of full Class 91 and HST operation on the ECML; by the end of the year the HSTs had been withdrawn along with a good chunk of the Class 91/Mk4 fleet.

Northern and TransPennine Express service patterns remain largely unchanged from 2009, however some routes have been re-timed.

Level Crossings

Name Type Panel Located Between
Applehurst Lane TEL 4 Thorpe Marsh Jn*
Ashfield Road TEL 5 Thorne South and Thorne Junction
Askern CK 4 Knottingley South Jn and Shaftholme Jn
Atkinson TEL 4 Adwick and Bentley
Balne CK 4 Temple Hirst Jn and Joan Croft Jn
Balne Lowgate CK 4 Temple Hirst Jn and Joan Croft Jn
Barcroft TEL 4 Temple Hirst Jn and Joan Croft Jn
Booths #1 TEL 4 Applehurst Junction and Skellow Junction
Booths #3 TEL 4 Applehurst Junction and Skellow Junction
Bramwith AHB 4 Hatfield and Applehurst Junction
Daw Lane CK 4 Shaftholme Junction and Doncaster
Dormer Green CK 4 Temple Hirst Jn and Joan Croft Jn
Fenwick CK 4 Temple Hirst Jn and Joan Croft Jn
Godnow Bridge CK 5 Crowle and Thorne South
Haggs TEL 5 Hatfield and Kirk Sandall
Hatfield Lane TEL 5 Hatfield and Kirk Sandall
Haywoods CK 4 Knottingley South Jn and Shaftholme Jn
Heyworth TEL 4 Temple Hirst Jn and Joan Croft Jn
Joan Croft CK 4 Temple Hirst Jn and Joan Croft Jn*
Kirton Lane CCTV 5 Thorne South and Thorne Junction
LC No.4 TEL 4 Shaftholme Junction and Doncaster
Kitchen TEL 4 Skellow Junction and Carcroft Junction
Lowfield OCC 4 Knottingley South Jn and Shaftholme Jn
Medge Hall CK 5 Crowle and Thorne South
Moss CK 4 Temple Hirst Jn and Joan Croft Jn
Noblethorpe CK 4 Temple Hirst Jn and Joan Croft Jn
Norton CK 4 Knottingley South Jn and Shaftholme Jn
Owsten Grange TEL 4 Knottingley South Jn and Shaftholme Jn
Ritchies TEL 4 Knottingley South Jn and Shaftholme Jn
Rushey Moor UWC 4 Knottingley South Jn and Shaftholme Jn
Selby Road AHB 4 Knottingley South Jn and Shaftholme Jn
South Farm #1/#2 TEL 4 Applehurst Junction and Joan Croft Junction
Stainforth Road AHB 4 Hatfield and Applehurst Junction
Stubbs Walden North CK 4 Knottingley South Jn and Shaftholme Jn
Stubbs Walden South CK 4 Knottingley South Jn and Shaftholme Jn
Thorne #1 AHB 5 Crowle and Thorne South
Thorne #2 AHB 5 Crowle and Thorne South
Thorpe AOCL 4 Knottingley South Jn and Shaftholme Jn
Thorpe Rd AHB 4 Hatfield and Applehurst Junction
Windors TEL 5 Crowle and Thorne South

*Joan Croft LC only exists in pre-Flyover eras, and Applehurst Lane in post-Flyover eras.

Multiplayer & Chaining

One player can reasonably control the whole simulation once experienced. A lighter timetable, or selecting a 04:45 seed start, is suggested to ease into the simulation gently, with Beginner mode and TORR on.

The simulation chains at the following locations:

Simulation Location
Doncaster Station Doncaster (Towards Kirk Sandall Jn)
Doncaster Station Doncaster (Towards Shaftholme Jn)
Doncaster Station Doncaster (Towards Adwick)
Doncaster Station Low Ellers Curve Jn
Leeds Ardsley Adwick Junction
West Yorkshire Knottingley
York North and South Temple Hirst Junction

Provision exists for the simulation to chain at the other fringes, should the corresponding simulation be developed in the future.

Hot Keys

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

Key Panel Area
K Kirk Sandall
H Hatfield & Stainforth
A Carcroft/Skellow/Adwick triangle
J Joan Croft Jn
T Thorpe Marsh Jn
S Shaftholme Jn
N Norton


Simulation by: Geoff Mayo

Timetables by: John Mills

With thanks to the staff of Doncaster PSB, Chris Law, Pascal Nadin, and our team of testers.

Reference Section

Signal Number Plan

The above plans cover multiple eras.

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
L Leeds (York)*
D Doncaster
DS Doncaster (Skellow Interlocking)
Y York*
FE Ferrybridge*
GL Goole*
S Scunthorpe*

*Fringe box, signals not controlled in this simulation.

Platform, Loop & Siding Lengths

Platform, Siding, and Loop Lengths

Siding and loop lengths can be enabled in the simulation on-demand by left-clicking on the orange LEN button. Right-click to hide the lengths.

Timetabling Details

Trains requiring reversal at Kirk Sandall Junction from the Up to the Down direction (behind D1127/1129) may use Kirk Sandall Junction as their reversal point.

For reversing behind signal D1514, location Norton LC can be used.

Trains from Adwick Junction or Carcroft Junction needing to reverse at Skellow Junction (D1159) can use Skellow Junction as the reversing location.

Special Decisions




Splash Screens

Splash1.jpg By Dave Bevis, CC BY-SA 2.0,
Splash2.jpg By Nigel Thompson, CC BY-SA 2.0,
Splash3.jpg G. Mayo

Additional Information


External Resources

SimSig does not endorse or have any control over the following links. They are provided for interest only with no guarantees of content.

Doncaster PSB (Wikipedia)

INTERCITY 225 Cab Ride from London Kings Cross to York (YouTube)

A 4K Drivers Eye view from Doncaster - Goole. Via Thorne Jn. Filmed on LSL class 37 loco. No 37667.|Doncaster to Goole cab ride

Leeds - Doncaster 82204 Cab Ride

Cabride on Deltic D9000 centre road Doncaster (shaky camera)

A trip over the Askern Branch. Knottingley to Hatfield and Stainforth.

The South Yorkshire Joint. A trip over the section from St Caths Jn (Doncaster) to Kirk Sandall'

Version History

See Version History

Last edited by Steamer on 06/01/2024 at 12:02