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|15/10/2009 WTT (Midnight and 0445 Start included)||1.1||10/07/2021|
|08/04/2015 WTT (Midnight, 0400 & 1400 starts included)||1.2||27/11/2021|
|09/01/2019 WTT (Midnight, 0400 & 1400 starts included)||1.2||27/11/2021|
Current versions only shown; old versions listed in Version History
Additional user-written timetables are available to download here Link to simulation's TT download page .
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.
This simulation is surprisingly challenging as the timetable is so varied and thus little can be assumed from a headcode. Add a mix of slow freight trains and fast passenger trains and the user will be busy working out where to hold freight trains while the passenger trains zoom past. The simulation has been split into two workstation positions, 1N and 1S (north and south) so newer users can concentrate on a smaller area to begin with. Of course, the user can also take control of both positions.
Like the real signalbox, there is no ARS or ACI.
An eleven mile stretch of Panel 2 is also included in the Doncaster South simulation for regulating purposes. This is explained further below.
Easiest option with the most help and minimal failures.
Normal option with some failures.
Hard option with multiple failures and delays possible.
Two sets of engineering work are taking place today. The first is on the Down Fast through Retford station meaning all down trains need to be routed through the down platform loop. However, the Babworth Loop can still be used for regulating. The second is the Up Fast between Grantham and Highdyke Junction. Clapypole or Grantham (Down) Loops can be used for overtaking here.
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.
The Lowfield branch closed, along with Newark Down Sidings. Claypole Loop (Up Main and Up Passenger Loop) had their overlaps extended over the trailing point as their original length was deficient.
Grove Road Up Loop closed.
The connection with Barkston East has been replaced by a new triangle (off-sim) at Allington, meaning trains between Nottingham and Sleaford/Skegness no longer need to cross the East Coast Main Line.
Minor changes at the Newark Castle fringe, in preparation for the closure of Newark Castle signalbox.
No known changes.
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.
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, as are all loops and platforms. The Lowfield, Netherfield, Lincoln, Allington, and Worksop lines are not electrified.
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. Some signals, such as at Ranskill and Claypole, have slot indicators adjacent to the signals to show when the crossing keeper has operated the slot for that signal. Routes can be left in auto without affecting any crossings.
The emergency crossovers are simulated but not available for scheduled moves. It is believed these have been operationally out of use for years, and certainly not feasible to use in anything other than a possession.
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.
Grantham south TC override controls allow a train reversing at D1281 or D1283 to enter platform 2 at Grantham permissively (ie the platform track may be occupied). Set the route and then right-click the override to operate it.
Be careful of Mexican stand-offs on the slow line through Grantham.
Originally trains from Grantham to Sleaford and beyond would use Barkston East junction, involving crossing the main line. A curve was added at Allington, now making a triangle, to allow trains from Grantham to stay away from the main line, use the new curve, and cross under the main line to proceed to Sleaford.
Claypole Down Passenger Loop straddles Barnby Lane CCTV crossing. Try not to block this crossing for too long. A train of 300m or less will be clear of the crossing, while the full loop can handle a train of 723m.
At Newark Northgate, route can be set to the white arrow on the Down Fast, behind signal D73. The final track in the route (between D73 and Barnby Crossing) must be occupied before the route can be set, and stay occupied for the signal to show a proceed (shunting) aspect. There is no route from D76 (platform 2) to the white arrow.
Newark North Gate barrow crossing has white lights on the ground to indicate to the user that it is safe to cross. Because the white lights need to be extinguished for a time before a train can pass over the crossing, signal D71, D73, D76, D1311, and D1315 will be held at red while the lights time out if routed over the crossing.
TRTS is provided on platform 3 only. Note that both signals share the same TRTS beacon on the panel, so you won't get an indication of direction from this.
The Lincoln/Newark tracks crossing the main line are detected using axle counters. Because the wheels of a crossing train bridge the main line track circuits briefly, these will flood occupied as a train crosses over, per panel.
There is a trailing crossover at Newark Castle, allowing trains from Nottingham to reverse and head back to Nottingham. Doncaster is not involved with these moves, but will see track occupancy and train descriptions when chained to the Netherfield simulation (not yet available).
Crankley Crossing north east of Newark North Gate on the Lincoln Line has lights which must be extinguished for a time before a train can pass. If a train is already at D86, D88, D83, or D85 signals then they will be held at red until the time expiry.
Retford Up Platform Loop had a lower speed crossing from the Up Main to the Up Platform Loop and was closer to the station in the earliest era. The simulation has a compromise with speed and location due to lack of information for that time period.
Part of Panel 2 is simulated in Doncaster South to help with regulating trains at Ranskill and Retford. When used standalone, the user is in control of Ranskill and Bawtry, but when chained to Doncaster Station, the area will still be visible but not able to be controlled.
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 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.
Local services are operated by East Midlands Trains, running 1tph between Nottingham and Lincoln (plus a daily service from Lincoln to St Pancras), 1tp2h from Newark North Gate to Grimsby, 1tph from Nottingham to Skegness (which reverses at Grantham), and 1tph from Liverpool to Norwich, which passes through Grantham from Nottingham towards Peterborough.
The ECML service, now in the hands of Virgin Trains East Coast, operates a 5th hourly service from King's Cross, the destination alternating between Newark and York each hour. Additionally, a daily service to Lincoln operates. Stopping patterns at the intermediate stations have been standardised through the day, bar the usual early morning/peak/late night differences.
Grand Central operate an additional four trains per day between King's Cross and Bradford Interchange.
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.
Services between Nottingham and Lincoln are generally non-stop between Lincoln and Newark Castle, the intermediate stops now being picked up by a new Nottingham- Newark Castle service.
|Barrel Lane||UWC||1N||Carlton and Retford|
|Cottage Lane||AHB||1S||Newark and Swinderby|
|Crankley||UWC||1S||Newark Crossing East Junction|
|Eaton Lane||UWC||1N||Carlton and Retford|
|Eaves Lane||UWC||1N||Carlton and Retford|
|Frinkley Lane||UWC||1S||Barkston East Junction and Claypole|
|Grassthorpe Lane||UWC||1N||Carlton and Retford|
|Hough Lane||UWC||1S||Barkston East Junction and Claypole|
|Langford||AHB||1S||Newark and Swinderby|
|LC245||UWC||1N||Ranskill and Loversall Carr|
|Newark Barrow Crossing||Barrow||1S||Newark North Gate|
|School Lane||UWC||1N||Ranskill and Loversall Carr|
|Scrooby||UWC||1N||Ranskill and Loversall Carr|
|Thompsons||UWC||1N||Ranskill and Loversall Carr|
|Westborough||UWC||1S||Barkston East Junction and Claypole|
|Whitehouse Lane||UWC||1S||Newark North Gate and Newark Flat Crossing|
|Winthorpe||AHB||1S||Newark and Swinderby|
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:
|Doncaster Station||Loversall Carr Junction (Under development)|
|Worksop||Thrumpton West Junction (future)|
|Netherfield/Allington||Grantham and Newark Castle (future)|
Provision exists for the simulation to chain at other fringes, should the corresponding simulation be developed in the future. These are marked as (future) in the above table.
In addition to the standard shortcut keys , the following are available:
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.
|BE||Barkston East (earlier eras)|
|D||Doncaster (this simulation)|
|L||Lowfield (earliest era only)|
|NC||Newark Castle (pre-2017)|
|NN||Nottingham-Newark line (East Midlands Control Centre) (2017 onwards)|
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.
Newark Crossing East Junction has been programmed at D88 to enable reversals there from real life timetables without additional locations required.
|Splash1.png||Section of a control table for Retford|
|Splash2.jpg||Train at Doncaster station (off-sim)|
|Splash3.jpg||Doncaster station (off-sim)|
|Splash4.jpg||Panel photo of Carlton crossovers|
|Splash5.jpg||Panel photo of the fringe to Peterborough at Stoke Junction|
|Splash6.jpg||Panel photo of the Newark Flat Crossing area|
|Splash7.jpg||Panel photo of the Retford area|
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See Version History
Last edited by Steamer on 31/03/2022 at 15:00