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Table of Contents

Valleys (VAL) Manual
Sim Versions
Use Of Welsh Language
Cardiff Train Describer
Through Routes
Workstation Overview
Heath Junction
Ystrad Mynach South
Level Crossings
Multiplayer and Chaining
Reference Section
Signal Box Prefix Codes
Signal Number Plan
Welsh Names
Version History

Valleys (VAL) Manual

Sim Versions

Version Status Scroll/Views/Loader Published Comments
V1.3 Payware S L 30-12-2020 Press check for updates
V1.0.6 Payware S L 21-03-2017 -
V1.0.5 Payware S L 21-03-2017 -
V1.0.4 Payware S L 20-03-2017 -
V1.0.3 Payware S L 19-03-2017 -
V1.0.2 Payware S L 19-03-2017 -
V1.0.1 Payware S L 18-03-2017 -
V1.0.0 Payware S L 18-03-2017 -


Title Published Author Comments
08-04-15 18-03-2017 Andrew James & John Mills Bundled with V1.0.0 Default Weekday Timetable (2015)
21-11-15 18-03-2017 Andrew James & John Mills Bundled with V1.0.0 Cardiff Up Side Blockade
25-05-16 18-03-2017 Andrew James & John Mills Bundled with V1.0.0 Default Weekday Timetable (2016)
03-09-16 18-03-2017 Andrew James & John Mills Bundled with V1.0.0 Vale Of Glamorgan Diversions & Severn Tunnel Diversions


Original sim written by Karl Latham.

Craig, Ben, Rob and Sean. Without the four of you I would never have made it through University, nor would I have got as far as I have with these simulations. It is only fitting that the simulation with Taff's Well should contain the acknowledgement.


This simulation covers the area of the former Heath Junction, Ystrad Mynach South, and Bargoed signalboxes (Now controlled by the South Wales Signalling Centre), and the current Radyr and Abercynon signalboxes.

Uniquely in SimSig, the two sections of the simulation aren't physically connected under your control. The vast majority of trains enter the simulation at Cardiff Queen Street, and are routed by Cardiff Taff panel either towards Heath Junction, or towards Radyr via Llandaf. A smaller number of trains enter the simulation at Ninian Park; also under the control of Cardiff Taff panel, and are routed towards Radyr via Danescourt (also known as "The City Line"). A handful of freight trains run through the area, serving the collieries at Hirwaun and Cwmbargoed, and hauling shipments of coal to the power station at Aberthaw (Cardiff Vale of Glamorgan simulation).

The Rhymney half of the simulation is double track between Cardiff Queen Street and Bargoed, with a single track section between Bargoed and Rhymney; this section of line is worked by a token system which is fully simulated. The single track branch to Coryton splits off at Heath Junction, the player must keep a close eye to route trains over the junction in the correct order! The single track freight only line to Cwmbargoed splits off at Ystrad Mynach; this section of line is worked by a staff and ticket system which is fully simulated.

The Radyr half of the simulation is double track between Cardiff Queen Street and Abercynon, the double track City Line merges at Radyr, and the line towards Treherbert splits off at Pontypridd initially as double track. North of Abercynon, the lines to both Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare are both single track lines with intermediate passing loops. The branch to Tower Colliery at Hirwaun is accessed by the ground frame at Aberdare. The Treherbert branch drops down to single track at Porth, with the line to Treherbert controlled by two token sections split with a passing loop at Ystrad Rhondda. The token system on the Treherbert Line is fully simulated.

Use Of Welsh Language

During the creation of the Wales & Borders series the use of the Welsh language has been a source of much fun and enjoyment. I have tried to use the English version of place names throughout the simulation, sometimes due to the fact I speak the Welsh language, and have lived in Wales most of my life a Welsh version of a place names "slips through the net" especially in cases where it is hard for the testing team to spot the difference (eg English - Treforest / Welsh - Trefforest). A list of Welsh names is provided in the Reference Section.


Cardiff Train Describer

The Cardiff Train Describer gives the Radyr and Heath Junction panels advanced notice of what is approaching from Cardiff Queen Street. When the simulation is played stand alone you will receive TD indications back as far as Cardiff Queen Street. If this simulation is chained to the Cardiff simulation you will receive TD indications back as far as Cardiff Central and Cardiff Bay.

Through Routes

Through routes are available as follows:

  • Heath Junction - Caerphilly Interlocking

Caerphilly Interlocking has a "Through Routes" override facility. This was fitted to Western Region E10k interlockings to allow trains to run in the event of a failure of the remote control systems that link remote interlockings to the panel.

When in "Through Routes", all of the normal direction main running signals under Caerphilly Interlocking will set, and then clear automatically with the passage of each train. If you select through routes with any other route set in the area, the interlocking will automatically replace those signals to danger, timing out if necessary, then automatically clear the main through routes. This will happen even if you have a train approaching a signal that is off.

To select through routes, right click on the green "TRC" roundel. To cancel through routes, left click on the green "TRC" roundel. The roundel will be hollow when not in through routes, solid green when operating in through routes, and will flash when through routes has been selected but not all routes are yet set.

If the emergency replacement facility on signal UC5 has been used, you will have to cancel it separately even when in through routes. This is not prototypical, but is a limit of SimSig at the time of initial sim release.


Train Operated Route Release (TORR)

TORR is provided, however for realistic play this option should be disabled.

Scale of Problems

Choose the scale of train delays and infrastructure failures. The normal SimSig options of “None”, “Low”, “Medium” and “High” are available. Select which one you wish to play from the drop-down menu.

Interlocking Boundaries

Where a workstation has multiple interlockings within its control a button labelled "INT" on an orange background is available to turn the interlocking boundary markers on (white text) or off (black text). The interlocking boundaries are shown in red and will assist you in locating a failure should it occur.

Workstation Overview

Heath Junction

Operational notes:

  • HJ11 is a fixed red.
  • HJ12R is a fixed distant.
  • Trains signalled up to DC2 which will reverse at HJ21 signal should be specially described as "0Z10".
  • Care should be taken to ensure trains booked to terminate at Caerphilly platform 2 are correctly routed at HJ9 signal.
  • The SGRC for Caerphilly interlocking will replace all signals in that interlocking to its most restrictive aspect apart from signal DC5. It will also cancel Through Routes.
  • The TRC for Caerphilly interlocking will set the main routes from all controlled signals within the interlocking. (Note if a route is set HJ9 to HJ11 this route will be cancelled as soon as the TRC control is pressed).
  • The line between Heath Junction and Coryton is a One Train Working section. A train staff is not provided.
  • It is not possible to set a route onto the Coryton branch from HJ3 or HJ21 signals unless the One Train Working section is clear (solid green roundels).
  • :simulations:cardiffvalleys:CorytonOTW1.png
  • When a train towards Coryton passes either HJ3 or HJ21 as appropriate, the OTW section will show occupied (red roundels). If there was no route set from either of these signals to Coryton, this function is suppressed.
  • :simulations:cardiffvalleys:CorytonOTW2.png
  • The train will clear off the last track circuit, leaving the section occupied whilst it proceeds to Coryton and back.
  • :simulations:cardiffvalleys:CorytonOTW3.png
  • When the train is signalled off the branch, and it clears Track Circuit HJBE, the One Train Working roundels will flash green.
  • :simulations:cardiffvalleys:CorytonOTW4.png
  • At this point, you need to press the Train Arrived button, which will set the One Train Working roundels solid green. In reality this would be done once the signaller has seen that the train leaving the branch line is complete with tail lamp. Another train can then be signalled onto the branch.
  • :simulations:cardiffvalleys:CorytonOTW5.png
  • The occupancy of track circuits HJCD or HJCE for any reason will set the One Train Working section to occupied.
  • If the one train working system shows occupied due to a track circuit failure, it can only be reset with a train exiting the single line section, which in reality would require the introduction of Pilotman working. You will not be able to set a route onto the branch, so the points will be required to be keyed to the correct position and the train talked past either HJ3 or HJ21 at danger with instructions to examine the line.

Ystrad Mynach South

Operational notes:

  • The line between Ystrad Myanch South Junction and Cwmbargoed is controlled by the staff and ticket system.
  • If two trains are to follow each other through the section it is important to only issue the ticket to the first train.
  • In order to enter the single line section the train staff MUST be present at the end the train is at.
  • It is not possible to move the train staff or ticket by road.
  • You will receive a penalty if you allow a train to occupy the single line without the staff or ticket.


Operational notes:

  • The line between Bargoed and Rhymney is controlled by the No Signaler Token Remote system.
  • Trains booked to enter the Bargoed - Rhymney section will not depart from Bargoed until the token has been released.
  • BD35 is interlocked with the token instrument.
  • Rhymney North and Rhymney South, ground frames are released by the Bargoed - Rhymney Token. As such only one ground frame can be released at a time. For further information on the North Ground Frame see the tutorial section.
  • The connection between the loop line and DMU sidings is a hand point and can be moved without needing the token release.
  • Trains can lock inside at Rhymney.
  • Trains can shunt between the Loop / DMU Sidings at any time.
  • There is no route between BD2 and BD20.
  • A call on route is provided from BD2 into platform 1 at Bargoed. This will clear BD20 as a preset shunt.
  • The two white roundels under Rhymney North ground frame will illuminate when a train is stood at Rhymney station, or is waiting at Rhymney Sidings.
  • The overlap on signal BD37 is automatically selected based on the lie of BD33 points. Once set the overlap cannot be swung.
  • The ROL for Signal BD37 is automatically selected by the interlocking rather than by the signaller. It will select if the platform that Points BD33 are set for is occupied.


Operational notes:

  • The line between Porth and Treherbert is controlled by the No Signaler Token Remote system with an intermediate passing loop at Ystrad Rhondda.
  • VR302 is interlocked with the Porth - Ystrad Rhondda token instrument.
  • Treherbert ground frame is released by the Treherbert - Ystrad Rhondda token.
  • Trains can depart from Ystrad Rhondda in either direction.
  • Trains can only arrive into the platform in the correct direction of travel.
  • On arrival at Porth drivers of trains destined to Ystrad Rhonnda will phone and request a token.
  • On arrival at Ystrad Rhonnda the driver will advise you he is complete with tail lamp, and that he has replaced the token.
  • When ready to depart from Ystrad Rhondda the driver will ring you and request a token for the appropriate section.
  • On arrival at Treherbert, if a train is booked to return to Ystrad Rhondda you will only received one phone call asking for permission to cycle the token through the instrument.
  • On arrival at Treherbert, if a train is booked into the sidings, you will receive a phone call once the train has passed clear into the sidings, and the ground frame has been locked, confirming it is complete with tail lamp and that the token has been replaced.
  • When a train enters at Treherbert sidings the driver will call requesting a token.
  • The two white roundels under Treherbert ground frame will illuminate when a train is stood at Treherbert station, or is waiting at Treherbert Sidings.
  • Signal VR520 has two overlaps. The routes from VR624 and the Warner route from VR522 terminate at VRFJ Track Circuit, the full overlap from VR522 terminates at VRGA Track Circuit.
  • There is no warner route from VR624 to VR520.


Operational notes:

  • A call on route is available into the Down Loop at Abercwmboi.
  • A call on route is available onto the Up & Down Aberdare line at Abercwmboi (Up direction only).
  • All loops on this workstation are passenger loops.
  • Signal Group Replacement Controls are provided at Stormstown (applying to all signals at the south end of the loop), Abercynon (applying to all signals in the station area), Merthyr (applying to all signals involving the passing loop) and Aberdare (applying to all signals into, and within, Abercn01 interlocking area). Activating a control replaces all affected signals to danger.

  • In order to release Aberdare

    Ground Frame , among the more usual conditions, you must not have a route set from signal A176 to A172. If you have signaled a train towards signal A172 the train must have come to a stand and the overlap timed out.

Level Crossings

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

Crossing Type Located Between Workstation
Gibbons UWC Pengam & Hengoed Ystrad Mynach
Gelynins UWC Taff's Well & Radyr Radyr
T.A.V.R UWC Ystrad Rhondda & Treorchy Radyr
Old Mill UWC Llwynpia & Ystrad Rhondda Radyr

Multiplayer and Chaining

Cardiff Valleys can be chained to the Cardiff simulation. The two simulations connect at Heath Junction, Llandaf, and Ninian Park. Please note that when the two simulations are chained the Cardiff Train Describer will display the full berth stepping between Cardiff Queen Street and Cardiff Bay / Cardiff Central.


  • Conflicting information has been received in regards to how the tokens at Bargoed were given to the driver. Some information implies the signalman handed them to the driver. Other information says the driver phoned in from a hut on each platform. For consistency with the Treherbert sections I have opted for the later method.
  • The points at Aberdare ground frame are "slotted joints" in real life. This has proven difficult to simulate and a compromise has been used in the simulation.

Reference Section


A video tutorial explaining the operation of Rhymney North Ground Frame is available at

Signal Box Prefix Codes

Code Box Note
A Abercynon
BD Bargoed
C Cardiff Fringe Box
HJ Heath Junction
VR Radyr
YM Ystrad Mynach South
DC Various Automatic Signals on Down Caerphilly
DT Various Automatic Signals on Down Treforest
YM Ystrad Mynach South

Signal Number Plan

Cardiff Valleys 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.

Welsh Names

As detailed above, where available, the Anglicised version of station names are used. The following shows the Welsh equivalent; if a station does not appear, there is no English equivalent and the Welsh name is used on the panel.

English Welsh
Aberdare Aberdar
Birchgrove Llywynbedw
Cardiff Queen Street Caerdydd Heol-Y-Frenhines
Caerphilly Caerffili
Energlyn & Churchill Park Eneu'r-glyn a Pharc Churchill
Heath High Level Lefel Uchel y Mynydd Bychan
Heath Low Level Lefel Isel y Mynydd Bychan
Lisvane & Thornhill Llysfaen a Draenen Pen-y-Graig
Llanishen Llanisien
Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Tudfil
Merthyr Vale Ynysowen
Mountain Ash Aberpenar
Pontlottyn Pontlotyn
Quakers Yard Mynwent-y-Crynwyr
Rhymney Rhymni
Taffs Well Ffynnon Taf
Treforest Trefforest
Treforest Estate Ystad Trefforest
Treorchy Treorci
Whitchurch Yr Eglwys Newydd

Version History

Version History

Last edited by headshot119 on 16/01/2021 at 20:22