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|08/04/2015 WTT (Midnight, 0400 & 1400 starts included)||5.2||16/04/2021|
|09/01/2019 WTT (Midnight, 0400 & 1400 starts included)||5.3||16/04/2021|
Additional user-written timetables are available to download here .
This simulation covers the area controlled by Chester PSB (Including the former Hooton PSB area), Beeston Castle Signal box, Ellesmere Port Signal box, Helsby Signal box, Mickle Trafford Signal box, Frodsham Signal box, and Norton Signal box.
The area sees a mixture of local stopping services, semi-fast services and long distance express services. Chester itself sees trains which terminate, trains which stop and continue onward, and trains which stop and reverse before continuing onward. As well as passenger traffic, there are a number of freight services to various destinations.
Not much changed at Chester PSB between the opening in 1984 and the eras simulated, with the only thing of note being the abolition of the boxes between Mold Junction and Rockcliffe Hall. Various changes occurred in the surrounding boxes, though it should be possible with reasonable compromise to write an earlier era timetable.
No scenarios are currently provided
This era is set after the abolition of Mouldsworth Signal box. The line between Wrexham and Saltney Junction remains single throughout and the "Halton Curve" is only able to be used in the Down direction towards Liverpool.
This era is set after the re-signalling of Frodsham Signalbox in association with opening the "Halton Curve" to regular passenger traffic for the first time in many years. The curve can be used in either direction. This era also encompasses the partial redoubling along the Wrexham to Saltney Junction line, between the new Rossett Junction and Saltney Junction, and the upgrade of many of the crossings to OD style.
Scale of problems: Select the probability of failures and late running.
Absolute Block: Select whether or not Absolute Block is turned on between workstations.
Absolute Block: Fringes: Select whether or not Absolute Block is turned on between workstations and adjacent areas.
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.
Train Operated Route Release is provided as a start up option. Running with TORR disabled is the most accurate setting.
Absolute block is included in the simulation where it is present in real life. It can be disabled in two stages as part of the simulation start up options. Please see the Absolute Block manual page for operating instructions.
Rock Ferry to Chester and Ellesmere Port is electrified with 750V DC third rail. If a workstation includes electrification, the boundaries can be switched on/off using left-click/right-click on the "ELC" control located near the "On Duty" berth. Detailed electrification limits are in the Panel Notes below.
Chester panel focuses on the area around Chester station where the routes from Holyhead, Shrewsbury, Birkenhead, Manchester and Crewe converge.
Services are a mixture of long distance services from as far away as South Wales and London, mixed in with more local services to Liverpool and Crewe.
The single line from Wrexham to Saltney Junction requires careful regulation, as delays can quickly build up if you make the wrong move.
Warner routes at Chester station should only be used for passenger trains which are booked to call at, or terminate at, Chester station.
Permissive working (PP) is authorised at all times in platforms 1, 2, 5, and 6.
Beeston is a classic "fringe box" and coverts the Track Circuit Block mode of signalling around Chester into the Absolute Block method of working around Crewe.
A crossover is also available for use during Single Line Working.
Ellesmere Port is Merseyrail's other network terminus on the simulation with only a limited diesel service provided beyond to Helsby.
The majority of other traffic is freight to and from the various yards and sidings.
Frodsham is for the most part a simple "Up & Down" box, with a goods loop on the Up line. The chord to Halton (uni-directional towards Halton in the 2006 era, bi-directional in the 2018 era) diverges here and gives access towards Liverpool via Runcorn.
Helsby is a junction area and allows trains approaching from Warrington to head towards either Chester or Ellesmere Port.
A limited passenger services is provided between here and Ellesmere Port, but the vast majority of passenger trains head to and from Chester and Warrington.
Hooton was formally a stand alone signalbox, but it was migrated into a new panel at Chester PSB.
For the most part it looks after Merseyrail passenger services to and from Birkenhead, but it also sees a limited amount of freight traffic which runs round in the "Long Siding".
Mickle Trafford is an amalgamation of signalboxes. As well as acting as a Track Circuit Block fringe box to Chester PSB, it also interfaces similarly with Greenbank PSB. The single line can cause regulating headaches, and careful interaction is needed between here and Chester to minimise delays.
Norton is a classic "fringe box" and converts the Track Circuit Block mode of signalling around Warrington into the Absolute Block method of working around Frodsham.
This timetable is another in the 2015 "ground hog" series, this timetable is compatible with the equivalent ones on adjacent simulations.
This timetable is another in the 2019 "ground hog" series, this timetable is compatible with the equivalent ones on adjacent simulations. Note that the full package of route learning trains between Chester and Liverpool Lime Street via the "new" Halton Curve have been included for added interest.
|Balderton||AHB||Chester||Wrexham General & Saltney Junction|
|Beeches Farm||UWC||Chester||Shotton & Saltney Junction|
|Broad Oak||AHB||Chester||Wrexham General & Saltney Junction|
|Farmer Johnsons||UWC||Mickle Trafford||Mickle Trafford & Mouldsworth|
|Green Lane||AHB||Chester||Wrexham General & Saltney Junction|
|Hawarden Aerodrome||Flight Path||Chester||Shotton & Saltney Junction|
|Plemstall||UWC||Mickle Trafford||Mickle Trafford & Mouldsworth|
|Pulford||AHB||Chester||Wrexham General & Saltney Junction|
|Rossett||MWL||Chester||Wrexham General & Saltney Junction|
Chester is manageable by one person looking after the whole area. New players may want to play with the Absolute Block controls disabled to decrease the workload.
In multiplayer mode, 2 - 3 players can join and still have plenty to do. We would recommend that one person takes the Chester workstation, another the Hooton workstation and another the rest of the workstations.
The simulation chains at the following locations:
|Edge Hill||Norton Junction||Note only works in the 2006 era|
|North East Wales||Wrexham General||Care needed to ensure both sims are started in matching eras|
|North Wales Coast||Rockcliffe Hall|
|Warrington||Acton Grange Junction||*|
* Provision exists for the simulation to chain at these fringes, should the corresponding simulation be developed in the future.
In addition to the standard shortcut keys , the following are available:
|1||Saltney Junction / Chester West|
|2||Chester / Chester East|
Simulation by: Karl Latham
08/04/2015 WTT by: John Mills
01/09/2019 WTT by: John Mills
This is an Adobe Acrobat PDF file. 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.
|CN||Croes Newydd North Fork*|
|WN||Warrington PSB *|
Note: * denotes an external signal.
|Location||Loop Name||Length (m)|
|Bache||Down Goods Loop||358|
|Chester||Dn & UP Goods||285|
|Down & Up Main||478|
|Down & Up Main (89 > 92)||167|
|Down & Up Main (78 > 83)||261|
|Ellesmere Port||Up Goods Loop||486|
|Frodsham||Up Goods Loop||473|
|Roodee Junction||Down Fast||473|
When importing a timetable via the XML import option, care should be taken with the following:
1) The correct era is selected for the year of timetable being imported.
2) Trains which are timed at Rockcliffe Hall, and then later Saltney Junction, will import with Rockcliffe Hall as the entry point.
3) Trains which are timed at Flint, and then later Saltney Junction without a Rockcliffe Hall time, will import with Flint as the entry point.
These import rules comply with the respective ROTP documents from NWR for the years concerned. However, care should be taken if the odd train does not follow these rules and is, for example, timed "Flint - Rockcliffe Hall - Saltney Junction", despite being post the abolition of Rockcliffe Hall as a timing point.
All splash screens of the panels and signal boxes for this simulation were taken on official organised visits. High resolution versions can be viewed via the links below and were provided by Andrew Gardiner.
Other splash screens of the area and external locations were taken by Rick Houghton.
In real life a set of plungers is available at Signal 408 which light an indicator in Chester PSB to tell the signaller where the train is destined to. This has not been simulated as the user has access to the train's timetable, even for adhoc moves.
Last edited by Steamer on 17/04/2021 at 15:46