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Table of Contents

Penrith & St Marys, NSW
Introduction
Official Files
Startup Options
Automatic Route Setting (ARS)
Train Operated Route Release (TORR)
Signalling Features
NSW Colour Light Signalling Systems
Operation of Shunt Controls
Panel Signals
Signal Numbering
Workstation Overview
Penrith
St Marys
Additional Operational Notes
Reference Section
External Resources
Version History

Penrith & St Marys, NSW

Introduction

SimSig is proud to present the next sim from Sydney, NSW, Australia! Penrith & St Marys Signal Boxes are located on the Main West line in the greater western suburbs of Sydney, at the foot of the Blue Mountains. Penrith is the main terminus and stabling location in the west for the Sydney suburban service, and you will also guide freight and intercity trains through the area. Many signallers fondly refer to Penrith Box as the best job they ever worked.

This is a small sim designed for 1-2 players.

Where this manual uses compass points, East is left-to-right, towards Sydney. West is right-to-left, towards Valley Heights.

Official Files

File Name Current Version Number
Simulation 1
2011-10-23 Timetable 1.1
2017-11-01 Timetable 1.0
2008-07-16 World Youth Day Timetable 1.0

Startup Options

A drop-down menu is provided when starting a new game, offering three options:

TORR OFF - ARS OFF

TORR ON - ARS OFF

TORR ON - ARS ON

Automatic Route Setting (ARS)

Automatic Route Setting is provided to assist solo play, and is available on all main signals throughout the sim, as well as selected shunt signals. When ARS is enabled, the sim will set controlled signals for approaching trains. Players can still intervene and set controlled signals at any time.

One ARS subarea is provided for Emu Plains, one for Penrith, and two at St Marys. Right-clicking the pink ARS subarea button will disable ARS for that area only. Left-clicking the button will re-enable ARS. These buttons are hidden if you disable ARS at the start of the game.

Cancelling a route in an ARS-enabled area will momentarily disable ARS on all signals in that subarea, and the pink subarea button will flash. This is a safety precaution, and you can re-enable ARS by left-clicking the flashing pink ARS subarea button.

Train Operated Route Release (TORR)

Also known in NSW as Automatic Route Normalisation, TORR simply means that once a train passes clear beyond a signal, the route set from that signal is automatically cancelled or 'taken back' by the interlocking. Older signal boxes require the signaller to do this manually for each train.

When TORR is turned OFF, routes at Emu Plains and Penrith will become 'spent' once a train passes them, and will need to be cancelled manually by the player each time.

The 1992 entrance-exit panel at St Marys is equipped with TORR in real life. Routes at St Marys will always TORR regardless of this setting.

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Signalling Features

NSW Colour Light Signalling Systems

This sim features both the NSW Double Light Colour Light (DLCL) and NSW Single Light Colour Light (SLCL) systems. The regional areas of NSW are signalled to the SLCL scheme, with the Sydney and Newcastle metropolitan areas signalled on the DLCL scheme. The border between the two systems on this sim is between Penrith and Emu Plains.

Automatic signals are denoted by the upper aspect being vertically offset from the lower aspect in DLCL, or vertically offset from the red 'marker' light in SLCL.

For more information on NSW signalling systems please see the links in the reference section at the end of this manual.

Operation of Shunt Controls

NSW interlockings never automatically select a shunt (or calling-on) route between two main running signals.

If you wish to set a shunt or calling-on route instead of a main route, press the 'Shunt/CO' button in the menu bar (near the sim clock) and then set the route. The track does not need to be occupied.

Some shunt routes require the first track circuit beyond the entrance signal to be unoccupied.

Panel Signals

Panel Signals is enabled through the F3 options menu.

When Panel Signals is OFF, all signals in the sim show the real-life indication which would be displayed to the driver.

When Panel Signals is ON, signals are displayed as the signaller sees them - red for stop, green for proceed.

When a signal flashes green (Panel signals on), this is 'conditional clear', known in the UK as 'approach control from red'. The signal is showing Stop in the field, and is waiting for something else to happen before it clears. This could mean the next signal needs to be cleared, or that the interlocking needs to check a train's speed before allowing the signal to clear. When the signal clears, the flashing green will change to a steady green.

In sim, a main signal which currently has a shunt or calling-on route cleared will show yellow (Panel signals on).

Signal Numbering

The majority of signals in the area are numbered to the old NSW standard, a unique identifier based on the signal's approximate distance, in miles, from Central. Up signals use an even number, down signals use an odd number. This applies to both controlled and automatic signals on the main lines.

At Penrith, where there is no main line number provided, signals are labelled per their lever number(s) in the box.

St Marys interlocking uses the more modern standard of a signal box prefix, followed by a unique identifying number, usually followed by one or more letters indicating which line the signal is located on.

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Workstation Overview

Penrith

Penrith Signal Box was opened on 18 October 1956 and is located at the country end of platforms 1 and 2. Signallers operate a relay interlocking via rotary toggle switches. Penrith took control of Emu Plains in 1995.

Due to the age of the signalling in this area, players will come across some restrictive situations. Not all logical routes may be available, and some overlaps do not 'swing'.

A blue AUTO button is provided at Emu Plains to simulate Lever 37 within Penrith Box. When all six main line signals at Emu Plains are set, the AUTO button can be clicked to put this interlocking into automatic working. Cancelling any signal in the group will drop the auto out on all signals. Signals required set to engage the auto working are: 36.6, 36.2, 35.6, 34.9, 35.5 and 35.9. These signals cannot be individually set to auto working.

Shunters will phone you for permission to send a train onto the sim. No phone call is required to send a train into a siding - the shunters know what to expect at each yard.

Trains entering from the Up Sidings out the west (Emu Plains) end via the Up Arrival Road will enter at shunt signal 95. The points between 95 and 94 are set by the shunter and are not interlocked. Trains entering from the west end of the Electric Storage Sidings will enter the sim at signal 94. The shunter will not allow a train to enter from the west end of the Electric Storage Sidings if you have signal 95 set.

Signal 35.0 between Emu Plains and Penrith on the Up Main will not clear until the next signal 34.6 is showing any proceed aspect. To signal a train from Emu Plains into the Up Arrival Road, set signal 34.6 first, then set 35.0.

There is no signalled route from shunt signal 5/24 into platform 3. Trains which enter at the west end of the Down Yards and proceed back along the Up Main can only be signalled into P1 or P2. Trains from 4-6 Down Yard which need to get to P3 can only do so by re-entering 1-3 Down Yard and moving through the sidings. The train does not remain 'in sim' while traversing the sidings. All official timetables provided with the sim are designed so that trains will drop off the sim, then enter again at 1-3 Down Yard near platform 3. Anybody who wishes to write a timetable for this sim would need to follow this process.

Some trains are timetabled to terminate in platform 3, enter 1-3 Down Yard, pop out the other end and then shunt to 4-6 Down Yard. This is also treated by the sim as two separate train movements. Where possible, the final stabling destination of the train is in the description.

There is no time release of overlap provided for trains standing at down main home signal 34.1. If you bring a train that close to platform 3, it has to be next into the platform. As such, ARS will not route a train towards 34.1 until the Platform 3 track circuit is unoccupied.

There are two routes from 33.9 into Platform 2. Setting the route normally will send the train via 63 points, simulating lever 85 in the box. To route the train via 58 points, click 33.9, then the blue button labelled '86', then the exit signal 100/97. This simulates operating signal lever 86.

Similarly, there are two routes from the Up Sidings in the up direction towards the shunt neck. It is important to note that the majority of modern suburban services are 8 cars in length, which will not fit clear in the neck. As such, the sim starts with a reminder block on Lever 11. You can remove that block at any time, at your own risk. When timetabling, trains longer than 150m ex 1-8 Up Sidings (Up) should be booked to reverse behind signal 78/77 instead of the shunt neck.

The route from 33.5 into the Down Refuge Loop is approach controlled from red.

A 'calling-on' driver's pushbutton is located next to signal 33.5. This is rarely used. In SimSig, this is simulated by a normal shunt route provided from 33.5 to 33.9. This shunt indication is approach controlled, with a slightly longer approach control timer applied to it to simulate the driver getting out and pressing the button.

Freight trains on the up between Penrith and Kingswood will slow down on the rising grade. All freight trains take time to start from red, especially when heavily loaded.

ARS notes: You should not trust ARS to run Penrith area unattended. ARS will not set shunt routes to and from sidings by itself. You are required to answer the phonecall from the shunter, and set any shunt routes as required.

St Marys

St Marys Signal Box opened in 1942 and was updated with its current pushbutton entrance-exit panel in 1992. Generally a very straightforward job and a fantastic location for new signallers to develop their skills, St Marys spends most of its time sorting two tracks into one towards Penrith, and vice versa towards Sydney.

Two ARS subareas are provided. The UP direction subarea will control all signals in the up direction on both sides of the station, and the DOWN subarea controls all down direction movements on both sides of the station. This includes shunt routes which are set by ARS (to and from the storage sidings).

St Marys Storage Sidings, aka St Marys Yard, is not an entry/exit point. Trains entering the sidings will reverse behind SM 476. ARS will not route a train out of the Storage Sidings towards P1 or P2 until all tracks are clear up to and including the platform.

Down Main signal 'SM 451 M' is approach controlled from red (conditional clear) when next signal 473 is at stop. Several intermediate train stops are present in Platform 4, significantly slowing the approach of trains until 473 shows any proceed aspect.

Plasser Works operates per the SimSig standard for ground frames. The only variation is that the up main handsignal can be cleared while the points are normal, to enable yard working back towards St Marys platforms. This siding is mainly used for track machine storage in the leadup to possessions and is rarely operated.

Rooty Hill Sidings is a new addition to the area, less than a decade old. Main line signals all operate automatically, and are placed at Stop by releasing the frame. Once the frame is released, click the button for RH4 or RH3 as required. This simulates the trackside 'plunger'-type buttons. Once the movement is complete, the points will self-normalise. Once the points are detected in Normal, lock the frame again and the main line signals will set themselves.

St Marys may phone Blacktown Signal Box and request they divert trains onto the adjacent down line. If you request both down lines blocked at the same time, trains will stack up off-sim and will enter as soon as you give line clear to the signaller at Blacktown via telephone.

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Additional Operational Notes

All platforms between Emu Plains and Blacktown will fit one eight-car suburban set. V-Sets are slightly longer but will not cause you any problems. West of Emu Plains, some shorter platforms exist - drivers will stop with the rear car(s) on the platform as required.

All roads and sidings in sim have 1500V DC overhead wire electrification, except Rooty Hill Sidings and Plasser Works. In reality there is also no overhead wire in St Marys Storage Sidings, however the sim has the siding electrified to enable historical timetables pre-removal of the overhead.

Glenbrook Ground Frame is not released by any signal box. The frame is only locked by track circuit occupancy and can be released by field staff at any other time. Lever 2 operates points 2 and also signal 2. This ground frame is only used during Pilot Staff Working where trains are worked in both directions over one line, with the other line closed for trackwork. This scenario is not simulated.

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Reference Section

Penrith & St Marys Signal Number Plan

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.

External Resources

RailSafe (Network Rules and Procedures)

Description of NSW signal aspects

Cab Ride, Penrith Down Yard to Epping via Central during AM peak

Version History

Version History


Last edited by Steamer on 29/06/2022 at 19:13