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Table of Contents

Slough Panel Manual
Official Files
Introduction
Features
Options
Scenarios
Eras
ATP
Panel Notes
East Position
West Position
Level Crossings
Multiplayer & Chaining
Hot Keys
Acknowledgments
Reference Section
Signal Number Plan
Signal Box Prefix Codes
Platform, Loop & Siding Lengths
Splash Screens
Version History

Slough Panel Manual

Official Files

Title Version Released
Simulation (Payware) 1.1 06/05/2022
Slough 2009-10-15 SX 1.1 06/05/2022

Additional user-written timetables are available to download here .

Introduction

This simulation covers the area of the now closed Slough PSB.

You are in control of the Great Western Main Line from Stockley, through West Drayton where the freight-only Colnbrook branch peels off, then under the M25 and through Iver station, onto Langley and its (now former) oil terminal, over Dolphin Junction (named in true railway tradition for a local watering-hole) before reaching Slough station itself. Continuing west the single-track branch to Windsor & Eton Central immediately curves off to the south, while the mainline hurries on past Burnham and its single island platform, through Taplow, over Brunel's masterful Maidenhead Viaduct and into Maidenhead station. At Maidenhead the former GW line to Wycombe peels off to the north, truncated not long after the panel opened to terminate at Bourne End, with trains reversing there now to reach Marlow. Back on the mainline we relinquish control to Reading PSB not far west of the station at Waltham, where the railway skirts a small aerodrome.

Features

Options

Train Operated Route Release (TORR)

Train Operated Route Release is not fitted on the real Slough Panel. There is an option in the sim to turn it on or off.

Overlap Display

On E10K panels overlaps are not displayed, however points are still locked in them. By default overlaps will not be shown, you can turn them on with this option.

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.

Auto Buttons

On this design of panel, auto buttons applied to multiple signals. With the button on, the main routes from the listed signals will work in auto mode until cancelled, or the button is un-set. Cancelling a route does not reset the button, so for example if 102 was cancelled and re set towards West Drayton Platform 5, 104/108/110 would remain in auto mode. When the route from 102 to Platform 5 has been used, and 102 is re set towards West Drayton platform 3, 102 signal will revert to auto mode providing the button is still set. Some of the Auto Buttons span both positions, coordination is recommended if playing multiplayer.

Emergency Alarms

Emergency Alarms are provided to both adjacent signalboxes.

Scenarios

Maidenhead 302 points no reverse

Due to a gauging defect, PWay engineers have signed 302 points at Maidenhead out of use for reverse moves. You will be unable to signal trains between Maidenhead Platform 4 and the Bourne End branch.

Depending on timetable, you may find you need to edit the schedules of some trains in order to shunt to Platform 5 and access/egress the Bourne End branch.

Maidenhead East 307 points no reverse

Slough S&T have diagnosed a gearbox fault in one of the ends of 307 points at Maidenhead East Jn. The fix is relatively easy, but with their current workload they are unable to re-attend today. You will be unable to cross trains between the Main and Relief lines at Maidenhead East Jn.

You will have to work around the fault as best as you see fit.

Up/Down Bay Line OOU

After vandalism overnight, the Up/Down Bay Line on the Windsor Branch is out of use while technicians effect repairs. All traffic to run via the Up/Down East Loop until further notice.

You may find you need to regulate more carefully if there are 2 units booked to swap over/pass on the Windsor branch.

Slough Platform 6 OOU

The Health & Safety Rep for the platform staff at Slough has condemmned the glass canopy on Platform 6 and closed the platform pending repairs. All traffic to turn around in alternative platforms.

Dolphin Jn Down Main ESR

Ultrasonics have discovered a cracked crossing in 350B points, Dolphin Junction on the Down Main. An immediate 5mph ESR has been imposed through 350B points both Normal and Reverse, which PWay have just finished erecting. Expect delays to trains on the Down Main for the remainder of today.

Iver Up Goods OOU

A freight train last night reported a distorted rail on the Up Goods just past Iver station. The line has been closed pending remedial work. All traffic to run via Main or Relief lines.

You may need to recess trains in other locations, or make adjustments to some timetables to work around this issue.

Eras

At release the simulation comes with 2 eras, covering the time period from 1997 until the first part of the panel transferred to the Thames Valley Signalling Centre in 2013. The simulation author has made provisions for older eras in the simulation data and how the simulation is laid out, and thus there are a few areas with larger-than-usual amounts of blank space. Where these are particularly conspicuous labels have been provided stating what was there previously. The areas concerned are: the former East End sidings between the RL and ML at Slough East; The "West Loop" connection off the Windsor branch towards Slough West Jn, and various lifted sidings and similar in the triangle that curve formed; The complex of sidings on the Up side at Taplow and Lent Rise Yard; and the Middle siding between the ML and RL and connctions from the Relief Lines to the Bourne End branch at Maidenhead.

1997-2007

The panel as it was once Slough IECC was fully commissioned and Heathrow Airport Junction was constructed. The complex of Sidings on the Up side at Slough West is still largely intact, with a number of Ground Frames controlling connections off the Up Goods and Up Relief.

2008-2013

In 2008 Network Rail undertook a programme of line speed enhancements on the relief lines between Southall and Reading. Line speeds on the relief lines generally rose from 60mph for freight / 75mph for passenger trains to 60mph for freight and loco-hauled passenger and 90mph for Multiple Units. At the same time a large degree of rationalisation was undertaken - particularly in the Slough West area where many of the sidings hadn't seen use for several years.

Timetables for dates between 2014 and Spring 2017 should work with only minor adjustments. Spring 2017 saw electrification reach the former Slough PSB area, the remodelling of connections on/off the Marlow branch at Maidenhead, and the comissioning of Maidenhead Turnback Siding and Maidenhead Carriage Sidings. The author has no intentions of supporting dates from then onwards at this time.

ATP

In real life the Down and Up Main lines through Slough's area are equipped with GW ATP. The only effect visible in sim to timetablers and players is that trains not-fitted with ATP will not exceed 100mph. ATP fitted trains should have the special "ATP Fitted" Speed Class ticked to take advantage of full line speed.

Panel Notes

East Position

Operational notes:

Slough IECC will phone to advise of approaching trains requiring the Colnbrook branch - note these calls are for advice only, there is no option available to you to have the train held back.

Slough IECC's area is under the control of a virtual signaller. The virtual signaller isn't quite as smart as you, or even ARS, but it will make rudimentary attempts to regulate trains, and in addition to straight up/down, will route trains for the following routes:-

  • Into Dawley Loop (exit point for timetabling)
  • Into/Out of Hayes Loop (entry/exit point for timetabling)
  • Into/Out of the West end of Hayes Tarmac (entry/exit point for timetabling)
  • Into/Out of Southall West Yard to/from Mains or Reliefs (entry/exit point for timetabling)
  • Up Relief to Up Main at Southall West
  • Down Main to Down Relief at Stockley Bridge

Timetablers should note any down direction trains booked to cross at Southall West cannot be crossed over by the virtual signaller, and should be timetabled to enter on the correct line from Southall. Timetablers should also note that trains that do not enter Slough Panel's area of control (IE terminating at Hayes and turning back towards London) will not be handled correctly and therefore should be omitted.

The virtual signaller will also respect any 'BLOK' or other similar such entries on the Train Describer, provided a train isn't already committed to that line. They will do this by either holding trains back off sim, re-routing trains to other entry points off sim, or by crossing trains over at junctions within their control area, as listed above.

West Drayton Platform 5 may be used for passenger trains terminating from Paddington and starting back towards London. Otherwise the whole of the Up Goods from Iver to West Drayton is freight-only, and should only be used for passenger trains when specially authorised. As such, S106 signal is provided with a full overlap which prevents the release being given to West Drayton #2 GF - this will time out after a train has been stood at S106 for a short period of time.

It is not uncommon for Colnbrook-bound freight trains to overhang foul of the Up Relief while West Drayton #2 GF is operated, the train draws forward to the C2 commencement board, obtains permission to proceed and lowers the barriers at West Drayton TMO crossing. You should regulate accordingly, more detailed standage lengths are posted in the reference section.

The line between West Drayton and Colnbrook is worked under the C2 system supervised by Slough Panel. The Colnbrook and West Drayton shunters will assist you by tail-lamping trains out of section, and will advise when they have trains to depart with the option of holding them in the terminal if you want to send a down train first. Trains will call the you for permission to enter section, and if the section is clear the option will be provided to authorise the train into the section. A scratchpad loosely laid out per the track layout it provided to aid you in keeping track of what is where.

S285 at the exit of West Drayton T.C. or the Colnbrook Branch is one signal, with two heads. Once the route and ground frame are set, the correct head will show a proceed aspect.

Following a serious fire, the gates across each siding at Langley Oil Terminal are interlocked with the Ground Frame. Before the points can be set for a road, the gates for that siding must be opened with the checkbox provided. Engines should not pass the siding gates at any time, but this is not enforced in sim. The sidings are not an exit point, so timetablers will need to seed any trains in the sidings. Each siding has a useful length of approximately 295m.

Run rounds for trains reversing at Langley Reception should always take place via Langley Platform 4. This is because the S271, GPL at the London End of Langley Platform 3, has no route towards S133 on the Up Relief.

Care should be taken at peak times for trains scheduled to cross at Dolphin Junction.

There is a barrow crossing at the London End of platforms 4/5. You may observe a delay in signals S123/S118 clearing in some circumstances. This is signalling system proving the "safe to cross" white light has been extinguished. The maximum delay clearing is 40 seconds for up trains, 12 seconds for down trains.

Slough Station is spread across the panel boundary, due to limitations in SimSig however some phone calls and messages more relevant to the East Position may be routed to the West Position.

The Auto Switches for S123, S116, S118, S23 and S16 signals are on the West Position. Coordinate with your neighbour when playing multiplayer.

West Position

Slough station is spread across the panel boundary, due to limitations in SimSig however some phone calls and messages more relevant to the East Position may be routed to the West Position.

ACI is provided at both ends of the Windsor branch, this was not provided on the real panel.

There is no information provided in timetables as to whether trains should use the Bay Line or the East Loop on the Windsor Branch. The Bay Line is faster as was typically used in practice.

Slough Up Sidings Shunter will call you for instructions regarding trains approaching the yellow shunts S223 exiting Estates and S256 towards the Yard/Estates/Goods/Relief.

Yellow Shunts S223 and S256 will always TORR, regardless of setting on startup.

The Auto switches below Slough West Junction affect signals on both sides of the panel boundary. Coordinate with your neighbour when playing multiplayer.

Some ECS trains are occasionally timetabled to arrive from the Reading direction into Platform 2 at Slough. There is no direct route to Platform 2 from either main aspect signals S19 on the Up Main, nor S119 on the Up Relief. Such trains should first be routed from S19/S119 to S221 (GPL on the Down Relief), then to S165 in Platform 2 at Slough.

S24/S124 at Farnham Road are not fitted with approach locking, and will cancel immediately even with a train approaching.

The platforms on the Main Lines at Taplow are condemned out of use for the entirety of the period the simulation covers. Trains booked to call Taplow should be routed on the Relief Lines.

Care should be taken at peak times for trains scheduled to cross at Maidenhead East.

The Hot Axle Box Detectors at Maidenhead are only cosmetic at this time.

The Bourne End and Marlow branch is detailed in its own section below.

Waltham Aerodrome is alongside the line west of Maidenhead. A crash alarm was provided between the control tower at Waltham and Reading Panel. Reading Panel were provided with an aerofrome emergency switch, which effects your signals UR27A and UR26 on the Up Relief, DR25 on the Down Relief, and UM27A and UM26 on the Up Main. This is purely cosmetic except when chained to Reading.

Reading Panel's area is under the control of a virtual signaller. The virtual signaller isn't quite as smart as you, or even ARS, but it will make rudimentary attempts to regulate trains, and in addition to straight up/down, will route trains for the following routes:-

  • Up Relief to Up Main at Ruscombe
  • Down Main to Down Relief at Ruscombe
  • Down Relief to Twyford Platform 4 for the Henley Branch

The virtual signaller will also respect any 'BLOK' or other similar such entries on the Train Describer, provided a train isn't already committed to that line. They will do this by either holding trains back off sim, re-routing trains to other entry points off sim, or by crossing trains over at junctions within their control area, as listed above.

Bourne End/Marlow Branch

Overview

The operation of the Bourne End/Marlow branch is complex, and requires its own section of the manual. The Bourne End portion of the branch is operated on the No Signalman Token system, The Marlow portion of the branch is operated on the Staff Working system. The author has tried to recreate these as faithfully as SimSig will allow. Your role is releasing tokens for the Maidenhead to Bourne End section, setting routes on/off the branch at the Maidenhead end, and issuing telephone permissions for the sections not controlled by signals (Bourne End towards Maidenhead, Bourne End towards Marlow, Marlow towards Bourne End). You are also responsible for 6 level crossings, which can only be protected by the signal onto the branch at the Maidenhead end, or refusing permissions for trains to depart Bourne End or Marlow.

Bourne End station has two platforms. Platform 1, also known as "the down side" will only accommodate a 60m train between the buffer stops and the points towards Marlow. At Bourne End there is a traincrew-operated ground frame, or mini control panel in more modern days. While in possession of the token, trains in sim will automatically operate that ground frame as required with no intervention required by you. Platform 2, also known as "the up side" is much longer, and has the facility to return/issue tokens.

Because the ground frame is at Bourne End station, and requires the token to operate, if there is no train on either part of the branch then a train will end up in the down side platform, or in other words - the up side (platform 2) is only accessible if a train is already locked in between Bourne End and Marlow. Timetablers should be aware of that, and plan train lengths accordingly.

In real life the signaller has no visibility of trains on the branch, a paper log was kept and filled out by the signaller as the day went on. For SimSig, a basic train describer has been provided. ACI has not been provided due to timetable data limitations.

The typical daily train service sees a single train shuttle back and forth between Maidenhead and Marlow, reversing in the down side at Bourne End (Platform 1). In peak times, this is enhanced to 1 train locked in between Bourne End down side (Platform 1) and Marlow - affectionately known locally as "The Marlow Donkey", and the Maidenhead to Bourne End up side (Platform 2) section being served more frequently either as a shuttle from Maidenhead or in some timetables, through trains to/from Paddington.

If you have told the train crew that you will release a token but then fail to do so, a message will be posted after 2 minutes in the message window reminding you to release the token, if you have the "Train Standing at Red Signal" message type enabled.

Walkthrough

This section of the manual will walk you through the actions for the typical daily train service, and then for the peak times service with the Marlow donkey.

A train at Maidenhead will call to request you release a token. You can advise the driver to wait and call back, or that you will release a token. When that call is concluded, click the release roundel, which then will flash until the train crew have withdrawn the token. Optionally you may set the Dn/Up Direction Reminder switch to Down, but this is purely cosmetic or for your benefit, it has no bearing on sim operation. When the release roundel stops flashing and the red "Token Out" roundel illuminates, set the route onto the branch from S172/S174 signal as appropriate.

When the train arrives at Bourne End, the train crew will operate the ground frame and withdraw the staff automatically (no player input required), replace the token and call you to advise the ground frame has been operated, the token has been returned, staff withdrawn and request permission to depart towards Marlow. Again you may request they wait and call back or grant permission for departure. When that call is concluded the train will depart for Marlow without further intervention from you.

To return to Maidenhead, the train will request permission to depart Marlow. On arrival back at Bourne End, the traincrew will automatically replace the staff, and call to request release of a token to operate the ground frame and return to Maidenhead. Again you can request they wait and call back, or advise you will release a token. When the call is concluded click the release roundel, which will flash until the train crew have withdrawn the token. Optionally you may set the Dn/Up Direction Reminder switch to Up, but this is purely cosmetic or for your benefit, it has no bearing on sim operation. Note the normal overlap at the London End of platform 5 at Maidenhead is across to the Up Relief, and cannot be swung. A reduced overlap can be selected by locking the points at the London End of Maidenhead Platform 5 in normal before setting the route. S171 will be approach controlled from Red if this overlap is selected.

For the Marlow Donkey, if a train is terminating at Bourne End and returning to Marlow, the traincrew will simply retain the staff and just call for permission to depart each end as necessary.

Trains arriving into Bourne End up side (Platform 2) will report return of tokens, and request token release back towards Maidenhead.

Recovery

As the system for the branch is very complex, you are cautioned against removing, abandoning timetables or other such hand-of-god actions for trains on the branch. However, it is accepted that sometimes that may be unavoidable, and the author has tried to anticipate/handle most situations that may arise. In the unlikely event it does get fouled up, then the system will completely reset if it detects there are no trains on the branch or in either platform 4 or 5 at Maidenhead. You will then have to enter another train into the simulation to replace the lost branch unit.

Level Crossings

Name Type Panel Location/Line Number
Brooksby LC TMO West Position Marlow Branch 1
Calcott Lane LC UWC West Position Marlow Branch 4
Cookham LC ABCL West Position Bourne End Branch
Marina LC TMO West Position Marlow Branch 2
Furze Platt LC ABCL West Position Bourne End Branch
Spade Oak LC UWC West Position Marlow Branch 3
West Drayton LC TMO East Position Colnbrook Branch

Multiplayer & Chaining

With the majority of trains running straight up/down either the main or relief lines without crossing, the simulation is easily handled by one player. Two positions are provided however as on the real panel if multiplayer is desired.

The simulation chains at the following locations:

Simulation Location
None at Present

Provision exists for the simulation to chain at both 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
M Maidenhead
S Slough
W West Drayton
1 Waltham
2 Burnham
3 Dolphin Jn
4 Colnbrook

Acknowledgments

Original sim written by James Nelhams

Reference Section

Signal Number Plan

Slough Panel Signal Number Plan

A hybrid era plan has been produced with all signals drawn on a single plan. Some signals do not appear in both eras.

This is an 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
R Reading Panel
S Slough Panel
SN Slough New IECC

Platform, Loop & Siding Lengths

Platform Lengths

Location Platform Length (m)
West Drayton 1 123
West Drayton 2 213
West Drayton 3 155
West Drayton 4 158
Iver 1 156
Iver 2 180
Iver 3 180
Iver 4 156
Langley 1 88
Langley 2 168
Langley 3 168
Langley 4 169
Slough 1 122
Slough 2 208
Slough 3 192
Slough 4 161
Slough 5 161
Slough 6 92
Windsor & Eton Central 117
Burnham 1 146
Burnham 2 156
Taplow 1 (OOU) 184
Taplow 2 (OOU) 140
Taplow 3 184
Taplow 4 177
Maidenhead 1 79
Maidenhead 2 149
Maidenhead 3 149
Maidenhead 4 114
Maidenhead 5 205
Furze Platt 138
Cookham 108
Bourne End 1 47
Bourne End 2 125
Marlow 54

Loop Lengths

Loop Name Length (m)
West Drayton (between S106 & S141) 301
West Drayton (between Colnbrook Stop Board & S141) 396
Langley Reception (full length) 353
Langley Reception (to GF) 259
Slough UGL 600

Siding Lengths

Siding Name Length (m)
Langley Oil Terminal 295
Langley Refuge Sdg 95

TIPLOC Codes

TIPLOC Codes

Splash Screens

All splash screens were taken by the author unless otherwise stated.

All interior splash screens of the panel 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.

Andrew Gardiner

Photos of Bourne End Token, Marlow Staff and Bourne End GSP were taken by the author while on officially sanctioned shadowing and with permission.

Splash1 S134 Signal
Splash2 S34 Signal
Splash3 S121 Signal
Splash4 Slough PSB Exterior
Splash5 S20 Signal
Splash6 S151 Signal
Splash7 S139 Signal
Splash8 Slough PSB Interior (Andrew Gardiner)
Splash9 Interior - West Drayton (Andrew Gardiner)
Splash10 Interior - Colnbrook C2 Whiteboard (Andrew Gardiner)
Splash11 Windsor looking towards Slough
Splash12 Windsor Buffer Stops
Splash13 Turbo at Bourne End P1
Splash14 BE1 Points Indicator
Splash15 Marlow Staff
Splash16 Bourne End looking towards Marlow / Maidenhead
Splash17 Bourne End Token
Splash18 Bourne End GSP
Splash19 Bourne End Downside Token Instrusment

Version History

Version History


Last edited by y10g9 on 06/05/2022 at 21:38