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Thread: Track Monitor and Real Trains

  1. #1

    Default Track Monitor and Real Trains

    Is the track monitor something that is exclusive to MSTS or do real engineers have the benefit of something like that too? I am guessing that they don't. On a somewhat related matter, what causes signals to change in real life? Do the trains complete some sort of electical circuit from one rail to the other or what? Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default RE: Track Monitor and Real Trains

    This is the short version.There are locos that have cab signals that will tell you what the next signal is displaying and the condition of the next block.And yes there is a current that flows thru the railsthat is shorted when the wheels enter that block of track. A shorting of this circiut causes the signal to turn red.

  3. #3
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    Default RE: Track Monitor and Real Trains

    Engineers have the benefit of a heck of a lot more gauges and cab displays than are represented in the default cabs, so they do get similar information to the track monitor, but in a different way. . .One important thing is the "Projected Speed" part of the track monitor. Most cabs (at least the modern ones) have an accelerometer just above the speed display on the computer screen, which you use to control your speed. . .it tells you whether you're speeding up or slowing down and by how much (it doesn't give you so much of a "projected speed" as it does tell you stuff like +1 mph, -1 mph, +6 mph, etc. to give you an idea of how fast you're accelerating/decelerating). This is incredibly useful, and fairly easy to implement in the sim (there's a display you can put in your cab called accelerometer). Also, many cabs have indicators for the upcoming signals too.

    troub
    [link:pages.sbcglobal.net/msts-ic|MSTS: Illinois Central]

  4. #4
    Teppic Guest

    Default RE: Track Monitor and Real Trains

    I drive some of the most modern stock in the UK. There is nothing like the track monitor in my cab!

    I have a speedo, some brake guages, and a computer screen. The computer shows me the time and some status information (saloon lights, AC, etc) it also tells me when faults occur.

    There is a display that shows traction & braking effort as a bar, but that is it.

    Saying that, I don't drive heavy freight or massive trains. Just 12 cars :)

  5. #5
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    Default RE: Track Monitor and Real Trains

    A few days ago, someone posted a bunch of pictures of some diesel locomotives he was allowed to board. I can't find the post right now or I would include a link. Anyway, there were a couple of cab shots that clearly show the panel with two computer displays. You can't make out what is there but there clearly is a great deal of information there. It reminds me of the crt displays in commercial airliners and on the bridge of ships.

    Is anyone familiar with these displays and what information they show the engineer?


    [Link Expired]
    Cal Rasmussen
    Beaverton, OR

    Columbia Gorge Route (15% done, The Dalles yard and dam(40%) in progress)
    Cal Rasmussen
    [email protected]
    Columbia Gorge Route

  6. #6
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    Default RE: Track Monitor and Real Trains

    The following link shows some close-ups of different computer screens. The first closeup (of the SD70MAC) is the one I'm most familiar with, as it's the one I've seen in most of the standard cab SD70's that I'm working on modelling, and it was the main screen in the SD90MAC I got to ride (and drive, long story!) recently.
    http://krugtales.50megs.com/rrpictal...r/cabtourc.htm

    Also, I didn't say there was anything like the track monitor in a real cab, but some of the information presented to us in the track monitor is available to the engineer in different ways (cab signals, accelerometers, etc.). I think we can all agree that the track monitor is a Kuju contrivance designed to make things easier for us (especially since the speed limit and milepost signs are pretty much illegible on the computer screen when you go by them).

    troub
    [link:pages.sbcglobal.net/msts-ic|MSTS: Illinois Central]

  7. #7
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    Default RE: Track Monitor and Real Trains

    Hi,

    For railroad technical questions, take a look at:
    http://www.trainweb.org/railwaytechnical/

    You can find several answers there.

    Dick van den Hoven
    [Link Expired]

  8. #8
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    Default RE: Track Monitor and Real Trains

    Also, even for older, non-CRT cabs, don't underestimate the value of KNOWING YOUR ROUTE. Add to that the fact that real crews are in contact with a dispatcher, and the chances of coming around a corner and seeing something that surprises you are greatly reduced. Most crewmen know their routes very well, and are briefed before each shift with current slow orders, MOW activity, etc etc. So they've got their own version of a track monitor, consisting of knowledge, experience, and updated information.

  9. #9
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    Default RE: Track Monitor and Real Trains


    >Most cabs (at least the
    >modern ones) have an accelerometer
    >just above the speed display
    >on the computer screen, which
    >you use to control your
    >speed. . .it tells you
    >whether you're speeding up or
    >slowing down and by how
    >much (it doesn't give you
    >so much of a "projected
    >speed" as it does tell
    >you stuff like +1 mph,
    >-1 mph, +6 mph, etc.
    >to give you an idea
    >of how fast you're accelerating/decelerating).
    > This is incredibly useful,
    >and fairly easy to implement
    >in the sim (there's a
    >display you can put in
    >your cab called accelerometer).
    >Also, many cabs have indicators
    >for the upcoming signals too.

    Funny that you should mention that, when I built the cab (not the best) for the BR HST, I put the accelerometer in it, and I find that it's even more usefull than the "projected speed" indicator as it shows you the forces that are being put on the locomotive and as such makes it easier for you to compensate.

    Cheers,
    James.


  10. #10
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    Default RE: Track Monitor and Real Trains

    Also, ultra-modern signalling systems allow for more than just the signal ahead, take TVM430 (TGV signalling) - it shows the driver the next 5 block sections (each block is usually just over a mile long). I dare say computerised track displays will make their appearance in real trains. I know this for TGV drivers, they have a piece of paper with the route plan; timings, speed limits etc for their journey, much the same as a flight plan.

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