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Thread: Run 8 Dispatching now simulates real-life.

  1. #1
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    Default Run 8 Dispatching now simulates real-life.

    Are you aware that in Run 8 we can now simulate what is becoming reality....albeit in Western Australia and not (yet) in California?

    Recently an iron-ore train, without crew, was remotely-controlled along the full length of the route in the Pilbara by an operator sitting 1500 kilometres away in Perth.

    So despatch a freight along the Run 8 routes, hit F3 and do the rest of the run from that position and you are mimicking the way in which Rio Tinto are now controlling their consists.
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  2. #2
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    I remember watching a ABC program a few years ago showing this Technology under trial with one of the mining companies - probably Rio Tinto in Western Australia, can't remember.

    I'm not a hundred percent sure but i think BHP was looking at it too for their far North Queensland operations.

    It's hard to say what impact it will have on the number of trains crew's or various operators, since we have had for a while now drive-less (robot) mining trucks and yet the mining companies are always looking for truck drivers.

    Don't be surprised to see this technology find it's way into commuter passenger train services with in the next 10-20 years, especially with the various states here in Australia slowly but gradually phasing out grade crossings in the suburban/metropolitan area's.

    With the announcement this morning that Australia has had a major break through in Hydrogen fuel technology http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-0...ntial/10082514 and the ability now to start major producing and exporting it at some stage in the future, I'm betting we will see robot mining trains running on Hydrogen fuel very quickly, which in turn could see other types of trains gradually being converted to Hydrogen powered.

    Train simulator's will be interesting in the next decade or two, when we will be remembering the days when trains were driven by humans, locomotives ran on diesel and you had to contend with multiple grade crossings requiring the use of a human controlled air horns, but more importantly the big question will be, will you lay down money for a drive-less, Hydrogen powered digitally recreated train for your favorite train sim?.

    Cheers

  3. #3
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    Automated Metro, light rail, subway and commuter lines have been around since the late 1980's. Googled Automated Metro and I was staggered at just how many there are now.
    Geoff
    Dorset - near The Swanage Railway.
    UK

  4. #4
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    I've ridden automated metros around the world, Dubai's is impressive, but I don't think I'd ever get on one that has an N3V or DTG badge on it.

  5. #5
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    Many automated systems particularly transit still have an "operator" in the cab to take action in the event of an emergency - thinking particularly of London tube lines here. Additional precautions such as platform screen doors to prevent people falling/jumping in front of trains are also often put in place.
    Vern.

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    lateagain Posted

    Automated Metro, light rail, subway and commuter lines have been around since the late 1980's. Googled Automated Metro and I was staggered at just how many there are now.
    Hi Geoff

    I realize Automated Metro has been around for a while now, but a lot of these lines were built as true dedicated light passenger services from day one with their own specialized signal system, and the vast majority of them follow a route that does not have to contend with car,bus,truck traffic etc.

    The remote control technology being used in the mining trains is an entirely different beast being used on a already established line and may share that line with human controlled trains for some time to come.

    If we look at Sydney here in Australia, it's getting new driver-less trains next year on an already established line, the problem is that it requires new rolling stock, new signals and ripping up the old railway track which will put the line out of commission for over 6 months, and causing a lot of inconvenience and a insane amount of money.

    I'm not sure ,but I have a feeling that the big difference is that the new remote control technology in the mining train may be able to be installed and adapted quickly to current commuter passenger trains as well and obviously to freight trains and allow them both to share the same line, with minimal upgrades to signals or track etc.

    As Seagoon the author of this thread has so rightly pointed out this modern technology is to some extent being replicated in run8 right now thanks to it being the only train sim that has dispatcher screens and the ability to control AI trains over vast distances through those screens.

    The amazing thing is that if we do see a combining of these real world technologies it's not going to take much for John and the rest of the Run8 Team to replicate these future real world practices in to Run8, which in affect might give them a major marketing edge in the train simulator world.

    Of course John and the Run8 team will have to spend some time programming, very detailed and enhanced dispatcher screens and possibly a new train control screen, and if you want proof of that watch this video.

    https://youtu.be/8A-GAg69rAM

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by WesternDivision View Post
    The remote control technology being used in the mining trains is an entirely different beast ...
    An important thing to note with regard to Rio Tinto's driverless trains is that they are equipped with multiple TV cameras.
    The despatcher in Perth is not simply looking at a conventional despatching screen - he/she is also equipped with a vast array of inputs from multiple sensors (including vision) which are located in the cab, the diesel engines, the electrical motors, the safety devices....everywhere, including along the line itself (more video cameras at the crossings and sidings).

    In addition, the GPS system locks into several satellites and the position of the lead locomotive - and the tail-end charlie device - is plotted to within a metre.

    A staggering use of technology....yet a driver/engineer is still required to run every train through the loading/unloading operations, so they aren't redundant just yet.
    Last edited by seagoon; 08-09-2018 at 07:51 AM.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by WesternDivision View Post
    If we look at Sydney here in Australia, it's getting new driver-less trains next year on an already established line, the problem is that it requires new rolling stock, new signals and ripping up the old railway track which will put the line out of commission for over 6 months, and causing a lot of inconvenience and a insane amount of money.
    Yeah.....and Ansaldo, the same company who were involved with setting up the driverless operation for Rio Tinto, is also the one who is making a debacle of the Sydney autonomous project.

    Funny, isn't it?
    IBM XT i386; 512Kb RAM; 5.25" FDD; 1.4Mb FDD; 5Mb HDD; VGA 256-colour graphics card; AdLib soundcard; DR DOS 6.0; Windows 3.0

  9. #9
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    A good mate of mine operates these things out of Perth Airport.

    He has never been near a train all his life.

    They are still a long way off being mainstream, same with the trucks.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by seagoon View Post
    A staggering use of technology....yet a driver/engineer is still required to run every train through the loading/unloading operations, so they aren't redundant just yet.
    I noticed a similar issue on the Singapore metro. I was talking to an operator on my visit there and he told me that his job consisted of pressing a button when all the passengers had boarded and the train then proceeded automatically to the next station, except when it was raining (which seemed to be every afternoon while I was there) when he had to cut in the controls and drive manually as the computer couldn't handle the train in wet conditions. The north - south line had no operators as it was entirely underground and self contained as did the Dubai metro where they presumably don't have to worry much about rain.

    Real life AI at the moment seems to mirror Run8 for the most part in that anything more complicated than going from point A to point B in perfect conditions requires a flesh and blood driver with his eyes and ears in the cab.

    The thing that always gets me about the push for driverless iron ore trains in Western Australia is that one man is already moving a 30,000 tonne train on his own and it's still not economical enough for the mining companies. Us train drivers sometimes make good money but we're not going to break a multi national mining companies budget.

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