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New Project Submission: East Lancashire Railway by Daniel Walker

The East Lancashire Railway from Bury to Rawtenstall and Heywood as it is in preservation. The main line link at Castleton is included and the two signals on the Castleton side of Heywood are the stop boards for the protecting trap points. Due to limitations of the software some of the flexibility of the Bury South area is lost and all trains are heritage DMUs other than any 1D## or 3D##. Runrounds are not under signaller control due to the split being a half and half not a loco and stock.
A simple Blue Timetable is included with the initial upload however I am working on the DMU gala timetable soon and possibly a gala with demo freights and a shuttle.

Download it here

New Project Submission: Eastbourne, Newhaven & Sleaford by Anthony Sheehy

The Sussex coast between Brighton and Asford has no less than ten level crossings, two branches, a single track section and a maximum speed of 60mph throughout. It is served by Southern Railways and by Southeastern (between Hastings and Battle.) All trains passing from Brighton to Hastings and vice versa have to turn around at Eastbourne. There are sidings and depots at Eastbourne, Bexhill, Hastings and Ore.

Take time to remind yourself of the rules for crossings: No automatic routes, and penalties apply if the barrier is down for more than 3 minutes. A certain amount of extra skill is needed to negotiate the crossings and keep your trains on time, as they will slow down if the gate is set too late.

Trains turn at Lewes, Seaford, Eastbourne, Hastings, Ore and Rye. Watch out at 7.47 for the service coming out of Newhaven Port – it is not protected and will derail if you do not set the points for Newhaven Town. There is a single joining service from Seaford and Hasting at Lewes, and later in the timetable the returning service splits at Lewes.

The timetable is the weekday Southern Railway timetables from December 2017. The Hastings to Battle timetable is the pre-May 2018 timetable.

Download it here

New Project Submission: Billericay to Southminster and Southend Victoria by Anthony Sheehy

This is a representation of the real-world line that serves Southminster and Southend Victoria. The single timetable provided for this railway is the December 2017 Greater Anglia weekday timetable. The railway includes a section of single track and a shuttle service from Wickford to Southminster which runs at an odd interval to the trains to and from Southend Victoria. For a short time between the morning rush and the evening rush it allows for a repeating shuttle operation.

The line gets really busy during the morning and evening rush hour but settles in to a lulling regularity during the day.

Watch for the 1V09 service that splits at Wickford to provide the additional train to run the Wickford to Southminster shuttle service.

Download it here

New Project Submission: West Dulwich to Otford Teynham Sheppey by Anthony Sheehy

This is an actual representation of part of the London SouthEastern Railway network from West Dulwich out as far as Sheerness-on-Sea. Trains typically pass through this track from the London Termini (Victoria, Canon St, Blackfriars, London Bridge, St Pancras) and onwards to Maidstone East, Cantebury West, Ashford International, Sevenoaks, Faversham, Ramsgate and Dover.

The timetable is as close as I can get to the real thing for March 2018. The one thing I can’t figure out is how controllers don’t go mad with the Bromley South Shuttle blocking up a line. For sanity’s sake there is a timetable that does not include the shuttle. Why they schedule some trains so close to each other is a mystery to me.

It all starts very sedately at 4.30, but don’t let that fool you. At 5.00, 5.30 and 6.00 if you are not careful it will catch you out. Things settle down around about 9am. The NODC signaller controlled train is a placeholder. The HS1 line is not live (no DC?) yet. Just turn it around when it reaches the red signal and forget about it. Nothing goes up that line.

The latest version of ROS sets up the preferred routes quite nicely. There are a number of turning points that are never timetabled, so you can “prefer route” through them – that includes the HS1 link, Swanley, Sole Street, Otford and Rainham. Beware of filling the gap at Bromley South, even without the Bromley South Shuttle, there are a couple of Thameslink trains that turn there. Trains also turn at Beckenham Junction.

Download it here

New program version released v2.1.0

We are pleased to announce the release of a significantly improved program version containing many new features, and all due to a new member of the development team – Stephen Smith.  Firstly Stephen has contributed very significantly to the user interface as detailed below.  Secondly he has contributed behind the scenes in improving the readability of the program code and bringing it more into line with good programming practice.  Thirdly he rekindled Albert’s enthusiasm for the project so he too has been busy making some functional improvements and correcting errors.  After all that it hardly needs saying that Stephen is a very welcome addition to the ROS team!

User interface improvements:

Icons have been added to many of the menu items and buttons.

Speed and distance conversion facilities now work both ways.

‘Hotkeys’ have been added for frequently used functions.

A website link has been added to the help menu.

Presentation has been improved in terms of clarity and ease of use. 

Functional improvements:

The railway can be repositioned by dragging with the right-hand mouse button in both zoom-in and zoom-out modes.

The screen can be resized and still retain full functionality.  Xeon recently mentioned this limitation when not in full screen mode and Albert promised to add scrollbars at the next release, but full function resizing is much better than the inconvenience of scrollbars.  Interestingly he had thought that scrollbars were available but after Xeon contacted him found that v2.0.0 didn’t have them.  Further investigation revealed that they were available in v1.3.2 and earlier, but disappeared for some unknown reason in v2.0.0!

Routes can be cancelled when they are occupied by trains with a ‘route locking’ warning as given for trains approaching signals.  Albert had earlier thought that route cancellation when occupied should be disallowed as SPADs are more likely in these circumstances, but it meant that long automatic signal routes couldn’t be removed when there was heavy traffic and the route was never free of trains.  One user, Brian Clancy, commented on this back in 2016, pointing out that it is allowed in real railway operation when circumstances require it, which it has to be to avoid a no-way-out situation.  This change therefore brings operation more into line with real railway operation.

More information has been added for trains that have yet to enter at continuations, including repeat number, entry speed and timetable, to allow better planning for when the train arrives together with earlier route setting.

The help manual and on-screen help have been updated to reflect the latest changes.

Errors corrected:

The timetable screen caption now reads correctly when creating or editing timetables.  Formerly the earlier loaded timetable name remained in the caption in error.

Signal behaviour on locked automatic signal routes exiting at a continuation when a train has exited has been corrected.  Before, signals continued to clear in sequence in spite of the route being locked.  All now remain at red.

There was a potential error when pre-setting automatic signal routes, in that a pre-set route could be set across a diagonal that was fouled by an adjacent track that cut across it.  Now such situations can’t arise when pre-setting routes, though they can still be created by the user during operation if required.

BUT – it’s not all good news:

The bad news is that for operating systems later than Windows 7 the earlier compatibility issues are likely still to be present, requiring 256 colour mode and possibly also disabling display scaling on high DPI (dots per inch) settings. These and a new one that has surfaced in some circumstances are described in the ‘Known Compatibility Issues’ box on the Downloads page. These changes only have to be done once but they are a nuisance, so we are trying to track down their source and hopefully avoid them in a later release.

Finally:

As ever please be on the lookout for and report any unexpected behaviour, especially if changing the compatibility mode doesn’t cure it, and please send in any error files that are produced if the program crashes so that we can correct any problems that might arise – many thanks.

We hope you approve of the changes and enjoy the enhanced program.

Best regards,

The ROS team

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