A number of new features have been added in this version as well as some bug fixes and corrections to inappropriate behaviour.
Main new features:
Delays and failures have been separated so that there are two tabs available during operation, each with none, minor, moderate and major settings. There are now sixteen possible combinations rather than four, so the settings have been saved in session files rather than having to be reset if required after a session reload.
A number of users have asked for a means to cut out a single segment of an automatic signals (blue) route, to allow infrequent use of a crossover or diverging route without affecting the rest of the route. While this would make operation easier it would be very difficult to implement because of the way routes are handled within the program. However, to help with such situations there are now two half buttons for blue routes like there already are for the green route buttons. Therefore a blue route that is cancelled to allow an infrequent train movement can easily be restored quickly afterwards without having to recreate it signal to signal as before. In fact this change was requested by Andrekoener last year, and I was reluctant to include it on the basis that blue routes shouldn’t be changed once they are set. Although I still think that, it doesn’t seem fair to try to force that rule on users that don’t want it, so hopefully this should make life a bit easier for those users – and I have to admit for me too sometimes! An associated change has been made to the shortcut keys. Whereas before ‘4’ selected the bottom green route button it now selects the bottom blue route button, with ‘5’ selecting the bottom green route button. This provides a more logical layout.
Ground signals now work more like they do on real railways, at least in the UK. Formerly a facing ground signal in a route between two four-aspect running (i.e. non-ground) signals would cause the signal behind the ground signal to skip an aspect. For example, a signal at red at the end of a route with no trains, followed in rear by a ground signal would cause the next running signal in rear to show a double yellow aspect, whereas correct practice (at least on UK railways) is to ignore ground signals in setting aspects of running signals, though the ground signals themselves still clear. So, with the example above the running signal in rear of the ground signal would show a single yellow aspect, and the next running signal in rear of that (regardless of how many facing ground signals there are in between) would show a double yellow aspect and the next to show a green aspect.
Automatic signals (blue) routes can now be pre-set through facing ground signals and can begin at a ground signal if other conditions are met. Formerly ground signals prevented blue routes from being pre-set, though they could be manually set if required. If there was a good reason for that limitation I’ve forgotten what it was, and suspect it was just a SLAGIDATT – seemed like a good idea at the time!
Session files have also been amended in light of ground signal route changes. If a session file saved by an earlier version program is loaded into this version, existing routes are recreated in line with new ground signal behaviour. If a session file saved by this version is loaded into an earlier program version then on loading the routes will comply with new ground signal behaviour, though subsequent train movements will cause them to revert to the earlier form.
Bug fixes and behavioural improvements:
An error occurred in a Windows .dll file during timetable load that couldn’t be reproduced and failed to occur subsequently with the same railway and timetable. It appeared to be a temporary glitch but to avoid crashes in future a message is now given instead that the timetable failed to load. Thanks to Albie Vowles for reporting this.
Micke reported a situation where a train created without power included a ‘jbo’ command but could not join at the appropriate time as only an ‘Fjo’ command permits a join for an unpowered train. The fault here was that the timetable validatation allowed this command when it shouldn’t have done. This version corrects the fault. Thanks to Micke for reporting it.
After finishing a running session it was found that temporary speed restrictions (TSRs) remained on the railway. These should have been cleared when operation stopped and now do so in this version.
It was found that when a session was saved just after a train had been called on but before it moved, it caused a SPAD on reloading and running when it passed the signal. The problem was that although the flag for calling on was saved and reloaded with the session file it wasn’t tested after reloading. This has now been corrected.
When a location name was removed by entering a blank name, and then another location name was similarly removed, a message was given that there is another location named ‘ ‘ (i.e.unnamed) and will be erased. Clearly that was an inappropriate message and has now been removed.
Download it here