Scheduling and TrainPlayer
John Allen believed that in order to run trains realistically you had to
employ realistic acceleration and deceleration and run at scale speed. To
make trains look better on tight curves and to give greater separation
between centers he even slowed these speeds over time. The limit for
freight trains dropped from 30 miles per hour to 20, and passengers from 45
down to 30.
With TrainPlayer slower speeds seem to look more realistic too. For the
scenarios that follow a maximum of 9 miles per hour (MPH, as indicated on
the TrainPlayer control panel) has been adopted for freight trains and 12
MPH for passengers. Within yard limits at Great Divide, Terminal, Port,
Andrews and Gorre and on the branch line to Daphetid a maximum speed of
6 MPH has been adopted. However, this has not been applied to the two
outermost tracks at Gorre to allow through trains to be run unattended
from Great Divide to Port.
In addition to the customization of TrainPlayer with QuicKeys for “one
finger” control, as previously described, other enhancements are possible,
at least for OS X on the macintosh. QuicKeys keystokes can be assigned to
individual locomotives (trains) to facilitate switching from one to another.
Combined with the auto follow feature the view can also be switched
rapidly from one moving train to another.
Using Recurring Dream’s Meridian clock shareware ($19.95 US) multiple
countdown alarms can set up to keep track of trains and warn when they
are approaching a location needing your attention as engineer. These
individual alarms can be floated individual on the desktop to create a set
specific for a given scenario. They can even be individually programmed
with different alarm sounds so as to indicate which train needs attention.
Finally, in the scenarios below a 1:12 fast clock ratio, the same as used by
John Allen, has been adopted (24 hours = 2 hours real time). However, a
slower speed (e.g., 1:6 ratio; 24 hours = 24 hours real time) can be used to
allow for, for example, locomotive servicing or car spotting.