How To: Make T3 Possession Scenarios

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How To: Make T3 Possession Scenarios

Postby Blue Tractor » Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:49 am

Hi guys, hope this counts as a tutorial/guide.
Basically, after seeing This scenario on UKTrainSim, I thought to myself why do we not have many Possession/Worksite scenarios?
I think the reason is because people don't necessarily know what goes where and the various rules and regulations.

Bit of background for you - Possessions of a Running Line for Engineering Work (often called 'T3' possessions as that is the Rulebook module that covers everything) have cropped up; not only for the company I work for but for the other main FOCs in the UK. In real life, they count for a quite big percentage of incidents compared to any other times. You may not think this (possibly with it being all low-speed), but it is a minefield - who signs what, who tells you to shunt forward etc.

Before any train sets off for a possession, the driver must have a PTO - a Planned Traffic Order. This shows exactly what will happen; including location(s) of worksites and possessions as well as any other important information.

When engineering works take place, they have to shut the railway line to traffic. In the example above, it is between Exeter St. Thomas and Teignmouth. This is the Possession.
Possessions can be as long as needed, and they cover one area of the line which has engineering work on it. Some can be 40-50 miles long (Settle & Carlisle for example).

Possessions are all under the control of the PICOP - Person In Charge Of Possession. He/she is the person that allows you into the possession and back out again.

Within a Possession there are normally Worksites, which are of a considerably less distance. This is where all of the real work goes on. The person in charge here is the ES - Engineering Supervisor. He/she tells you whether you can enter or exit the possession, as well as any movements inside. Inside a Worksite is all of the machinery, orange men and they are protected by WSMBs - Work Site Marker Boards. On the outside they flash a red light; on the inside they flash a yellow light. The ES would drop these for you to allow you to enter.

There is no end to the amount of different scenarios you can replicate - whether it be entering a possession (like the scenario linked earlier) or exiting, or even moves inside a possession (this would normally be pretty boring though!).

Just a couple of Rulebook regulations now.
Firstly (and most importantly) the MAXIMUM speed limit in any possession, regardless of length, is 40mph. This is only a maximum limit though; the rulebook also states that you must be able to stop within sighting distance - for any track workers or any obstructions (machinery etc).
You would know from the PTO where any worksites etc. are so that you can stop at them in plenty of time. This should be given to the player in the scenario.


This is the basic background of a Possession; there are probably many more things to add though. If you've got any questions, please do fire away!


Kind regards,
Sean.
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Re: How To: Make T3 Possession Scenarios

Postby yerkes » Wed Apr 30, 2014 12:58 pm

Thank you, Sean, for this very interesting and useful information.

I wonder if you'd be able to post a sample PTO? This could be the basis for a scenario briefing.

Do they place a red flashing light at each end of the possession? Or only at each end of the worksite? If not on the possession, is there any other visible marker to indicate the beginning and end of the possession?

Again, thanks for the helpful info.

Michael
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Re: How To: Make T3 Possession Scenarios

Postby Derek B » Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:24 pm

I seem to recall that the RSC Class 31 came with a scenario featuring a possession and that it was quite well done. It's nice to encounter TSR's when playing, whether it's in passing or forming the centre-piece of the scenario.

I think you've highlighted one major issue for scenario writers, namely how much knowledge should they assume that the potential player has about the subject?

At one extreme you could go for as realistic a portrayal as possible, expecting the player to be able to drive into a possession by the book and placing scenario specific destination markers to trigger pop-ups that can take the place of the real-life interactions with staff on and around the track that a driver would be expecting to have. You'd basically be writing a simulation exercise more than a scenario.

At the other extreme you just place some eye candy at trackside, slap down a speed restriction and take the player firmly by the hand through it.

Perhaps there's a happy medium to be aimed for though personally I'd be happier to see more scenario's pitched toward the realistic end of the spectrum.

Derek

PS: They did things a little bit differently in some respects back in the good old days http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F79R3Fg-pPY
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Re: How To: Make T3 Possession Scenarios

Postby Blue Tractor » Wed Apr 30, 2014 9:05 pm

yerkes wrote:Thank you, Sean, for this very interesting and useful information.

I wonder if you'd be able to post a sample PTO? This could be the basis for a scenario briefing.

Do they place a red flashing light at each end of the possession? Or only at each end of the worksite? If not on the possession, is there any other visible marker to indicate the beginning and end of the possession?

Again, thanks for the helpful info.

Michael

Hi Michael

Thank you very much! I'll see if I can grab one for you at some point.

There is a Possession Limit Board (the hexagon-shaped "STOP" board with a red flashing light above it) at either end of the possession. The PICOP lifts these for the train to pass in/out of the possession.
Alternatively, possessions can be dropped or lifted around a train. Basically, you can have a train travel, say, to Dawlish on the evening before. No-one is there; it just sits at Dawlish. The PICOP can then come along and create the possession around the train sitting there. This would all be in the PTO.

At every worksite is a WSMB - Worksite Marker Board, which is a big vertical yellow thing with flashing red lights on one side and flashing yellows on the other. The red lights are outside of the Worksite whereas the yellow ones are inside, if that makes sense.

Derek B wrote:I seem to recall that the RSC Class 31 came with a scenario featuring a possession and that it was quite well done. It's nice to encounter TSR's when playing, whether it's in passing or forming the centre-piece of the scenario.

I think you've highlighted one major issue for scenario writers, namely how much knowledge should they assume that the potential player has about the subject?

At one extreme you could go for as realistic a portrayal as possible, expecting the player to be able to drive into a possession by the book and placing scenario specific destination markers to trigger pop-ups that can take the place of the real-life interactions with staff on and around the track that a driver would be expecting to have. You'd basically be writing a simulation exercise more than a scenario.

At the other extreme you just place some eye candy at trackside, slap down a speed restriction and take the player firmly by the hand through it.

Perhaps there's a happy medium to be aimed for though personally I'd be happier to see more scenario's pitched toward the realistic end of the spectrum.

Derek

PS: They did things a little bit differently in some respects back in the good old days http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F79R3Fg-pPY
I fully agree with you there Derek; it is a tricky one. Myself, I would prefer to have a scenario which fully relies on the player knowing what they are doing, but obviously that is not always the case. Maybe placing a link to a similar (or even this) guide before they play it and then having it fully realistic could work perhaps.

As for interaction with groundstaff, I certainly think that the trigger messages are the way forward. Indeed, with the new support for user-created .xml files (to include pictures and all sorts in trigger messages) this could be really well pulled off!

I also think that you could maybe create two scenarios - one which is just eye-candy (as you said) and one which is fully realistic. Wouldn't be hard to make it - clone and rename the scenario and remove the bits that aren't required for a casual player.


Kind regards,
Sean.
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Re: How To: Make T3 Possession Scenarios

Postby yerkes » Thu May 01, 2014 12:50 pm

Thanks, Sean. Even if you can't rightfully post a real PTO here, a sample of the sort of text it might contain would be useful.

The notion of having a basic and expert level of scenario is an interesting one, though as well as moving the bits not required for the basic one you'd also have to edit the instructions/briefing etc, which I personally find tedious to do!

I feel that the scenario creation tools have a lot of untapped potential - something I need to delve into more...
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Re: How To: Make T3 Possession Scenarios

Postby Derek B » Tue May 06, 2014 8:21 pm

Finally tracked down something I'd thought of when first reading this thread.

http://www.rgsonline.co.uk/Railway_Group_Standards/Control%20Command%20and%20Signalling/Railway%20Group%20Standards/GKRT0038%20Iss%201.pdf

Section D covers the placement of TSR's and section E provides some useful formulae's and tables for calculating the correct placement of warning boards.

The document is dated 1996 (I imagine little may have changed in the decades since) so will be particularly useful for depictions of the late BR era.

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