Sunday, May 25, 2014

Welztalbahn: 9th Operations Session

Stefan came over today and we ran the Welztalbahn schedule with a fast clock for the very first time.

My sequence schedule always had printed departure times but those were more for decoration rather than supporting operations. Over the last few sessions I had timed how long the various actions needed to operate the railroad take in reality. I found quite some variation especially for the switching tasks. Nevertheless, it turned out that the scheduled times were quite reasonable when using a 4:1 fast clock. I spaced out the trains so that there is sufficient time for the station operators to finish their switching and servicing chores.

The annotated schedule after the session
We stopped the clock a couple times when time was advancing too fast, or there were mechanical issues. Those weren't nearly as bad as when I operated with Balazs a couple months ago. I learned my lesson and cleaned tracks beforehand, especially in the tunnels and staging areas.

I will tweak the schedule a little bit to take observed timing issues into account, as well as adjust station dwell times for passenger trains. Overall, I was quite pleased with how this session worked out. With a 4:1 clock this schedule covers 2 hours of real time, vs. about 2.5 hours of elapsed time in sessions with the sequence schedule running the same number of trains. However, when we had a problem, e.g. derailment, today I stopped the clock, and we ran an extra to clean out Talheim some more, so today's session ran for just under 3 hours.

In either setup I try to run the session at a reasonably relaxed pace, so that the clock is typically something you wait for, vs. pushing you forward.

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