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European Railroad Discussion > Swiss Signal System?


Date: 06/27/20 17:25
Swiss Signal System?
Author: Peter_Hawtrey

I've been watching a series of videos on YT called "Railway Emotions" and was wondering what method of operation and what type of signal stem do the Swiss use through the mountains? 

Is there some form of CTC or an automatic block system?

Their switches seem to throw remarkably fast at stations after one train arrives another departs!  



Date: 06/27/20 17:54
Re: Swiss Signal System?
Author: Krokodil

Switzerland uses a version of ETCS (European train control system). More here on the official government website:
https://www.bav.admin.ch/bav/en/home/topics/etcs.html

Thomas
Hurricane Utah



Date: 06/27/20 20:23
Re: Swiss Signal System?
Author: SOO6617

Try looking on Youtube for "Swiss Railway Signalling" there is a video explaining what each signal means. The whole country is virtually all CTC with the Gotthard and Lötschberg Pass routes having mostly ETCS level 2, with cab signals. There is still some old signals, with the older Signum/Integra cab signals.



Date: 06/28/20 06:31
Re: Swiss Signal System?
Author: Peter_Hawtrey

Cool information. Thanks guys!
 



Date: 06/29/20 09:59
Re: Swiss Signal System?
Author: TAW

This is a Swiss traffic control office.

The top picture is the train director. He operates the CTC. He has authority like a US towerman had before the 80s. He can authorize yard movements on the main tracks and authorize other activities that do not affect through trains.

The middle picture is the dispatcher. He does not operate CTC. The screens are purely monitors. The train directors handle through trains as he directs. All movements have a schedule (down to meeting points and times). The dispatcher only intervenes when something is not as scheduled. There is no inventing the whole railroad on the fly over and over.

The bottom picture is an example of the white screens at the two positions. They are a train graph. They represent where/when the trains have been and where/when they will be if nothing is done to change it. The train director uses this to figure local moves. The dispatcher uses it to watch the future for problems.

The next movement happens quickly not because the Swiss switches throw faster, but because the train director and dispatcher workload is not excessive. They actually have time to do the job properly. It isn't smooth all the time. Railroading never is. In comparing notes with my Swiss colleague, I found that he also had left, at times, a debris field of broken pencils and pens, ink stained paperwork from broken pens, etc.

TAW

 








Date: 06/29/20 12:50
Re: Swiss Signal System?
Author: mundo

Thanks  TAW.



Date: 07/01/20 19:57
Re: Swiss Signal System?
Author: zorz

That visual chart of movements is fascinating. Never seen one like it. Thanks for posting!

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is a Swiss traffic control office.
>
> The top picture is the train director. He operates
> the CTC. He has authority like a US towerman had
> before the 80s. He can authorize yard movements on
> the main tracks and authorize other activities
> that do not affect through trains.
>
> The middle picture is the dispatcher. He does not
> operate CTC. The screens are purely monitors. The
> train directors handle through trains as he
> directs. All movements have a schedule (down to
> meeting points and times). The dispatcher only
> intervenes when something is not as scheduled.
> There is no inventing the whole railroad on the
> fly over and over.
>
> The bottom picture is an example of the white
> screens at the two positions. They are a train
> graph. They represent where/when the trains have
> been and where/when they will be if nothing is
> done to change it. The train director uses this to
> figure local moves. The dispatcher uses it to
> watch the future for problems.
>
> The next movement happens quickly not because the
> Swiss switches throw faster, but because the train
> director and dispatcher workload is not excessive.
> They actually have time to do the job properly. It
> isn't smooth all the time. Railroading never is.
> In comparing notes with my Swiss colleague, I
> found that he also had left, at times, a debris
> field of broken pencils and pens, ink stained
> paperwork from broken pens, etc.
>
> TAW
>
>  



Date: 07/02/20 10:29
Re: Swiss Signal System?
Author: TAW

zorz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That visual chart of movements is fascinating.
> Never seen one like it. Thanks for posting!
>

It'r the standard way of managing rail traffic virtually anywhere in the world except North America. Dispatchers in North America used to use the trainsheet for that purpose, but management took that away as unnecessary paperwork in the 80s.

The dark line near the top of the screen is now. The shaded area above it is the past. The area below the line is the future.

TAW



Date: 07/02/20 15:36
Re: Swiss Signal System?
Author: Ray_Murphy

TAW Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> zorz Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > That visual chart of movements is fascinating.
> > Never seen one like it. Thanks for posting!
> >
>
> It'r the standard way of managing rail traffic
> virtually anywhere in the world except North
> America. Dispatchers in North America used to use
> the trainsheet for that purpose, but management
> took that away as unnecessary paperwork in the
> 80s.

>
> The dark line near the top of the screen is now.
> The shaded area above it is the past. The area
> below the line is the future.
>
> TAW

According to the book, Envisioning Information, that graphical timetable form was invented by the Paris engineer Charles Ybry and patented in Britain in 1846.

Ray



Date: 07/03/20 07:26
Re: Swiss Signal System?
Author: TAW

Ray_Murphy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> According to the book, Envisioning Information,
> that graphical timetable form was invented by the
> Paris engineer Charles Ybry and patented in
> Britain in 1846.
>

Thanks. I didn't know that. I knew it came from Europe, but that's all.

The method has been used for timetabling since then. That involved (in US practice) the diagram mounted on a cork board. Times were located by pins. Pins were connected by string. That's why they are called stringline diagram here. In the rest of the world, traffic diagram is the common terminology.

Dispatchers (a more recent concept outside of North America, generally since folks in other countries learned of that US practice during WWII) and Train Directors outside of North America used a diagram like we used a trainsheet. That translated to the diagram on screen as computer technology was introduced.

I have traffic diagram trainsheets from Germany and South Africa in my collection.

TAW



Date: 07/03/20 10:22
Re: Swiss Signal System?
Author: SOO6617

zorz Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> That visual chart of movements is fascinating.
> Never seen one like it. Thanks for posting!

You can see the current (before COVID) Graphic Diagrams for Switzerland here;
https://www.fahrplanfelder.ch/de/archiv/grafische-fahrplaene.html

Railway Emotions recently released a video "Riding the Red Bull Train" from Buchs, SG on the border with Lichtenstein to Basel Muttenz Yard. The graphic diagram covering the first segment of that trip can be found here;
https://www.fahrplanfelder.ch/fileadmin/fap_pdf_graphic_tt/2020/G642.pdf

The train is 49054, you can pick up the Blue line representing the train at 0810 on the right side of the diagram as it angles down to the left. On the diagram you will see different numbers above the line as on different days of the week the schedule number changes due to different destinations but all of the trains use the same path and timings in Switzerland. Blue lines are freights, the Red-Orange lines are passenger trains.



Date: 07/04/20 12:17
Re: Swiss Signal System?
Author: TAW

SOO6617 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> You can see the current (before COVID) Graphic
> Diagrams for Switzerland here;
> https://www.fahrplanfelder.ch/de/archiv/grafische-
> fahrplaene.html
>

On the traffic diagrams of most German-speaking countries, distance increases left to right and time increases top to bottom. In most English-speaking countries, in my experience, distance increases bottom to top and time increases left to right. In US timetabling practice, distance increased bottom to top and time increased left to right, but CTC graphs and most simulation ouptut, time increases bottom to top and distance increases left to right.

TAW



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