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Model Railroading > Track Warrant Question


Date: 04/19/17 08:02
Track Warrant Question
Author: ntharalson

Because the railroads have gone to computerized track warrants, I have a question. Does
anyone produce track warrant software for model railroads? Just curious.

Nick Tharalson,
Marion, IA



Date: 04/19/17 08:23
Re: Track Warrant Question
Author: JUTower

Not sure they do... but there you have a neat idea...



Date: 04/19/17 10:46
Re: Track Warrant Question
Author: bnsftcdiv

There is at least one program out there for model railroads-name escapes me at the moment but it was developed by Chris Palomarez (sp?) who is now at Athearn so I suspect it languishes. It was a good start and I played with it to use at a couple of the locals (Montana Northland for one) but it was somewhat cumbersome as the interface was dated. A good place for some development to start and as many operations that use mother may I or some variant of Track Warrant Control could use this.

Dave Burman



Date: 04/19/17 10:48
Re: Track Warrant Question
Author: bnsftcdiv




Date: 04/19/17 12:36
Re: Track Warrant Question
Author: TAW

bnsftcdiv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> ...but it was
> somewhat cumbersome as the interface was dated.

Sounds like the BN track warrant computer in the 90s.

TAW



Date: 04/20/17 10:27
Re: Track Warrant Question
Author: hogheaded

The basics of track warrant control are pretty simple to grasp, and you really don't need computer involvement, except to produce a few types of boilerplate forms to fill in as appropriate during operating sessions. When applying prototype dispatching methods to model railroads, IMHO you are better off applying the KISS principle, otherwise the complicated ins and outs can overwhelm the average guy, who likely hasn't much interest in the subject beyond getting his train over the road anyway. Though I haven't looked, there must be one or more websites that explain TWC in enough detail to give you an overall understanding and an idea of what parts of the system that you want to adapt to your model railroad. Once you have made it that far, producing those forms should be easy. Sorry, my website only has tutorials on Direct Traffic Control (sort of a proto TWC - very simple & straightforward) and train orders (-:

EO
Wx4.org



Date: 04/20/17 18:36
Re: Track Warrant Question
Author: bnsfsd70

Agreed. I'm not entirely sure why you'd need a computer for this job. Just take a form like this, have the dispatcher read it out and have the crew repeat it over the radio. That's how it works in the real world, so it should do the job for us too.

- Jeff Carlson

hogheaded Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The basics of track warrant control are pretty
> simple to grasp, and you really don't need
> computer involvement, except to produce a few
> types of boilerplate forms to fill in as
> appropriate during operating sessions. When
> applying prototype dispatching methods to model
> railroads, IMHO you are better off applying the
> KISS principle, otherwise the complicated ins and
> outs can overwhelm the average guy, who likely
> hasn't much interest in the subject beyond getting
> his train over the road anyway. Though I haven't
> looked, there must be one or more websites that
> explain TWC in enough detail to give you an
> overall understanding and an idea of what parts of
> the system that you want to adapt to your model
> railroad. Once you have made it that far,
> producing those forms should be easy. Sorry, my
> website only has tutorials on Direct Traffic
> Control (sort of a proto TWC - very simple &
> straightforward) and train orders (-:
>
> EO
> Wx4.org




Date: 04/21/17 08:37
Re: Track Warrant Question
Author: TAW

bnsfsd70 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Agreed. I'm not entirely sure why you'd need a
> computer for this job.


In 1:1 scale, the computer prevents laps so that the dispatcher doesn't have to know how. Otherwise, the computer is not necessary.

TAW



Date: 04/21/17 12:24
Re: Track Warrant Question
Author: bnsftcdiv

> In 1:1 scale, the computer prevents laps so that
> the dispatcher doesn't have to know how.
> Otherwise, the computer is not necessary.

Depending on who is your dispatcher and their ability to read, retain and remember prior warrants, laps may or may not occur.

The computer just is another safety feature.

Dave Burman
(who routinely dispatches model railroads with track warrants.)



Date: 04/22/17 05:18
Re: Track Warrant Question
Author: hogheaded

bnsftcdiv Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> > In 1:1 scale, the computer prevents laps so
> that
> > the dispatcher doesn't have to know how.
> > Otherwise, the computer is not necessary.
>
> Depending on who is your dispatcher and their
> ability to read, retain and remember prior
> warrants, laps may or may not occur.
>
> The computer just is another safety feature.
>
> Dave Burman
> (who routinely dispatches model railroads with
> track warrants.)



Perhaps an explanation of "laps" is in order. A "lap" in authority occurs when the dispatcher mistakenly gives two trains authority to occupy the same piece of track at once, about the worst thing that a dispatcher can do. Obviously in model railroading a goof like that is not enough of a worry to merit computer involvement, unless you are running Division Point $2500 brass articulateds blind (-:

I would urge those who want to step up from the mere running of trains 'round-and-'round to give TWC a try. Dave's form may look a little intimidating, but once you get into it, it's not that bad. Understand that it can be simplified for modeling purposes. In fact, initially (1984) Southern Pacific's Direct Traffic Control, an early version of TWC, operated just fine without company-provided track authority forms. We T&E's simply wrote down our authority on blank paper, although we soon came up with a great variety of forms for ourselves, some pretty darn clever. After spending many years trying to fully understand train orders (something that eluded a few rails for their entire careers), I was stupefied to find that it only took about an hour to grasp everything DTC, and today's TWC is no more difficult to learn. Once you wrap your head around what to do at meeting points, you've got most of it licked.

EO
Anna, Bess, Cloy...



Date: 04/22/17 15:51
Re: Track Warrant Question
Author: trainjunkie

We used DTC in Alaska until a couple years ago when someone decided it wasn't compatible with PTC so they decided on some bastardized version of TWC. Is that enough acronyms for y'all? Anyway, I think DTC would be better, and more fun, for running a model railroad.



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