10/11/2005 Arrival and departure display

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In designing the board I came across a problem in that in real life one finds such a display for only the station where you are, yet on a model train layout, we can really be monitoring multiple stations so I had to alter the design somewhat so that the tracks from multiple stations could be displayed together without it looking too weird...

In my software I already had the concept of 'tracks' and each track has a property that indicates if it is part of a station and if so, if it is a passenger station, etc. What was missing was an overall concept of a named station - which was a collection of tracks that formed that station. So while tracks at a station each had their own names, I had not tied them together. So I added the ability to associate any tracks marked as station tracks together in any order to form what I call a station - which can have its own name. I defined three stations for my layout so my timetable display could display the station names, and the corresponding track in the correct order...

If a train in present in a track but is not scheduled to go anywhere, the train name is displayed along with "Nicht einsteigen" (Do not board).
Trains that are scheduled to travel to a track that is part of one of the defined stations, it will display its name, destination and departure time. In this example you can see that the train 'S5' is scheduled to depart (AB = Abfahrt) from track 2 in Ostdorf at 17:19 and will arrive (AN = Ankunft) at Wilsnack Hauptbahnhof, track 1 at 17:24.

There is also a train that is about to run through track 3 at the main station without stopping, so it displays "Vorsicht bei der Durchfahrt des Zuges" (caution while train runs through). Thanks to Jens Ullmann for the prototype text!

In the example above, an ICE will be departing from track 1 of Wilsnack Hbf. going to one of the hidden stations on my layout. For these cases, a random city name is chosen as the destination and adds to the illusion that trains arrive and depart from stations from far afield, not just from the stations one can see on the layout. The same is done when a train is scheduled to arrive from a hidden station too..

The display of the timetable would not be complete without the flapping down of the individual letters and numbers that are so much fun to watch... here is a snapshot of one of the lines changing...

I find it nice to watch the board change as track become available and the arrival track is indicated. As departing trains leave the station, the departure information clears itself away until another train books that track for itself.

The time in the upper right hand corner is the current time.

Update 2007-4-22 The concepy of the animated design has evolved into a fully fledged program - RemoteSign
Related pages....
Crane and Keyboard tabs
Speed calibration of ICE 3 (37783)
Cab signal indicators
Review: Märklin mobile crane 46715
RemoteSign display
Remote Train Controller on PocketPC
Arrival and departure display
Programming Track
s88 Test screen
Locomotive log
Philosophy of digital train control
Track length calculator
Cab views

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