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[ENG] Neutral Sections - Power Off


RWag64

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

A little bit of very basic info about these neutral sections in real life, this isn't implemented in SimRail yet, but some people like to drive as realistically as possible obeying all the lineside signs, and it certainly keeps you occupied looking out for these neutral section signs without RWag64's Neutral Section location info.
:

The railways overhead power lines in Poland are energised at around 3kV DC, thats 3 thousand volts, Direct Current (the voltage can vary from 2kV to 3.6kV and be within 'spec')

This 'low' DC voltage can not travel that far before the voltage drops too much, and the lower the voltage the higher the current that is drawn from the system, which could lead to overheating of the wires, transformers and rectifiers at the sub stations, and possibly the motors on the train. 

So the overhead wires are broken up into many isolated sections fed from different power sources along the line, as the voltage can vary by upto 1.6kV on each section you need to be drawing as little power as you can as you cross a neutral section, to avoid the risk of tripping a substation out amongst other issues.
This is a very basic explanation, there's more to it but most people are not that interested... especially as in SimRail you can just ignore these neutral sections right now and not get a 'points penalty' or cause any issue to the system. 

:

:

So, to comply with the neutral section signs.... 
You do not need to turn the main power switch / breaker off for these sections, you just need to be drawing no motor power, so simply put the power lever / wheel to zero when you see a We8a sign that applies to your track ahead:
 image.png.cf742c32b78d10eb0eee7027116807d1.png 

You can apply power again when the nose of your train passes the We9a sign:
 image.png.7571970fa46daacb5b810a8174e04fd2.png 

If you are driving a (single) loco hauled train, you can re-apply power when the nose of your train passes the We9b sign, which is the above sign with an 'L' on the top of it:
image.png.fb3de621913e24b4ef9e740310e47241.png

If you are driving an EMU, you need to wait until the nose of your trains passes the We9a sign, which is the one without the L on top.
This is placed further ahead than the We9b sign because your pantograph is further back on an EMU than on a locomotive, so it may still be in the neutral section when your cab passes the We9b sign for locomotives. 

:

A tip to get the motor power to zero by the time you see the We8a sign is to look for the back of the We9a sign, which is for trains running on your track in the opposite direction, and will be about 100 meters 'before' your We8a sign:
image.thumb.png.454469ef39b95d3fdf65d005ac4712b8.png
The neutral section signs will sometimes be located on posts to the side of the tracks, or on the catenary masts, and in some locations you need to look harder to figure out exactly when the signs apply to your line, and not the line next to you, which may have a staggered neutral section, especially at junctions where tracks join and leave the main line.

 

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6 minutes ago, Gazz292 said:

A little bit of very basic info about these neutral sections in real life, this isn't implemented in SimRail yet, but some people like to drive as realistically as possible obeying all the lineside signs, and it certainly keeps you occupied looking out for these neutral section signs without RWag64's Neutral Section location info.
:

The railways overhead power lines in Poland are energised at around 3kV DC, thats 3 thousand volts, Direct Current (the voltage can vary from 2kV to 3.6kV and be within 'spec')

This 'low' DC voltage can not travel that far before the voltage drops too much, and the lower the voltage the higher the current that is drawn from the system, which could lead to overheating of the wires, transformers and rectifiers at the sub stations, and possibly the motors on the train. 

So the overhead wires are broken up into many isolated sections fed from different power sources along the line, as the voltage can vary by upto 1.6kV on each section you need to be drawing as little power as you can as you cross a neutral section, to avoid the risk of tripping a substation out amongst other issues.
This is a very basic explanation, there's more to it but most people are not that interested... especially as in SimRail you can just ignore these neutral sections right now and not get a 'points penalty' or cause any issue to the system. 

:

:

So, to comply with the neutral section signs.... 
You do not need to turn the main power switch / breaker off for these sections, you just need to be drawing no motor power, so simply put the power lever / wheel to zero when you see a We8a sign that applies to your track ahead:
 image.png.cf742c32b78d10eb0eee7027116807d1.png 

You can apply power again when the nose of your train passes the We9a sign:
 image.png.7571970fa46daacb5b810a8174e04fd2.png 

If you are driving a (single) loco hauled train, you can re-apply power when the nose of your train passes the We9b sign, which is the above sign with an 'L' on the top of it:
image.png.fb3de621913e24b4ef9e740310e47241.png

If you are driving an EMU, you need to wait until the nose of your trains passes the We9a sign, which is the one without the L on top.
This is placed further ahead than the We9b sign because your pantograph is further back on an EMU than on a locomotive, so it may still be in the neutral section when your cab passes the We9b sign for locomotives. 

:

A tip to get the motor power to zero by the time you see the We8a sign is to look for the back of the We9a sign, which is for trains running on your track in the opposite direction, and will be about 100 meters 'before' your We8a sign:
image.thumb.png.454469ef39b95d3fdf65d005ac4712b8.png
The neutral section signs will sometimes be located on posts to the side of the tracks, or on the catenary masts, and in some locations you need to look harder to figure out exactly when the signs apply to your line, and not the line next to you, which may have a staggered neutral section, especially at junctions where tracks join and leave the main line.

wow amazing info, this should go into a pdf or a guide at the wiki for everyone to find quickly, thank you!

 

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Yep, excellent info. 

There are a few very nasty spots on the SimRail network where the neutral section falls right at the block signal. They make me wonder if that is also the case in real life.

Also WE signs should be made from reflective material, so they should shine a bit more at night than they currently do. At least in my opinion. 

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6 hours ago, Gazz292 said:

If you are driving an EMU, you need to wait until the nose of your trains passes the We9a sign, which is the one without the L on top.

And that's why I always switch to the front one 😅

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And another tip that I only found by accident on the EP07/08s for faster run down of notches is to hold down the right shift and whatever key you've got set for reduce power (on mine it's D, as that's from MSTS days) 

Also works the other way so long as you go into notch 1 first, then hold <Right Shift> and then whatever your accelerate key is (mine is A), so you can go from 0 to 1 to 28 to 43 in about 5 seconds (dependant on speed, watch those Amps! Motor overload button is desirable please devs! 😂)

Edited by DazT
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8 hours ago, DazT said:

And another tip that I only found by accident on the EU07/08s for faster run down of notches is to hold down the right shift and whatever key you've got set for reduce power (on mine it's D, as that's from MSTS days) 

oh yes, is that not in the instructional tutorials people have made on these loco's? 
It's the same key 'fast move' as used to running when you are out of the train walking about.

Same as there's 3 keys for the train brake lever, one of them puts it straight into the off position, 
And to brake on the EU07/EP08, first tap the brake apply key, this puts the lever into the brake position, then press and hold the apply key to wind whe lever round slowly, 

If you just press and hold the apply key from the off position, it will go round fast to emergency position. 

 


 

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4 minutes ago, DazT said:

Oh that's the first thing I changed! The default SimRail keys are horrendous (more so if you're on a laptop that doesn't have a numeric keypad!) 

i have a number pad on my laptop(was on of the must haves when i was shopping for a new one)
So i have the driving controls (power wheel, notch lever, train and loco brakes) all on the numberpad, 

But i also use autohotkey to re-assign a few keybinds only whilst SimRail is running, mostly because you couldn't use numberpad enter to move the power lever / wheel (it was hard coded for dispatcher's talk enter key or something)
So via autohotkey i make my numberpad enter key give the numberpad . key when pressed and set that to power decrease, and now i have the 2 largest keypad keys for power increase and decrease. 

I then went on to set left ctrl for 'fast move' and left shift is SHP/Czuwak reset, and i bound right shift to left shift with autohotkey, so i can reset SHP/Czuwak from either side of the keyboard, 
then i made the numberpad dot key bound to the left ctrl key, so i can fast move the power wheel totally from the numberpad. 

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Ah that would explain why mine is right shift then, as I've got WASD for walking movement instead of whatever the default was, so left hand does those and right shift is used by the right hand

I only changed all mine as all the old MSTS keybinds are in long term memory now (and I'm getting older now), the only key change like you say is the extra brake running key which is "#" on mine (or a special 'Brake Running' on the Stream Deck, ironically brake releaser and emergency brake is / and * on the numpad on mine (or a button on the Stream deck)

Edited by DazT
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On 3/30/2023 at 4:39 PM, DazT said:

And another tip that I only found by accident on the EP07/08s for faster run down of notches is to hold down the right shift and whatever key you've got set for reduce power (on mine it's D, as that's from MSTS days) 

Also works the other way so long as you go into notch 1 first, then hold <Right Shift> and then whatever your accelerate key is (mine is A), so you can go from 0 to 1 to 28 to 43 in about 5 seconds (dependant on speed, watch those Amps! Motor overload button is desirable please devs! 😂)

 

23 hours ago, RWag64 said:

On my computer, it's <Left Shift> <Numeric-Minus>.

You have no idea how much that is gonna help me; I was wondering for the longest time how a driver would have been able to go from Notch 43 to 0 in enough time after seeing the We8a up ahead; thank you both so dang much!

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On 3/30/2023 at 1:39 AM, DazT said:

And another tip that I only found by accident on the EP07/08s for faster run down of notches is to hold down the right shift and whatever key you've got set for reduce power (on mine it's D, as that's from MSTS days) 

Also works the other way so long as you go into notch 1 first, then hold <Right Shift> and then whatever your accelerate key is (mine is A), so you can go from 0 to 1 to 28 to 43 in about 5 seconds (dependant on speed, watch those Amps! Motor overload button is desirable please devs! 😂)

I was wondering if rapid notch run down was possible. Those are excellent tips. Thank you so much!

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When I found it, it was like I was driving a different loco!

It's only really useable to run back up if you're already moving at some speed, otherwise it'll just trip out, depends on speed, gradient etc, with some practice though you'll get to know what speeds you can do it at, sometimes you forget though, I have been known to just swear "FFS!" lol 

Edited by DazT
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Yes indeed, if you are moving at certain speed rapid notch run down and run up can save tremendous time.

I noticed if you are doing 50 kmh or higher, you can easily skip from notch 1 to 28 easily and then it starts accelerating rapidly past notch 28.

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You can run up and tap back (TM!) which I sometimes do. So you start to do the quick run up normal and as the amps start getting higher towards in either taps 28 or 43 you can tap back singularly so that it doesn't trip out, you have to be quick though!

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