What are Actions?
Transit Actions are tasks that can be initiated
automatically as a Train, running in automatic mode,
traverses the layout following a Transit. One or more
Actions may be requested for each Section in a Transit. If a
Section is in a Transit multiple times, different
Actions may be specified for each occurrence of the
Actions only apply to trains run automatically under Dispatcher by a virtual engineer. If running Trains in automatic mode is of interest, please read on. If your trains will only be run manually with a human engineer, Actions aren't used.
Actions are set in addition to the standard actions that happen automatically when a Train runs in automatic mode. Standard actions are things like following signals and using stop sensors that are specified with each Section. Standard actions occur automatically whenever a Section is traversed in automatic mode. Other standard actions include automatically requesting allocation of Sections, and automatically changing locomotive speed according to signal restrictions.
Special Actions are tied to Sections, but are specified at the Transit level to provide maximum user flexibility. A Section is a piece of physical track that may, for example, be used by passenger trains, through freight trains, or locals. Each of these uses may need different Actions in a specific Section. For example, a passenger train may make a station stop in a particular Section, whereas a through freight train may go straight through. Adding special Actions to Transits allows Active Trains traveling the same path through the layout to have different Actions.
Requesting an Action
An Action is requested by specifying when an action is to be performed and what action to be performed. Any When event may be combined with any What action. This flexibility provides for a wide variety of Special Actions. An Action is initiated when the Train enters the Section with the Action request. To decide when to perform the Action after the Section is entered, the program looks at the When event.
When to take action?
Available When event choices are:
- On Section Entry
- On Section Exit
- On Block Entry
- On Block Exit
- On Train Stop
- On Train Start
- On Sensor ACTIVE
- On Sensor INACTIVE
Optionally a Delay may be set for each When event, specified in milliseconds. If the Delay time is set to zero (the default), the action will be performed immediately after the When event occurs. If a Delay time is specified, the program will wait for the specified time in fast clock minutes after the When event occurs before performing the action.
What action to perform?
Available What actions are:
- Pause Train - Stop the Train for a specified number of fast clock minutes. This item may be used to request a station stop. Set the duration in fast clock minutes using the spinner.
- Set Maximum Speed - Set the maximum speed to a
specified percentage of the maximum hardware speed.
When a Train is run in automatic mode, the program will never exceed this maximum speed. For example, this item may be used to force an automatic train to run slower through a town. Setting maximum speed does not affect the current speed of the Train if it is less than the specified maximum speed (percentage).
- Set Train Speed - Set the current train speed to
the target percentage. The throttle will send the new speed
to the locomotive after the delay set under When.
How long it takes the Train to reach the new speed after that depends upon the locomotive decoder. The new speed may be either lower or higher than the previous value, but will not be allowed to exceed the maximum speed.
- Ramp Train Speed - Set the current train speed to the target percentage by ramping to the target value using the default ramp rate of the automatically running Train. If the default ramp rate of the Train is RAMP_NONE, this action is equivalent to Set Train Speed. The new speed may be either lower or higher than the previous value, but will not be allowed to exceed the maximum speed.
- Go to Manual Mode - Drop out of automatic mode
to allow a human engineer to perform work with a manual
throttle. This action supports the scenario where a Train
might be run automatically to a work site, where a human
operator takes over to perform work, after which automatic
running is continued. The Train will remain in manual mode
until directed by the dispatcher to resume automatic
operation. An optional Done Sensor allows an
operator remote from the dispatcher to notify the
dispatcher that work has been completed and automatic
running can be resumed. When the Done Sensor goes
active, the status of the Train is changed from WORKING to
READY. For more information on this action, see Dispatcher.
Note: When the Train is in manual mode, the computer
does not have a throttle for the train available, so
delayed actions that happen then and require a throttle are
- Set Locomotive Light - Sets the locomotive light
either On or Off as selected.
- Start Bell - Start bell ringing on a sound decoder. This item will turn throttle function 1 on.
- Stop Bell - Stop bell ringing on a sound decoder. This item will turn throttle function 1 off.
- Sound Horn - Sound the horn (whistle) of a sound decoder for a specified time. This item is equivalent to holding down throttle function 2 for the specified time.
- Pattern Sound Horn - Sound the horn (whistle) in
a manner specified by a user-entered pattern. The pattern
consists of short and long blasts, specified as "s" and "l"
in the pattern. For example, a pattern of "lsl" specifies
long-short-long. Sets the duration of the short and long
blasts using the two spinners (milliseconds).
The short blast duration is also used as the
wait time between blasts. Actual times realized will depend
on the sound decoder and how busy the computer is. The
horn/whistle is assumed to be throttle function 2.
- Set Decoder Function - Sets the specified
decoder function either On or Off as
selected. This works for both sound decoders and decoders
- Set Sensor ACTIVE - Set a specified Sensor
active. Select a Sensor from the drop down (Sensor Table).
If the specified Sensor is already in the Active state, it
is first toggled to the Inactive state, then set Active.
This action may be used, for example, with an internal
Sensor to trigger a Logix, set a Route, or set a Light.
It offers access to a wide variety of actions not included
here, such as running scripts or playing sounds.
- Set Sensor INACTIVE - Set a specified Sensor inactive. Select a Sensor from the drop down (Sensor Table). If the specified Sensor is already in the inactive state, it is first toggled to the active state, then set inactive. This is equivalent to the action above, except with a different target Sensor state.
- Hold Signal - Set a specified Signal Mast or
Signal Head to HELD. Select either a Signal Mast or
Head from one of the drop downs.
- Release Signal - Set a specified Signal Mast or Signal Head to NOT HELD. Select either a Signal Mast or Head from one of the drop downs.
The View Actions Window
The View Actions window is displayed for a specific Section in a Transit by pressing the View/Add/Edit Actions button in that Section's row in the Sections in Transit table on the Add Transit or Edit Transit pane:
The View Actions window (illustrated below) displays Actions that are currently set, and provides for adding, editing, or deleting Actions.
For all Actions that have been created, the
When event and the What action
are described in the When and Action Requested
To add a new Action, click Add New Action... to bring up the Add/Edit Action window.
To edit an existing Action, click the Edit button in its row. To delete an existing Action, click the Delete button in its row. The order of the Actions is not important.
When the Actions are completely defined, click the Done button.
Back to the Transit Add/Edit help page.