HowTo/Configure An Interlocking Tower

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An Interlocking Tower (aka Signal Tower) is an in game object which automatically configures junctions, signals and level crossings to allow trains to drive a path from one location to another. Interlocking Towers are a type of scripted scenery object, meaning they are placable/movable/etc in the game world, and can be edited using the "Edit Properties" tool. Below is a a basic tutorial or how to guide, which should give you a nice introduction on how to configure the properties for a tower, and how to define a basic tower path.


Route Creation

Before we begin this tutorial we'll need a suitable route to work with. Handily for you, there is a one available for download here. This cdp contains one route and two sessions. The session named "Unconfigured" is the one you will one you will want to open in Surveyor for this tutorial. The "Fully Configured" session can be used as a reference if you need help, or just as an example of how Interlocking Towers can be used.

If you don't want to download the attachment, create a new route and lay some track. The actual track configuration doesn't matter but be sure to add some junctions and multiple entry/exit points so that you can create some interesting paths. One or more level crossings are also recommended, and your route will need to be appropriately signalled, as signals form the basis of Interlocking Tower path configuration.

Finally, and most importantly, you'll need to place an interlocking tower asset. The example route uses <kuid:401543:3220> "Crowcombe-Heathfield Signal Box".

Tower Configuration

Once you have an appropriate route simply activate the "Edit Properties" tool on the objects tab and click on the Interlocking Tower in the game world. This will present the properties dialog, showing the interlocking towers path list view by default (see screenshot). From here you can edit the standard scenery object properties (name, object layer), and also view, add and delete interlocking tower paths.

To begin with, let's add a new path. First, close the properties dialog and find a signal in the game world that you want to be the starting point for your path. Interlocking Tower paths run from signal to signal, so be sure to pick a signal with more signals after it (and ideally some more after that, and some junctions, and a crossing).

Open the Tracks tab, activate trackside mode, and use the properties tool to get the signal name. Now reopen the properties dialog for the Interlocking Tower and click the "Add" link. You will see a list of all of the signals on the route, select the signal you just found and click the tick button.

Congratulations, you've just created your first interlocking tower path! By default the game will have automatically generated a path from the chosen entry signal to the next found signal, following any currently set junction directions, and taken you into the edit view for that path. Take a moment to have a look at the path definition if you like, but this interface will be covered in detail in the next section so don't worry about it for now.

Click "Back to path list" to return to the path list view. The current path configuration will be saved automatically. You will now see your new path in the list. Clicking on the name in the list will allow you to rename it if you wish, and clicking either the entry signal or exit signals will focus the camera on them in the game world. The path "priority" determines the paths position in this list view, and defines the order in which paths may be automatically assigned to trains in Driver. Clicking the priority number will allow you to edit this value and reorder the list, once you have multiple paths.

To delete a path entirely, click the "Remove" link. Don't worry, there's a confirmation dialog to ensure you don't do this accidentally. Clicking the "Edit" link will return you to the path edit view and allow you to modify a specific path. When you're comfortable with the path list view click the "Edit" link for a path and continue on to the next section.

Path Creation and Editing

The path edit view is where paths are edited beyond the initial automatic generation. From here you can extend paths to cover multiple signals, change junction directions to alter the tracks a path takes, change the required state for signals/crossings, add external requirements for complex paths, and modify automatic assignment options.

Lets start by extending the path to cover multiple signals. Click the "Extend Path" link at the bottom of the path definition to automatically extend the path. Path extension follows the same logic as the original automatic path generation, following the track along the currently set junction directions until another signal is found. If no next signal is found the path extension will fail with an error message, but will still add any found junctions to the path definition so that path generation can be reattempted.

Clicking any object name in the path definition list will focus the world camera on that object. This can be useful if you need to have a look at where the automatic path generation has generated the path. You'll also notice that while you are in the path edit view there is a "path visualisation" which shows you the route that the path will take down the track.

Clicking the state for any object in the path definition will allow you to change it. For example, the signal aspect can be changed from green/proceed to any state supported by that signal. This is also the primary method by which the path definition is edited. Click on the state for any junction in your path definition. If your path contains no junctions, extend it until it does. The displayed dialog will list all of the possible junction directions for this junction. Change the junction direction and click the tick button. This will confirm the new selection and cause Trainz to automatically regenerate the path from this junction onwards. Note that any previously configured state beyond this point will be lost, so be careful to select the correct junction when editing paths.

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Session Rule Configuration

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