Installing and running
The application is provided in compressed form (2Mbytes) in a 'zip' archive and should be decompressed using WinZip which should extract the '.exe' file into the desired directory, creating a sub-directory 'sigbox' for all the data files. Once the application has been extracted, use 'Run' from the 'Start' button to run the programme. This will provide a choice of signalboxes as it starts up. The simulation speed may be adjusted or paused by clicking over the 'Simulation speed' box and the boxes below it.
The simulation works best in at least 1024x768 with 256 colours, but 16 colour mode is perfectly acceptable. In smaller screen modes it is difficult to use.
It will run under Windoze 98-SE, NT4.0, ME and XP. It runs at an acceptable speed on 1600MHz processors and probably on slower processors. If the processor is too slow to keep up with the selected simulation speed, then its actual speed will also be shown.
When the application starts (by selecting a particular timetabled sequence for either Exeter West or Kidderminster) it will open two windows as follows:
Window sizes are automatically selected according to the screen mode, but can easily be adjusted and zoomed in or out. The drop down menu will zoom in or out and/or resize the window. If a box diagram or lever frame is enlarged so that only part of it appears within the screen window, then it will automatically scroll left, right, up or down as the mouse pointer approaches the edge of the window, but will still allow SELECT clicks by the mouse over features near the edge. Interactive help messages describing these functions are displayed in 'tool tip' windows. Almost every item in each window provides an individual help message: levers, electric locks, points, signals, track circuits, the score display, etc.
the signal box diagram plus the lever frame and block shelf;
- the train register.
During a sequenced timetable of trains, they will move across the diagram. Shunting movments (a single engine or a train being propelled) will stop behind shunting signals and be ready to shunt back - if you want it to continue the shunt further, then click with the right-button on the mouse and select 'Reverse (engine)'.