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RailPro => RailPro Discussion & Help => Topic started by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:33:34 AM

Title: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:33:34 AM
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jan 25, 2015

Ok, I'm jealous of everyone who owns a RailPro system. I tried to get
one but unfortunately the supplier let the cat out of the bag
(unintentionally) to Tim Ring who then told them "you can't send it to
that country!". I'm well aware of why and after testing the unit I was
quite prepared to work with Ring Engineering for product approval but
either they can't put 2 and 2 together or they just aren't interested.

All that out of the way, there is one thing that I've been wondering
about. I don't know if I'll get an answer with so few members here so
far but I continue, who know perhaps when we have many more members
some of them might read back this far...

In all the instructional videos I've seen I've not seen this;
How easy is it to "change ends" of a MU?

Let me elaborate, suppose you take your MU out of the loco depot, run
past your train and then back onto it. You have no need to change ends
as your already running with the lead loco at the front. Now suppose
you take your MU from the loco depot and run it straight onto the train,
you now need to change ends as the lead loco is coupled to the train and
the rear one is the one you need operate from (headlights, ditch lights,
horn etc). How easy is this to do? do you need to unlink the MU and re
link it or what?

Tim
Land of OZ
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:34:31 AM
Originally posted by Jacob Damron on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jan 25, 2015

Tim,

Welcome. For such a short move I'd recommend just building the consist the way it's supposed to run. You can individually control the lights of the locomotives in a consist and could turn on and off the rear unit light. You can also instantly change the running direction of each locomotive without breaking the consist. Ill make a video soon highlighting the MU capabilities. Thanks for the idea.

Jacob
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:35:34 AM
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jan 27, 2015

Hi Jacob,

Thanks for having us all :)

I'd look forward to seeing a video. I think a more extensive video is
needed on MU than highlighting, which is covered well in a video by
Freewake84 on Youtube. In fact both his videos are quite good. For those
that have not seen them here are the links.



Getting back to the topic at hand, your idea is certainly workable but
not the ideal solution, the loco depot can be many kilometres/miles
from the yard, you might even be running a light engine movement up
a branch line (could be 100 km/miles) to collect your train. It sounds
like a nifty feature that shouldn't be hard to program would be a
"reverse MU" function (geez, it's hard not to use DCC parlance and
call it a consist after so long!).

I can also see other operations that would need it, specifically
passenger trains with a locomotive on each end (push-pull), DMU's when
MU'ed together.

I have to stop now, the more I talk about it the more I want something
that can't be had.

Tim
Land of OZ
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:36:36 AM
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 3, 2015

Hi Tim,

Those are my videos, thanks for linking them.  Yes, they are just a general overview but they give a decent idea of what is involved.

What you are asking is probably possible with a software update.  There is currently no button to quickly swap an MU from one lead loco to another.  What I have been doing is usually setting the consist the way it will run the majority of the time and use it like that (as Jacob said).  The locos will still run fine even if the MU is running reverse of what it is set as.  Not quite as smooth as forward, but still just fine. 

If I really want/need to swap the MU to a different locomotive I just quickly unlink and relink the way I want it.  It seriously takes all of a few seconds to do it.  A couple taps on the screen and you are good to go.  A single button would be nice, but MU'ing in Railpro is so stinking simple as it is that it's almost not necessary.

That being said, it's still worth bringing it up to Ring Engineering as a possible future update.  If enough people request it, it can happen.

-Kevin
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:37:27 AM
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 3, 2015

what am I missing here?

When I want to change the lead loco, I simply go back to the loco selection screen and choose the other loco. done.

Does this have some effect I am not aware of?
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:38:17 AM
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 3, 2015

Bill,

If you tap on the loco selection screen and select the following loco without unlinking them, you can indeed control the effects on that locomotive, but it does not become the leader.  You can check that by tapping the MU button.  The lead loco stays the same, regardless of which locomotive in the consist you have on your screen.

Honestly this doesn't affect much in the long run.  The locomotives still run fine even if the one in the direction of travel isn't the "leader".  I don't ever switch the leader when I'm switching.  Lots of back and forth and everything runs well regardless of which is the leader.

-Kevin
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:38:46 AM
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 4, 2015

Your welcome Kevin.

Thank you for making them, they showed more of the capability of
the system than the official videos, and were the final "yes" to me
getting RailPro, which I did finally obtain (but still not installed
in anything - everything I have is just going to make a complicated
install sigh!).

I think a one button Change MU End would be a very useful feature.

Perhaps we should come up with a list of useful feature requests
here and submit them as a group to Ring. I'll go first:

1. One button Change MU end

Cheers,

Tim
Land of OZ
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:41:24 AM
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 4, 2015

Why? I just don't understand the need for this.

Once the locos are MU's, simply choose the loco you want to control from
and "go".
Want to control from another loco, select it and "go".

Why does it matter which is first in the MU list?

- Bill

TS egroupstuff@eftel.net.au [RailProUsers] wrote on 6/4/2015 5:59 AM:
> I think a one button Change MU End would be a very useful feature.
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:42:20 AM
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 4, 2015

Hi Bill,

I haven't been able to use my Railpro system yet so I'm just going off
what I've been able to piece together from bits and pieces from the
'net.

The situation is suppose your taking your 5 loco MU from the loco depot
to the yard and couple straight onto your train. Your little people
climb down and change ends (the rear of the MU is now the front of
the train) and drive off in the direction you came from, back past the
loco depot.

Since I've not seen or read anything about it is it as simple as
selecting the rear loco (which is the front of the train) and driving
off with the MU with all the lights, horns etc functioning from the
rear loco? or is it more complicated than that (like DCC is). If it's
all that simple then yes, we don't need a change ends function.

Cheers,

Tim
Land of OZ
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:42:54 AM
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 4, 2015

Yes, it's that simple.

Choose the cab you want to operate and when you activate the horn, or lights, that's the one that goes.
The list of MU'd locos does not change, but you are effectively operating from the selected unit.

- Bill
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:43:24 AM
Originally posted by jacob.damron on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 4, 2015

Tim:

While I can't speak for every railroad out there I can speak to how we did things at Union Pacific. What you described would never happen hostling power. First, there are several different jobs in a yard when building a train. One of those is the hostlers. Their entire job is to put power on a 'train' (Per the GCOR, it isn't an actual train until it occupies the mainline). Hostlers work in pairs; there's an engineer and a foreman/conductor/switchman. Some sort of helper. It takes a bit of work to get locomotives MU'd. All connections have to be made. This includes the MU plug, train line connection, and brake line. Then all of the cross walks and chains have to be secured. Then you have the process of starting each engine. The first step is closing the knife connection on the back wall of the cab and then priming and starting. The older engines stared by opening the long hood on the engineers side but the newer ones start in the cab. Then you select whether that engine is the lead or running in trail or dead in trail. At this point you would also ensure that all trailing locos had their lights off. Once everything is up and running you would then set the brakes. The helper would then confirm that all brakes were set and then you would release the brakes and then ensure that all brakes released. Only at this point is the MU'd set ready to go. As such, we didn't change or swap ends unless absolutely necessary. So, your scenario would never have happened. They would have built the MU'd set the direction that it would run on the road and simply done a reverse move (run backwards) with the helper on the rear protecting the shove until it was coupled onto the train. Then the carmen would take over, inspect the trains, brakes, etc before it was handed off to a road crew.

Simply, with RailPro, build your MU set and back it onto your train and then highball!

Jacob
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:44:02 AM
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 4, 2015

Bill is correct.  You can do the same for any locomotive in the consist....select it on the locomotive screen and you can control the entire MU from it, as well as any lighting effects, sounds, etc.  This includes locomotives in the middle of a 3+ unit MU.

The only thing I might add is that if I am pulling a long train and/or going a long distance I will want the "lead" loco in the MU in the front.  I've noticed that the load sharing is extremely smooth and consistent that way.  Switching and short moves I just select whatever loco I want without breaking the MU like Bill says.

-Kevin
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:44:49 AM
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 4, 2015

So what happens in this alternate scenario?

Train arrives from north at an interchange yard.  (locos are arranged back to back)
Crew drops its incoming train.
Crew couples to its departing interchange train.
Crew leaves northbound with train, now controlled from the previously trailing loco.

I think this is basically the same scenario Tim is envisioning.
The train has now switched directions.

- Bill
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:45:32 AM
Originally posted by kpack05 on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 4, 2015

Bill, in answer to your question, the train will run just fine in reverse without swapping the lead.  However, if I were to be in this situation I would break the MU, and change the lead loco.  It takes all of 3 seconds to do.  I would do it for 2 reasons: 1) more reliable load sharing for the longer run back to whereever the train is going, and 2) simulates the crew moving the previous lead loco to the new loco.  I'm into simulating that sort of thing....makes it feel a bit more realistic to me.

-Kevin
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:46:28 AM
Originally posted by jacob.damron on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 4, 2015

This is significantly simpler than Tim's scenario. In his scenario you have five units that required MU'ing going from a diesel facility to an outbound yard. In this example you're describing a local that is now going back with some, none, or all of the original train. A run around move is required regardless. In this case you would either wye the power (we did this on a steel job) or simply swap ends (we did this on a refer job). With two locomotives the engineer would simply kill the light, put that loco in trail, and then walk to the other cab and set it up for the lead. While this is being done the conductor would be hooking up the air hose and releasing the hand brakes.

Jacob
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:46:50 AM
Originally posted by jacob.damron on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 4, 2015

What I'm describing is actual railroad operations which shouldn't be too confused with RailPro. Just remember that this isn't DCC. In any of the above scenarios I could break and rebuild the MU'd consist in 8 to 15 seconds tops. It is so easy that my 10 year old had it figured out and running trains in 30 seconds. It is that easy.

Jacob
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:47:22 AM
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 4, 2015

Yup. That's how I figured it would happen.
Thanks for your reply!
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:48:01 AM
Originally posted by TS on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 5, 2015

Thanks for that Jacob,

It isn't much different here; the MU would be made up in the desired
direction of travel for the train; it would be made up (usually) by
crew at the loco depot (if made up at the yard it might be made up by
the train crew, I don't know for sure) and for moves within the yard
driving from the lead cab in the reverse direction would happen.

But, I'm not talking loco depots that are (geographically) attached to
yards but where loco depots and yards are separated by some distance.
At the two "major" loco depots here getting to the yard requires running
on the main line. The MU would not be driven from the intended lead cab
in the reverse direction to the yard, but would be driven from the
cab that's at the (at that moment in time) lead end. Once coupled up
you would then isolate the brake pedestal as required and change ends
to the lead cab.

I can make a diagram if anyone isn't able to follow all that.

Anyway, as has been stated with Railpro I can simply select the rear
loco and drive that as the "lead" to the train and then simply change
ends to the real lead by selecting it and off I go.

Cheers,

Tim
Land of OZ
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:48:31 AM
Originally posted by William Brillinger on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 5, 2015

I was thinking the same thing, ei: more prototypical, although I have not noticed the loadsharing being different from one direction to another.

- Bill
Title: Re: First group question: change ends of MU
Post by: Archive on October 09, 2015, 11:48:59 AM
Originally posted by jacob.damron on the RailPro Users Yahoo! Group on Jun 5, 2015

I talked to an engineer buddy of mine at UP. He said that any light power move over two miles on the main would require the lead locomotive to be on the point. So, in Tim's situation you would have to swap ends once connected to the train.

Jacob