Dispatcher Displays

We use two display screens, each managing two half-screens, to dispatch the Keystone Division of the Reading & Chesapeake Railroad. The display provides a West to East point to point track plan (more or less!), starting from the upper left across the 2nd display and then continuing on the lower left on the 1st display. While trains can begin on departure tracks in either the Philadelphia Yard or the Reading Yard, trains often originate in the West (Erie) or East (Pottsville - St Clair) Staging yards. Additionally, cars can virtually enter or exit the layout at Interchanges with CSX, NS, CP or CN.

The left dispatcher screen is shown below:


The right dispatcher screen is shown below:

The two pole switches control the turnout having the corresponding number assignment. While a switch change is pending, the start indicator flashes dark to red periodically. Pressing the white Code button implements the pending change. Sound effects from prototype turnout moves accompany realistic slow motion changes on the layout.

All mainlines are single track and bi-directional. The three pole switches manage signal direction flow at the turnout. The traffic flow direction (yellow arrow) changes to remind the dispatcher of intended flows that are implemented through signal aspect changes. Indicator flashing and sounds accompanying Signal command changes .

We use JMRI Simple Signal Logic for each signal as well as a Logix block with many conditionals to control a signal/turnout pair

There are eight Mainline crossovers on the layout currently. The Dispatcher needs added control to manage signal interlocking for crossovers. For crossovers we add a signal control for each of the tracks as shown here. Each control manages the signals on its associated track and turnout(s).

We are implementing Centralized Traffic Control (CTC) or Absolute Permissive Block (APB) for each track block on the layout. A small toggle switch has been added at the upper left of the traffic flow 3-way switch. Toggle switch Up indicates CTC block management is operating; toggle switch Down indicate APB block management is operating. When the traffic flow shows a yellow line with an arrowhead at both ends, it indicates CTC is halting all traffic in the block being controlled. When there are no arrowheads, just a yellow line, it indicate APB is active and traffic may approach the block from either direction on a first come first serve basis,