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So, I know this is a largely German product, and I have no problem with that. But I'm kind-of unfamiliar with German signalling practices. So I did a bit of research and found some decent articles on the various signals in use in Germany and what they all mean. But it seems there'd something missing.mrbj1313.jpg

In the UK, junction tracks are signalled separately. The semaphore signals above show off for the straight track with the distant signal on, and on for the junction to the right. The signal to the left is higher indicating that it is the main line. (Note the point is set to go straight...)

With coloured light signals, multiple routes can be signalled more simply:


A single amber light meaning proceed but expect to stop at the next light, and "take the third left",


Fortunately everything there is set on, and with no view of the track, I'm not even going to attempt to decipher what each one means.

But the best that I see on the online catalogue are ground signals that indicate the setting of the individual points, which would usually be used for shunting rather than main-line signalling.

Please can someone point me in the right direction here? (pun intended)

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Hello Simon,

Those ground signals are the classic German junction indicators.


And you're correct associating these with junction yards (as well as slow traffic lines, station fields etc.)

Fast tracks usually have no junction indicators at all.


If there's a protecting signal ahead of a switch point, it'll be only one signal. for both branches. Because there's no point in indicating different conditions for the two branches. Only one train can arrive at this spot. So only one train driver needs to be told if his route is clear to enter or not.


Kind regards

Edited by Goetz
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Hi Goetz

Thanks, that does make things clearer.

I suppose the British practice of telling the driver where he's going is unnecessary, after all, it's not like he has a choice! The only time it might be important is at a large terminus like Waterloo, where the driver might need to know which platform he's being directed to, but even then it would only be so he could pass information to the passengers. If the platform is too short for the train, that's the signalman's fault and there's not a lot the driver can do about it!


That said....


In the situation above it might be nice for the driver to have some advanced warning that he's going straight and not going head to head with the train coming the other way...! Driving trains is all about trust!

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vor 8 Stunden schrieb simonjackson1964:

In the situation above it might be nice for the driver to have some advanced warning that he's going straight

And what would the driver do if the signal told him that a head-on collision is imminent? Jump off the train? Tell passengers to "brace for impact"?

You may be interested to learn that switch points can only be changed, while the protecting signal is set to "halt". And the signal can only be set to "clear" after the following switch points are all locked in position. If the signal shows "clear" (or - as it is the case in your screenshot - "slow at 40 km/h") the driver can be certain that his path is set and free of obstacles. The "slow at 40 km/h" is mostly used when one of the following switch points is set to "turn out", because the tight radius of switch points doesn't allow for a higher speed.

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Slam the brakes on? Ha ha!

It is worth noting that 90% of all train crashes ever were due to signalling errors or failures!

Yes, I'm aware of signal interlocking (I did a brief stint as a trainee signalman on the Kent & East Sussex Light Railway, before a hernia put paid to that ambition!) - In fact I took my little "sample" I made for the picture above and took it the next step...


Not too happy with the point controls, I'll see if I can find something better, but the red/green lights act as buttons to control the home and starter signals. The "Panic Button" just sets both trains current speed to zero.

Interlocking the points and signals is my next task. Because the signalling is manual, but the trains are event driven.

So, what would be shown on a Home signal to indicate that the next (starter) signal is at "Halt"?

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Hello Simon,

vor 41 Minuten schrieb simonjackson1964:

So, what would be shown on a Home signal to indicate that the next (starter) signal is at "Halt"?

unfortunately, I'm unfamiliar with the British signalling system. I can't relate to "home" and "starter" signal.

The signal with the orange disk is the old German way of indicating the state for the following signal.


The variant 2 can show three different conditions: "expect halt", "expect clear" and "expect slow at 40 km/h"

This advance signal with the disk may be located immediately in front of a main signal (to indicate the state for the following signal) or between signals, with a distance of approx. 1000 meters (comfortable brake distance) to the next main signal.

Switch to night view to see the corresponding light combinations.

You can connect an advance signal to a main signal and one will always follow the other (both ways) when they change condition.


Does that help? Or am I missing the point of your question?


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Posted (edited)

I didn't ask the question very well...

The Home signal in British practice is the signal at the exit to a block. Often at the entrance to a station. As soon as the last car in a train has passed this signal the block is "Clear" and another train may enter from a permitted direction.

The Starter signal is the one at the entrance to the block, often but not always at the exit of a station. As soon as the first vehicle passes the signal, the line is "blocked". and may not be entered by any other train.

The distant signal is the yellow one with the notched end, and serves the same purpose as the orange disc.

However as you might notice if you look ap pictures of British signals, you will often see a "main" signal - usually a home, but can also be a starter, on the same pole as a distant signal. The idea is that the main signal controls train movement at that point and the distant indicates what the next signal is. Basically this mirrors the use of coloured lights, with red indicating stop, yellow indicating proceed but be prepared to stop at the next light (two yellows can indicate stop at the next light but one) and green indicates proceed.


What I'm wondering is, would the German signal with two arms extended be the equivalent of the Home being Proceed, but the advance (or Warner) being "prepare to stop".


So, if the home signal is at Stop, the distant will be prepare to stop Similarly if the starter is at stop, the warner will be at prepare to stop,So the condition where a train can enter the station, but cannot leave would be signalled on the home gantry by the home signal being "proceed" and the Warner being "Prepare to stop".

That's what I'm trying to get across...

Edited by simonjackson1964
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We have similar settings here, where main signal and distant signal are found at the same location.
But they don't share a mast (when they are of the old semaphore type)


source: Wikipedia


With the newer type called "Lichtsignale" you'll find situations where a distant signal is attached to the same mast. The "Lichtsignal" distant signals in 3D train studio have a variant included with no mast (for attachment to existing masts.)

If I find the time later today, I'll record a short video for you with further explanations.

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Hmm... So. basically the semaphore and orange disk are one in front of the other (with enough room for the disc to rotate). I actually found that in your original response just now. Apologies for nor reading it properly!



The signal on the left means "Stop" (HP0). The signal in the middle means "Proceed" (HP1). The signal on the right means "Slow Speed" (HP2) (According to Google Translate).

What I'm trying to understand here is when would the signal HP2 be used? You said something about on a tight curve, but if there is a tight curve surely there would be a speed limit on the track anyway? Or the signal wouldn't be capable of displaying HP1, (As per Form Signal 3).

On 8/17/2020 at 4:10 AM, Goetz said:

The "slow at 40 km/h" is mostly used when one of the following switch points is set to "turn out", because the tight radius of switch points doesn't allow for a higher speed.

Hmm.... So I think I might have had an answer to my original question, all the way back there, but without realising it...

If the point is set straight then the signal shows HP1. But if the point is set curved then it shows HP2?

Presumably if the point is a Y, then again the signal doesn't show HP1?


...Moving on... I read an interesting article about the light signals.


So two reds obviously means "Stop" (HP0). One green means proceed (HP1). Green and yellow (HP2) I now have to assume means proceed slowly, because there's a junction ahead.The single red with the two angled white lights (SH1) means Stop, unless you're shunting. Basically the equivalent of having a ground signal alongside (or on the post with) the main signal.

But the thing that surprised me is that last one, ZS1 - that apparently means "Hey, I'm not working properly, but you can go anyway!"


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vor 9 Stunden schrieb simonjackson1964:

If the point is set straight then the signal shows HP1. But if the point is set curved then it shows HP2?

Presumably if the point is a Y, then again the signal doesn't show HP1?

You're correct on all counts

And likewise with your assumptions regarding the light signal displays.

The Zs1 states that the signal is out of order and you're permitted to pass it without an explicit written order. So obviously this display is only used, where you may indeed skip one signal without risk, for instance if two block segments can be treated as one by ignoring the signal in the middle. It's not a standard indication whenever any signal fails. That would be dangerous.


The double red light is found on signals of the category "Hauptsperrsignal".

"Sperre" is a german word for something inhibiting, like a bolt. This signal is mainly found at station exits, where extra vigilance is required, due to multiple tracks converging.

The "Blocksignal" and "Hauptsignal" variants have only a single red light.

The "Blocksignal" separates one track section from the next (only used on parallel tracks with dedicated directions)
The "Hauptsignal" is your typical signal at the station entrance, i.e. before the tracks fan out to the various platforms.

The shunting signal (SH1, two white dots at an angle) tell the driver, that he's clear to proceed up to a specially marked point. The marker there is a sign (known as Ra10) which reads "Halt für Rangierfahrt" (i.e. "halt for shunting"). Usually, this Ra10 is placed at a position before the entry signal for incoming trains (with some extra leeway.) 

Please note: This is a simplified description. And it's the limit of my knowledge, which I accumulated by playing with the 3D train studio and listening to the pros in the community

Edited by Goetz
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Hi @simonjackson1964

I have written a description of the use of German form signals in Henrys kleine Signalkunde in German language. With the Deepl.com Translator the texts can be translated easily understandable.

ich habe eine Beschreibung zur Anwendung von deutschen Form-Signalen in Henrys kleine Signalkunde in deutscher Sprache geschrieben. Mit dem Deepl.com Translator lassen sich die Texte gut verständlich übersetzen.


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Thanks guys, that's really helpful.

(Does mean I'm going t have to re-do the signalling on all the layouts I've created so far though!) *eyeroll*

Although as none of them have been (or likely will be) uploaded, I suppose it doesn't matter, as long as what I've got stops the trains hitting each other...

Next project will have proper signalling. I hope...

My biggest problem now is the damn scenery. I can never get it to look as good as everyone else does... *grumble*

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vor 1 Stunde schrieb simonjackson1964:

as long as what I've got stops the trains hitting each other...

Quite  (y)

And V6 of this software is going to bring changes that'll make traffic control via signals significantly easier. Makes sense to keep what you've got until then.

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Another question, on a related subject: the Gleissperre mit Boden-Formsignal, track closure with ground shape signal. 

I can see how it works and why it would be used, but is this something that would only be found on a siding, or would the Gleissperre on its own be used, possibly linked to a main signal, on say, a branch line joining or crossing a main line? Or even on a main line to prevent a train leaving a station - Possibly on a slope?

Next question (possibly @Henry)

Your document contains this paragraph:

Wer möchte, kann durch Einbau einer zusätzlichen virtuellen Sperrweiche (rot) versuchen, den Zug entgleisen zu lassen.
Das markierte Gleis hat die Eigenschaft unsichtbar aus dem Archiv.

If you want, you can try to derail the train by installing an additional virtual blocking switch (red).
The marked track has the property invisible from the archive.

I've been unable to find such an item. The locomotive runs straight through the track closure, and will only stop at the trailing point if points are locked for it... Or (obviously) if an event is set to stop any vehicle at closure.

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you should use it only on sidings and/or in a situation to prevent single waggons rolling into a main line. It is used in industrial areas. It is never placed in connection with a main signal.

To derail the train (virtually) you have to design a turnout with the track editor. This must be switched together with the track barrier, i.e.

straigt = open = proceed
curved = closed = derail

The event manager (EV) must control the behaviour of a locomotive in front of the track blocker.

I will look for the file to give you an impression.

Regards, Henry




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Posted (edited)

On a slightly different but related topic, perhaps either of you could solve a mystery for me?

I'm trying to create what I understand is called a "Scissor" crossing.


The top track formation works just fine. (The blue button just makes sure that the correct point gets changed so they all change together) But obviously, it takes more room and jinks the tracks over. The lower formation would be preferable, but it does weird things... (The gaps in the straight routes are deliberate, because I wanted to be sure the angled routes were connecting properly.) I'm using Arnold Spur N for no other reason that it's first, It looks okay and I've modelled in N since I found I could fit more into the same space as HO.

So I have no idea why or what causes it, but drive a train from bottom right, it should go to top left, but instead it does a fancy (and physically impossible) pirouette and goes to top right. Drive a train from top left, it goes to bottom right. But oddly, so do trains fro the other two directions. Top Right pirouettes and goes bottom right, bottom left does a delicate swerve to go bottom right.

Any ideas? Oh and I do recommend trying it out, because watching a BR 01-118 and tender pirouette like that is really entertaining!


Edit to add - It does it on other track makes too. Tried it on Atlas O, and it's the same.

Edited by simonjackson1964
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Hallo/Hello Simon,


Ich habe bei Deiner doppelten Gleisverbindung die einzelnen Weichen (oberer Teil im obigen Bild) durch einfache Fahrspur-Linien (unterer Teil im obigen Bild)  ersetzt, damit man besser sieht, wo die Spuren der einzelnen Schienenstücke enden. Wie man in der unteren Darstellung sieht, enden die abbigenden Fahrspuren aller 4 Weichen in einem gemeinsamen Punkt. Dies ist für das Modellbahn-Studio problematisch. Denn kommt ein Zug von einer Weiche her kommend (beispiesweise auf der gelben Spur) an diesem Punkt an, gibt es 3 verschiedene Möglichkeiten, die Fahrt fortzusetzen, nämlich entlang der roten, der grünen oder der blauen Spur. Da das Modellbahn-Studio hier nicht erkennen kann, welche die "richtige" Spur ist, wählt es irgend eine der vorhandenen Spuren aus, wodurch es dann zu der von Dir gesehenen "Pirouette" kommen kann. 
I replaced the single switches for your double track connection (upper part in the picture above at the top) with single track lines (lower part in the picture below), so you can see better where the tracks of the single track pieces end. As you can see in the lower part, the turning lanes of all 4 turnouts end in a common point. This is problematic for the train studio. Because if a train coming from a switch (e.g. on the yellow track) arrives at this point, there are 3 different possibilities to continue the trip, namely along the red, the green or the blue track. Since the train studio can't see which is the "right" track here, it selects any of the existing tracks, which can then lead to the "pirouette" you have seen.

Man kann diesen Efffekt vermeiden, indem man das Zusammentreffen von mehr als 2 Gleis-Enden am selben Punkt verhindert.
You can avoid this effect by preventing more than 2 track ends from meeting at the same point.


Im vorliegenden Fall kann man beispielsweise die abzweigenden Fahrspuren der 4 Weichen etwas kürzen und die dadurch entstehenden Gleislücken durch 2 kurze Gleisstücke ersetzen, die über die Funktion "Flexibles Biegen" unter "Aktive Modifikation" im Eigenschaftsfenster für das jeweilige Gleisstück an die gekürzten Weichen-Enden anpassen kann. Damit treffen an allen Gleis-Enden jeweils nur zwei Fahrspuren aueinander, wodurch das Modellbahn-Studio eine eindeutige Fahrspur-Fortsetzung antrifft, und der Zug dann korrekt weiter fährt.
In this case you can, for example, shorten the branching lanes of the 4 switches a little bit and replace the resulting track gaps by 2 short track pieces, which can be adapted to the shortened turnout ends using the function "Flexible bending" under "Active modification" in the properties window for the respective track piece. Thus only two tracks meet at each end of the track, so that the train studio finds a clear continuation of the track and the train continues correctly.

Hinweis zu den Weichen-Enden links und rechts außen in den obigen Bildern:
Note to the switch ends left and right outside in the pictures above:

Wenn an die Weichen hier ein weiteres Gleisstück angesteckt wird, hat es zwar den Anschein, als ob sich hier nun 3 Gleis-Enden treffen würden, und daher der Zug auch hier möglicherweise eine "Pirouette" ausführen könnte. Hier ist aber von den beiden Fahrspuren der Weiche immer nur eine Fahrspur aktiviert. Und inaktive Fahrspuren werden vom Modellbahn-Studio bem Bestimmen der Fahrspur für die Fahrt-Fortsetzung nicht berücksichtigt. Daher ist auch hier die Wahl der "anschließenden" Fahrspur eindeutig.
If another piece of track is attached to the switches here, it has the appearance as if three ends of the tracks would meet here, and therefore the train could possibly perform a "pirouette" here, too. But here, only one of the two tracks of the switch is activated. And inaktive lanes are not taken into account by the train studio when determining the lane for the continuation of the trip. Therefore the choice of the "following" lane is clear.

Viele Grüße / Many greetings

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Ah, that explains it, thank you.

And I am now going to see if I can construct what you show. By the way it is also necessary to lengthen one of the straight tracks, as you may have noticed. This is equally weird but has a logical explanation that lies somewhere in the realm of advanced geometry that I refuse to contemplate on a Sunday afternoon!


Ah, das erklärt es, danke.

Und ich werde jetzt sehen, ob ich konstruieren kann, was Sie zeigen. Übrigens ist es auch notwendig, eine der geraden Spuren zu verlängern, wie Sie vielleicht bemerkt haben. Dies ist ebenso seltsam, hat aber eine logische Erklärung, die irgendwo im Bereich der fortgeschrittenen Geometrie liegt, über die ich an einem Sonntagnachmittag nicht nachdenken möchte!

(Translation by Google Translate)

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Posted (edited)

In fact it is only necessary to shorten two of the branching routes, as long as they are a matched pair.

To number the points as R1 and L1 on the top track and L2 and R2 on the bottom track, (fortunately Left and Right start L & R in English and German!) if we shorten L1 and L2, and fill with a snippet of flexible track F (bending the laws of physics because with real N-gauge track that wouldn't be possible - but then with real track it wouldn't be necessary!) but leave R1 and R2 the same length, then the contacts for R1 and R2 are now joined to each other the same as for a normal cross-over. Meanwhile L1 is only connected to F and L2 is only connected to F.

I've tested it and it works!

L1 I reduced the "angle" to 12° then copied and pasted for L2. This method also removes the need to lengthen the straight spur on one of the tracks.

Tatsächlich müssen nur zwei der Verzweigungsrouten gekürzt werden, solange es sich um ein übereinstimmendes Paar handelt.

Um die Punkte als R1 und L1 auf der oberen Spur und L2 und R2 auf der unteren Spur zu nummerieren (zum Glück starten Links und Rechts L & R auf Englisch und Deutsch!), Wenn wir L1 und L2 kürzen und mit einem Ausschnitt aus flexibel füllen Spur F (Biegen der Gesetze der Physik, weil mit einer echten Spur mit N-Spur das nicht möglich wäre - aber mit einer echten Spur wäre es nicht notwendig!), aber lassen Sie R1 und R2 gleich lang, dann die Kontakte für R1 und R2 werden nun wie bei einer normalen Überkreuzung miteinander verbunden. Währenddessen ist L1 nur mit F und L2 nur mit F verbunden.

Ich habe es getestet und es funktioniert!

L1 Ich habe den "Winkel" auf 12 ° reduziert und dann für L2 kopiert und eingefügt. Diese Methode beseitigt auch die Notwendigkeit, den geraden Sporn auf einer der Spuren zu verlängern.

Edited by simonjackson1964
Add translation Courtesy of Google Translate
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Posted (edited)

Interesting: I just tried to recreate the same effect by crossing four straight tracks at the same point. It worked - as in, I got the loco to change direction, But it was almost impossible to do by accident. I had to very deliberately set the X and Y coordinates of the track. So pretty sure it's not something that would ever be a problem.

While I've got your attention though...


The points (turnouts, switches) on the top are the lower number, the ones beneath are the higher number. I have so far failed to spot any difference. Is there any?Capture.JPG.57386910c65bb8e55b73f0a5d4f96744.JPG

Edited by simonjackson1964
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Hallo/Hello Simon,

vor einer Stunde schrieb simonjackson1964:

I have so far failed to spot any difference. Is there any?

es handelt sich hier jeweils um Weichen mit derselben Gleisgeometrie, aber mit unterschiedlicher Handhabung. Der Modellgleis-Hersteller bietet diese Modelle sowohl für eine Umschaltng von Hand als auch mit elektrischer Umschaltung an. Weil das Modellbahn-Studio auch für de Planung von realen Modelbahnanlagen mit der Erstellung von Gleisstück-Listen verwendet werden kann, werden alle Varianten eines Gleisstücks, die vom Hersteller angeboten werden, im Online-Katalog des Modellbahn-Studios berücksichtigt - auch wenn sie dieselben geometrischen Maße besitzen.
These are model track switches with identical geometry, but with different handling. The model track manufacturer offers these models for switching by hand as well as for switching electrically. Because the train studio may also be used to plan real model layouts with the possibility to create track lists, all variants of a track which are offered by the manufactury are also cataloged here in the train studio - even they have same geometric measures.

Viele Grüße/Many greetings

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Ahhh. Live frog and dead frog.

That sounds like a nasty thing to do to amphibians! The frog being the V where the two inner tracks meet. I'm familiar with using these in real models. Dead frog points have a plastic insulator between the rails with wires underneath to carry the current across to the switch rails. These can be switched manually because there's no electrical interference between the tracks.

Live frog points have no insulation and thus have to be wired to switch electronically, with additional wiring to isolate the correct section of track.

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