The NS West End Dispatcher territory covers the former Southern Railway trackage between Knoxville, TN and Cleveland, TN, as well as the trackage between the "Rathole" connection at Harriman, TN and Knoxville, TN. This includes the Jellico, K&A, Coster, and Middlesboro Lines, although not all of them are 100% covered in this simulation.
Traffic density varies from day to day on this territory, with Tuesday through Friday usually being the busiest days of the week due to locals. The West End District between West Sevier and Bradley is usually the busiest stretch of track, averaging 15-20 trains a day. The K&O Line, on the other hand, is much less busy, usually seeing only 8-10 trains a day at its busiest. Ironically, it is the West End that is dispatched via track warrants and the K&O that is dispatched via CTC.
We will now take a tour of the territory from Dockery to West Sevier and Caney Creek to West Sevier respectively. This will help you get a feel for operations all across the territory, and maybe help you out of a few sticky situations.
Dockery is the western-most control point on the territory. It marks the beginning of the siding in Cleveland. The line coming in at the exit labeled "A1" connects to the Georgia Division at Ooltewah and leads to DeButts Yard in Chattanooga.
Moving railroad east (but compass northeast), the next control point on your territory is Bradley. Here, the I Line from Cohutta joins the mainline. The exit labeled "B1" connects to the Georgia Division at Cohutta and leads to Atlanta. Bradley also serves as a mid-siding cross-over to keep things running smooth.
The siding between Bradley and Lyle is a controlled siding and has a 15 MPH speed limit. It also has two isolated switches that serve as leads to the north end of Cleveland Yard and a small industrial spur just off the siding. Both the main track and the siding track between Bradley and Lyle are designated as crew change spots for trains going to or coming off of the Atlanta side. Trains arriving from Atlanta will stop to work for 15 minutes on either track to simulate a crew change. Trains going TO Atlanta will need to have their crews called at least two hours in advance. With a straight shot from Knoxville to Cleveland, you should call a crew for a train when it reaches Bearden. However, there will usually be opposing traffic, so plan accordingly. If you have Chattanooga traffic coming, you may wish to route the Atlanta trains via the siding to keep them out of the way during the crew change.
Lyle is the last control point on the West End District until West Sevier. These signals mark the end of CTC and the beginning of TWC (with ABS) all the way to Knoxville. From here on out, the signals simply simulate the track authorities you give to trains. If you want to play the game as proto as possible, then clear a train as far as you would give it a warrant.
Local work areas on this territory are marked by the milepost symbol. You can scroll your mouse over the track segment to see the name of the work area in the information bar at the top of the screen. There are two work areas between exit A1 and Tasso. Both are worked by train T71, which is a Monday through Friday local based out of Cleveland Yard.
Tasso is the first siding in "dark territory." To simulate real world operations, I have set these sidings up in a unique way. In real life, each end of the siding is equipped with a spring switch. If two trains were to meet, then the first train to arrive would hold the mainline. Upon stopping short of the switch, the crew would line it for the siding. The second train to arrive will then have a clear route through the siding and back onto the mainline via the spring switch at the other end of the siding. After the second train clears, the crew of the first train simply lines the switch back to the main and proceeds on their way.
To simulate this in the game, I have set the switch reverse speeds to 15 MPH, which would be about right for a spring switch. If you line a train into the siding but it gets there before the other train, then it will enter the siding anywhere between 5 and 7 MPH, depending on siding length. This simulates the train having to stop and throw the switch before entering the siding. However, if the other train gets to the siding first and clears up between the switches, the train going into the siding will run at the maximum allowed speed of 15 MPH. This eliminates the need of the train to have to stop and throw the switch since the simulation assumes the crew holding the main threw the switch for them. To simulate the time it would take to throw the switch back to the main and proceed, the start-up times for trains on the mainline are equal to five minutes. However, the long start-up time doesn't seem to work on my computer. Maybe it'll do better on yours.
Heading east from Tasso, the next major point on the line is Charleston. There is an exit here for a small yard and the Olin chemical plant. Local T38 works out of this yard and serves Tarver Distributing just west of the yard. T38 also works Calhoun Yard a little further to the east. Please note that you will have to manually control his reverse move when he returns to Charleston from Calhoun.
Calhoun Yard is home to the Calhoun Bowater newsprint plant. T38 will drill this yard as well as T44 out of Chattanooga and T72 out of Loudon.
You will notice that switch reverse speeds for the yard leads are 5 MPH, this is done to simulate the time it would take for a train to stop and throw the switch. Other non-spring switches in TWC territory will have this speed limit as well.
Between Calhoun and Blair Bend, there is nothing much except for some sidings and work areas. The largest of these work areas is Coile, where a fairly large industrial complex is located. T72 will work here every day of the week, some days longer than others.
Blair Bend marks the beginning of the Staley Lead to Loudon Yard. At least two grain trains every 24 hours originate or terminate in Loudon. There are also two Monday through Saturday locals based out of Loudon. Please note that there is not an actual diamond at this location. Instead, there is a wye and the diamond was used in the simulation due to space requirements.
Again, there isn't a whole lot between Blair Bend and West End Two Tracks except for some work areas and sidings. Just remember that these sidings are used in the same way that Tasso is. Of note is the work area labeled JFG, just west of the CSXT diamond. T73 will work to this location, and he will work long enough to both switch JFG and run around his train. The Downtown Local, TK23, will also use this location as a run-around spot.
PLEASE NOTE that neither Bearden nor Ebenezer are used to meet trains. Bearden is currently only used for storage, but it is up to the user to decide if you want to use it or not. Ebenezer is used to clear T73 off of the mainline while he works the industry in the siding. You may pass trains by while he works, but this siding is usually not used for any other purpose, not that it is long enough to matter.
There is double track between West End Two Tracks and West Sevier. However, each track is generally used for a single direction. To enforce this, I have made each track "one-way," so to speak. The bottom track is strictly eastbound (with the exception of KXHR to work City Yard) and the top track is strictly westbound. This pretty much sticks to the prototype, although there are exceptions every now and then.
TK23 will work all of the industries between West Sevier and West End Two Tracks. Be mindful of his work times and the fact that each track is one-way. It can put you in some tight spots very easily.
At West Sevier, there are three different exits. K1 is the receiving yard, but the upper-most exit will not emit trains. K1 also covers the local yard entrance, so locals originating in Sevier will leave via the receiving yard. K2 covers the departure yard, so all departing mainline manifests will be emitted from this exit. K3 is the bypass, which unit trains and intermodals will use.
West Sevier also marks the end of TWC on the West End District and the beginning of CTC. TWC only applies to the trackage on the A Line, not the trackage on the K&O towards Beverly and Coster.
Coster is a division point on the K&O Line where one line heads east (railroad south) to West Sevier and the other line heads south to Knoxville and a connection with the A Line. The Coster-West Sevier line is the busiest of the 2 by far, since the only movements the Coster- Knoxville line will see are those of Loudon grain trains and the Knoxville and Holston River Railroad (KXHR). Every week day, KXHR will run a light locomotive movement from Knoxville Locomotive Works (KLW) to Coster Yard and back.
You will notice that the double track between Coster and South End Two Tracks is also one-way. The bottom track is for southbound trains and the top track is for northbound trains. In reality, the stretch of double track between the control point at Coster and the junction at Knoxville is TWC. Each end of the double track is equipped with a spring switch, so crews do not have to stop and manually throw them.
Caney Creek is the western-most point of your K&O territory. It is a divison point for trains joining the Rathole. The E1 exit is the most used of the two, since it leads to Oakdale and points north. E2 is used rarely; only by a Monday through Friday local (T36) and CSX coal trains bound for the TVA Kingston plant.
Fowler is a control point where a spur from an industrial park in Harriman joins the mainline. Every weekday, T36 will pull by and shove back into this spur. You will have to manually stop him once he clears the switch and tell him to reverse his direction into the siding. You will have to do the same thing when he comes back out of the spur.
The siding between Blair and Scandlyn is a controlled siding, good for 20 MPH. No manual switch throwing here! There is a work zone just north of the siding, which T12 will come out from Clinton to work once or twice a week.
Oliver is where CSXT joins the NS mainline. It acts as a connection for the CSX Kingston trains. It will be used three times a week. The siding between Laurel and Mullen Ridge is another controlled siding, good for 20 MPH.
Clinton is where the Jellico Line joins the main. The Jellico line is TWC from Clinton all the way to the CSX connection at Lot. Due to the low traffic level on this line, it is not simulated. However, the track circuit between the control point and the approach signal is in place. This circuit contains the siding where they keep the local power as well as several sidings for local industries, which will be switched by the 1st Clinton local, T34. T35 is the 2nd Clinton local, which will pick up its train at East Siding before heading up the Jellico Line.
The siding from Clinch to East Siding is a controlled siding, good for 15 MPH. This siding includes a small yard, where T34 and T35 will pick up and drop off cars for T12. The mainline also has a spur for the Omega Plastics plant. This is a thriving industry that will take T34 at least 30 minutes to work. You may wish to route mainline trains through the siding to keep things moving.
There is a 1.88% grade for southbound trains between Heiskell and Powell. In real life, loaded unit trains (particularly grain trains for Loudon) will double this hill. I tried to simulate this through the use of splits and merges, but it became quite a messy procedure in the game. For this reason, loaded unit trains have a 3 MPH speed limit between Heiskell and Powell. This should simulate the time it takes to double the train.
The siding between Powell and Bradford is a controlled siding, good for 15 MPH. There is an isolated switch (reverse speed set to 5 MPH to simulate handthrowing) just north of Coster, which leads to Coster Yard. T12 will switch this Tuesday through Saturday. KXHR will also come in and out of this exit every weekday. Please note that any trains reversing into Coster will have to be manually reversed by the dispatcher.
There is nothing much to note on this stretch of the K&O, except that Beverly is the division point for the Middlesboro Line to Middlesboro, Kentucky. It also marks the beginning of double track to West Sevier. Really, only one track can be used for trains going to/coming from the Sevier bypass. The top track can only be used for trains going to/coming from the receiving yard exits (K1).