very pleased to have teamed up with Tom Edwards in the USA to
collaborate in the development of his Shipper-driven Traffic
Simulator (STS) operations software for model railroads.
STS is completely scalable from a single operator up to a relatively
large club like ours.
The program simulates real world (with some slight fine tuning
for those of us who do not work in 1:1 scale!) rail freight
STS stores the industries that serve each other (inbound and
outbound) in their respective locations and generates freight
tasks using specific purpose cars for our Operations Sessions.
Having generated the task, STS provides complete tracking from
the order being placed through all the stages of the task (build
switchlists, pickup cars, organise cars, set-out cars, load/unload
cars, reposition empties).
Because STS also provides complete reporting it permits us to
pack up our gear at the end of a session and simply begin where
we left off at the next session.
We run a dedicated Main Operating Session on the 2nd Saturday
of every month but, because STS can be “told” who
is present on any one day, individual member(s) can run a mini-session
whenever they like.
Just like in the real world, some members can be a “railfan”
on a regular Saturday, and run a passenger service, a unit train
or mixed through freight on the mainline whilst someone else
is “switching” – our Digitrax DCC system means
we can all work together.
You can see more information on STS here
and, of course, you are more than welcome to ask for an invitation
to come and see it in operation for yourself.