Phase 1. Drawing a rail yard
Our model will simulate how the cars are taken to a track,
sometimes called a lead or a drill. From there the cars
are sent through a series of switches, called a ladder, onto
the classification tracks.
We want to start with the rail network of this topology:
Create a new model. Name it Hump Yard and set minutes
as the model time units.
Start defining the rail topology. First, draw the railway tracks.
Start with a linear track.
Draw a linear railway
Name this track trackEntry since trains will appear on this
track. We will give meaningful names only to the tracks that will be
referred to by the flowchart blocks. Other tracks may have their
- First, double-click the Railway Track element in the Rail
- In the Main diagram,
click to start drawing the track.
- Finish drawing a track with a double-click where you want to
place the end point of the track.
If it is the first track in the model that you are drawing, you
will see a message prompting you to change the model scale to: 2.0
pixels per 1 meter. We recommend you to follow this advice as the
offered scale is frequently used in typical railroad traffic models.
Finally you will see the drawn linear track that will be used by our
train. Now let's draw the by-pass track that will be used by the
locomotive to approach the train from behind to further move it to the
hump yard. This track will be of curved shape and its drawing scenario
will differ from what you have previously followed.
Draw a curved by-pass
- Double-click the Railway Track element in the Rail
Library palette. Then click on point on the existing track to start
drawing the by-pass track. The circle denoting a switch will appear
- Draw more track segments to get the track shape as shown on the
figure below. To append a curved segment, press the left mouse button
at the point where the curved segment ends and then move the mouse with
the button being pressed. While dragging the mouse you will see how the
curving radius changes. When done, release the mouse button. Finish
drawing the track with a double-click. You cannot put the end point on
the same track where you started drawing (trackEntry), so double-click near trackEntry (see below, point 2).
- Drag the track end point onto the trackEntry to create a switch.
Adjust curved railway
- Select the track you need to edit by clicking on it.
- Right-click on the selected track and choose Edit Using
Guiding Lines from the drop-down menu.
- Move a rectangle handle to move the segment end point.
- Move a circle handle on the end of the dashed guiding line to
change the curving radius.
- Railway network consists of tracks and switches. Railway switches
appear automatically in the shape of a circle when you connect a branch
track to the existing railway track. You can not connect more branch
tracks to the same point.
- At each switch there must be at least two obtuse angles out of
three between the track ends. The switch determines the routes based on
Modify the rail yard
The lead track will be divided into tracks each time we create
railway switches on it. In our case we created two switches by
connecting a by-pass track in two points of the existing track. As a
result the lead track is divided into three tracks with their own names
Now we will give a meaningful name to the track between the switches
and add Position on track shapes to our rail yard.
- Name this track trackArrival as it denotes the track
where the train arrives to.
- Drag the Position on Track element from
the Rail Library palette and place it as shown on picture
below. Name it stopLineEntry. It will define the place where
- Add Position on Track: stopLineArrival. The train
will stop to detach the locomotive at this point, allowing the loco to
proceed on its own.
- Add Position on Track: stopLineHump. Rail cars
will be sorted per type here.
Position on track
In this phase of the Hump Yard tutorial we have created a rail yard.
- Position on track
is a space markup shape that is used to define the exact position on
the railway track. This is needed when you define:
- The position on the track where the train appears.
- The position where the train should stop.
Note that there are several reference models available representing
the milestones of the editing. You can use them if you experience any
difficulties creating a model and you would like to compare your model
with the reference file. Below you can see the link opening the
reference model corresponding to this phase.
Hump Yard model tutorial