The up-coming release 3.18 will include a feature, that has been requested by our customers – not that we didn’t think about it ourselves, but customer feedback is important to us, so we can prioritize our work, not to mention to correct occasional errors we may have overlooked.
Beginning with 3.18 you will be able to store routes for later execution. When the conditions are right, those “stacked” routes will be executed automatically.
If you are familiar with Train Dispatcher 3’s stacking feature you will notice quite some differences, even though the purpose is the same.
First of all, you can stack any route that you can enter, not just from one signal to the next. Think of a little worker entering the same code as you can do with the numpad function. As you might know, the start and destination is just that, just start and destination. If there are several possibilities to get from here to there, the system will find the best one.
The invocation of the stack feature is also different. If there is no path from start to destination available, you will see an error message just above the screen layout display, with a yellow background color. As long as this message is displayed, you can right-click the error message area with your mouse, and the failed route will be stacked (with a few exceptions). Also you can stack a route if you click on the destination object with the right button instead of the left one. This will put the route into the queue first, and attempts to set a route will be done from the queue. There is also an option to invoke a popup menu instead of doing the stacking right away. This is in anticipation for the differentiation between train routing and switch routing, where the middle button can be used for switch routing instead of default train routing – but you don’t have a middle button function on your system. But don’t worry about that for now, the switch routing depends on territories which feature switch routing, which will come at a later time.
There is no limit in CTC on how many routes you may stack. But if you use the feature heavily you may loose oversight what you have stacked or not. Therefore we added a small window where you can view all items that are currently on the stack. You can re-arrange the order of the elements, remove some elements, or clear out everything.
CTC’s feature to highlight all possible destination blocks to complete a route after you clicked the start block will be also enhanced by just not showing which blocks can be reached at this very moment, but also destination blocks of routes that can be stacked. You can actually stack routes that would require more action from you, e.g. allowing a one-directional block to be traveled the wrong way, or setting an exit from inbound to outbound. But those blocks won’t be highlighted. Only blocks that can be reached once trains have moved out of the way and conflicting routes are cleared will be highlighted.