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This is a simplified version of SIMSON for demonstration of the control concept and the operator interface and its features. There is no real train traffic simulator available, but all train movements are strictly generated according to the traffic plan (time table). The purpose of this test system is to illustrate the train traffic control concept control by re-planning. The user can perform some scenario based test runs using the system and the interface.

Development of SIMSON

SIMSON was developed to support research activities and to provide a laboratory test environment. A laboratory work-place was developed where test persons could use SIMSON for solving scenario based experiments. The SIMSON interface was projected on the wall using video projectors. The experiments were logged and recorded using video and audio recordings. The results were evaluated and used for development of new prototypes.


Fig. The SIMSON laboratory work-place. A test person is solving a scenario using the SIMSON system and interface.

Try to run SIMSON!!

See instructions below. Click on the link to initiate the different test scenarios.

System requirements

To be able to run this test version of SIMSON you will need:

  • A browser that can run Java Applets.
  • A monitor that can handle at least 1024x768 pixels, more then that is better.
  • A mouse with scroll wheel.
  • The prototype has a size of approx 1Mb. A broadband connection is recommended.

User guide

Here we will give some instructions about how to use the SIMSON system and how to manipulate the user interface.
An instruction movie (wmw-file) in English can be found here

  • Main parts of the SIMSON user interface:
    • The planning view (time table/time distance graph) is the upper part of the interface. The planning view is scrolled downwards as time is running.
    • A simplified track structure is shown under the planning view.
    • More detailed train information in shown in separate areas in the lower part of the interface, when a specific train or time table line is selected.
    • Actual time line ("now") is the lower end of the planning view. No history is shown in this simplified SIMSON version.


Fig. An example of the SIMSON user interface

Interface and interaction details

  • Track structure consist of:
    • Stations
    • We have only single track lines
    • Remote blocking borders are indicated as thin gray lines between stations.
    • All trains run automatically according to the original time table.
  • Time distance graph consists of:
    • Planning view above the actual (present) time line. The planning view is scrolled downwards "as time goes by".
    • Stations are shown as vertical lines in scale with the stations in the track structure.
    • Remote blocking borders (main and secondary) are shown as thin vertical lines.
    • Time-distance lines show graphically a train's time table.
    • Least run-time line is the dotted graph line shown when the train's graph line is selected.
    • Planned track usage for a train: When a train's graph line is selected, planned track usage is shown for every station along the train's total graph. The planned track usage is also shown as a thin violet line in the track diagram.
    • Colour coding of planned track usage:
      • Violet (red in case of conflict) - the selected train's planned track usage.
      • Yellow - other trains' planned track usage.
      • Gray - free tracks.
    • Conflicts in planned track usage. Only conflicts concerning track usage in stations are indicated. This is shown as a red ring.
  • Interaction:
    • To select a train - left-click on the train graph line.
    • To select a node: click on the intersection between a train's graph line and a station line. When a node is selected, a re-planning area for the actual node is shown.
    • To de-select a selected graph or node: click on an empty space or on another train graph or node.
    • To re-plan a train's departure time: Select a node. A re-planning area for the train at this node is shown. To change departure time, use the mouse (scroll) wheel to move the departure time up or down.
    • To re-plan track usage: Select the actual train's graph line. Select an available (gray)track.
    • Show train information: click on the train in the track diagram or select the train graph line.
  • More:
    • To view the total delay time in minutes: right-click in a free area in the graph and select delay in the drop-down menu.
    • (More functions... right-click in the track diagram allows the selection of height and curve diagrams etc)

Much to remember? Just try the system and you will understand!

Test run prerequisites

You will only work in the planning view, as all train routes are executed automatically according to the present time table (traffic plan). This automatic execution will only work if the traffic plan is free from conflicts. Your task is to solve all conflicts as optimal as you can. In order to increase the difficulties the simulated time is running 3 times faster then normal. The track structure below shows the traffic area for the scenarios. The main track is the track following the straight horizontal line. Optional station tracks are above and/or under the main track. E.g. Falun has 4 tracks.
Here are some additional rules:

  • All stations allow concurrent entrance.
  • All trains have the same priority.
  • Re-planning in the scenarios shall only be made between the start and stop stations Storvik and Borlänge


Fig. The test area infrastructure from Storvik to Borlänge, via Falun, as a simplified track structure.

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Updated  2009-06-08 20:09:26 by Bengt Sandblad.