During our SimSig Sessions a number of different faults, failures and other incidents may occur - just like on the real railway. All of these events can have a negative impact on the train service and need to be dealt with in an appropreat way. During our Saturday SimSig Sessions there will be several people who will act as Service Controllers who are responsible for coordinating the response to disruptive incidents. During our Saturday sessions, we aim to have dedicated controllers who will not be signalling trains and will instead respond to disruptive incidents and draw up a service recovery plan, during ad hoc sessions depending on the number of players there may be a dedicated service controller, or the host of the simulation may simply carry out this role alongside signalling trains. Controllers for formal games, like hosts, are appointed by invitation based on their contributions to previous simulations and after demonstrating a suitable level of ability, those interested in being considered for helping out with Control should add their names to the Community section of the SimSig Sessions page.
Role and Responsibilities[edit | edit source]
As with the real railway the controllers exist to provide strategic control of the network and manage the train service over a wider area than signallers can. They are responsible for making decisions on how to respond to incidents and events that may disrupt train services and to draw up a plan to help recover service once disruption has occurred. While controllers will be looking at the train service and may be able to spot a issue they also have other tasks to complete and it is vital that signallers pass on information about incidents and delays so they can be address. The principal roles of the service controllers are:
- To arrange for assistance to be sent to an incident as requested by the signaller and appropriate to the incident.
- Amend the train plan as needed to minimise the disruption to passengers during an incident and to recover normal service as soon as possible after an incident ends.
- Disseminate information about the overall strategic response to an incident to the area they are responsible for.
Disruption Management Communications[edit | edit source]
One of the most important roles of a Service Controller is to diseminate information to the Signallers about what actions are being taken to respond to an incident. In order to manage incidents effectively, we use a Disruption Management and messaging format based on that used by Network Rail and Train Operating Companies to enable our Service Controllers to manage disruption on their networks. Verbal communication between Signallers and Service Controllers is available during simulations using our Railway Operating Centre webapp which is powered via our Discord server.
Becoming a Controller[edit | edit source]
Controllers for official Sessions are, like hosts and coaches, appointed based on previous contributions and through merit. People interested in becoming a controller for official On Our Lines SimSig Sessions are able to apply by adding their names to the Community section of the SimSig Sessions page.
Whilst we cannot guarantee that people who have expressed an interest in becoming a controller will be able to become a controller immediately, people will be invited to train as a controller if they meet the following criteria. The On Our Lines SimSig team reserves the right to change the criteria for controllers without notice.
- A good knowledge of how the software works
- A good level of experience with sims, and the timetable editor
- A good level of experience signalling on SimSig, including decisions with regards to regulation.