This software simulator of the Train Thing originated near the beginning of this project.  For a longer discussion of the genesis see the introduction in the Documentation.  The simulator is one of a SW developer's worst nightmares; A "one-time-use" or tool for personal use, that has a ribbon put on it and then given to the client.  The simulator was written for developmental use, so the GUI is a little clunky in places.

Along side meany options is small icons   Clicking on the icon will open this help document to information about that option.

There is a simulator section in the Bulletin Board where you can make comments, suggestions or report errors.

Quick Start There will also be a screen shot video illustrating the following quick start procedure.

  • From the Train Thing main menu, hold you mouse over the <Simulator> option and from the drop down options click on <Run Simulator>
  • You may resize your browser window to take up less screen space.  See the illustration at left.  Note if you make the window to narrow, the elements near the bottom will rap and be hard to read.  Reducing this windows width will make room for the simulator display.
  • Click on <Create new window> to open a second browser window
  • Click on <fill window> This will fill the second window with the initial Train Thing Display.  Adjust the size of this window to view the full simulator graphic.
  • For now you can skip over the {Display Labels} section of the initialize screen.
  • The {Configure Trains} section is where you setup a simulation run
      • There are four paths that can be assigned to a "train": A small figure-eight, large figure-eight, small oval and large oval.  Each path can be traced CW or CCW.
          • To assign a path, select a color from the <Select one> drop down menu
    • Click on the radio button next to CW or CCW to select a direction
    • You may assign 1 to 4 paths to trains by selecting a train color for the path
    • You MUST assign at least one path to a train by selecting a color for a path
    • You MAY NOT assign a color more than once..
  • When you have finished configuring the simulation click on <Run Train(s)> to start the simulation. Ignore the <Repeat Similar Runs> option for now.  (see Repeat Runs)
  • You will be switched to the Updating Loop screen. Here there will always be an <ABORT> button which will rudely stop the simulation and return to the Initialize State screen
  • When the simulator is in the "Run" state there will also be an <End Run> button.  Pressing <End Run> will change the simulator to the "End" state and move the trains back to the beginning parked locations.  When all trains are parked you will be returned to the Initialize screen.
  • To exit the simulator
    • Close the second window with the graphics by clicking on the "X" in the upper right corner. Some browsers may be different
    • Click on <End Train Thing> to close the simulator and return to the main menu.
    • Click on the appropriate icon in the top right of the browser to expand the browser window to full screen.