This article presents the second tab of the control window with everything necessary to manage the driving of all rolling stock (locomotives, wagons, cars, trucks, planes …).
EEP has two distinct driving methods:
- Automatic driving,
- Manual driving.
These two modes each have their own particularity. It will be according to your needs or your desires that you will choose one or the other. Namely that they can also be used jointly, which offers diversified possibilities of exploitation.
In this article the word vehicle is used to designate indifferently a locomotive, a rolling stock, a train, etc … The controls for driving are common to all rolling stock.
Automatic driving of vehicles is only possible for those equipped with engines. In this mode, the vehicle is controlled by preset contacts and signals, without your being directly involved. You define the settings yourself and leave the execution to the program that controls the handling, speed and braking of the various vehicles for the entire route.
Automatic driving can be activated in two ways:
- Either by clicking on the button (circled in red) which acts as a push button,
- Either by clicking on any vehicle while holding down the [Shift] key in the 3D window.
While you can control a vehicle’s speed using the speed and brake controls in manual mode, conversely, in automatic mode, you only set the target speed and the program takes over.
To adjust the speed of your vehicle in automatic mode, slide the desired speed slider (1) to the desired position or directly enter the target speed (2) by entering a value in kilometers / hour (km / h). The vehicle starts and maintains the preset speed for as long as the signals allow. The program readjusts the fluctuations that result from the use of gears, accelerator and brakes.
How to stop a moving vehicle in automatic mode? The slider for the desired speed must be returned to the central position. However, it is easier to right click on this cursor. All EEP sliders can be reset by right clicking on the mouse.
When you are in this driving mode, all the vehicles visible in the drop-down list are only those equipped with an engine (rolling stock without an engine such as wagons or trailers for example, are filtered and excluded) which is not the case in manual mode(see: Manual driving of rolling stock without an engine).
If you have previously created routes, you can also choose one from the list box (3) for the selected vehicle. Thus, each time a vehicle passes a contact point configured for the same route, automatic driving will adapt to the requirements set in the contact point settings.
When manual driving is activated, you have complete freedom to operate your vehicles. Even if a locomotive in automatic mode is stopped by a stop signal, if you start it in manual mode, the stop signal is ignored altogether.
For example, to run a locomotive on the tracks, you must first select it from the vehicle list on the control panel (1) or click on it in the 3D window.
The locomotive is set in motion using the throttle control (2) which regulates the driving force and the speed. Likewise, you use the brakes control (3) to reduce speed. Finally, you can use the control to adjust the direction of circulation and the motor power (4).
Manual driving of rolling stock without an engine
Manual operation of a vehicle without an engine is simpler in that only brake control is available. Indeed, without a motor, there is no need to have other controls available!
The operation is the same as for manual driving with motor vehicles. You select the vehicle from the list or click on it in the 3D view. Then you use the control to brake the rolling stock and reduce its speed.
In manual driving mode, you can assign a hotkey to a vehicle with or without an engine. In both cases, the procedure remains the same.
First, select the desired vehicle from the list (1) or click on it in the 3D view. Then select a keyboard shortcut from the drop-down list (2) to assign it to this vehicle:
Here in this example, we will assign the shortcut [ALT + A] to the vehicle DR 212 376-8.
Once this is done, the relevant letter, here [A] is surrounded by square brackets indicating that this shortcut is now occupied by this vehicle.
You can define up to 26 different shortcuts (from A to Z). Here we will assign the keyboard shortcut [ALT + D] for the Vectron BR-193-826 locomotive (You will notice the shortcut [ALT + A] already assigned and the letter A in brackets):
If you assign a new vehicle to an already occupied shortcut, that shortcut is simply replaced by the new vehicle instead.
Conversely, you can also remove a keyboard shortcut linked to a vehicle by choosing the None option in the list of keyboard shortcuts.
This feature is useful when a project has a large number of vehicles and some in between have your preference or deserve your attention. Just press the key combination and the camera switches to the rolling stock you are looking for and immediately switches to camera tracking mode (article coming soon).
Note : it is faster to assign a shortcut key to a vehicle via the list of keyboard shortcuts instead of searching for it with a name that is not always easy to remember, for example DR 212 376-8.
The favorites list (Vehicle filter)
The favorites list allows you to create a personalized list with the vehicles of your choice. We will see the successive steps to create it.
Important : First of all, the Vehicle filter list box must not be checked.
Now we are going to create a Vehicle filter list with four models circled in red (see the image below). These are the following rolling stock:
- Alpha romeo 2000 white sports car,
- Boeing 747-400-AA,
- DB 143-001-6-AEG,
- DB 150-118-ob-EpIV.
Before you begin, make sure the Vehicle filter box is unchecked. To add these models to the favorites list, it’s easy, select the first model and click on the Add Vehicle button. Do the same for the other 3 models. When finished, check the Vehicle filter List box:
Now the list only includes the models selected in the previous step. In addition, the Add Vehicle button has changed its label and is now called Remove Vehicle So if you change your mind, you can remove a model from the list.
As with the keyboard shortcuts, the camera switches to the selected rolling stock and immediately switches to camera tracking mode (article coming soon).
You can add different types of vehicles! locomotives, wagons, cars, planes …
Front and rear coupling
Locomotives, wagons, tractors, trailers are always equipped with a hooking and unhitching device so that they can be coupled and assembled to form a train or a towed assembly. In the case of a locomotive and a wagon, coupling is done in essentially the same way as with model railroads. One vehicle is slowly driven or pushed towards another. If the couplings of two vehicles are ready, they automatically connect. When placing a vehicle in your project, the front and rear coupling are automatically activated so that other vehicles can hitch up.
The coupling is controlled by the corresponding symbols in the control window (here circled in red) which display and activate the current status:
Symbol at the top : The rolling stock is connected to the coupling (front or rear). The display is active (selection button grayed out) until the two vehicles are separated.
Note : Notice that this button is only visible in manual driving mode. Indeed, in automatic mode, the program itself manages the coupling or unhooking of vehicles via a contact or a Lua script.
Middle symbol : The coupler is active when this button is lit. Another vehicle can then be connected.
Note : This button is visible and selectable in both driving modes. In manual mode, activation indicates that the coupler of the selected vehicle is operational and ready to couple with other rolling stock.
Lower symbol : Couplers are disabled when this button is lit. The coupled vehicles have been disconnected.
Note : This button is visible and selectable in both driving modes. Activation has the effect of picking up the selected vehicle or in some cases prevent coupling.
Gentle coupling is only active in automatic driving mode. In fact, in manual mode, it is you who couple the vehicles together via the speed and braking controls.
Since EEP15, this function appeared and allows you to locate any vehicle no matter where it is in your layout. Simply select a vehicle from the drop-down list (1) and click on the Locate Vehicle button. (2):
After clicking on this button, the view in the 3D window will switch to static display on the selected material whether it is moving or not. This functionality is present in both driving modes (automatic or manual).
This function appeared with plugin 1 EEP16. It allows the control of either the selected vehicle or a set of coupled vehicles (train or a truck with its trailer):
After clicking on this button, the view in the 3D window will switch to static display on the selected material whether it is moving or not. This feature is only present in manual driving mode.
In the article Inserting and setting up models – Models with personalized texts, we saw that it was quite possible to modify the inscriptions of the models via the properties window of the selected model. As a reminder, these models are easily identifiable because they appear in green color in the list.
For vehicles (all categories combined) with this possibility, the inscriptions is modified here in the control window by clicking on the Inscriptions button:
To illustrate our example, we will choose the diesel locomotive PRESS 246 049 EpVI available in the online store.
After clicking on the Inscriptions button, another window titled Text of 3D model will open in which we will be able to act on the model’s markings:
Each model has a number of variable locations available for modification. Here we have two different places at our disposal for the overhaul date and the train destination indicator.
We will choose the 1st location and change the default revision year 25.02.15 to the following date 25.09.17:
In the image above, after clicking the Accept button, the result appears on the side of the locomotive. You can also use the Preview button without definitively validating your new text.
This article is now complete. If you have any questions or suggestions, please give us your feedback in the leave a reply input box below.
Thank you for your helpful comments. Have fun reading an other article.
This article was translated by Pierre for the English side of the EEP-World from the article written by Domi for the French side of the EEP-World.