Activity design: step zero
Sometime ago webTrainSim opened an old hobby magazine to see an article in there about a method of scheduling trains on a model railway. So here's step zero towards designing an activity for MSTS.
Where & when plot
We're going to plot a simple graph of train position against time. Use only units such as metres and seconds for the time being - hour, minutes and kilometres per hour, for example, will only complicate matters and not bring out what the graph can show. There'll be plenty of time later to be more realistic with a practical application. Note that plotting the position of a train in this manner assumes the train moves with a constant speed over the period of time of the plot, another simplification of reality.
If you're using graph paper and pencil, place points on your graph to represent the position of a train at a certain time. Join the points to be able to read a train's position at any time.
For spreadsheet users, you'll need to firstly set up a table which gives the position of a train at a certain time. Then you can get your graph of train position against time.
Now let's see what our graph tells us.
This is the spreadsheet table of data used to produce the graph above:
Here are some things to notice from the graph and table:
Now we can deduct some characteristics about our railway on which to run Trains A, B and C: