Frequently Asked questions .....

Hopefully here you will find answers to all your questions about FYM. However, if your burning question isn't covered and you think it's answer might help others besides you, then either create a thread on the yahoo Forum or email me directly at jimhill_27@hotmail.com.

Thanks to Danny Evans (Danny252) for the majority of these FAQs.




Q: What is a Yard Master?

A Yard Master, or YM, is the player who is in charge of a specific yard or yards. Normally, they are sent all trains that go to this map - exceptions include holidays and away time, when permission is given to "run through" their maps. Yard Masters are registered and appointed by Marty ( dlwfan203@yahoo.com), and they should apply and relinquish yards using the YM Control form.


Q: How do I choose a yard to run, and how do I apply for it?

After you have been registered (you will be able to see the full server and will be on the player list), click "YM Control" on the Maps and Trains form. Then click "Available" to see all the free yards, which you can then go and look at. When you find a yard you like, select it in this list and click "Apply". If you want to drop a yard at a later date, select it in the list and click "Relinquish"


Q: Which trains can I download?

On the Maps and Trains form, there are 4 tick boxes below the server - Yard Job, Run Thru, OAF and All Trains. These filter the train files displayed. Any train file listed under the first 3 or listed with none checked (i.e. trains posted to or by you - the default) can be downloaded by you. OAF trains are ones left on the server for a long time, usually due to inactivity. Yard Job and Run Thru are trains specifically uploaded to no one in particular, usually at maps which currently have no YM.


Q: What do I do if I download a train that I don't want to/shouldn't run?

If you download an OAF, Yard Job or Run Thru train, but then decide you don't want to run/work it, reupload it to the server as Yard Job or Run Thru (as appropriate). If, by mistake you download someone elses train, reupload to them, making sure you select their name.

To be fair to others you should download and do the Run Thrus and repost the trains all in the same FYM logon session. Yard Jobs may take longer to work through but you shoudl give them priority. Basically don't download more than you can comfortably handle.


Q: How do I know what's in a train?

When you've downloaded a train, select it in the Maps and Trains dialog and click "View" to see the consist, symbol, route and instructions, as well as other information. You can't view a train that's on the server - but you can download a train, look at it and reupload again if you don't want to run it (see previous question).

By checking the 'Alt View' box you can see the train's symbol instead of the file name.


Q: What do I do with this train?

Firstly, check the train instructions. You can do this by selecting the train, and then pressing "View" (either on the Maps and Trains dialog or in a Yard) or pressing the Space Bar (in a Yard only). If these are missing or vague, see if you can figure out where it should be going from the cars in the train - a unit train with cars for one destination is likely going there. If you're still confused, ask on the chat for assistance.


Q: Do I take cars off this train for my yard?

This can depend on a few things. Firstly, check the instructions to see if they say "Setoff at...", "Works ...", "Setoffs enroute" or similar. If these are not there, check to see if there is a distinct block of cars in the train, near the front or end, that would seem to have been placed there on purpose. If the cars are in the middle of the train or throughout it, it's most likely heading for a nearby yard where the cars will be sorted and sent to you (usually on a local).


Q: What speed should I run to the next map?

You can choose any speed you wish. You can either leave it at it's current speed or choose one from the list supplied. However, if the train needs to stop at the next yard then you should choose 20 or 30mph. The neighbouring YM may ask for certain arrangements, depending on the yard and individual YM.

A train which terminates at the next yard will have it's speed set to 20mph and cannot be changed.


Q: Where should I sent local cars to be sorted?

This is a complicated question that is different for every yard. In general, the nearest sorting or hump yard of the same RR is where these cars should go. If they came on a local, then they should probably be sent back on the same local. However, some locals will support a number of yards e.g. NS G16 (Macon, GA to Atlanta Industry Yard, GA) contains blocks of cars for Hapeville, GA; East Point Jct, GA and Atlanta Industry Uard, GA. The blocks are set off in turn and the local proceeds on it's way. Blocks would be worked (un/loaded) at each of the yards and held there to await the same train NS G16 returning to Macon from Atlanta Industry Yard.

If you are not sure where to send them, ask on the chat for help in routing them. However, a reasonable rule of thumb is that cars which enter a map via Exit A will leave the map via the same Exit.


Q: How do I route a train?

Al trains should have a TSAR (Train Symbols and Routes) reference. This defines the route - yard by yard from source to destination, together with the appropriate Train Symbol and any specific instructions. When a train exits a map the next map on the route is automatically choosen as the default destination (assuming you have choosen the correct exit - Get to Know your Map).

It is thus difficult, but not impossible to mis-route a train. If it is mis-routed then, either try to route it back to the correct route, or send it back with a note in the instructions stating that it has been misrouted. If you are not sure, ask on the chat for advice.


Q: What is the symbol for train "..."?

All trains which run in FYM should have a TSAR reference, which defines the train's route and symbol. Don't dispatch a train without one and don't use symbols for specific train types (eg Intermodal) on trains not of this type (eg manifests). See also TSARs on the Help with Game page


Q: How do I see connection maps?

When in a yard, press the "USA" button on the control panel to open up the connection map. You can scroll this like a normal map, and left clicking will close it and return you to your yard. By default, the map for the state you're in will be loaded automatically. To choose a different yard, go to "Connection Maps > Select Map for Display" on the toolbar.


Q: What happens to a train when it leaves my map?

When a train leaves a map, the next yard on it's route will be selected as the default destination. This should normally not be changed. You will have to select either to Save to HD or run it to the next map. If you Save to HD, the train is stored on your computer like any trains you've downloaded. You can then upload this train to other players (you would normally upload to the current YM at the next map), or run it into the next map (if no YM or you are the YM) at some slightly later time.


Q: My train can only go to "Local Delivery" when it leaves a map - why?

There can be 3 reasons for this. Firstly, the exit may not connect to any other maps at this point, in which case only LD is available. Secondly, you may not have any locos attached. Cars on their own cannot leave a yard. Lastly, all locos may be damaged, out of fuel or UIT (Unit in Tow). To check if they're damaged, use view 4 to see if they flash red, or check their history in the Train Information form. To check if they are out of fuel, see if the colours on the loco are flashing, or if the "Fuel" number in the Train Info form is above 3000. To check if they are UIT, see if this is stated in the Train Info Form, or on mouse roll over of that unit.


Q: I have a car and my yard does not handle this type. What do I do?

You can unload any car by sending it to Local Delivery (LD). If you keep getting problems with cars coming to your yard that shouldn't, use the "Map U/L" dialog to compare the yard to the .ini. If the numbers do not match, contact Vardaman.


Q: Local Delivery doesn't work - why?

To work the train must contain at least 1 engine, which is not damaged, out of fuel or UIT. It must also have cars only for the yard which it is leaving. Loaded cars with this yard as their destination and this yard does not unload them, will be unloaded and set as unassigned. Empty cars with this yard as their destination and this yard does not load them will remain empty and be set unassigned. In both cases any Billing settings will also be removed.


Q: Can others see my trains in my yard?

No. Other players can only see trains they download to their hard drive.


 

Q: What happens to my trains when I logoff FYM, and how can I save them?

Files on your hard drive are saved like any other file, and will be available when you open FYM. Whenever you leave a map, all trains and switches are saved to file, and loaded next time you open. FYM also autosaves yards while they are open. This is done every 5 minutes of active map time to one of 6 backup files on a rolling scheme. Note - closing FYM without closing a map first will NOT save trains in a yard.


Q: How do I unload passenger trains?

Stop the passenger train in a station, and press "Ctrl-L" to load/unload it. Passenger cars will only become unloaded at their final destination.


Q: Can I/how do I make Power, and can I take it from passing trains?

Power can be created by selecting a map in the Maps and Trains form and then clicking "New". The livery and type of loco can be chosen here, and Cars can also be made (as well as by Local Industry). Then, you can assign reporting marks in the Train Info form. As for taking power from passing trains, this is usually not allowed. However, if a train is overpowered by a large amount (and isn't an empty unit train heading back to be loaded) a sensible amount of power may be taken.


Q: Where do I find realistic Loco/Car reporting marks?

http://www.thedieselshop.us/ is the only approved source for finding engine reporting marks for all engines to be used in FYM. If the Diesel Shop does not list it then don't use it. As for cars, usually you must use photos to find reporting marks, such as http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/rsTypeList.aspx. However, using prototypical car marks is entirely optional.


Q: Can I zoom in FYM?

No, there is no zoom option. Try using a lower screen resolution or try the 'Magnifier' if you are using Windows 7.


Q: Which end is the short hood?

A loco has 2 strips of colour on top of the background colour - they represent the hood. The shorter and longer strips are the short and long hoods.


Q: My yard is boring and has little/no traffic. What do I do?

You should create traffic and bill it back to your yard, and then send it out, to create a flow in and out of your yard. See the Creating a Traffic Base article on the Help with Game page


Q: My yard is overwhelming because of too much traffic. What do I do?

If your yard is taking up too much time, it might be an idea to relinquish the yard and either have less yards overall or take less active ones. Contact either Dragon27 or dwlfan203


Q: I crashed some trains together and have lost the info - what do I do?

Usually, the easiest way is to retrieve backups. See Recover Train Files article on the Help with Game page


Q: My car/loco has split a switch - what do I do?

The best solution is to "Bye" the car or engine to Exit 1 and run it in again (ctrl-Z can be used to change the exit if you need to). The main reason for this problem is a crossover where only one of the two switches has been set to the divering route. Both should be set to avoid this problem.


Q: What is a "..." file?

.wag - This is a file containing all the trains in a yard.
.yrd - A yard file, containing all track and labels
.his - A file containing information about the yard, as well as having uses in mapmaking.
.jpg - A normal Jpeg image used as a background
.trn/tr1 - A train file. A trn is a train waiting at an exit, while a tr1 is a train byed in yard.
.zrn/zr1 - Zipped versions of the above files. These are used for server transfers
.ini - Files downloaded when FYM starts containing information. This includes car loads, engine information, car information, TSAR information, etc
.zip - as above but password protected compressed binary files. These are for current yards, YMs, Registered Players and your game options.
.gen, .rrs, .stp, .ycl These contain data needed by the various colour filters.
.rou - these contain route definitions for in-yard 'switched roads'.


Q: Can I contact players outside the game?

Player's emails are listed under Help > Player List. The FYM Yahoo Group is an easy way to contact large numbers of members at once. Also, some members have some form of IM (mostly AOL and Yahoo Instant Messengers) who will provide it to you upon request.


Q: Who do I talk to if FYM crashes or gives an error?

If FYM crashes or gives an error, do NOT keep repeating what you did. This can cause loss of trains and information - FYM has backups but these will be overwritten by repeated failed attempts. The first course of action is, if possible, to notify someone on the chat that you have a problem. If this is not possible, either contact the Yahoo Group or Dragon27/Jim Hill directly (jimhill_27@hotmail.com). If you get an "Unhandled Exception", copy and paste the first few lines of the "Details" section. Handled Errors are given a popup and an error number are usually less serious. Simply follow the instructions given.

The most common ones are:
FTP Errors - The server may be down, or there may have been a problem with an upload/download. Try pressing "List" to see if you can contact the server
Chat Errors - The chat server may be down. See if this has been reported on the FYM Yahoo Group
DirectX Errors - usually as a result of a corrupt file. But the causes of this error are varied and numerous. The "Details are vital in this case - saying you get a Big Red X is only slightly more useful that detailing what you had for breakfast. You may have to supply your wag file and possibly also a problem train file.


Q: Who do I talk to if I have a problem with my map?

If there is a mistake on a map, or a problem with a certain track, switch, exit or siding, contact Vardaman - Richard with a description of the problem. Also, if you are experienced in mapmaking and know how to fix the problem, a .yrd attached to an email along with a description of the fix is also acceptable.


Q: What is a MIM?

A MIM is a Muliple Identity Map. In other words a single set of map files (jpg, his and yrd) but with 2 or more distinct entities.

For example it could be 2 yards operated by different RRs, where it is not desirable to have them as different maps (1912 Macon Brosnan Yard, GA and 1930 Macon Georgia Central Yard,GA)

or where it is a multi-panel map (1447 Columbus, GA and 1465 Schatulga, GA)

MIMs do not need to be multi-panel nor are all multi-panel maps suitable as MIMs.


Q: What is a TSAR?

TSARs are Train Symbols And Routes. They are a series of Databases containing this information, covering ALL the trains which run in FYM. TSARs are based on prototypical Train Symbols and routes but are not necessarily prototypical. They should reflect plausible trains which are run in FYM rather than actual trains run by the RRs. They will be updated whenever new maps appear in FYM or maps are removed. They should not be updated when a RR adds a new train or drops an existing one.


Q: Who do I talk to if I want "..." to be added to FYM?

See the Contacts Page


Q: Why isn't my favourite yard in FYM?

The FYM Mapmaking team only has limited time - they are all players as well, and no one is dedicated to FYM solely (even if it seems that way!) - we have real lives too! Also, the yard you want may not have a good image available, or not be suitable to join our network at this point in time. Contact the relevant Regional Map Controller.

See the Contacts Page


Q: Can I contribute?

Yes you can! New Mapmakers are always welcome, new ideas are always accepted and other ways of helping can also be looked into. Feel free to ask about helping in any form.





Web site Copyright Dr J Hill 2011, All rights reserved.