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  1. Simulators
    1. Track Circuit Trainers--Basic and Advanced Simulators
      • SR0103 Straight Track Trainer
      • TR0503 / Tl0503 Turnout Track Trainer
      • 3T06 Three Track Trainer
      • SS0407 Supervisor's Sidekick Track Trainer
      • PSTOR08 / PSTOL08 Parallel/Series Turnout Track Trainer
    2. Wayside Installation--Advanced Simulators
      • CTC/TCS
      • ABS
      • Interlocking
    3. Highway Grade Crossing Installation--Advanced Simulators
      • Relay Circuits
      • Electronic Circuits
      • CR1006 Three Track Crossing Track Trainer
    4. Life-Size Equipment Mock-Ups
      • Crossing Gate Mechanisms
      • Switch Machines
      • Switch Circuit Controllers
      • Wayside Signals
    5. Custom Simulators Built to Your Needs, Budget, and Specifications

  2. Dedicated Specific Skills Trainers
  3. On-Site Personnel Training
  4. Other Services
  5. Summary

Track Circuit Trainers

SR0103 Straight Track and our TR/L0503 Turnout Track trainers are probably our most popular and well thought out simulator trainers. The old cliché that 90% of signal problems are track related may be an overstatement, but it does have some truth to it. The track circuit is the starting and ending point of any signal system and does account for most signal malfunctions. Ensuring that your signal forces have a good grasp of proper set up and troubleshooting of this basic circuit can greatly reduce train delays. These simulators are equipped with the following:

Basic Straight Track Trainer
Pictured: Straight Track trainer. A simulator like this one with transit rail options was designed for a signal training center.

TR/L0503 Turnout Track Trainers offer all of the value that a straight track trainer offers with the coverage of the following additional features:

Basic Turnout Track Trainer
Pictured: Left-hand turnout with transit rail options designed for a signal training center.

3T06--Three Track Trainer.

Based on a BNSF design, this larger, advanced simulator has all the offerings of the Big J full size straight track and two turnout track trainer boxes in one box. This simulator is five feet long with separate track sections and includes the following:

Three Track Trainer and Troubleshooting Box
Pictured: Three Track Trainer and Troubleshooting Box.

SS0407--Supervisor's Sidekick Track Trainer.

Originally designed to provide a tool for the field supervisor to get that on-the-spot, shot-in-the-arm training or refresher training for signal persons, this can also be an economical tool for use in a dedicated training center. Measuring only 24 inches by 14 inches by approximately 5 inches tall, this handy little trainer easily stores on a tool house shelf until needed and is easily blended into a job briefing setting. With most of the strengths of the full size standard track circuit trainer box in half the space and at almost half the cost as well. This is the first of the reduced size and reduced cost series simulators offering being made by Big J with other trainers and simulators that can be offered in reduced size. These reduced size; reduced cost simulators are an excellent example of Big J dedication to our customers to help them address the training responsibility affordably.

Supervisor's Sidekick Track Trainer
Pictured: Supervisor's Sidekick Track Trainer.

These smaller simulators and trainers can be easily stored on a shelf and used on a standard workbench when needed.


NEW!!!--PSTOR08/PSTOL08 Parallel/Series Turnout Track Trainer

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Based on a design requested and originally built for the Union Pacific Railroad Training Center, this trainer puts an advanced twist on the Basic 0503 Turnout Trainers. The PSTO Turn out trainers allow for special set up and application training at turnouts that incorporate a Switch Circuit Controller. This Trainer still offers many of the basic set up and troubleshooting troubles and features found on the 0503 trainers but emphasizes the following added features.

Turnout Track Trainer
Turnout Track Trainer
Pictured: PSTOR08/PSTOL08 Parallel/Series Turnout Track Trainer.

Basic simulators and trainers can usually ship in thirty to sixty days upon receipt of payment. "Train the trainer" training is available for all simulators. All simulators and trainers are handcrafted, ensuring that each customer's desired points of impact are addressed, and guaranteed to be free from defects in equipment and workmanship for one year under normal use excluding shipping.


Wayside Installation Simulators

For the wayside training needs of a more advanced nature, complete simulators are becoming an ever more popular request. These simulators can be shipped as just a track section only ready to interface to your equipment on hand or with miniature operating switches and signals and control equipment racks. These Simulators can be based on or interfaced with a relay based plant or a contained processor controller. Basic track faults with switch and signal failures and various selectable control rack faults allow for familiarization of these systems and allow for a tool to recreate a troublesome problem found in the field and recreated in a classroom environment for discussion. With simulators built on actual railroad logic and programming in use at field locations, many railroads use these simulators to test run a locking test procedure before performing the test in the field.

CTC Relay Plant with Electrocode Approaches
Pictured: CTC-TCS relay based simulator with Electrocode approaches. This simulator interfaces to a live switch machine and operable signals which can all be removed and the miniature switch and signals on the bench top will provide these functions allowing this simulator to operate without the added on peripherals. ASR, signal control, and switch control circuit isolation allow for each of theses circuits common to a controlled system to be a stand alone focal point for training. Numerous selectable trouble faults include
  • track circuit failures,
  • plant stuck in time function,
  • failed lock relay circuit,
  • failed switch operation and correspondence,
  • signal won't clear, and
  • light out
just to name a few.

Students Checking APB Relays
Pictured: Students following a training procedure on an ABS simulator that a customer started building but couldn't finish. Big J provided design upgrade and rebuild and completion to a usable simulator in just days on this simulator. Four Big J Track Circuit Simulators provide the track sections and these, combined with Big J selectable rack trouble faults, give this simulator up to 100 selectable troubles in a simulated 5 miles of ABS territory with 2 ends of sidings.

Rack Mounted Interlocking Rack with Simulated Track
Rack Mounted Interlocking Rack with Additional Track Module
Pictured: Section 1 and 2 of complete interlocking simulator with:
  • Operational switches and signals and cab signal generator active indicators on both interlocking ends.
  • Both interlockings interfaced to individual VHLC Processor controllers.
  • Live Electrocode and Electrified Electrocode approach tracks.
  • Live AC-Power Frequency track circuits in interlocking with AF overlays.
  • This Simulator was designed and built based on actual railroad prints and is often times used for locking testing training. Big J Simulators are recognized as one of the stronger multi-purpose value tools in most signal departments that purchase this type of advanced simulator.
  • Up to 90 selectable trouble faults between track model boxes and rack.
  • Modular design allows a second module to be ordered at a later time and interfaced with a module already purchased and in use by the customer. (See the lower of two photos above for a view of all sections interfaced together.)
  • The intermediate straight track section between interlocking sections allows for a broader and more complete representation of the customer's railroad.

Section 1 of Simulator
Section 2 of Simulator
Section 3 of Simulator
Pictured: Sections 1, 2 and 3 of a complete wayside simulator. The complete simulator with the third and final section in place is larger than the camera can get in one frame in the room in which it is located. Section acquisition over time allowed this railroad to utilize each section as it was delivered and improve the value with every section added on. This approach made the acquisition affordably priced over time and even though this is the final section, it could still be expanded upon easily should the railroad decide to do so one day.

Dedicated racks and benches are available for larger simulators; however, Big J's modular design approach can allow all parts of a larger simulator to be unplugged and just a segment of the trainer be used as a focal point in training.

Advanced simulators can typically be designed, delivered, and made familiar to your training staff in four to six months. Larger Plant (TCS/CTC, ABS, interlocking, and crossing) simulators are delivered and setup personally by Big J representatives. "Train the trainer" training is available for all simulators and often included with larger simulators. All simulators are handcrafted, ensuring that each customer's desired points of impact are addressed, and guaranteed to be free from defects in equipment and workmanship for one year under normal use excluding shipping.


Highway Grade Crossing Simulators

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For highway crossing training needs, our advanced crossing simulators are also becoming more popular. Big J offers both relay- and processor-based crossing simulators.

Our crossing simulators feature miniature track and miniature crossing flasher symbols that light up on a panel during operation to simulate the signal lamps. Optionally, these simulators may be designed to include life-size gate mechanisms that can be detached as necessary. For more on gate mechanisms or complete full-size signals, see Life-Size Equipment Mock-Ups in the next section.
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Simulated Relay-Based Crossing Plant
Pictured: Three Track relay, stick based (ESR-WSR) crossing simulator with Model 95 gate mechanism (in foreground) attached. Track failures and stick-related failure modes are selectable with this simulator. Simulator can be operated independently or with mechanism simulator interfaced.

If relays are a thing of your railroad's past, the CR1006 three-track Style C Ring 10 simulator designed to interface with an SCX-1 or -2 or comparable chassis is also available.

Style C Ring 10 Simulator
Pictured: Three-track, Style C, Ring 10 track simulator designed for BNSF can be interfaced to an SCX crossing processor or equivalent in minutes and offers up to 30 different track related faults. This track box can be interfaced to a relay based control with track drivers and can be built and delivered with relays and bench rack if that fits your training needs.


The CR1006AF Crossing Track Simulator offers similarly enhanced three track circuit crossing training to that of an SCX box, but this AF (audio frequency) box is designed to teach crossing operation using three audio frequency track circuits without insulated joints. The track is designed with test points at simulated distances of 5 ft. and 20 ft. outside each set of receiver track wires, allowing for setup, testing, and operation of the adjacent track circuits. The CR1006AF is also a useful tool in demonstrating pre-shunt conditions that can occur in a typical jointless AF track circuit system. Thirty real-time troubles similar to those found in the SCX track box provide a basis for tabletop training capability of three-track crossing logic in a space saving yet multifaceted track simulation package.

CR1006AF Crossing Track Simulator
CR1006AF Crossing Track Simulator
Pictured: CR1006AF Crossing Simulator with three audio frequency track circuits using no insulated joints.

We also offer processor-based or motion detector crossing installation simulators. Please see some examples of predictor training apparatus below.

Harmon Predictor Rack
Pictured: HXP-3 Crossing Predictor simulator with dial-in simulated train movement ability and warning equipment interface. This trainer can allow for simulated inbound and outbound train moves on simulated 2-foot approaches at varying speeds. Interface capable to a gate mechanism simulator or can stand alone for operations and has selectable trouble faults as well. Can be built with other manufactured predictors or motion detectors.

Safetran Predictor Rack
Pictured: GCP-3000 predictor using the Safetran SSCC III Plus Gate Controller and the SEAR event recorder. It utilizes dial in simulated train train movement simulator allowing the user to simulate various train speeds for observance of operations, has flashing light model board for stand alone operation or can be interfaced to a gate simulator. A good tool for teaching set up, linearization of approaches, and has a multitude of trouble scenarios.

Dedicated racks and benches are available for larger simulators; however, Big J's modular design approach can allow all parts of a larger simulator to be unplugged and just a segment of the trainer be used as a focal point in training.

Advanced simulators can typically be designed, delivered, and made familiar to your training staff in four to six months. Larger Plant (TCS/CTC, ABS, interlocking, and crossing) simulators are delivered and setup personally by Big J representatives. "Train the trainer" training is available for all simulators and often included with larger simulators. All simulators are handcrafted, ensuring that each customer's desired points of impact are addressed, and guaranteed to be free from defects in equipment and workmanship for one year under normal use excluding shipping.


Life-Size Equipment Mock-Ups

Other training simulators or optional accessories that can interface to other simulators for consideration are pictured below.

Development of Turnout Track Trainer
Development of Turnout Track Trainer
Development of Turnout Track Trainer
Development of Turnout Track Trainer
Development of Turnout Track Trainer
Pictured: Customer switch panel simulator before and after pics depicting major space taking single switch panel (before) and switch panel modified with shorter points (after). Entire panel appearance refurbished and made to look new again. Newly created space allows for an additional trainer in the same area.

Crossing gate options can provide a whole other chance for training in gate adjustment and maintenance and can be interfaced to a tasked circuit or other Big J related simulators to help the user to understand this portion of most signal systems.

Model 95 Crossing Gate Mechanism
Western-Cullen-Hayes 3590 Crossing Gate Mechanism
Pictured: Model 95 and WCH 3590 crossing gates built for a signal training center.

GRS Switch Machine with Life-Size Turnout
Pictured: GRS-5 switch machine with 115-pound rail points and rail panel. This can be interfaced to a tasked basic circuit assembled on a workbench or to a complete CTC/TCS simulator for enhanced training or stand alone for adjustment training sessions.

M-23 Switch Machine with  Space Saver Track Panel
Pictured: M-23 switch machine with space saver simulated track panel. This panel allows for switch machine adjustment training just as the full size rail panel does but weighs much less and occupies a smaller area. This too can be interfaced to other circuits or simulators for enhanced training or stand alone for adjustment training.


Students around Switch Circuit Controller
Pictured: Switch circuit controllers are among the signal industry's simplest yet most confusing apparatus on most signal systems. Students becoming familiar with the workings and adjustments required of this type of equipment are afforded an isolated setting without concerns of affecting train movement during their lesson. These also can be added to other simulators and made removable for training as pictured above.

Life-Size Wayside Color-light Signals
Pictured: Wayside signals interfaceable to a simple relay circuit built on a work bench or interfaced to a wayside signal plant simulator trainer expanding the ability to familiarize your apprentices with the equipment they will be responsible for in the field.

Custom Simulators Built to Your Needs, Budget, and Specifications

If desired, Big J can build any simulator mentioned above according to YOUR circuit prints and/or YOUR nomenclature when you specify at order time.

In fact, Big J can even build complete simulator types not mentioned above such as Basic Electronic Circuit trainers noted below, and we will work with you to determine which aspects of the design will be handled by us and which aspects you prefer to handle yourself.

For the cost-conscious customer, in addition to offering the basic track circuit trainer and economy versions of the advanced simulators mentioned above, we'd like to point out that our modular designs often allow you to purchase usable simulators now and upgrade later. We also allow our customers to provide some simulator components such as relays from their own inventories to help keep material costs down.

The list goes on of simulators designed and built by Big J that are in use in signal training efforts around the world. If you need a simulator, simulator feature, or special consideration not mentioned above, please don't hesitate to ask.


Basic Dedicated Skills Trainers

If you are a signal team leader (foreman, manager, or director) you know as well as we do that qualified, field ready people are something you must create from people that are thought to be capable of learning this craft. Big J has identified the needs and challenges of running a signal department and has designed approaches to address them.

Dedicated Specific Skills Trainers such as Basic Electricity/Ohm's Law Trainers, Cross and Grounds Trainers, and Cable Insulation Resistance Testing Trainers. This compact equipment teaches new personnel the basics of electric circuits and meter usage that are relevant to the field of railroad signaling, but does so apart from signaling apparatus. Once empowered with a robust understanding of basic signal-applied electronics, students are more ready to absorb the complex applications of railroad signaling without being distracted by fundamentals. By allowing personnel to focus on the basics and then signaling in sequence, they will understand both better, and in the field, more confident personnel will not merely recognize equipment but be better troubleshooters.

Even if your company still sends apprentices to a signal training service, if your apprentice walks in with the key concepts already learned, your training dollar will go much farther.

Basic Dedicated Skills Trainers are considered as Basic Simulators. These smaller simulators and trainers can be easily stored on a shelf and used on a standard workbench when needed.

Basic simulators and trainers can usually ship in thirty to sixty days upon receipt of payment. "Train the trainer" training is available for all simulators. All simulators and trainers are handcrafted, and guaranteed to be free from defects in equipment and workmanship for one year under normal use excluding shipping.

Cross and Grounds Trainer
Pictured: A Cross and Grounds Trainer is an example of the "odds and ends" that Big J can provide for comprehensive training. Big J can make a simulator to teach virtually any concept, even if not pictured here. Please don't hesitate to ask!


On-Site Personnel Training

If you need qualified people to come to you for training purposes, Big J can help. We can tailor our training more fully to the equipment installed on your railroad, and with Big J traveling simulators, any railroad office or tool house can become a hands-on training classroom. If the ability to venture out to actual signal locations can be worked out, further student familiarization with the exact equipment and application they will be responsible for is a high value training offer that you can get only from Big J.

For the most in personalized, on-site training, Big J will come and visit your railroad on a fact finding tour to ensure that we have the operation of your railroad well understood for unique training deliveries. Site visits for photo collection, print review, and utilization of customer prints and circuits for use in the training material delivered are most times offered at no additional charge or for only modest travel and expense fees to collect these materials. Other training services that claim they will tailor a program to your railroads needs will, in most cases not do this or will sell this as a very costly additional service. This is just one more way that Big J leads the industry in the finest and most affordable signal training delivery available.

When shopping for railway signal training, as one should when making this decision, ask three questions of the pitch man on the other end of the phone:

  1. What custom training to my railroad's needs can Big J tailor for my staff?
  2. How soon can this be ready to deliver on my railroad property?
  3. What will be the cost, and how much of that is additional charges for the custom program?

Here’s our guaranteed response to those questions you will get when you call Big J:

  1. Our entire developed training for your railroad can be made custom to your railroad signal needs with Big J.
  2. This will be largely dependent upon how much of the program needs to be made specifically for your railroads needs. To date even our most demanding requests for custom developed deliveries go from purchase order to completed delivery inside of a one-year time frame and that is for an all-inclusive training program.
  3. The delivery cost will be based on the program chosen and as for additional costs, many times these costs are non-existent and in the few times charges were billed these were for low travel expense amounts only and this cost is presented up front for your approval before any work begins. There are never any hidden fees.
  4. After hearing the answers to the above questions from Big J and any others you may ask, you too will be saying, "Wow! Big J Delivers!" Give us a call or email us today.

Any office can become a classroom with Big J on-site training.
Student at Table with Shelf Relay
Pictured: On site training in motion at customer locations.


Other Services

While Big J specializes in signal training support, we also occasionally provide the following services to a few of our clients. This helps keep us qualified to address your signal training needs:

A larger discussion of our qualifications can be found on the
"Our Qualifications" page of this site.


Summary

From small helpful simulators that can fit easily into a safety meeting setting to a full complement of simulators and training materials for a complete training center, Big J is your source. Big J offers a full line of basic simulators that can serve any training effort. Even these can be modified in most cases at no cost to reflect acronyms familiar to your railroad. From the basic single concept simulator to complete interlocking or crossing simulators using the actual type of equipment in use on your railroad and based on your railroads prints, Big J can handle your needs.

Perhaps everything mentioned above sounds appealing except the responsibility of ownership and development and maintenance of training equipment. Then Big J "On Your Site Training" allows you to tailor design a training program from the Big J extensive library of training programs that can be presented with accompanying Big J Travelling Simulators and Trainers that can provide you with the results you want without the large commitment to cost and additional equipment.

Remember, Big J is a railroad signaling support company. We are happy to make suggestions about your order, provide just what you need to the letter, or simply provide a helping hand on-site for quick needs. Assistance by phone is available Monday through Friday from 8 AM to 6 PM Central Time, and after hours and weekends by return call from messages left on our answering system.


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