Ship It! Email List
The following selection allows you to join an email list that is intended to supplement the Ship It! support page. You will be able to contact knowledgeable users and others who share your interests in operation. For information on how to improve your operation, look in the files section. Jean Piquette has posted many files in his area (look under the files section under Piquette) - make sure you look at all the files - there is a lot there. Other individuals have posted valuable information also - it's hard to find the space to credit everyone by name.

Mailing List Registration

The following examples/files are explained in the Deluxe Balancer manual (balancer.rtf) that comes with Ship It! 8.0. Chapter references that follow refer to that manual.

Classification Yard Example - Database for use with Appendix B

Domain setup example database - example database for use with Chapter IX

Example 2 database  - database for use with example in Chapter VII

Example spreadsheet files - contains an example of an sdataA.txt spreadsheet export file and an Excel spreadsheet made from it. Examples are for the spreadsheet topic in Chapter V.

Two turnovers per day database - database for use with example in Chapter V

Ship It User Manual

All chapters are now in the manuals section of the web site. There are also downloadable PDF files for each of the manuals available there.



Ship It! Toolbox Instructions: Download the file  to your shipit install folder (usually \shipit

 The main purposes of Ship It! Toolbox are as follows: 1. Identify and delete bad database records that do not show up in the  standard Ship It! browse windows - these are often discovered by looking  through the records and seeing old or partial data.. 2. Deleting "stubborn" records that refuse to delete because of related "children" records still in existence. This program will delete all children records, so be careful. For example, deleting a division will delete all towns, industries, etc. belonging to that division. The nice thing is that each browse window lists the possible related records for whatever file is being browsed - this way you can trace related records from the top to the bottom, and can tell which  records might be deleted in addition to the one that is highlighted.This documentation has not really existed before.

Ship It! Support Tips

5.0 Support Issues

1. Cars going on trains of the wrong type.
First make sure you have the correct options set up in your options window. You should have written down your options before loading the new version (instructions say to do this). Make sure the options in version 5 match what you had in version 4. They will not after the install because version 5 store the information in a different area

Make sure the options "allow both thru and local pickups for staging and non-staging" are set correctly. Turn off the option "allow both thru and local pickups for non-staging", unless you need it on. See the manual for more information on these options. If you have just upgraded to version 5.0, and your cars are going on trains of the wrong type, turn this option off.
Then make sure you have default train types set up for all AAR Codes under AAR types (rolling stock pull down menu). If you use secondary train types, you must choose a default train type for all of these also.

Note: do not set up secondary train types for your consignees or your shippers unless you want your cars to go on trains of different types.

Finally, do a Start Fresh (new car positions). You can try a Start Fresh (old car positions), but if it does not do the trick, you must do Start Fresh (new car positions).

2. Browse Trains Window
Don't use the maximize window - this can cause problems in this window. You can drag the window as large as you want, and the program will remember this setting, but don't use the maximize box.

3. I can't find my data! First make sure you installed to the same directory as ship it was installed to before. Next make sure your database setting in the options window is set to the correct database.

4. The install directory cannot contain spaces. If you have any problems running the program, try installing to the default "\shipit" directory. If you install to a directory like "\Program Files\shipit", you will have trouble - this path name contains spaces, which the program does not like.

General Support Issues

Condensed switchlists will not be created unless you check the box "Export to Condensed Switchlist during Session Generation" (Car Cards Tab, Options Window) before you generate a session.

Deleting Industries may give you a problem. All of the related data (areas that call out the industry) must be deleted first, including data in the shipper, consignee, rolling stock (home yards), motive power (pick up / drop off locations). If you are not using Car Cards, delete carcard.tps. If you are using Car Cards, you will need to delete related data there also. The easiest way is to clear waybill data and switchlist data using the menu items under the waybill menu. If you are still unable to delete it, rename it to something like "dummy industry" and just ignore it. If there is no related data, it will be ignored anyway.

Tips for setting up for operation:  Dale Heilman doesn't like to place cars on the layout until session 4 or 5, because he likes the operation better at this point as compared to a start fresh. He also likes to use the industry status report to place the cars on his layout because he then know what lading the cars are and can place empties to the rear of the siding so they are out of the way.

Many Uses For The Storage Yard Field (Shipper Update Window)
The storage yard field was originally designed for clearing out a shippers siding to make room for other cars, but it can also be used for more.

1. Moves to an Icing Plant.
Specify the icing plant in the storage yard field of the shipper involved. Set the duration time of  the shipper to 1 hour. Make sure the option "Multiplication factor for sending empties home" is set to no more than 2 (this variable is also used to calculate when shipper's loads should be moved to the storage yard). To calculate the time that must pass before the move to the icing plant is scheduled, multiply the "multiplication factor" by the duration of the shipper. In this example, when 2 hours pass (or less, if the multiplication factor is set to less than 2), the load will be scheduled to move to the icing plant. The only way it would not go there is if a train comes by before the 2 hours is up.

2. Helping Industries With Limited Pickup/Setout Directions
When an industry does not have the "any" direction specified, problems can arise if the train visiting the industry is not a turn or "out and back". The problem occurs because Ship It! looks at each trains schedule by itself (unless divisions are involved). If a shipment cannot get to the consignee on a single train it will not be made (unless divisions are involved). In order to get to an industry that has its direction restricted,  it may be necessary for a car to make two moves to get there -  the first  would be a move to a yard "downstream" of the industry. The second move would be a move back to the industry requesting the car, this time in the direction that the siding can be accessed. You can use the shipper storage yard to help this situation. Just call out the "downstream yard" in the shipper storage yard field, and set the duration and multiplication factor as in item number 1 above. The car will be moved to the downstream yard after it "times out". Then the car can get to the destination in the next move.

If you have a problem with cars entering staging and returning on a different train, the problem could be that you have the wrong default staging destination for one or more trains. If your staging trains have a "next train" specified, and you change the "next train", you need to also re-select the default staging destination for that train, even if it looks like it is the correct town, because the town there will be from the previous trains schedule. The default staging dest. is always from the "next trains" schedule (if you are using a "next train"), so you must re-select the default staging dest. to make sure it is from the correct "next train". When revising staging trains, keep the above in mind.

If locomotives and/or cabooses are not showing up in the pick up/set out instructions on the switchlist, you may not have the pick up and drop off locations specified in the Browse Motive Power update window. Also, be aware that the location in the schedule is important if a town appears twice on the train schedule (as in a "turn"). When you are specifying the pick up and drop off locations, you must select the correct town in the schedule. Just selecting the correct town name is not enough. For example, if you are setting up a drop off location, and the town appears twice on the schedule, selecting the first appearance of the town  is different than selecting the second appearance of the town.

If you are using divisions/interchanges, and you are seeing some car movement between divisions, but some cars are being left behind (particularly empties, because divisional empty movment is scheduled last), try increasing your interchange yard capacities (even at the risk of overfilling your interchange). It is possible for an interchange to fill up during a session (particularly if you are just testing) and you not be aware of it, because the reports only list the status at the end of the session. A report is planned for version 5 to chart yard occupancies during a session

Siding (or Yard) Capacity
As a rule of thumb, the number of cars on your layout should not exceed 50% of the layouts total car capacity. This is to allow room for cars to be delivered and room for switching. Clogged sidings probably restrict car movement in Ship It! more than anything else. If car movement is bogging down, or there are some moves that just never occur, try this: increase the siding capacity of all industries and yards/interchanges involved in the car movement (if interchanges get full, divisional traffic will stop). Increase capacity by tenfold, just to remove the restriction completely. Then generate some sessions and see what happens.

When a train picks up a car at a siding, the empty space left by that car is not recognized by Ship It! until one minute later. This means that if a siding is full, and a train removes a car from it, that same train will not be able to put a new car in that slot. If a train comes by one minute later, the spot will then be open. Because of this, you may want to increase your siding capacity in Ship It! slightly more than what it actually is. The worst that can happen is that you won't have room for a car - car card users and folks using other types of operation have to deal with this all the time.

Also keep in mind that even though the industry status report shows some room at a siding or a yard, this does not mean the yard did not fill up at some point during the session. The industry status report only gives the status at the start of the next session. Interchange and yard capacity can fluctuate a great deal during an operating session. Keep in mind - if it fills up, cars cannot be moved in! This in turn jams up the location where the cars wanted to leave, and so on. One jammed siding leads to another, and before you know it, everything grinds to a halt. When you see less and less car movment, during subsequent sessions, this is what is happening. The trick is to balance shippers, consignees, trains, and siding capacity. The first step is to increase siding capacity (even if only on the computer). Then get to work balancing your shippers and consignees. Your outputs (shippers) should not produce (create loads) more than what your inputs (consignees) can handle. Train movement affects this also, because trains coming by more often will clear out shipments faster (as long as they are requested and "ready to go".)  The storage track field in the shipper update window can help alleviate congestion (see above, and the user manual) by moving loads into yards for later shipment. Try not to have too many shippers or consignees with long duration times (over 24 hours). Any time you do this, you are tying up valuable siding capacity. While realistic, it will restrict car movment.

Gpfs and page faults.
The most common culprit seems to be generating sessions while various Virus Checkers and "Utilities" are running in the background. If you receive any GPF's, make sure any of these types of programs are not running in the background.

RealTime Support Issues
If you are a Ship It!  user that has purchased RealTime, you will need to convert your database to a different file format before using RealTime. You can do this with the menu option "Convert To RealTime Format". Otherwise you will receive error messages. This menu option is found under the "File" pulldown menu.

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