by Stephen and Mark Parascandolo
Model Railway Computer Control Centre (MRCCC) is a Windows software application created to provide a user interface and interlocking for the model railway that closely replicates real modern UK signalling practice. MRCCC is designed to be the signalbox - it does not attempt to control the trains or allocate controllers and traction power feeds. However, it is a flexible system and complex additional logic can be built up if required using any of the signalling states, which MRCCC knows about.
The software is freeware and can be downloaded from this website free of charge. The source code (MS Visual Basic .NET 2003) is also available. MRCCC is not intended to be a commercial product and as such help and support are limited but I'll always try to help.
The software will only currently work with MERG RPC hardware running in RS232 mode. However the structure of the code is such that it would not take much additional work to code alternative hardware platforms or communications protocols. MRCCC looks and behaves like a real VDU based signalling control centre.
Some essential simplifications have been made - overlaps, approach locking and sectional route locking for example are not required for model railway use. Equally detail like point and signal identities are not required on the screen. The aim has been to recreate the appearance of a real system but without reliability, safety and availability features essential on the real railway.
Screenshot of Model Railway Computer Control Centre Software
1. Use the Link to download the .NET Framework version 1.1* (20Mb download from Microsoft)
2. Use the Link to download the .NET Framework ver 1.1 Service Pack 1* (10Mb download from Microsoft)
3. Download the MRCCC Installer (1Mb download)
4. Run the MRCCC Setup application
* If required (will also run with .NET framework ver 2.0)
This will result in a Model Railway folder on the Start Menu containing the MRCCC Application, the MRCCC Client, and the three technical bulletins covering the software and the Horton application.
The default directory is \Program Files\MRCCC and a \samples sub folder will contain the Horton Layout, and a simple Examples Layout that may be useful to learn from and experiment with.
MRCCC is built using Visual Basic .NET which requires the .NET framework to run. Microsoft recommends the following for the framework (I have used slightly less): -
Experience has shown that the MRCCC application works best on a faster PC (2GHz or above with 256Mb RAM) especially when a large layout is being operated at speed. Slower PCs, providing they can handle the .NET framework are more than adequate for data preparation or use as MRCCC Clients.
The software supports up to 1280x1024 resolution layouts. It is easier to run layouts which fit wholly on the screen without having to scroll.
Project Report - MRCCC started life as a Brunel University Final Year Project and has been developed further since. This is the Final Year Project Report that accompanies the software with a thorough explanation of Design Process.
Please contact me if you intend to modify the code. You may find that I can offer support, and/or advise. In any case, I would like to know what development work may be going on.
30/5/05 - Release 1 (MRCCC ver 3.3b, MRCCC Client ver 1.0)
20/11/05 - Release 2 (MRCCC ver 4.1, MRCCC Client ver 1.0)
- Read Release Notes if upgrading and for details of changes.
The RPC system was designed by Gordon Hopkins of MERG. It uses a simple serial system to connect inputs and outputs. For kits, the latest information and copies of documents for RPC modules join MERG and order the kits from Gordon Hopkins.
Technical Webpages - Railway Signalling
No responsibility can be taken for the contents of external links.
The Late Stephen Parascandolo
© S.J.Parascandolo. This website is my personal website, produced as a hobby and by me as an individual. Any views, opinions and information on this website are my own, and not those of my employer, or any other individual, company, or organisation unless explicitly stated otherwise. All signalling elements of the MRCCC software have been designed and coded by myself using publicly available information on prototype operation.