The train Type controls the top speed and acceleration/deceleration performance. A type of "Deleted train" (formerly "NONE") is interpreted as a request to delete that train from the timetable.
Headway controls how many times per hour a run is made.
NB Minutes and SB Minutes are the number of minutes (modulo the train headway) past the hour at which a train is to leave its origin station. So a headway of 15 and a NB minutes of 3 says that the train leaves from its southern origin at 3, 18, 33 and 48 minutes past the hour. Negative numbers are also allowed (-3 being equivalent to 57).
Train colour tells how to shade the time-distance lines for different trains. It is a six-character hexadecimal string in the format rrggbb. "ff0000" is saturated red, etc. If you're unfamiliar with this nonsense, web search for "rrggbb html".
Pad% is the percentage by which the inter-station trip time of a train shuold be increased to allow for recovery from minor service irregularities. The default is 10 percent, which is in line with or better than present-day Caltrain-style operations; 7 percent is typical for a functioning passenger rail network in an advanced first world industralised democracy.
The Fleet is used to compute the number of trains of different
types required to operate the timeable.
Trains with the same "fleet" are assumed to use the same pool of interchangable equipment and so two trains with the same fleet that respectively arrival at and depart from the same terminal station can be operated by the same physical train (and crew) should tbe turnback dwell time between arrival and departure be great enough.
The Operates choice determines whether a given train runs in
both directions, northbound only, or southbound only. (Highly asymmetrical
operation being typical of old fashioned "commuter railroading".)
As a convenience when developing a timetable, a train's direction may also have placeholder value of "Neither", which suppresses any display of or computation using that train, but does not delete it from the timetable. This is useful for reducing output clutter when attempting to focus on other trains.
The user interface for specifying Stops is less than wonderful, I know. But you're all Brave Engineers, so deal with it!
Some sample stop patterns for your cutting-and-pasting pleasure (the example terminal dwell time "900" is chosen to represent a 15 minute turnback time: that being optimistic for Caltrain/FRA freight-style operation; but unambitious elsewhere):
|Caltrain-style snail local, 45s (steam train era) dwell:||900.45.45..126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206..220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168..45.900|
|Standard future local, 20s (level boarding!) dwell:||600.20.20..22.214.171.124.20.20.20..126.96.36.199..188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206..600.|
|Standard local, 20s dwell, 210s connection at Hillsdale:||600.20.20..220.127.116.11.20.20.20..18.104.22.168..22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199..600.|
|Standard local, 20s dwell, 90s connection at Hillsdale:||600.20.20..188.8.131.52.20.20.20..184.108.40.206..220.127.116.11.18.104.22.168..600.|
|Standard local, 20s dwell, 210s connection at Redwood City:||600.20.20..22.214.171.124.20.20.20..126.96.36.199..188.8.131.52.184.108.40.206..600.|
|Transbay-Redwood City local shuttle:||600.20.20..220.127.116.11.20.20.20..18.104.22.1680............|
|Palo Alto-Tamien local shuttle:||..................600.20.20.20.20.20.20..30.600|
|Every station local, including deeply mistaken Oakdale, Hayward Park, Atherton, College Park and Tamien stops:||900.20.20.20.22.214.171.124.126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52..184.108.40.206.220.127.116.11.20.20.900|
|Standard major-stops express: TTT, Mission Bay, 22nd, Millbrae, Hillsdale, RWC, PA, MV, Santa Clara, SJ:||600.30.30.....30.....30...30...30...30...30..600.|
|Altamont HSR: TTT, Millbrae, Redwood City ... gone!:||900.......90........90.1...........|
|Dumbarton shuttle, terminating at Redwood City:||...............600.1...........|
|Los Banos world-of-pain multi-overtake HSR: TTT, Millbrae, Redwood City, SJ:||900.......90........90...........120.1|
|Caltrain's bizarre set of "Baby Bullet" service patterns, as of 2011||