A quick guide that should tell you all you need to know about how to drive with LZB in-cab signalling.
How to Start with LZB
What Is LZB?
LZB is a system for in-cab signalling and enforcement of maximum speeds and braking curves which is in widespread use in Germany and Austria. Any operation of trains above 160km/h in those countries is required to have either LZB or its successor, ETCS, enabled.
How to Drive with LZB
Once you enter an LZB area, which is indicated by a sign saying "LZB" on it (those are repeated every couple of kilometers for reasons you don't need to know right now), a couple of things should happen:
- The "Ü" indicator should light up, indicating that a transmission channel ("Übertragung") is established.
- A bar next to the speedometer lights up, showing you the distance to the next change of your maximum speed (in the LZB version used in TSW, only reductions of the maximum speed are indicated in advance). If the distance is above 4km, the distance will be shown as a number above that bar (up to 9900m on the 406 / ICE M). If the number stays at the maximum value, no speed changes are upcoming in the forseeable future.
- A three-digit number will show up below the tachometer. That number is the upcoming speed restriction. If no speed restriction is upcoming (distance indicator at max value), the current speed restriction will be shown instead (If the number is 000, you're supposed to stop at the target distance).
- A little triangle indicator will show up along your speedometer's edge. That is your current maximum speed, calculated in real-time based on the upcoming speed restriction, the distance to that restriction, and your train's braking capabilities.
Always stay below the triangle indicator. If you're above, the train will beep at you. If you're too much above, the train will forcibly brake you down.
If you're approaching a speed restriction, the red indicator labelled "G" (don't ask what that stands for) indicates that, within the next ten seconds (?), your current speed trajectory will run above the triangle indicator, so you should start braking now.
The LZB braking curves are *very* generous, you generally can follow it at around a half brake application on the 406 / ICE M.
While you have active LZB guidance, trackside signals and signal boards are irrelevant. If the LZB tells you to go past a red signal, you are allowed to do so. If the LZB tells you to go past the signalled maximum speed, you are allowed to do so (and, in fact, maximum speeds above 160km/h are *never* signalled in Germany, with a single exception you do not need to know about right now).
The End Procedure
Once you approach the end of coverage, the train will beep at you and the yellow "Ende" indicator (meaning "End") will light up. Use the "Frei" key ( "End" on the keyboard) to acknowledge this and avoid a forced brake application.
From this point on, observe trackside signals. The LZB is still overruling them, but as soon as you drop out of LZB coverage, you will be bound by trackside signals again.
There's a bug here in the sim: in reality, the distance indicator would show you the distance to the end of the LZB covered area.
What to Do with a Forced Brake Application
Wait until you're stopped, press "Frei" ("End" on your keyboard), release the brake, carry on.
This of course does not cover all the fun situations that can occur with the LZB in real life, but should be all you need in the simulator.
By the way, I did not mention the "B" indicator - it merely means that the LZB is operational, and should always be lit unless you have security systems turned off, or (in real life) there is a fault.