The RTS system is set up on a cycle time system. What this allows us to do is calculate in the cycle, how long the cycle will last and what time it is within the cycle at any given point of time. We simply input the start of the cycle, the day of the week it represents, and how many days we want to run in the cycle (slow down factor).
Jobs on RTS come on a first come first serve basis. Some jobs tend to be more popular than others, and others may have an advantage at getting first crack at a job overnight into the early morning hours etc. Generally yard plans are posted by the yardmaster in advance of days of known yard work. The cycle tab also shows when expected job windows are available.
As for trains that enter the mainlines, or are scheduled in the registry tabs you will see when the window begins and ends in actual date and time EST (-4 GMT), or EDT (-5 GMT when daylight savings time is observed). So mainlines will also have an available window of opportunity. A typical train will have a window of anywhere from 1 to 7 days depending on how long the train usually takes to get from start to destination. Likewise locals that originate out of the yards will also have an available window set.
The idea behind this is simple. We know many like to run trains for an entire run just like a real crew would. The cycle and slow down factor only purpose is to allow a limited number of crews the ability to represent all crews in a 24 hour period thus completing a cycle. So as long as we know someone is interested in a particular job, then as members we should honor that request.
Admins have the ability to put a train or job on standby, and add a note for other admins to remind them not to release a particular train. At times the admin may not be able to get to that request in time, however all requests should be acknowledged regardless based on the honor system.
We want to be fair to all users but keep in mind many people will typically run what they enjoy first as soon as it's available as stated on a first come first serve basis. If you know you have available time upcoming we encourage you to let others know ahead of time when you anticipate available time. Otherwise regular and seasoned RTS members will continue to operate within the first come first serve system. The burden is on the user to let others know ahead of time if a certain job appeals to them.
If you are an inexperienced user, and looking for more direction, this is also a good opportunity to try and schedule a ride along. A seasoned member will do their best to try and meet those requests. We encourage all requests to either be replied in the thread of an announced job, or post another request with the date and job in the subject line with all the particulars in the body of the message.
Any questions please contact and admin on the server, or feel free to post another message so we can update this policy and clarify.