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SDS Library & Resources

Product Brochures (PDF Format)

Short Line Data Systems General Information Brochure

ROCS Brochure

ROCS Mobile Brochure

ROCS Dispatch Brochure

HOSS (Hours of Service System) Brochure

PET ROCS (Passenger Software) Brochure

QUEST Brochure


Knowledge Base

Articles answering specific questions about our products

Data error - Make sure that your have released the car, and that the STCC is in the Database.

Load/Empty Status when a car that came in as a load will be leaving as a load.



Association of American Railroads

American Shortline and Regional Railroad Association


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What happens if you get hit by a bus?

Well, believe it or not, this is the question I get asked the most out of any question. Yes, Short Line Data Systems is a small company, but it is a growing company. I am bringing in new people who are experienced in Access, and will help to develop ROCS in the future. One thing I will not do, however, is bring in people in advance to their need. Expansion ahead of need raises my costs, and in turn, your costs.

2. What hardware do I need to run ROCS?

ROCS will run on a computer running Windows 98 and Access 2000. I recommend running Windows XP or later and Access 2003 or later.

As for computer speed, memory, and hard disk size, you are governed more by the requirements of your Windows version rather than by the requirements of ROCS.

For communications, all you need is a phone line. With the FTP communication module, you can use either a phone line or a high speed connection, such as DSL or cable modem.

3. How many cars can ROCS handle?

As far as my research has taken me, there is no limit to the number of cars that ROCS can handle. I have spoken with people who have Access databases that perform manipulations on 200,000 records at once with no problem. The actual records in ROCS take up very little space, so backing up your database to a USB key or CD is no problem. I recommend that you run a single database for a full calendar year, and then start a new database for the next year, carrying over the necessary records.

4. What security features does ROCS have?

ROCS takes advantage of the built-in security features of Access. Different users can have different levels of access to the parts of ROCS, so someone that is not supposed to have access to settlement information can’t see that data. Also, if you want someone to be able to view data but not be able to change data, that is possible.

5. You have a “day job”. What do I do if I have problem during regular business hours?

Yes, I do have a “day job” at the MassCentral. I do have the ability when I am there to support users if there is a problem. All you have to do is call me at the MCER (978) 355-0029, and we will take care of you right then and there. I have found that most problems can be solved in the first call in a couple of minutes, and if the problem is more complex, it can usually be solved in an hour or so.

6. The reports you include in ROCS are good, but I need a special report. What do you charge for special reports?

If a report does not require me to modify the base data structure of the database, there is no additional charge for a new report. Usually it takes a day or two to design the report, so turnaround is relatively quick.

If I need to make a change to the data structure there will be a small nuisance charge, which is currently $200.

I will make any new reports created for one user part of the next general release of ROCS, so that everyone can benefit from these reports.

If you have a question, please ask!