Hi James, was hoping you'd chip in.
I think that there is some confusion between one train staff and staff and ticket working.
Hadn't expected to you say it wasn't meant to behave like Staff and Ticket! It's great that it does.
It's perhaps worth noting that by definition, every block on a single track railway is
a 'self contained section'. So OTS is most certainly suitable for its use. Indeed Staff and Ticket evolved from Staff working in just such scenarios.
Presenting OTS as just for industrial sidings is a mistake. There's nothing that requires an OTS section to be accessed from one end only, and as soon as it's accessed from both ends, you have a single track block section. There were plenty of primary single track routes before the advent of the electric token instruments and speaking telegraph that used OTS*.
I did contemplate implementing staff and ticket working in Experimental, but ruled it out on the ground that it would be too awkward to use and would very easily lead to deadlocks
Given that OTS cabinets seems to work exactly as Staff and Ticket (S&T), it looks like you've already built it fairly successfully, and I'm glad you have. I don't think it should be considered an exploit rather than a feature, given that S&T is so much more useful. The worry of deadlocks is mistaken - simutrans is 'perfect' in the sense of no breakdowns etc so needing to fetch tokens by horseback for rescue trains will not arise - unless you code to make alternate journeys mandatory under staff working (which probably would
That's not to say we won't find plenty of other ways to cause deadlocks.
I'm not playing on a timeline, it's a test; I'm trying to learn how to use staff working as built. But I would appreciate guidance on how one correctly ends a one-train-staff section to avoid the single tile reservation oddities I've been seeing, if it's not simply a bug?
The video recommended a loop, and I've followed that practice, but I'm not clear if a single OTS cabinet would in fact work in both directions, for instance, on the throat of a multi tracked terminus? That would let me avoid signals entirely.
On my timetabling query - we've covered that at the other thread (thanks). I'll report further once I've had more time to experiment with scheduled departures.
*EDIT: googling suggest electric token was patented in 1878. Most of the uk rail network was in place before then, including lots of single track.