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 Post subject: Problems with routings and loads
PostPosted: Thu Jan 13, 2011 5:25 pm 
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Posts: 4
Hello,

I have a a few questions, and forgive me if its been answered or is obvious. I'm somewhat new to SMR, so please bear with me. In any case, this is really two questions, but both somewhat related.

1) When routing, I've read several post that the best strategy is to dedicate ONE track with ONE train per resource/city, and minimize crossovers. That's good advice, but I guess the conflict I see is that (and I guess what one's ultimate goal of the game is) it doesn't make for a very realistic game. What I mean is that there would be a LOT of trains and a LOT of track ran all over, almost in a spaghetti kind of way.

It seems like SMR did try to control the AI routing of trains sharing common track (using judiciously placed crossovers and sidings) by choosing the appropriate priority levels, and it seems to initially work OK. However, after you're into the scenario for a while, you then start to have head to head conflicts, especially with high priority passenger traffic, mostly in cities with multiple stop and go/through traffic. I tried to apply enough routing options, but what you think should work, doesn't in the game.

I guess the question is that, is their a limit to the number of trains (and laid track) that can be in operation at one time, given the suggested "one train per track" scenario?

2) Related to the first question, I am a bit confused on freight loading and how its distributed. In the manual, the example only talks about having a raw material resource (i.e. cows) in one city. transferring it to another city for processing (i.e. cows to food), and sending it (i.e. food) on to another city. I tried to load 8 loads of "food" from the processing city, and setup the destination (2nd city) accept 4 loads. I also wanted a 3rd city further down on the same line take 4 more loads.

Now (I guess in the real world) you would think that if I put 8 car loads of food on a consist, and only demand (want to deliver) 4 loads on the 1st of two cities, that 1st city would only accept 4 loads, and then have 4 remaining loads for the next city.

However, that is not the case, because no matter what I do, the number of loads I ship out of the processing city is consumed by the 1st city, and leaves nothing for the 2nd city.

My question here is what am I (or am I) doing wrong? Is shipping resources to more than one city at a time not possible?

And that also relates to the first question. To feed multiple cities, do I have to run dedicated rail and trains from each processing city to each individual (demand) destination?

This just doesn't seem right, or realistic. Obviously in the real world, there is a master scheduling system that determines what trains are where at a specific time. If there is a point where two meet on the same single line, the timing would be such that the lower priority train would move to a siding, allowing the other one to pass it in the opposite direction. It seems that SMR does try to do this to a point, but it doesn't take long for the system to barf, leaving trains double backing on them selves, and a host of other odd actions.

Thanks again for you patience. These may be dumb questions, but it's making my gray hair grayer.

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with routings and loads
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 8:57 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:42 am
Posts: 368
billw wrote:
Hello,

1) When routing, I've read several post that the best strategy is to dedicate ONE track with ONE train per resource/city, and minimize crossovers. That's good advice, but I guess the conflict I see is that (and I guess what one's ultimate goal of the game is) it doesn't make for a very realistic game. What I mean is that there would be a LOT of trains and a LOT of track ran all over, almost in a spaghetti kind of way.

It seems like SMR did try to control the AI routing of trains sharing common track (using judiciously placed crossovers and sidings) by choosing the appropriate priority levels, and it seems to initially work OK. However, after you're into the scenario for a while, you then start to have head to head conflicts, especially with high priority passenger traffic, mostly in cities with multiple stop and go/through traffic. I tried to apply enough routing options, but what you think should work, doesn't in the game.

I guess the question is that, is their a limit to the number of trains (and laid track) that can be in operation at one time, given the suggested "one train per track" scenario?


On this issue-you are right, to play the game efficiently sacrifices realism. So it is what it is. And really it's not "minimum" crossovers, it's really "no crossovers". The only exception to this is not for the purpose you are describing, it is an advanced tactic that should be tabled for now to avoid confusion. So for now, dedicate ONE track per engine, period.

Now on to your spaghetti question: If you mix realism with this rule, ya it would be a mess-but you kind of need to go one way or the other-choose realism or efficiency, they are almost mutually exclusive in this game IMO.
What this means is-you don't want everything connected, if you have 6 cities-tracks don't connect them all to each other. Instead you would pair them for efficiency, so you'd have 3 sets of 2 city "profit centers". That is, 2 cities shipping back and forth to each other each of them having some resource routes coming in. So it's actually pretty to me-all straight lines, completely unrealistic-but incredibly profitable. If you want realistic and pretty-expect problems.

Lastly-yes there is kind of a limit-but it has nothing to do with the "one engine per track rule" it's more about what the game can handle. This is at least true online-I know less about 1 player games, so ask someone else on that. But I notice when a couple players get about 20+ trains each going, the game is more likely to crash. So I always thought the limit might be somewhere around 50 trains that the game could handle.

Feel free to ask follow up questions, I like talking strategy.

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-Bob the Lunatic


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with routings and loads
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:06 pm 
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billw wrote:
Hello,
2) Related to the first question, I am a bit confused on freight loading and how its distributed. In the manual, the example only talks about having a raw material resource (i.e. cows) in one city. transferring it to another city for processing (i.e. cows to food), and sending it (i.e. food) on to another city. I tried to load 8 loads of "food" from the processing city, and setup the destination (2nd city) accept 4 loads. I also wanted a 3rd city further down on the same line take 4 more loads.

Now (I guess in the real world) you would think that if I put 8 car loads of food on a consist, and only demand (want to deliver) 4 loads on the 1st of two cities, that 1st city would only accept 4 loads, and then have 4 remaining loads for the next city.

However, that is not the case, because no matter what I do, the number of loads I ship out of the processing city is consumed by the 1st city, and leaves nothing for the 2nd city.

My question here is what am I (or am I) doing wrong? Is shipping resources to more than one city at a time not possible?

And that also relates to the first question. To feed multiple cities, do I have to run dedicated rail and trains from each processing city to each individual (demand) destination?

This just doesn't seem right, or realistic. Obviously in the real world, there is a master scheduling system that determines what trains are where at a specific time. If there is a point where two meet on the same single line, the timing would be such that the lower priority train would move to a siding, allowing the other one to pass it in the opposite direction. It seems that SMR does try to do this to a point, but it doesn't take long for the system to barf, leaving trains double backing on them selves, and a host of other odd actions.

Thanks again for you patience. These may be dumb questions, but it's making my gray hair grayer.

Bill


You are doing nothing wrong Bill, the game just has limitations and parameters. For example, when I began playing I thought I should be able to ship pills to a city with no hospital, hold them there in a cargo bay perhaps and a train connecting to that city and going to a hospital would pick them up-I mean, that IS how it works in the real world. But to play this game, you cannot think like an engineer, you must think like a businessman to be successful. The game is simply not that realistic.

So back to the food question-the game ignores basic economics, demand for example is INFINITE. So this means ANY city with people will consume ALL the food that arrives, even if the population is 2. So if you are trying to perhaps grow TWO cities from the same food producing city, by bringing them food-you CAN do this, but it's not logical. Remember what I said on question #1 about "profit centers"? The whole reason you pair cities is to avoid competing with yourself. Each of the 2 cities feeds eachother and all trains maximize their profits by avoiding competition with other trains owned by you.

But, to do what you said-you would simply set up 2 SEPARATE routes, so say the food producing city is "city A" and you wish to send 4 carloads to city B and city C respectively. You cannot do it with the same train. You must set up a route directly from A to B and another from A to C and simply have 2 trains here with 4 cars each. Even in this case, one city will likely dominate-getting 80% of the food due to it being closer or a better laid route, etc. That's how you COULD accomplish what you ask about.

But... it makes no sense. Instead, you should ship from A to whichever one is closest, ALL the food, a food train (perhaps with people and mail as well, 3,3, and 2) to the CLOSEST city (B or C). Then let's say it was B, so now A and B are paired (profit center 1). You now find another city, say "city D" that you can produce food with and pair THAT ONE with city C (becoming profit center 2). You will see that doing it this way will likely make your profit 5-10 times higher than the way you wish to do it (sharing food between 2 cities from the same producer city).

Now at this point you should make a decision-do you want to play for the fun of a train table or do you want to play to win? If it's the former, I'm the wrong guy to talk to, I don't care about realism or train tables. If you wish to be a vicious robber baron who dominates any map-I'm your guy.

Again, follow up questions are welcome as I've definitely probably opened some new ideas and thus questions.

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-Bob the Lunatic


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 Post subject: Re: Problems with routings and loads
PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:14 pm 
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Also-I do suggest you go with my methods-otherwise, this game COULD drive you to drink!!! *snicker* (getting the game to work realistically is like trying to find an honest politician or a sober Irishman)

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 Post subject: Re: Problems with routings and loads
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 8:09 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:52 am
Posts: 10
For realism, you can connect more then one city, and you can put more then one train a track. Do it for passenger/mail trains, only use two tracks/stations for them and you can manage 4 up to 8 trains om those two tracks, depending the lenght of the route.

The solution for this to work are side-rails, so beside the two-tracks you already have made, at some places you put short double-tracks on both sides, and connect them to the neirest track. Any train that parks there, can only go back to the track it came from. So this way, trains never can get lost and choose other routes, which would be possble with crossovers. So, never ever use crossovers for this method to work.

Example:
/----\
S ------------------------- S
S ------------------------- S
\-----/

S=station, /\ = connections - = track.

This is good for 4 trains, rocksolid.
This way you have atleast two tracks free at any station for freight-trains.

Now, when you make the route with more cities involded, that looks more realistic and aldo the passenger/mail trains will still run good without getting lost; it will get more difficult to keep the passenger/mail and freight routes seperate.

Why? Finished goods have to be delivered from one city to the other, same as passenger/mail. So when you buy a train to do so, it can happen it will be placed on your passenger/mail route!

To avoid this, you could assign the depot train (who brings in the raw materials) also to deliver the goods, trough that third/fourth track at the station. Ofcourse, you then also can uses bypasses on that track, as i explained above to put more freight-trains on that track.

A nice technique ill often use, but the boys are right; there is nothing easier then a two city connection plan, especially for the mail/passenger trains.


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