Author Topic: [Wishful Thinking] Suspension Railway  (Read 766 times)

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Offline Leartin

[Wishful Thinking] Suspension Railway
« on: June 06, 2017, 12:50:48 PM »
Probably won't go anywhere, but still...

I'd like to propose the introduction of suspension railways. Now, you might tell me that that's entirely up to pak-developer what they use "monorail", "narrow-gauge" and "maglev" for - since they are functionally identical. And that's entirely true, as long as you are using the SAFEGE-System (or something similar), which is symmetrical.
However, the first Suspension Railway most (German) people would think of ist the one in Wuppertal, which uses a different system and is asymmetrical, since there is only an arm gripping the rail from the right side, while the rail is connected to the overall structure to the left. So each rail is monodirectional - you can't go backwards on them. In order to go the other way, you need a second rail on the other side of the structure. But if there are two rails, one for each direction, why wouldn't there be cars going both ways? In the end, the current incarnation of an suspended railway I tried to create ended up using SAFEGE-System instead, since I couldn't do it in a way that worked for me.

What I am saying is: A suspension railway like the one in Wuppertal would be better if it followed street logic (minus overtaking, one-way-streets, etc.) rather than track-logic. As a nice side effect, that would also make it very different from other means of transportation, especially considering that you wouln't create a ground-level suspension railway, so it would be an interesting addition, rather than just an addition.

I know this is no new wish - but still, since it should not be too hard to implement... pretty please?

Offline prissi

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Re: [Wishful Thinking] Suspension Railway
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2017, 01:14:07 PM »
pak128 has the wuppertal railway for ages. It was actually their choice of monorail ... Having another independent road system is certainly not impossible (and maybe even relatively simple to add), but I do not see any developer picking this up any time soon.

Offline Leartin

Re: [Wishful Thinking] Suspension Railway
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2017, 06:52:29 PM »
See, pak128 used graphics of the Wuppertal Railway, that's about it. You could as well use a road and car graphics for tracks and trains - it would work as well. Except that only one direction, one of the two lanes would ever be used, just like only one of the two independent rails of the Wuppertal railway is used in pak128.

Besides, in pak128 they put the vehicle right in the middle. So yeah, that would mean no two vehicles could use it at the same time, since they would crash. Except that this does not make much sense in terms of physics, since the car would need to be exactly beneath the rail for the point of gravity to work, otherwise the vehicle would not hang straight and put additional strain on the structure. This is different from any other rail vehicle, and makes it so the road-like behaviour is required (or a new behaviour where every track is directional and can only be used in one direction, but that would probably be a lot more work, so why bother?

Offline Ters

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Re: [Wishful Thinking] Suspension Railway
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2017, 08:30:26 AM »
I don't see how the logic for railways or roads, even with one-way patch, would work for this. One-way or not, roads have two lanes which allow for overtaking. That must be forbidden. Roads also drive by sight, while I assume suspension railways use signaling like most other dedicated railways. And I guess there is no reason, in real-life, why a suspension railway has to be one-directional either. However, it seems like suspension railways, like electric model railroads with one positive and one negative track, won't allow tear-shaped loops.

Offline Leartin

Re: [Wishful Thinking] Suspension Railway
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2017, 10:26:58 AM »
I guess there is no reason, in real-life, why a suspension railway has to be one-directional
Not all suspension railways work the same, there are two different systems.

What I labeled A is the SAFAGE-System. You have two rails (red) encased by the holding structure (gray). A pair of rolls (blue) is on top of them, and the connection to the wagons happens between the two rails (green). Since it's symmetrical, any wagon could go both ways.

What I labeled B sketches how the Wuppertal Schwebebahn works. You only get one rail, and the rolls have rims on both sides so it would not derail. The connection to the wagon happens on the side - on the right side for Wuppertal. On this construction, a wagon cannot turn and go the other way, because for a wagon to move the other way on the same rail, the connection between wheel and wagon would need to be on the left. So, if you only have that one rail, it would make the railway one-directional. So IF it has to use the rules of a Simutrans-Track, it would need to be monodirectional to reflect this, based on what it would be in real life.

However, it seems like suspension railways, like electric model railroads with one positive and one negative track, won't allow tear-shaped loops.
For the Wuppertal system, a real tear-shaped loops wouldn't work since wagons can't use the same rail both ways. Since there are two seperate rails though, the turn looks like a tear-shaped loop.

I don't see how the logic for railways or roads, even with one-way patch, would work for this. One-way or not, roads have two lanes which allow for overtaking. That must be forbidden. Roads also drive by sight, while I assume suspension railways use signaling like most other dedicated railways.
The one-way patch is not required at all. The point is that the Wuppertal Schwebebahn is bidirectional, because there is a second, independent rail (except for the end point loop where the rail is only on the outside). This is pretty much the same as having two lanes on a road, one for each direction. The reason for two lanes is so two vehicle can pass each other while they are going opposite directions, not to overtake one another while going the same direction - that was added at a later point, and clearly shouldn't apply to a track-bound means of transportation.
Signaling is... a bit complicated. The Wuppertal Schwebebahn does use blocks and signals, so the wagons keep their distance from each other. However, in Simutrans, requiring such signals would only cause players to put them on every or every second tile, since there can't be crashes anyway, rendering them meaningless. All signals used on tracks to make sure trains don't get in a gridlock are not required because of the bidirectional nature. So having only those signals that exist as signs on roads would be good enough for pretty much all purposes.

Offline Ters

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Re: [Wishful Thinking] Suspension Railway
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2017, 09:15:38 AM »
You can not turn and go the other way, but there is nothing inherent in the rail system you from not turning around yet still going the other way. All you need is a cab in both ends, a drive train that runs both ways and suitable signaling (if you got any at all).

It was hard to see from a glance at Wikipedia how the Wuppertal works, but my concern was suspension railways (type B) in general.

Offline Leartin

Re: [Wishful Thinking] Suspension Railway
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2017, 02:20:26 PM »
You can not turn and go the other way, but there is nothing inherent in the rail system you from not turning around yet still going the other way. All you need is a cab in both ends, a drive train that runs both ways and suitable signaling (if you got any at all).

No vehicle in Simutrans ever moves backwards, it always turns. Not that it would matter much - if you imagine a circular way, on two opposing points on the circle, you would have the very same graphic for the railway. Therefore, if there is only one rail, and you build a circle, the rail would suddenly switch sides. It should be obvious to see why the usual mechanics don't work with a type B Wuppertal-esque suspension railway.

Offline Vladki

Re: [Wishful Thinking] Suspension Railway
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2017, 06:59:53 PM »
I think that having a new waytype (or modified the monorail) that has some road and also rail like features would be very nice addition to the game. It could be used not only for wuppertal bahn, but also for funiculars (cable-cars) and similar. So I support this request. In my point of view it should have these features:
- bidirectional (two lanes) like road - vehicles can pass in opposite direction on the same way, but not overtake each other
- railway like signalling. Running in drive by sight will effectively make it the same as road, but free of other cars. Just like narrow gauge vs. standard train.
- an extra bonus would be a way that forces all vehicles to move synchronously (some types of cable-cars)

Some time ago I made a fake cable-car coded as trolleybus on transparent elevated way (only poles in the image), but one had to be careful to keep disconnected from normal roads, to keep citycars off. If they managed to enter the cable car way, they went along it, flying in the air, and blocking the cable-car gondolas.

Offline Ters

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Re: [Wishful Thinking] Suspension Railway
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2017, 07:45:27 PM »
No vehicle in Simutrans ever moves backwards, it always turns.

Yes, but if the trains are symmetrical, the fact that it technically turns around is not apparent. If the southbound vehicles had their arms on the left side and the northbound had their arms on the right side, one could have a vehicle that appeared to move back and forth on a single rail. The layouts you could build would be limited. With a more complex concept or orientation, one could even support all four turns, rather than just two. The problem below persists, though, as I've already mentioned it would. For all I know, this can be a real-life problem on real-life suspension railways. The question is whether someone wants that kind of suspension railway, and not be restricted to two-tracked ones like at Wuppertal.

Not that it would matter much - if you imagine a circular way, on two opposing points on the circle, you would have the very same graphic for the railway. Therefore, if there is only one rail, and you build a circle, the rail would suddenly switch sides. It should be obvious to see why the usual mechanics don't work with a type B Wuppertal-esque suspension railway.