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Author Topic: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary  (Read 3121 times)

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Offline Jando

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Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« on: January 08, 2014, 05:30:32 PM »
I suspect it has been suggested before - though I couldn't find any thread about it.

Doing a lot of freight (in my current Experimental game) it frequently happens that vehicles are waiting for load. No big deal - sadly they're also frequently waiting at a hub/port/mine/factory and occupying valuable real estate, i.e. a platform that could be used by other trains/cars. Thus sometimes I let the vehicles wait at the station that receives the cargo instead of at the cargo hub/port where the cargo originates.

Of course there's no cargo generated at the receiving station, thus the vehicle will wait forever until I manually tell it to leave to pick-up new cargo for the receiving station. I do that when I notice that new cargo for the receiving station has piled-up at the hub/port/factory. And sometimes I notice that too late. :)

Would be very nice to automate this behaviour. :) So, when I set a train or another vehicle to Wait for Load at a station I'd also like to toggle a flag called "Cargo at Any Station" or something like that - causing the train to no longer wait for load when there is suitable cargo at any station in the itinary instead of only at the station where it is waiting.

This same behaviour would also be very useful for lines that carry suitable cargo in both directions. Of course I'm not qualified to judge how difficult that would be to implement and whether developer time should rather be spent elsewhere.

Offline Ters

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 06:28:14 PM »
It's one of the things I've been thinking about when thinking about a possible scriptable schedule. Unfortunately, scriptable schedules would make it much harder to do things in Simutrans.

Another problem with this is multiple trains. Each vehicle thinks for itself, so if multiple vehicles are waiting for cargo at another station, all will wake up and head there, even though there is only enough cargo for one of them.

One thing I often do is have only one train wait at the station, while the rest queues up after it. This is unlike the "normal" way of doing it, where trains wait side by side in the station itself, with a choose sign allocating platforms for them. The drawback is that this generates lots of warnings about stuck vehicles.

Offline prissi

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 10:44:50 PM »
It is actually one of the inherent tasks of the player (to balance the demand with the capacity). But you could wait for a month at the unloading station.

Offline Jando

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 11:50:07 PM »
It's one of the things I've been thinking about when thinking about a possible scriptable schedule. Unfortunately, scriptable schedules would make it much harder to do things in Simutrans.

Another problem with this is multiple trains. Each vehicle thinks for itself, so if multiple vehicles are waiting for cargo at another station, all will wake up and head there, even though there is only enough cargo for one of them.
...

Well, I will usually have removed multiple trains from that line in times of no demand. But even with multiple trains I'd happily deal with the fact that multiple trains will wake-up instead of no train at all. :)

If only one could remove all vehicles from a line without breaking the link between the industries. Then I would just assign them another line and send them earning money instead of letting them sit around at a station. :)

Offline Ters

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2014, 05:54:01 AM »
But even with multiple trains I'd happily deal with the fact that multiple trains will wake-up instead of no train at all. :)

Well, then you don't have to set the trains to waiting at all. You'll get the same result of trains going back and forth without making money.

If only one could remove all vehicles from a line without breaking the link between the industries. Then I would just assign them another line and send them earning money instead of letting them sit around at a station. :)

I believe that kind of micromanagement is impractical. In most games, one would be in serious trouble before realizing trains need to be reassigned. Even one stuck vehicle, which will have to be stuck for a month before the game pops up a warning, can cause unbalance in my games that linger for many game months, if not years.

Offline AP

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 02:52:41 PM »
There is a certain real-world logic to having an industrial station be able to "call for" a train when it has freight to be sent.

I suspect however other requested scheduling features (e.g. force-unload and force-depart-empty options) would be more widely useful for balancing routes.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 04:36:38 PM »
I thought the system used in cities in motion 2 was quite good, where vehicles will hold in a depot until requested by a schedule that depot serves.

Not too sure how well it fits in with simutrans, however.

Offline Ters

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 05:13:02 PM »
There is a certain real-world logic to having an industrial station be able to "call for" a train when it has freight to be sent.

Indeed, but in the real-word, there are more people managing the routes/vehicles and time moves slower. There is also a lot more planning ahead.

I thought the system used in cities in motion 2 was quite good, where vehicles will hold in a depot until requested by a schedule that depot serves.

Not too sure how well it fits in with simutrans, however.

I think the problem with Simutrans is figuring out how many vehicles to activate. It's not impossible, but it is a major change, both in terms of way the game works and the code to write.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 05:42:12 PM »
I would suggest more detailed wait times so that the player can find a number that works for the line instead of best match.

Right now there are 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16 etc, but there really should be 1/3, 3/4, 5/8 and 3/8.


or maybe allow the user to input the wait number manually?
This is about the only place in the game where fractions are displayed on the GUI. Maybe changing it to percent, which will match the 'wait for load', would work?

Offline Ters

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 07:00:27 PM »
While that sounds like a nice improvement, I doubt it will solve the problem completely. In some cases production can fluctuate over a much longer time scale than a month. Some months may see no production on one part of the chain, while other months run at 100 %.

Offline AP

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2014, 05:30:49 PM »
Presumably then it is just a question of using the 100% full option and having lots of empty trains waiting in a yard ready. Not the most efficient use of capital or land, but it would work, no?

Offline Jando

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2014, 05:44:41 PM »
While that sounds like a nice improvement, I doubt it will solve the problem completely. In some cases production can fluctuate over a much longer time scale than a month. Some months may see no production on one part of the chain, while other months run at 100 %.

Exactly. I don't even mind the fluctuations that much - on my current map I may have 10 trains operating a route this month and only 1 train on that line in a few months. And that train is empty and only on the line to keep the links between the industries intact. Would just be great to be able to let it sit somewhere out-of-the-way instead of blocking a platform in a freight hub.

Offline Ters

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Re: Extension Request - Wait for Load at any Station in Itinary
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2014, 06:52:37 PM »
Here's my solution. Or actually, solutions, as there are two different strategies in use here: One for the lower-rightmost platform, and another for the two upper-leftmost (except the one that can barely be seen). The latter solution incorporates a bit of the former, and both yield a lot of warnings.