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Offline AP

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Canalising rivers
« on: February 03, 2014, 11:43:56 PM »
This is slightly related to the ongoing discussion about access charges.

Suppose there is a "small river" running through a series of towns. Perfectly adequate for navigation by barges, which serves player A perfectly well in providing a good service to a number of industries.

Player B can come along and "upgrade" the river to a canal, such that it can take much larger ships than before, so they can access an upstream industry with their ocean-going ships.

Except now, player A has to pay player B for the privilage of using the river. Player A's route is reduced in profitability by Player B's actions. That doesn't seem right...

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In online play, it appears an advantage is conferred on whichever player first reaches a point where they can afford to canalise the natural watercourses , since they get access to the centre of towns and villages, and get to charge other players for the privilage. Later players are penalised.

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I suggest maybe it should not be possible to upgrade a river where convoys passing last month is greater than 0. (?) Doesn't solve the latter issue though.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2014, 11:59:48 PM »
I'm the one who replaced a lot of rivers and put in canals on the eastern island and it's true... but the access charges are so utterly low that it's largely negligible so I didn't worry about it.  I'm only earning 300-400/month from access charges even with a well used canal network, so it's pretty much valueless in that regard.  And now you can use larger ships on them :)  My apologies if you dislike this, I saw it as an enhancement to the area-now you can run larger ships if desired.  From a realism standpoint, a think many canals were constructed from existing waterways.

Inter-city roads present another challenge.  Since not all cities were originally connected, some cities were later connected by players.  Trying to get canals across the map to access new industries forces the canal builder to go through the towns where there are city roads so that they can bulldoze a road section and replace it with a bridge.  Since the canal bridge is a lower weight limit than the large canal, you can't run any large canal ships across sections that you would use a canal bridge for.

This is my first major online Simutrans game and I am observing a lot of interesting situations, like the canal one, among many others.  This is very much a friendly, cooperative online game.  Any sort of competitiveness would make the game completely unplayable.  Being able to build "uber stations" is another issue.  You can build a station someplace, then extend it infinitely using cheap extension buildings (staging post) and then bulldoze everything in between once you reach your chosen destination.  You could cover an entire large city with a single station in this manner, if desired.  Again, comes down to friendly rules to "not do that".

EDIT:  Another issue is the inability to connect canals to other players canals, forcing you to build a second canal down to the ocean rather than tie in and pay the small toll.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 12:37:02 AM by Sarlock »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2014, 12:48:38 AM »
This is an interesting issue, and not one for which there is a readily apparent solution. Interestingly, the same difficult issue is present in reality. The problem is that, in Simutrans, there is the additional constraint that a solution must be simple enough to be able to be implemented automatically without constant manual intervention of the public service player, whereas, in reality, manual intervention of the authorities on a case by case basis is entirely practical.

There are several possible options. The first, as implemented currently, is to allow players to upgrade natural watercourses, but then allow them to charge others for using them. (The charges, incidentally, are based on a percentage of revenues (currently 33%, but this is open for discussion in future versions): suppose a convoy belonging to player A makes 10,000c and travels the entire distance on player B's ways: 33% of that revenue (33,333c) is payable to player B. Suppose instead that the same convoy made the same profit, but only 50% of its journey was on player B's ways: then, player B would be entitled to 50% of 33% of the revenue, or 16,667c - and note that this is gross revenue, not net profit).

Another option is not to allow any players except for the public player to upgrade them at all (as in previous versions), but this either prevents any upgrades or requires the intervention of the public player, neither of which are satisfactory.

Another option is to identify somehow which ways were previously in the public domain and permit them to be upgraded, but on the condition that the upgraded way also comes into the public domain (i.e., is unowned). This would allow all players to use the way free of charge. This would require a code change, but not an enormously difficult one. It would, however, come at a price: there would be a much reduced incentive to upgrade. A viable business model based on building canals for others to use (which I should like to encourage, as this is how most canals actually worked) would be removed in the case of canalised rivers; the same with upgrading roads to become toll roads. This would give rise to the "freeloader problem" often discussed in economic theory.

As to AEO's suggestion of prohibiting the upgrading of rivers used by river craft, this has the singular disadvantage that it prevents the upgrading of the most useful inland waterways to allow them to be used with larger ships, whilst permitting the upgrading of much less useful waterways. Not only that, but it would give players perverse incentive to upgrade waterways that are not used yet on the chance that they might be in the future, resulting in odd and unrealistic patterns of game play and traps for players not aware of the necessary (and unrealistic) strategy required.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2014, 01:16:07 AM »
I should add that upgrading a waterway to a canal can be very expensive when upgrading a medium waterway.  It costs 6,250 per tile to remove a medium waterway and replace with a large canal.  The revenue recovered from tolls would take ages to recover the cost... and factoring in interest lost on cash used, probably never breaks even (actually, factoring in canal maintenance cost, never does).  I spent the better part of 2 million on canal upgrades in the past game year.  At 400/month, that should only take 400 years to pay off :)

The upstream small river is only 12.50 to bulldoze.  You could increase that to 2,500 to institute the same penalty.  Same with the stream, maybe 1,000 or so.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 01:23:31 AM by Sarlock »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2014, 01:23:03 AM »
Costs need general and thorough rebalancing, but that will be a lengthy exercise in which all aspects of cost are considered in relation to all other aspects.

A separate question, however, arises as to whether the cost of removing a river should be part of the cost of canalising it: I rather doubt that it should, as removing a river (in effect, putting it in a culvert underground, since a flowing river cannot actually be removed) is a much more intensive operation than merely enlarging it. Indeed, when forge costs are introduced, the cost of canalising a river should be much less than building a new canal, not much more.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2014, 01:24:31 AM »
Upgrading a major river in to a large canal shouldn't be hard but upgrading a stream in to a large canal should be very expensive indeed.  Right now it's the other way around, upgrading a major is more expensive.

Edited to reword

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2014, 01:45:14 AM »
Upgrading a major river in to a large canal shouldn't be hard but upgrading a stream in to a large canal should be very expensive indeed.  Right now it's the other way around, upgrading a major is more expensive.

That would be very complicated to implement: but presumably, upgrading a stream to a canal is still cheaper than building a new canal where there was no watercourse at all? As far as I understand canal building, this should hold true.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2014, 01:55:58 AM »
With something smaller like a stream it's probably not much different.  Nature has provided you with a naturally carved area to run your canal through but you still have to do just as much digging to prepare it for ship use.  Actually, now that I think about it some more, except in the case of very large rivers (Thames) that are basically already ready for large ship use (something which is simulated by using ocean tiles to create a 1 tile wide "river"), upgrading a stream or medium river to large canal is probably the same amount of work and similar in scope to digging a brand new canal.  The only advantage of using existing river areas is just that the land is contoured in a favourable way... something which isn't a issue in Simutrans.

Offline AP

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2014, 07:52:16 AM »
Minor but related issue - joining a canal to a navigable river upgrades the junction river tile, and changes its ownership. Which can be unexpected and interrupt access along the river.

EDIT: seems only to be when you over-write Medium River with Ship Canal (medium) - i.e. it's not even an upgrade but it over-writes. Odd.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 06:52:09 PM by AP »

Offline AP

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2014, 07:56:16 AM »
Another option is to identify somehow which ways were previously in the public domain and permit them to be upgraded, but on the condition that the upgraded way also comes into the public domain (i.e., is unowned). This would allow all players to use the way free of charge. This would require a code change, but not an enormously difficult one. It would, however, come at a price: there would be a much reduced incentive to upgrade. A viable business model based on building canals for others to use (which I should like to encourage, as this is how most canals actually worked) would be removed in the case of canalised rivers; the same with upgrading roads to become toll roads. This would give rise to the "freeloader problem" often discussed in economic theory.

I think this code change worth doing. Charging for using canals is good, but navigation rights on rivers should be considered "ancient" and not charged for - if you want to upgrade a river for access, it should be possible, but not to others' detriment

Offline ӔO

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2014, 12:29:48 PM »
From what I have found, waterways are public property, according to English (and Roman) law, and are subject to Riparian water rights.

Maybe all waterways that are built should be owned by the public player?
The maintenance costs, that the player would otherwise pay, can be offset by increased ship operation costs.

There should also be an incentive for players to reconnect any waterways they have cut through.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2014, 07:10:50 PM »
Canals are not public property as such. They are state owned (generally) in the UK but only because they were nationalised along with the Railways, and since then there really hasn't been an easy way to privatise them as they are lossmaking. There's a nominal fee that has to be paid each year to use them these days. Prior to the 1940s they were privately owned, with tolls charged to access them.

Offline AP

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2014, 07:49:28 PM »
Rivers in the UK can have Public Rights of Navigation - the same as a Public Right of Way on a road - where these have become established, either over time or by law (esp. Scotland).

In fact, this BBC Article suggests every english river in theory does still have a public right of navigation:
Quote
"There was a public right of navigation on all rivers between 1189 and at least 1600, and that right has not been lost. It means there is a right on all usable rivers now,"
That may be an overstatement (hence strikethrough), as the article goes on to say, but if there's been continuous use, the right will still be there. This wikipedia article says 2% of English/Welsh rivers have such rights, presumably because most "rivers" here aren't good for anything bigger than a canoe. Those that are, will have been used for a very long time.

Canals were mostly privately built. I'm unsure if Canal Acts required canal companies to let any barge use their canal if it wanted to for a fee (anyone know?) in a common-carrier type fashion, or if they were explicitly private and could turn away anyone they didnt like. I know railways couldn't refuse to convey most freight on their trains - but that's very different from effectively "public running rights" (no such thing).

A lot of the private canals were bought up by early railway companies to effectively remove political opposition to building the railway. In some cases the canals had tracks laid along them... (e.g. Portsea Island)
« Last Edit: February 04, 2014, 07:55:58 PM by AP »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2014, 12:13:34 PM »
This is an interesting discussion, and the issues raised not entirely straightforward. Currently, there is no distinction in principle between different kinds of way in the determination of access rights, with the exception that some roads (those next to town buildings) are adopted by local towns and become free for all to use. The access rights system as currently conceived was designed mainly with railways (and like systems) and canals in mind.

However, those who refer to the concept of a public right of way make an interesting point. It happens that I have recently looked into the history of highway law in the UK. It has gone through many changes over the years, and I looked principally at the early highway law (before about 1830, when it changed) and modern law. The early law was that any way classed as a public highway was maintainable at the expense of the inhabitants of the parish through which it ran. A public highway was so designated by having been dedicated (either expressly or impliedly by long use) and adopted (by actual use).

The modern law retains the concept of dedication and adoption, but there is a new concept of a highway "maintainable at public expense". All trunk routes and nearly all public roads suitable for vehicles are in this category (but it can also extend to footways, bridelways and footpaths). New highways can be created by statute or executive order in additional to the traditional dedication and adoption method, and in practice, most if not all new roads are created in this way. There is also a mechanism whereby a highway authority can agree to adopt a way as a highway maintainable at public expense. Land can also be acquired compulsorily (on payment of compensation) for the purpose of the creation of a public highway.

I should note that the above is a very brief summary of the position, the details of which are sufficient to fill very thick hardback books dedicated entirely to the subject. Canals, incidentally, were, except for very short canals built entirely on private land (in which case, they were entirely private affairs), built on the authority of acts of Parliament (that is, a specific act for each canal), which contained powers for the compulsory acquisition of land by the private builder (on payment of compensation), but which imposed in return maximum amounts that could be charged for the conveyance of goods and required that the canal be open (on payment of tolls) to all comers.  (As an aside, at the time of building the Stockton & Darlington Railway in 1825, it was imagined that railways could work in a similar fashion to canals, with anyone allowed to run trains, and lots of private branch lines into local farms, but this was soon found to be impracticable).

In the Simutrans context, it seems to me that we need to have a concept of a public right of way to supplement the existing access rights system, which system is more appropriate for private ways, such as railways or access roads to industries. To an extent, the concept of adoption of roads in towns is intended to give effect to this, but a system is needed for natural watercourses and roads existing at the start of the game. This would need each tile of road or waterway to store a datum as to whether it is a public right of way or not. This would require a change in the saved game version, so could not be implemented until the next major release.

All roads and rivers generated automatically at the start of the game, and all roads, canals and rivers subsequently placed by the public player would be designated as having a public right of way. Any way with a public right of way can be traversed by any player's convoy regardless of the access rights set by whichever player owns the way. An unowned way that is a public right of way may be upgraded but not downgraded nor removed by any player. On upgrading, the as now, the upgraded way should become owned by (and therefore maintainable at the expense of) the player upgrading it.

What to do about tolls/access charges is a somewhat more tricky matter. On the one hand, there would be little incentive for players to upgrade existing ways if they have to pay for maintenance but cannot charge tolls yet  have to allow access to all. On the other hand, this would allow players to charge for something that was once free. Provisionally, I am minded to retain tolls for upgraded public rights of way, as the former problem seems to me greater than the latter problem. Note that, at present, tolls are not payable to the public player for any roads owned by the public player and used by another player (subject to a simuconf.tab setting). I propose to retain this as it is.

There is already a tool for the public player to take over any given stop or tile of way. This can also convert the way to unowned with a second click (further clicks toggling between unowned and owned by the public player). Using this tool should also add a public right of way flag to a tile, even when switched to unowned. As now, this tool would allow the public player to take over privately owned ways on payment of compensation.

The public player, unlike other players, should be able to downgrade or remove a public right of way, to allow, for example, rerouting in the case of need by railways.

One complexity to this, however, is that we have had difficulties in the past where roads initially built by the game could not be demolished except by the public player (which is why I changed those roads from being owned by the public player to being unowned). Players would have to wait several game years for me to have time to log on and remove roads, and there were often long lists of requests accumulating. This was a highly undesirable situation. Ideally, there would be a system whereby the game would allow a diversion to be built, but this is far too difficult to code for it to be practicable. I should be interested in any views on what to do about this tricky issue in light of the above. (Note that simply allowing any player to remove a public right of way would render the idea of a public right of way worthless, as any player could simply remove the whole way and replace it with her/his own way instead of upgrading it, thus entirely evading the public right of way restrictions. Even if we were to have a system where a tile remembered whether it had previously had a public right of way, which is possible, this could be evaded by players building key sections of the replacement way on neighbouring tiles).

Offline AP

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2014, 08:22:10 PM »
I think the ability to separate Public Right of Way from Ownership would be very useful indeed. Consider bridges over railways. The railway should pay the maintenance for all the bridges, but they should all be publicly useable (for free!)

Regarding tolls for using upgraded public-rights-of-way:  The advantage to the upgrading player is the increased vehicle size/weight/speed that can use the route. The risk is a proliferation of parallel routes if you don't allow tolls. Could you code it so that the tile remembered its maximum speed/weight as a public-right of way, and only charged tolls for things that were faster/heavier? Could you code it so it remembered when it was upgraded, with tolls only being charged e.g. for 25 years after that date?

The railway overbridge example needs solving, whatever mechanism you use (player built, public right of way, free to use).



Regarding making things "public": Could something be coded that essentially equated to "trusting" the players in a limited fashion?
E.g. each player is entitled to convert n tiles per year from their ownership to public ownership? Or remove up to n tiles within a given time window (e.g. no more than 25 tiles of road every Real Life hour - could be a pain for railway building though).

Or if you want to be clever...
Each player is entitled to provisionally convert n tiles per year, subject to any other player ratifying it (at which point it takes effect) - you'd need a running list somewhere within the multiplayer window. Would mean players interacting with each other more. Only need to ratify if the player is trying to get out of maintenance costs (e.g. realigned roads but not railway bridges).

The latter would be far more powerful when people are e.g. expanding rail networks and want to deal with level crossings / realigning roads every quarter-mile.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 08:40:38 PM by AP »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #15 on: February 05, 2014, 08:43:33 PM »
I am not sure that I understand the issue with railway overbridges; currently, the railway and bridge have distinct ownership from each other. Can you elaborate on what you mean here?

The suggestions as to tolls are interesting, but I think that what is proposed would be somewhat awkward to use and not very easy for players to understand clearly. Also, this does not accord with how things worked in reality.

I am not entirely sure what the suggestion of allowing players to convert a limited number of tiles to public ownership would achieve: what player would not maximise their yearly allowance of conversion to free maintenance? The more complicated suggestion would involve some very involved coding indeed (especially for the interface making clear to players what is happening), but I am still not entirely clear on precisely what this is intended to achieve that cannot be done already.

Offline AP

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #16 on: February 05, 2014, 11:49:28 PM »
re railway bridges: Imagine undulating terrain crissrossed with public roads. To build a (flat) railway through it, a player has to build player-owned rail bridges over some roads (no issue). But in other areas we have to dig cuttings, demolishing tiles of road in the process. To reconnect the roads requires road-over-rail bridges, to be built at the player's expense. They are road bridges, the railway player never  actively uses them merely owns them and pays maintenance. But they need  a public right of free access across (just like the road that was demolished before) so all the other players can use them. At least, that is the 'ideal' perhaps; and i though it worth considering because it "tests" any toll/ right of way system that might be considered.


Re tolls generally: in reality, in modern times, companies build bridges and roads and are granted the right to charge tolls for n years (e.g. M6 Toll) before the roads revert to public ownership. Earlier, most turnpike companies ended up in public ownership after a period of time due to changing economies. Companies in simutrans are more likely than in real life to "look ahead" and diversify (canal into rail into road into air) rather than stagnate and go bankrupt, so to have toll roads become public "in due course" would in some way replicate that. We haven't ended up in the c20th with most main roads privately owned.

The point the last paragraph of your earlier post seemed to raise is that at the moment, a player cannot build public road or river, even though there are legitimate reasons for needing to do so in short sections. As you said, either these works get queued up for the the Public Player, or you enable the players to do it themselves in some fashion (at which point "how" becomes the question).

If one of  the latter, whether you design game functions on the premise they will be abused if at all possible, or trust that it won't (or hedge your bets in some way) is probably as much a philosophical/ethical issue as a gameplay one. But I'm all for simple solutions rather than ones involving vast amounts of coding. :)

Offline ӔO

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2014, 12:07:14 AM »
maybe a system that allows flagging ways for sale to public and allows other players to approve or disapprove?

Offline isidoro

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2014, 11:49:38 PM »
My two cents:  not from the viewpoint of real behavior, but game mechanics.  Building a canal on a preexisting river could cost much less, but retain public access and the maintenance goes to the builder.  This can be the incentive.

If the player is not interested, he can build his own canal, much more expensive to build (think of legal charges, for instance), but can be compensated by tolls or private use.

There is an additional issue here that make this situation quite unrealistic: there is no concept of "water traffic" in present ST.  I know that I can open my canals to public use since my own traffic will never be disturbed...  Compare with railways, roads, etc.


Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #19 on: February 07, 2014, 12:04:33 AM »
There is an additional issue here that make this situation quite unrealistic: there is no concept of "water traffic" in present ST.  I know that I can open my canals to public use since my own traffic will never be disturbed...  Compare with railways, roads, etc.

I am planning on addressing that.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #20 on: February 09, 2014, 03:44:45 PM »
Incidentally, as to public rights of way over roads: is there anything to be said for the idea of making use of the old legal concept of adoption of a highway (or, at least, a modified version of it) to the effect that if there have been no vehicles passing over the highway in the last two months (this figure is already tracked), it can be deleted by a player (albeit perhaps at extra cost to reflect the legal fees in establishing the absence of usage, and to discourage players from doing this unless necessary)?

Offline AP

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #21 on: February 09, 2014, 05:39:21 PM »
Adopting a highway is when the public authority takes over responsiblity and maintenance for a private road. It happens regularly, every time a new housing estate is built. Right of way is separate.

Regarding the opposite, public highways can get downgraded, e.g. to byways or even footpaths, it happens occasionally as a result of new road being built. E.g. near winchester, when the new Twyford cutting was built, the old congested main road was abandoned, downgraded to a paved footpath.

The key thing, however, is that public rights of way definitely do not fade with lack of use. Downgrading a highway may extinguish the right to motorised traffic but the right of the public to use the route on foot/horseback doesn't disappear. They can exist even when the  path doesn't - see the OS Map of Langstone - when they built the portsmouth canal, they cut across the ancient causeway across the harbour. The right of way still exists but it hasn't been possible to physically make a crossing for over a hundred years (which sounds a bit monty-python esque I know...).

Rights of way are occasionally diverted for short distances, temporarily or permanently. But it is very rare for them to be extinguished entirely - usually when there is a benefit e.g. a shorter alternative has been built since.

There may be other less useful precedents in e.g. the military takeover of Salisbury Plain, there was a court battle in the 1960s over the village of Imber, which is now only accessible in limited fashion.


Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2014, 05:55:42 PM »
The problem that I am trying to solve is that, if roads built automatically when the map is generated are considered public rights of way and cannot be removed, then it becomes difficult to divert them when players wish to build railways and canals. If, conversely, players are permitted to remove the roads, then they can remove them entirely, or replace them with their own roads (limiting access to others in the process). There is no practical way of working out what actually counts as a diversion of an existing route automatically in the code. I had thought that, if at least there was a way of measuring whether any vehicles had used the route recently, a means of testing for a diverted route would be approximated, if vehicles use the diverted route, at least.

If anyone else can think of a better solution to this conundrum, I should be most grateful.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2014, 11:06:18 PM »
IRL, Companies do, in fact, occasionally violate laws or have not gone through the proper procedure to acquire permits when constructing new infrastructure and this only comes to light after someone complains about it.

If the government can penalize violators, that would be an incentive for players to not do as such.

It's not entirely unheard of that roads or railroads have accidentally paved through a historical or archaeological site either, due to poor site surveying.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #24 on: February 10, 2014, 12:36:59 AM »
IRL, Companies do, in fact, occasionally violate laws or have not gone through the proper procedure to acquire permits when constructing new infrastructure and this only comes to light after someone complains about it.

If the government can penalize violators, that would be an incentive for players to not do as such.

It's not entirely unheard of that roads or railroads have accidentally paved through a historical or archaeological site either, due to poor site surveying.

That is an interesting thought: so long as most players in the game continue to play in good faith as players have currently done, we could put up a list of server rules concerning the diversion of public ways, requiring, for example, players who delete any section way designated as a public right of way for the purposes of building a railway or canal to replace it within a certain time: any failure to do so should result in first private, then public warnings. The ultimate sanction for deliberate breaches of the rules would ultimately be some sort of moderatorial action, but hopefully it will not come to that.

That still leaves the question of how the code should actually behave: perhaps a right of way designation for individual way tiles, as suggested above, but with the ability for players (at a cost) expressly to demolish such ways (but not directly to downgrade them). Perhaps the public right of way status could persist in the tile even after a way is demolished until another way of another type, or a building, is built there. Perhaps players could be granted or refused permission to demolish public rights of way individually by the public player, much as access rights are granted now; perhaps removal of this privilege would be the best sanction for those who do not obey published rules?

Any thoughts on these ideas would be welcome.

Offline isidoro

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2014, 01:51:25 AM »
I can think of somewhat complicated solutions.  I think that the base use case happens when the player wants to remove a tiny segment of a public way to make room to build a canal, etc.

The solution I can think of is that public right of way be marked in ways.  Then, if a player wants to remove any one of such tiles, he must build a reasonable alternative.  That means than the route search is run from the unconnected ends that resulted from the removal of the tile with a limitation in distance of, say 4 or five tiles.  If succeeds, then that route has a right of way now, else the operation is not allowed with a message: "you must provide an alternative when removing public ways".

That way, the player first build the alternative path (possibly including a bridge), then erases the tile.  In that moment, the new bridge becomes the new right of way.


Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2014, 02:03:47 AM »
The solution I can think of is that public right of way be marked in ways.  Then, if a player wants to remove any one of such tiles, he must build a reasonable alternative.  That means than the route search is run from the unconnected ends that resulted from the removal of the tile with a limitation in distance of, say 4 or five tiles.  If succeeds, then that route has a right of way now, else the operation is not allowed with a message: "you must provide an alternative when removing public ways".

In principle, this would be the most sophisticated solution. However, the devil is in the details: what would trigger the way search, and what would the start and end tile of that search be? What would the maximum search depth be such as to keep performance reasonable on enormous maps with vastly complicated road networks? What if there is already an alternative route between the two unconnected ends - via a 100km detour? How about a 50km detour? 30km? 10km? 5km...?

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #27 on: February 10, 2014, 04:11:24 AM »
Thinking a lot about this.

Why not just make all canals usable by all players?  No reason to make them private as there are no traffic congestion issues.  If a player replaces a river with a canal system, all players can use that (and pay the standard tolls) without access right concerns.

The same for a road - if you build a new road, all players can use it by default.

Rail is different because congestion can cause some serious problems.  But road and canals - absolutely make them access-rights free.  You can get tolls from traffic using your infrastructure but you can't decide who can and can't use it.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #28 on: February 10, 2014, 05:10:37 AM »
The idea with tolls is that you are recuperating the initial investment, the construction cost, so the more money one can get out of the investment, the better off one would be.

Looking at what is used in the real world, I came across Easements.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Easements

Easements are different from Right-of-way and basically it means that if the public must to use it, then no one may bar someone else from using the way for the purpose of transportation.
In game context, this means that everyone may use waterways and roads, no matter who owns it.

Right-of-way, which pertains to railroads and electrical wires, in game context, means fully private ownership and exclusive access rights.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Right-of-way_%28transportation%29



Then there is also the concept of abandonment and eminent domain.

Abandonment is already implemented in standard, where after X months of not being used, the way becomes public

Eminent domain is the 'make public' tool. Although, I would suggest adding a feature where after 20 years of private ownership, a waterway or roadway becomes public.

---

Combining all of the above, I think it is clear that road/water and rail/air need differing concepts.

I know that roads can get congested, and this can be quite annoying, but the whole point of investing in an alternative means of transport is because it has better performance and this should be the incentive of building them.

---

I don't particularly think it is necessary to have code that checks for easements, but rather players should self police each other and report violations. The public player should then give warnings or penalize monetarily at their discretion.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2014, 05:29:32 AM by ӔO »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #29 on: February 10, 2014, 09:54:18 AM »
Interesting thoughts; however, I think that there is still a place for private roads and canals. On the question of congestion - I have written code recently (which should be in the next major release) which means that canals can become congested: only a set number of vehicles are allowed into any canal tile (that number can be set in the individual canal's .dat file), and any other vehicles have to wait - the same with rivers.

Private roads and canals are useful, for example, in connecting industries or connecting freight transfer stops. There are many situations in which a player would find it somewhat awkward if every road or canal ever built always allowed any player vehicle (or, in the case of roads, any private car) to enter. Indeed, this is why Standard invented the private way sign in the first place.

As to easements, in English law at least, these are use rights of some sort over somebody else's land by an owner of neighbouring land. A private (but not a public) right of way can be an easement, as can a right to sunlight into a particular window or the right to park a car in a specific spot. A right of way is the generic term for a right to pass and repass along a way, and can be either public or private.

Offline isidoro

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2014, 01:39:12 AM »
In principle, this would be the most sophisticated solution. However, the devil is in the details: what would trigger the way search, and what would the start and end tile of that search be? What would the maximum search depth be such as to keep performance reasonable on enormous maps with vastly complicated road networks? What if there is already an alternative route between the two unconnected ends - via a 100km detour? How about a 50km detour? 30km? 10km? 5km...?

I agree that details are important.  I'm inspired by the way I'm developing a scenario for pak128.Britain: the action of trying to remove a tile of a public right of way road would trigger the search.  The start and end tiles would be the ends that get disconnected if the removal is allowed.  Let's say a road has tiles ABCDEF, if the player tries to delete tile C, the start tile would be B and the end tile would be D.

The depth of the search is meant to be 4 or 5 tiles, just a small amount.  This way, only small bridges or detours are allowed (which, btw, is less computationally demanding).  If the search succeeds, the found path becomes public and the operation is allowed.  Otherwise, the operation is not allowed with a information message.

There are other details to consider, but this can be a first approach that would be a solution to most cases: I want to build here, there is a public road, I make a small bridge for it (4 or 5 tiles), I can then delete the small piece of road and build my infrastructure.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2014, 11:40:24 PM »
That is a very interesting idea. I shall have to give this further consideration. Thank you.

Offline Ves

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2014, 01:40:43 PM »
As to the question how (and if) a city should take over private roads, I think in real life, the town and the owner of the ways would sit down and talk about it. The city would not just take the property only for the owner to accidentally discover that he is not owning his road anymore.

What if when the city wants to take over something, a window pops up telling the player that the city now wants to buy your roads for this and this amount, and then the player have the ability to accept or decline.

Then of cause the player should have the ability to in the settings set "always sell to public" or "always refuse"

If you decline, the city could increase the rent of the ground or some other penalty.

Offline AP

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2014, 01:56:53 PM »
That is a very interesting idea. I shall have to give this further consideration. Thank you.

Assuming a 2-deep cutting with a double track railway at the bottom, bisecting a diagonal road, depending on how you measure, you might need to allow more than 5 tiles (maybe 13 (i.e. 6+6+1)). But I agree a low discretionary local allowance would be  a good & practical solution, if it can be coded.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2014, 02:20:58 PM »
As to the question how (and if) a city should take over private roads, I think in real life, the town and the owner of the ways would sit down and talk about it. The city would not just take the property only for the owner to accidentally discover that he is not owning his road anymore.

What if when the city wants to take over something, a window pops up telling the player that the city now wants to buy your roads for this and this amount, and then the player have the ability to accept or decline.

Then of cause the player should have the ability to in the settings set "always sell to public" or "always refuse"

If you decline, the city could increase the rent of the ground or some other penalty.

Is not the difficulty there that players could exclude other players from cities by declining?

Offline Ves

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Canalising rivers
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2014, 02:56:36 PM »
If I want to use a specific players infrastructure in a city, I could call the city council and tell them I want to use the roads. After a set amount of players have asked, and/or the city itself wants the roads, this could trigger the question to overtake. The more players asking, the higher the penalty will be for the player to decline. After a year (or other set/calculated time) the question could be made again.

This could also go the other way, lots of people constantly making calls for open infrastructure making it very expensive for the declining player. This could be balanced with a cost of making such calls.

But maybe this is overkill? :-)

Offline AP

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2014, 02:57:22 PM »
What if the city could add the (aforementioned) "public right of way" to player-owned road tiles in cities to prevent that. Not all the tiles, just " odd ones" necessary to connect other public highways, to act as bridging tiles for access.

So the player could still upgrade or remove the roads s/he owned, but couldn't encircle a city and preclude other players or citycars.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2014, 04:08:53 PM by AP »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #37 on: February 15, 2014, 03:03:41 PM »
If I want to use a specific players infrastructure in a city, I could call the city council and tell them I want to use the roads. After a set amount of players have asked, and/or the city itself wants the roads, this could trigger the question to overtake. The more players asking, the higher the penalty will be for the player to decline. After a year (or other set/calculated time) the question could be made again.

This could also go the other way, lots of people constantly making calls for open infrastructure making it very expensive for the declining player. This could be balanced with a cost of making such calls.

But maybe this is overkill? :-)

This does not seem to relate to how these things actually work in reality.

Offline Ves

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #38 on: February 15, 2014, 03:16:35 PM »
I know, it would just be one way to let actual humans (the players) take actions, when dilemmas and infrastructure-conflicts occur. Instead of letting the AI solve the conflicts alone.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #39 on: February 15, 2014, 03:24:38 PM »
In reality, roads in towns are almost invariably (1) open to the public at large; and (2) maintained at the expense of the public at large. It seems to me to be worthwhile to replicate this position in Simutrans.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #40 on: February 15, 2014, 05:38:45 PM »
There is a similar problem with bridges in reverse: I cannot put a canal underneath a single tile bridge that is player-owned.  If the bridge is higher, 2 tiles or more, I can still delete/upgrade the river in to a canal, but not if it's just one tile high.

An example of this is at @5895,1583.  I had to put the canal around the bridge and through city owned roads in order to connect it through.

At @5909,1530 I was able to replace the river as the bridge as 2 tiles high.

Offline isidoro

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2014, 01:24:17 AM »
I have not checked, but isn't is possible to "dig" with artificial slope tools under the bridge and, then build the canal?


Offline Sarlock

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2014, 01:49:01 AM »
It might be possible except that it's a river tile already and in order to lower the ground you'd have to bulldoze the river which the game will not allow you to do.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2014, 08:25:02 AM »
For deleting things under the bridge, pave a way over and then delete it all using the way removal tool.
Using the remove/destroy tool under the bridge does not work, because it thinks you are trying to delete the pillar.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2014, 01:58:09 PM »
Isidoro, before I forget - one question if I may about your interesting suggestion for automatic detour detection: what would you suggest be done when the deleted tile is an intersection?

Offline isidoro

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2014, 11:27:49 PM »
The easy way is to forbid it (it's what I would do, since it seems a marginal case).

I wonder if the algorithm can be general, it seems so to me: in an intersection, three or four tiles get unconnected.  It will only be allowed if the first tile respect the general rule with respect to the second, the second tile with the third, and so on.

Problem apart are dead ends...
 

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2014, 11:43:19 PM »
The easy way is to forbid it (it's what I would do, since it seems a marginal case).

I wonder if the algorithm can be general, it seems so to me: in an intersection, three or four tiles get unconnected.  It will only be allowed if the first tile respect the general rule with respect to the second, the second tile with the third, and so on.

This seems to be the better way of doing it.

Quote
Problem apart are dead ends...

Hmm, yes, that is more of a difficulty. Perhaps we could check to see whether they are in the vicinity of a building (attraction, industry or city building)? If not, they are not access roads to such a building, and there is no value in them being a public highway, so deletion might always be allowed.

Offline isidoro

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #47 on: February 17, 2014, 11:35:13 PM »
Seems sensible to me.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canalising rivers
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2014, 12:53:23 AM »
I have now implemented this feature as suggested on the way-improvements branch, albeit that I still need to add a simuconf.tab parameter to customise the maximum diversion length. Thank you to all for assistance in this project.