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Offline MCollett

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2012, 08:10:57 PM »
are/were there standard or convergent/common/de facto standard canal sizes?

Absolutely.  The majority of canals in Britain were and are a standard width: the only commercial craft that fit are horse-drawn or diesel-powered narrow-boats (up to about 30 tons).   A significant minority are 'wide', accommodating larger barges up to twice the width of a narrow-boat (perhaps up to about 80 tons).  Sailing boats of any sort (other than small pleasure craft) are rather out of place on either.  The major extra expense of building and maintaining a wide canal is in the larger locks required, rather than in digging a wider channel, so some canals with few or no locks were made wide 'just cos they could', including the original Bridgewater Canal. 

The Manchester Ship Canal is of course in a different league all together.

Best wishes,
Matthew

Offline AP

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2012, 08:37:00 PM »
  The major extra expense of building and maintaining a wide canal is in the larger locks required, rather than in digging a wider channel
In Simutrans, is there any way to make the maintenance on a sloped tile different than on a flat tile? If so, we really should look to do this for canals. Make them cheap on the flat and expensive on slopes.

Likewise, sloped canal tiles (i.e. locks) should have very low top speeds.

The other issue with canals, which may be well beyond our ability to emulate, is that canals need a water supply to the highest point. The Canal Du Midi is a classic example of an engineering project which took ages because of the difficulty of finding a water supply. I presume there isn't a way to ban canals from e.g. the highest 25% of terrain?

Offline sdog

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2012, 12:05:30 AM »
In Simutrans, is there any way to make the maintenance on a sloped tile different than on a flat tile? If so, we really should look to do this for canals. Make them cheap on the flat and expensive on slopes.

One could define a way that does not have any slopes, thus can not ascend sloped tiles. A second way (with considerably higher construction and maintenance costs) would be required to build on the slopes. this way would be set to images of locks.

Not certain if it works though. It might at least with the new landscapes.

Offline TygerFish

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2012, 12:56:27 PM »
Absolutely.  The majority of canals in Britain were and are a standard width: the only commercial craft that fit are horse-drawn or diesel-powered narrow-boats (up to about 30 tons).   A significant minority are 'wide', accommodating larger barges up to twice the width of a narrow-boat (perhaps up to about 80 tons).  Sailing boats of any sort (other than small pleasure craft) are rather out of place on either.  The major extra expense of building and maintaining a wide canal is in the larger locks required, rather than in digging a wider channel, so some canals with few or no locks were made wide 'just cos they could', including the original Bridgewater Canal. 

The Manchester Ship Canal is of course in a different league all together.
Very helpful insights!

To me, that suggests a small/medium/large abstraction: "Standard Canal" for barges and tiny boats, "Wide Canal" at twice that capacity for medium river craft and the smallest paddelboats, and some kind of extra-wide "Ship Canal"?

I've wondered about the sailing boats in canals -- currently, the Norfolk Wherry and Humber Keel are perfectly happy sailing wherever they can fit.  What might be a more realistic limitation for the river sailing craft?

James -- I know you've already mused about increasing the significance of locks.  Would it require game code changes to accomodate height-changing tiles of a waytype costing more to build/maintain, and limiting to a slower speed?  If a single tile of lock costs 10+ times as much as a tile of straight canal and slowed ships to 1/10th of their speed, it could realistically model real-life considerations.

One could define a way that does not have any slopes, thus can not ascend sloped tiles. A second way (with considerably higher construction and maintenance costs) would be required to build on the slopes. this way would be set to images of locks.

Not certain if it works though. It might at least with the new landscapes.
And the "lock" waytype would be able to be built on flat terrain as well?  I believe this would be required to have them connect, yes?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #39 on: December 22, 2012, 02:36:09 AM »
Hello - apologies for not responding to this for a while: I have been preoccupied with other things. I am still considering how best to represent canals/rivers with way constraints. In the meantime, I have been trying to merge in your work on ships from Standard - thank you very much indeed for undertaking the very useful task of merging these in.

I have merged in your work on the holds branch to my new water-transport-overhaul branch on my Github repository. This is excellent work so far - thank you very much for this! I shall have to look into the holds system and consider whether to restrict the number of following loads for boats; do you think that this would be the best solution, or do you think that other solutions (such as reducing the capacity of each hull or using coupling constraints - although I am not sure how the latter might work) could be used effectively?

Do you think that you could add comfort and loading time values for all the new boats, and also add the remaining hull/hold system items? It might also be worthwhile checking whether the power/acceleration is accurate: some of the boats seemed a tad fast, but perhaps I wasn't watching carefully - it is very late here. I should add that the "testing" branch now produces conflicts when I attempt to merge it with my water transport overhaul branch, which I had merged from your hulls branch.

In any event, thank you again: your work is very helpful. I very much hope to be able to get some more substantive answers on canals to you soon.

Offline TygerFish

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #40 on: December 22, 2012, 05:49:46 AM »
I shall have to look into the holds system and consider whether to restrict the number of following loads for boats; do you think that this would be the best solution, or do you think that other solutions (such as reducing the capacity of each hull or using coupling constraints - although I am not sure how the latter might work) could be used effectively?

My feeling is that scaling up to 7 holds makes it more flexible -- quite realistic that a ship might carry a bit of everything! -- but prohibitively unwieldy to play.  Are any vehicles currently using the extended limit of 7?  Is there any reason to keep it different in Experimental?

In my mind, the only way that the holds could be implemented with coupling constraints would have the drawback of being a royal pain to manage without automated tools (like that library I was using for queries).  There would be EastIndiamanAdd[Pax/Mail/etc.][1/2/3] for a total of NumberOfCargoTypes*3 cargo vehicle types for each hull.  It would be easier for the player, but I would be very hesitant to implement it that way for obvious reasons.


Do you think that you could add comfort and loading time values for all the new boats, and also add the remaining hull/hold system items? It might also be worthwhile checking whether the power/acceleration is accurate: some of the boats seemed a tad fast, but perhaps I wasn't watching carefully - it is very late here.
I've already started filling in times for the new boats but haven't checked that in yet.  It's slower going than expected.

I'm also planning on adding in values for the hull/hold vehicles once that's done.  I'm putting the new vehicles as the higher priority for now, if for no other reason than that the hull/hold implementation is still up in the air.

I should add that the "testing" branch now produces conflicts

Indeed, my testing branch should not be relied upon!  It is most likely currently inconsistent, and is even more so on my local unpushed version.  It's just my playground for trying out different things.

Offline wlindley us

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #41 on: December 22, 2012, 12:11:32 PM »
Just because the user can build seven holds, shouldn't be a problem.  You might be able to add seven carts to a single horse but he's not going anywhere... similarly, overloaded ships, if the power characteristics are correct, would probably not go much of anywhere, especially in Experimental with its physics model... no?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #42 on: December 22, 2012, 12:41:10 PM »
Just because the user can build seven holds, shouldn't be a problem.  You might be able to add seven carts to a single horse but he's not going anywhere... similarly, overloaded ships, if the power characteristics are correct, would probably not go much of anywhere, especially in Experimental with its physics model... no?

The issue is more, I think, the amount of space that is physically available within the hull.

The reason to have a greater number than four trailers is that the authors of, I think, Pak64.Experimental needed certain road vehicles with a larger number of trailers. I do also wonder whether certain types of canal boat, particularly the tub boat, were ever pulled in trains of more than four vehicles. A better solution might simply be to halve the capacities and costs (if any) of each hold, although that might be unwieldy. TygerFish is probably right that it would be unnecessarily difficult to use coupling constraints.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #43 on: December 22, 2012, 01:36:55 PM »
As to canals and rivers, I propose the following classifications:

  • Tub boat canal - can take only small tub boats, uses inclined planes instead of locks
  • Narrowboat canal - can take tub boats or narrowboats, 7ft wide, uses locks
  • Barge canal - can take canal barges, narrowboats, tub boats or small river boats, 14ft wide, uses locks
  • Medium river - can take all types of canal vessels, and medium sized or small river craft, including sailing craft
  • Large river - as with current "wide river", has no prohibitive way constraints, can take all river and sea vessels
  • Ship canal - canal version of large river, very expensive to engineer
We will therefore need the following prohibitive constraints:

  • Tub boat canal
  • Narrowboat canal
  • Barge canal/small river
  • Medium river
One thing on which I am presently unsure is whether to allow small sailing craft such as the Norfolk wherry onto the "barge canal/small river" type waterway - sailing boats did travel on the Duke of Bridgewater's canal, but pulled by horses, I think. Perhaps we should allow sailing boats, but set a low speed limit to represent horse haulage?

Further, two code changes are needed to accomodate canals properly, I think:

  • Certain types of waterways should be defined as "narrow", such that only one vessel can be moving on any one tile. Any other vessels on that tile should be stationary "waiting for clearance". Certainly, the narrowboat canal and the tub boat canals should have this property, but further consideration will have to be given to the barge canal. Canal boats would always stop whilst they were being passed in reality, as the had towpaths only on one side of the canal, and they would have to be careful to avoid entangling ropes
  • Certain types of waterways should be defined as using locks, which ought have the effect of making construction on any incline much more expensive than on a flat way, and make the speed limit on such a way very low (perhaps 1 or 2 km/h), or alternatively add a programmed wait for a .dat file designated time. The same code could be used for the inclined planes of the tub-boat canals, and only the graphics need differ
I shall be going to visit my parents for Christmas to-morrow, but I shall still be able to do graphics work. I shall be able to work on the code related matters when I return. If I were to do the graphics for the above, TygerFish, would you be able to help with graphics processing (a semi-automated process, not involving any graphical skill) and .dat files?

Offline TygerFish

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #44 on: December 22, 2012, 01:50:26 PM »
I do also wonder whether certain types of canal boat, particularly the tub boat, were ever pulled in trains of more than four vehicles.
"They could be drawn in trains of 3-10 or more boats using horse power"
"The English boats were typically 6 m (19.7 ft) long and 2 m (6.6 ft) wide and generally carried 3 long tons (3.0 t; 3.4 short tons) to 5 long tons (5.1 t; 5.6 short tons) of cargo, though some extra deep ones could carry up to 8 long tons (8.1 t; 9.0 short tons)."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tub_boat

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #45 on: December 22, 2012, 01:59:46 PM »
Splendid research! Excellent. We can't limit boats to three trailing "vehicles", then - we shall just have to use smaller hulls. Also, trains of pack-horses might be great in number, too, and I plan to add pack horses and a new type of road, the unkept dirt road, that cannot accommodate any wheeled vehicles at all, on which only the mail boy (yet to be drawn), livestock drover and packhorses can travel.

Do you think the above classification of canals broadly sensible?

Offline TygerFish

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #46 on: December 22, 2012, 02:56:33 PM »
As to canals and rivers, I propose the following classifications...
Excellently thorough!  I was imagining something very similar

Regarding the tub boat canal, which canals would that be analogous to?  Or does that represent the spurs and short side channels that lead off of main canals to the early factories?  If the tub boats are already almost 7' wide, that means the tub boat canal is practically as wide as the narrowboat canal.

Another possibility would be to merge the tub boat canal into the 7' canal type and just differentiate the locks into narrowboat lock (normal) or inclined plane (much cheaper, but only accomodates tub boats).  I think this would still require the extra way-constraint for tub boats, though.

Or maybe instead of using several way constraints, water ways could have a "maxwidth" property (in addition to the existing "maxweight" property) and water vehicles could have a "width" property?  It would require a coding change, but would be more flexible.  Apologies if these ideas are a bit late to the table -- just thought I would include them in case they're useful.

In my notes, I wrote down the following draft ideas, including some current ships that would come in at each level:
*  Canal 1 (7ft narrowboats) == River 1 (currently non-navigable)
        1-way traffic -- barges only (horse/steam/diesel)
*  Canal 2 (14ft)
        1-way traffic -- +Norfolk Wherry, +PS Comet, +PS Industry
*  Canal 3 (30ft, like Caledonian/other Scottish) == River 2
        +Humber Keel, +Thames Sailing Barge, +Iron/Wooden Steamboat, +Clyde Puffer
*  Canal 4 (60 ft, like Manchester)
        +Brig, +Schooner
*  River 3 (250ft)
        +Clanline, +Handysize, +SS Great Britain
*  River 4 (1000ft; estuary) -- Everything (or just about)

That was based on some notes I added on actual ship and canal sizes in my ship spreadsheet (https://dl.dropbox.com/u/7182124/Simutrans%20Ship%20Balance.xlsx) although you've done more research on which boats would actually have traveled where.

One thing on which I am presently unsure is whether to allow small sailing craft such as the Norfolk wherry onto the "barge canal/small river" type waterway - sailing boats did travel on the Duke of Bridgewater's canal, but pulled by horses, I think. Perhaps we should allow sailing boats, but set a low speed limit to represent horse haulage?
I was having very similar thoughts.  This could be easily accomplished by setting the maxspeed of the waytype, but that would also have the effect of reducing the maximum speed of self-powered barges that pass through.  The diesel barge currently has a maximum speed of 30 km/hr (~16 knots), but would such a vehicle be able to get to its maximum speed in a smaller waterway?  What have you learned from your research?

I should also mention that I'm putting together some notes on re-balancing horse-based motive power and making it more realistic, including across the various vehicle types.

I shall be going to visit my parents for Christmas to-morrow, but I shall still be able to do graphics work. I shall be able to work on the code related matters when I return. If I were to do the graphics for the above, TygerFish, would you be able to help with graphics processing (a semi-automated process, not involving any graphical skill) and .dat files?
Indeed, just give me the necessary instructions and I'll get to it.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #47 on: December 22, 2012, 09:53:20 PM »
Tub boat canals were a particular type of canal, an example being the Shropshire canal which used small "tub" like boats (looking like giant baths, hence the name), smaller even than narrow-boats, and which had no locks, but instead used inclined planes. They were built where it would be too expensive even to build a narrow-boat canal.

I don't think that it's desirable to merge the narrow-boat canal and the tub-boat canal, as that would require a different type of way for an incline than for a straight way, which would be awkward for players and somewhat unintuitive, and might (although I shall have to look into this) require a change in the code. Tub-boat canals should be a type of their own, I think.

As for a "max width" property, I don't think that this is necessary as it seems to me that it doesn't add anything to way constraints; also, depth is of just as much (if not more) importance for the purposes of navigation than width in many cases, so defining width alone would not be enough.

On the subject of depth, I don't think that the current "stream", which I imagine as representing something like this, ought to be navigable at all. The narrow-boat canals are unlike any natural river in that they are much deeper than any natural river that wide would be, and so are navigable where any natural river of the same width would not be. The smallest navigable river, I think, would be equivalent to the wider barge canal, which should also be the type of canal best suited to upgrading existing non-navigable portions of river to navigable status.

On Norfolk wherries - is there some basis in research for the suggestion that they could travel, in sail, on 14ft canals? If not, they probably ought to be confined to medium rivers/broad canals and above.

As to the Manchester Ship canal, the difficulty that we end up having is that if we run out of different types of rivers if we have constraints for all of these types of things (as noted above, we can't use "stream" to shift everything up). One possibility might be to re-work the rivers to produce an additional type between the current "river" and "wide river", making "wide river" into "tidal river", but I'm not sure how easy that it would be to have that many different sizes and for them still to be distinct. The alternative would be for the ship canal type to have no prohibitive constraint such as to enable it to be used by any ocean going vessel, although that might enable its use by truly enormous craft.

For the present, I suggest  the following canal types:

  • Tub boat
  • Narrow boat
  • Barge
  • Broad (30ft type)
  • Ship
If we decide not to re-constitute the rivers, we can have this as a selection of waterway way constraints:

  • Tub boat canal
  • Narrow boat canal
  • Barge canal/small river
  • Broad canal/medium river
Alternatively, if we do reconstitute the rivers, we could have:

  • Tub boat canal
  • Narrow boat canal
  • Barge canal/small river
  • Broad canal/medium river
  • Ship canal/wide river
That would leave then only "tidal river" to be without prohibitive constraints. One wonders then whether there would be some advantage to having a "large ship canal" type with no prohibitive constraints at all.

I should be interested in views on that question.



On another topic, as to the code, there is one more thing which probably ought to be introduced: a maximum height for ways. This would enable the restriction of canals (progressively by size) to lower areas (where they could be kept filled with water), requiring the use of plateways/tramroads in higher areas.

The total list of things needing to be added to the code for canal purposes is therefore:

  • Limited capacity (one vehicle on any given tile moving, others stopped);
  • Incline speed limit (this is probably better than a timed wait, on reflection); and
  • Maximum height above sea level for ways
This should cover it for these purposes, I think.



We also need to think carefully about introduction dates: barge canals and aqueducts need to be available from the beginning; narrow-boat canals then need to be introduced later, with aqueducts, and narrow boat sized tunnels introduced later; then only later still ought the (massively expensive) barge canal tunnel be introduced, and then the broad canal, and finally the ship canal (both without tunnels).

Do let me know your views on all of the above so that we can make some progress on this project. This should really add some worthwhile fun to the 18th and early 19th century!

Offline MCollett

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #48 on: December 22, 2012, 11:55:30 PM »
*  River 4 (1000ft; estuary) -- Everything (or just about)

At this width it would no longer be a represented in the game as a river, but as one or more squares of sea.  Which reminds me of an issue that has previously occurred to me in connection with water transport. 

We already have moderately fine-grained classification of rivers, and are proposing finer classification of canals, but there is only one type of sea.  In practice, estuaries, sheltered bays and similar coastal or shallow waters are usable by smaller and more fragile craft than are needed for true deep-sea voyaging.  Most of the small to medium sailing boats that the pak currently restricts to waterways should be able to use such sheltered waters, with the large ships currently required for any sea travel only absolutely required for deeper waters. 

A generous classification of 'coastal waters' would be all sea squares of minimum depth; a more restrictive classification would be all sea squares adjacent to at least one land square.

Best wishes,
Matthew

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #49 on: December 23, 2012, 01:04:30 AM »
Hmm - this is an interesting idea. However, it is not without difficulties. Firstly, there is no easy way of making this work with way constraints - it would, in effect, need a whole new system and some fairly substantial alteration to the way in which way constraints work (currently, the game will simply assume that any sea tile has no constraint of any sort set). Secondly, reality is more complicated, too: not any boat that can use a canal can use coastal waters: a barge or narrow-boat pulled by horses, for example, is restricted to places where horses can move alongside the barge to haul it.

Offline MCollett

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #50 on: December 23, 2012, 03:16:06 AM »
currently, the game will simply assume that any sea tile has no constraint of any sort set
Yes, I thought that some actual coding changes would be needed.
Quote
not any boat that can use a canal can use coastal waters: a barge or narrow-boat pulled by horses, for example
Which is why I said "small to medium sailing boats"  ;).

Best wishes,
Matthew

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #51 on: December 23, 2012, 01:05:04 PM »
The difficulty is that these distinctions would require some quite fundamental code changes probably not justified by the relatively marginal benefits of observing them.

Offline TygerFish

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #52 on: December 23, 2012, 04:19:25 PM »
On the subject of depth, I don't think that the current "stream", which I imagine as representing something like this, ought to be navigable at all.

Ah, that picture helps illustrate what you had it mind.  Now that you mention it, I can think of local waterways comparable to that brook that are small/rocky enough to not be useful for transportation, but still large enough to remain as urban terrain features.  I can also see how the natural valley might be useful as a place to improve into a canal, but how substantial improvement would still be necessary.

The depth/draught issue is one on which I've generally had trouble finding data.  I've been leaving it out of most of my figures entirely, which naturally results in some inaccuracies.  Some of those inaccuracies are also an attempt to incorporate some of the things I've learned that aren't currently reflected, like that Thames River Barges regularly sailed to continental Europe, or that Clyde Puffers easily navigated both Scottish canals and coastal waters.

Question: can you provide a link or two to real-life correlates for the current "barge" vehicles? I always imagined them as being similar to the tub boats, but it sounds like they are supposed to be much bigger.


At this width it would no longer be a represented in the game as a river, but as one or more squares of sea....

The scale issue is a persistent one; as it stands, the game scale is generally quite distorted. I was thinking long-term of something very much like what you describe with multiple water tile types.  I would also think to try reducing the meters_per_tile much more once rivers could be wider in terms of tiles.  Alas, that's all pie in the sky for now...

I might be beyond the scope of the immediate canal overhaul, but maybe a max_distance_from_shore property would be useful for water vehicles?  That would allow some river vehicles to travel along the shoreline but not go out to sea, and for sea/river vessels to both operate in the estuary/shore area.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #53 on: December 23, 2012, 04:49:05 PM »
The current canal "barges" are probably not to scale, and look rather like narrow boats. A real 14ft canal barge should look like this or this, whereas a 7ft narrowboat should look like this. As can be seen, both are significantly larger than tub boats, and, unlike tub boats, have cabins.

The "max_distance_from_shore" is an interesting idea, although confining certain craft to shallow water might be more practical and less computationally intensive. However, this is rather beyond what is in scope for this particular project, I think, which comprises code changes for canal navigations and integration of the new boats from Standard into Expeimental by adding Experimental data and revising the loading times, etc..

Offline TygerFish

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #54 on: December 23, 2012, 05:55:03 PM »

The current canal "barges" are probably not to scale, and look rather like narrow boats. A real 14ft canal barge should look like this or this, whereas a 7ft narrowboat should look like this. As can be seen, both are significantly larger than tub boats, and, unlike tub boats, have cabins.

With that, here are the dates I have in my notes for introduction of the various elements currently planned, with links where appropriate:

   • 1670 - Narrowboat (7ft) Canal - Stamford (http://goo.gl/kqRDy)
   • 1670 - What vehicles?
   • 1704 - Barge (14ft) Canal - Aire and Calder Navigation (http://goo.gl/RbPNy)
   • 1704 - Barges (14ft)
   • 1761 - Aqueduct - Bridgewater (http://goo.gl/h4sU2)
   • 1761 - Tub Boats - Bridgewater (http://goo.gl/tXef2)
   • 1761 - Tub Boat (<7ft) Canal?
   • 1773 - Tunnel & Tunnel Docks - Bridgewater (http://goo.gl/jdfpq)
   • 1788 - Inclined Plane - Ketley (http://goo.gl/m0X0O)
   • 1822 - Broad (35ft) Canal - Caledonian (http://goo.gl/43ZH5)
   • 1894 - Ship (66ft) canal - Manchester (http://goo.gl/Qf2Pr)

None of these are firmly definitive, and any corrections would be welcome.

I'm missing a vehicle and an introduction date for proper traditional narrowboats, but it looks like 1820ish might be a good guess?

Also of note: what vehicles would have been used on canals pre-Bridgewater?  With the current barges at 14ft, None of the ones we currently have would seem to apply, although smaller canals certainly existed (e.g. Stamford above) with barges.  Do we need a small barge (~7ft) and a large barge (current, ~14ft)?
« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 06:04:44 PM by TygerFish »

Offline TygerFish

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #55 on: December 23, 2012, 07:05:30 PM »
Alternatively, if we do reconstitute the rivers, we could have:
  • Tub boat canal
  • Narrow boat canal
  • Barge canal/small river
  • Broad canal/medium river
  • Ship canal/wide river
That would leave then only "tidal river" to be without prohibitive constraints. One wonders then whether there would be some advantage to having a "large ship canal" type with no prohibitive constraints at all.

I was thinking:
  • Tub boat canal
  • Narrow boat canal
  • Barge canal/small river
  • Broad canal
  • Ship canal/medium river
That would leave wide river as it currently stands, without a permissive constraint, as a sort of tidal river/estuary where river ships and sailing ships can both dock.  As discussed above, the scale is way off, but it seems like the best solution for the least amount of work.

The rationale for demoting medium river might be that natural rivers would have narrower/shallower bits that make them more difficult to navigate than purpose-build manmade waterways.  I'm thinking of broad canals as the smallest ones that most routinely-oceangoing ships (e.g. steam puffers) can navigate, so they would still be quite useful.

I'm currently in agreement with this logic that the truly large canals (e.g. Panama/Suez) should be represented as lakes, not rivers:
http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=11034.msg107027#msg107027


Certain types of waterways should be defined as "narrow", such that only one vessel can be moving on any one tile. Any other vessels on that tile should be stationary "waiting for clearance". Certainly, the narrowboat canal and the tub boat canals should have this property, but further consideration will have to be given to the barge canal. Canal boats would always stop whilst they were being passed in reality, as the had towpaths only on one side of the canal, and they would have to be careful to avoid entangling ropes
I would agree -- so "narrow" (one-way) water ways would be:
  • Tub boat canal
  • Narrow boat canal
  • Barge canal
  • Small river
Another thing to keep in mind for the one-way way types is future extensibility.  I don't have a proper computing environment at the moment (remote connection to home server wasn't set up properly) so I don't know how it's implemented in code, but it seems that each waytype's ways are hard-coded to be either one-way or two-way.  We're creating an exception right now for one waytype, but I can imagine other exceptions that might be useful... for example, single-width country roads, or side-by-side tram/narrowgauge tracks.

If most of the things that would need to be developed for the one-way canals (logic, visual transitions from one- to two-way ways, routing from the center of the tile to the outside) are applicable for those other instances, how easy would it be to make the modification generic?  I'm imagining a oneway way property with a three-state value: (1) one way, (2) two way, (3/undefined) whatever the default is for that waytype.  A second property (allow_passing: 1=yes, 2=no, 3/undefined=waytype default) would, for two-way ways, engage the current road logic (might be applicable on the wide river way?), and for one-way ways would engage the planned narrow canal logic where one vehicle (the slowest, or a random one) is stopped until there is clearance.  The oneway + allow_passing behavior also seems like what one would want on a lot of narrow roads, possibly like the unmaintained track you were planning for packhorses.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #56 on: December 24, 2012, 12:56:39 AM »
Very interesting work/research - thank you for that! Let me add a little research of my own, this time from "British Canals - an illustrated history" by Charles Hadfield.

Quote from:
Charles Hadfield (p. 54)
The size of canals varied greatly, due to the essentially local character of each project. Even in the days of railways different gauges were used, and without the foresight of George Stephenson there might have been more. Brindley built both broad and narrow canals, the latter because they were cheaper and needed less water. In December 1769 representatives of five companies met at Lichfield, with Brindley present: four of them, the Trent & Mersey, Staffordshire & Worcestershire, Birmingham, and Oxford, had him as engineer, while the fifth, the Coventry, had dismissed him not long before. The object of the meeting was to agree upon some common standards which could be enforced by legislation. Among them was the proposal that all future locks should be not less than 74ft. 9 in. long and 4ft. wide, and that no canal should have a less depth than 4ft. 4 in. Though the Duke's Canal had been guilt for barges, clearly the narrow boat canal was favoured, though no legislation ensued.

In 1793 and 1794, however, the Grand Junction company decided to build a barge canal from London to Braunston and the Ashby followed suit. Pressure was now put by the former company upon the Oxford, Coventry and Trent & Mersey to widen too, so that, by building a short link from the head of the Ashby Canal accross the Trent to the Trent & Mersely, a broad canal line from London to MAnchester and Liverpool would be obtained. The Coventry and the Oxford stalled: the Trent & Mersey opposed. The Ashby and the Chester Canal (broad) shareholders helped by Sir Nigel Gresley, a colliery owner of Newcastle-under-Lyme, and some dissident pottery manufacturers, then in 1796 promoted a new broad canal called the Commercial to join the Ashby to the Chester canals by way of Uttoxeter, Hanley and Newcastle to achieve the same object when the Coventry and Oxford had widened from Marston to Braunston. This scheme failed also, and no further serious attempt to build a broad line from London to Manchester and Liverpool was ever made.

Quote from:
Charles Hadfield (p. 55)
In width they can be grouped roughly into ship, broad, narrow and tub-boat canals, as long as it is understood that no clear line can be drawn between one class and another. The early ship canals such as the Caledonian, the Gloucester & Berkeley or the Exeter, were of course small compared to the Manchester Ship Canal of a later day. The size of locks in 1898, in some cases after reconstruction from the original sizes, were on the Caledonian 170ft. x 38ft., on the Gloucester & Berkeley 163ft. x 38ft., on the Exeter 128ft. x. 26ft. 8 in. On the Manchester Ship Canal the large locks are 600 ft. x. 65ft.

The broad canals, such as the Kennet & Avon, the Leeds & Liverpool, the Duke of Bridgewater's, could take vessels from 55 ft. to 80 ft. long, and from 12 ft. to 21 ft. wide, usually carrying 50 tons and upwards. Many of these broad canals such as the Droitwitch, Sir John Ramsden's, Stroudwater and Erewash canals, and the lower part of the Chesterfield Canal, were branches of river navigations and were built broad in order to take river craft. Most English canals were, however, built to narrow dimensions, to take narrow boats 70 ft. to 72 ft. long, and about 6ft. 10 in. wide, carrying some 25 to 30 tons. In Wales, the important canals took boats 60ft. to 65 ft. long, and about 9 ft. wide.

The tub-boat canals had very small boats carrying about five tons, and often had inclined planes - that is, railways up and down which boats were drawn by one method or another - instead of locks. There were two groups of these canals, which were suited to hilly country: one in west Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, the other in Shropshire, and also a single canal, the Kidwelly and Lanelly (sic) in Wales.

The boats that were used varied as greatly. On the river navigations sailing boats were the commonest - trows and barges on the Severn, flats on the Mersey and the Weaver, keels on the Tyne and in Yorkshire, wherries in Norfolk, Western barges on the Thames, Medway barges on that river. These all differed in size and build, but the following will serve for examples. The trow was nearly flat bottomed and was 16 to 20 ft. wide, and some 100 ft. long, carrying from 40 to 80 or more tons according to the depth of the river, with a main and topmast perhaps 80 ft. high, sometimes a mizzen mast, and square sails. The barge (sometimes called a frigate) was a good deal smaller, and carried 20 to 40 tons. The Tyne keels were 20 ft. or so long and almost as broad; those of Yorkshire were about 60 ft. long, 15 ft. broad, drew 6 ft. 6 in. and carried 80 tons and upwards. Horse-drawn barges were also used on river navigations - those of the Kennet were 109 ft. long and 17 ft. wide.

On the broad canals horse-drawn barges or river sailing barges were used; on the narrow canals were monkey boats, each of the size to fit the locks on the canal on which it was used.Most long-distance haulage on Midland canals within the Manchester-Stourport-London-Nottingham cross was done on narrow boats, since they could be worked singly through narrow locks and in pairs through broad. Tub-boat canals had small boats carrying a few tons, often operated in trains. Those on the Bude Canal were fitted with wheels on the bottom, so that they could run onto the rails of the inclined planes.

The first barge made of iron, called The Trial, was built by John Wilkinson the ironmaster and launched on the River Severn at Coalbrookdale on 9 July 1787. 'It answers all my expectations,' he wrote, and 'it has convinced the unbelievers, who were 999 in a thousand.' It is said, however, that many years before John Wilkinson had used a small iron boat on a private canal in Lancashire.

Experiments were made with steam boats on canals before the end of the eighteenth century, but they remained experiemtanl long after their general use on rivers, because the canal proprietors feared that they would damage the banks. Though there are meny mentions of steam boats being tried on canals in the early records, like the stern paddle-wheeler which arrived at Birmingham from London in 1826 carrying twenty tons, it was not till after the middle of the century that they came into wide use for cargo-carrying. As tugs for towing, however, they were in use on the Caledonian, the Aire & Calder and the Norwich & Lowestoft in 1836, and as early as 1826 a tug began to work regularly through the Islington tunnel of the Regent's Canal

To add to the latter part of the research, a recent visit to the canal museum revealed that steam powered canal boats were not favoured because the boiler took up too much space, but, where they were used, they often hauled an additional unpowered boat ("butty"), and that in the early 20th century, a crude form of diesel  engine, with hot-bulb ignition (called a "semi-diesel", because a true diesel engine ignites on compression alone) was introduced, which was quite popular, followed in the 1920s or so with true diesel engines. These were better than steam, as they took far less cabin space to accommodate.

Finally, on speed:

Quote from:
Charles Hadfield (p. 58)
The overtaking of one moving boat by another was usually prohibited in by-laws, and their speed laid down as between 2 and 3 m. p. h.

(Note: 2-3 m. p. h. equates to 3-5km/h). This information should be useful for the canal speed limits.



It seems from the above that the 14ft barge canals ought to be able to take small river/sailing craft after all. It also appears that the terminology so far proposed might not be entirely accurate, "broad canal" being conventionally used to refer to the 14ft canal, and the canals such as the Caledonian canals being called "ship canals". I therefore propose the following set of canals:

  • Tub boat canal
  • Narrow boat canal
  • Barge canal
  • Ship canal
  • Large ship canal
[/l]

I am retaining "barge canal" rather than using "broad canal", as it makes it clearer for users to understand what boats can use what canal. I think that re-working the rivers to add a new type would be too difficult, so river classifications should be as follows (with only minor changes):

  • Stream (unnavigable)
  • Small river
  • Medium river
  • Large river
Prohibitive constraints could then be as follows:

  • Tub boat canal
  • Narrow canal
  • Barge canal/small river
  • Ship canal
  • Large ship canal/medium river
This would leave "large river" as being without constraint. (I do wonder, though, whether it would be better to put "medium river" with "ship canal" and have no prohibitive constraint at all for "large ship canal" because it is often the case in the game that the largest size of river goes quite a way inland (the game generates many Severn rivers, it seems; but you seem to have researched your classifications as are reflected in my very slightly modified interpretation of them in the above list to be based on the sorts of rivers on which ships could sail, so you are quite probably right; but I should appreciate your thoughts on the alternative before proceeding).

The Norfolk wherries should be allowed onto the barge canals (their beam and length was within the limit for the locks), although I am still a little unclear on the Thames barges drawn by The Hood recently. I suspect that those might well suffice as canal barges, too, although I should need to distinguish between the wooden and steel types, I think, the former being more expensive to maintain, the latter being more expensive to purchase but better value for money in the long term by a good margin.



Your timeline is useful, except I think that "tunnel docks" are a bit ambitious. Not only would these be difficult to draw, but the prototype served a very narrow and specialist purpose, namely the carrying away coal directly from the workings of a coal mine without having to haul it to the surface, and the simultaneous drainage of the workings; it is hard to simulate this in Simutrans, I think, and is probably best avoided. Apart from that one isolated example, canal docks were all aboveground.

One query, though, is what to do with tub boat canals before inclined planes are invented. Part of the idea of tub-boat canals was to use inclined planes instead of locks, and I don't think that they did, in fact, use locks at all if I understand correctly. Ought we allow early inclined planes - or ought we delay the introduction of tub boat canals until inclined planes become available?

What exactly do you mean by "proper traditional narrow boats" here? As can be seen from the above extracts from Hadfield, narrow boats were in regular use from the introduction of the first narrow canals. How does your research indicate that the earlier and later narrow boats differed? Were the differences functional, or in form only? My research has not thrown up significantly different narrow boats before steam propulsion was introduced, but it is not impossible that I have missed things. I should add, however, that I have bought myself a book about canal boats recently, but wrapped it as a gift from and to myself for Christmas, so I might be able to comment further on this topic in two days' time.

On the dates, the pakset earliest start year is 1750, so we do not need to consider any dates earlier than that. I do not think (subject to anything that comes to light in the book to which I make reference above) that there is any need to have special boats for the 11 or so years between 1750 and 1761, as I do not think that there was any real progress in boat technology between those years.

We also need to consider further detail on tunnels, I think, as tunnels for smaller canals would have been available earlier than tunnels for larger canals (and tunnels should not be available in larger than the barge canal size in any event).



On the code related issues, the one vehicle in motion on any one tile at any given moment should be confined to the canals, I think, as this is not realistic for even relatively small rivers. The tub-boat, narrow boat and barge canals should all have this property.

I have to note, however, that I was thinking of a much simpler implementation for this than you had imagined: all that it would entail is checking to see whether the way type is of the narrow type, and, if it is, checking to see whether there are any other vehicles on the tile in motion, applying a ranking/tie-breaker system to determine which vehicle should move and which should remain stationery, and simply have all but one vehicle stationery "waiting for clearance" whilst a single vehicle moves out of the tile. I had not envisaged any changes to the graphics or motion of vehicles. This logic could in principle still be used for single track roads, I suppose, although were there a great many of those? Any historical research on that subject would be welcome.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2013, 03:49:33 PM by jamespetts »

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #57 on: December 24, 2012, 03:36:52 AM »
Quote
This logic could in principle still be used for single track roads, I suppose, although were there a great many of those? Any historical research on that subject would be welcome.
There are still plenty of single track roads out in the countryside! Even as late as 10 years ago some trunk roads in Scotland had long stretches that were single track.

On the other hand Telford's recommended road with was 16ft to allow two waggons to pass, and Roman Roads which formed the basis for the modern road network were often 20ft or more, so there were certainly many dual-track roads around even hundreds of years ago.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #58 on: December 24, 2012, 02:30:45 PM »
There are still plenty of single track roads out in the countryside! Even as late as 10 years ago some trunk roads in Scotland had long stretches that were single track.

On the other hand Telford's recommended road with was 16ft to allow two waggons to pass, and Roman Roads which formed the basis for the modern road network were often 20ft or more, so there were certainly many dual-track roads around even hundreds of years ago.

Yes, interesting. I don't know what the historical balance was between single and double width roads in early days - all the old pictures of turnpikes show quite broad roads. I wonder whether it would be worth having single track roads in the pakset once I develop this new system? Which ones would be worth single-tracking, I wonder - the dirt road, macadam and tarmac types?

Also, a question about single track roads and graphics, if you will, which is also applicable to canals: how might one go about making the graphics for the way narrower without having the vehicles appearing outside the way? Is a change in alignment of vehicles (at least, narrow boats and tub boats on canals) necessary? If so, but how much would one re-align?



Incidentally, I have unearthed some more information on boat speeds - it seems that 2-3mph (5-8km/h) was not a hard limit for canals, as later "fly boats", including boats that carried passengers, substantially exceeded that speed. The fly boats were introduced principally in response to railway competition, so it will do well to repeat that part of Hadfield's work that deals with that topic, as it immediately precedes the section on fly-boats.

Quote from:
Charles Hadfield (p. 162)
The extension of the railway idea, and the faster operations of railways that followed the introduction of locomotives, was one ause of an increase in the efficiency and enterprise of the waterways.

One symptom of this was an effort at improvement. The Harecastle tunnel on the Trent & Mersey Canal was doubled in 1827, the new tunnel, 16 ft. high and 14 ft. wide, having taken only three years to build, whereas the first tunnel, 12 ft. high and 9 1/4 ft. wide, had taken eleven years, so greatly had engineering technique improved in the meantime. In other cases, the distance between two points was lessened, in order to save time and wages now that competition fiercer than that between water and land carriage was dawning. It is noticeable that whereas the early canals carried out Brindley's principle of following as ar as possible the contour of the ground, and sacrificed shortness to ease and cheapness of construction and to water conservation owing to the absence of locks, the later ones, such as the Birmingham & Liverpool Junction, were made as straight as possible, even at the expense of considerable cutting and embanking to maintain the level. A notable example of the straightening of a contour canal was the Oxford, which between 1829 and 1834 was shortened from 91 to 77 1/2 miles.

Quote from:
Charles Hadfield (p. 164)
It was during this period that the running of fly-boats became important, though from the early days of canals a certain number of these express boats, running to a timetable, using relays of horses, carrying merchandise and parcels, setting down and picking up at wharves along the line and with priority over all other traffic, usually including permission to work all through the night, had been run. They were usually light boats, carrying ten to fifteen tons of goods

Hadfield then goes on to set out some rules for the operation of fly boats on the Kennet & Avon Canal (one of the wider types), including a weight limit of 15 tons for the faster boats, a requirement to have at least one boat starting from Bath and another from Reading every day whether the boats have a complete load of cargo or not, and to complete the journey between Bath and Reading in no more than 36 hours, a distance (not taking into account lack of straightness in the canal) of about 120km. The average speed must thus have been not less than 3 1/3km/h, although this would have included stoppages at locks and to change horses, etc.

Quote from:
Charles Hadfield (p. 165)
It was during this period also that passenger-carrying on canals reached its peak. It is forgotten nowadays that passengers were ever carried on canals. Yet it had been a common practice even on the old river navigations - for instance, the River Wey Act of 1651 laid down a maximum fare for passengers from Guildford to London. Soon after canals were first built passengers were carried on them and this business grew until in the twenties and thirties of the nineteenth century it became very large. In 1773, Josiah Wedgwood wrote:
'From Warrington to Manchester the Duke has set up two passage boats, one carries passengers at a shilling each. The other is divided into three rooms, & the rates are 2/6 p head for the best room, 10d., and 12d., and it is the pleasantest and cheapest mode of travelling you can conceive...'

Quote from:
Charles Hadfield (p. 166)
It was in Scotland that passenger-carrying reached a high degree of efficiency. On the Forth & Clyde itself, and later on the Edinbugrh & Glasgow Union that connected with it, regular services were provided both by the company's own boats and by others, though in England the usual practice was to allow private carriers to operate passenger services, the canal company merely taking tolls.

These mixed Forth & Clyde boats carried about 5,000 passengers a year, and encouraged the company to put on a daily service for passengers only. In 1809 was started the first 'swift' boat, with cabin and steerage accommodation, the cabin being provided with news-papers, books and games. Meals and drinks were also obtainable on board. These swift boats - fly boats in England - did the twenty-five miles between Glasgow and Lock 16 (Falkirk) in 3 1/2 hours. They were pulled by two horses, the second ridden, which were changed every two miles at the stables still to be seen alongside the canal, but now converted to houses.

Passengers found the boats cleaner and more comfortable than the stage coaches, and the number carried on the Forth & Clyde Canal rose from 44,000 in 1812 to nearly 200,000 in 1836. In 1831 sleepers were put on between Glasgow and Edinburgh which made the journey of fifty-six miles in under eleven hours, and a handbill of 1841shows that four passenger boats a day were then leaving Glasgow, with through bookings by canal or canal and coach together to Edinburgh, Stirling, Alloa, Falkirk Perth and Kirkaldy.

...

A writer of 1835 says of these Scottish canals:

'If any one had stated five years ago, that by improvements, in build of Canal Passage Boats, a speed of ten miles per hour would be regularly maintained on Canal routes; and that the charges to passengers, carried at this speed, would be the same as the previous slow speed, of four or five miles per hour; that in one small district of Scotland alone, distances amounting in all to nine hundred miles each day ... should be performed by these improved light Boats at the above speed ... the assertion would have been received with unlimited ridicule. Yet such is now the case.'

Quote from:
Charles Hadfield (p. 173)
The carrying of passengers, and the working of fly-boats, were affected by the experiments which were made in the years 1832 and 1833 on the Forth & Clyde, Oxford and Grand Junction Canals to try and increase the speed of boats. It was found that with specially built light boats if speed were increased beyond the normal three or four miles an hour, a wave built up at the front of the boat, but that a further increase of speed enabled the boat to pass the wave, rise in the water, and to travel at a speed of 11 to 12 m.p.h. Frequent changes of horses were of course necessary. It was as a result of these experiments that fast passenger services were operated successfully on the Glasgow & Ardossan and other canals



Also on tub-boat canals, a small additional extract of interest:

Quote from:
Charles Hadfield (p. 157)
These canals were small in size, and cheap to construct. Their little tub-boats holding five to eight tons each were navigated in trains between the planes and the cost of operation was low.

Hadfield goes on in the same paragraph to record that, on the particular canals of which he was writing, goods had to be trans-shipped from the tub-boats to larger canal narrow boats.

It seems a reasonable inference from that that, whilst tub boat canals might not have been much narrower than narrow boat canals, they would have been at least somewhat narrower, and also shallower.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 06:13:49 PM by jamespetts »

Offline TygerFish

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #59 on: December 24, 2012, 05:10:06 PM »
Incidentally, I have unearthed some more information on boat speeds - it seems that 2-3mph (5-8km/h) was not a hard limit for canals, as later "fly boats", including boats that carried passengers, substantially exceeded that speed. The fly boats were introduced principally in response to railway competition, so it will do well to repeat that part of Hadfield's work that deals with that topic, as it immediately precedes the section on fly-boats.
Yes, fascinating! I'd just found this myself and was about to post it:
http://www.ma.hw.ac.uk/solitons/HISTORY_OF_EXPRESS_CANAL_BOATS.pdf

As I mentioned before, I've been writing down some notes on changing horse stats across the board.  Should I hold off on those until after canals or done -- we can always tweak vehicles more after the waytypes are finished -- or start that up in another thread now?  It's probably relevant to standard as well.

Also on tub-boat canals...
That's great info.  I'll have to look for a copy of this book myself!  :)  Google has a searchable (but not readable, for some reason) copy: http://books.google.com/books?id=qSJKAAAAMAAJ&q=fly-boat#search_anchor might be helpful if you need to remember where something was.

So, as for the introduction date of the fly boat, it looks like that should be somewhere in 1830-1832 (I'd probably choose early 1830).  A speed of around 18km/hr (current "fast" horse speed in the game) seems accurate.  As for ways, I'd think barge canal and larger?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #60 on: December 24, 2012, 05:37:06 PM »
Interesting article!

As to horses, we probably need to look into horses in more detail, too. One slight complication is that the physics in Experimental have changed recently, but that only affects things compiled with the latest Makeobj. I shall need to re-do the physics of all the steam locomotives and steam road vehicles before the next pakset release, as well as all horse-drawn road and rail vehicles (including trams), although this does not directly affect the physics of water vehicles, which were not affected.

One thing that we could do with is more types of horse, everything from mules to shires and a few things in between. Would you be able to do some research on the developments in horse breeding in the 18th and 19th centuries, and get some idea of the relative power and economy of different sorts of horses?

Certainly in Experimental, horses will need to have most of their running cost moved to fixed cost rather than per kilometre cost (the latter being characterised only, I think, by wear of horse-shoes, which would be minor compared to other expenses such as feed and labour to maintain them, including vet's bills and the like), but fixed costs have not been applied to any vehicles yet. It might well be worthwhile starting a horse thread, however.

On fly-boats, the narrow canals had them, too: Hadfield illustrates just such a boat at p. 169. As to the speeds, 16km/h seems more realistic than 18km/h, but your introduction date of early 1830 seems sensible.

Incidentally, I am just now looking into the adaptation of canal graphics and shall report back when I have made progress.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #61 on: December 24, 2012, 11:29:06 PM »
I have made a start on some of the graphics, but am presently having some alignment issues: see here. I need to wait for somebody more experienced than I with way graphics to give me some insight into how to fix this, I think.

I think that the best way to approach the graphics is to start with the largest canal, the large ship canal (based on the Manchester Ship Canal), make that as big as will comfortably fit on a tile, then work downwards, so that I know how much smaller that the smaller canals need to be. The images for the boats for the smaller canals, especially the narrow boats and tub-boats, will have to be aligned in a non-standard way so as to be in the centres of the tiles, or else they will appear to be floating on the tow-paths. This does unfortunately mean that they will appear to be in the middle of larger rivers and canals, but I do not think that much can be done about that. The tow-paths will have to be made wide so as to allow for a single alignment of horses, or else they would be off the edges of the tow paths on narrower canals. 

Offline greenling

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #62 on: December 25, 2012, 11:38:45 PM »
Thank you Jamespetts and Tygerfish for those info.
I will help at my problem.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #63 on: December 26, 2012, 01:56:46 AM »
I think that I have managed to find a way of exporting these with correct alignments, although I might still be slightly off. I have so far produced a set of images for "large ship canal". These are set to be 140% of the width of the current singular canal, and fill most of the width of the tile. They have narrow concrete coloured borders instead of towpaths, and the locks are entirely concrete in colour and have no outer handles (as these locks would be far too big to be opened by hand, so would be machine opened). I have produced plain images, and should do some snow images to-morrow.

To process these images, you will need to download Zeno's Render Post Processor tool. Set it to four rotations and to delete the source files. Put all of the basic canal .pngs in one directory, then process each one (follow Zeno's instructions on the basics of how to use the tool, with the modification that we do not use masks in Pak128.Britain, as Blender is able to perform a similar function these days: simply select the base image twice instead of a separate mask image).

When you have finished processing them in the Render Post Processor tool, you will need to set the background to the correct colour. To do this, use the GIMP (a free and open source image editing tool, if you don't know it). Open the processed files in the Gimp, and also open an existing image file (such as this one of the Norfolk wherry). Use the colour picker tool to pick the background. On the new images with the black background, use the "select by colour" tool (making sure that the "tolerance" is set to 0 - the default is 15) to select all of the black background, then the colour fill tool to replace it with the Simutrans background colour (anything in this colour will appear transparent in Simutrans). Make sure that there are no parts of the image that the fill tool did not reach (isolated black regions in the middle of non-black parts of the image, for example), and, if there are, fill those. Then save (or, in the Gimp 2.8, export) the image as a .PNG file with the default attributes. The image is then ready to be used in a .dat file.



The unprocessed images are on Github: see this and this commit. You will need to click on "view file @..." in each case then view and download the "raw" file (i.e., the actual file on Github, rather than a scaled down version of it for display). Alternatively, you could clone the Github repository entirely and have them all on your local hard drive.

I hope that this assists. Do let me know how you get on with the .dat files. I shall be doing snow images to-morrow, and considering what to do with the earlier ship canals (120% of the existing "canal" - or perhaps use the existing "canal" as the earlier ship canal, and using a smaller graphic for the barge canal?).

Edit: I have now added the snow images for the large ship canal: see this commit.

Edit 2: I have also added images for the standard ship canal (such as the Caledonian canal, etc.): see this commit.

Edit 3: Narrowboat canal images are now done (except for a narrowboat tunnel): see this commit. I should add that, since I have not produced way graphics before, some of my alignments or orientations might be out, and might need some tweaking in post-processing or even re-exporting, but only attempting to process the graphics and get them into the game will show the difficulties, if any.

Edit 4: I have also added the narrowboat canal tunnel in this commit. These images will need trimming to match the outlines of the barge canal sized tunnel here. It will also be necessary to produce a set of two icons for the tunnel by scaling down one of the images by half for the larger icon, and enough for it to fit on a button for the smaller icon. I can assist with this once the main images are prepared if there are any difficulties.

Edit 5: Here, incidentally, is a template for the canal graphics. As can be seen, we need only one cross image and two straight images. I also need to make end pieces for the various types of canal.

Edit 6: I have now finished the end pieces for the narrowboat, ship and large ship canals: see this commit.

Edit 7: And here are the unprocessed tub-boat canal graphics. I have not done any slope graphics - I thought that we could use the plateway graphics to represent an inclined plane (or do people think that that needs to be modified somehow?). I am still not sure about the alignment of these, as I have not really done way graphics before, so some work in post-processing might be needed if they do not come out as properly aligned in the game. There is no separate tunnel for this, as I don't think that tub boat canals tended to have tunnels - people can use the narrow boat tunnel. As for tunnels - do people think it worthwhile to have separate brick and stone versions of both sizes of canal tunnels?

Edit 8: I am not quite sure what to do about aqueducts, since the original aqueduct .blend files do not seem to be available: see here for more details. As a note, incidentally, the relative widths of each of the canal graphics are as follows (made by scaling to this % in Blender - the graphics for the "barge canal" are the original/current canal graphics in Pak128.Britain):

  • Large ship canal - 160%
  • Ship canal - 120%
  • Barge canal - 100%
  • Narrowboat canal - 75%
  • Tub boat canal - 50%
Only the barge canal and narrowboat canal have tunnels. So far, as discussed, only the barge canal has an aqueduct, although the narrowboat canal ought also have aqueducts in due course. All bar the tub boat canal have locks (including half height locks for use when Kieron's patch is implemented).

Edit 9: I have produced a set of unprocessed graphics for steam powered cargo carrying narrowboats: see this commit. The narrowboats come in two liveries (the schemes will need defining in Pak128.Britain-Ex's simuconf.tab file): private owner and British Waterways, the latter for after about 1948 when the waterways were nationalised. There are a number of different goods varieties - "covered" for piece goods (the loaded graphic) and "cool covered" for cool/perishable goods, a "bulk empty" graphic (which should be the empty graphic for all but the tanker type), loaded graphics for coal, grain, iron ore, wrought iron, steel and wood, as well as a tanker type for bulk liquids. They should all be upgradable from and to one another for no cost (as they were used interchangeably for all types of cargoes), apart from the tank, which would have to be adapted specially. The steam powered types could carry less cargo than the unpowered or diesel powered types because the engine room was rather bulky. I am about to do the steam tug narrowboats, which were earlier than this type and carried no cargo at all - just pulled other unpowered "butties".

Edit 10: I have also produced a  narrowboat steam tug (see the commit here), which does not itself carry any cargo, but is capable of hauling several unpowered boats in a train (unpowered boats are yet to be modelled). As previously, this comes in private owner and British Waterways liveries.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2012, 09:45:42 PM by jamespetts »

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #64 on: December 28, 2012, 11:55:51 PM »
Some interesting information about narrowboats on this website, with information on boats from the following operators:

The first two are particularly interesting, and give useful information about the different wooden, composite (iron/wooden) and steel hulls of the boats. This presents somewhat of a difficulty, however, as it is difficult to know how to represent this both graphically and economically - any thoughts on the topic would be most welcome!

Edit: I have now finished the unprocessed graphics for a semi-diesel narrowboat set, again in private owner and British Waterways livery, which can be found in this commit.

Edit 2: I have now finished the unprocessed graphics for a diesel narrowboat set, as before, with private owner and British Waterways liveries, available in this commit.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2012, 02:34:39 AM by jamespetts »

Offline ӔO

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #65 on: December 29, 2012, 03:37:31 AM »
From what I know of ships, which isn't much.


Wood
- various build qualities. Higher build quality results in less maintenance
- frequent maintenance required
- cannot be neglected in water
- if overly neglected, restoration can be very costly
- if damaged, can be easy to repair, but the treated wooden planks may be costly
- degrades/rots slower in salt water

Fibreglass (not to be confused with composite)
- frequent maintenance required
- even if neglected, restoration is cheap
- if damaged, can be easily repaired with patches

Iron
- paint and corrosion inhibitors can be costly
- heavy, and cannot carry as much as lighter materials

I don't know if this document is useful, but it covers various aspects of maintaining wooden hulls.
http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvic/pdf/1995/n7-95.pdf

Some other type of hull are steel, aluminum and concrete.

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #66 on: December 29, 2012, 06:06:47 PM »
Thank you - that is most helpful!

I have now finished the unprocessed images for the steel hulled unpowered narrowboat ("butty"), which can be found in this commit.

Edit: I have also finished the unprocessed images for the composite hulled unpowered narrowboat, which can be found in this commit.

Edit 2: I have now finished the unprocessed images for the old wooden hulled unpowered narrowboats, which can be found in this commit. Just as with all the others, all freight types are featured, and they come in private owner and British Waterways liveries.

Edit 3: I have now added unprocessed images for the narrow canal market boat and flyboats: see this commit. Market boats were passenger/mail carrying versions of ordinary canal narrowboats, whereas flyboats were fast boats, hauled by two horses changed regularly (most canal boats were hauled by only one horse), carrying perishable cargoes or mail/passengers. Fly boat workings ended in the 1840s when all time sensitive cargoes went by train, so there are no British Waterways liveries of these, and likewise the market boat, as passenger haulage by canal ended at around the same time. These boats should all be upgradable to ordinary canal narrowboats, as many were converted for ordinary haulage.

Edit 4: I have now finished off the narrowboats with these unprocessed images for box boats. Box boats were the earliest types of narrowboats, entirely plain and without decks, and with prominent ribs that earned them the nickname "starvationers". They were built for relatively short trips, carrying cargoes, including bulk cargoes such as coal, in wooden boxes loaded full from mine boats. Although crude, these box boats continued in operation until the end of commercial traffic on the waterways. For Simutrans, I suggest that these boats be given a much lower capacity but considerably quicker loading time than the later, more recognisable type of narrowboats.

Edit 5: I have realised that I have not provided loaded goods graphics for livestock. I am not sure whether livestock were conveyed on narrowboats (they would not have been conveyed in box boats, obviously), but, might I suggest that the "covered" graphics be used for loaded narrowboats containing livestock?

Edit 6: I have now added unprocessed graphics for the tub boats in this commit. Tub boats ought be able to carry only bulk, piece and perishable cargoes.

Edit 7: I realised that I forgot to produce loaded images for the stone bulk cargo for the narrowboats (this was done for the tub boats). Here is the commit that includes the stone cargo images.

Edit 8: I have now produced unprocessed images for the towpath tractor, introduced in the early 1950s to replace horses towing unpowered narrowboats: see this commit. The top speed would have been about 14km/h.

Edit 9: I have now made a start on barges, with a diesel barge (based on the Leeds & Liverpool short boat, "Kennet") in this commit. I have produced Leeds & Liverpool and British Waterways livery variants and a number of different colours of cargo covers in case this is useful for representing different versions that take different cargoes.

Edit 10: Barges seem to be much harder to research than narrowboats, especially since there were many different gauges of barge, whereas the narrowboat sizes were fairly standard. Some useful information is here, concerning barges on the Rochdale Canal, but even this is incomplete. In particular, I am still unclear on: (1) the nature of steam powered barges; (2) the relationship between the use of self-powered bares and barges pulled by tugs; (3) the relationship between 14ft canal tugs and river tugs; and (4) the development of the unpowered barge from early days to later times, and particularly the relationship between canal barges and the potentially larger river barges. If anyone has any information on these topics, I should find it most useful.

Edit 11: I have spent much of the time researching, to some extent in vain, the history of barges, so I have not produced as many graphics to-day. Nevertheless, in this commit can be found unprocessed graphics for an unpowered "dumb" barge with a steel hull, based on the diesel barge above, with the same variety in colours of cargo covers.

Edit 12: I have realised that I forgot to add British Waterways liveries for the above: they are in this commit.

Edit 13: I have found a very useful resource for barge information, largely concerning boats of the Leeds & Liverpool canal: see here. On the basis of that information, I have realised that the previous diesel barges were missing a fore cabin, which I have now added (the previous images are corrected). I have now also added images for the light type of diesel barge built in the early 1950s for the Leeds & Liverpool, the "Town Class" (the earlier diesel barges being based on the "River Class" built from the early 1930s onwards), which were made of light, riveted pressed steel, allowing a lower deadweight and therefore a greater load than their predecessors. See this commit. Note that the boats are only in British Waterways livery, as they were built after nationalisation.

Edit 14: I managed to find some meagre pictures and a video of a steam tug for the broad canals (see here and here at about 4:30), and have added unprocessed images for such a tug to this commit. I don't have much in the way of information about it, I'm afraid, so the .dat files will have to be based on some educated guesswork, save that they should be powerful enough to pull two fully loaded dumb barges, but probably not powerful enough to tow three.

Edit 15: I have added graphics for "dumb" unpowered wooden barges, as previously, with dark grey, light grey, red, green and blue coloured covers in this commit. They ought to be capable of being towed by a single horse for ordinary working, a pair of horses for fly-boat working, a steam or diesel tug or a self-powered diesel barge. What I am currently uncertain about is whether there were any self-powered wooden barges or any steam powered barges (not tugs). I have seen some passing reference to them (which I cannot now find) but cannot find a reliable source of information on the topic. There is some suggestion that some of the wooden barges might have had steam or semi-diesel engines retrofitted, which would work well with Experimental's upgrade feature, but it is not clear whether this was the case, or how, if at all, the barges so fitted differed in appearance from the original dumb barges.

Edit 16: I have now added unprocessed images (here) for the Bantam diesel "pusher" tug of the 1950s (and possibly late 1940s) - see here for details. I have produced both British Waterways and the later Kennet & Avon liveries, the latter of which is the livery in which the tug displayed in the London Canal Museum, which I visited recently, is painted. These tugs worked on the broad (14ft) canals and larger waterways, but not in open seas.

Edit 17: I have now added unprocessed images (here) for the unpowered barge "market boat" - i.e., the slow passenger/mail vessel in the days before fly boats that worked the broader canals. Only one livery is provided as these did not survive beyond the 1840s, let alone to the 1940s. These would have been run at ordinary barge speeds and hauled by one horse. The faster "packet boat", which would have travelled at higher speed and been hauled by a pair of horses, is yet to be done.

Edit 18: I have now finished the unprocessed images for the passenger packet boat: see here. The passenger packet boat looked like this:



and was used to convey passengers and mail along the (broad) Grand Junction canal between Uxbridge and Paddington. It was a fast boat, which would have been hauled by relays of two horses and was introduced in the early 1830s - sadly for its operators, not long before the railways came.

Edit 19: I stand corrected: according to this website, the Paddington Packet ran from about 1802.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 12:28:30 AM by jamespetts »

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #67 on: January 03, 2013, 06:10:54 PM »
A further refinement comes to mind in relation to canal engineering: river rapids. I have already proposed modifying the code so as to give a separate speed limit for gradient tiles on waterways to take account of the slowness of locks. I had not fully considered rivers. However, the same code can accommodate rivers: if, for all but the "wide river", we code them as having a 0km/h speed limit on the gradient tiles, then we can make what are in effect river rapids which are unnavigable. Players can then over-build the gradient tiles with canals to install locks

As it happens, the graphics are already there on rivers for rapids on gradients: one can see the rocks quite clearly. This should be a good visual indication that such waters are unnavigable.

A further thought is: what to do when Kieron's landscape patch is incorporated? We can easily have different speed limits for different levels of gradient using this system. We might then want to say that, for the medium sized river, the gentler inclines will be passable, but not the steeper inclines.

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #68 on: January 03, 2013, 07:30:43 PM »
Players can then over-build the gradient tiles with canals to install locksthe steeper inclines.
Is it possible to over-build a single tile? I believe it normally requires two tiles (which is needless cost when upgrading a pre-existing river...)

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Re: Canal Overhaul
« Reply #69 on: January 03, 2013, 07:37:50 PM »
Hmm - that is not necessarily a bad thing given the probably substantial costs of upgrading a river.