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Swedish signals and signs.

Started by Vladki, April 08, 2015, 08:16:52 PM

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Hi, there. As you may have noticed the recent nightlies have configurable offsets for signals on left, so I decided to try some more stuff on swedish signs and signals. Work is in progress. As a taster here is a screenshot of modern pre-signal. Stay tuned...
And an attempt to make smaller dwarf signals.


I thought I recognized the five light signal you used to demonstrate in that discussion thread! ;) great to hear! Haven't tried the nightlies but it will be nice to get signals proper on left side of the track! :) the dwarf signal looks great! Just to address the games lack of antialiasing, how would it look like if you made the corners on the signal fade into a lighter shade? I know it's a hack but if not too much could be interesting to try.


Indeed the 5-light signal is the same.


Well, here is long overdue stuff:
You'll find railsignals with fixed offsets, smaller dwarf signals, better pre-signal.
Roadsigns come in two sizes - big ones with more variety, and small ones - only the basic ones.
Small ones are yet in two more versions - fully saturated and a bit darker. Png contains both, you have to choose in dat file which images are used. Minimum speed sign is made as blue circle with white blob... the blob may be a bus or car, so the sign is - cars/buses only (reserved lane).


Hmm, I have just found minimum speed sign in SFS1966.pdf (sign 112. Pabjuden minimihastighet) - white numbers on blue backgroung, just like in other european countries.

Added old rail sign for one-way (red circle) and end-of-choose (green square).
Added two-arm semaphore (long signal), and three-arm semaphore (choose signal)


Great! Can't wait to try it out! :-)
It just comes to my mind, James is about to redo the signaling functions of experimental, do you happen to know which signals he will make possible? I see you already made the presignal correct with green as danger and white as safe and even made it with one and two greens! Do you think James would be open for animations on signals? Then the presignal could be flashing!


Modern speed limit is generally a tiny yellow square with black edge. It's a pain to read when you don't have any in-cab display for the speed limit...

Also, invariably the Swedish signals are black/grey and have generally a thinner frame (they are generally quite low and don't typically have a ladder for access).


The changes in experimental are mostly about pre-signals. They now (branch devel-new) work as real distant signals. Hmm perhaps longer description would be fine - at leas this is how I understand how it works:

The (virtual simutrans) train driver knows where the signal is, but can see it only one tile ahead. But the breaking distance of train is usually longer. Thus the train has to brake in advance of the signal, slowing down to some 50 km/h. Thats without pre-signal. Reservations go from main signal to main signal - pre-signals ignored. Pre-signals can be passed at top speed at any aspect.
If train approaches pre-signal - reservation of next block is attempted and if succesfull the train will not slow down at the main signal.
Important change is that you need "departure" signals on stations. Otherwise the train will go in "drive-by-sight" mode, ready to stop immediately - usually at most 50 km/h.

James is planning to make 3-aspect signals (danger/caution/free). For swedish signals we could use 4-light signal for that: (red, 2xgreen, green+white), but no blinking is planned AFAIK.


ok, thanks for the summary! Departure signals, is that going to be a special signal type or any signal be used?
Yes the 4-light signal would be ideal for that!

Junna has a point that the swedish signals usually never have a latter going up the pole.

I must ask, when im opening the datfile signals.dat from your server on my computer, the entire file is expressed as a on long continiously text making it very very difficult to read. Am I doing something wrong, or is it just not to be helped?


Quote from: Ves on April 11, 2015, 11:48:11 AM
ok, thanks for the summary! Departure signals, is that going to be a special signal type or any signal be used?
Just normal signal, or whatever is appropriate for that situation (long or choose signal)

I must ask, when im opening the datfile signals.dat from your server on my computer, the entire file is expressed as a on long continiously text making it very very difficult to read. Am I doing something wrong, or is it just not to be helped?
Thats because Linux uses only LF for end-of-line, while windows uses CR+LF. I use Linux so the files use LF. Wordpad should deal with such files.

Update: road sign for min speed is now with numbers, rail signs improved, signals without ladder - now the height can be better adjusted. Still a lot to do...

Update2: added min. speed signa for rail - yellow with black as junna suggested

Update3: mechanical presignal (green disc)

Update4: an attempt to make smaller signal (2-px lights, 4px wide), it was too thin compared to the 2 px pole... Maybe even too high... I tried to add the white rim, looks better:


This is really great! :)
I didnt find the signals with the white rim around, did you upload that to your server? As far as I know, the white rim around the signals came after quite some time, but I dont remember. Would it be too much to have both variations?

However, I took all your (rail) signals i found through the ages and put next to each other and a train:

What comes to my mind is (besides that they are awsome! ;) ) that especially the modern signals might still be on a too high pole.

Another thing is that some of the signs currently are conflicting with the catenary pole. If the sign was to be painted over the pole it wouldnt matter, but unfortunately they are not. I know you have reworked the signal position codewise, is there some position in the .png-file where they wont conflict with the pole and still work with the new signal placement?


The white rim is not finished yet. Only the one view on the screenshot.

Height can be easilly adjusted now when the ladder is gone.

Signal must be on tile border, otherwise it will look bad on slopes and diagonals. I can move it only sidewise (closer or farther from the track.

Do you have some picture of signal and presignal in real life to see its relative height/size compared to catenary?

I forgot to write about the new signalling one important thing - one sided signals are now ingored in the opposite direction.


I got that that signals will be ignored from behind! A very nice addition!

It was more dificult to find pictures on google than anticipated.
This search generated a few pictures of the wish:

Otherwise there are some information and pictures I think on the server in the 'signals' documentation folder.

I found this site about early signaling.


Wow, a goog link - it found czechoslovak semaphore as well :) 
I went through the docs a few times, its a lot of stuff, very detailed. I know there are some tech specs (sizes, etc), but for the game I feel that relative sizes are better - I cannot make the signal only pixels wide, and I'm not sure what is the vertical scale. We always spoke about 24 m/tile (4px = 1.5m) but how does it translate to height?
Thats, why I feel that a photo of real one would be more relevant...

Hm, the problem with catenary poles is nasty. I think the only option is to put the signals more to the side, so that they are further from track than the catenary poles, or in case of dwarf signal - closer to the track..


The poles could also be moved. They are reused from some other pak. Maybe moved closer to the track?


Here is a screenshot - signal is on the left of the track, reduced height, and put aside of the catenary pole.
Another option is to make the signal even smaller, and put it "inside" (between the pole and track) on the photos it look like the signal height is about half of the catenary pole...

Hmmm, moving the poles closer might look good. Anyway the horizontal part seems to be quite long...

Update: dwarf signal squeezed between the pole and track.

Update2: normal signal squeezed under the catenary... Perhaps this is the right scale ? But I'm afraid the 5-light signal won't fit...


Wow it looks very nice! Im currently working on repositioning the catenary poles, where would you suggest I put them? maybe one or two pixels closer to the track?


I would put them closer, so that the base of the pole is completely inside the trackbed. In that case the signals would have to go on the outside.

Which size of the signals looks better?


I moved the poles 4 pixels closer to the track centre (that is, 4 pixels towards track, 2 pixels down)
I put the very unfinished new catenary on the server if you want to try. Only directions this works for the moment is straight north/south or east/west. No junctions, corners etc as it takes some time to move all the catenaries and poles. final version will be on the server later this evening :)

edit: And regarding the size, its difficult to judge when one signal was outside (the one with a rim) and the other inside the catenary pole. But maybe the shorter one gets more consistent?


Check the docs. Maybe there is a scheme of catenary with sizes...


Im now finished with the catenary and they are on the server. Looks overall better with the poles closer to the track!
I was refering to the signals sizes which you painted :) can you try the new catenary and see how the signals look with them?


Yep looks beter. I found inthe swedish docs this: ritning01.png an loket_3.png. It says that the height of catenatry abov rails should be 5600 mm, and distance of pole from center of rails 2600-3000 mm. That makes only 7-8 px (2 tilesteps). Which is even closer, than the modified catenary (16 px). I'm not sure about the height - how does that translate to our scale 24 m/tile  ?


I calculated on it a bit last night and found that the painted catenary is quite a bit higher than the real catenary. I think the real world catenary would translate to about 12 pixels in height, where my catenary where something like 18-20 pixels(??) (I'm not home and can't check so I'm unsure if I'm remembering correct)

I could try to make a real scale catenary when I get home to see what it looks like.
It's just that the rest of the world probably will be a bigger scale (the houses I painted are in approximately 10 m/tile, so many of the addons currently existing). Therefore a slightly bigger catenary might look more in scale?


the scale of catenary should be the same as scale of trains, (otherwise it will be too high and trains will not have electrical contact)

I did some geometry research, to find the correct heights... Hmm found interesting stufff.  The isometric display in simutrans and similar games is not true isometric. X axis is not at 30 degrees, but 26.7 ... a perfect cube filling a pak128 tile should be 72 pixels high, and for 24 m/tile it makes 3px/m (OK some rounding happened...)

Soo... if contact wire i 5.6 m above rail, that makes 16.8 pixels... it is 22-23 now, so could be reduced to 16-17
Red lamp in signal should be 3 m above rail - 9 pixels (uhmmm not much), and with 350mm between lights we are again at 1 px lamps... :-(


Sorry, I was wrong, the catenary should be around 16 pixels high to be in scale. Currently the catenary is around 22 pixels. The poles are currently 4 tilesteps (16 pixels) away from the centre of the track.

So, to see what looks like what, I made some tests:

The height of the catenary from track is, as well as the distance from centre, as much in scale as possible.
2 tilesteps (8 pixels) from track centre to pole
16 pixels from track centre to catenary

Two things: Consider the fact that I apperently have not painted the trains truly in scale regarding height, some of the pantographs seems to miss the catenary by reaching to far. Although that could probably be resolved by repainting the pantographs.
The other is that the poles end up closer to the track than the platform does. The tracks itself are (apperently also :P ) not painted truly in scale. 1,435m rounded to 1,5=1 tilestep = 4 pixels and when I measure the tracks I get 1½ tilestep (ca 6 pixels) wide. Repainting the tracks is quite a big job....

What do you think?

I tried to suit the catenary and pole to fit the existing graphics and came up with this:
11 pixels from track to centre of pole
18 pixels from track centre to catenary


Hmm, I'm interested in others' opinions... Is it really worth to try havng everything at the exact same scale? There was a lenghty discussion about scales in pak128.Britain. And they have width and height of vehicles exaggerated by 1.25. See here:

Anyway the poles seem to be too close to the track, and the wires too low. If we use the british rule (x1.25), then the poles should go 10px from track center, and 20 px high. If we use track a width base: 6px = 1.5m then the poles should be 12px from track center. Regarding the height - how high are the railway cars? (in meters and pixels) - that could tell us the height scale used and the catanary could be adjusted to that. No need to repaint all the vehicles.

IMHO, we should not take the scale too seriously, but aim for the best look and playability.


I agree with what Vladki said, that the appearance and playability should take precedent over everything being exactly accurately dimensioned. Sometimes that can just look bad and so on.


Great! I agree with both of you :-)

QuoteRegarding the height - how high are the railway cars? (in meters and pixels)
The height of the 1930-generation of cars are in real life: 4,06m = ca 11-12 pixels
The height of the painted version = 13-14 pixels (dependent on how you measure)

The X10-X14 Has these specs:
IRL (folded pantograph) = 3,79m = ca 10-11 pixels
Painted version (folded pantograph) = 13-14 pixels
Painted version (raised pantograph) = 19-20 pixels (difficult to meisure)

With upfolded pantographs, all pantographs should in real life hit 5,6m = 16 pixels

I will make a new catenary based on this and Vladkis meassures


Quote from: Ves on April 15, 2015, 08:05:05 PM
I will make a new catenary based on this and Vladkis meassures

OK, when the catenary is done, I'll try to adjust the signals in proportion to that.


They are not finished, but a preliminary version is on the server, only the north-south and east-west directions are finished.

They look like this:

Also, the fundament is removed.

I think that looks acceptable :)

edit: typo

edit: Final version on the server


OK, readjusted signals to be in the middle between poles and tile border. Height adjusted to have red light at catenary height. I know it should be lower, but then the 5-light signal would almost touch the ground... Well what do you think? Is this size acceptable, or should I try something smaller?

Update: all modern signals adjusted, and uploaded


These signals looks nice. :-) How does the 5-light signal look like?
One thing that comes to my mind, do you think one would like to see the status of the signal from behind? I mean if The player wants to know in what status the signals are without rotating the map, how could that be done? Over the edge like the signals in the standard pak (the presignal might not work).
Discrete dots on the back of signal, like there is some leakages of light in the lamp houses?

Edit: there the five light signals was! I think you found a nice compromise between the scales. If anything, try move the signals closer to the overhead pole, to make it look more in line with the track. Maybe only one or two pixels space from the pole.


Signal from back - I had a version with light visible over the edge, but didnt like it. I it requires the "hood" visible as well and swedish signals seem to have quite short "hood". Leakage sounds interesting. Do swedish signals leak the light this way? Leakege would be a solution for pre-signal as well.

I'll move it closer - just to see if the pre-signal won't collide with poles.


I don't think the real life signals leak anything particular out the back way, at least not on purpose. But let's not tell anyone ;-)
If you do the pole on the backside shorter (under bottom lamp) you could make some shadows of lamp houses, wires etcetera on the grey back (it should be kind of grey, not black) then a single pixel of "lamp color" on the edge of a shadow?


I'll try the leakage... In the meantime I have moved the signals closer to the track... Hmm back at the original position...
Also I have modified the earliest signals - the guys with flags, so that - red is stop, green is caution and white is clear.
For long signal, the guy has got red hat. I just have to turn the guys for the left side... Anyway, it seem that the swedish rules are very similar to old austro-hungarian (and also early czechoslovak) rules. I hope to hit two flies with one hit.

Changes are uploaded, no screenshot now.


Great! Looking forward to see the results!
I'm wondering, do you intend to also do the early semaphore signals? The semaphores you already painted are from around 1915 and the oldest ones are from around 1858 (according to btw, would you like a translation?). In the earlier days, the semaphores points downwards and have a slightly other design. And was in fact three aspect signals (danger, caution and free)

Quote from: Vladki on April 19, 2015, 09:24:06 PM
Anyway, it seem that the swedish rules are very similar to old austro-hungarian (and also early czechoslovak) rules. I hope to hit two flies with one hit.
Nice! :-)