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Offline Freahk

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Light Rail Infrastructure
« on: April 19, 2020, 02:16:44 PM »
It seems that tunnels in the pak get faster and faster but also more and more expensive to maintain, with one exception being the switching from stone to concrete tunnels, where things get less expensive to maintain, although still more expensive than very old low speed tunnels.
Old, less expensive tunnels won't be constructible later on anymore.

That's fine for main lines, where one usually wants these newer and faster tunnels anyway but it's kind of an isue for light rail or trams.

A modern "light tunnel" capable of 80 or 100 km/h for use with DLR rolling stock, sub surface underground rolling stock or light rail/tram rolling stock is clearly missing in the pak.
It should be available at least from the 1990s on, but I guess an introduction around the 1960 just like the modern tube tunnel would be better, although I have no idea if any such tunnels were actually built before DLRs expansion to Bank in 1991.

An own tunnel graphic would be nice, but for now I'd say using the same graphics as the 150 km/h concrete tunnel should be fine.

I suggest the following:
cost=20000
maintenance=2500
topspeed=100
max_weight=10
intro_year=1965
intro_month=8

Are there any counter arguments? Otherwise I'll just prepare a commit.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2020, 05:33:51 PM by Freahk »

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2020, 07:06:40 AM »
The maintenance costs should be realistic. I think an issue currently is the lack of restrictions for building tunnels.

Modern tunnels will likely cost more to maintain than old ones. This is because they are built with better safety in mind including the need to maintain escape tunnels, emergency ventilation equipment and possibly even CCTV monitoring of critical sections such as entrances.

Offline Vladki

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2020, 09:18:10 AM »
Yeah, the question is how much different it would be for a tunnel with top speed 160 km/h (that is in the pakset) and top speed 100 km/h. Safety equipment might be similar. But one important thing would be aerodynamic issues on entering and leaving the tunnel at full speed. I will forever remember the air blow from an express train (probably 160 km/h), while standing on the platform just 1-2 m from the edge. The entry moment is difficult, in comparison to continuous ride in tube tunnels which works more like a piston (just pushing the air in front).

Anyway, I have no clear opinion on this, and no sources to base it on.

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2020, 12:49:25 PM »
The maintenance costs should be realistic. I think an issue currently is the lack of restrictions for building tunnels.
That's absolutely true but does also affect 160 km/h and 300 km/h tunnels as they currently are in the game. We simply cannot simmulate it properly bt that should not stop us from introducing firly inexpensive light rail tunnels.

Those mentioned security measures usually are due to very long tunnels or special circumstances. For sure a 50km long tunnel under the ocean requires much more strict and expensive security measures than a very old brick tunnel of a few hundred meters length.
A newly built tunnel of a few hundred meters also won't have all these expensive security measures.

Sub surface "tube" rolling stock, currently is quite useless in the game because building a deep level tube is simply less expensive.

Sure one could somehow abuse these tunnels to build an inexpensive long distance tube but that also applies to the current tube tunnels and won't attract many passengers in most cases anyway.


Yeah, the question is how much different it would be for a tunnel with top speed 160 km/h (that is in the pakset) and top speed 100 km/h.
Speed itself is not the point here, although in an optimal world, tunnels (and bridges) would also have a condition. Entering a tunnel at high speeds would affect the condition more than entering at lower speeds and travelling in a tunnel adds up some air restistance, both depending on tunnels and vehicles profile.

I will forever remember the air blow from an express train (probably 160 km/h)
That happens to me every day when I commute to university. If you will remember that forever, what about a train passing at 200 km/h
or even 230 km/h, at least with a little security fence.
In summer at 40°C, it's quite refreshing.

Not sure how it feels when a train passes at 300 km/h on the neighboring track.

However, that was a little off-topic
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 01:31:15 PM by Freahk »

Offline DrSuperGood

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2020, 02:40:33 AM »
Those mentioned security measures usually are due to very long tunnels or special circumstances. For sure a 50km long tunnel under the ocean requires much more strict and expensive security measures than a very old brick tunnel of a few hundred meters length.A newly built tunnel of a few hundred meters also won't have all these expensive security measures.
Which brings back to my other point. I think an issue currently is the lack of restrictions for building tunnels. With such restrictions one could allow cheaper but more restrictive alternatives for specific use cases such as short tunnels only a couple of tiles long.

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2020, 01:41:11 PM »
Yes, that's absolutely true, but we don't have such restrictions yet and still our tunnel balancing seems to be related with such restrictions implicitly in mind.
Describes light tunnel could barely be abused due to an axle load that only allows for light rail vehicles.
In fact, it's abusability (does one say that) is just the same as of the tube tunnel, so i don't see the point why we should not add it.

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2020, 03:14:53 PM »
I have created a pull request, including low-cost tunnels and tram catenaries on normal tracks.
The latter is possible anyway but requires a quite annoying workflow to build.
Feel free to cherry pick as you please.

https://github.com/jamespetts/simutrans-pak128.britain/pull/86

Offline jamespetts

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2020, 11:58:35 AM »
May I ask whether anyone has any data on whether modern tunnels can be built at lower cost with a lower speed restriction and, if so, how much lower that the cost and the speed are? If no such tradeoff is possible in reality, then it would not be sensible to introduce it into the game.

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2020, 02:28:04 PM »
In the real world, there are many factors affecting tunnel costs, of which we cover exactly none even close to properly.
Still, these factors are somehow included in balancing of existing simutrans tunnels.

One of these factors, that at least indirectly affects speed is the tunnel diameter. The faster you want to drive reasonably economically in a tunnel, the larger the difference in between tunnels loading gauge and trains loading gauge needs to be.
If tunnels loading gauge is quite close to trains loading gauge, as is the case on some of londons deep tube lines, speeds are practically limited to ~60-80 km/h.
Further, tunnel wear will increase with speed due to high air preasure on the tunnel walls.
If you want to go faster, you'll either need to accept increasing tunnel wear and energy costs, or you'll simply neeed to build a tunnel with a larger diameter.

Anyways, factors that will greatly affect tunnel maintainance costs are their security concept, including air ventilation ond stuff like that.
It seems like we simply assume "modern tunnels are long and deep under the earth, so they are expensive, apart from modern tube tunnels, that are deep under the earth but don't need that expensive security concepts as the distance to the next station, serving as an emergency exit, is quite short anyway."

Light tunnels are about exactly those two factors:
Light rail vehicles are smaller, so smaller and slower, so smaller diameters are required to run that speeed without excessive tunnel wear.
In addition, we can place the assumption of short stop spacing, just as we did for tubes.

After some discussion, that led to a new "light loading gauge" constraint, for which a specific tunnel will be created.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2020, 02:49:28 PM »
Yes - for the present, a light rail tunnel seems to be a sensible idea, allowing single deck trams, DLR and Tyne and Wear Metro trains to use it at a limited maximum speed and a cost between that of a tube tunnel and a full sized tunnel.

The ultimate solution is as Dr. Supergood suggests adding tunnel length/ventilation constraints, but this would entail a very large amount of work and is not a priority at present, for my work at least.

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2020, 02:44:54 PM »
Light infrastructure makes progress.
Essentially, the tunnel is ready.

Left-to-right Tube tunnel, light rail tunnel, concrete mainline tunnel.

I have noticed one thing about tunnel portals in general.
Unlike the underground inage of tunnels, portal images don't seem to support seperating waytypes from the tunnel type visually.
It's all prepared in my gimp file to remove the tracks from tunnel portals image, but the game engine doesn't seem to support this, so I have just added the "cssr-light" track to the image.

Note, that in the following I will only use (maximum) width x height, instead of exact loading gauges for simplicity reasons and apart from "whatdotheyknow.com" question and answering it seems to be impossible to get such data.
e.g. sub-surface class S7, 1972 stock

A very interesting thing I have noticed about loading gauge is the loading gauge of Londons sub surface lines.
Most common loading gauge of modern mainline trains seems to be something between 2.70 x 3.80 to 2.80m x 3.95m
Most classes on Londons sub-surface lines have a loading gauge of  2.82x3.70 to 2.95x3.70

Note that's more in width but less in height compared to main line rolling stock.
That data given, I guess it's best to not let sub-surface stock use the "light loading gauge".



A width of 2.65m seems to be quite common to most (or all) of Britains light rail vehicles, including DLR, Tyne & Wear, Sheffield supertram and Croydon tramlink.
The height, differs from 3.45m of Tyne & Wear to 3.51 of DLR, further to ~3.60 of most modern trams.

However, it was quite difficult to get reliable data. Even data created by Bombardier, officially provided by TfGM via whatdotheyknow.com seems to be quite contradictory. Compare the the technical drawing with the datasheet. They simply don't match at all. Height is different, width is different, Length is different, floor heighth is different, even the number of doors is different!
This one from Bombardier for Croydon tramlink seems more trustworthy.


I'd specify the virtual "light loading gauge" to roghly 2.65m x 3.60m, excluding pantograph.
That loading gauge seems to include all modern LRV, or at least most of them.

I am not yet sure if blackpools match that loading gauge. Their sepcified data seems to be wheel-to-roof, excluding the pantograph tower which, obviously, is not variable in heights, so should be included.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 03:10:25 PM by Freahk »

Offline Vladki

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2020, 03:04:44 PM »
Most common loading gauge of modern mainline trains seems to be something between 2.70 x 3.80 to 2.80m x 3.95m
Most classes on Londons sub-surface lines have a loading gauge of  2.82x3.70 to 2.95x3.70

Are there two different types of london underground tunnels? Tube stock is 2629mm wide and 2888mm high - so it is 1 m lower than normal trains

Blackpool centenary: Dimensions: Length 51ft 6in, Width 8ft 2in, Height 9ft 4in (2.84 m) - given the fact that it is a single decker, and only 1 feet 2 inches higher that wide, I suppose it is value without the pantograph tower.

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2020, 03:56:16 PM »
Are there two different types of london underground tunnels? Tube stock is 2629mm wide and 2888mm high - so it is 1 m lower than normal trains
Yes!
There are the so called sub-surface lines which are only a few meters under the surface, motsly built as cut-and fill.
These have the above described loading gauge.

The loading gauge you refer to is  used by deep tube lines. These have a much smaller, circular loading gauge and are built much deeper under the surface, mostly using tunnel boaring machines.
Also see the difference in between above linked S7 rolling stock (sub-surface) and 1979 rolling stock (deep tube)

Blackpool centenary: Dimensions: Length 51ft 6in, Width 8ft 2in, Height 9ft 4in (2.84 m) - given the fact that it is a single decker, and only 1 feet 2 inches higher that wide, I suppose it is value without the pantograph tower.
Yes, that's what I found either. I couldn't find any data about the height including the tower.
Given 9'4" = 2.84m, there's still 76cm for that tower. From the images, I'd expect it to be higher and the total height being roughly the same as balloon height, but I did not find any definite data about that.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2020, 04:21:50 PM »
Thank you very much for your work on this. One initial query as to clarification: do you intend to change anything other than adding the light rail tunnel? I notice that you refer to "concrete" and "mainline" tunnels: the one on the right is currently a specialist high speed tunnel; I had not understand this proposal as changing that?

It is correct that the subsurface London Underground trains should be required to use full sized tunnels (the tube trains are quite different). This is because the sub-surface lines, initially built from the 1860s onwards, were built to main line standards, albeit with slightly lower heights. The initial lines were built to Brunel's broad gauge, hence the greater width. They were essentially main line suburban railways in trench tunnels around the periphery of central London. Many main line rail vehicles can fit in them, and there have in the past been through services from these lines to the main line, including a service that ran until 1939 from Ealing Broadway to Southend Central via the District Railway (later District Line), swapping an electric locomotive for a steam locomotive at Barking.

I would suggest calling the new way constraint simply "light rail". This would allow a new light rail type of track, too, which could be laid and maintained to somewhat more relaxed standards than the main line at lower cost (as on, e.g., the Docklands Light Railway), although it would be helpful to have some data about this.

Eventually, we would also want the DLR trains to have their own type of electrification as in reality, which we might call "driverless light rail electrification", since the way object would encompass both the electrification and the transmitters for the automatic driving, be priced accordingly and allow a lower fixed cost for the DLR trains as no driver need be employed (although in reality they do have "train captains", but whether this is truly necessary or a result of abuse of power by trade unions is less clear than it might be).

As to the modified tunnel graphic, this looks decent, although I wonder whether it might be better to make it look narrower and taller to fit the dimensions of actual light rail vehicles better? Do not worry if this is too much work for your workflow, however, albeit we do want to make sure that the graphics of the trams appear to be fitting into the tunnel mouths.

In relation to the tunnel portals, if I recall correctly from 2014 when I first added separate tunnel graphics, it was more difficult to make this work also for tunnel portals, although I cannot recall exactly why. If anyone would like to implement separated portal/way graphics, this would be most welcome.

Offline Vladki

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2020, 04:31:39 PM »
Given 9'4" = 2.84m, there's still 76cm for that tower. From the images, I'd expect it to be higher and the total height being roughly the same as balloon height, but I did not find any definite data about that.
I think that the tower was there exactly to compensate the height to be the same as double deck trams. Rough measurements on pictures are that the tower is cca 1/3 of the height. So the total would be cca 4.2 m

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2020, 05:20:11 PM »
the one on the right is currently a specialist high speed tunnel
It's not. It's the early concrete tunnel, classified for 150 km/h vmax. I did not, nor do I intend to change that tunnel. It's just the graphic I used to derive the light rail tunnel from, so it's on the image for comparisation reasons.

I thought about brightening the 300 km/h high-speed tunnel to allow distinguishing it from the 160 km/h reinforced concrete tunnel (both not on the image), but that change would be a purely graphical "bugfix" and is not related to light infrastructure at all.

As to the modified tunnel graphic, this looks decent, although I wonder whether it might be better to make it look narrower and taller to fit the dimensions of actual light rail vehicles better?
Narrower, yes. Taller? No. Light rail vehicles seem to be roughly 20cm less in height than main line stock, DLR and Tyne&Wear being even smaller.
Anyway, that would require me to re-render the tunnels. I don't have the blender files, so I had to re-model these from scratch and I'm absolutely not good at blender, so if anyone wants to do this, it would be absolutely prefered over the color modified concrete tunnel but I suspect I cannot do this.

I'll give it a try in gimp anyway, if the tunnels are not available as 3d object files.
Alternatively, I might try to recycle the  rectangular road tunnel as a light rail tunnel, narrowing it a little.

I would suggest calling the new way constraint simply "light rail".
That's fine I guess.
A whole package of light-rail infrastructure, including a tunnel, tracks, electrfification and elevated ways or bridges might be sensible. However, I am not quite sure how different costs actually are for these, compared to main line standards.
As for catenaries, I simply re-used the tram electrification, allowing it to be built on usual tracks, which is already possible and frequently used with a little trick anyways.

Offline Vladki

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2020, 06:57:54 PM »
I think the 120 km/h track is ok for light rail. (And also usually the cheapest track in any year.) However a low-speed elevated track would be nice.

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2020, 07:41:15 PM »
The point in light rail tracks is actually not the speed but the lb/yard, thus axle load and wear.
Stadtbahn tracks are usually much lighter than main line tracks and as James said, it seems to be the same for DLR.
Such tracks are less expensive and, as a nice sideffect, can save a few valuable centimeters in tunnels.

On the other hand, the current 120 km/h track is indeed already quite cheap.

I just did a quick attemt to narrow-down the tunnel.
See the attachments for a tyne & wear Metro train entering a light rail tunnel, again with main line and tube concrete tunnels for comparisation.
Now it appears to be smaller than the tube tunnel. In fact, it does not just appear so, it is two pixels smaller on each side, because the tube tunnel graphics uses the exact same width as the main line tunnel, it's just smaller in height.

Visually, the tube tunnel, copared to tube stock seems much larger than what I have found in the web (see attachment 3 and the following link)
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/93/Why_London_Underground_is_nicknamed_The_Tube.jpg
« Last Edit: May 15, 2020, 07:58:30 PM by Freahk »

Offline Vladki

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2020, 09:54:25 PM »
The tube tunnel could be indeed much smaller.
It is not very easy to spot that the tram tunnel is narrower. And as I understand the loading gauge is not much smaller (20-30 cm ?). I think it could be left same as for normal trains.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2020, 10:59:54 PM »
Excellent, thank you very much for this. I had not spotted that the tube tunnel was too big - that will have to go somewhere in an almost unimaginably long to do list. However, this is a nice addition and the dimensions and aspect ratio look good for a light rail tunnel (the tube tunnel's aspect ratio is correct, it is just too large overall).

Graphically, this appears ready to go. Thank you again for your work on this.

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2020, 03:14:11 AM »
The bad news first: 30m/tile is a myth and all tunnels are too large.

If you don't want to read this, my conclusion in the end was simply "if it looks good, it's fine"

To verify the size of the tunnel not being too narrow, I have taken some measures.
A tile is roughly 72x72 (Either measure it, or calculate it using law of sine, width of a sprite is 128, angles of tiles edges against the x-axis are 26.5°, resulting in 71.5)

What I did now is simply measuring the light rail tunnel It's roughly 23 wide. According to 30m/tile, it's roughly 9.60m in width, so I thought there must be some issue to the 30m/tile rule.

What I did next was inserting Tyne & Wear metro vehicle into the image It really looks like there is much space on both sided.
Further, I also measured that vehicle, resulting in a width of roughly 10. According to 30m/tile scale, this is roughly 4.16m, so 30m/tile might be a good guideline, but it's actually not true for most rail vehicles (I have measured further vehicles, it's not only Tyne & Wear that doesn't fit)

Anyway, the relative width of the tunnel to the 2.65m wide vehicle is roughly 6m. Don't believe me?
Well, I've attached an image that shows two Tyne & Wear fitting into that tunnel, although it's quite cuddly for sure, as there won't be much clearance anymore to the sides.

Conclusion: The narrow light rail tunnel is still at least 8px too wide, and for sure a lot too high, but it looks fine, so I'll leave it as-is.

Offline Vladki

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2020, 10:04:31 AM »
I remember some thread, where it was discussed that vehicles should be rendered somewhat (2.5x) wider and taller than the scale 30m/tile says. There was also big re-rendering in pak128.britain, so I'm not sure if this is still true. So maybe the tunnels are still 2.5x wider and taller than necessary, while vehicles were re-rendered with some other scale?

Offline jamespetts

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2020, 10:26:23 AM »
Yes, unfortunately the original authors of Pak128.Britain-Ex took a more impressionistic approach to scale than would have been my preference and it is too late to reverse that decision now so great are the numbers of vehicles. We can live with the tunnels not being quite the right scale relative to the trains so long as they are the right scale relative to each other, so you are correct that this does not need further modification.

Thank you for looking into this, however.

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2020, 04:39:18 PM »
The constraint are added to all modern vehicles capable of using that loading gauge now, at least if I didn't forget any.

Didn't add it to very old rolling stock, that in theory could use such infrastructure but should be outdated for decades already in 1980, when the infrastructure is introduced. January 1980 is the date where Tyne&Wear rolling stock is introduced, which is the first vehicle available that can take advantage of light rail infrastructure.

Deep tube rolling stock has that constraint added either. It's even smaller and just as light, so it should be able to use that. However, sharing such tracks will only be possible in very few cases due to different electrification.


Things yet to follow:
Light elevated ways.
I'll simply re-use the elevated graphics and swap the tracks. Again, new graphics would be preferable imho, but I won't spend the time in learning the simutrans blender workflow yet (and I hate texture mapping in any case)

DLR 3rd rail,
Imho the huge advantage in this is strictly enforcing DLR networks to be seperated from any other networks, as it's technically (and I guess by law) rather difficult to mix driverless DLR service with conventional trains.
I don't know yet how the difference could be expresed graphically, as the 3rd rail is a quite tiny thing, which is only a single pixel wide.
Would you agree on simply coloring the 3rd rail in a striking color, as done in some towns outside of Britain, e.g. in Prague? https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/61/13-12-31-metro-praha-by-RalfR-058.jpg
It's not quite British, I guess but we need to clearly deviate that electrification type graphically, otherwise I'd prefer to not add it at all as it will lead to many "no way" situations that are hard to understand to players.
That electrification would add the permissive DLR 3rd rail and prohibitive light rail constraints to also prevent non-electrical trains from entering such sections.

Thinking about adding 4th rail+catenary, as technically it should not be an issue.
There's the esential question again: Do we want to add what's technically possible in the real-world, or what was actually done in the real-world?

Dedicated light rail tracks won't follow, unless you think it's really desired. There are two reasons for not adding these:
1. cssr-light, aka "modern 120 km/h tracks" are already quite cheap.
2. tracks already have a quite natural "constraint" to distinguish in between light rail and heavy rail. It's called axle load, so if we were to add a light rail track, I'd rather add a track with a low axle load, instead of adding the light rail constraint to it. Such tracks could also be used by sub-surface trains or any other trains that are light, but not LRVs.

Offline Vladki

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2020, 05:30:21 PM »
Is it possible to add the axle load to the tunnel itself? Then we would not need the constraint at all. It would be only on track/tunnel.

Regarding the DLR 3rd rail. It differs from the rest of britain because it has bottom contact, while all the rest is top contact. Prague has also bottom contact, and the orange stuff is plastic cover (more safety). Looking at DLR photos, the rail has light grey cover...  I'm not sure if the 3rd rail is essential part in the driverless operation. I think it can be implemented even without that.

Indeed the 3rd rail has nothing to do with it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a52ZSCIAoRk
It should be a signalling system of moving block type. But how to make a signalling system compulsory for some train? Or how to make signalling system affect the train fixed_cost?
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 05:53:26 PM by Vladki »

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2020, 06:47:59 PM »
I'm not sure if the 3rd rail is essential part in the driverless operation. I think it can be implemented even without that.

For sure it's not.
Do you think we should add yet another constraint instead to prevent such mixed service?
There seems to be only exactly one railway system in the UK using bottom contact 3rd rail and that's DLR, so I thought it might be more sensible to simply add an own electrification constraint to it, which will in combination with light rail constraint exclude anything else from those rails, not requiring a driverless constraint.


But how to make a signalling system compulsory for some train? Or how to make signalling system affect the train fixed_cost?
That would be a new feature request, actually requiring signalling constraints and allowing us to instantiate and configure working methods.
In any case, that would be an overkill just to enforce a specific signalling system to DLR.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2020, 07:12:59 PM by Freahk »

Offline jamespetts

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2020, 04:08:06 PM »
Thank you for your work on this: this is most helpful. One or two remarks about some of the questions that have been discussed here. As to light tracks, in reality, the Docklands Light Railway does use track considerably lighter than ordinary heavy rail, and this is no doubt done for cost reasons. It is correct that no special constraint is necessary for this beyond the existing axle load. One would need to find the actual weight to length ratio of rail used in light rail infrastructure, calculate the maximum axle load of such rail and add this as a track type. The only reason that the Docklands Light Railway would use this track type is that is is less expensive than other types, so this should be at a lower cost; ideally, one would discover the actual cost of laying this track.

As to electrification, this is a different constraint to the tunnel size, as the tunnel size is used by trams, which use overhead electrification. The electrification constraint should be called "Driverless Light Rail electrification" and be specific to DLR trains. The appearance of this bottom contact electrification is significantly different from ordinary third rail as it is raised above the level of the tracks by large and very prominent brackets on every other sleeper as shown here:

Docklands Light Railway bottom contact conductor rail by James Petts, on Flickr

Thus, visually distinguishing this from ordinary third rail should not prove to be a problem and there is no need to make the rail yellow, as that may be confusing for players expecting this to look like the DLR system.

The "light rail" constraint for tunnels should be applicable to the DLR, the Merseyrail system and modern trams.

There is no need for any system for forcing trains to use one particular signalling system. It is sufficient for there to be an electrification constraint for DLR trains that implicitly includes the encoding of information for driverless operation (this type thus being more expensive in capital cost when compared to ordinary electrification, but allowing trains with lower fixed monthly cost, representing lower staffing cost, to be used).

Offline Vladki

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2020, 04:24:27 PM »
The "light rail" constraint for tunnels should be applicable to the DLR, the Merseyrail system and modern trams.

Isn't it possible to specify the axle load for tunnels as well? The we would not need any new constraints.

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #28 on: May 23, 2020, 05:02:06 PM »
The appearance of this bottom contact electrification is significantly different from ordinary third rail
That's right... In the real-world.
In simutrans there's no more difference than moving the 3rd rail by a pixel in some perspectives and an additional pixel as a "pillar" I don't think that difference is sufficient to distinguish these, but I might add these like that.
Are there any 3d obects availble for the paksets? I'd like to try my nonexistent blender skills on this rather than gimping the 3rd rail.

I just seperated tre tracks from the elevated ways in gimp now, so these are also nearly ready now.
It should be very easy to lay any rails on these (in gimp), so if there are any elevated tracks missing, let me know I should be able to add these quickly.

The "light rail" constraint for tunnels should be applicable to the DLR, the Merseyrail system and modern trams.
Do we have any Mersyrail rolling stock in the pakset?
If so, I am quite sure I didn't add these yet.

Isn't it possible to specify the axle load for tunnels as well? The we would not need any new constraints.
Yes, that was my first suggestion but was rejected because using axle loads on tunnels doesn't seem pretty sensible.
Indeed, it is quite unintuitive to have axle loads defined on tunnels and it doesn't seem to work properly anyway.
I guess that functionality is a leftover from times where tracks were not seperated from tunnels.

Offline jamespetts

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #29 on: May 23, 2020, 05:48:29 PM »
That's right... In the real-world.
In simutrans there's no more difference than moving the 3rd rail by a pixel in some perspectives and an additional pixel as a "pillar" I don't think that difference is sufficient to distinguish these, but I might add these like that.
Are there any 3d obects availble for the paksets? I'd like to try my nonexistent blender skills on this rather than gimping the 3rd rail.

I do not imagine that the difference will be as unnoticeable as you imagine: if this be rendered properly, the pillars are likely to be very noticeable. I do not think that this could be done satisfactorily by pixel editing.

There are indeed many, many 3d files available for download for Pak128.Britain-Ex: see here. For detailed instructions on how to produce pakset graphics, see here and here.

Quote
I just seperated tre tracks from the elevated ways in gimp now, so these are also nearly ready now.
It should be very easy to lay any rails on these (in gimp), so if there are any elevated tracks missing, let me know I should be able to add these quickly.

This is more susceptible to pixel editing. I cannot immediately think of any missing myself, but if anyone else can, please do let us know.

Quote
Do we have any Mersyrail rolling stock in the pakset?
If so, I am quite sure I didn't add these yet.

My apologies: I had intended to refer to the Newcastle-upon-Tyne metro. There are earlier Merseyside urban light rail vehicles (such as those of the Liverpool Overhead Railway), but I do not think that there are modern Merseyrail vehicles.

Quote
Yes, that was my first suggestion but was rejected because using axle loads on tunnels doesn't seem pretty sensible.
Indeed, it is quite unintuitive to have axle loads defined on tunnels and it doesn't seem to work properly anyway.
I guess that functionality is a leftover from times where tracks were not seperated from tunnels.

That is correct - it makes no sense to have an axle load in a tunnel. It is an important part of the design philosophy of Simutrans-Extended that there be no arbitrary restrictions not based on a simulation of a specific equivalent real life restriction as a short-cut to simulating the real restrictions and limitations constraining real transport companies' activities. These inevitably produce anomalies and player confusion and make it impossible to balance the game sensibly in the long-term. The ability to have an axle load in tunnels is indeed a remnant of when tunnels were not separated from ways.

Offline Freahk

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Re: inexpensive low speed tunnels
« Reply #30 on: May 23, 2020, 06:21:08 PM »
Thanks for the 3d files. Sadly there is no 3rd rail included, but I can use the existing files as a template, that's very useful, I'll give it a try :)

but I do not think that there are modern Merseyrail vehicles.
If there are any of such vehicles in the pakset, it meight be sensible to date the introduction of the tunnel to these or add a brick variant if it's too old.


Offline Freahk

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2020, 09:19:03 PM »
Blender will never be my friend, so there was some time passing by.
Today, I just continued the work on the 3rd rail electrifications. It's slightly different from DLR, but these details should be fine.
Time to define a proper material, especially for the pole. These seem to be slightly yellow-ish. The rail coverage will be in "rail color", maybe a little darker.



Offline jamespetts

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2020, 12:55:04 AM »
Excellent! That looks splendid. I shall look forward to seeing these.

Do realise that you have put in far more detail than will ever be seen in 128x128 pixel graphics, however; you might find it quicker in future to make the models rather more crudely given how much detail will actually be visible. Nonehtless, it is lovely to see this progressing.

Offline Freahk

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2020, 12:05:42 AM »
Rendering the 3rd rail was a qute painful workflow, but finally it's done.
Have a look at https://github.com/irgend42/simutrans-pak128.britain/tree/light_rail_infrastructure
Elevated way will follow in a few days, it's hopefully not that painful and costs of electrification and elevated ways will need some considerations.

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2020, 02:58:57 PM »
Thank you for your work on this. I have just been looking at this. I notice that you have added all deep level London Underground "tube" trains to prohibitive constraint no. 2. May I ask what the reasoning was behind this? This constraint is intended to be used to restrict ordinary trains from using road based tramways in towns. This change will allow fourth rail powered Underground trains to travel on town tramways, which does not make any sense; but I am not sure what was intended with this. Can you elaborate?

Offline Freahk

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2020, 03:18:00 PM »
I'll have a look at ths. Might have been a mistake at semi-automated constraint changes.
It was intended to allow deep level tubes in light rail tunnels because they are even smaller than light rail loading gauge, thus could use such these larger tunnels.

Edit: I've checked this and from my understanding it seems to be fine.
prohibitive 0 is tramways, prohibitive 1 is tube loading gauge and prohibitive 2 was unused before, now it's used for light rail (loading gauge)

I just confirmed this ingame:
The new constraint is yet untranslated as prohibitive 2-2 and prohibitive 7-2 respectively and deep level tube stock cannot run on tram tracks.

Edit: I just noticed it doesn't seem like I pushed the latest state.

According to en.tab, "Light rail electrification" was meant to be Permisive 5, which I have taken over.
Permissive 4 is still unused on rails though.
So it might be more sensible to use Permissive 4 instead.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 06:13:26 PM by Freahk »

Offline Freahk

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #36 on: June 22, 2020, 06:34:05 PM »
Guess that's worth bumping:
I just pushed the electrification dat file recently and didn't add the images nor a lot of fixes I did before.
In its previously pushed state it should not even have been possible to build the pakset, dlr 3rd-rail images were missing, sorry about this.

Please give it another try.

Apart from dlr 3rd-rail cost balancing, the changes can be considered final, bridges and elevated ways are currently in my little blender lab. I thought we can get a much more DLR-ish look and feel when modelling those from scratch to their real-world example.
Especially these won't use usual ballast rails but fixed rails instead.

Those additions are independant of the current changes, thus I'd appreciate some testing and the current state can already be pulled in independently of elevated ways and bridges.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2020, 06:59:52 PM by Freahk »

Offline jamespetts

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2020, 12:05:09 PM »
Thank you very much for your work on this. I have now pulled the latest version from your Git repository and undertaken some preliminary testing. Results so far suggest that the tube trains do not incorrectly use ordinary tramways.

The DLR electrification looks good:



However, I notice a slight aberration near the tunnel mouth (apparent in the above image), which is not present on some of the other tunnel mouths. I wonder whether this is an issue with track graphics inside the portal? I should be grateful if you could look into this.

Offline Freahk

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2020, 07:52:28 PM »
Seems like there was an issue when exporting the png from gimp.
Fixed, added the xcf, so it doesn't get lost and moved light rail images to the images subdirectory.

James, you are stated to be the author of RailTunnelConcrete. Do you still have the blend files somewhere?
I'd try to add some different underground images, currently all concrete tunnels share the same channel tunnel underground graphics.

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #39 on: June 27, 2020, 09:53:51 AM »
Thank you for that, and apologies for the delay: I have taken to hiding from the hot weather in my air conditioned shed away from my development computer.

I have attempted to compile the new version, but I seem to be missing the rail-tunnel-concrete-light image, and the pakset fails to compile. Could you check whether you have staged this? Thank you.

Offline Freahk

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #40 on: June 27, 2020, 02:44:30 PM »
The image is in place.
I just missed to push the very last tiny change which adjusted the cursor and icon to the new location, sorry about this.
Should compile now.

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #41 on: June 28, 2020, 12:33:13 AM »
Excellent, thank you for that. I have now incorporated this into the pakset, so it should be available from to-morrow's nightly build. Thank you very much for your work on this: this is a splendid enhancement.

If anyone has any research data on light rail tracks, as I believe that the DLR use much lighter rail sections than ordinary railways, that would be very helpful, as we could do with a corresponding light rail track type (with suitably low weight limit and cost), too.

Offline Freahk

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #42 on: June 29, 2020, 02:42:17 PM »
I just noticed some translations were missing, so I added these and noticed you just did the same.
I just merged the changes, picking your translation where possible.

Imho "DC Bottom Contact Third Rail Electrification" fits better than "Driverless Light Rail Electrification" as neither the driverless part nor the light rail part are a restriction of this type of electrification.
If you agree, just change this, otherwise it doesn't matter pretty much anyway as there are no further bottom contact third rail vehicles in the UK anyways.

If anyone has any research data on light rail tracks
I don't, but I'd like to mention that research data is also required for the bottom contact electrification being used.
For now, it's just as expensive as the top contact third rail electrification, I did not change these numbers as I have no idea if it should be more expensive or cheaper.

Simmilar goes for the tunnel.
It's simply balanced somewhere in between tube and "usual" tunnel, which should be fine, but the exact number is just a guess.

Offline Vladki

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #43 on: July 08, 2020, 09:36:34 PM »
Please make a new icon for the DLR electrification, so it can be distinguished from "classic" 3rd rail

Offline Freahk

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #44 on: July 08, 2020, 10:01:16 PM »
How do  do that?
Is there a button template somewhere so I can shrink the 3rd rail on that?

Offline Vladki

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Re: Light Rail Infrastructure
« Reply #45 on: July 08, 2020, 10:08:56 PM »
https://graphics.simutrans.com/thumbnails.php?album=9
https://graphics.simutrans.com/displayimage.php?album=9&pid=72#top_display_media

icon-template.png   and  gui/gui64/ls-symbols-pak128.png  in pak2128.britain-ex sources
« Last Edit: July 08, 2020, 11:20:46 PM by Vladki »