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Offline MHD

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A new tram concept
« on: December 16, 2009, 11:44:34 AM »
Already some years ago, there was a discussion about the tram system in Simutrans. Now, that many things in Simutrans are realized, and people are alread working on a network mode (nice-to-have), I thought, I could suggest once more the old idea of tramway buliding.

Now why do I think, it is worth to disuss?
In former days, people defend the current tram system as necessary. Anyway, disregarding some unique cases, the Simutrans-Tramway solution with a monorail and signals is not used anywhere in the world. On the other hand, trams are very popular in our days and a core system of many transportation systems.
As time showed, alsmost no author of paksets cares about the current tram system. Trains, road vehicles and even monorails are build. But there are some examples of paksets, where you cannot buy one tramway.

3 years ago, Tony_BZT showed, how simple a tramway-solution can be with his electrified double tram track. This one works a 'normal streetcar' with electrification. The rails are drawn within the electrification. But unfortunately, not too many people took notice of it. See the attachments for the only working examples of this system, which is easy and expandable and works for pak128.
Those days, I also started to draw a tramway for the system, but I got pain because of two things:
a)The right order of multiple convois in all directions
b)The graphics of street vehicles and trams were not good looking because of the placement on the roads.

Now my idea is to find people to encourage for expanding system and vehicles for this type of tramways. (e.g. usage without street etc.)

Is there anybody out there, who would be interested in?

Thanks Oliver

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 11:47:55 AM »
I"m moving this to Simutrans Discussion because it is not an extension request. It appears to be a request for painters/pakmakers, not for a core change to the Simutrans engine.

If it is a core change request, I don't understand what the requested change is.

(The only relevant change I can think of would be a request to make tracks somehow work this way, which is arguably the most commonly denied request, and is outlined in the sticky topic in the Extension Requests board :) )

Note that I'm all for seeing more trams using this method; I'm not moving the topic because I don't *like* it. :)

Offline The Hood

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 11:54:56 AM »
IIRC this system is used in pak192.Comic, and I have considered using it in pak128.Britain.

Currently problems with the "double tram" are:
(1) this system would prevent tram-trains running onto conventional heavy rail infrastructure (can't be solved);
(2) tram rails are in fact identical to trolleybus electrification, except for the graphics depicting rails.  This means trolleybuses and double trams are essentially the same, as you can only build one type of wayobject (electrification) on a way.  There is a way around this using way constraints in experimental, but ideally this would need the possibility of multiple way objects on a way (which I support).

Ultimately it's down to choice, and most pakset authors (myself included) have decided its easiest to keep things the way they are for now.  If (2) could be solved by allowing multiple way objects, I might consider switching to the "double tram" idea, but probably not otherwise.

And of course as Isaac says, there is the whole "double track" can of worms which would make this even more likely, but seeing as double tracks are basically not going to happen, you catch my drift... :)

However, I'm not sure what you mean about monorails - trams and monorails are entirely separate in the game, and trams and trains can be run together...

Offline mobo

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 12:53:54 PM »
...And your trams are road vehicles then, they'll get stuck in traffic jams, and you have to buy them in a bus depot.

Really, their ability to pass traffic jams is the ultimate tram feature IMO (also in real life).

Offline jonasbb

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2009, 01:09:08 PM »
IIRC this system is used in pak192.Comic
That's right.

(1) this system would prevent tram-trains running onto conventional heavy rail infrastructure (can't be solved);
I don't think this is bad. How many trams do you have seen on a railway? Or how many trains have you seen on a tram-track? I haven't seen such things. In real life these systems are not full compatible, so i think it s not bad, if they are in the game also not compatible.
If you want to have a train on your streets (because trams cannot transport enough or something else), then you could use the tram-track.

(2) tram rails are in fact identical to trolleybus electrification, except for the graphics depicting rails.  This means trolleybuses and double trams are essentially the same, as you can only build one type of wayobject (electrification) on a way.  There is a way around this using way constraints in experimental, but ideally this would need the possibility of multiple way objects on a way (which I support).
That wasn't a problem for pak192.comic because we have no trolley buses.

Offline LNBC

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2009, 02:53:09 PM »
Japanese Simutrans Pak-makers also did paking trams alike what MHD said.
Here is the link for the resulted double-sided tramways (Pak 64):
http://japanese.simutrans.com/index.php?plugin=attach&refer=%A5%A2%A5%C9%A5%AA%A5%F3%2F%B8%F2%C4%CC%BB%DC%C0%DF%20%A3%B2&openfile=Trolleybus_and_Tram-set.zip

But anyway, the crosslinking between the railway system and the road system required an alternation on coding "trams", "tramways", etc. If you really wanted a tram defined as a road vehicle run on tracks WITHOUT any misalignment, this is the question you need to work with the simutrans program itself. (And this mixture of road-rail definition will surly difficult to be applied, unlike the airway added between 88-series and 89-series. It is because it requires a recoding on both existing road-way and rail-way definition. Those headache jobs are needed here.)

Don't forget this fact: the tramways NEEDED traditional railway bridges and tunnels IF the tramway need them, just like the very first time when the monorail became one of the Simutrans waytypes. You might need working with the bridges and tunnels for tramways if you disconnect tramways from the traditional railway waytype. (Relatively easy to do with this redefining on waytypes, but we would require something more for tramways.)

Also, the roadway-ize tramways are causing another problem-how to get those road traffic to use/not to use the tramway tiles. Coding tramways as a type of roadway might resulted citycars driving on the tramways track-even those trams needed electricity to run. In other words, you should consider another question on how to separate trams from the normal road vehicles.

It is more and more difficult to integrate tramways as a part of roadway system and as a part of railway BOTH. Much more programming deifinitions would be needed, as well as new paks for new defined waytype.

To do with that 2-side tramways (or narrowguage) is not easy as you suggest, my buddy.

In fact, using double-deckers to run those large-volume passenger routes can be another way to replace those tramways-so, what do I need would be those 18 metre-Neoplan mageshuttles, rather than a tram cars. (That's why I was also given-up those narrowguaged Light Rail Cars once created.)

So, I wish MHD's project succeed, but I feel my Tridents works prefectly with the underground railways. Trams? Not so ecomonical on laying tracks, etc. (Also, Trams with Road vehicle properties run at 50 km/h on the cityroad. You can't escape from slow speed if you coded the trams alike the buses.)

Anyway-MHD got something we really wanted once upon a time, but we have another possible way to get the same question answered without those trams. I am sorry to disappoint MHD here, but it is the real thing why we given those roadway-trams up: too many recoding jobs to be done, too few players would really find that friendly to apply.

PS 2 12-metre Tridents (@133p) could carry much more than a 18-metre Megashuttle (@176p). The same calculation applied to buses/trams. (But I wonder, if MHD could speed his trams, on cityroads, more than 50 km/h WITH the properties of the tram coded as a road vehicle. This could be only reason to get the tramways redefined, right?)
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 02:57:41 PM by LNBC »

Offline wlindley us

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2009, 03:11:41 PM »
By "Monorails" i think he meant a single set of rails (metals).  Most tramways do have paired tracks, one in each direction, next to each other.  Phoenix's new Valley Metro, among others, operates part of its route with one track each in a pair of one-way streets, though.

The crux of the problem as I see it, both visually and operationally, is that to run two tramway tracks and two roadway lanes you really want a four-lane street, and Simutrans only has two-lane streets.

Perhaps if there were a way to draw two-tile-wide, four-lane roads?  With optionally embedded tramways... that would also solve some big-city traffic problems.  (Right now you would need a myriad of one-way-streetsigns, I think, to do anything like it.)

Offline The Hood

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2009, 03:28:12 PM »
@wlindley

Half of what you want is already easy: place two roads parallel and run tram tracks down each.  That way you get your operational double track tramway.  As you say the less good bit is with the road element - you need lots of one way street signs, but that can't eliminate the possibility of citycars driving the wrong way initially.  Maybe the code could be changed to indicate which directions are allowed on each individual segment of way?  I suppose that would be quite intensive in terms of memory though.

Offline wlindley us

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2009, 03:31:20 PM »
TheHood: Given a bunch of one-way signs, would it be sufficient to change the citycar generator so that it looks down the road in the initial direction of newly-created citycars a few squares to be sure there's not an opposing one-way sign?

Offline phantom25

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2009, 04:23:25 PM »
That's right.
I don't think this is bad. How many trams do you have seen on a railway? Or how many trains have you seen on a tram-track? I haven't seen such things. In real life these systems are not full compatible, so i think it s not bad, if they are in the game also not compatible.
If you want to have a train on your streets (because trams cannot transport enough or something else), then you could use the tram-track.

Look at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tram-train.
This also explains the concept quite well: http://www.etcproceedings.org/paper/download/1192.

Some tram systems CAN run on both streets and rails and this is common in Europe.
Having the only way to build trams only on streets, misses the point.
Of course, this are vehicle models with the same gauge and signaling adaptions.

Changing the game algorithm to accept trams as both as street vehicles when on streets applying the same logic, including congestion and as rail vehicles when entering rails would be the best solution as a result of a compromise.
As to graphic represetation, either an offset shift to side (for streets) or additional separate graphics for every tram model on streets (shifted) and rail (unshifted) can be used...

Of course, some new parameter might be added, to specify if the certain model can run on train tracks, but this is rather bad given the amount of common rail/tram code...

Even the existing Simutrans solution with a rail in the middle of the street is existing in real life, albeit usually parallel two tracks in the middle of the street...

Then again, tram has technically advanced and melted with common rail, i.e. german stadtbahn and partly Stuttgart U-Bahn are actually also hybrides in some sense...

To conclude, trams and railway definitely belong together. The mere diferentiation is sometimes just the gauge, on which trams drive... And also the power supply in comparison with heavy rail.
As the gauge is irrelevant in Simutrans (for now), this also could be changed.
Trams are also sometimes refered as "light rail", so they definitely are rail, as much as street vehicles.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 05:04:58 PM by phantom25 »

Offline VS

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2009, 05:42:38 PM »
There are so many opinions about how to do this right and what is wrong... :-/ I wanted to write something, too, but realized that it's almost futile.

Predicted outcome: nothing happens.

Offline MHD

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2009, 06:01:43 PM »
That's a pity. Especially, I remember these discussions from some years ago.

Some things, however, should be mentionned: It is clear, that tramvays can be compatible with rails, but they are not run in this way.And if there is almost no difference between troley buses (which are much more rare than tramways, by the way), please tell me the difference between tram and rail in Simutrans (except for one rail on the roads, which also doesn't show up in the main fraction of tramvay-tracks).

Anyway, I did mainly ask for someone, who is the same opinion with me and who does like to help my case...that's all.
So if there is someone, please post it here...

Thanx, Oliver


Offline VS

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2009, 06:36:27 PM »
My opinion here doesn't really matter, so pay no mind to it... (it's quite an ambiguous statement, but I feel the most probable interpretations are in the end true, regardless!).

Offline prissi

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2009, 10:27:22 PM »
I know many single lane tram tracks. Most cities with traditional tram systems have at least some of them.

Also many japanese tram systems (for instance Matsuyama and Kagoshima) run trams on single track with passing places at some stations and signals. The trams run on some streets then go off and at other places have even crossings with barriers. Not uncommon.

Same for the trams going into mountian villages in switzerland in vaud canton, like the lines starting in Aigle, Bex and Champery. Or the Metro of Lausanne, which is mostly single track with some double track stations and signals.

All those city trams run on very tight schedule, but for japan and switzerland that is not really a problem. And all those system have double track at some places; but then usually at wide streets where you can built this in simutrans too.

The main problem is, that there is no easy way to make trams single and double track at the same time. This is not really solvable properly imho. Furthermore, trams on road lans should stuck in traffic jams, like they are stuck in traffic jams in Berlin every morning just 300m from my door.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 10:32:25 PM by prissi »

Offline MHD

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2009, 05:51:59 AM »
Speaking for me, a double track solution would be sufficient. I think, that the classical isometric scaling is not made for narrow lanes in city centres and similar. Which also would be a bit too much detail for me.
So my conclusion  is, that Tony's system is still a good solution to show s 'close to realistic' situation. That's why I would like to have just some few more vehicles.

In my scenarios, the 'trolley'-trams worked in a very good way and offered as in reality some advantages to the trolley-busses:
Bigger capacity, building of short convois and the bigger speed.

Offline The Hood

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2009, 09:21:36 AM »
If all you want is more tram vehicles set up to use the "trolley tram" approach, then it shouldn't be too hard to take some of the open source trams (e.g. pak64, pak128.Britain), and recode the dat files to have them as waytype=road and put an image offset on them (a bit of experimentation should get you the values you need to use to align them properly).  No alteration to the images required at all.

Offline skreyola

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2009, 07:46:18 PM »
Don't they need electrification? In that case, road electrification is needed.

Offline MHD

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #17 on: December 17, 2009, 08:25:31 PM »
Hey you both,

generally yes, but the position of the vehicles on the road is wrong.
If you take trams, then both directions will collide, because they are both driving the same position on the road.
If you take busses or trolleys, then you have road vehicles on tracks, which are even driving next to the tracks...

Also dat-files are rare.

Anyway, this was exactly the point, I started, and you can download an example, how it looks, if you simply exchange parameters:

Offline DirrrtyDirk

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2009, 12:49:08 PM »
@MHD: That's why The Hood said this:  ;)

and put an image offset on them


Offline Spike

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2009, 03:05:06 PM »
Not even road vehicles in Simutrans really use two lanes - they are just painted so that they appear on the lanes, depending on the direction they go. Simutrans thinks they go in the middle of the road, as trains do.

Internally all ways (rails, roads etc.) are one-lane, everything else are graphical tricks on top of this system.

That also means, that signaling cannot consider more than one track/lane, and therefore any attempt to have signaling with double tracks will fail.

Offline phantom25

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Re: A new tram concept
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2009, 12:13:45 AM »
I see now (after taking some peeking into ST sourcecode, trunkline )...
Railway type signaling in conjunction with the road handling code is currently difficult to solve...