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Author Topic: Why can trains turn - at all ?  (Read 4216 times)

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Offline missingpiece

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Why can trains turn - at all ?
« on: January 27, 2012, 10:47:54 AM »
Hello guys,

I'm asking this here in the first place and not in the standard forum, since I expect you all being potentially more receptive to such an idea ;)

Why are trains able to turn 180 degree on a straight way ?

For sure, I enjoy the simplicity of being able to send a train back, or deblock mutual lock-in situations. However, it is the one festure which I find particularly unrealistic (and this is certainly not supposed to turn into a discussion of "realism" in simutrans or computer simulations in general...so please do not derail the thread ;) )

But here is another suggestion:
- trains cannot "turn" on a straight track
- engines can push cars backwards (but only to a limit of x number of cars "ahead" of the engine)
- for real "stuck" situations you can pick up cars with another enigne from the rear end of the stuck train


Thoughts ?  ;D

Offline Spike

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Re: Why can trains turn - at all ?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2012, 11:20:41 AM »
Why are trains able to turn 180 degree on a straight way ?

Believe it or not, but early Simutrans version did not reverse trains, but had the engine at the end onb the way back. Players aksed me to change that. It will be hard though to dig up those messages.

ActAirNeer

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Re: Why can trains turn - at all ?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2012, 12:55:24 PM »
Believe it or not, but early Simutrans version did not reverse trains, but had the engine at the end onb the way back. Players aksed me to change that. It will be hard though to dig up those messages.

Yeah, I seem to remember seeing trains do that, thought I can't recall if it was in Standard or Experimental. I also remember another thread on this topic time ago.

To some extent the turnaround time accounts for the "ease" with which the train can do it. However, maybe trains on open track shouldn't be allowed, and must "go in reverse" with the given limitation. This would serve as a penalty for getting trains stuck or scheduling wrong, though it would be a pain in the... rear :)

Thinking about it, maybe having a special building addition (turntable) required at a station for engines to reverse would be a nice complement to the turnaround time. It would further add challenge to network planning. Would it be possible to program?

On a separate note, currently the turnaround time is count down after the loading time, wouldn't both things happen at the same time? The engine moves to the other end of the convoy as it is loading/unloading.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 06:17:05 PM by ActAirNeer »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Why can trains turn - at all ?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2012, 09:17:42 PM »
This is an interesting topic, and one which I had considered. As ActAirNeer points out, some of the economics of this is already dealt with by the reversing times feature. However, on balance, I think that it would be too difficult - both to play and to code - to have what as far as I can work out would be the only sensible alternative to the present system, which would be a system whereby trains ("convoys" in Simutrans-speak) could change their formation other than in depots, and would require actual visual shunting. The exact track layouts for terminal stations would have to be designed, along with precise and conditional sets of orders for light engines, empty coaching stock movements, turntables, which would really be a large and complex simulation all of its own. I suspect that, in this respect, we are better keeping things on the macro scale.

Offline missingpiece

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Re: Why can trains turn - at all ?
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2012, 02:23:32 AM »
Hej and thank you for the explanation. Very understandable.

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: Why can trains turn - at all ?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2012, 03:58:49 AM »
Just another quick note: Remember, there are two (at least!) scales in Simutrans: Graphics and the 1km^2 per tile. :)

Offline missingpiece

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Re: Why can trains turn - at all ?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2012, 06:00:04 AM »
So you mean that there may be maneuvering tracks that we simply do not see ? On 1 km^2 there is a lot of space while we only "see" one track. Is it that ?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Why can trains turn - at all ?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2012, 11:12:16 AM »
So you mean that there may be maneuvering tracks that we simply do not see ? On 1 km^2 there is a lot of space while we only "see" one track. Is it that ?

In Experimental, the second scale is variable depending on a setting in simuconf.tab, and by default is 250m/tile.

However, yes, the idea is that Simutrans is a macro representation of transport networks, and some operational details (such as shunting), which occur at the micro level, are abstracted (by the reversing times feature), but not simulated.

Offline Isaac.Eiland-Hall us

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Re: Why can trains turn - at all ?
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 12:31:39 AM »
So you mean that there may be maneuvering tracks that we simply do not see ? On 1 km^2 there is a lot of space while we only "see" one track. Is it that ?

Well, I think you're on the right track here (pun intended)... I think there's two factors at play:

1. There are two scales, as we're discussing
2. Also, it's part simulator and part game... so decisions have to be made on how to do things...

Both of those combine: Cities are much smaller than they would be in real life (a few streets and houses) and generate passengers based on a larger size (the 1km^2)... Also, how far apart - or rather, how close they are... If you look at the graphics scale, the payment for transporting goods and passengers such short distances is crazy... but it makes more sense on the other scale...

So graphically - it makes sense to have traffic follow rules based on their visible size; but remember there can only be one truck or bus in a 1km^2 road tile. hehe

So it's a balance/compromise, always :)