Do your AI engineers not want to leave switch levers alone?


Active member
Use an ENGINE or other piece of rolling stock to hold them at a junction!!

An ENGINE can even be a SPEEDER or a MOW TRUCK.

Let's say you want to pull a LONG train out of your yard onto the main line. Let's say you also don't want an approaching AI driver to monkey with your active switch to derail your train. Yes, you will have a signal at your junction to STOP AI. You may even use Trigger Multiple Signals Rule to try to hold the little AI devils at the signal as well. But they will eventually get impatient and start to play with switch levers and, after waiting but so long, decide to violate the TMS rule flat out.

If you were to put an invisible side track and Russian lever in BETWEEN the visible switch and signal, you can run a small railroad vehicle quickly onto the main line to simply stand in the way of any approaching AI-driven trains. There's no way a train on an AI command schedule will try to mess with any lever PAST any vehicle BLOCKING or INTERCEPTING it. The AI loco will just sit there all day long at that red signal: won't even try to back up as long as another vehicle on the rails ahead BLOCKS it!!

On one such siding I have two speeders on an invisible track along side the main line near my yard entrance with two worker figures marking the spot as if they are doing track maintenance. I pull one speeder onto one track and another onto the opposite track to BLOCK AI traffic approaching from both directions. Now, I can use my main line crossover and yard levers to pull my trains out of the yard unmolested by AI. The speeders stand on the mainline tracks acting as guard dogs against aggressive lever-grabbing AI crewmen.

Once I am done using my levers, I pull the speeders back into their spots off the main line again so the track workers can continue fixing ties or whatever. Then I flip the invisible levers back to their default settings. I can turn on SHOW JUNCTION OVERLAYS to spot any invisible switches easily if I have to or use a scenery track-side figure as a working man or two to mark such switch.

There is a customer siding where I have to cut the train on the main line and back over a crossover on get to the siding on the opposite side. I park a speeder on the siding near the main line with track worker figures there too to mark the speeder's spot. I pull the speeder onto the main line to block any oncoming trains by using the visible siding and switch already there anyway.

At another customer siding I simply drop my caboose or consist on the far side of the switch to hold up any approaching AI-driven trains from behind as I do my switching operations.

At the opposite end of my yard, a MOW truck swiftly pulls out onto the mainline via an invisible siding and junction to guard against oncoming AI traffic. Two RR workers in orange jumpsuits stand near the spot where the invisible lever is hidden. The INTERCEPTOR RR vehicles also will trigger mainline switches RED, of course.

This certainly makes Trainz less boring to play with by adding this extra interceptor action to guard switches.

Yes, in short, you can use rail vehicles strategically as "traffic cops". What better way than to stop a train with another train.

Yes, TRAINZ is a GAME indeed. Much more than a RAILROADS SIMULATOR. You have to COMPETE with AI if you are operating hand-driven trains on lines with their presence.

The object of the GAME is to strategically prevent AI from derailing YOUR train.
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Sitting a MOW truck, or a speeder on the mainline track would be highly unsafe, as they would get run over and get seriously kilt'

I never have any problems with AI, ever !

If you do constantly have problems with AI ...You are doing everything completely wrong in surveyor

A real train runs manually, with the engineer and conductor in the cab moving handles ... perhaps you should try driving handling the cab levers manually, and throwing switch levers manually by pressing "J" ... instead of constantly complaining that AI fouls up every time

Like I said previously ... If you program garbage and mistakes into a computer program ... You get nothing but mistakes and garbage out

You're thinking too hard! I too have no problems with AI and switching so there's something amiss here. Yes, and I do agree, that these computer critters are really AUI beasts and not AI, but using some logic and keeping things simple we can actually get them to do what we want.

For switching a yard for example, which I do quite often because I hate flipping switch levers all over, I use a number of strategically placed track marks and the Drive-To or Drive Via command and not the Navigate To/Via command.

The Drive To/Via commands inserts a bit longer time between track marks and this gives the AI a chance to plan things out. The track marks are placed, for example, in the middle of long sidings so that the AI has no choice but to go to the track mark, and can't sneak around it and come back from another end.

Placing track marks on both sides of a switch is helpful too in this situation as this gives the AI an arrival track mark and an exit track mark.

If your AI drivers are heading the wrong way on a two way stretch, use direction markers. Direction markers are both one-way signs and do-not-enter. Using the direction markers as well as the track marks you can guide the AI through complex interlockings.

If this still doesn't work, we also have path-control scripts and tools, which can be very helpful.

Signaling also is something to take into consideration. Are you using permissive signals and not absolute signals? Permissive signals aka distant signals, have a small letter/number board below the signal head. These signals allow the train engineer to pass by a red signal with permission by the dispatcher, and are also used as distant signals to warn an engineer of an upcoming signal indication so he or she can prepare for what's ahead. They are used on long mainline stretches to keep traffic flowing because trains can follow and remain in blocks behind each other.

Absolute or restricting signals are just that and work like our own traffic lights. With a absolute signal, the train driver stops on red and proceeds on green. These signals are used to protect mainlines where branches and sidings merge in, and also in yards with the head facing inwards towards the bumper, like on sidings heading into the main.

Without seeing a pic or diagram of what you have setup, we can only speculate what the problem is. I recommend giving us a diagram and we can help further, but my gut is telling me you've over engineered the engineering here. :)
Mr. JCitron:

I don't use AI mode ever for switching operations. AI is never scheduled to enter my yards or sidings. All switching is done by hand by me. AI operation is restricted to continuous-running trains on the main line. My goal is to keep those AI-ran engines from interfering with MY switching operations on and off the main line.

My next experiment is to try the Set Junctions Rule.

I think the signals I am using are "absolute" as there are no number boards on them.

How does a Trainz builder identify the nature of signal content?

The visible mainline signals I have been using are:

West Rowen 06. Left Diverging.

JR MS Rowen W 04-2,<kuid2:45324:251049:1>

by norfolksouthern

These can define a path and I have all mine set to F for furthest.

My other consideration is to keep AI from running on yellow when they shouldn't.

Some signals don't allow user to define a path such as the invisible signal.
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If you are using Jointed Rail's signals here are the designations.

Type 04 = Absolute (stop sign).
Type 05 = Permissive (has a sign underneath which is editable)
Type 06 = Diverging signal - used where two tracks split from one such as when you have a siding pull off from a single track.
Type 08 = Interlocking such as for wyes.

Other people have similar designations.

If you have two tracks going into one, with one not being a stub-siding from an industry, then you have two type 04s and a type 06 combination. You also might want to throw in a couple of direction markers to keep the AI on the right side, or use track marks in the middle of the line to prevent them from having any other plans.

Post up a diagram of what you have. It will really help here.

For yard and industry switching, I should have been a bit clearer. I use a combination of automatic and manual meaning I have the AI do the navigating over the points, but I do the close work and the commands are given manually rather than as an automatic schedule.
Usually switching moves are OK'ed by the dispatcher, when no mainline traffic is expected in the area, and he sets a blocking signal for that track ... Which could be simulated by invisatrack, and a MOW truck near the switch lead-in, or some other drivable vehicle/person ... that would lock the switch, and protect switching moves

I wasn't ambitious about drawing diagrams but here is a short video of my latest project which nicely shows how my switches work with my mainline.

NEWSFLASH four hours later

I have not bee successful with Set Junctions Rule also. Please see my latest thread on that.

I can't find a VIDEO tutorial on using this Rule anywhere on Google.

Perhaps there is something, a secret, I don't know or my PC is cursed with some odd virus.
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