New portal question


Active member
When a driver is told to drive to a portal on a route does he drive to it and stop or does he drive his train right into and vanish?

When a REPEAT command follows a Drive to Portal command does the train start all over again at the same point where the schedule originated?

I have been messing with Central Portal Control but there are some limitations to generating AI trains in that fashion.

-I can not assign road numbers to locomotives like I can in trains generated in Surveyor mode.
-train vehicle selection is limited
-animation of portal-generated trains is relatively poor, heavy jitter and low cosmetic detail
-I cannot get into the cabs of portal-generated trains nor can I use chase view or line-side view with them, I can only
follow these guys in free roaming.

What I want to do is start Surveyor-placed trains at points near the portals on my route and run them into portals
at opposite ends of my route then repeat the whole shebang all over again and again automatically.

The whole idea of portal consumption of trains is to get them out of the way as much as possible and not congest my route or tie up my yards. They are only for
visual effect like the passive running road traffic.
Interesting your situation. In my portals, when I drive a train into it, the train vanishes. If you set the portal to return the train at a set time, it will. Once returning, if the schedule is set for the train to continue, it will. At this point some interesting things happen: If the consist was set for priority, let's say 1, it returns as the default priority, normally 2. If the cars you use, were configured to carry commodities other than the original asset config, the car will not load anything other than what the original config had. And the more troublesome thing is that if the consist goes into the portal and has to return later, and you decide to save the session, when you return to the saved session, the consist will not return ever. Once a consist returns, I can follow it, and "drive" inside of the cab with no loss detail, in fact it acts as any other consist except for the noted particulars above. I don't use a repeat after the portal; Reason is that if a train is there, it should comeback on the same spot. But that is me, of course.
[The whole idea of portal consumption of trains is to get them out of the way as much as possible and not congest my route or tie up my yards. They are only for
visual effect like the passive running road traffic.]

I agree with you.

I've found Portals to be extremely handy to handle set schedules, whether it be a passenger service, or even pick-up, then delivery of coal, logs, lumber, woodchips, etc. All the animations still take place.
However, before I set anything in concrete (so to speak), I generally place a 'consist' where my 'Entry' Portal is going to be located, then I'll time how long it takes to complete the schedule, finishing up at my 'Exit' Portal. Once I know that time-frame, I can then set a particular time for that train to enter my layout. You can set it to enter a complete train immediately, then additional trains every so many minutes following. You can have different types of trains - a passenger train, an industry train, etc. I may have a series of portals that all link into the main line; or secondary line.

I always use Central Portal Control because it allows me to quickly change train schedules whenever I like and it's done automatically.

Once the Portal entry train has completely entered the layout, the Driver will appear and by clicking on the Driver/Consist (Bottom Left) you are in 'Chase' mode. It's a simple matter to swap over to cab-view or trackside view on any of the trains running on your layout. Even 'exit' the cab to travel freely over your layout to take screenshots that you wouldn't see from the train itself.

It's quite versatile and only up to you to decide on how you want to do it all.

In this way, you can do screenshots or videos wherever you wish.

I have decided to scrap the notion of portals altogether for dealing with continuous running trains. Near all 5 of my portals there are double track sections with junctions: turnouts/sidings. Most of them are at least a mile long which is good. My strategy now is to use one of the double tracks near portals as start points and the opposite sides as return points for trips back across the Mojave Subdivision northeast to southwest. AI trains are less likely to get in each other's way if they have their own start sections of track as their original parking spots and other sections of track available for running back across the route. Track marks are placed near these portals as navigation way-points.

Of course, if trains are backing up from one end of the line to the other and then going forward from opposite ends of this line, I have locomotives on either ends of the trains cab forward. These trains are double head end push/pullers. There are no sidings to uncouple and run engines around the train. I may have to use the Change Direction command to make trains go back the opposite way and tell the stupid AI drivers which engine is the lead engine.

Otherwise the drivers might try to figure out where to drive to back the entire train around before going to a track mark at a dead end.
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