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View Full Version : Looking for advice on controlling bi-directional movements along a single-track



JackClare1995
February 5th, 2014, 02:06 PM
Hello, everyone :)

So, I'm looking at having a single-track section with a station on it, with quite frequent services (say every 6 minutes in either direction). Now normally without a station, controlling trains through it would be easy; just tell a train to navigate to the next trackmark and as long as you only have two signals (controlling the entrance to the single track from both directions) it all works out very well. However, with having a station in it, I've hit a problem. Let's say one end is A, the single-track station is B and the other end is C.

Say a train enters the single track at A and is navigating to station B, it will have no control over the switch at C until it departs the station, at which point a train entering from C could already have control of the switch and be forcing it in its favour, meaning that train can't enter the single-track towards B and the train at B can't leave it towards C.

The only way I can think to do this is have two invisible trains parked somewhere, with a 'Wait for trigger' command and a junction control command to lock both junctions (one train for each direction). This would result in the trains at A and C having no real control over the points and mean they won't end up conflicting with each other, as both switches, at A and C, will lock in favour of the first train that approaches the section, no matter from which direction. Then when the first train goes through, the switches will lock in favour of the other train. Seems complicated, I'm sorry :(

There is another way, which is timetable everything very strictly so that trains never come into conflict with each other on the single track, and hold the trains at the preceeding station until the time it should depart.

I don't know, I'm really bloody confused :( I've included a small diagram.

A B C

----/--------------------------------------------------------------------Station-------------------------------------------------------------------\-------/ \---

Edit: Wow that didn't come out how I'd hoped :o:hehe:

carr
February 5th, 2014, 02:44 PM
Hi, the best way I have found is to put a track marker on say track B and tell the train to wait until the oncoming train has passed the trigger on track A. This will affect every train on track B if you tell them.

fran1
February 5th, 2014, 02:44 PM
Try a trigger, holding one train while the other stops at the station. The stopper then hits the trigger on leaving to set the other off.
+

JackClare1995
February 5th, 2014, 02:57 PM
Hi guys :)

Yeah I agree this would work! Although, would it not mean that a train approaching from A would always wait for a train to come the other way? That could be problematic if the trains coming the other way are delayed by something, the train going A - C would be waiting for a while to enter the single track when there's nothing coming the other way :hehe:

Even linking the junctions with a junction-link asset wouldn't work because the train would set the switch back to automatic after passing it and before arriving at the station, so there would be say a 40 second gap where a train coming the other way could still take control of the switch :(

fran1
February 5th, 2014, 03:21 PM
"that a train approaching from A would always wait for a train to come the other way"
Yes that's the problem, why not put signals down on the entry (only) to the single track.

JackClare1995
February 5th, 2014, 03:47 PM
I could, however that wouldn't stop an approaching train taking control of the switch, which would stop the train at the platform from leaving and the approaching train from entering the single track. Why can't Trainz just be clever :eek:

philskene
February 5th, 2014, 03:48 PM
Hi Jack --

You might like to download one of my routes, "Krashnburne", and one of the sessions that has bi-directional AI + a Player consist on single track sections.

After installing a session, just fly around in the 4-key view watching the trainz work there way through the crossing loops and single track sections. Then go into Edit Surveyor and Edit Session to see how its all pieced together.

I see that you are still on TS10. Make sure you get the TS10 version.

In TS12 I've now used "Signal Link". This gives greater control to the Player. See here:

http://forums.auran.com/trainz/showthread.php?83432-Avoiding-a-Mexican-Standoff-with-Player-and-AI-trainz

Tell me if this helps.

Phil

JackClare1995
February 5th, 2014, 04:07 PM
Hi Philskene,

I'm downloading KrashnburneRRCo, <kuid2:69871:2040:2> now. I hope this works! :)

I've had a read through that other thread too, that sounds like it could be what I'm looking for!

Jack

philskene
February 5th, 2014, 05:13 PM
Jack --

When you dissect the route and session:


The location and layout of the switches, signals and, most importantly, Track Markers is important.
The commands for the AI is in the Central Portal Control configuration.
As with anything in Trainz, it's not absolutely infallible.


Again, please get back to me and tell me how it goes. Feedback is always appreciated.

Phil

JackClare1995
February 5th, 2014, 06:22 PM
Hi Phil,

I've been driving the route for about 45 minutes now. Just opened the Session up for edit. It's quite a nifty way, using the ASB crossover command. It seems really very complicated and I'm going to have to strip down all the systems involved in it to see how I can adapt it to my route and get it to work, but I think that's a job for tomorrow :hehe:

I'm PM-ing you my Gmail address so we can discuss this further. I find the Trainz forums rather difficult to discuss anything in any detail...

Jack

Lendorf
February 5th, 2014, 06:29 PM
Snip....
I'm PM-ing you my Gmail address so we can discuss this further. I find the Trainz forums rather difficult to discuss anything in any detail...

Jack

Hi, I beg to differ as some of us still relatively new to this trainz thing would like to learn too by reading this here. That is what the forum is all about, someone posts a problem which gets eventually answered and solved. By doing this, other people interested in that thread will learn by reading all solutions.

Something to think about :wave:.

Lennard

stagecoach
February 5th, 2014, 07:13 PM
"Post message" and "wait for message and clear" are two commands that could control this section of track. Drive to TM before the signal that allows entry to the single track. Use the wait for message and clear command. The train will wait until a train posts the message, it will then travel along the single track. Drive via TM on exit of single track and use post message command. Use the same message for each way of travel and the first train waiting should then clear the message and move off.

philskene
February 5th, 2014, 10:07 PM
Jack --

"Hi, I beg to differ as some of us still relatively new to this trainz thing would like to learn too by reading this here. That is what the forum is all about, someone posts a problem which gets eventually answered and solved. By doing this, other people interested in that thread will learn by reading all solutions."

I think he might actually have a very valid point!

" ... using the ASB crossover command. It seems really very complicated ... ."

It certainly is - which is why in the TS12 version (which unfortunately you can't access) I used Signal Link which is so much easier to configure.

" "Post message" and "wait for message and clear" are two commands that could control this section of track."

I did look at this. But found it a bit too complex.

The thing is, with only AI running, my experience is that provided the signalling and Track Markers are correctly located, there is actually no need for ABS command, Signal Link or PostMessage. The "IntenCity" route, which has very short sections of single track, is the classic example of this - it works without any fancy workrounds. The AI works itself out extremely well. It's only when you throw in the Player train that something better is needed to give the Player better priority over longer single track section (Krashnburne) and, most importantly, the ability to exit the single track without a Mexican Standoff.

Phil

JackClare1995
February 6th, 2014, 03:34 AM
I agree with you Lendorf! Never occured to me that other people may have this problem, of a station on a single track, that's all :hehe:

Stagecoach: I've never dabbled with messages but I will look into this further. I've no idea how to post a message :eek:

Philskene: I've found that the Control Junction and Free Junction commands, given to a non-active train elsewhere on the board, suit me very well in giving me full control of switches. This is because, really, the player isn't controlling them, another AI train is, so as is the same with AI, it's first come first serve. Works fantastic with single-track sections for the player, my actual only real concern is the AI since they can't control the far switch if there's a station in the way that they're being ordered to stop it.

I think I have got my head around the system you used though. The reason for the specific location of the trackmark, beyond the ASB-controlled signal, means that if the signal is on red the train won't touch the trackmark and therefore won't force the switch into its favour, resulting in a Mexican Standoff. When the train coming the other way clears the final trigger, the signal is forced to green and the next train proceeds through, touches the trackmark and aligns the switch. I notice you also had another signal just further on from the trackmark before the converging junction. I'd probably use an Invisible Signal there to tidy it up a bit for the player. I will have a go now at the ASB stuff and get back to you all :)

Jack

p-dehnert
February 6th, 2014, 04:31 AM
You could create some kind of token system, using a trackmark on a short invisible track and the commands 'ControlTrackAtTrackmark' and 'FreeTrackAtTrackmark'.

Peter

philskene
February 6th, 2014, 06:32 AM
Jack --

Are we happy to continue this discussion in public as suggested above, for the benefit of everyone? I certainly am.

"The reason for the specific location of the trackmark, beyond the ASB-controlled signal, means that if the signal is on red the AI train won't touch the trackmark and therefore won't force the switch into its favour ...."

Exactly.

Now, please don't bother with the ASB system. It's an awkward work round that I was forced to use because, at the time, there was nothing better.

Please use "Signal Link" instead. I see from the Download Station it's for TS2009 so you should be able to access it.

Now, referring to this image:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b392/nineercharlie/Misc/SignalLinker.jpg


Signals R1 and R2 must be named. (My preference in routes is now Master 1, Slave 1; Master 2, Slave 2; ... .) The Signal Link box is next to R1. It shows in Surveyor but not in Driver.

Signal Link is configured so that:
R1 is the Master
R2 the Slave
The Slave only follows the Master when the Master shows red.

Now, when a Player (or indeed an AI) train is proceeding towards the loop as shown in the image, R1 will be red. R1 actually turns red immediately the Player train entered the single track section. There is a maximum distance which from memory is about 2km or so. Because of Signal Link, if R1 is red then R2 is also red. So the AI train stops before Trackmark R2. If it stops before the Track Mark " ... the AI train won't touch the trackmark and therefore won't force the switch into its favour ... ."

This is much easier to set up than ASB.

On my routes I now use a triple head signal for R2, just as an indication that it is linked to another signal.

Phil

Edit:

Correction. "There is a maximum distance which from memory is about 2km or so." I believe this is may be more like 20km.

JackClare1995
February 6th, 2014, 12:56 PM
Hi Phil, yes I'm more than happy continuing on here :)

I must admit, the ASB system sounds fairly straight-forward. I got the system wired up and working properly in about 5 minutes before on a single-track section I was using. I substituted an Invisible signal with the equivalent signal in your image between R1 and R2 so that as soon as the ASB signal clears to proceed the tram/train sets off and throws the switch.

One thing I found that was a tad problematic was that I forgot to throw the switch back into the correct position after I had entered the single track, resulting in the next tram through getting stuck on entrance to the single track. I imagine an invisible green signal may stops this from happening as it would force the tram/train onto the single track.

I will try both methods though, just to see which is more flexible :) I'm also going to have another go on your Krashnburne route, I really liked it last night :D

Jack

stagecoach
February 6th, 2014, 06:33 PM
Stagecoach: I've never dabbled with messages but I will look into this further. I've no idea how to post a message
Jack

You don't need to post anything, Post message and wait for message and clear are both driver commands. Place a TM before and after the single track. As an example add the following to your AI driver commands.

Drive to TM
Wait for message and clear (select Alistair and 1 from the lists)
Drive to station
load
Drive via TM
Post message (select Alistair and 1 from the lists)

Use the above for each train that travels this section in either direction. The train will wait at the signal TM until the message is sent then proceed to the station. After leaving the station it post the message to say the section is clear. This is similar to a token being used.