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Thread: Steam engines cooperation

  1. #1

    Default Steam engines cooperation

    Hi all!Last days im working on a freight train and i want to use more than one steam engine because the gradient of the route needs more engines so not to have torgue and speed loss.Is there a specific method to make 2 or more steam engines to work accordingly to the first one you drive?When starting the train the steam seems correct to all engines as they are working however the torgue seems the same,the first engine works and actually pulls all the freight and the extra engines,this means increased weight for the freight and no profit from the others engines.Working on electric trains i havent noticed this problem.Thanks in advance for your answers.

  2. #2
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    Driving in DCC (Easy Mode) simply adding on multiple locos, makes for a more powerful pulling power consist
    Driving in CAB mode, a steam loco can be more complex to keep running
    Wearing a mask is not an option !

  3. #3
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    In cab mode you can drive each locomotive individually by swapping the camera back and forward between them in external chase view.


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    I am unsure in CAB mode whether you can make a second loco, or a rear end helper locomotive, shove more powerfully behind a leading loco ???
    In DCC mode the engines are all synced together, as the entire train consist becomes like one long gigantic loco consist
    Wearing a mask is not an option !

  5. #5

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    Exactly this i mean in DCC mode i face no troubles on this, in CAB mode the scenario comes complicated as it seems that you must enter engine by engine individually and adjust throttles and brakes,the loss of time however due to an urgent brake or throttle is the point of this thread.I wanted to make sure if there is a pattern to avoid engine by engine individual control, like a way to lock all engines working exactly to the rythm of the lead engine.Using the SS-4 payware electric Shao Shen even with 8 engines everything was under control in CAB mode only from the leading engine.Using K&L N&W 2-6-6-4 payware for example it doesnt work the same way.Concluding from all the above the question is it depends on how the engines are specified from the developer or is a general rule that steam engines in CAB mode working on all models individually?

  6. #6
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    Personally I enjoy the challenge of driving two locomotives individually using the steam controls. No two steam engines ever drove exactly the same in the real world so the idea of somehow locking the controls together just sounds really odd to me. If you're going to do that you might as well drive a pair of dismals, - sorry I mean diesels, - and forget driving steam engines..
    Narcolepsy is not napping.



  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by KotangaGirl View Post
    Personally I enjoy the challenge of driving two locomotives individually using the steam controls. No two steam engines ever drove exactly the same in the real world so the idea of somehow locking the controls together just sounds really odd to me. If you're going to do that you might as well drive a pair of dismals, - sorry I mean diesels, - and forget driving steam engines..
    You have a very strong point to this since im not American im not so keen with steam engines and they way they were used in the past, a reason i like this game is for realism.I have seen however one rear cab version that was used for this purpose aswell what about BigBoy that is famous not only for freight service but also for offering service as an ulility engine for pulling other freights with steam engines if im not mistaken.

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    I mostly drive 19th century British locomotives that have poor brakes and often want 'knowing' to get them to steam well. Goods trains are loose coupled with no continuous brakes and I've set up brake vans to be functional and not decorations at the end of a train, Soooo I know nothing of the American scene either.
    Banking a train successfully on a steep gradient is certainly a challenge, but keeping the same train under control on a steep descent doesn't lack for excitement either.
    Narcolepsy is not napping.



  9. #9
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    I love driving my 1 mile long trains in CAB control, placing 2 steam locos head end, and 1 more rear end, shoving the caboose on the rear.

    With diesels I usually place 4 locos on the head end, and 2 more rear end, shoving the caboose on the rear.

    I have often wondered what all the cab controls in the trailing multiple units are doing, if they are synced like in DCC ?

    On a -1.75%, or +1.75% grade, CAB mode is a blast, and is quite challenging trainhandling, even just driving from the perspective of the head end cab view only.
    Wearing a mask is not an option !

  10. #10

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    Thank you friends for sharing your opinions on this.i guess i have to make some more experiments, MP242 you made me think thats is possible finally.Even from cab to cab i would prefer it to work as one engine but again is challenging to try.

  11. #11
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    I believe the problem that you are running into is probably, in part, the sim trying to be realistic. Bear with me on the explanation, it does get long...

    The Trainz program actually has three modes of operating (as evidenced in the TRS19 driver). They are "DCC" mode, "CAB" mode, and what I call a "command" mode (which is built into the other two modes in TANE and earlier). The "DCC" mode treats the locomotives in the sim as electric model trains, with all the benefits thereof. The "CAB" mode mostly treats the locomotives in the sim as actual locomotives, with all the realism reaching out to trip you up. The "command" mode is more of a CTC or dispatcher style of operating, where you tell your (sometimes really stupid) crew what to do and where to go. These differences in the program trying to be realistic is why you are seeing the issue.

    So, how does all that make your problem? Simply put, the first two different modes are almost the most opposite way you can operate a train.

    The "DCC" mode is just that; operating the sim like a model railroad with a DCC control system. That means that connected (in the case of Trainz coupled to the same consist) locomotive will move together no mater what, just like on the model railroad. While easy (for most folks), it is not as realistic as "CAB" mode, and generally as we like to have an immersive realistic experience we find ourselves learning to use the "CAB" mode of operating. Now, because we are learning through the sim (and mostly consequence free trial and error) we may miss some of the real world information that gets taught along the way at a railroad.

    The "CAB" mode is the programmers best try at simulating a real locomotive. This means that we also hit some of the real life limitations of these machines. We are used to seeing today the results of almost two centuries of railway progress, that sometimes blinds us to the why and how of yesteryear. While here in the US today we can (sometimes) see huge trains with multiple units in a distributed power configuration using Positive Train Control, this was not the norm in years gone by. It is the diesel electric (and electric) locomotive that makes this possible as they can be reliably left virtually unattended for long periods of time unlike steam locomotives. Each steam locomotive has a minimum crew of two as any locomotive of a practical size for commercial use is large enough that managing the boiler becomes a separate task from operating the locomotive. Additionally, while the steam locomotive is the penultimate transportation symbol of the industrial age; each one is a hand built, one of a kind product. It it these two things that more or less prevented railroads from designing a practical "Multiple Unit" (MU) control system for steam locomotives, as well as the crew being cheaper than most systems that could be thought up. If a railroad used more than one steam locomotive (or even non-MU equiped diesels) the crews had to communicate over long distances, usually in an age before radio communication. This meant that there was a corresponding increase in the complexity of the operation (and the things that could go wrong). It was generally considered better to send two smaller trains than one large one with multiple locomotives, this is one reason why you could see a second section (i.e. lead train with green flags) of a train. All this really means is that in order to be realistic, the sim has to not allow MU consisting of steam locomotives.

    This by itself is not a problem, it can be solved just as it was in days gone by. The problem becomes one of control, both practical and program wise. There can only be one place that braking is controlled from, due to the design of the air brake system (the practical problem and solved). This does mean that the controlling locomotive is in charge of all the train brakes and any additional locomotives are merely extra power. Therefore any subsequent crews are subordinate to the controlling crew and it appears the program is not configured for that (the programming problem). Not only do you need a hierarchy for the AI but you would also need to add the player into that as well. I'm betting this whole thing is in some "never use these ideas" or "only work on this once we have everything fixed" sort of place at Auran/NV3 as I certainly find many more questions than answers.

  12. #12

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    Very interesting analysis TSwenson all the above aswell very good is the positioning of your view into the matter of the thread.In Cab mode always seems that the relation of the driver and his Cab actually is the major value of this mode and all the the rest are in secondary value.As it is exactly the opposite when you drive in Dcc mode.Realism i repeat is the target i use and like this game so if it is that it was indeed so difficult in the old ages to use more than one steam engine for the same train i cannot argue of course with this and also the game does good to not allow this in Cab mode to happen.Concluding from all the above for now we have 2 facts.First fact is that Steam engines were not being used more than one in a freight train and second fact is that Cab mode primarly does the correct thing not to allow something out of realism to be done.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSwenson View Post
    All this really means is that in order to be realistic, the sim has to not allow MU consisting of steam locomotives.
    Quote Originally Posted by SirGreg View Post
    Concluding from all the above for now we have 2 facts.First fact is that Steam engines were not being used more than one in a freight train and second fact is that Cab mode primarly does the correct thing not to allow something out of realism to be done.
    Lots of freight and passenger trains on the PRR mountain division had 3 to 4 steam locomotives, 2 on the head end and 2 more on the rear end shoving, likewise many other mountainous railroads also employed multiple steam locomotives on the same consist. There were even tripple header, and quadruple header, steam locomotive consists.







    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eb61J402iZY Tripple Header

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/alfav8/5633922485 Quadruple Header











    Last edited by MP242; January 25th, 2020 at 09:04 AM.
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    Banking engines and double heading were really common in the Uk too.
    Narcolepsy is not napping.



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    I wrote a reply last night and didn't finish it - I think I fell asleep - but using multiple engines in the steam era was quite common. While adding sections was another way it had drawbacks - extra control of traffic on the line was one. Another was the added crew expense to haul the same tonnage. Steam era had 2 crew members in each cab. So if the same number of locos were used that's a wash. But each train had 2 brakemen and a conductor. So 2 sections get total of 10 crew members vs 7 for the train with 2 locos in it. Freight trains usually added locos on the back while passenger trains usually added locos to the front end resulting in a smoother ride for the passengers.

    I'm most familiar with PRR practices but most eastern US railroads working mountainous routes handled it similarly. In cases where it made sense on ruling grades helpers were added as required to the rear of freights and dropped off when not needed.

    You can find examples were steam was used with diesel power on the same train. The steam loco was on the front and 1 or more diesels behind it with the diesels mu together. Trains particularly in the winter often had a pusher help it out of the yard til the brakes were fully released and the journal bearings warmed up.

    [EDIT]The Western Maryland Thomas subdivision thru the Allegheny Mountains had steep grades and sharp curves. Coal trains were handled by 2-8-0 steam locos. They used 6 or 7 of them per train with 1 or 2 on the front end, 2 on the rear and 3 mid train. Try handling one of those in cab mode in Trainz.

    While each steam loco had it's own cab crew and they all worked independently that's all true, they were experienced in working together, driving the route and using and responding to whistle signals. In Trainz there is really only 1 cab crew and it is limited to just 1 person - you the user - so not really a simulation of the real situation is it. No steam train with multiple locos back then had just 1 engine crew that beamed into the cabs on a rotational basis as they were needed to change the controls, shovel coal, check water, maintain steam pressure and avoid wheel slip and watch the road ahead.

    Communcation before radio was with whistle signals and railroads specified them in their rule books.

    Bob Pearson
    Last edited by RPearson; January 25th, 2020 at 02:39 PM.
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