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Thread: Simplifying realistic track plans

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Netherlands, for now in, Montreal, CA
    Blog Entries

    Default Simplifying realistic track plans

    After discovering SpoorplanOnline which at the time had all the track plans in the Netherlands, (these days it also has Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Austria) I started to build my dream layout. Once I had placed my track and signals, just like the real thing, I found that I didn't have drivers, like the real thing. Now the AI drivers are pretty good as long as you don't overload them with too many choices. In the real world, there are central controls that help guide the drivers around obstacles and resolve access conflicts to keep things running smoothly. In Trainz, if I setup the instructions correctly, I could just sit back and enjoy the show. Until things go pear shaped and I have to untangle a host of conflicts.

    One of the problems is that the real track plans have a lot of options, multiple cross overs in long stretches of double track, massive amounts of double slip switches at the entrances and exits of major stations which allows the real world to use just about any platform for any route but causes Trainz to just about freeze from overwhelming choice. So now I've decided to simplify the stations, keep all the platforms but reduce the amount of track to a bare minimum.
    Instead of this (thanks to https://www.prorail.nl/projecten/utr...recht-centraal)

    I only place the main lines and skip most of the interconnections. Perhaps not as realistic but this way the AI doesn't get too confused.

    The great thing about the new combined Surveyor/Driver interface is that debugging can be done interactively while the consists are finding their way from A to B. Where they get stuck, I can apply corrections to the tracks and signals and see right away if the AI understands.

    TRS19 Platinum, build 105100, Win10 Pro 64 bit, i7-7700 3.6GHz 16 GB, GTX 1070 Ti

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Australia, NSW, Sydney
    Blog Entries


    A good post. All of my layouts are of remote main lines, with little traffic, and branch lines with even less traffic and really complex junctions and yards are a rarity. When they do occur I try to recreate them as faithfully as I can. But, often because of the closeness of the switch points, I resort to using invisible switch levers otherwise you can end up with the ridiculous sight of switch levers appearing between the rails. My layouts predate the use of electrically driven points so they are not an option either. I use point rodding and cranks to connect these troublesome points to a nearby trackside lever or to a signal box.

    I have become a convert to using Enhanced Interlocking Towers to solve all AI problems at junctions and yards. It is a steep learning curve (which I am still climbing) but it is worth it. I am even giving some thought to trying out the EIT train control blocks option (one day soon (TM)).
    TRS19 Platinum 105100 - TRS19 SP1 (standard) 105096 - TANE SP4 105766

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    United States of America, Massachusetts, Haverhill


    That's an excellent post. I discovered too that anything that has to do with Trainz it's best to use the old KISS method. In my area the local transit authority has recently relaid the tracks going into North Station Boston going as far as to reduce the number of crossovers down to a couple near the drawbridges so what you are doing on your route is not unusual even in real life. Hmm I wonder if they were running into AI issues as well!

    On my routes, even with urban regions, I too have simplified the track similarly. The main routes are there, but the yards are mere sidings and there are a few crossovers. In addition to the AI having problems, I discovered that the less track, signals, and other trackside objects reduces the stutters as well. Like pware I too have recently discovered the joys of interlocking towers. Using the EIT's I was able to prevent my trams from running through each other at crossovers and junctions. It does take a bit of fiddling, but after the learning curve and keeping at it, I can rig up a junction in a matter of minutes.
    Trainz User Since: 12-2003
    Trainz User ID: 124863
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    TRS2019/Trainz-PLUS: 105100

  4. #4


    The ability to create prototypical layouts is also somewhat hindered by the inability of Trainz to make curved points and complex slips.

    I have been looking at the Lincoln (UK) area in the steam era after being inspired by the old SIAM LC52 simulation but even without the above restrictions, which feature heavily in most of the yards and siding complexes, it would probably bring the game to a crawl if you included every element of the real thing.
    TRS 2019 Coach Class (Former Customer)

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