Train Signals making me go crazy

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Train Signals making me go crazy

Postby steviefaux » Thu May 22, 2014 10:47 pm

I just don't understand them. I've attempted to read the wiki but it just makes no sense. You need a degree to understand what is being described.

I've created a test area in my massive walled off base (not much in it but I took loads of land and walled the bitters out :) )

The test works, but I don't understand why. I wanted the train to go into the side section of the track and wait but instead it waits before the station (don't know why the wiki says these are stops and NOT stations when they are named "Station") until the other train leaves, then when it does.

Can anyone explain it, in clear English, preferably with pictures?

Image
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Re: Train Signals making me go crazy

Postby muzzy » Thu May 22, 2014 11:52 pm

Signals split the track into segments.

Trains will wait at block signal if there's another train in the next segment.

Because there's no block signal before the station up there, the block signal at the junction sees the station in the next segment and will block as long as there's train there.

Also, signals are one way, one direction traffic only. If you want it to work both directions, you need two signals on both sides of the track at exact same spot. The block signal on side track is wrong way.
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Re: Train Signals making me go crazy

Postby sillyfly » Fri May 23, 2014 11:37 am

I put some colors on your image to maybe help explain: Each segment has a different color, and only one train can be on one segment at a time.
Image

As you can see, the train on the left can only enter the purple section, but the other train is already there, so it must stop.
If you move the signal as indicated by the blue arrow, now the yellow section will include the intersection (fork), and so the train on the right should be free to go down and continue to the green section.
Notice though that it would immediately go on, because it can't reach the stop from there. I don't know if that what you meant.

As for the Stop/Station - I agree. The wiki clearly states that they should be called "stops", but the in-game text refers to them as stations ("Albert Station" etc.). It is indeed confusing.

Also, as muzzy said, signals work in one way, so if you plan to use a track for trains moving in both ways you should probably put two signals facing eachother on opposite sides of the track. I personally like having each track only one way, so I do it the same way you do, with signals only to the right of the track.
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Re: Train Signals making me go crazy

Postby steviefaux » Fri May 23, 2014 6:38 pm

Thanks for the replies. Thanks Sillyfly but it still doesn't seem to work. If I move the signal to where the blue arrow is pointing then yes, the train can leave, but it then ploughs into the other train that is on the track. And neither of them are going down onto the side track to avoid each other. Even if I put a station there and tell one of them to use that, it just says No Path.
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Re: Train Signals making me go crazy

Postby sillyfly » Fri May 23, 2014 6:49 pm

Reading your post again, if I understand correctly you want to have "waiting platforms" for trains, if the stop (station) is taken.

Take a look at this setup:
Image
There are 4 "waiting platforms", each with a signal entering it and exiting it. The signal when entering is so only 1 train waits at every platform. The exiting signal served 2 purposes - the first one is, of course, to not allow the train in the platform to enter the station if it is currently occupied. The second "passive" purpose is to mark the platform empty if a train is not in it. This, of course, happens automatically when the train in this particular "waiting platform" goes on to the station.

The signal immediately after the stop (station) is there to mark this block as empty (meaning - the station is clear, and the next train can enter it).

The train stop at the bottom is only there so I can define a route for the trains to test this setting (and it worked :) ).
Note that there are 6 logical blocks in this track - 1 for every "waiting platform", 1 for the tracks between the platforms and the station, and the rest of the track - the entire "loop" from the stop to the north all the way to the entrances to all of the "waiting platforms".

I find it prudent, in long tracks, to scatter a few signals along the way to allow for a smoother ride - if a very long track is not divided by signals only a single train can use it, which may be inefficient if you have many trains.

I hope this helps. The signals are indeed confusing at first.


(BTW - how do you make it so that there is a scroll bar for wide images? I can't seem to make it work, and the image is truncated if not opened in a new tab :( )
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Re: Train Signals making me go crazy

Postby sillyfly » Fri May 23, 2014 6:54 pm

Oh, and of course - I made the "waiting platforms" short for demonstration purposes. You will have to make them at least as long as your longest train.
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Re: Train Signals making me go crazy

Postby steviefaux » Fri May 23, 2014 7:03 pm

Thanks for the reply. I think I understand your setup but you mention there are 6 logical blocks? The wording people use for the train setups is one of the big reasons it needs changing as it makes it so confusing :) or I'm just simple. I think a bit of both.

I got this setup working by trial and error but don't really understand how it's working :)

Image

If you're talking about the forum images, I believe that's a setting in phpBB in the background that needs setting. Your images looks fine for me.
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Re: Train Signals making me go crazy

Postby sillyfly » Fri May 23, 2014 10:26 pm

Ah, I see. My screen is probably not wide enough. Still, in some places I see the images are closed in a box (with a + to open them) that have scroll bars. I wonder how it's done.


I'm sorry I confuse you with talking about blocks, but this is the way the game refers to them, and I do think it is the best way to understand the way the signals work.
A block is simply all rail segments touching that you can reach without crossing a signal. In other words - if you can reach from one point to another without passing a signal (and for this it doesn't matter on which side the signal is!) then those points are on the same block. If there is no way to reach from one point to the other without crossing at least one signal - they are on different blocks.
You can see what block a rail segment (or piece - a single item you laid, that is) is by hovering the mouse over it and looking at the info pane (under the minimap). The numbers are given quite randomly, though, so you can have one block 148 and the other 72 for example. Still - it can help you see if two parts are on the same block or not.

Once you know what blocks are, remember there is only one rule - only a single train can occupy a block at any given time. That means that if a train is inside a block all signals leading _into_ this block will be red. When hovering over a signal you should be able to see the block before and block after number.

Going back to my example - I have numbered the blocks so you can see them easier. Remember - the game assigns different numbers, but they don't really matter.

Image

As you can see - there is a train now in the station block (Which I numbered 5). That's why all of the signals leading into it (That is - the signals in the waiting platforms) are all red.
There is also a train in block 6, that is why the signal immediately after the stop is red.
Blocks 1, 3 and 4 are also occupied, so the signals into them are red, but as block 2 is empty the signal into it is green.
(I see I painted over the signals in a few places, but you can still see the light around them :) )

As for your example - I suspect if the top train is in it's station the bottom train will wait _before_ the fork. That is because the fork and the top stop are both in the same block, which I numbered 2:

Image

If there are no two trains sharing the same stop I would maybe move the leftmost signal to be in the top rail after the fork, that is - extending block 1 to include the entire fork, while limiting block 2 to be only the upper part.


I hope this makes it clearer :)
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Re: Train Signals making me go crazy

Postby steviefaux » Fri May 23, 2014 11:06 pm

It's just the forum phpBB code, it automatically does that to the image if your screen isn't big enough to fit the forum and picture in without a browser scroll bar. Instead it puts the image in it's own one.

Thanks. Your last post has made it properly clear now :) I've got it working on my big track but some of the signals were still guess work. I'll have to work on it after reading your post though as on some of the side tracks, the train coming is still waiting to go to the top station when there is a train in the lower station. But in other areas of the track it's not doing that and working fine. But reading your last post, I think I now see it's because the signal at the join is creeping into another block (I know that is confusingly written but then so is the whole train network system :) )
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Re: Train Signals making me go crazy

Postby ssilk » Mon May 26, 2014 9:28 am

Quite good explained. My plan was to create such pics, but now I just linked to this article.
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