Trains and robots

Don't know how to use a machine? Looking for efficient setups? Stuck in a mission?
Post Reply
starxplor
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 11:25 pm
Contact:

Trains and robots

Post by starxplor » Mon Jun 23, 2014 11:35 pm

I have seen people mention using robots to unload trains. I have even seen a few screenshots of maps where this was done. What I have not seen is any way to make sure your storage does not fill up with one type of ore. From what I have seen, people tend to unload from train into logistic chests, then use requester chests to unload onto belts into smelting areas. With this setup, how do you make sure the train unload chests do not fill up with just iron ore, causing your copper ore trains to not be able to offload their goods.

Does anyone have a good setup they want to show off/explain?

bonob
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 5:32 am
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by bonob » Tue Jun 24, 2014 5:42 am

This question is more about how to share a station for different trains and goods than about unloading with robots I guess.

You can limit the loading of the wagon in the mining outposts with circuit network.
You have to connect outposts with, say, green wires, you load the wagons only if ore is less than, say, 10k.
In the main base, the first row of chests (e.g. active providers) is not connected, it's just a buffer that can accept different ores. The second row of chests (e.g. requesters) is connected to the green circuit network, and should have a capacity of at least 10k.

Actually there would be two sets of chests, one with enough capacity for the iron, another with enough capacity for the copper. All mining outposts are limited to max the corresponding capacity, plus some buffer.

starxplor
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 11:25 pm
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by starxplor » Tue Jun 24, 2014 9:20 pm

This doesn't explain how to make sure the storage doesnt fill with one ore, blocking the other ore from being unloaded. Are you suggesting smart inserters to pull from the train, so at least one chest is set to only one ore?

The situation I am envisioning is as follows:
1) all trains have 1 cargo cart
2) main station near processing, unloads all of the cart into 4-6 chests. These chests distribute to processing or other storage.
3) many trains on the rails, going to different outposts, some filling iron, some copper, some both, some even coal or stone.

So, other than restricting some of the unload chests via smart inserters, what happens if you get a few iron ore trains, run out of copper ore to preocess, and all your storage fills with iron ore. No more copper can be delivered, and so no more iron gets used to make no more room for copper.

bonob
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 5:32 am
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by bonob » Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:43 pm

No, the setup I'm trying to describe does not filter with the chests on the train line.
These chests can accept anything, but in order that any wagon can be unloaded, they cannot be allowed to fill up.
So they cannot be used to feed the consumers (the furnaces) directly.

Between the 'first row chests' (unloading the wagons) and the consumers, you need a buffer, so other chests, which I called the 'second row chests'. The setup I tried was with one-purpose-chests (only iron ore, or only copper ore, but could also be stone and coal). These chests need a capacity of at least the capacity limit set up on the circuit network, so when they are full, the trains for this type of ore are not filled up anymore in the outpost. This way, the second row chests always have space to accept input from the first row chests, so the first row chests never get full.

Since you mention specifically that you could get a few trains of iron in a row before any copper comes for example, it's true that you have to be careful about the buffer size. The buffer size should be the circuit limit + the size of all the wagons for this resource (say you have 3 one-wagon trains of iron, you need a buffer size of 10k for the circuit network + 3k for the wagons, because when the wagons are loaded, you could be just one unit under the circuit network limit.) The important part, which I probably didn't explain well in my previous post, is that the limit is actually enforced by the remote inserters, in the mining outpost itself. They don't load anything in the trains when the main base chests are full.

Between the first row chests and the second row chests, you can use logistic bots, it's pretty efficient. You can also use belts and filtering inserters, but it tends to be inefficient due to the inserters between the first row chests and the belt being too slow.

And you can probably use multi purpose chests as second row chests too, you just need to make sure that the total storage is enough for your desired max stock of copper + iron + stone + coal.
multi-pupose-station.jpg
multi-pupose-station.jpg (78.44 KiB) Viewed 5425 times
Here the second row iron chests are in the green circuit network, which is limited to 10k. Their capacity is probably 15k (they are limited to distribute the load), and when they contain more than 10k, the iron ore trains will just circulate empty.
There is a filter on the top inserters (between the train and the first row chests), but it's to avoid that they take fuel from the locomotive, because I have trains with different sizes.

starxplor
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 11:25 pm
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by starxplor » Thu Jun 26, 2014 10:13 pm

bonob wrote:No, the setup I'm trying to describe does not filter with the chests on the train line.
These chests can accept anything, but in order that any wagon can be unloaded, they cannot be allowed to fill up.
So they cannot be used to feed the consumers (the furnaces) directly.

Between the 'first row chests' (unloading the wagons) and the consumers, you need a buffer, so other chests, which I called the 'second row chests'. The setup I tried was with one-purpose-chests (only iron ore, or only copper ore, but could also be stone and coal). These chests need a capacity of at least the capacity limit set up on the circuit network, so when they are full, the trains for this type of ore are not filled up anymore in the outpost. This way, the second row chests always have space to accept input from the first row chests, so the first row chests never get full.

Since you mention specifically that you could get a few trains of iron in a row before any copper comes for example, it's true that you have to be careful about the buffer size. The buffer size should be the circuit limit + the size of all the wagons for this resource (say you have 3 one-wagon trains of iron, you need a buffer size of 10k for the circuit network + 3k for the wagons, because when the wagons are loaded, you could be just one unit under the circuit network limit.) The important part, which I probably didn't explain well in my previous post, is that the limit is actually enforced by the remote inserters, in the mining outpost itself. They don't load anything in the trains when the main base chests are full.

Between the first row chests and the second row chests, you can use logistic bots, it's pretty efficient. You can also use belts and filtering inserters, but it tends to be inefficient due to the inserters between the first row chests and the belt being too slow.

And you can probably use multi purpose chests as second row chests too, you just need to make sure that the total storage is enough for your desired max stock of copper + iron + stone + coal.
multi-pupose-station.jpg
Here the second row iron chests are in the green circuit network, which is limited to 10k. Their capacity is probably 15k (they are limited to distribute the load), and when they contain more than 10k, the iron ore trains will just circulate empty.
There is a filter on the top inserters (between the train and the first row chests), but it's to avoid that they take fuel from the locomotive, because I have trains with different sizes.
OK, so the part about not filling the train when storage is marked 'full' is what I was missing from the earlier post. But that brings up a question, do you spam out robo ports to connect your logistic networks at the storage and mining sides, or do you run logic wire along power lines? It seems that it would be a pain to have a very remote mining station connected in some way to know what is in the storage base.

I use only single direction trains, so I always know where the engine is, this makes unloading much easier. The whole point of my exploring combined ores in a single cart was to avoid having to carry around 4 carts with every train, when only one is needed for most stations

bonob
Inserter
Inserter
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat May 10, 2014 5:32 am
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by bonob » Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:46 pm

starxplor wrote:[...] But that brings up a question, do you spam out robo ports to connect your logistic networks at the storage and mining sides, or do you run logic wire along power lines? It seems that it would be a pain to have a very remote mining station connected in some way to know what is in the storage base.
I definitely don't connect the outposts with roboports, that would be extremely expensive in my understanding, but yes, I connect them all to the green wire circuit network. That's a bit laborious, but it does look nice, on the other hand :)
Since the trains are currently dumb towards circuit and logistic networks, you only have two choices to avoid the precise issue that you first raised, i.e. making sure that the intermediate chests through which several goods transit won't get stuck on one of the good.

Either you filter 'upstream' (before filling the train,) which is the way I described, and in my experience it works quite well, but then you have to share some information between the outposts and the main base;
Or you filter 'downstream', in this case by unloading only what you need from the trains, which requires dedicated 'first row chests' with filter inserters.
I use only single direction trains, so I always know where the engine is, this makes unloading much easier.
That's an entirely different topic, but I'd like to use this occasion to highlight my opinion: I was quite surprised with a question I asked before (this one) that seemingly one-direction trains are more popular.
I played quite a lot of Simutrans, which is very similar to OpenTTD, and definitely when you run a lot of trains you want bidirectional trains! Do they do huge loops in real-life train stations?
Well, to each his/her preferences :P

I wonder if I should try to open a dedicated discussion on this one way/two way trains topic..

starxplor
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 11:25 pm
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by starxplor » Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:07 am

Are you suggesting we get one of those big circles that rotates to allow an engine to come in one direction and exit any other, including the one it just came in on? That would be awesome.

sillyfly
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1096
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 11:29 am
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by sillyfly » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:22 am

bonob wrote:Do they do huge loops in real-life train stations?
Go to Google Earth / Google Maps and type in the location -

Code: Select all

44.389047, -105.509312
(See image attached)

It's a coal mine in the US. You can see the rail loop, and two very long trains (it looks like maybe a hundred wagons each, but I didn't count!).
So yes, they do make loops in end-stops.
And I think the trains in factorio are too short, but having more than 10 wagons in factorio makes the top speed so slow :(

Edit: There is another coal mine with a similar loop close by - follow the track east, then at the fork go north. But the other one doesn't have ridiculously long trains in it :)
Attachments
rail-loop.png
rail-loop.png (775.4 KiB) Viewed 5288 times

Rahjital
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 435
Joined: Thu May 29, 2014 10:44 am
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by Rahjital » Sat Jun 28, 2014 11:28 am

bonob wrote:I played quite a lot of Simutrans, which is very similar to OpenTTD, and definitely when you run a lot of trains you want bidirectional trains! Do they do huge loops in real-life train stations?
Ah, but bidirectional trains are wasteful, you have to haul the additional weight of a train without being able to use it's power. :P As for real life stations, they indeed do use big loops, or if there's not enough space, turntables. There's not that many bidirectional trains in reality either, at least not where I live.
sillyfly wrote:And I think the trains in factorio are too short, but having more than 10 wagons in factorio makes the top speed so slow :(
Remeber that you are not limited to putting one locomotive at the front of the train. I usually use 2 engines at the front and 8 wagons behind it, it doubles the fuel usage and is not as efficient as single train, but it gets the train to very respectable speeds.

sillyfly
Smart Inserter
Smart Inserter
Posts: 1096
Joined: Sun May 04, 2014 11:29 am
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by sillyfly » Sat Jun 28, 2014 12:03 pm

Yeah, I know. I have a few trains with two locomotives as well.
But if you look at the mine I mentioned - the train had ~100 wagons and only 4 locomotives (two at each end; the other one seems to have 3...). This makes for 1/25 locomotives per wagon. In factorio you seem to need about 1/5 ratio if you want your trains to move fast enough (or maybe I'm just too demanding...)

starxplor
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 151
Joined: Sun May 18, 2014 11:25 pm
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by starxplor » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:27 pm

Just thought I would point out, I have never seen a train in real live that had an engine on both ends. Every train I have ever seen come through our industrial area (big automotive) has had just the one at the front.

MtNak
Long Handed Inserter
Long Handed Inserter
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri May 16, 2014 4:03 pm
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by MtNak » Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:43 pm

I have seen a lot of them. I think most underground ones have them.

User avatar
ssilk
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 10430
Joined: Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:35 pm
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by ssilk » Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:44 pm

I'm absolutely sure, we already had that discussion. :)
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
Have you used the Advanced Search today?
Need help, question? FAQ - Wiki - Forum help
I still like small signatures...

Turtle
Fast Inserter
Fast Inserter
Posts: 227
Joined: Sat May 31, 2014 9:45 pm
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by Turtle » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:25 am

I've seen plenty of them. I used to live in a city that had a train route. It was so annoying when you would get stuck at a railroad crossing waiting for the train to go by. You would sit in your car trying to see if you can see the end of the train, then when you see it, you think to yourself, "oh thank goodness it's almost done." Then suddenly it starts to slow down and stop... then reverse! The joke around town was that the guy in the rear engine would contact the guy in the front engine and say, "Hey, this guy's really pissed... you gotta see his face!!" So that's why they would reverse.

JamesOFarrell
Filter Inserter
Filter Inserter
Posts: 402
Joined: Fri May 23, 2014 8:54 am
Contact:

Re: Trains and robots

Post by JamesOFarrell » Sun Jun 29, 2014 4:34 am

Some non-standard locomotive configurations used in the rail industry. Top and tail is what you are talking about.
Top and tail
Double-heading
Push-pull

Post Reply

Return to “Gameplay Help”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests