My tale of woe (train signal problems)

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Mauslag PIngman
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My tale of woe (train signal problems)

Post by Mauslag PIngman » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:11 pm

I have over 100 hours in this game and have developed a rather huge and sprawling megabase on a train world map. I also had about ten train lines that were working, some of them with multiple trains. I started to think I knew what I was doing and then I tried to build another track from an even more distant area but this time I'd cross other tracks because I just felt it was inevitable and I thought I'd be able to handle it. I didn't realize it but I was building two way tracks. I guess this is the more complicated way to go for signaling. Up to this point I hadn't used any chain signals.

This is the big flaw in Factorio. You can build a huge base and you can build a complicated rail network and then you try to take it one step further and things get locked up. Trains stop moving and there just isn't time to do 10% of them manually. You try to guess at what to do with signals and you get it wrong and you get the tracks mixed up because all the tracks look exactly the same. Eventually, I decided I needed to build a one way track, build a huge loop but I still had to cross a lot of other tracks and there were lots of opportunities to make mistakes.

I think I have to find a save from a few days ago. I hope I have one. How do you keep things straight with all these tracks?

Mr. Tact
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Re: My tale of woe (train signal problems)

Post by Mr. Tact » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:45 pm

I'm sure there is a "good place" to use two way trains, but in my experience it comes down to poor planning. One way is easier and better.
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Mauslag PIngman
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Re: My tale of woe (train signal problems)

Post by Mauslag PIngman » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:07 pm

I didn't want to take up a lot of space so a single track appealed to me and I didn't even really know what two way implied. In my head single track had something to do with one way, but single track requires two way. You've gotta have a loop to do one way track.

I think I've got a plan of action now. I'm gonna load up an earlier save before I mucked everything up and I'm going to build a lot of track and then I'm going to try to build a big loop of one way track and see if I can figure out how to put signals on it before I try and add it to this system. Also, i'm gonna have to cross some other tracks. Sounds like I'll be working on this RR lab for a week before I'll have any confidence.

I think somebody with know how might know how to fix the mess I got into but I doubt i can find a way out of it.

Amarula
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Re: My tale of woe (train signal problems)

Post by Amarula » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:22 pm

Oh I feel your pain! I have abandoned a fairly large base because there were a lot of tracks, that weren't working, and I decided it was easier to start over than to rip everything up to try to fix it.

My experience: a two-way track (trains coming and going on the same track) works fine for exactly one train. More than one train: put down two tracks so one is going and one is coming.

My experience: intersections where one track crosses another track equals eventual deadlock all trains coming to a halt. Just don't do it. Make traffic circles or equivalent where one track merges into or leaves another. Make the merge areas big, with lots of room for trains to wait before entering the merge area.

I haven't had time to work with chain signals though they are supposed to provide a big boost to efficiency. I am gradually getting confident in using regular signals. Place signals guarding all entrances to merge areas, so two trains don't both enter at the same time and collide. Place signals on exits from merge areas, or all incoming trains stop and wait for the last train to leave to get to the next area guarded by a signal. Do a search for train blueprints in these forums, lots of good ideas have been shared.

Good luck! <*Train whistle as it leaves the station*>

Trebor
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Re: My tale of woe (train signal problems)

Post by Trebor » Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:26 am

This is my simple way of thinking about signals. Signals break rails into blocks, where each block can hold one train. Signals are place at the entrance to blocks. Regular signals are placed at the entrance to a block where I'm willing to have a train stop. Chain signals are placed at the entrance to blocks where I don't want trains to stop.

Mauslag PIngman
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Re: My tale of woe (train signal problems)

Post by Mauslag PIngman » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:45 am

That's an interesting way to look at it.

I've made a rail signal test, mostly using one way track, but there is one branch that has one way and two way track and it all works fine. I have lines that merge onto the main loop and I have loops that cross the main loop and all the trains are moving, about 12 of them in a pretty small area. I can figure it out when its small but when they get long as they do in game, its easy to confuse one rail line with another and it takes a long time to test things. I'm also just using locomotives. Generally, I use locos with four cargo cars and that means there's lots more opportunity to block things up.

I also have a lot more trouble visualizing what I need to build on long tracks because you have to have a picture in your mind of how the current situation looks.

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Re: My tale of woe (train signal problems)

Post by astroshak » Thu Dec 06, 2018 11:21 am

Many people use two way track for the various train stops. This minimizes the footprint for an ore loading area, or a plate unloading area.

For the main highways, however, that connect them all together, you really want a two track system. Four may be desired at some point, if you have that much traffic, but two works real well for many people.

Think of it as a road system. You have many two-way sections, in the form of driveways. But all the roads connecting the driveways, as well as all of the bigger roads connecting the neighborhoods, and the highways, are all one-way, in two halves : one half coming, the other half going, and woe betide anyone who drives on the locally wrong side of the street!

Learning how to signal all that is an adventure in and of itself!

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Re: My tale of woe (train signal problems)

Post by mrvn » Fri Dec 07, 2018 11:57 am

Trebor wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 2:26 am
This is my simple way of thinking about signals. Signals break rails into blocks, where each block can hold one train. Signals are place at the entrance to blocks. Regular signals are placed at the entrance to a block where I'm willing to have a train stop. Chain signals are placed at the entrance to blocks where I don't want trains to stop.
That exactly the way to go. The simple rule of signals is that after every regular signal there must be enough space for a train to stop at the next signal. If there isn't sufficient space then a chain signal is required. If there is enough space but you still don't want the train to stop there then a chain signal is desired.

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