Railway waiting area

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RelicalChaos
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Railway waiting area

Post by RelicalChaos » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:50 pm

So in the below screenshot, I edited this for convenience sake. 1 Direction Rail Network

As you can see, I set up a waiting area for trains to stop (if needed). so Let's just say I have 4 trains headed for my iron Drop off points. 2 trains for Iron Drop off 1, and 2 trains for Iron Drop off 2. If Iron drop off 1 and 2 already have a parked train there unloading, then my other 2 trains will stay in the waiting the area. However, if there wasn't anything at each station drop off points, the waiting area will allow a train to just "WIZZ" by without stopping at all.

I have tested this several times, however, Input would be appreciated.. Maybe I missed something?

Edit** I'm probably going to add Cross rails to the main rail lines after the waiting area.


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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by JimBarracus » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:53 am

I can't really see your problem.
I guess you don't like that the train goes straight to the unloading station when the station is unoccupied?

Are the intersections on the right necessary? You already split the lanes, why merge them back together. It doesn't make trains go faster.
There is no need to merge the tracks after the waiting area.

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by RelicalChaos » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:19 am

I'm more or less asking if the signal will work in that fashion? with this setup, will there be any bog-downs?

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by RelicalChaos » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:35 am

Are the intersections on the right necessary? You already split the lanes, why merge them back together. It doesn't make trains go faster.
There is no need to merge the tracks after the waiting area.
The two lanes don't merge, it just allows another lane of travel to each smelting area. If the top lane has a train, it allows the bottom to be in use.

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by Optera » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:39 am

Your stacker is needlessly far away from the stations and having only 2 paths of only chain signals is like 2 paths without signals at all. Only 2 trains can ever leave your stacker design at a time.

I would build a separate 4-6 track stacker for iron and copper directly south of the stations.

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by RelicalChaos » Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:51 am

yea, it looks so open because I'm not entirely done as of yet. I haven't decided on a smelting setup, and I'm still processing uranium for a reactor. Thanks for the advice.

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by JimBarracus » Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:57 am

RelicalChaos wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:35 am
The two lanes don't merge, it just allows another lane of travel to each smelting area. If the top lane has a train, it allows the bottom to be in use.
but that doesnt improve the situation. it just adds more intersections and more possibilities that two trains have to wait for each other.

less is sometimes more.
Anyway the stacker should be as close as possible to the unloading station.
This increases throughput significantly.
I even put signals within the station, the next train is just behind the one that unloads.
When the current train leaves the new can accelerate and go to the unloading position before the old train left the station.
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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by mmmPI » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:18 am

This made me think of this post : viewtopic.php?f=18&t=72104

The design inteded is very similar and the problem that was experienced is well described here with :
Optera wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 5:39 am
having only 2 paths of only chain signals is like 2 paths without signals at all. Only 2 trains can ever leave your stacker design at a time.
JimBarracus wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 8:57 am
The two lanes don't merge, it just allows another lane of travel to each smelting area. If the top lane has a train, it allows the bottom to be in use.

but that doesnt improve the situation. it just adds more intersections and more possibilities that two trains have to wait for each other.
You could picture it this way :
trainpileup.jpg
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Train 1 blocking train 2 that block train 3.

But the way chain signal functions, my guess is that the train 2 would not leave the stacker , it will detect train 1 blocking the path most of the time and stay in the stacker despite an apparent "free" lane, because train 1 decided to enter iron lane 2 , if iron lane 1 open in the meantime it may be blocked.

You would see "open lanes" not being used, a little for iron , worse for copper, since the portion of rails with chain signal is longer, ( which was the problem in the post i linked).

If you absolutly wants your stacker sharing different ressources trains, and being far away from station , you will have harder time, it is possible but in this case i would advise you to use the wiki :https://wiki.factorio.com/Railway/Train_path_finding, it might seems unrelated for building a thing, but this could help you understand what is happening after you built one :)

I would also advise for testing with smaller design, and scaling up when you got something functionning, because when you have to tear down half of it because you want to try something different it takes less time !

Having the waiting area inline, such as every train always goes through it every time is already part of the solution, rather than having a side lane where you try to push trains to wait, this is harder.

Having the waiting area dedicated for ressources so that a train full of one ressource can't block a train full of another , having it as close as possible to the real unload, to limit downtime and increase reactivity, as pointed out will help designing , you will not have to incorporate a solution to a problem made non-existent. (and again small tests could sometimes reveal those problems, rather than discovering them after the bigger design ;) )

Good luck !

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by JimBarracus » Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:40 am

mmmPI wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:18 am
Having the waiting area inline, such as every train always goes through it every time is already part of the solution, rather than having a side lane where you try to push trains to wait, this is harder.

Good luck !
basically a stacker is just an inline waiting chain but much more compact.
the parallel tracks are basically seperate inline sections but the trains procede in a "random" order.

like you pointed out several times. The design in general has so many flaws. You can basically trash it.
@op
just build the unloading stations, put a stacker each just in front of it and you're close to a good design.

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by DarkDexter » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:20 pm

I was having the same problem couple days ago. Using a stacker for three resources. It slowed down the production of the last, far to the right smelting chain.
So I gave up the idea of having a stacker for all resources, I just made a stacker that can hold all trains. Speaking of 4 copper trains: I have a stacker for 4 trains. Which leaves a lane open for what ever train wants to path by or needs to find a weird way for whatever reason.
But with having a waiting position for each train you operate for the specific resource, you main train bus is always free.

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by mmmPI » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:43 pm

JimBarracus wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 11:40 am

like you pointed out several times. The design in general has so many flaws. You can basically trash it.
Well at least the signaling is correct ! It will not destroy trains, and it will not come to a complete stall, all trains can reach their destination without getting stuck, they wouldn't wait in the middle of a junction.

The efficiency problems would be made visible only if you have severals trains already, ( or if with habit you can picture it )

i advised smaller test, but this is still a test from OP, the kind of test that tells you something is wrong only when you test full scale sort of.

If it was mine i would just call that a lot of fixes, or even , few but very visible changes , i wouldn't trash it :D

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by Serenity » Wed Aug 21, 2019 12:49 pm

By using using some normal signals could probably queue a train in the section between iron and copper dropoff if it's long enough. And get rid of whatever track is leading offscreen on the right

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by RelicalChaos » Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:29 pm

I originally did have regular Rail signals before each approach to each station, however, with the length of trains, It wasn't enough room . So Instead of tearing everything up, I decided to change the signals around and just add Chain signals instead with a waiting area.

1 train per stop max. There isn't just 4 stops, there several. but 1 train per stop.
The only honest BOG-DOWN, is within this orange Square. If there's anything there, then yes, they will be stuck at the waiting area. But having 1 train per stop, there's no other trains heading to the same spot.




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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by RelicalChaos » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:19 am

ok scrapping it, and starting over.. thanks for the input.. Much appreciated. I think I understand where all of you are coming from. Maybe I can toss another build and get more input on my new design later on...


Thanks again :D

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by JimBarracus » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:00 am

RelicalChaos wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:29 pm
1 train per stop max. There isn't just 4 stops, there several. but 1 train per stop.
then you dont need stackers at all

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by Optera » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:13 am

Here's a picture of a different stacker designs that work well.
2018-11-14-09-58-56-3420583.png
2018-11-14-09-58-56-3420583.png (4.83 MiB) Viewed 658 times
Top and bottom tracks have single track waiting areas for 1-2 trains waiting in case the station is busy.
Center is a proper stacker for 3 waiting trains. Lager stacker are pointless as the time it takes trains to enter and exit stations is longer. When more throughput is required build a 2nd station with dedicated 2-3 track stacker.

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by mrvn » Thu Aug 22, 2019 11:13 am

RelicalChaos wrote:
Wed Aug 21, 2019 10:29 pm
I originally did have regular Rail signals before each approach to each station, however, with the length of trains, It wasn't enough room . So Instead of tearing everything up, I decided to change the signals around and just add Chain signals instead with a waiting area.

1 train per stop max. There isn't just 4 stops, there several. but 1 train per stop.
The only honest BOG-DOWN, is within this orange Square. If there's anything there, then yes, they will be stuck at the waiting area. But having 1 train per stop, there's no other trains heading to the same spot.




Image
It's not just that square but that one is the biggest. Each part between stations also blocks all the stations after it. A train on the lower track will have to cross the upper track and that blocks everything from then on out. Worst case is an iron train using the bottom track going to the first stop. Least a stone train using the bottom track. That only blocks uranium.

If as you say you only have one train per stop then what use is the stacker at all? Or the multiple tracks? Simply have one track going left to right and branch off to each station. The station each train wants to go to is always free so it will never get stuck on the main track. All trains will simply drive through full speed till they enter the station branch. For optimal throughput make the branch long enough so they only start breaking after the branch.

PS: If you have more trains have one track leaving the stacker and split it as early as possible with one track going to each station without crossing any other.

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by Serenity » Thu Aug 22, 2019 12:29 pm

Given the distance between the rail line at the bottom and the station at the top you could use linear stackers. Just have trains wait behind each other

But yeah, if you have one train, why do you want a waiting area at all? I guess future proofing the design doesn't hurt though

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by mrvn » Thu Aug 22, 2019 1:25 pm

I just had another idea.

In the current setup the stacker is a set of parallel tracks below the main stations. That adds more than a trains length to the height. On the other hand it is comparatively thin leaving lots of free space next to it.

What if you made the stacker a set of sequential tracks and turn it 90° so it runs long the bottom of the stations?

And with that I don't mean just one single track with signals. Because then each train would block all later trains. For it to be a stacker each train had to be able to skip ahead of other blocked trains. I was thinking 2 parallel tracks. Trains enter on the bottom track. The bottom track has repeating sections that have a cross over to the top track and that can hold one train each. Each section is separated from the next by a full signal. The cross over on the other hand only has chain signals right up until where the track enters each individual station. The trains can advance at the bottom track right to the front if there is space. Otherwise they queue up one after the other. But any train that has a free path to the station can cross over to the top track and skip ahead.

In a station setup like the above it would reduce the height by a third.

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Re: Railway waiting area

Post by mmmPI » Thu Aug 22, 2019 4:05 pm

Hey i have made a thing in the editor because i like trains, there is a bit of everything, stackers, parralel lines, and train waiting just behind another trains.

Here the map, 13 outpost, 10 unloading area, each of them creating or deleting item at the same rate, this means if you let the system run, the stacker will fill in with trains.

There is 4 or 5 trains per outpost. All train from the same outpost have the same schedule. The only difference in schedule is the number of the outpost.
The schedule is : (Oupost #)=>(load)[full cargo]=>(station entrance)=>(unload)[empty cargo].

I have attached the save, when you start, the trains from the 8 bottom outpost are prevented to leave their outpost. This means you only see 6 train unloading at any time.

If you switch the button, the lamp turn green, and all train will run, filling in the stacker, you can turn it on/off with the button, and see how the whole thing behave, or also look individual train behavior.
overview.jpg
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stationview2.jpg
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Here you can see an "academical stacker" , the diagonal thing in yellow, that's a classic design. It look "oversized", but if you don't need the ressources, the train will all back up in the station, you need enough space so that every train can "wait", in both end of the schedule.

The horizontal part with yellow waiting bay is pure DIY, i do not recommend this design, i had to try something weird because the station is very big and between the stacker and the unloading station the space is quite big, if you only place "chain signal", then one train needs to complelety clear/leave, the whole chain-block, before another one enter.

Thus i used the wiki-rules to make the trains think the outer lane is shorter than the inner lane, because the outer lane has less signal and the pathfindind of trains consider that each signal "cost" some distance ( this is why i linked to the wiki , for understanding how train behave in this portion it's difficult without !).

This look like what you are attempting, the same shape, except in my design i tried to make it as small as possible, and it is not my main waiting area, this one is the classic large stacker, this is why you may face "weird" behavior, or effiency problem, because it requires to understand precisely things too predict, or just do a lot of manual testings at full scale ( which i like but maybe that is not your thing :) ).

Then you have another last waiting area just before the unload. This is to reduce the down-time and increase reactivity. When a train has finished unloading, it is replaced immediatly ( when you run all outpost ofc ! ). Then a train from the stacker can replace the replacing train.

stationreal.jpg
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Here you can see another trick, in the previous annotated screenshot, you only have 1 green dot to guard the vertical yellow area and the unload. But on the real screenshot, you can see 2 rail signal, in the curve. One just after the junction, and one at the end of the curve, except for the first lane.

This has been mention in the thread, it is to increase reactivity too. The little space between the 2 rail signal is occupied when there are 2 trains waiting to unload in line. When the first one leave, the second replace it. And as soon as the 2nd train moves a little, the little space become "open", so a train from the stacker can now see which lane is releasing a train. This just because the train after the one being unloaded has moved 3/4 of a curved rail, and all the chain signal. ( but on a relatively "short" distance).
stationrealexit.jpg
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Here you can see the same trick it is 2 screenshot, but it connect on the map almost like on the forum , the rail signal are placed in-between the inserters, and there is a 1 wagon gap, after each station. This means when a train has finished unloading, it moves 1 wagon in distance, thus freeing up the previous block, telling the previous train to move 1/2 wagon ahead, calling the train from the stacker.

And there's a lof of signal at the end, this i see like a formula 1 race ,at the start, you don't wait till the person in front of you has reached the safety distance, you just try to stay as close as possible , the game doesn't allow the trains to be that close if the speed increase, this allow enough throuput if you use 4 blue belt per unload station.
20190822131738_1.jpg
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This is the outpost, they are using the same logic, parralel stacker + another waiting area just before unload.

This form of "loading outpost" is usually the size of my whole "oil unloading", i would also use something like this for stone, or uranium, maybe coal too depending on the size of the factory, the whole thing would be totally overkill for most my games.



The whole design is completly broken if you increase inserter stack with research

Because then a train would stay in a station for only 1/10 of the time, and then there is not enough throuput.

This wouldn't happen if instead of deleting the ressources they were put onto belts like in a regular game, unless you also multiply the number of belts by 10, This design is ok for roughly 40 blue-belts of material, not 400 !


It was a lot of fun to make and maybe even more to watch it after it's finished but maybe it can also help for inspiration, because this design show quite some things, but it is only for one ressource ! and you cannot extend it unless you just build another one, and also i made my life easier by making only merge junction, in a real game a train network is not as smooth, it has crossing track junctions and it creates other bottlenecks.



Creative foundry reloaded 5.zip
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Also don't mind the mods showing up top left on the screenshot, the savegame has none.

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