Question: Automatic shopping/delivery of items to outposts

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Question: Automatic shopping/delivery of items to outposts

Post by KAA »

Hi guys!
My base reached the extra size I did not expect and so new interesting challenges appeared!
And one thing is really time-consuming and I don't know yet how to solve it.
So I'd like to share it with you, maybe someone else will be interested to solve this.

So, I have main base and some spaces far from the base which are occupied by some modules - for example, I have remote furnace setup, remote oil refinery and so on. Even remote mining will get a big profit is the following will be resolved.
So let's imagine I'm just checking my remote regions to see what's happening there, looking for bottlenecks and so on. And I see the bottleneck. It may be:
- Mining outpost near depletion
- Some part missing in rail or production system
- I need to insert modules somewhere (forgot, for example)
- I need to add a couple of furnace sections
- Need to add a section of solar
and so on.

So at the moment I saw it I need to return to base, (by train/car, cause walking is too far) gather parts and travel back to the bottleneck I found.
If there are a lot of parts (like 100 Furnace and support - inserters, belts, electricity... it may not fit to inventory, so I will arrange train to fit it all.
And I really have such 'support' train which I run to special station, manually load it with parts and travel back to fix the bottleneck.

The point is that it's a lot of wasted time - for travelling from the place to the base, loading train MANUALLY and travel back.

That I think is that if I could tell the train what materials do I need and run it to the base, So the TRAIN could LOAD ITSELF AUTOMATICALLY and travel back to me while I'm still near the bottleneck, doing planning, applying blueprints or just sightseeing.

I though maybe it can be possible by telling the cargo to accept specific parts, or create a lot of stations in the base for different parts...
Cannot figure out solution which takes reasonable time to build and gives mentioned result.

Will appreciate any advice!
I did not see such solution on the forum. Please throw me a link if I missed it.

Also, please note that I'm playing without mods, so first of all I'd like to know what options are possible in vanilla game.
If nothing, then please suggest anything that comes to your mind, I'll consider every option.

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Re: Question: Automatic shopping/delivery of items to outposts

Post by vanatteveldt »

What I've done in the past is the following:

1) Have a dedicated train loaded with most stuff I need (lost of belts, inserters, miners, walls, turrets, etc. etc). If you have a two-wagon train you can feed it with 2 rows of red inserters on each side, allowing you to put 48 different goods in the train (reserving a spot for each in the wagon).
2) Have the train normally parked in the "goods store" where I manufacture most one-off items, and automatically filled from requester chests (belts are possible but a complete pain for 40+ different goods)
3) If I am in outpost X and need more stuff, I request the train to come (in the trains screen) by setting orders [station X wait until empty; station goods wait 30 seconds]. The train comes, I can grab stuff, and if it is a big project I will immediately send it back so it will return in a minute or two with fresh supplies until I'm done.

Edit: example goods production ( and loading station (

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Re: Question: Automatic shopping/delivery of items to outposts

Post by ssilk »

No question that the logistic train mod is an possible option for you.
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Re: Question: Automatic shopping/delivery of items to outposts

Post by teenkertoy »

If you want to brute force it using vanilla features, you could copy my work below.
Just be warned, this simple concept you are describing turned into a super complicated mess after getting it to work "just right".


Essentially there will exist a combination of items on a circuit network like "coal: value -30", with insterters for each of the items you anticipate being able to pack onto the train, all feeding onto a common belt and eventually being loaded into a chest. When the signal on the circuit network exists (a negative number), the inserters will move items from their stock chests to the common belt and send a pulse signal to a combinator that acts as a counter. The counter combinator adds a positive value to the circuit network and after enough items are loaded onto the common belt, the combinator will have a positive value high enough to cancel out the negative value (the request) and the circuit network will either show no signals, or only positive signals.

At that point, you can summon a train using signals, make it wait while the chest contents are loaded onboard, and then when the chest is empty another combinator sends the "go" signal to the train and also resets the counter combinator so that any new requests can get filled.

I found I also had to build in some logic to tell the outpost that a supply train is on the way, and the outpost should stop screaming for supplies until the train arrives and unloads.

Then it gets tremendously complicated when I tried to make this modular and able to work with any number of outposts and had to introduce a clock system to query each outpost in turn, and pretty soon it became a mess. Eventually it worked just like you are asking for and I was able to resupply ammunition, repair tools, bots and other supplies to each of my outposts automatically without any intervention, along with automating the train traffic to ensure they are not needlessly running if I have plenty of ore in stock and don't need to run and pick up more.

There's lots of stuff going on in my save game, but perhaps if you are *really* motivated to figure it out, maybe it can help.

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Re: Question: Automatic shopping/delivery of items to outposts

Post by PacifyerGrey »

The most used scenario for megabases is to create a multistop train station on your main base where a set of trains are sitting.
You will dedicate trains to a certain sets of tasks and preload them apropriately.
The example list of trains follows:
1. Railroad building. (tracks, stops, signals, poles, wires, concrete). This one is nice with F.A.R.L. mod
2. Mining outpost (miners, modules, belts, splitters, chests, inserters, logistic stuff if you choose so)
3. Oil outpost (...)
4. Smelting outpost (...)
5. Refining outpost (...)

It every train you set up automatic movement between two stations:
1. Base supply station - type
2. #Works - type

You will need to hold a train station in your inventory. When you need a certain train just place a station on a random train track (or build one fast) and name it apropriately. Voila - a requested train automaticly comes to it. When you are finished remove the station and send train to home station. It will load there and wait until you place the #Works station again.

I've seen a good practice of building PAX stations on every outpost/station allowing to use it for such purposes without interference with automated train deliveries by blocking their path with your service trains. You can manually send any train to such station now using trains interface.

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