Choosing train and track sizes

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zOldBulldog
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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by zOldBulldog » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:21 pm

Awesome, that clarifies so much. Thank you for the info and the blueprint.

I knew that going far far out will lead to much larger deposits, and the long round trip explains why the load time would not matter so much... by the time the train is back, the chests are probably nearly full.

I have not yet done a megabase and might never "quite" do one as my plan for my permanent vanilla map is instead to focus more on interesting designs than on trying to launch a bunch of satellites, but I have been collecting information on megabases because once I spread out massively I expect to face many of the same issues. Expanding mining in a single long line sounds like the ideal plan and will definitely use it.

And sorry about the confusion... I have no idea why I thought it was an unloader. It should have been obvious. It has been a crazy exhausting month (mostly work) and I must admit that I'm not thinking as clearly as I should.

Thanks!

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by Xtrafresh » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:28 pm

eradicator wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:55 pm
Xtrafresh wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:30 pm
Pro: better intersection and station performance (basically you are sending 1-4-1 trains through with zero space between)
Eer, no. As far as intersections are concerned a long train is not the same as several short trains. Because it can obviously not create a gap in the middle like seperate trains could. Intersections don't behave differently just because you changed the order of locos and wagons :p.
Lol, i didn´t suggest that ;)
The reason it's faster is in pure bandwidth. The increased performance comes from the fact that the time it takes for one long train to go through is less than 4 short trains of equal total length. Making it a 1-4-2-4... etc format allows flexibility and blueprint reusability. That long beast can unload at the same station as a simple 1-4-1 can, where a 4-16-4 needs a separate blueprint. It's a bit of an OCD point, admittedly :D

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by quyxkh » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:52 pm

I've been thinking about my next ... I guess "launch base" is good ... too. I'm going for 1-3 ore trains unloading to nine red belts per side, one stop copper one stop iron, you can unload 12k plates/min/side with that, plenty for pre-mega. I'm thinking I'll do steel and green chips right there too, that might even keep the core trains down to 1-3s as well. With rocket fuel those are plenty fast, the ore trains do fine with the coal that feeds the smelters.

Here's the pod design in its current poc state, two ore trains here, I'm happy with the basic setup. I set the pickup train to depart on full or 30 sec, draining the pickup buffers is the main goal there.

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by quyxkh » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:12 pm

as a side note, I don't think there's a right or a wrong side on this issue, but I build my bases to the exact opposite of this rule:
eradicator wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:55 pm
So as long as the outpost doesn't stop mining due to full buffer that's enough for me.
For me, the rule is if there are few outposts with full buffers, I go on an outpost-building expedition.

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by zOldBulldog » Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:59 pm

I also tended to use the "full chest" approach to my smelters, but I can see the wisdom in Eradicator's approach, especially if - like I will be trying to do - you want to clear an area of deposits as fast as possible to make room for construction. And you are right, both approaches are valid, which one is best depends on your goals at the moment.

I might use slightly different furnace design (or perhaps even approaches as I evolve from one to the next farther out), but your general concept is what I was thinking of for my smelting outposts along the main line (tapping from local ore lines on both sides of it). Personally, I was planning to use 1-2 ore trains and 1-4-1 for processed product in the pre-rocket phase, but I might just bite the bullet and go for 1-4-1 for everything even though I have small deposits and my ore and processed trains will never use the same tracks.

Out of curiosity, what made you choose 3-wagon ore trains? And what is the purpose of the belt measuring right before the furnaces? To measure and alert you if they aren't running at full capacity into the smelters? I will find out when I test it, but it might be a week or two before I have time to test it.

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by eradicator » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:04 pm

@OP i don't have a fully functional megabase either. I've just been planning for ages but not having time to put the plans into action (totally not becaues i spent all the action-time on planning instead :p).
Xtrafresh wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:28 pm
eradicator wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:55 pm
Xtrafresh wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 12:30 pm
Pro: better intersection and station performance (basically you are sending 1-4-1 trains through with zero space between)
Eer, no. As far as intersections are concerned a long train is not the same as several short trains. Because it can obviously not create a gap in the middle like seperate trains could. Intersections don't behave differently just because you changed the order of locos and wagons :p.
Lol, i didn´t suggest that ;)
The reason it's faster is in pure bandwidth. The increased performance comes from the fact that the time it takes for one long train to go through is less than 4 short trains of equal total length. Making it a 1-4-2-4... etc format allows flexibility and blueprint reusability. That long beast can unload at the same station as a simple 1-4-1 can, where a 4-16-4 needs a separate blueprint. It's a bit of an OCD point, admittedly :D
Sounds like a misunderstanding then :). When people talk about "behavior of intersections" i automatically assume they're talking about possible dead-lock scenarios. And for that aspect the length of a train can't simply be ignored. But it seems you meant something totally different :D. Bandwidth and less pathfinding are the very reasons i do long trains (well, and the coolness factor :p).
quyxkh wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:12 pm
as a side note, I don't think there's a right or a wrong side on this issue, but I build my bases to the exact opposite of this rule:
eradicator wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:55 pm
So as long as the outpost doesn't stop mining due to full buffer that's enough for me.
For me, the rule is if there are few outposts with full buffers, I go on an outpost-building expedition.
The only time a design is wrong is when you don't have fun using it :p. As for "the exact opposite" i'm not sure what you mean there. I mearly stated that i don't want to loose output speed on the miners. That is a per-outpost problem (i.e. when the buffer is full i need more/faster trains). When and why i build new/more outposts isn't related to that.
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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by quyxkh » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:48 pm

Out of curiosity, what made you choose 3-wagon ore trains? And what is the purpose of the belt measuring right before the furnaces?
I picked the train length for the sustainable unload rate, 10-24k plates/min is a comfortable range for my launch bases.

For the metering, I realized you could pack steel furnace lanes into the exact inter-wagon distance, decided to try building that for fun and liked the result. The metering is for fuel injection, +8000kJ/coal, -315 kJ/ore (378 for steel), inject enough to keep the furnaces fueled. This gets much more throughput per belt than the usual designs, the circuits are <5% overhead and the throughput boost is about 70% so I figure I'm coming out ahead . . . but then the design's my baby so hey, all it has to do to please me is be there.

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by Frightning » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:57 am

zOldBulldog wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:00 am
@bauer:

The typical ore patch I see in 0.16 vanilla in the early biter-free area is under 1mil. A lot are in the hundreds of K. Not many are multiple millions. I tried all kinds of settings and the best I could find is average ore patches of 2-3 mil. I can only imagine 10mil "average" deposits far away from spawn, something I am not likely to see until the Megabase stage (but then, that is probably when I will use such big trains). I asked the question because even with 1-2 ore trains that unload in seconds at the base, they usually end up waiting and waiting for ore at the mine.

To cope with that nuisance I started running longer belts to multiple ore patches, but I still can't imagine filling a 30 wagon train quickly. I would be happy if I could at least get enough ore into the chests so that the train could be filled at 6 stack inserted speeds when it returns from it unload run. BTW, I typically run 2 trains per mine loading station.

If I really got 10 mil ore patches in average, and got 167 loads of 3 wagons each, that would be quite fine... If those loads happen in a reasonable time. But if it took 10 to 30 minutes to load (what I am guessing would take to mine that much ore) then my base would starve. But I am probably missing some important detail, right?
I've gotten 10mil patches in my start with vanilla (no mods). The real key is to set the mapgen settings for ores to very low frequency, very big, very rich; the most train-friendly setup possible in vanilla.

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by evopwr » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:43 am

I think you and I are on the same mission at the same time, and i've spent several days trying to figure out exactly how to get my track design right, before going further. Getting it right earlier, will save a stupid amount of redesign later.

My current goal is a vanilla base that can do several rockets per minute. I've done several bases before, bobs, angels, vanilla, all getting to "almost 1 rocket per minute", and then i quit. Figured its time for something more serious...

Anyway, I thought I'd share this BP for you. I looked at nilhaus's designs, and I prefered this refined version of the main tracks.
Its the same concept of 4 tracks, and provides change from inner to outer tracks and u-turns, but does it all in the same segment with the most minimal impacts to the inner (speed) tracks. Highly recommended. See attachment.



Also, this is a much better (imho) "mall" design, that "makes everything". it excludes all the un-needed rubbish like coal furnaces, and reactors and so on, and is so much more compact.
See pic below.



Also, here is my furnace BP, which i've used for about 2 years now.



I hope some of it is of use. I'd equally look forward to any design thoughts youve had. I'm struggling with whether to have stations named the same name, and then having too many trains respond to a single open stations, which causes congestions, OR, have dedicated trains. But dedidcated trains tends to require dedicated smaleting districts, and then require ddedicated ore trains per distact. ARGH. been doing my head in for 3 days now!
(But theres more than enough threads (dozens??) on this exact subject, so i'll digress)
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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by evopwr » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:51 am

Stupid forum attachments, never work properly!!!
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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by evopwr » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:52 am

xxxx
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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by evopwr » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:07 am

Also, my track BP,


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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by zOldBulldog » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:16 am

@evopwr, we are definitely following similar main paths.

I have been planning this next base for a few weeks and been refining my blueprints for hundreds of hours (with some pieces like the "bootstrap" = "long term low volume make everything mall" for a lot longer, in about its 5th to 10th version and I think it is finally "good enough" and doing the final test on this run). I started this game already (as you saw) but it is still in its very early stages. I hope it proves that my somewhat unusual plan will work.

Currently on a short detour (had an opportunity to get Spoon done and over with in a multiplayer run on the 29th, so I spent last week preparing for it) but I should be back on this path soon (maybe as early as this coming week).

I will definitely use some of your ideas and post more of mine as soon as I have time.

And yes, the new forum processing of attachments is very broken. It just can't handle more than one per post any more. I hope they fix it soon.

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by zOldBulldog » Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:08 am

@evopwr, I got back to "the plan" and it has been 2 steps forward, one step back. I tried several things, some are working well others not so well so I am redesigning.

- My starter base that becomes a low volume production mall worked well at first but I found some flaws. Back to the drawing board, but I think I am finally close. I just need to reimplement the belt routing. Otherwise it is working great, to the point that I am about to complete all research and I have yet to even start the bus.

- The overall layout... not so good. That square with a cross in the middle design for is not so hot. I am in the process of scrapping part of the base and redoing it. I think a modified version of what eradicator does might work better. It will probably be two parallel long main lines, separated from each other by a fairly decent distance so that any factory will fit between them... on one travel my materials from left to right, on the other return empty trains.

- The initial set of factories (calling it a base is probably not right as they will really be a series of outposts with plenty of space between them) is probably going to be for 1-4-1 (one direction only) trains. But I am still designing the rail to support 1-4-2-4-1 one-direction trains, even in this 1-4-1 "base". Factories will likely be in order of use. Ore mining stretching far to the west, within belt distance of the track. Smelting is the first real facility on the left/west (might include stone processing into concrete too). Next comes an oil processing facility (including everything derived from oil, like plastic, sulfuric acid, batteries, etc), then green, red and blue circuits (probably next to each other as a single facility). Then comes the "starter base/low volume mall" (although I already placed it in the wrong place and will be recreating it) and the volume malls. After that... could come science and rocket, if I make those at all during this stage.

- For this initial set I am not focusing too much on the factories themselves, the overall layout and rail is more important. But I found some blueprints that might become the basis from which I will derive my own. For example:

--- Mining: https://factorioprints.com/view/-L0AA-VH9GlXbgWAffhU laid out by bots.
--- Loading/Unloading: I am using simple MadZuri load/unload for now, effectively using the trains and chests as my buffers. 4 wagons to/from 1-2 belts.
--- Smelting: Here I will truly feed 4 belts in, smelt, 4 belts out to each of the wagons. So I am going for a thin and long design, so that it is roughly as wide as the unload from the train (yes, trains head on to the direction of the smelters, so about 6-10 blocks width). This blueprint seems to fit well for regular smelting: viewtopic.php?f=202&t=62264&p=381256#p381256 Now, if I could only find a good ore to steel smelter in a similar form factor.
--- Oil processing: I like this blueprint for the basic stuff (for now): https://factorioprints.com/view/-KjJ6MvDSt-GWrthi9Z4 until I create a similar layout but beaconed version of my own. As for the other stuff, it is simple.

- For rail, definitely 4-track and chunk-based LHD. Chunk based to make laying down track easier. LHD because even though I am RHD in real life, I find that since Factorio gets me off the train on the left side, LHD works better. But I am doing some weird stuff to minimize intersections. For example, below is what I had come out with that is similar to your turnaround:
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- Also, if you notice... I have a solar-powered radar there that its not connected to the main power. It doesn't scan very fast, but it gives me visibility of the area and it does not consume any of my power plant energy.

- My exits and entries have minimal impact. Strictly from the external tracks, and with no crossing of tracks. If a train needs to go in the opposite direction it will first get into the main line, get to the inline turnaround (that avoids crossing tracks) and then heads in the right direction. And I am quite religious about spacing between any merge/intersections... I always have 3 chunks of undisturbed straight track between then, which will fit a 1-4-2-4-1 train completely and thus avoiding any chance of deadlocks.

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- This is how I typically place the turnarounds. Trains usually travel on the external track (preferred by the pathfinder, which is convenient as it is also where the exits are). To take the turnaround they shift to the inside, turn, and back to the outside. Notice the in/out shifts 3 chunks away from the double-turnaround.
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I hope you enjoyed that. Sorry for taking so long to post.

I also plan to publish a track blueprint book... once it is complete enough and properly tested. So far my tracks see to be surviving the fire test. We'll see how they behave under heavy load.

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by eradicator » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:04 am

With more distance between rails you need less width for the turnarounds.
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Instead the lane changes looks a bit convoluted :p.
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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by zOldBulldog » Thu Oct 04, 2018 10:36 am

Funny how 3 people independently came up with only slightly different versions of the same turnabout. It is true that for follows function. :D

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by evopwr » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:09 am

You know things are getting crazy when you put down a BP, and immediately you get the "bot warning": 400x T3 Productivity required, and 300 T3 speed reqd, and 700 blue belts, (and many other minor things). (and I already had a 2-300 buffer of each module!) lol.

So, Bulldog, hows the plans working out?
Mine have failed big time... redesigning for the 4th time now.
Having major issues with train congestion...
Factory is @ 2.5GW now, with approx 1-2 rocket per min, and the factory itself is yawning, but the trains all stuck at intersections.
Plan D lol...

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by zOldBulldog » Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:55 am

Mine is progressing quite well, although I also redesigned quite a few things.

I think my *current* overall layout concept is probably the best success, even though I started with something slightly different. Virtually zero congestion even with a ton of trains. I will try to post screenshots and blueprints later today.

The main principles for that layout concept are:

- My new main line is a straight line. No intersections (I still have some from earlier design but I am working towards removing them), only splits and merges.
- Using 1-4-1SD (same direction locomotives) trains for now, bigger ones later.
- At this time I am intentionally using only 1 belt per wagon, using the Miniloaders mod. It made factory design and transport simpler and steadier.
- 4 lanes (2 each direction) with space for 1-4-2-4-1 trains between any lane splits/merges (that comes to approx 3 chunks). These 4 lanes are spaced so that I can easily reduce to 2 lanes for the future long stretches to far away mines.
-A standard segment is: laneChanger-3chunksStraight-doubleReturnInCenterLanes-3chunksStraight-laneChanger (8 chunks total).
- At the lane changer locations I have splits to 8-chunk long exit lanes. Factories hang off these with entry and exit usually next to each other.
- Factories are laid out in a natural materials order from left to right (or they should be, some are out of place due to how I evolved the base and my trial and error process).
- The result is that full trains exit their source, get on the main line, typically stay on the outside lane, enter the destination, empty, exit (driving away from the source), shift to the center lane, turn around, return past the source, turn around, shift out to the exit lane, and enter the source factory to reload. A little longer than the natural trip, but with no intersections and multiple possible lane change locations the trains run at full speed virtually all the time. Train-train interactions and slowdowns are minimized.

- Raw ores stay out of the main line. They are collected on their own 1-lane-1-direction ore loop(s) that goes straight into the stacker of the input station, to the stops, and back out to the loop... In an infinite loop.

As to the overall base I am nowhere as far as you got:

- About 1.5GW (nuclear, I dam too lazy to deal with massive solar fields yet and will need to choose a low UPS mod for a power source at some point).
- I designed my smelters and factories around the train-load concept. That is, if reasonable I output 4 blue belts, although some only output 1 that gets split among 4 wagons.
Factories built so far:
--- Jumpstart that morphs into build everything at low volume.
--- Throwaway volume for belts and modules.
--- Smelters.
--- Uranium processing.
--- Oil and derivatives processing.
--- Green Circuits, Red Circuits, Blue Circuits. All from plates, Red and Blue make their own Green/Red on site).
--- The beginnings of an Ammo production factory. For now it just makes some Artillery shells but it is laid out for expansion in both volume and types of ammo.

I did not attempt to advance science yet (I am still using my Jumpstart science setup) but I have almost completed all yellow research anyway.

My next major project (besides more cleanup of old stuff and organizing my blueprints) is a science setup (small but laid out to grow mega size if desired). My main purpose is to get more range for my Artillery so that I can eventually go to full auto from the Artillery trains.

After that I want to take another pass at my Jumpstart/mall, to modularize its early smelters so that they can be ditched/recycled when no longer needed.

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by zOldBulldog » Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:46 pm

@evopwr here is a quick screenshot of the current state of my base. I'll try to put up a few interesting screenshots of specific things this afternoon. Hopefully even a full "mainline" blueprint book.d

As you can see, I got a bunch of "REMOVE" areas. I also tested a bunch of configurations for stackers that later will likely be converted to a standard one. And all those spots with size amounts are the ore patches I still need to clear out.

But you should see the main line starting to take form.

Notice from left to right:
- Nuclear power and uranium processing over it (that one went there because it was the most accessible uranium. Water was a bit scarce, so my power plants will expand just below... where the lake being covered/structured is.
- Main smelter.
- Above and right of it is my badly placed and to be redesgned jumpstart and the north line that will be totally removed.
- Below and right is the original landfill, original steam power (pretty much dormant now), my early (very poorly positioned and poorly designed) smelter, and temporary parking, all hanging off the south line. All of that is going away, including the south line.
- Green, Red, Blue Circuits and Ammo production above the main line.
- Oil processing (and various products) below the main line.

Science will be the next spur to the right, above the main line.
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Of course, I hope things will look a lot cleaner by the next time I take another overall screenshot.

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Re: Choosing train and track sizes

Post by evopwr » Sun Oct 21, 2018 6:43 pm

Nice,

I've gone for a modular design, where there are areas, and all areas are the same size. eg an area may make green circuits. if you need more green circuits, put down another area. copy/paste. Its working kind of well, but the intersections (the circles) are where i'm having issues.

Originally I had smelting areas in the main base as well (you can see the areas which are now empty), thinking if I needed more smelting, I could just add another area and it would all just start working. But as train congestion grew, this was the first thing I removed, and like you, I placed them on their own separate line going around the edge of the base.

Map comments
-Nuclear on left
-New separated Steel smelting middle-bottom
-New separated Copper smelting bottom right
-New separated iron smelting on right.

The plan i'm working towards now is changing all the tracks to be like the ones you described, so no intersections. I think Eradicator posted a pic on the previous page?, just turn around in the middle tracks. And changing the size of each area to be larger, like the Rocket Fuel one at the bottom, with more space between each area too. Possibly merge the functionality of some areas as well, like blue science and purple science in the same area for example.
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