New option for Rail Stations - No "Through" traffic allowed

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o6dukeleto
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New option for Rail Stations - No "Through" traffic allowed

Post by o6dukeleto » Fri Feb 12, 2016 1:20 am

One of the big discussions around rail stations seems to be the "roll on, roll off" versus "terminus". Terminus seems to have one benefit, automatic path finding will not go through a terminus station because path finding will not reverse the train.

That said, "roll on, roll off" stations have benefits as well, many of which are time based, such as shorter blocked areas and shorter trains, thus improving throughput.

It seems like there could be an advanced option on a station that disables path finding "through" a station. Either just a check box on the station or a different type of station, (much like chain vs normal signals) maybe it could be called a "siding station". Then only trains that specifically have that station as a stop would be allowed to path find to those stations, STOP, and then continue through.

This would be a simple solution that would solve some path finding issues that people have regarding "RoRo" train systems.

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Re: New option for Rail Stations - No "Through" traffic allowed

Post by sillyfly » Fri Feb 12, 2016 5:31 am

There have been suggestions regarding this in the past - I myself support adding a (fairly large) pathing penalty to train-stops; but unfortunately it seems this idea doesn't seem to be getting support from the devs.
Even allowing modding to add pathing cost to certain elements would be nice.

I think adding the option as you suggest it is not the optimal solution, as it clutters the UI and can cause problems, but adding pathing cost (base or moddable) could bring a lot of richness to designs, without making it more complex or cluttered for the average player.

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Re: New option for Rail Stations - No "Through" traffic allowed

Post by ssilk » Fri Feb 12, 2016 4:30 pm

I'm generally with silllyfly here - after some thoughts and played hundreds (thousands?) of hours with trains.

TL;DR:
Ride-through-stations are in my opinion not the right way to influence the routing of trains (see down). The right way are in my opinion
- that each train stop adds some points to the train-pathfinder (to avoid them generally, if there is a nearly equal path without stop).
- and if that is not enough we can add new "signals", that add points to the train-pathfinder and can be turned on/off (like normal signals will be abled to turn red in v0.13).


Thoughts:
- I think the concept of ride-through-stations in OpenTTD is somehow ugly, but is a working compromise there. But in Factorio you have about 50 times more space-resolution (compared to OpenTTD)! So when in OpenTTD it is sometimes just impossible to add a new track, it is still easy in Factorio (for most of the cases and with the new track-laying in v0.13 and maybe some new track types later it should be really a fun part).
- A ride-through-station needs to be programmed into the train schedule. Which is a misconception: You need to do two thing (add an entity to the track AND add something to the schedule).
- A player will at first try to solve a bottleneck by leading the trains around the bottleneck - therefore he creates such a ride-through-station. Some times later even that cannot handle the traffic anymore and he creates a "big solution". Now he needs to reprogram all trains, that formerly used the ride-through-station around and should use now the new shorter way.

This is in general also the idea: I don't want to program the trains, the trains program themselves - I just want to say "Go from here to there, do this, do that...", and not how. In other word: When the track is so crowed, that it is easier to use the side-track: Why not?

All these can be generally much easier be done by adding new types of "signals"? that adds waypoints (or remove waypoints?). One simple signal that just adds 1000 to the pathing-score should be just enough to do nearly everything. And it would be cool, if that signal has also a switch (controllable by circuits) to turn it's function on/off, so that you can turn this signal on, if you find out, that too many trains are waiting the way down to force new trains to go the longer way around.

PS: The player should have a tool to measure the way-points between two points (two train stops) on the track and should see (also on map) and live, which way a train would take now.

PPS: Another idea was also to add turnable switches. But I think this is too complex.
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o6dukeleto
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Re: New option for Rail Stations - No "Through" traffic allowed

Post by o6dukeleto » Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:52 pm

After reading these replies, I think I agree.

An option of a signal (or piece of track) that could add a defined length to the affected path would likely give the same result as I was trying to achieve (just make the amount high enough and trains will always take the other path.) It would also be much more configurable if you wanted to do something more sophisticated. Finally it would be a very simple solution.

The one thing I am not sure of is -- how much does factorio add to the path finding if a train is blocking a path? Hopefully this is a specific amount and does not disregard a path entirely... otherwise you would not be able to affect path finding just by adding a longer amount to an alternative path.

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Re: New option for Rail Stations - No "Through" traffic allowed

Post by sillyfly » Thu Feb 18, 2016 4:18 pm

The penalty depends on the amount of time the train has remaining in the stop (https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... lty#p63247 ) I don't know the exact formula. For manually stopped trains it is 1000 units (was 200 in the past).

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Re: New option for Rail Stations - No "Through" traffic allowed

Post by o6dukeleto » Fri Feb 19, 2016 1:03 am

I have created a new suggestion to replace this suggestion based upon the feedback:

https://forums.factorio.com/forum/vie ... =6&t=20233

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