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Make trains unloadable at signals.

Posted: Tue May 16, 2017 8:48 pm
by AnthraxDEFR
Hello, this is a suggestion about trains and being able to unload them at signals.


I have a big network of ore producers and each is linked to my smeltery by 1 train (1 train per ore patch). I want all trains to be able to unload at the smeltery as efficiently as possible. Here is how I wanted to do that. I was planning a smart train station that has one stop at the end of a straight track, and behind it signals, so other trains that are supposed to unload at that station can unload at stops further up the line if a train is unloading at the actual station (in which case the signal would be red).

The advantage would be that all trains are programmed to go to the one station but only do so if there is free space. If not, they don't have to wait until the first train leaves, and can instead be unloaded directly.
The advantage over having several stations on that track is that if a train destined to a station further up than another one behind it, both can unload regardless of stations.

I hope you understand and agree that this would be an interesting feature and I would love to answer questions, etc.
I would also love to hear suggestions from forum members on how to do this whithout the feature implemented as in theory I'm quite stoked on this idea.
Thank you.

TL;DR: Make trains be unloadable when they are stopped at signals to enable smart unloading stations for several trains at once.

Re: Make trains unloadable at signals.

Posted: Tue May 16, 2017 9:01 pm
by mp0011
Just place copy of the station where the signal is, and disable it until "main" station is used by other train.

Re: Make trains unloadable at signals.

Posted: Tue May 16, 2017 10:01 pm
by AnthraxDEFR
Hi, thanks for the suggestion. I don't know how I'm supposed to diable it when it's not supposed to be used. Is there a way with the circuit network?
Thank you.

Re: Make trains unloadable at signals.

Posted: Tue May 16, 2017 10:13 pm
by mp0011
Place signal just in front the "rear" station, and connect it. Then set the condition on the station: enabled if red=1 (or disable if green=1). Set the signal to output its signals. When signal is green, second station is disabled. Trains are going to original station. Signal changes to red, second station is enabled, and next train is using it.

I have not tested it, but it *should* work.

Re: Make trains unloadable at signals.

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:53 am
by piedar
The idea with multiple stations and circuit conditions works, but it's not ideal because the trains don't pull up when the train in front leaves. I went and wrote a mod LoadableRailSignals to make it work better, though it's still not as efficient as connecting the stations in parallel.

Re: Make trains unloadable at signals.

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2019 6:32 pm
by Tekky
I like the idea of track signals behaving more like stations. In fact, I think it may be appropriate to make them identical, so that stations are nothing more than track signals with additional properties.

For example, a station could be a special type of track signal with two additional properties:
  • It has a name (which appears in the stations list).
  • It allows inserters to unload stopped trains.
It should be possible for the player to set these properties individually, so that inserters can unload a train stopped at a signal that does not have a name.

If track signals had the same features as stations, then this would also allow track signals to read Train-IDs and train contents, as has been suggested in the following threads:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=47541 track signals should send Train-ID to circuit network
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=62838 Circuits: enhancing rail signal function

Making track signals more like stations has also been discussed a bit in the following thread: