Light rail

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Cribbit
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Light rail

Post by Cribbit »

I'm thinking of making this as a mod, but wanted to post it anyways.

To me, one of the more frustrating things in the mid game (and even into late game) is moving a large quantity of items a medium distance. Long distance is obviously full on rail. Short distance is belt. Medium distance is... eh.

You can use very long belts, but then you're snaking belts everywhere which is ugly. You can use a single-direction rail, separate from your main rail intersections, but you then either have to make a double header (terrible accel, absolutely requires rocket fuel) or loops to return (bad accel & lots of space).

(side note: railway turntables would be fun, but obviously a pain to implement)

Enter: Light rail!

Light rail would have high acceleration but low top speed. Rails would be 1x with no ability to branch or merge. It would run on electricity with an internal buffer that can't charge while moving. It would have no concept of stops or signals. A unit would simply go forward when full, backwards when empty, waiting for that condition at either end.

These factors would make it impractical for long distances. They would make it impossible to have more than 1 unit on a rail. With no way to cross two tracks, it wouldn't replace belts.

The fact that this doesn't seem to exist in a mod yet probably means I'm the only one who feels this is an issue, but eh.

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BlueTemplar
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Re: Light rail

Post by BlueTemplar »

You could also achieve this kind of balance by increased power consumption, LogiCarts or AAI Vehicles do that pretty well ? (They also feature lower footprint and top speed than trains, unless if you use Flame Tumblers as trucks I guess ?)

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Re: Light rail

Post by Cribbit »

AAI is way too much of an overhaul for my needs, but logicarts look interesting. I consider them too powerful though. One of my big concerns with designing this would be making sure that it doesn't end up replacing belts or trains, just complimenting them. I take joy in tradeoffs.

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Re: Light rail

Post by mrvn »

Cribbit wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:01 pm
I'm thinking of making this as a mod, but wanted to post it anyways.

To me, one of the more frustrating things in the mid game (and even into late game) is moving a large quantity of items a medium distance. Long distance is obviously full on rail. Short distance is belt. Medium distance is... eh.

You can use very long belts, but then you're snaking belts everywhere which is ugly. You can use a single-direction rail, separate from your main rail intersections, but you then either have to make a double header (terrible accel, absolutely requires rocket fuel) or loops to return (bad accel & lots of space).

(side note: railway turntables would be fun, but obviously a pain to implement)

Enter: Light rail!

Light rail would have high acceleration but low top speed. Rails would be 1x with no ability to branch or merge. It would run on electricity with an internal buffer that can't charge while moving. It would have no concept of stops or signals. A unit would simply go forward when full, backwards when empty, waiting for that condition at either end.

These factors would make it impractical for long distances. They would make it impossible to have more than 1 unit on a rail. With no way to cross two tracks, it wouldn't replace belts.

The fact that this doesn't seem to exist in a mod yet probably means I'm the only one who feels this is an issue, but eh.
What would be the difference to a belt? Items only move in chunks of wagon size?

You could use Deadlocks crating mod. Instead of your mini train you would have filled and empty crates that travel on normal belts.

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Re: Light rail

Post by Tekky »

Cribbit wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:01 pm
You can use a single-direction rail, separate from your main rail intersections, but you then either have to make a double header (terrible accel, absolutely requires rocket fuel) or loops to return (bad accel & lots of space).

(side note: railway turntables would be fun, but obviously a pain to implement)
In my opinion, the solution to this problem should not be "light rail" or "turntables", but rather "realistic rail". More specifically, it should be "realistic bi-directional trains".

The problem is that in Factorio, bi-directional trains have a very unrealistic disadvantage in that only the locomotives facing the "correct" direction contribute to the total propulsion power of the train, whereas the locomotives facing the "wrong" direction do not contribute at all and are only dead weight. This current behavior of trains in Factorio is very unrealistic, because in reality, all modern locomotives contribute to the total propulsion power of a train, even if they are facing the "wrong" direction.

Three years ago, I therefore created a thread with my suggestion to make bi-directional trains more realistic by giving them full acceleration. Here is a link to that thread:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=40644 propulsion power of bidirectional trains

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Re: Light rail

Post by Cribbit »

mrvn wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:30 pm

What would be the difference to a belt? Items only move in chunks of wagon size?

You could use Deadlocks crating mod. Instead of your mini train you would have filled and empty crates that travel on normal belts.
Going 500-2000 tiles is quite a lot for belt, and just feels wrong to me. But it's also not really far enough to justify a train, especially if it's not ore or at least plate.

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Re: Light rail

Post by Cribbit »

Tekky wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:37 pm
The problem is that in Factorio, bi-directional trains have a very unrealistic disadvantage in that only the locomotives facing the "correct" direction contribute to the total propulsion power of the train, whereas the locomotives facing the "wrong" direction do not contribute at all and are only dead weight. This current behavior of trains in Factorio is very unrealistic, because in reality, all modern locomotives contribute to the total propulsion power of a train, even if they are facing the "wrong" direction.

Three years ago, I therefore created a thread with my suggestion to make bi-directional trains more realistic by giving them full acceleration. Here is a link to that thread:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=40644 propulsion power of bidirectional trains
I've wanted that one for a long time too.

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Re: Light rail

Post by Pi-C »

Cribbit wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:22 pm
Tekky wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:37 pm
The problem is that in Factorio, bi-directional trains have a very unrealistic disadvantage in that only the locomotives facing the "correct" direction contribute to the total propulsion power of the train, whereas the locomotives facing the "wrong" direction do not contribute at all and are only dead weight.
I've wanted that one for a long time too.
I think this mod does what you want.
A good mod deserves a good changelog. Here's a tutorial (WIP) about Factorio's way too strict changelog syntax!

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Re: Light rail

Post by Cribbit »

Pi-C wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:45 pm
Cribbit wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:22 pm
Tekky wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:37 pm
The problem is that in Factorio, bi-directional trains have a very unrealistic disadvantage in that only the locomotives facing the "correct" direction contribute to the total propulsion power of the train, whereas the locomotives facing the "wrong" direction do not contribute at all and are only dead weight.
I've wanted that one for a long time too.
I think this mod does what you want.
I'm thinking of writing it myself in a much simpler way. All this needs is to determine direction by the rails rather than by the train. We already have signals on the track. If a track only has signals for one direction, it's monodirectional. Both ways, bidirectional. Counting stations as "signals" in this case.

This gives 1-1 bidirectional trains, 1-X trains able to go from a two lane/mono directional "traditional" rail into a bi-directional/one lane offshoot without needing to loop, etc.

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Re: Light rail

Post by foamy »

Cribbit wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:02 pm
Pi-C wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:45 pm
Cribbit wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 2:22 pm
Tekky wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:37 pm
The problem is that in Factorio, bi-directional trains have a very unrealistic disadvantage in that only the locomotives facing the "correct" direction contribute to the total propulsion power of the train, whereas the locomotives facing the "wrong" direction do not contribute at all and are only dead weight.
I've wanted that one for a long time too.
I think this mod does what you want.
I'm thinking of writing it myself in a much simpler way. All this needs is to determine direction by the rails rather than by the train. We already have signals on the track. If a track only has signals for one direction, it's monodirectional. Both ways, bidirectional. Counting stations as "signals" in this case.

This gives 1-1 bidirectional trains, 1-X trains able to go from a two lane/mono directional "traditional" rail into a bi-directional/one lane offshoot without needing to loop, etc.
What if the track has no signals, as many early ones do?

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Re: Light rail

Post by Cribbit »

foamy wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 6:31 pm
Cribbit wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 3:02 pm

I'm thinking of writing it myself in a much simpler way. All this needs is to determine direction by the rails rather than by the train. We already have signals on the track. If a track only has signals for one direction, it's monodirectional. Both ways, bidirectional. Counting stations as "signals" in this case.

This gives 1-1 bidirectional trains, 1-X trains able to go from a two lane/mono directional "traditional" rail into a bi-directional/one lane offshoot without needing to loop, etc.
What if the track has no signals, as many early ones do?
Counting stops as signals, since they are also directional.

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Re: Light rail

Post by coppercoil »

Cribbit wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:39 pm
Counting stops as signals, since they are also directional.
No, stops doesn't count as signals. Just tested. Works fine without any signals.

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Re: Light rail

Post by Cribbit »

coppercoil wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 8:00 pm
Cribbit wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 7:39 pm
Counting stops as signals, since they are also directional.
No, stops doesn't count as signals. Just tested. Works fine without any signals.
What exactly works fine? We're talking about a hypothetical mod. I'm not literally saying that stops act as signals, but that for the sake of using signal's directionality to determine which way on the track to go, stations are also directional.

Or are you pointing out that a track with no signals can be assumed to be bidirectional? Which is also true.

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Re: Light rail

Post by mrvn »

Signals on opposite sides of the track does not make it bidirectional. Bidirectional tracks need signals on opposite sides of the same track entity. If the positions don't match up you have a series of uni-directional segments that don't all go in the same direction. Nothing can move there.

Train stops on the other hand don't enforce any direction and a bidirectional station will have stations at different places of the track so the cargo wagons end up at the same spot for both stops. You can also have a stop only going one way. Think refueling station. Your schedule would be: A-B-A-B-A-B-A-B-refuel. No need to have a refuel stop going the other way too. So I wouldn't consider train stops as any indicator for bidirectionality of the tracks in your mod.


Anyway, the initial idea was to have a track with stops only at either end. So just make them special entities consisting of 2 tracks, a stop and a 6x2 collision mask. Tracks go out one side and you can't place any on the other end. The track ends. Put a bumper on the other side of the stop like you have on rel life terminal stations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffer_stop

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Re: Light rail

Post by BlueTemplar »

There are other issues with bidirectional trains : they require twice the signals in some situations :
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=75140

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Cribbit wrote:
Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:14 pm
AAI is way too much of an overhaul for my needs, but logicarts look interesting. I consider them too powerful though. One of my big concerns with designing this would be making sure that it doesn't end up replacing belts or trains, just complimenting them. I take joy in tradeoffs.
Well, their balance could be tweaked...

And actually they do synergize very well with belts !
Image
(They also pause and jump over undergrounds.)

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Re: Light rail

Post by ssilk »

Already said:
There is a mod for that
https://mods.factorio.com/mod/MultipleUnitTrainControl

Interesting thread for you:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=7977 Ropeway conveyor above the factory...

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=13200 Discussing the (missing?) 4th type of transport!
Which contains also a big list of other links...

About logistic carts:
That mod has in my eyes too many quirks.
- first it is totally unbalanced: it wants to be a help, but it makes much more work to built a track with carts instead of train
- needs about 100 times more energy than trains (with similar same transport)
- much too small transport per cart
- much too slow
- a lot of hassle when building complex un/loading stations
- no diagonals
- needs very much cpu
- etc.

What I would give a second chance is something where I could automate the car just by painting streets and it finds its way itself.

Meanwhile I use compression mods, namely: https://mods.factorio.com/mod/deadlock- ... es-loaders
And that made a lot of fun, cause it is in my eyes nearly perfect balanced.
Cool suggestion: Eatable MOUSE-pointers.
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Re: Light rail

Post by Cribbit »

ssilk wrote:
Sun Oct 27, 2019 4:36 am
Meanwhile I use compression mods, namely: https://mods.factorio.com/mod/deadlock- ... es-loaders
And that made a lot of fun, cause it is in my eyes nearly perfect balanced.
Maybe I'm not looking at it right, what's the downsides to loaders and compression? It looks like a straight upgrade.

I see how MU is close, but for the sake of what I'm aiming for here two locomotives is too big of a train.

Ropeway is definitely interesting, but I agree with those who say it's too OP. I envisioned my suggestion here specifically for the downsides, even as the functionality is similar. I think the "single cart" aspect is especially important, since it reduces throughput the longer the distance is, not to mention the lack of obstacles to a raised transit system.

viewtopic.php?f=221&t=51180 is an interesting read on adding rail types though.

I think my time will be best served focusing on an MU-like mod that is intuitive for single locomotives as well as multiple.

I think as much as the transit discussion comes up, long belts/short rails have been enough to bridge the gap between the two for most players.

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