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Train Loader/Unloader mod?

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:55 pm
by zOldBulldog
Loading/unloading trains inefficiently is easy. Doing it efficiently and even saturate a blue belt is also not hard. But to load/unload one blue belt per wagon in a way that is balanced across the whole train can be done but it is bulky, cumbersome, or at the very least annoying.

I realized that the most logical way to bypass that problem is with a mod, and I am hoping that it (or something similar) already exists or some modder might be interested in writing it.

This is what I envision such a mod doing:

- A loader/unloader device/bin/chest (or a series of them for various train configurations, like 1 wagon, 2 wagon, 4 wagon, 8 wagon). The device is one wide and as long as the wagons of the train.

- The device works largely like a pump does when placed next to a train. Has a direction and moves content from one side to the other. Wagons on one end, a number of user-specified/placed belts on the other.

- The device also acts as a like a single big chest (and thus balance the load/unload), with a capacity equal to the number of steel chests (6 per wagon) that would have been used in a vanilla design. But... it does it as a single huge slot/stack, to avoid the UPS problems that plague most large chest/warehouse mods.

- The load/unload to a wagon functions at the speed of 6 stack inserters with their applied bonuses.

- The load/unload to a belt functions at the speed of a stack inserter with its applied bonuses.

- The cost of a loader/unloader could be similar or twice the cost of components needed in a vanilla setup. The research should be pretty early, at about the same time as train research and not expensive... as this is a QOL mod, not one that gives special abilities.

With this kind of setup loading/unloading at max speed would be simple and compact. Perfect for those who are tired of the pointlessly complex and sprawling setups.

So, does this or something similar exist already? If not, is any modder (maybe one of those focused on chests or warehouses) interested in building it? I can't imagine this being all that difficult to write if you are already familiar with the APIs and modding language.

Re: Train Loader/Unloader mod?

Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2019 10:53 pm
by LiquidInsight
Have you considered the merging chests mod? You can lay down a large number of chests on either side of the track, merge them, and use stack inserters exactly as you envision. Pretty UPS friendly, since it's just a chest and inserters as usual. This way you don't have to worry about unbalanced unloading of trains.

Re: Train Loader/Unloader mod?

Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:22 am
by zOldBulldog
Thanks for the reply.

As you can tell, I posted the question 6 months ago. When nobody replied back then I did a lot of research.

Found techniques to do it in vanilla (most are cumbersome), several mods (including merging chests, one that made my short list).

In the end I settled on MiniLoaders as it allows me to make the simplest and cleanest stations. I love it and I never looked back.