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Now the problem. Many times the trains bunch up around each other, trains will take a long time starting and stopping at stations even if they are full. Some stations will have lots of freight waiting on the way up and some trains will deliver empty on the way down. Also I know that this inconsistency can't be good for my station waiting.
I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for making this more efficient? How do yall manage it? Would this be a case for conditional orders? Any help appreciated.
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Build a small feeder station near each coal mine, and order a bunch of short trains to transfer the coal to a larger hub station. Thus the hub station may collect coal from multiple mines in the vicinity, and doesn't even need to capture them in its catchment area.
Your mainline would connect one or more hub stations with one or more unloading stations. You can set up a two-way loop as usual; depending on the supply rates at your hub stations, you may want to use full load orders on one or both of them, or not at all.
The feeder lines should totally separated from the mainline (of course they share the hub station, but they should never share platforms or tracks). You can even separate the feeder lines from each other. This way, any problems you might experience (queueing, cargo pileup etc.) will affect only a single part of your network and can be dealt with separately.
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