Train Length

The "spiritual sequel" to Transport Tycoon Deluxe: Chris Sawyer's Locomotion is the latest game from him - general discussion about it here please!

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TJ-99
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Train Length

Post by TJ-99 »

Curious about the length of the trains you typically use.

The maximum length of the game's default station is 16 blocks; I haven't played with the long station patch yet. So I usually limit my trains to 16 blocks, or something close to that. For short runs, or when I'm playing with early 1900s steam engines, the length will often be shorter.

I'm currently playing with the Tehachapi map. Much to my amazement, the game actually does take physics into account, at least partially. It's early 1980s, and I'm running some 21 block oil trains from the Mohave Desert, powered by a pair of SD40-2. They strain to get up the initial grade, creeping along at 5 MPH for a good deal of the time.

Yesterday I ran some 40 block oil trains powered by three SD 60Ms. They had a devil of a time making it out of the Mohave as well. If I get the cash, I'll try running a UP Z-Train, 155 cars behind four GE units. I bet that won't make it up the hill either.

What I've really noticed is long trains don't seem to pay for themselves. It takes them longer to load up, which cuts into their profitability. If you're double or triple heading, you're increasing your operating costs quickly. So that puts me back to the 16 block train, with a single engine, or double engine if it's a long run. That makes it up most grades without too much trouble, and the double heading keeps it moving if one engine breaks down.

Thoughts?

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304 001
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Re: Train Length

Post by 304 001 »

Hmm,
I like the idea of long trains, but it can really cause a headache when it comes to signal blocks. I like to have a lot of complex junctions on my maps, which requires more signalling, so long trains could easily occupy 2 or even 3 blocks which causes me no end of problems and traffic jams. Plus long stations take a hell of a lot more planning, not to mention space.

I usually stick to the standard 16 blocks if only to save my sanity, and to stop things flying across the room when it all goes wrong! XD
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Killianbass3
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Re: Train Length

Post by Killianbass3 »

Hey i love watching the long trains go by in locomotion i think the longest trains i run are about 80-90 cars long but they're small cars and andi have to curve the tracks drastically but this is just a down fall of locomotion but i still play it a lot and well the more one plays the farther they can stretch the limits.

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Zakos
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Re: Train Length

Post by Zakos »

I generally go for around 30 blocks and I do so without regard to the 16 "limit" because I use the invisible station so it doesn't matter how many station blocks I place anyway.

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Greyfox
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Re: Train Length

Post by Greyfox »

I normally build stations from 20 to 30 squares, depending on what the loco(s) are delivering and the distance they need to travel. check the line in reference to the slopes. If you can, get rid of some. Try to make sure that there is some considerable distance between them. This gives the train a chance to speed up at least near to it's maximum speed, so it can have a "run up" to tackle the slope. As for signals, nothing worse than having a signal at the bottom of a slope. The reason is obvious.

There are some "ifs" and "buts" in this topic. It's just trial and error, and try to work out what's best for you. Hope this helps.

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Looking for AMI trains, Chicago Locomotive Works, etc: You'll find your needs here: http://www.locomotiondepot.net/
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TJ-99
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Re: Train Length

Post by TJ-99 »

I spent a lot of time playing with the Tehachepi scenario, and fine tuning the performance of the UP steam engines based on data available at http://www.steamlocomotive.com

So I thought I'd see how long a train a Big Boy could haul over those mountains. Which is where I ran into problems.

I don't seem to be able to build a train much longer than about 35 to 40 cars. Adding another car causes the train to "pick up." And beyond about 40 cars, I can't put it back down on the track. I created a straight section of track from one end of the map to another. No curves, no signals, no crossings, no nothing. Just straight track. And I still can't place the train.

So I gather there is a hard coded limit to train length? Which is too bad. A few maps, such as Tehachepi, Soldier Summit, Sherman Pass, et. al., are well designed for very prototypical length trains.

Oh well.

If anyone does know how to create and play very long trains, please let me know.

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Re: Train Length

Post by Harbon 1 »

Even without the long station patch it's possible to get stations of 20 blocks easily,

My express trains are usually a Class 86 and 9 Mk2 carriages which is around 20 blocks long

Freight trains are normally about the same length as it makes it easier to signal block trains of the same length. Of course if they don't need to be 20 blocks long then they'll be shorter! :P

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Zakos
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Re: Train Length

Post by Zakos »

TJ-99 wrote:I spent a lot of time playing with the Tehachepi scenario, and fine tuning the performance of the UP steam engines based on data available at http://www.steamlocomotive.com

So I thought I'd see how long a train a Big Boy could haul over those mountains. Which is where I ran into problems.

I don't seem to be able to build a train much longer than about 35 to 40 cars. Adding another car causes the train to "pick up." And beyond about 40 cars, I can't put it back down on the track. I created a straight section of track from one end of the map to another. No curves, no signals, no crossings, no nothing. Just straight track. And I still can't place the train.

So I gather there is a hard coded limit to train length? Which is too bad. A few maps, such as Tehachepi, Soldier Summit, Sherman Pass, et. al., are well designed for very prototypical length trains.

Oh well.

If anyone does know how to create and play very long trains, please let me know.
Killian said above that he makes trains upwards of 80 cars long. This may be an issue simply unique to the Big Boy, but I'm not sure.

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glenjimen
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Re: Train Length

Post by glenjimen »

Zakos wrote:I don't seem to be able to build a train much longer than about 35 to 40 cars. Adding another car causes the train to "pick up." And beyond about 40 cars, I can't put it back down on the track. I created a straight section of track from one end of the map to another. No curves, no signals, no crossings, no nothing. Just straight track. And I still can't place the train.
I remember seeing in a video you can only place long trains on extremely curvy sections of track. Your problem is trying to place the long train on straight track. Once the train is placed, in can run over straight track.

I don't think the problem is with the big boy.
Good luck!

EDIT: here is the video I saw:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgIHfD-pybo
... but what do I know? I play with trains.

TJ-99
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Re: Train Length

Post by TJ-99 »

glenjimen:

Thank you! That did the trick. I never would have guessed the track had to be as crooked as possible, but it does. I did a pair of SD60M and 60+ Bethgon coal gondolas. I was able to place the train, and it ran. When I've got the time I'll go to my saved Tehachepi scenario and create a very long buried train construction track as in that video.

So again, thanks !

TJ-99
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Re: Train Length

Post by TJ-99 »

I've started playing on the Sherman Hill scenario. That map supports lengthy coal runs from near Cheyenne to near Laramie.

So I created a super curvy track near one of the coal mines. The other station was the power plant.

I first tried a pair of SD40-2 (6,000 total horsepower) with a train of 40 UP coal gondolas, and a caboose. Total weight of the train was 2,616 tons, loaded. The engines could move the train ok on flat terrain, but slowed down to 5 mph once they started up the grade over Sherman Hill. The train was long enough that it seemed that some portion of it was always on a grade, and the train never did speed up.

Then I tried a shorter train. Three SD40-2 (9,000 HP), 25 loaded coal gondolas, and a caboose. Train length was 40 squares. This train did much better, but still slowed down to 5 mph until it crested the summit of Sherman Hill. Then is sped up to 70 mph to the power plant.

The long trains played havoc with my rail network. The other trains were standard 16 blocks long, with signals placed for that train length. The long train slowed everything down, or so it seemed.

The long train also looked "funny." I've grown so used to 16 block (occasionally a little longer), that a 40 block or longer train just looked totally out of place.

I did read that the maximum recorded weight for a train was around 21,600 tons. That would be about 250 cars (plus engines) in this game. That would darn near stretch from one end of the map to the other.

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uktrackbuilder_loco
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Re: Train Length

Post by uktrackbuilder_loco »

TJ-99 wrote:I've started playing on the Sherman Hill scenario. That map supports lengthy coal runs from near Cheyenne to near Laramie.

So I created a super curvy track near one of the coal mines. The other station was the power plant.

I first tried a pair of SD40-2 (6,000 total horsepower) with a train of 40 UP coal gondolas, and a caboose. Total weight of the train was 2,616 tons, loaded. The engines could move the train ok on flat terrain, but slowed down to 5 mph once they started up the grade over Sherman Hill. The train was long enough that it seemed that some portion of it was always on a grade, and the train never did speed up.

Then I tried a shorter train. Three SD40-2 (9,000 HP), 25 loaded coal gondolas, and a caboose. Train length was 40 squares. This train did much better, but still slowed down to 5 mph until it crested the summit of Sherman Hill. Then is sped up to 70 mph to the power plant.

The long trains played havoc with my rail network. The other trains were standard 16 blocks long, with signals placed for that train length. The long train slowed everything down, or so it seemed.

The long train also looked "funny." I've grown so used to 16 block (occasionally a little longer), that a 40 block or longer train just looked totally out of place.

I did read that the maximum recorded weight for a train was around 21,600 tons. That would be about 250 cars (plus engines) in this game. That would darn near stretch from one end of the map to the other.
Well TJ you have discovered that the game does mimic the interaction of a train to the rail very well because when you view the details you get an engine weight, a total train weight and a cargo weight within the window when you view it
US railroad practice is 1hp to 1 tonne of weight so a train of 6000 tonnes would take a minimum of 2 units to move in flat conditions, at grade you would increase the hp available to around 2.5-3.0hp per tonne.
The problem is that the figures given for units is total output which is the quoted figure you see for an SD40-2 using the 645-16E that is rated at 3000bhp, however that is not what the unit produces at the rail which is typically between 15-20% lower due to the various thermo dynamic losses involved in turning engine motion into electrical current to be fed to the D97 traction motors.

Working on the basis of trying to run a 25-30 car unit train of say oil tanks over a series of sustained grades taking an all up train weight of 4000 tones you would be looking at using around 4-5 diesels of at least 3000bhp spliced through the train to mimic the operation of DPU and yes the game does like DPU as I used it on the Calhadras scenario to move bethgons normally in blocks of 20 or so and kept reasonable train speeds.

Best thing is to think how a railroad approaches operating in the conditions you are playing in and using that and you will make the game a lot more interesting especially when hotshots and unit trains have to share the same twisty and winding track over long grades

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