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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 5:06 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:19 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Dordrecht, The Netherlands
(Please let me know if I posted this on the wrong board)

Hello everyone,

Since this is my first post to the forum, I'll give a small introduction:

I've started playing OpenTTD a while ago, and it seems I'm getting the hang of it.
However, I've arrived at a point on this save, where the demand seems to get a bit out of hand.
I've already disabled town growth as to take away some pressure from the network. While the game started out as being passengers and cargo, I quickly shifted towards only passengers though, as the difference in speed of the cargo trains made timetabling too much of a nuisance.
I'm using several newGRFs, which are all easily obtained from the ingame menu, and tweaked some of the settings. The point of the game was to make a Dutch-fashioned network covering the whole map, but at this point I'm only solving problems which have to do with capacity shortages, and there seems to be no end to it. :'-(
I've tried fitting in more trains (most of them are 15 days apart, smaller intervals are giving me timetabling problems, since one breakdown can slow one train enough to be overtaken by the next one on the same line), which worked for a while, but right now I'm considering a major redesign of the existing lines, hoping to increase the capacities of some track sections.

At this moment, I'm writing down a list of improvements that I think need to be implemented. It consists mostly of doubling up tracks here and there and using extra trains to cope with the demand.

My question boils down to this: Are there any obvious flaws with the network that need to be addressed, that I might have missed during the construction and expansion of it?

I've mostly looked around on the wiki page, aswell as some maps to design the network, but I've yet to find something that might be able to help in this case, since the wiki pages don't seem to get very in-depth about a lot of things. :P

I hope you guys might be willing to share some insights with me!


File comment: The map I'm currently playing on
De Bruin Transport, 2nd Feb 2399.sav [2.03 MiB]
Downloaded 21 times
PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 5:10 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2016 11:04 pm
Posts: 42
This isn't really problems, it could go in the general forum...

Firstly, you would find huge value in some of the timetabling options that have been developed but aren't in the trunk game. Go start playing on JGR's patchpack. Auto-separation is hugely powerful and can be basically setup-and-forgotten. For longer lines and more complicated connections (e.g. if you want to coordinate timetables to get a pulse transfer, scheduled dispatch is very powerful, and takes away the need to worry about trains overaking, because it'll just reorder them at the start of the timetable. You should be able to get to a 10 day frequency with that, and tighten the waiting times a little, though breakdowns are going to probably limit that (I'm not used to dealing with breakdowns).

You can download JGR's patchpack and load your game with it, if you like.

Secondly, it should be acknowledged that, without constraints on town growth, passenger capacity will always be overwhelmed. You're playing with no feeders, no busses or trams, so only a tiny portion of your population is being served by overcrowded trains. Consider downloading a game script that creates some logic in town growth. Not many people use it, but I rely on the Villages is Villages gamescript. This gives towns a population limit, which can be increased with cargo delivery. Industry spawning is also restricted. Something like this actually gives some motivation to running a freight network.

Remember also that a daylength patch (included in JGR's pack) can change the pace of the game. I typically play 5x daylength, which means 5x the capacity.

Your network topology is pretty logical given the areas of the map you're serving. There's not too many obvious connections that are missing other than the line to Minborough Bay -- that's basically an "internal dead end". Boat connections across the harbour there would relieve all sorts of lines.

One difficult project you could make might be this: with the following stations: Trotsberg - Fonborough - Hooninghall, then (less important and easier) connecting onto Flinfinhill -- Prenhatten. You'll need to go through, or under towns, for this, and build new platforms as your stations are loaded.

I generally avoid having shared tracks between different lines; I have every route running a dedicated line with its own platforms at every station. This is a personal choice, but it is definitely much easier to run trains if they're not going to be interfered with. However, as an absolute rule, you shouldn't run freight and passengers on the same tracks, they should run parallel or on unrelated routes.

PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2019 11:40 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 05, 2019 4:19 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Dordrecht, The Netherlands
Thanks for the response!

I'll check out the JGR patchpack (if I can find it). The timetabling took a time to really understand, but I've noticed that you can't do very much with it. Luckily trains overtaking each other isn't happening that much anymore (It used happen all the time due ineffective depot placement, causing trains to pass stations and having to wait before they can drive back to the station). The waiting times have been tightened here and there, after I learned that with some tweaking you can change NewGRF's ingame. There were warning everywhere that OpenTTD might crash or behave in unexpected, but I have yet to notice anything. Since I decreased the loading times, some lines have had improvements in their waiting times, which also improved throughput. As for the breakdowns, I'd like to have them present for a little bit of randomness, but it would be nice if it happened a little less :P

At the time of writing, I've implemented a few changes to the network:

A few sections have been upgraded to four tracks around Fonborough, Gonburg and Fundinghattan. The Chefingway station was moved south, and some lines changed. A new line from Fundinghattan to Gonburg via Fonborough was added as an extension to an existing line starting in Gonburg. There's a new train from Honninghall to Fundinghattan via Prardham, which is now a transfer-like station if passengers were to go from Chefingway to Fundinghattan.

I've also worked on the situation around Gunnpool, Bahattan Springs and Prenhattan, which is now four tracks, the stations have had a make over, and the trains drive at 15-day frequencies.

I'll consider adding an extra direct train from Honninghall to Fonborough, although I'm not sure it's necessary at this point, since the upgrades have turned the Cargodist lines to green again :D

Addressing another point, you were talking about a direct connection between Honninghall - Fonborough - Trutburg. Is was already considering to move the high speed tracks away from Trutburg, and instead connect them to Fonston, where it seems a lot of passengers try to go via Flufingway Heights. By rerouting the high speed tracks, it may relieve the trains from Fonston to Hartown.

As for the network design, I understand the approach of dedicated tracks for different lines. I'm however not a big fan of it. I used to just let the trains pick a platform. When it became a bit crowded, I tried using waypoints to force platforms for each line. This only created the problem that it became very hard for delayed trains to overtake other trains, so I stepped away from that approach. What I'm trying now is a sort of many-to-many-to-many approach, in which a train can be on any incoming track, is able to enter any platform available, and is able to leave from any platform to any outgoing track. This has however the downside that it's quite complex to implement without tracks crossing each other, which makes me wonder what's next. I have started looking around to real life examples where different lines meet, such as Den Haag Centraal,, where three lines come together at a terminal station. What I've noticed is that each line has a few of the platforms they can go to, while sharing some with the line next to them. In another game, I've tried implementing this, and it seems to be way less design intense, while maintaining a rather good efficiency, so I might combine the two ideas in the future, and perhaps it's the next big thing :D

In the beginning, I did run freight trains and passenger trains together on the same track. As I've set almost all costs to their highest defaults (And I've started other games using a base cost mod multiplier), it was quite hard to break even. But since the network was quite small an innocent back then, it wasn't that hard to tune the timetables for everything to work out just fine. As games progress however, I usually drop the freight trains in favour of passenger trains :P

I'll post a few screenshots of improvements I have implemented so far when I'm back home tonight!

Thanks for the advice!

*EDIT: Added a few screenshots

File comment: New situation around Honninghall & Fonborough
De Bruin Transport, 22nd Jun 2431.png [1.16 MiB]
Not downloaded yet
File comment: New situation around Bahattan Springs
De Bruin Transport, 22nd Jun 2431#1.png [1.3 MiB]
Not downloaded yet
File comment: The improvements in saturations after the upgrades
De Bruin Transport, 22nd Jun 2431#2.png [730.47 KiB]
Not downloaded yet
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