Thank you very much Michael! I didn't found that last URL before... so thanks for it, new stuff to read! The first one I had already found posted here in the forums before, but for some reason at that time that URL was dead to me.... I tried it again and now it worked! So I'll keep it open on one browser tab until I have some time to read it
Thank you again!
leeus wrote:1. Where I should relay some issues I noticed due to some different patches not playing well together (specifically, about hierarchical groups and template train replacements.)
Probably the patchpack thread
Yeah, I'm sorry! I wrote that original post late late at night before going to bed, and I posted it in the wrong thread lol. I totally intended to post it in the Patch Pack thread, but I had open multiple tabs with multiple repeats of both threads and I just simply made a mistake, and when I realized it was already too late
But in the end it seems to have been OK, since I got too much good information relating the signals that would have been a bit off-topic in the patch pack thread, I think
The template train replacement patch ignores group nesting at the moment.
Yeah, I noticed that... but no problem for me, it didn't bothered me too much... it only adds some extra scrolling
What I found is a very minor usability issue with the way the template replacement window areas are sized (I assume)... and I guess it's either related to the hierarchical groups or to the number of total groups... i.e. it could just be the fact that I have too many groups myself (the hierarchical nodes add a lot to have a larger group list than normal)
The issue is it gets confused when the list of groups is too long and you can't reach the end of the list for both the groups panel and the template selection panel. I'll try to capture some images from my game and post them on the correct thread during today or tomorrow!
2. I'd want to know how to use the "slots" feature in the routing restriction signals... at least, I'd want to know what is its intended use, so I can check if it will help me in enhancing my network or I can ignore it... ((I will probably end up checking the patch code in the end, if nobody knows/has time to explain, but I was hoping to get some answers first before getting to that... even a summary would do
It's a general purpose mechanism to assign and remove trains to "slots", which are analogous to dynamic groups.
A train can be in any number of slots at once.
Trains acquire/join and release/leave slots at signals, or by manually moving trains in the slot management panel.
Slots have a capacity (number of trains), when a slot is full and a train is trying to acquire it at a PBS signal using an "acquire or wait" it will wait until another train releases it. If a train used a "try to acquire" it will continue without waiting or acquiring the slot.
"Release (front)" releases a slot when the front of the train passes the signal, and "release (back)" does the same when the back of the train passes the signal. It's important to remember to use these, as otherwise you could jam your layout if a train which is holding a slot which is blocking other trains manages to leave the area without releasing it.
You can use the "train in slot", "slot occupancy" and "slot occupancy remaining" conditionals for more complex setups. These are particularly useful with the "wait at PBS signal" restriction.
You can use it for things like: bidirectional layouts with more than one train heading in the same direction, queueing sidings and programmable train regulation, preventing deadlocks when using junctions/movements with special requirements (e.g. reversals or complex layout), simpler signalling of single-train branch lines, etc.
I primarily use it for queuing sidings (i.e. diverting trains into holding areas if their destination slightly further ahead is full, so that they don't cause an obstruction by waiting across a junction or on the mainline).
Awesome!! Thank you for the very clear explanation! I kinda thought it was something like that from the way it was worded and the types of operations you had available (they sounded a bit to me like the Semaphores primitive in concurrent programming! Full circle, trains are threads and now signals are "semaphores" lol
) and I managed to find the slots management window and played around a bit with it, but I didn't want to commit to using it without actually knowing what I was doing... since, I have many trains around, and a mistake can cause me to lose some (big) time afterwards cleaning the mess if they get confused and start to jam
I already did that with the routing restrictions twice, and I preferred to load an earlier save rather than unlock the knot lol
3. Is there any guidelines/information on how to better use the new signals (both types) in good ways? (without overdoing it... I'd prefer some simple basic constructions and expand from that...) I'm mostly interested in traffic control/balancing and freight/passengers separations... has anyone here come up with interesting solutions yet that are somewhat easy to manage/implement?  I haven't found too much information on using those yet, nor here in this forums nor wiki, nor anywhere else
I'm not aware of any tutorials at the moment, I may look into drafting some at some point.
Programmable signals are somewhat less useful than they originally seemed before I integrated them into the packpack. I tend to stick to only using routing restrictions.
As a first approximation (and without putting too much thought into it,) when I updated my mainlines to six lanes, and decided to test putting some penalties on the inner lanes for cargo trains and in the middle lane for slow trains (something like <201Km/h that was the best cutpoint for me according to the trains I'm running atm.) and it seems to work OK. I also started sprinkling long reserve signals for passengers trains in areas where they are approaching a junction, so they have the right to pass... and that works OK too.
I've mostly only used Long Reserve, Reserve Through, Deny, Add Penalty and the conditions for checking train speed, cargo and entering from the back of a signal.
That last item is awesome for reserving a station platform for some type of train (like a goods trains getting into a city station.. I mostly want that train to use a single platform, just for the looks... i.e. the platform has a different station style than the rest and it wouldn't make sense to have passengers trains in it.) I also made a single use of the current order condition to apply a Deny to avoid trains using a stretch to track reserved for waypoint reversing.
But nevertheless, this is the first time of me playing with them, and I can see much usefulness to be had in the future from the extra operations!
I still haven't found (but I really didn't spend too much time thinking) a good way to prevent cargo trains from blocking a junction entrance when they gain access to it earlier than the fast train (without using an accessory pre-signal stretch at the side entrance, like in the past... I tried using programmable signals for that, but I really couldn't find a way to do it properly but that's on me... I'll read a bit on the info provided and maybe I can come up with something) but as I said, I didn't spend too much time into it, the long reserve feature solves the 90% percent of the cases and for the rest, there's no real harm in having fast trains waiting a bit at the ML entrance from time to time
Now, from the sound of it... it sounds that the slot function *could* be used to solve this... I have to think about it and maybe make a test game and try it to see how you'd go about solving that... it's much easier than testing it on a real game with temperamental trains all around
On the topic of different restrictions... What I would wish I had (operative word wish, not asking or requesting... just throwing an idea
) is some panel window that listed all the different type of restrictions already in use. I.e. the distinct programs you already made and that are shared by different signals around your network (and I wish you could name them too... but that's another matter
What I thought about doing, is making some rail yard somewhere off and putting there one of each signal restriction I used in one signal there with a sign above it telling this one is this, that one is that. etc.
But it would be awesome to have that already available from the in-game information at some point
You could also make that window responsible for highlighting the signals on the track (using the already existing Zoning mechanism, for example... which btw., is awesome!) so you can have a more fine-grained look at where'd you put each type of restriction and/or where are they shared... and it's important to know which signals share a restriction when you thought about making a change to it, to see if all the signals you applied it before are "compatible" with the new restriction or you'd want to un-share them first (specially important when you want to make a restriction more 'restrictive' in any way... you have to check if there are enough alternative paths already existing everywhere.)
Also, I wish the signal panel would stay open after you used it to apply a restriction... I kinda suspect that's on the way the base game works though, and not on the way your patch is implemented, but it would certainly reduce the clicking/repeating required to apply restriction to signals over long stretch of tracks. Also, a way to reuse the last restriction applied (or, maybe, a way to share *from* an open signal restriction panel, instead of having to open the target signal panel and chose share on it) would certainly reduce the clicking a lot! But I'd totally understand if it's not feasible to do atm., or if it requires much more work than it's worth ((unless, of course, there's a way to do that that I missed... that could totally be the case too!))
McZapkie wrote:What is difference between "reserve through" and "long reserve"?
If I understand properly, long reserve is trying to reserve current and next section, if it is not possible, only current section.
Is "reserve through" used for "reserve both sections or deny"?
Yes pretty much.
"Reserve through" means that the reservation can't terminate at the current signal, it must continue until it finds somewhere else suitable to terminate. It is as if the signal was not there at all.
"Long reserve" tries to also reserve the next section, but if that's not possible the reservation up to the signal is still kept.
Both reserve through and long reserve can extend over multiple blocks (more than two).
I found Reserve through very useful in junctions to be put in signals you normally have to either leave out or live with a bit of mess that sometime happens, but you would want to put there to avoid trains from selecting the wrong track (i.e. a one directional stretch reserved for entering or leaving) but you don't want to have trains wait on it blocking the rest of the junction connections if they can't get past that particular signal... so I normally left that signal out and lived with the mess sometimes happens, now I can have both
Thank you all for your awesome responses
Best wishes to all!
PS: Sorry for the humongous post... it started small, but it kept growing! Too much stuff to mention/praise and comment
EDIT: misused word