Railroad switches

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Wotan
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Railroad switches

Post by Wotan » 16 May 2010 13:50

I thought there were too few "accessories" to the railway lines so I made these sprites for railroad switches. Can they be used?
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Wotan » 16 May 2010 13:51

The two other directions
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Ben_Robbins_ » 17 May 2010 00:23

1 of 100 bits of eye candy i'd love to see. Not top of my list though, but they would look nice in game. I think top of the list are sprites that replace the currently most used sprites, which at the game start are grass tiles I would think.
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by maquinista » 17 May 2010 19:30

Can You made a mockup with one of these switches?

I need to know how They should look before start to code them.
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Wotan » 18 May 2010 13:13

I made this quick mockup to give a general idea of what I had in mind.
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by maquinista » 18 May 2010 14:07

Wotan wrote:I made this quick mockup to give a general idea of what I had in mind.
It could be added as a waypoint, leaving the sprite outside the tile. :D
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by nighthawk_c_m » 19 May 2010 06:25

I like it, nice Eyecandy for us realistic network builders.

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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Jupix » 19 May 2010 09:22

Not sure about the realism aspect.. If it was completely realistic, the shaft underneath the tracks would be located in the main line side of the junction, not in the middle as it is in the mockup. This is obviously because the shaft moves the rails where they are the closest to each other; i.e. where they run parallel to each other or meet, depending on how the switch is set. To be really accurate the prop would actually have to be rendered in the adjoining tile (away from the switch). I realise of course that this is not possible the way the game works. A workaround might be to just situate it at the very edge of the junction tile.

You might make the very correct argument that realism, as always, is overrated & irrelevant, but in the case of a piece of eyecandy whose sole function is to mimic a piece of reality, I think we should place some emphasis on getting the realism aspect either 100 % right or at least somewhere in the general direction of "right".

Outside that, it's a nice prop and makes me wish we had some nice 32bpp waypoints in the same style.
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Remarul » 25 May 2010 16:18

Looks really nice!

What program did you use to model this?

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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Bjarni » 06 Jun 2010 13:33

This looks really nice. I hate to spoil this, but there are a few things I would like to point out:

It's a manual counterweight. This means the switch can't be remote controlled. Railroads prefer switches to automatically change to apply to whatever is requested on the signals. This means only remote controlled switches are used except in places not covered by signals (such as sidings)

The lantern is also a thing of the past. It tells the driver how the switch is turned. However today this information isn't needed as the switch is always correct when he receives a green light. The lanterns are maintenance heavy and have a risk of getting stuck. Furthermore they are a security risk as railroad crew risk tripping on them.

I think these sprites are great and would look nice in an early era, but it's really a system which died when stations were no longer locally controlled. Maybe it could be used until a certain year or something.

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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Wotan » 06 Jun 2010 14:44

Bjarni wrote:This looks really nice. I hate to spoil this, but there are a few things I would like to point out:

It's a manual counterweight. This means the switch can't be remote controlled. Railroads prefer switches to automatically change to apply to whatever is requested on the signals. This means only remote controlled switches are used except in places not covered by signals (such as sidings)

The lantern is also a thing of the past. It tells the driver how the switch is turned. However today this information isn't needed as the switch is always correct when he receives a green light. The lanterns are maintenance heavy and have a risk of getting stuck. Furthermore they are a security risk as railroad crew risk tripping on them.

I think these sprites are great and would look nice in an early era, but it's really a system which died when stations were no longer locally controlled. Maybe it could be used until a certain year or something.
You are completely right that the manual switch is outdated. I did this on purpose as I find old railroads much more charming than modern.
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Drury » 06 Jun 2010 16:36

But I like it... I don't know how it's in UK, but in Slovakia we still have these switches :) And they're fully automatic.

EDIT: I see that anyone in this thread is from UK :D
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Bjarni » 06 Jun 2010 16:58

Drury wrote:But I like it... I don't know how it's in UK, but in Slovakia we still have these switches :) And they're fully automatic.
That sounds rather interesting. How is the counterweight moved? It seems like it's a whole lot easier to just add an electric engine to pull/push the rod. Those engines are fitted with locks, which delivers the same function as the counterweight (points will not move when they shouldn't)
Drury wrote:EDIT: I see that anyone in this thread is from UK :D
Not really. Most people are from "I'm not telling you" :P

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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Drury » 06 Jun 2010 17:29

Bjarni wrote:
Drury wrote:But I like it... I don't know how it's in UK, but in Slovakia we still have these switches :) And they're fully automatic.
That sounds rather interesting. How is the counterweight moved? It seems like it's a whole lot easier to just add an electric engine to pull/push the rod. Those engines are fitted with locks, which delivers the same function as the counterweight (points will not move when they shouldn't)
Exactly. Well, I've seen it at one station, but I don't know if it's that automatic everywhere. But it surely looks very interesting. Here's one Czech video, but I don't know if it's engine or simply chain connected to lever.
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Remarul » 06 Jun 2010 18:58

in Romania we have the same system as in Slovakia...

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Re: Railroad switches

Post by Bjarni » 06 Jun 2010 20:06

That counterweight is on the end of a strait rod. The one in the sprite is of a different kind.

As you can see in the attachment the counterweight is not directly on the rod, but is on a rod, which can rotate around the main rod (or however you describe it). Once the switch is turned the other way, the counterweight will turn 180° around the main rod and then 257 would look like 256. (no, I didn't find any on youtube being used, hence the still image, which were hard enough to find)

This type is much harder to remote control because it's not enough to just turn the main rod. You have to manually turn both the rod and the counterweight. I have never seen it done and I think it would be much simpler, cheaper and more reliable to just replace the whole thing with a standard electric engine used everywhere else.

Why the different types: well one issue people usually fail to realise is that an important feature of a switch is how hard the moving part presses against the stationary part. Generally speaking the more you can be sure that the switch is in the right position (and not say 1 mm off) the faster a train can travel on the switch in question. Different placements of the counterweight gives different parameters when it comes to issues like this.

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sporskifterRanders22052000.jpg
source http://www.l-eriksen.dk/toge/fast/div/1/slideshow.php?image=sporskifterRanders22052000
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by maquinista » 20 Aug 2010 12:28

I have coded these switches as waypoints. They can't be placed at the juction, but They can be place near. Now I want update the rest of the file with all Wotan's stations, adding ground tiles, fences in the waypoints...
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railway1.JPEG
Switch coded. It needs fences.
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by maquinista » 23 Aug 2010 16:53

I have updated the file. Now, the stations don't cover the grass, I have fixed some shadows and I have added the railroad switches as waypoints.

TAR + GRF file:
http://rapidshare.com/files/414666986/W ... s.tar.html
http://www.mediafire.com/download.php?f51xh5dfc9nqq6c

This file can be used in 8 bpp games, but some stations doesn't look very good.
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wotan_station3.jpg
Screenshot with some stations on game.
(242.75 KiB) Downloaded 3 times
wotan_stations.grf
New GRF file, If You want to use it in 8bpp.
(44.87 KiB) Downloaded 1020 times
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Re: Railroad switches

Post by ostlandr » 30 Sep 2010 22:47

Thought I commented on this earlier. Over here in the US, the switch machines lock the points in place. The downside of this is, if a train "runs a switch" set in the wrong direction, it damages the switch machine. (We do have spring switches designed for this also.) But with this system, every switch is protected against damage like a spring switch.
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