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Give train A orders to go to a station (like TTD), you can say which cargo the train should take from that station (RRT like).
Train B is the shunting engine, this engine is assigned to shunt at a station, it doesn't have any other orders than "shunt at the station".
The game would figure out that when train A arrives that train B has to shunt the correct coaches to the train.
It would be something like this in-code:
1) Train A arrives, check if the orders say that the train needs other wagons, continue with 4 the train doesn't need other wagons.
2) Check if there is a shunting engine available at the station, continue if there is one available, wait if not.
3) Train B (shunter) will start its shunting for train A.
4) Train A leaves the station with the correct wagons.
This method would be easiest for the player AFAICT, but it can be quite a PITA to get the intelligence right so the shunters won't turn mad.
EDIT: Why would a train need other wagons anyways? That starts to sound like RRT, where wagons just dissapear when they get changed.
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- how many additional orders does a player have to give to a train to get a shunter to appear?
- as Purno said: where do the wagons stay?
- what if a player forgets the shunting order?
Please realise that we're making a game, not a 1-on-1 copy of the real world.
The wagons stay on sidings, which the player would have to build.
They way I see it you would tell a train to go between two stations. When the train arrives at the next station it uncouples at a siding, and then picks up any consists waiting for it. This process would be automatic because the station master would tell the train which consist to pick up.
The shunter would then automatically get to work on the dumped consist, sorting it onto the other sidings automatically.
Internally (or perhaps externally) each siding will be assigned a label. So siding A would be for cargo to station A, siding B would be for cargo to station B, etc.
Now this type of ordering is different to TT style, so we would now have to include a different type of ordering.
Instead of "Goto Station A (load)" "Goto Station B (unload)", it may now be something like
"Run line service between station A and B"
Let's think about this in another context.
Lets say you want to fly to Perth from Amsterdam. Your first destination would probably be from Amsterdam to London, then London to Singapore, then Singapore to Perth. You would not stay on the same plane throughout the trip. Each person on the plane is then "a consist", and the airport terminal is the shunting yard.
Each plane just flys from A to B all the time and the passengers just "know" where to go by linking together.
Shunting is just a way of giving legs to otherwise stationary wagons so they all end up going to the correct destination.
But really I don't beleve in this feature. It have been put down earlier in a old thread down at page 3 i think. The question back then was if wagons and locos could be separated. After some discussions it was decided that it will be to complicated for to little gain.
So if you want to be frank one can argue that it is allready decided that wagons and locos cant be separated.
it just means we might have to fight to get this into the game
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