Junc. Signals

The MSTS Activity Editor allows you to make your own activities, or missions, for the player to complete. This is also how you can get lots of other trains running while you drive yours!

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Richard604
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Junc. Signals

Post by Richard604 »

'morning all, I have made great strides in creating activities but there is one thing I cannot workout.

If I start my activity at Effingham ( Dorset Coast V6 downloaded version) I can bring an ai train down from Cobham into Effingham and stop and then my player train gets a grren light and can cross the line towards Bookham.

However if I start my activity from Guildford my player train runs into and stops at Effingham it gets a red signal BUT so does my ai train from Cobham and they both spend the rest of the day looking at each other.

So what does one do.

I need my player train to stop att Effingham and wait for the ai train to stop at Effingham as well and then my player train gets a green to leave.

Regards

Richard
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gswindale
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by gswindale »

This sounds to me like a pathing issue, but without looking at the route & what you've done it is hard to tell.

Is the AI service crossing the player path around Effingham? If so, can you re-route one of the services so that this does not happen?
Geoffrey Swindale.
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Richard604
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by Richard604 »

Hi Geoffrey and thanks for the reply.

Well actually I haven't done anything yet because I cannot get the player train to cross in front of the ai train held at a red.

OR have the player train held in the station until the ai train has stopped at the station then the player train gets the green and can carry on.

If you look at Effingham as it is in Dorset Coast there are 2 lines in/out to/from Guildford and 2 in/out to/from Cobham with 2 diverging to/from Bookham almost immediately on leaving the station. Hence I guess the name of Effingham junction.

And vice versa.

I could indeed send the player train to Waterloo via Cobham but then I would never be able to get a train to Waterloo via Bookham/Leatherhead etc.

The easiest way would be to have no ai train at all.

Maybe just have one sitting in the station.

This situation must arise on many occasions where one train has to cross in front of another held at a red to allow it, the other train, to do so.

Is there a solution or perhaps there isn't.

Regards

Richard
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gswindale
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by gswindale »

Hi there,

Having taken a quick look in Activity Editor; I also don't see why it shouldn't work & now understand the layout of the junction. It could just be a timing issue - try the AI slightly earlier.

I would be inclined to download
 Click to view more informationBlocker [20327 bytes] - Blocker.zip
File ID: 20068 Date: 17 Nov 2008 - 2940 Downloads

and set up a "blocker" path starting from Effingham Junction towards Cobham with a long waiting point just north of the signal. The AI should then get a clear run through Effingham Junction. If you time the waiting point perfectly; it should clear the junction just as the AI service is crossing it and hopefully you will then get a clear signal to proceed towards Bookham. Set the blocker to start at around the same time as you leave Guildford & it should ensure that the paths do not clash.

The other option is to start the AI service ridiculously early and use a waiting point somewhere out of view when you're stationary at Effingham Junction as that should also guarantee the AI to have the path across the junction. I've used this trick at Virginia Water once or twice.

You do need the BIN patch if you haven't already got it for these to work.

Sometimes the latter works & other times the former fixes the problem. I tend to try the latter first and then the former if it doesn't work. It can be frustrating - particularly when you try to do this towards the end of a long activity!

Good luck & let us know how you get on.
Geoffrey Swindale.
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Richard604
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by Richard604 »

'morning Geoffrey and thanks.

I will try as you suggest this morning.

Meanwhile. yesterday I removed all my DC Tours activities in case they were causing a problem but no.

With those deleted I started a new activity and lo and behold my set up worked.

I thought that the ai train could be starting a little earlier so changed the time to a bit earlier, just 20 secs or so and the problem arose again. So it may well be a timing issue.

It does seem to work on odd occasions but I can't work it out.

I will now try as you suggest. I have the blocker installed.

Regards

Richard
Richard604
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by Richard604 »

Well I have just run a couple of tests and obviously have a problem.

I started a fresh activity Guildford to Waterloo ( via Bookham ) and saved it.

I tested it using the playback facility and the train started to leave Guildford and then stopped.

I ran the activity via Trainstore using the default times.

I arrived at 9 5 15 and at 9 6 15 I got the right o way and the whistle.

I released the brakes selected forward, got a green at the end of the platform and started off.

Just as I passed the green signal I get the message.

" activity ended - ignored red light" .

I am now at a complete loss as to what to do.

Richard
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gswindale
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by gswindale »

Hi,

Yes - the run through in AE is notoriously unreliable.

Can you check which tsection.dat file you are using? Try downloading V42UK:
 Click to view more informationMSTS Standardized global tsection.dat file Build 00042UK [325489 bytes] - Tsection42UK.zip
File ID: 13758 Date: 05 Jan 2012 - 24922 Downloads


some versions between V38 and this version had issues with clearance distances which caused this sort of problem.
Geoffrey Swindale.
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Richard604
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by Richard604 »

Hi Geoffrey, OK I think I have got there.

It has taken a while as I got myself in a right old pickle..again.

I have tsection 42 in my MSTS downloads section and assumed it was installed.

I had a bit of a fiddle a couple of weeks ago and must have forgotten to re install it.

Typical of me.

Thanks for your help.

All seems to be ok now but cannot get the timing right for the approaching train to take precedence over the player train before it gets the green and can continue.

At the moment I feel like giving my PC a right old Leigh Halfpenny.

Perhaps you would be kind enough to answer these questions for me.

1. When adding a number of ai trains what is the best way, one at a time or all together and then do the times in one go.?

2. I do not fully understand the ai timing do you have to do them all together.?

3. Passing trasins seem to be fairly easy to add, its junctions that are bugging me. Can you explain your 2 previous methods in more deatil.?

I am trying to understand as much as I can so that eventually I will be able to create a couple of activities.

I just happened to have chosen Dorset Coast as my test bed.........


Regards

Richard
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gswindale
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by gswindale »

Richard604 wrote:
Perhaps you would be kind enough to answer these questions for me.

1. When adding a number of ai trains what is the best way, one at a time or all together and then do the times in one go.?
Is up to you. I tend to add a few AI services at a time & test (i.e. the first 10/15 minutes of the activity) and then add the next few & test again.
2. I do not fully understand the ai timing do you have to do them all together.?
Not sure I fully understand this particular question. As above - I tend to set a few of services up as & when I'm expecting to see them, place them in and test. Then I return to the editor and carry on.

It is a slow process, but I find it works quite well; although by the time I've completed a 1hour activity I'm a little fed up of the first 10/15 minutes! I'd also advise only running the AI services around the time you'd expect to see them. For passenger services; if I'm expecting to pass something at say Staines I'd have it running only from Feltham to Egham for example. This allows the AI to disappear out of view before vanishing and helps with the fact that not everybody drives the same way.
3. Passing trasins seem to be fairly easy to add, its junctions that are bugging me. Can you explain your 2 previous methods in more deatil.?
I will try & put together a guide with some pictures over the next few days.
I am trying to understand as much as I can so that eventually I will be able to create a couple of activities.

I just happened to have chosen Dorset Coast as my test bed.........
Good luck & the more the merrier - although I would suggest starting simple. One of my earliest activities was a simple return shuttle between Staines & Windsor on the Dorset Coast route. It is a good route for activity writers with a huge scope for variety.

I should also recommend Niall Gray's Glasgow-Carlisle V3 route and Terry Cunliffe's North West England as being great for having scope for variety of activities.
Geoffrey Swindale.
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Richard604
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by Richard604 »

Good morning Geoffrey and thanks.

I look forward to reading the guide.

I'm sure I shall be asking some more questions.

Meanwhile............

Regards

Richard
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by borthstation »

Hi,
I don't have this route, so can't be specific. I read this that you have a converging junction and want the player to give way to the AI train. This is often difficult to achieve, but the principal is as follows:-
Ideally you need to confirm to the infamous 3-blocks rule - but you can sometimes "cheat" it.
Take the signal that you want to stop at (the player's red signal). Count back along your route - previous signal as yellow, one before that as double yellow (count as such, even if you are on semaphores), and one before that as green.
For the player to get a red, you must not yet have reached the "green" signal and the AI must have grabbed its signal that protects the convergence. If you count back from the AI signal that protects the junction, then call it "yellow" (not "red") and count back double yellow and green. To grab the path, the AI must be no further back than this, or it will get the red and the player will grab the junction signal and get a green.
The AI path may be shorter than the player's and you may want to see the AI arrive. As Geoffrey says, use a waiting point. If you can, use short AI paths in these situations - easier to control than long ones. Two oddities can arise - (1) the AI can wait, even if it has a green. Usually can be resolved by making sure the AI path passes through 4 more signals after the junction signal. (2) the player gets priority against all logic. No idea why this may happen, but it could be the waiting point sometimes causes MSTS to fail to give priority to the AI - but it shouldn't! Geoffrey's "invisible blocker" is also useful - use a very short path and a suitable waiting point time - but be aware that in some situations the blocker can have a knock-on effect on traffic - sometimes very useful.
It's great to see when it actually works! I've just done a Bala Hub activity where my freight from Blaenau waits at the junction approach for a Down mainline and Up mainline to cross, and for a Junction - Bala local to load up and leave the station - then I'm released to follow the Down service to Corwen. This involves a blocker to ensure everything leaves in its correct order - looks really good!
Hope this is of use.
Chris.
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by borthstation »

Hi,
Further to my earlier post.
Geoffrey's "invisible blocker" is also useful - use a very short path and a suitable waiting point time - but be aware that in some situations the blocker can have a knock-on effect on traffic - sometimes very useful.
When placing the blocker, the ideal situation is that it too conforms to the 3 blocks rule - i.e. the AI should not have already grabbed the signals ahead of where the blocker path starts. If it has, then MSTS should correct the AI signals already set up ahead to take the blocker into account. But note that, if the blocker passes through the next signal, it may sometimes get a red that never clears - because the AI has already grabbed it. Generally, once a blocker has disappeared from traffic, all signals will again clear correctly.
And finally... this all assumes that a standard form of signal scripting has been used!
Chris.
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gswindale
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by gswindale »

Thanks for that Chris.

I've not had time to do much this weekend. Nice weather meant tidying the garden!

Richard - let us know how you get on & we will give what advice we can.
Geoffrey Swindale.
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Richard604
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by Richard604 »

Thanks very much Chris.

I'm not sure that this isn't getting a bit beyond my capabilities, at the moment anyway..

As I mention in my other post about the ai timing I am find it all a bit ah complicated.

The thing is is that I can write the player train bit no problem but its the ai trains which give the whole thing substance.

Maybe trying to replicate a real world timetable ( for the player train )from Guildford to Waterloo is far too ambitious for me.

I have tried the Activity Changer but it crashes my pc for some reason.

A lot to digest so will get back, if I acquire the brain power to use the info.

Have just had to reinstall MSTS as fiddling with my activity caused an " unable to initialise activity manager" error.

Just what you need.

Am renovating a house I recently bought so free time a bit limited at the moment, not to mention looking after the grand children of course.


Regards

Richard
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gswindale
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Re: Junc. Signals

Post by gswindale »

Hi Richard,

The AI is the tricky part.

What I tend to do is setup my player path & timetable first.

I then use either a copy of the timetable or a site such as http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk to see what other traffic is around.

I then place the AI a few at a time keeping that payhs as short as possible.

For instance if I'm at Staines at 09:34 then I'll place a piece of AI going from Feltham to Egham starting at 09:32 (for example). I should then pass this somewhere around Staines, but I've guaranteed it appears/disappears out of view so it looks like it is running the whole route.
Geoffrey Swindale.
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