Activity Editor fails to open a route

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!

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
docmartin
Very Active Forum Member
Posts: 1031
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 10:44 pm
Location: Obviously in the wrong sim but also Louisiana, USA

Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by docmartin »

Another nail-biter for the future of the Chiltern Route. I have been happily relaying trackwork and putting in semaphore signals at Didcot in order to turn the clock back on the contemporary version by Michael Willis that I had integrated into my route to sometime before the Great Western Society and its Didcot Railway Centre were ever heard of. A couple of weeks ago I wrote and ran a test activity to check that some of the new signalling was functioning correctly and indeed all was well.

Having made further progress, yesterday I needed to write a new test activity to check more recently installed signals but to my dismay AE refused to open up the route. I got an odd error message along the lines of "Service <<null>> using invalid platform". I am familiar with this error, which occurs when one has changed the track layout, thereby invalidating the path of an existing activity through a station. However, this is the first time that I had seen the message refer to a non-existent service.

I have tried everything I can think of, including running the route through TSUtils, deleting all the existing activities in the route and trying to write a new one, leaving just one activity that I know for certain should work (in which case I no longer got the error message) and so forth. Nothing works. Not only can I not create a new activity but AE will not open up pre-existing activities. It simply hangs up with the black screen and never loads the route map.

This problem only affects my Chiltern route. On other routes I have installed, AE functions as normal.

I tried using one of the numerous backups of the route I keep, going back a month, but I still got the same problem, even though at the time of the earlier saves of the route this was not an issue.

I run MSTS under WindowsXP with the 16-bit colour setting, so the latter is not the problem.

I really need to crack this one otherwise the route is useless and over 6 years work will have gone down the drain.

Help please :cry:
User avatar
NiallGray
Very Active Forum Member
Posts: 4279
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:55 am

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by NiallGray »

It's only a suggestion, I've no idea if it would work but I had an AE problem a long time back and this is what I did.

Back up the route and in the exisiting version, delete all the paths bar except for one path that you know works ok. Ie pick a shortish path well away from the tiles where the routes meet. Also take out all the services, traffic and acts.

If AE works ok then it has to be one of the paths that is causing the issue. You then move the paths back one at a time and you'll eventually find the problem when AE refuses to load.

If it doesn't work, then I don't know what to suggest.
The Class 303/311 pack - 26 EMUs for MSTS/OR covering every era of these iconic Clyde-based units. From Caley Blue to Carmine and Cream!
Available now on UKTS - File 34622
User avatar
a214sli
Established Forum Member
Posts: 424
Joined: Thu May 29, 2003 2:08 pm
Location: 'Route-building' North West of England, plus starting Waverley Route join up from Carlisle

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by a214sli »

Bit drastic but have you tried reinstalling MSTS?

Hope you can sort this so I don't have to carry on all the way to Marylebone... :wink:

Tim Mitchell.
User avatar
docmartin
Very Active Forum Member
Posts: 1031
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 10:44 pm
Location: Obviously in the wrong sim but also Louisiana, USA

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by docmartin »

Thanks for your suggestions, Niall and Tim. Unfortunately, I don't think either of them will work. If the problem were a rogue path, then after deleting all existing activities, services, paths and traffic, I should still be able to create a new activity - which I can't.

MSTS is working just fine with other installed routes so the problem is not at the level of MSTS but affects only my Chiltern route - so a reinstall wouldn't solve the problem either.

I've tried using the automatic backup of the tdb file but all I get is an error message saying that the tdb failed to load.

I'm at my wits' end.
coolhand101
Very Active Forum Member
Posts: 1203
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 2:20 pm

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by coolhand101 »

Could be a positioning of a signal?
This happen to me a few times and it was caused by a signal. I had to back track in RE and find the signal in question. RE won't report that particular problem, while AE does(wont load). Im going back a few years but the first instance was a ground semaphore shunt signal(signal pathing rule) and the second was a banner repeater for a signal with route indicators.

Thanks
User avatar
ccsdc
Very Active Forum Member
Posts: 2804
Joined: Thu Apr 10, 2003 8:49 pm
Location: Poole in Sunny Dorset

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by ccsdc »

Martin,

This sounds like the old MSTS problem of having an information signal as the first signal after a track end.

Dave
Creator of the Thames-Mersey and Dorset Coast routes.
Image
tonyhap
Established Forum Member
Posts: 372
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:25 pm

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by tonyhap »

Hi Martin,

Sorry, just some more questions. You do not mention what happens in explore mode. What does happen?

Can you open RE? And travel around? And go to your last edited area?

Are your backups complete, 100%, copies of the route? Or just portions of the whole route?

Any recent changes to your global folder?

Regards,
Chris
User avatar
docmartin
Very Active Forum Member
Posts: 1031
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 10:44 pm
Location: Obviously in the wrong sim but also Louisiana, USA

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by docmartin »

Many thanks for your replies, everyone.
This sounds like the old MSTS problem of having an information signal as the first signal after a track end.
This might well be the root of the problem. I had forgotten about this particular MSTS quirk. I know I have placed a fair number of information signals at Didcot, so will have to check where they are in relation to track ends.

In answer to your questions, Chris:
You do not mention what happens in explore mode. What does happen?
I haven't tried explore mode so don't know.
Can you open RE? And travel around? And go to your last edited area?
No problems with RE, it's functioning normally.
Are your backups complete, 100%, copies of the route? Or just portions of the whole route?
I always make 100% backups, in three different places on external hard drives for safety.
Any recent changes to your global folder?
Nope.

I'm willing to bet it's the signal problem. The timing of the problem, coming as it did after I had been placing some info signals, strongly suggests this is the culprit. I'll let you know what happens.
tonyhap
Established Forum Member
Posts: 372
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:25 pm

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by tonyhap »

Hi Martin,

Here's hoping it is an info signal problem. But how could that make your past complete back-ups unplayable?

Have you ruled out an HW_RENDERER problem?

Regards,
Chris
User avatar
SDtrains
Well Established Forum Member
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:41 pm

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by SDtrains »

Hi Martin,

I can only suggest that you try creating a new test activity. If RE is openinig OK , then AE should open to start a new activity. If AE will not open , then it's probable that you have a signalling or track objects related problem. It's possible that running the TSUtils 'Check Route Integrity' command ICHK could shed some light on the location of the problem, but the
report this command gives is extremely verbose and may take a little while to sift through. Certainly , don't start editing things before you know what it is which needs correcting.
Make a backup of the whole route and put it out of the way somewhere, s at least you can recover if the situation just gets worse following edits.

I don't think you are about to lose 6 years work, but certainly something TDB related needs sorting out. If you can't sort it out, PM me and we will take it from there.

Regards,

Steve
Actions speak louder than words, but gossip spreads fast!
User avatar
docmartin
Very Active Forum Member
Posts: 1031
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 10:44 pm
Location: Obviously in the wrong sim but also Louisiana, USA

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by docmartin »

Many thanks, Steve, for your offer of help. Fortunately, I won't have to trouble you on this occasion since the culprit was indeed the info signal problem. I located every info signal I had placed at Didcot and placed a Dummy Track Start signal in front of each one - a bit of overkill, perhaps, but easier than attempting to trace all the possible paths back from each signal to see if they reached a track end with no intervening signal. This did the trick and I have just successfully written and run a test activity again. Just in time while I still have some nails - and hair - left :lol:

Once again, a heartfelt thanks to all of you who took the trouble to reply with your suggestions and especially to Dave who, in his inimitable fashion, nailed the problem first time.

Chris asked:
how could that make your past complete back-ups unplayable?
I don't know but I have experienced the same phenomenon with other kinds of problems in the past. How can an issue act retroactively on previous saves? Beats me.
Have you ruled out an HW_RENDERER problem
I didn't look at this because I don't know anything about HW_RENDERER. Perhaps you could elucidate, Chris.
tonyhap
Established Forum Member
Posts: 372
Joined: Fri Apr 23, 2004 11:25 pm

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by tonyhap »

Perhaps you could elucidate, Chris.
Kind of irrelevant now that Dave found the solution! A search could explain it better than I can.

And I thought that your unplayable back ups had significance!!

Regards,
Chris
aj52mdy
Well Established Forum Member
Posts: 761
Joined: Sun Jun 27, 2004 5:57 pm

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by aj52mdy »

Hi Martin.
Having read your initial post earlier today with a heavy heart, Thank goodness that you have been able to find and fix the fault at Didcot.

When this route was only covering the actual Chiltern line, It was (and still is) very high on my to have list, but now you have included Didcot
to Aynho Junction as well, this is extremly high on my list.
In the days when freight still had train guards, I used to work to Didcot a lot with Freightliner trains and had route knowledge to Banbury.

This was between 1974 and 1994 which of course was in the post Steam/semaphore era, although there was still semaphore at Aynho Junction and
still is at Banbury South and North boxes.
Looking forward to seeing your route, Hope there are not too many moew clitches.

Best wishes.
Andy
Andy Moody West Moors Dorset. On the Old Road (Lymington Jn-Broadstone closed 1964)
User avatar
NiallGray
Very Active Forum Member
Posts: 4279
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2006 1:55 am

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by NiallGray »

Martin,

The fact you got a a lot of suggestions, although most were incorrect, just goes to show how much the rest of us value your route that we were willing to offer ideas to help you sort it.

Like everyone else, I'm delighted that you are now sorted. Your route on high on my list to try once it's done.

Niall
The Class 303/311 pack - 26 EMUs for MSTS/OR covering every era of these iconic Clyde-based units. From Caley Blue to Carmine and Cream!
Available now on UKTS - File 34622
User avatar
SDtrains
Well Established Forum Member
Posts: 780
Joined: Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:41 pm

Re: Activity Editor fails to open a route

Post by SDtrains »

To all interested in this subject and anyone reading the thread searching for a solution (!!) ,

As a subscript to this discussion, the 'Info' signal type bug is explained by Tony Formoso in his document Indicator Signals V.2,
which comes as part of the UK Indicators Signals V2.0 download, UKTS file 5073. Note that the update to this is also required to
cover junction links for banner repeaters. UKTS 8739.

However, no reference is made to any possible faults which may occur following non observation of this situation when placing signals.

Would be route builders are wise to read this document before commencing the task of signal placements.

I have had my own problems with failing signal sytems in my routes and know how even following the rules can produce unexpected consequences.

As another guideline, it would be prudent to check all track work using the TSutils command ICHK before commencing signalling.

Regards,

sdtrains
Actions speak louder than words, but gossip spreads fast!
Locked

Return to “[MSTS1] Activity Creation”