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Train Management


Arafurian
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I've been playing RT2 on and off since it first came out, and I find it quite more-ish ... except for the lack of what I consider proper control of the trains. Once I end up with more than 100 or so trains, I battle to keep everything running the way I want it. In very large part, this is, of course, a matter of personal preference. Some people, I am told, run with thousands of trains, and - so they say - micromanage each train with hardly any loss of sanity!

 

What I'd like, by way of an entry into the wishlist for a new super-duper RT2, is have the train list dividable into 'runs', with the train list 'tabbed' like a modern web browser. Failing that, I am thinking of creating a relational database - perhaps as a sort of 'train dispatcher's office'. Would this be a good thing, do you think?

 

My thinking so far is to create a DB in OpenOffice Base, to make it more-or-less universally accessible, on all platforms, and then to focus on train and route management. I envisage the following tables:

  • Engines: the DB would include a simple list of all engines, with the start year and fuel for each - plus other information if anyone things that necessary. Players would then manually nominate which engines would be available or not-available at any given time. I.E. since the RRT2 game does not talk to the DB, YOU have to tell the DB which trains that you wish to be available at any given moment.
  • Trains: this would be a list of the trains you are running at any given moment. Provision will need to be given to allow trains to be deleted either through crash or player action, with subsequent renumbering.
  • Tracklines: this refers to a particular strip of track between Point A and Point B, on which trains might run. (Circular tracks are a side issue.) (Is there a better or more conventional name than 'tracklines'?)
  • Route: this refers to a particular train route, which would presumably be along a particular trackline. E.g. if one had a trackline running from NYC to Seattle, one might have Route #1 with passenger trains doing a long haul coast-to-coast, and Route #2 with a freight run covering only a portion of the trackline.
  • Stations: this would list all available stations, locating each upon a given trackline, and also linking each to different routes. Thus, in the above example, a 'Chicago' station would presumably feature in the NYC-Seatlle trackline, plus also in Route #1 (NYC-Seattle passenger run) and possibly in Route #2, if its freight train stopped off there.
  • Finally, a diary, to remind you of forthcoming events and to-do items.

I am not entirely sure if such a DB would solve my personal train management issues, but would it be useful to anyone else? If so, what tweaks might also be good?

 

Also, any related thoughts on dispatch management? I know some people use spreadsheets, and I'd be interested in opinions as to their merits and drawbacks.

 

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It would be awesome if a tool could be integrated into the game itself (or operate upon a saved game). Anything else would suffer from data-entry tedium. Also, whenever I merge another RR, all my train numbers change. What a headache!

As for the wishlist, it does have a suggestion for "filters". Assigning trains to "fleets" could be one filter. I also envision filters for various problems like being blocked, old, under 50% oil, unprofitable etc. Such filters would speed tasks like maintenance and engine replacement (once you get a screen with all of the trains whose you want to replace, you should be able to replace every engine in that subset in one go).

On "tracklines" and routes: I think that waypoints would be adequate if only there were a way to zoom in and place them precisely even on complex track. My idea was that when a train is selected in the main screen, its waypoints and station stops would be indicated somehow, and the waypoints would be movable.

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My play usually requires an amount of micro-management, until in a few years, the operation is such, that I discontinue the management. However, although you find it disagreeable to have your train numbers to change after a merge, I have found in some mergers, a couple of differnces.   1- all the trains are new, but the 2- is that there are not any trains.  Never really tried to keep a record of such happenings as I basically just like to play.   LOL  :laugh:

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