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Thread: Newbie question on switching in MSTS

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Cornwall, UK.
    Posts
    4

    Default Newbie question on switching in MSTS

    Hi
    I've only had MSTS a few days so....
    Honestly, I have searched through the threads and read the FAQs and read the HELP in MSTS and am struggling with operating the switches (points as we call them in the UK)
    The darned things seem to have a mind of their own. I am trying to work through the activities at Marias Pass but cannot make the switches activate as I want them to.

    I want to change the direction of a switch behind the train so press shift-g to turn the vertical arrow red. How the heck do I change the direction of the switch arrow. I click and click and nothing happens. I have stopped well away from the switch gear on the track.
    I start to reverse and the switch stays as it is and I end up on the same track I dropped the wagons on.

    I'm sure it is something simple but this is spoiling the fun as I am not progressing. :-(
    Thanks in advance.
    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN, USA.
    Posts
    307

    Default RE: Newbie question on switching in MSTS

    There are two issues here. First you can only change a switch position from the facing point side trains can pass trough the trailing point side on either branch with out switching - part of the unswitched switch bug that drives me up the wall. Secondly are you sure that you are far enough from the points of the switch when you are switching - just being clear og the point on the screen is not far enough.

    You also indicate that you are working on Marias Pass so I suspect that you are using the default "USA2" route reather than the MP3.1 version of the route. On USA2 there are some Automatic only switches which cannot be manually operated - however none of the supplied activities should require you to do so. By the way this is one of the things fixed by MP3.1 - all switches are manual through the magic of X-Tracks.

    Be Seeing you.
    Michael

  3. #3

    Default RE: Newbie question on switching in MSTS

    Hi John and WELCOME to the Forum !

    All the MSTS Default Routes use what are called AUTOMATIC switches, you can tell by their missing levers next to them, which can be thrown in EXPLORE MODE but not in Activities, having a fixed Player Path.

    To get Routes in which you can do what you like when running Activities, keeping an eye on AI Traffic and Signalling ;-), you need to Download some from our File Library.

    The Port OGDEN & NORTHERN from Jim Ward (SNIPER) is a good example of FREESTYLE ACTIVITIES ! :7

    HAVE FUN, O t t o.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Clifton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
    Posts
    156

    Default RE: Newbie question on switching in MSTS

    John,

    At the bottom of this page there is a click-on selection called "MSTS FAQ". Click on that and look at Section 3, #2....... while there are no graphics, there is an adequate explanation of your problem. Also, the graphic pop-up is displayed with the "F8" key. The top arrow is always representing the turnout (switch, points, whatever nomenclature you prefer) in front of your loco, and the bottom arrow is behind you. These can be mouse clicked as well.

    Hope this helps a bit.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Cornwall, UK.
    Posts
    4

    Default RE: Newbie question on switching in MSTS

    Firstly. Can I say how great it is to get such quick answers. Many thanks to you all.

    Here is the problem.
    I'm running the Cutbank Grain Car Sorting activity and having uncoupled the empty hopper cars in the correct siding I proceed forward so that the back of the train is level with a dumper truck. Still with one truck attached to the two engines. Is that far enough from the switches?

    With the switch window (F8) showing both arrows are RED.I then reverse and cannot change the switch to straight back. I get diverted back to the siding where the empty hoppers are - everytime.

    In this activity are the switches supposed to work automatically or do I control them, or just some? Coming up to this siding all the switches were setup correctly to get me there.

    Sorry, but this does not seem logical to me.
    TIA
    John

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Cornwall, UK.
    Posts
    4

    Default RE: Newbie question on switching in MSTS

    Update
    Well, it seems as if all the switches work automatically as I have just completed that activity. :7

    I shall have to do some more reading and digging around.
    Thanks again for your help and advice.
    John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Location
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.
    Posts
    14,705

    Default RE: Newbie question on switching in MSTS

    MSTS isn't logical. I just took a quick peek, and all the switches in Cutbank are manual, except on the mainline, one of the rare cases where KUJU got something right.

    The problem here is in the traditional "paint by numbers" activities, you have to do everything exactly as the designer of the activity intended, or it doesn't work. That's why the Port Ogden & Northern ( PONver8.zip in the file library ) has only "freestyle" activities, write your own work order and switch whatever cars you want to, all the switches except at the junctions with the AI route are manual.

    I suspect at Cutbank you're dealing with a reverse point, here's a closeup of the Cutbank Local player path in the activity editor;

    [Link Expired]

    The trick is the path has to be run exactly as it's layed out, after crossing over to the left mainline you have to pull forward far enough to trigger the reverse point, then the switch behind you will automatically reset to straight. That's really not a mistake on the activity designer's part, when you create one of these rigid "do it exactly this way every time" activities, the reverse points have to be set far enough ahead of the switch to allow a fudge factor for the clearance. Consequently pulling ahead until you're clear of the switch isn't far enough, you need to trigger the reverse point.

    So try moving further forward until the switch does change behind you before backing up. If you change to an external view, and look at the switches, you'll see some switches have levers, and some don't. The ones with levers are manual switches and can be thrown by the player in an activity, the ones without levers are automatic and can't be player controlled, they're controlled by the path that you're running on. And I agree, the whole thing is really stupid, the whole path/signals/switches setup is a lot more complicated than it should have been.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Cornwall, UK.
    Posts
    4

    Default RE: Newbie question on switching in MSTS

    Thanks you sniper297 for that excellent info. If the simulation is not logical then that is plain daft in my book. There is nothing in help to explain that things might work this way.

    You are correct. I had to go as far as passed the next set of switches before the switch behind activated. That seemed way too far.
    I use video editing software a lot as a hobby and I can get my head around that which was making this so frustrating. I hope it gets better.
    Thanks again.
    John

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