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Thread: PO&C signals - Operation Christmas Tree

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.

    Talking PO&C signals - Operation Christmas Tree

    Undoing a bunch of previous work here, Otto made some targetless switchstands which wouldn't block line of sight to low signals in tight quarters, unfortunately the signals are too iffy to be reliable switch indicators. So I downloaded Tom Moyers' earlier PRR switchstands, which have a lower profile target and converted the whole route to use those. I'll probably reconvert to the high target stands in the rural areas since those are easier to see in the weeds, but in the cities the PRR style works well since the profile is low enough not to block dwarf signals or get run over by overhanging snowplows and stuff.

    Main problem I have is diamonds, this is the correct way to signal a double crossover, but it don't work since the diamond allows the trace to pass in one direction but not the other.

    So altho I can interlock the straight tracks with no problem, and it works reliably and consistently, I have to place the diverge trip on the signal side of the diamond and use 1H1T exit signals so that if the trailing points of the exit switch are set wrong the player gets a red. Most places got to use dwarfs due to space restrictions.

    This part is nuts, wherever I put that doublehead a train running from one direction or another is gonna bump it.

    I hate using signal gantries and bridges since it's such a tedious pain to align the heads, but for this junction there isn't much choice. I might change the dwarfs to 1H1T and move those up to the signal bridge as well, see how that looks.

    Little trick I learned in MSTS, align the signal head in the middle of the track, THEN raise it up, saves a lot of backing and forthing.

    Probably gonna finish up just the Chicago area, put out a beta for bug hunting, then after running trains back and forth in every conceivable snake path see if I can interlock more of these and get rid of all the extras.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.

    Talking Oh, the EL with it!

    More or less finished with the EL, or at least the elevated portions of it. Now that I have this iron bridge loft I might lower some of the embankments to ground level and make those parts elevated as well, making an elevated car barn yard thingamy would be a lot of work but look really cool if I can pull it off.

    Can't see the crossover signals coming from the curves, probably the best solution there is to angle them slightly towards the outside so they can be seen from either approach.

    Lot of clutter here anyway, if I move all four of them doubleheads up to a signal bridge it might work.

    Provided the signals from the other end are visible soon enough, altho I think normal speed limit thru Tower 18 is about 30mph on the straights and 15mph on the curves.

    Checking clearances and signal operation in all directions and combinations takes time.

    And there are always niggling little details like this. Fortunately you can switch to the world editor on the fly, move the signal to get the proper clearance, then save and drive on. Still one of the best features of this game.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.

    Default Operation Bugspray

    Further testing revealed the most common types of glitches;

    Got a red here indicating derailment ahead, but the switchstand shows it's straight?

    Secondary link is inside the points, can't trace the path. Moving that trip further away makes the signal work correctly. Also found a few stray orphans here and there, worst problem is placing the second or third link and the signal itself wants to skitter away to the spot you're placing the link so you gotta chase it down and drag it back. Sometimes they get lost, easiest to find them ingame with the 2D map. Here's the latest configuration for Tower 18;


    And westbound. Now I gotta tackle all them slips outside Union Station, then do the rest of the subways. I should do New York too before packaging the betas.
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  4. #4


    Don't know how you have replaced my OTTOTrack switch-lever only stands with the low-level ones. Did you just replace them in the Tracks.bin like can be done when replacing the high-target stands with low ones ?

    They look like all need to be repositioned closer to the tracks and lowered a bit to hide their wooden ties in the girders.

    Would moving dwarfs which get hit in curves by rolling stock to the other side be an option ?

    Looking forward to the next Beta to give me something to do !

    O t t o

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Murrysville, Pa.

    Default Obvious - but

    To be sure you have the signals all initialized Both a train running too & fro over the signal and restarting the program and the LAUNCHER are necessary in some circumstances. Not killing everything for a restart seems to leave something set somewhere. That one had me believing a simple 1H-0T didn't even work.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.

    Default Yup

    Well, that's probably why I had less trouble with the MSTS route editor than many did - when I first saw it in 2001 I had been hacking games with HEX editors and playing with provided and third party game editors for 20 years. So I got a signal sitting too close to the track, the signal comes in two parts - the body and head you see in the game, and the marker/trip sitting on the track which is invisible in the game. Making educated guesses based on past experience with other games, I assumed (1) move the body of the signal no problem since that's actually scenery, (2) move the track trip part and you'll probably need to redo the path, since that's part of the actual pathing subroutine. Correct in both places, and of course now I assume similar things about RS/RW, and sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised when I'm wrong - such as the "Missing" texture, it's rare to find any game that won't crash if a texture is missing.

    Otto, the texture ain't all that important, on the real thing they've used wood with and without creosote sometimes painted in weird colors.

    Modern ones are mostly motorized, probably some kind of key is used to toggle a switch for manual control on these. Note tho, the modern metal treadway in the center and on the near platform, and the old wooden plank walkways on the switch and the far left platform. Over on the right also note the gray signal box, and closer the two newer yellow painted signal boxes. Over the years they also used assorted semaphores, color light, and mechanical trip signals (Forerunner of the AWS, when a train went by it flipped up a trip behind it, the station clerk looked at his watch and reset it after five minutes. If the second train hit it before it was reset it would mechanically trigger the brakes.), so anything we do here isn't too far off.

    That's what I did for that, I've been checking clearances with just two DB101s and now trying it with the Dick Cowen coach which is actually way too long. Probably be better once we get some actual 48 foot railcars, Kevin Martin said he'll take a shot at converting that North Shore interurban for me when he gets time.

    I copied this over to Railworks to see what the new LOD for the signals looks like;

    And you can actually see the color of the signal from much further away. I did some more work in Railworks to see if the latest STEAM update and getting rid of all the extras from all the other routes I was testing would help, so far (knock on wood) it hasn't crashed today.
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