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Thread: Sluggish Train Brakes

  1. #1

    Default Sluggish Train Brakes

    When using my Raildriver I noticed that my train brakes are applied much slower via the Raildriver then with the mouse in the engine cab. I always have used Raildriver so thought this was just how MSTS worked, but when playing around with it today I used the mouse to set the train brakes (in the cab) and was amazed how quickly they responded. I checked the setting in the cabview file and the Raildriver engine file and they are the same so it seems to me the brakes should be applied the same whether it is with the Raildriver or the lever in the cab. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.

    Talking Railworks or Trainz?

    Hee-hee, only thing I can suggest. What I did was hack the engines I normally use for faster brake application and less steps, the problem is MSTS was primarily designed for clicking and dragging pictures of controls with the mouse. If you try using the keyboard keypresses instead of Raildriver you'll find the same thing, there's some kind of really slow keyboard buffer built into MSTS that delays repeated keystrokes. I'm running Railworks these days;

    And altho the Railworks Raildriver interface is still a work in progress, requires some fiddling to get it working at first, there's no lag in the game. For MSTS the only cure I ever found is changing all the .eng files, find the lines;

    MaxReleaseRate( 12 )
    MaxApplicationRate( 15 )

    And tinker with those values until you find a good compromise. Still lags but at least you don't run 2 miles past the red signal while waiting for the game to read all them apostrophes.

  3. #3


    Thanks I never thought to check the keyboard but what you say makes sense. I thought the Raildriver was (dare I say) broken, but it sounds like a mechanical problem that is intrinsic to using a keyboard, Raildriver, etc vs. dragging a mouse across the screen. I will try your suggested changes and see if they are satisfactory for me.

    One thing that I still don't understand however is why this only effects the brakes and not throttle or dynamic brakes which work very fast with Raildriver.
    Last edited by up5799; 10-22-2009 at 03:52 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
    Stevens Point, Wisconsin, USA.

    Talking Real world fizzix!

    Thing is in the real world there IS a delay between brake lever movement and brake application, especially with long trains where the main brake line needs to lose air from the valve in the engine and that air has to travel 4000 or 5000 feet from the last car to the engine before it gets vented to atmosphere. So the guy writing the physics programs in (for example) a five second delay, tests it in game by clicking the mouse on the brake handle and dragging from full release to full application short of emergency, notes that it does indeed take five seconds and calls it good. Try it with the keyboard and you get 8 seconds waiting for all them keypresses to be read combined with the five second delay, now it's 13 seconds which is a long time when you're heading toward the cliff at 30mph. Throttle and dynamics are different because they only have 8 to 10 keystrokes for full movement, try it with a steamer and you will see more delay in the "throttle" (regulator). Back when the first keypress generator control came out it was called "Thrustmaster WCS", a throttle for flightsims, and you had to count the exact number of keystrokes needed to go from idle to full throttle and program that into the software. MSTS for some weird reason seems to use its own built in keyboard buffer, but basically you need to do the same thing when editing .eng files for this kind of thing, count the number of keystrokes by tapping the key to apply brakes one tap at a time, that will give you a general idea of what you're dealing with. For my 0-8-0 steam switchers, best I remember I copied the brake sections from a GP38 because all that graduated self lap running yada yada yada just didn't work with the Raildriver, at 10mph slap the brake lever to full in Chicago today and it starts to actually slow down next Tuesday somewhere in Kansas.

    I don't remember what all has to be changed, it's been too many years since I first got my Raildriver (LOVE my Raildriver! ) and made all these hacks. Nice thing about railsim/railworks is it was designed with Raildriver (LOVE my Raildriver! ) in mind from the start, so it don't need the weird F5 HUD interface and there's no delay.

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