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Thread: Locomotive startup and shutdown

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    South Africa
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    Smile Locomotive startup and shutdown

    I was wondering if it is possible to start up and shutdown a diesel locomotive.
    Electric locomotives can have their pantographs lowered or raised and therefore have a start-up and shutdown state.

    If you cannot do this with diesel locomotives then how can MSTS be a train sim if all your diesel locomotives have to be running, what about when they are standing in you locomotive depot? If I am wrong then could someone perhaps help with the correct way of setting this up in the sms file, thanks?

  2. #2
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    Worcester MA
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    Very good point. I am also a Flightsimmer and upon entering any of my aircraft, to start them, I have a procedure to go through which can be as simple or complicated as you or the developer desires, to achieve a level of realism to meet your expectations. I'll be interested to read any responses to your question.

  3. #3

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    I've tried to figure a way out to do this--I haven't and I don't think anyone else has. It was one of those "features" that was omitted from the original programming of the sim. I had hoped that George might have figured out a way to do it in his MSTSBin enhancements, but he didn't. (That is in no way any criticism of George--what he did with MSTSBin was to literally re-make MSTS into something far, far better than it was. Thank you, thank you, George!)

    Also, until the last 15 years or so, diesel locomotives were almost never shut down, except for major maintenance. I've seen locomotives literally sit for days and days idling. The impetus for fuel saving and modern electronic controls on the prime mover have changed that, but there are still some older locomotives out there that are just left idling between trips. So, depending on the era, having a bunch of locomotives sitting idling for hours in the yard would be pretty much prototypical.

    A couple of sound developers released sound packs that have a startup sequence when the sim launches, but that really isn't what it seems that you are looking for.

  4. #4
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    I hear what you are saying and I agree that the MSTSBin enhancements are great.

    I myself worked for the South African Railways now known as Transnet Freight Rail for 11 years and when we visited the Diesel locomotive depot only the diesels that where leaving to do freight, switching etc. where running. When we completed our switching work and there was an hour or two breaks between we would place the diesel locomotive clear in a loop and shut it down.

    At locomotive depots the drivers as we call them would start up the locomotives and run brake tests etc. before leaving the depot.

    I started putting together a start-up .wav for a diesel locomotive and tested it by using one of the electric locomotive .eng files, using the pantograph up/down to start the locomotive and shut it down but I am still far from getting it to work like I would like.

    Our diesel locomotives would sound off a ringing bell for a few seconds and then as the driver swung the switch over the v16 Turbocharged engine starts to swing and as it starts to breath it gives off a few revs before falling back into an idle…I loved hearing them start-up and then when we pulled heavy loads up steep inclines.. great sound.

    Do we know if the newer version of MSTS has had diesel locomotive start-up and shutdown added?

  5. #5

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    If you are speaking of OpenRails, I don't know whether it has or will have a startup shutdown feature. It would be nice.

    Back to North American prototypical: Most newer US diesel locomtives have some variation of an automatic startup/shutdown system that will shut down the prime mover if certain operating parameters (outside temperature, engine temperature, throttle or reverser position, etc.) are met, then restart the prlme mover if any of those parameters fall out of an accepted range. Most of those locomotives have a bell or buzzer that will sound before startup or shutdown sequence commences.

    There are still some mechanical people I know in the railroad industry who believe that shutting down locomotives in situations where the prime mover can cool significantly is more harmful than leaving the prime mover idling. They are generally being overruled by those who believe that fuel savings must be paramount. Some railroads are installing small diesel engines in their older locomotives which function to keep the prime mover coolant warm and circulating, thus preventing cooling of the prime mover block. This method uses less fuel than idling, but still keeps the prime mover warm.

    I would love to see diesel locomotives in MSTS that would go through the automatic shutdown/startup mode while sitting in the yard, but that is a level of complexity that just was never addressed in the original programming.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Gauteng, South Africa.
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    Setting the diesel loco up as an "electric" loco is an option and I think I've seen this trick been used before somewhere. The down side to that would be you could only run the loco electrified routes as MSTS doesn't allow you to run electrics on routes with no overhead wires (wonder why that is ;-))

    Clearly times have changed since you worked for SAR. A month or two back I went to one of the local depots to see if I could record sounds for modelling use and when I got there locos were standing and idling. The person in charge wasn't around so I had to go back an two hours later and the locos were still idling and remained idling for the hour or so that I was there.

    If you'd like to send me a copy of your files and stuff I'd be happy to take a look at it and see what I can add to your work and how we can improve and make the idea work. Just send me an email or private message.

    What SA diesel or electric sounds do you have?

    Niel

  7. #7
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    I forget WHAT SNCF one it was, but it was a X2800 I THINK, or something. Whatever the 'panorama dome' version of the X series was, but that one the motor DID NOT start till you hit, sander I Think. Might wanna have a look at it. Sorry for the major guesswork, I just don't remember the train kind. X4200, something, I dunno.

  8. #8

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    Can a .wav file be recorded as dead silence? Suppose the .sms file could begin with silence ( or idle chatter or the like )instead of automatically in "idle"? It remains that way until the PLAYER presses the "D" key to begin the start-up sound as a "one-shot", then switching over to the idle as a continuous "loop". Just a thought...................................
    Last edited by sim-sane; 10-06-2010 at 07:05 PM.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for all the replies the more ideas the better, thanks.

    I have edited one of the diesel locomotive .eng files so I can use the pantograph up/down switch i.e. the electric locomotive .eng file idea I had and I have run it on a non-electrified route but I am not quite sure how I managed that. I will be testing this out so that I better understand how that worked before I can provide any real ideas or even post the .eng file for others to see. I will work on this again as soon as I get a chance.

    Thanks to everyone for their ideas so far and the enthusiasm shown with trying to find ways to get this to work. Sarfreightcar I will send you some files soon I just want to get the startup section working then I will send you the files and perhaps together we can get a startup and shutdown working.

  10. #10
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    Great, looking forward to getting those files.

    How's your other loco building projects going?

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