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Thread: Orin Coal Country Route / Activities - help with a couple issues?

  1. #1

    Default Orin Coal Country Route / Activities - help with a couple issues?

    Hello all,

    I'm just getting back into MSTS after a few years away, mainly after discovering the Orin Powder River Basin route was out there. So, I've installed it and the activity pack I found for it and have been truly enjoying everything about it - my compliments to the route and activity creators!

    But, I have hit a couple snags and wondered if anyone else had these problems and what the fixes might be?

    One problem is the HT_Alliance to DCJ MTYs activity, just short of MP 516.3 I encounter a red signal that won't clear. I got the yardcam working so I could see what was going on ahead of me, and the AI train ahead of me continues on up the line with signals immediately behind it clearing. However, the one I'm sitting at remains stuck on red and I can't get permission to pass it. Is there a fix for this so I can run the whole activity all the way through?

    The other snag I've encountered is in the activity running the loaded coal train to "texas" ( HT_UFIX-SB-LDS ) At about 2/3 of the way through the activity I reach a point where I have a coupler break between the locomotives - sometimes between the 1st and 2nd unit, and sometimes between the 2nd and 3rd unit. No matter how I drive through this spot on the route it happens. So, it would seem there's a glitch in the route, or... ?

    I do have the latest BIN installed and I'm running version 1.03 of the Orin route. If anyone has encountered these problems before and knows how to correct them, I'd appreciate any advice you can give. Other than these 2 items, the rest of the route and activites I've tried work great and they're fantastic!

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Dear midneguy,

    For the coupler break use:

    Break ( 1e10N ) for the first value will stop all unwanted coupler breaks without changing the other coupler physics. Tested on many routes for over 7 years.

    Yours truly,
    Leland

  3. #3

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    Leland,

    Thanks for the help - I edited the .eng files for the locomotives in that activity and my coupler breaking problem was solved. It was interesting to observe how the engines "bounced" off each other at that point though. And, they did at another point further along in the activity, after I had been pulling the train up the hill in notch 8 for a mile or better - so there couldn't have been any issue with slack running in or out at that point. I tried to see if the coal hoppers were effected the same way and they weren't, or at least I wasn't able to catch them in the act if they were.

    Now if only someone knows how to deal with the signal issue in the other activity... I hope I'm not the only one to encounter that!

    Thanks again!

    Derek

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    244

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    midneguy,

    It is quite a while since i drove that activity - but i seem to remember the red signal you mention. There is a lot of AI set up to run towards you, and for some reason your path takes you onto the left hand line at that point - the upshot of this is you end up waiting for about 6 trains to pass you before there is a big enough gap for the dispatcher to let you out, i think i waited for about 2 - 3 hours and eventually got moving. I had a couple of similar problems in the other HT activities, which i enjoyed on the whole.

    AI trains can be very unpredictable (to me at least), and getting them to run in the order and at the times you want them can be challenging. As for a fix - the only way i can see to speed things up a bit would be to remove some of the traffic from the activity, or to change the player's path so you do not require a conflicting move with the AI (as AI trains get dispatcher priority in MSTS). Before you make any changes to the activity, i would strongly advise that you make a backup first, just in case.

    As for the broken couplers - there is a bug in MSTS that causes this if tracknodes (switches, in effect) are more than about 8 miles apart. Most modern route builders are now aware of this, but there are some routes with long open stretches of line where this problem occurs (including the default Marias Pass). The fix i use is similar to the one Leland described, but uses much higher values for all my stock, (Break 5.1e7N), but if his fix works, i may well look into altering my stock. As a side note, there are some purists out there who cannot bear to adjust the break value to this admittedly large value - this is a point of view i can understand, but seeing as we already accept so many little nagging glitches and probelms with MSTS i am happy to accept this allows me to run on quite a few routes where i have not found a decent workaround. I just accept that i never break couplers - and of course i drive so smoothly that i am sure this would the case in real life (sound of laughter)!!!!!

    Hope this is of help,

    Isobel
    Last edited by Isobel; 08-18-2011 at 03:13 AM.
    I believe that, in creating man, God overestimated his abilities - Oscar Wilde

  5. #5

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    Isobel,

    Thanks for your thoughts on the red signal. Perhaps I'll have to try it again and let it wait to see if I get a window that opens up as you say. I tried this once before but after awhile of sitting, an hour or two I think, the game crashed and booted me out to the desktop - no error messages or anything. I assumed the crash and unusually long wait were related, meaning something had gone awry in the activity that MSTS wasn't able to deal with. On the other hand, I had already been running that route for several hours prior to that - so perhaps I need to let it start fresh from last save point just prior to there and wait again. Tinkering with the activities is one thing I haven't tried at all at this point and I'm not sure how to go about doing that. Maybe I will do an activity backup and give it a try with the activity editor - it might be a good learning experience at the very least.

    I found a reference to the track node problem after more digging here (a challenge sometimes with the huge quantity of info. posted!) and wondered if that was what I had encountered for the first time. I hate to adjust things in an unrealistic way too, but I recognize that MSTS has limitations / glitches and compromises need to be made from time to time to deal with it.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

    Derek

  6. #6

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    Isobel,

    OK an update... I figured out how to adjust the player path in the activity and changed it to stay on the right main instead of switching to the left. This seemed to make sense anyway, since all the AI oncoming traffic was routed to the left. With no reason to go to the left main like to overtake another train or pass an obstruction I figured this was a good change to make. Anyway, all was good at that point when I ran the activity again - until I encountered another red signal further on - here's where it gets interesting again...

    What I figured out was I was at a mis-matched pair of switches on a crossover. Mine was set to diverge, the corresponding one on the other main aligned straight (as it should have been for the oncoming AI train). I was able to manually throw mine back to straight - the signal turned green, and I finished the rest of the activity with no more problems. I wish I knew how to fix that switch so it wouldn't do that again though!

    Derek

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    England
    Posts
    244

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    I am glad you made enough progress to finish the activity. I suspect there may be a problem with the switch you are talking about being incorrectly lined - it may be the reason the activity author crossed you over. I am not very well schooled in route building, but i am aware that switches can be of different types - i wonder if it is possible that one of those switches is not dispathcer controllable, where it could really do with being so.

    Yet another of MSTS's little quirks which we have come to know and love (my, i nearly kept a straight face when i typed that!!!!).

    Isobel
    I believe that, in creating man, God overestimated his abilities - Oscar Wilde

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