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Thread: track/road changes to existing route

  1. #1

    Default track/road changes to existing route

    As a result of some research, I wanted to add/delete/change some track and road on my existing route. Tried it and ran into track/road database errors causing crash. Have replaced with a backup version but now wary of making changes. Is it possible to make changes once signals, track markers, etc. have been added? Two years of work and I'd hate to think I can't go any further.

    Rich Brooks
    Hamilton, Canada
    "Toronto, Hamilton & Buffalo - West Hamilton & Dundas, Southern Ontario"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Where Standard Gauge is 3 feet between the rails.
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    Possible? Yes. Probably? No.

    If you want to make a change in the Track DB, you pretty much need to remove EVERY interactive object from the route. I've had some success with removing the objects from the place the change needs to take place and the END of the route. But not always.

    So, my recommendation: Backup. Sounds like you already did.

    Make ONE change. Test. Backup. Make ONE change. Test. Backup. You get the picture. If something breaks the route. Well, you can't do that...

    Robert

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    Georgia, USA.
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    My experiences after seemingly hundreds of modifications and mergers to lots of library and payware routes lead me to conclude that in many if not most circumstances, it's okay to modify routes containing interactives. Obviously some builders have had different experiences and urge caution, some even strongly advise against it. With MSTS, there are many "rights and wrongs" and a whole lot more "it depends".


    Doing these might increase the chances for success:
    - Never make changes outside of RE such as using an editor/Explorer to manipulate world files or data bases without knowing how to deal with consequences.
    - Back up the route before each session.
    - Use TSUtils ICHK to create a pre-session error report before changes are made. Rename it to prevent its replacement with a new one later.
    - When making changes in RE, refrain from working in an area with interactives if possible.
    - However if want to delete tracks inside the span of an interactive/signal link, delete the interactive and Save before changing tracks.
    - Normally adding tracks to extend existing tracks is the least likely to cause problems.
    - Perform RE Saves frequently in order to cut down on the work RE has to do while saving. Reduces chances for corruption.
    - At some point, stop making changes, load the route in RE & AE to snoop around looking for problems, and run Sim activities through changes.
    - Some track changes will break Activity paths and require re-doing them.
    - When done with the session, use TSUtils ICHK to create a new log. Use it to spot errors while comparing to the pre-session log.
    - Pay particular attention to the "Integrity-Check of trackdatabase is executed" and/or "Integrity-Check of roaddatabase is executed" sections.
    - New errors should be investigated as possible showtoppers requiring fall back to the backup and starting over, or giving up.
    - Otherwise if want to continue with more changes, back up the route with a different name and repeat the above.


    There may be other "Do"s, "Don't"s, or contrary opinions, but I'm sure having fun modifying routes containing interactives while following the above.


    Before doing any of that in your situation:
    - What are the circumstances and specific errors that caused you to conclude the data bases are messsed up?
    - Maybe your route can be salvaged depending upon your answers.


    Chuck R.
    "More railroads crossed each other more times in Chicago than anywhere else in America"
    Jon R. Roma, Trains Magazine, July 2003.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks ChiFan and rdamurphy. I ran into trouble after attempting to a) insert a couple of new turnouts and new tracks; plus b) a new road which ran under a new rail bridge. These were, in fact, quite close to interactives such as mileposts and signals, not all of which had been deleted. Problems seemed to crop up with a dynamic track segment which then could not be removed - track database had very few items in it compared to previously. Result was a crash loading and 'call Bill' message.

    Since I had indeed backed up reasonably recently, I decided to dump the inoperable route thus losing a few hours of changes. Therefore, am back to unchanged route which works well.

    From ChiFan's comments, I believe I'll try again, but, this time I will delete all interactives. It will mean a few hours putting them back in later, but hopefully frequent saves in RE as well as testing will result in less frustration. Thanks.

    Rich Brooks

  5. #5

    Default

    Some folks say to delete only what's loaded in memory, i.e. the tile you're updating and the eight surrounding. But, as you're suggesting, deleting everything out does avoid problems pretty reliably.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by eolesen View Post
    Some folks say to delete only what's loaded in memory, i.e. the tile you're updating and the eight surrounding. But, as you're suggesting, deleting everything out does avoid problems pretty reliably.
    Yes! As I found out when first beginning the NEC4.

    Some of the problems I encountered were:
    - Signal markers seperated from the signal object.
    - siding markers seperated from the siding . . . one by a bit over 10 miles! (that one was a devil to find!)
    - corrupted road database . . . multiple times . . . even after all interactives were removed.

    You MUST have a disipline when working in the RE . . . and the best I found was when working with track/road/interactives was to save after every placement.
    After all, how much trouble is it to press Ctrl + S?

    Chuck hits the spike on the head when he advises: "- Perform RE Saves frequently in order to cut down on the work RE has to do while saving. Reduces chances for corruption."

    That's the secret really . . . always keep in mind that giving the RE less to do is a very good thing!

    When saving after placing a track (or road) with interactives present on the route there are FIVE databases that get updated!
    The TDB, TIT, RDB, RIT, World file and the World Sound (WS).
    Yes, both the Road AND TRack databases are updated when roads or track is installed.
    That my friends is why I suggest placing all track first. If you need grade crossings, mark them with Dumb Roads.

    Also knowing EXACTLY what to do when there is the slightest chance of error.
    If something doesn't 'feel' or look right then STOP and EXIT te RE WITHOUT saving.
    This little 'rule' will stop most problems. Like I said . . . disipline.
    Enjoy!
    ............Vince ..............
    ...... Author NECv4 .......
    .... LIRR BUILD PHOTOS ....
    .............LIRR VIDEO.............
    ...... Eschew Obsfucation ......

    On the The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor there is a Tablet. On it is written:
    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 1999
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    Where Standard Gauge is 3 feet between the rails.
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    And - BACKUP! Often. There's a free PowerToy from Microsoft, call Synchtoy. Makes it into a one click proposition. I actually LOST a complete hard drive. 2 years of work. - Backed up on a second hard drive. No worries.

    BTW, Vince, I started working in the RE again, after two years absence, and I still found myself CTRL=Sing after every placement - force of habit. And guess what? First session in the RE in two years, and guess what it did. Yeah. Crashed.

    Robert

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Georgia, USA.
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    Rich

    You mentioned dynamic tracks.
    - The data base for dynamics is the tsection.dat file in the route's main folder, known as the Local. It can be added to the list Vince mentioned.
    - Control data for dynamic track resides in the Local, TDB, and world files.
    - This data is the most vulnerable to damage from a failed RE Save, resulting in out-of-sync IDs and parameter values.
    - Out-of-sync dynamics are probably the single greatest cause of corruption in routes that have dynamics.
    - Dynamics have advantages and disadvantages. If used it's even more critical to have more backups, more Saves, more checkouts.

    Indications of corrupted dynamics include:
    - Inability to select/modify/add/delete them in RE.
    - Jagged path lines in AE.
    - Erratic consist behavior in the SIM.
    - And S/DSs.

    When dynamics get corrupted:
    - There is no readily available solution to fix dynamic tracks.
    - Even an RE Rebuild may not work because RE does not rebuild or update the Local, it only refers to it and may not like what it sees and quit.

    If you have a route with corrupted dynamics that represents a truly significant loss of a personal route, or especially one intended for release, let me know. I have a program that may be able to rebuild/repair the dynamic track numbering system. However the odds for success would be much lower if changes were ever made to the route via improper manipulation of data bases or world files via an editor or Explorer.

    Chuck R.
    "More railroads crossed each other more times in Chicago than anywhere else in America"
    Jon R. Roma, Trains Magazine, July 2003.

  9. #9

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    Which is a good reason to avoid dynamic tracks. I switched from xtracks to scalerail when scailrail first came out. Since there was no profile for dynatracks available, I dont think dynatracks existed, I replaced all they dynamic tracks I had with scalerail sections. Since then I have had only one issue with the tdb, which had to do with the 0 degree switches that has been discussed in other threads here. I have had good luck modifying my routes as needed with no issues at all. Of course if you do not back up you are walking in a minefield. You might not have the same results as I did as the Route Editor is fussier than a woman who is pmsing.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Rich,

    I've been able to successfully add as well as change tracks on several routes without removing all interactives. I do remove them from the tile where the work is to be performed, although in a few cases I goofed up and made changes to track where I hadn't removed all the signals, switchstands, etc. I've not had any problems. I do know others have, so I'm not advocating just going about this with wild abandon. I just don't believe it's something you can predict. You may have problems, you may not. Backing everything up often is the key, as has already been pointed out.

    I've made extensive changes to Patrick Wise's original Cajon Pass (lots of dynamic track sections used in that route). The only problem I had was in trying to remove dynamic track already in place. I couldn't do that successfully. But I have added additional track, added in zero-degree switches to correct long nodes, and changed some regular track on that route without incident.

    Back things up, make your changes, see if the route still works, and proceed from there. If you've saved a good copy and end up breaking things, well, no harm done. You can always restore your backup.

    Just my two cents...
    Jeff

    Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently-talented fool.

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