I wanted to post some information to those that are not into MP, but like single player a bit of an idea as to what you can do. The majority of work will add some variety. The only place you'll really not notice the traffic is on the actual runs. Because when your in the yard, at least for me I'm concentrating at the task at hand. Last night for example was a very slow night, but still managed to meet a train or two running the yard. But the lack of traffic didn't really effect how busy I was sorting a yard, and running interchanges. It took me a good 8 hours just to do that. Now I wouldn't post this on my site because RTS encourages MP. However the RTS system can be used just as easily for single player and here is how.

Let's keep Barstow out of the picture for simplicity. The only industry that it serves online is Boron, so it really doesn't have a demand in the scope of the simulation. Bakersfield on the other hand has 4 interchanges with SJVR (not counting the interchange between BNSF & UP). So lets say you have the following mainline trains only (keep in mind UP trains can also work at Mojave):

M BKYR UP Bakersfield to Yermo (Yermo is a UP yard adjacent to Barstow)
M BKWC UP Bakersfield to West Colton (via Fleta)
M YRBK UP Yermo to Bakersfield
M WCBK UP West Colton to Bakersfield
M BARBAK BNSF Barstow to Bakersfield
M BAKBAR BNSF Bakersfield to Barstow

Anything running to Barstow will take you about 4 to 6 hours on average. Anything to Fleta only 2. Now the Barstow/Fleta bound trains are not as important as the ones coming in. In fact you can park them in sidings if you wish. Inbound trains are important because you need a fresh supply of new cars.

BARBAK actually comes in a few different forms as well. BARBAK (KT) is a key train that has special instructions for speed restrictions due to hazmat cars. There is also a BARBAK2 BARBAK4 that can be run on Tuesday and Thursday. You can even make different versions of these trains in Barstow or Mojave more on that later.

The purpose of these trains are really meant more for Bakersfield in my scope of things as well as a bit of Mojave. The locals or yard jobs that come out of these yards are the following:

Edison Local (BNSF) (selected Edison industries that BNSF serves)
Edison Local (UP) (selected Edison industries that UP serves)
SJVR Kern Wye to BNSF West turn (2 interchanges)
SJVR Magunden turn
SJVR UP North turn
Tehachipi Turn
Lone Pine Turn (2 interchanges)

That being said I generally run as reported 40 hours a week (most will not have that much time). I like to take every 8 hours and focus on a different yard in rotation between BNSF and UP Bakersfield, with the occasional Mojave. Each local listed above runs on 3 day service (or every 6, 8 hour sessions). The 7th day (3 8 hour sessions get no service, and is often a good day to catch up).

BARBAK/BAKBAR runs daily except for Sunday. BKWC/WCBK & BKYR/YRBK alternate running every other day (so that UP basically sends and receives a train just like BNSF every 24 hours).

So how does this all work. In MP sessions of course I'm the host, so I'm often preoccupied in busier sessions and can't focus as much at the tasks at hand. In single player however you can take advantage of that time by running trains. Every 3 full days (or 6 sessions - by the way break it up however you have time to do) I generate a needs lists for all the local industries that these trains serve. This is because I run 3 days service vs. daily service due to lack of crews (most people want to run mainlines anyways). So once I have the needs listed I can then focus over the next 72 hours at making sure the customers are served.

Set up a similar schedule and run the trains that are needed. RTS uses a spreadsheet and I have plenty of custom data in there. But you can do it as easy or as complicated as you like. From there once the trains are run, break them down in the yards on a rotation just like I do. Sometimes I'm fortunate enough to have other yard crews, but most of the time it's just me. I am fortunate enough to have people run the trains, but I haven't run a mainline train in a very long time.

Now you can enhance the system if you want to trust another friend who has Run 8 and decide to host an MP session. Again this isn't required but this is where MP and the ability to have human vs. AI trains will come into handy. Keep in mind most AI trains that I'm aware of in other programs can not be switched, or have the ability to switch themselves. Again you can do this by yourself and I guarantee you that when you give yourself the challenges, and have the ability to save your world there is plenty of potential.

Thanks

Sean