Help On Driving A Steam Train.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by nwp1, Aug 13, 2021.

  1. nwp1

    nwp1 Well-Known Member

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    Can anyone provide a link please for a simple tutorial, both written and on video, on how to drive a steam locomotive in Advanced Mode for a beginner?
     
  2. trainsimplayer2020

    trainsimplayer2020 Well-Known Member

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    It is too complicated to drive steam locomotives in Advanced Mode in Train Simulator.

    I do not buy DLC which are in Pro version.

    I just want to play the game.
    Not need to read the manual for 2 hours before playing.
     
  3. steve.cunningham1980

    steve.cunningham1980 Member

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    Most are fairly straightforward, to get moving at least. Reverser fully forward, brakes off or set to running and regulator at anything from 20 to 40% is usually enough to get moving with a reasonable load on a more or less level grade.

    I think there are tutorial scenarios in the academy also.
     
  4. 749006

    749006 Well-Known Member

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    Google for driving a Steam loco in Train Simulator
     
  5. deedee3382

    deedee3382 Member

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    Try and find a guide or video for the specific loco you are interested in as operations can vary slightly based on which developer has produced it.

    Also the pro stuff often doesn't play nicely with the f4 HUD. Try to learn the keyboard shortcuts too as this will be similar for a lot of products.
     
  6. Smokebox

    Smokebox Member

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    That depends. Smokebox steam locos (all of which are in the Pro Range) are scripted to work with the F4 HUD. They'll even work with Simple Controls (which I hope answers the "It is too complicated to drive steam locomotives in Advanced Mode in Train Simulator." point above).

    I used to have to make specific "HUD" and "Adv" (advanced) versions, where the "HUD" version was dumbed down to make it work with the F4 HUD, but now (thanks to some additions to the TS API) I'm able to make a single version that works with everything. I even updated the FEF-3 recently so that the "HUD" and "Adv" versions are now identical and both work with the HUD (the two versions are still there though, just to allow backward compatibility with existing scenarios).

    One more thing about "It is too complicated to drive steam locomotives in Advanced Mode in Train Simulator." - both the FEF-3 and the new Big Boy have a scripted auto-fireman and auto-engineer. You can even activate both of them at the same time and then sit back and watch (the only time you really need to intervene is to stop the train).

    Not all Pro Range locos have the same capabilities or behave the same way, and just because they're Pro Range doesn't necessarily mean they aren't accessible for players who don't want all the complications normally associated with advanced simulations.
     
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  7. trev123

    trev123 Active Member

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    I have had TS for 11 years and at the start had limited knowledge of driving a Steam Loco. I now call myself pretty proficient at driving steam locos and how I learned was by trial and error. I also did a bit of study on how to drive them. What you need to take in mind is that a Steam Loco as in its name works on Steam and without Steam the engine stops. How I drive whether it is the correct way that works for me is to try and keep the boiler pressure in the green as in the F4 HUD. To do this you create a balance between using the regulator and reverser. As you go faster you slowly bring the reverser back while trying to keep the pressure in the green. When at speed say 50 plus MPH the reverser could be back as far as 30%
    Also, remember to keep coal on the fire and water in the boiler. Don't put too much coal on the fire as heat production will drop off the same as not having enough. Also at lower speeds, you may need the blower going and also the dampers open to produce more airflow into the firebox to make the fire burn more efficiently. That is just the basics of driving a Steam Loco most Pro-Line Steam Locos have a comprehensive manual on how to drive them as driving technics vary between different types of locos. If you want videos on how to drive Steam Locos just go to Youtube and type in the search bar how to drive steam locos.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2021
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  8. nwp1

    nwp1 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you trev123 for that informative advice. Can you add water without filing up at a water tank. Is there a keyboard key to press. I have found a few videos I am watching on YT. Some are not very explanatory as your text, so I really appreciate that.
     
  9. trev123

    trev123 Active Member

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    No, mostly you cannot. In most scenarios, you have enough water but some do require you to fill up with water with the instruction in the scenario where to fill up. You press the T key to do this. The same goes for coal usually you have enough to complete the scenario but some have instructions on where to get more coal. The F4 HUD track map shows symbols on where to fill up. Back to filling up with water a couple of trains from Bossman Games have water scoops to fill up with water which requires the track to have troughs in them filled with water so no need to stop just lower the scoop and pick up the water while on the move.
     
  10. nwp1

    nwp1 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you trev123, I will try that. I appreciate your help.
     
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  11. trev123

    trev123 Active Member

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  12. nwp1

    nwp1 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much trev123. I had never realised that before. Makes things a lot easier now. Thanks again for all your kind help. I appreciate it and I am sure many others will also.
     
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  13. trev123

    trev123 Active Member

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    Some Steam Trains manuals tell you how much coal to put on the fire by fire mass you can view that by using the F5 HUD which shows up on the left-hand side of your screen.
     
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  14. nwp1

    nwp1 Well-Known Member

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    That is useful advice. Thank you trev123 for helping me with this venture. I am very grateful to you for all your help and advice
     
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  15. UP13

    UP13 Well-Known Member

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    I drive steam 90% of the time. Very rewarding and much more fun than most diesel and electric traction which is simply pushing the throttle back and forward (the best DLC are the ones that aren't like this - I particularly enjoy the tap changers on the old AC locomotives).

    If you persist you'll be able to drive the Bossman Games engines, such as the Black Five and Merchant Navies, which I rate as the best in the game. Incredibly rewarding.
    There is a lot to learn but the very basics to get you started are having the reverser at 100% when you start and only take the regulator to 20-40% to get you started (the very old locomotives such as the Kuju Black Five will handle 100% straight away whereas the BMG Black Five, particularly the Glasgow Fusiler wheel slip very easily). Brake pressure takes a lot longer to come to right level than diesel/electric trains so be patient.

    The trick is to keep a constant eye on boiler pressure, which looks like this if you use F4.
    Boiler Pressure.JPG
    Most mainline tender locomotives that have a power rating of 5 or above will generally require a boiler pressure above 200psi (8P locomotives doing high speed runs I would argue need to be kept above 220psi).

    When your boiler pressure is dropping and/or your engine isn't going picking up anymore speed, then reduce the reverser incrementally until pressure stabilises or increases again (if using HUD it will go from red to green). Also reducing the regulator helps. I wouldn't have the regulator at 100% unless you are racing along a mainline or tackling a particularly steep incline.

    A rule of thumb I find is that the regulator is usually between 60-40%, and reverser is at about 20-22% when you are cruising along a flat(ish) mainline or between 60-40% if tackling a steep climb.

    If you are on a preserved railway such as the West Somerset, you probably don't need to touch the reverser at all, as you actually go faster with the regulator at lets say 50% rather than 100%. In a 25mph setting you just need to play with the regulator IMO.

    I could go into further detail about manually watering/firing (adding cold water reduces boiler pressure) etc but I don't want to give you information overload.

    I await my fellow posters telling me that my advice is all wrong. :)
     
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  16. DIFFLOCK

    DIFFLOCK Active Member

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    For those steam locos where the manual is not present or tells you what the ideal mass should be, this works:- Before you move the locomotive at the start of the scenario, start putting coal on whilst using the F5 HUD as Trev suggests. You will see the Steam Generation Rate increase. As soon as the Steam Generation Rate begins to drop (and it plummets quickly!) stop putting coal on and you will then have an idea of the ideal fire mass for your chosen steam locomotive. As per this nice video by Matt Peddlesden of DTG fame. ;)

     
  17. trev123

    trev123 Active Member

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    One of the biggest problems that people have driving a Steam Loco is going up an incline. They start slowing down so they try and go faster by opening up the regulator and eventually run out of steam and stop. Going up any sort of incline in a Steam loco no matter how steep it is you are always going to slow down. Just maintain the boiler pressure as you get slower with a combination of the regulator and reverser your speed will slowly drop off and it might get down to single figures but a point comes when it won't drop any further say 8 mph so just maintain that speed until the incline flattens out or you start going down the incline and slowly bring your speed up to track speed.
     
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  18. nwp1

    nwp1 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Difflock for the video and UP13 for your valuable advice
     
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  19. UP13

    UP13 Well-Known Member

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    Any specific questions let me know. I don't profess to be an expert and I often have to search the internet for advice myself, particularly with the BMG locomotives (which have motivated me to drive without the HUD).
     
  20. nwp1

    nwp1 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you UP13. This tutorial has just been released on You Tube a few minutes ago.
     
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