Random Train Delays To Add Variety

Discussion in 'Suggestions' started by JustusLM, Nov 8, 2022.

  1. JustusLM

    JustusLM Member

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    My idea is to add random delays to trains in timetable mode (and journey timetable events) to make things more interesting and realistic.
    Please hear me out as I will go into more detail and address some potential issues.

    This would be a toggleable option, and the way it would work is there would be a probability curve for train delays that makes shorter delays more likely and longer delays less likely, as well as having a certain chance for no delay at all.
    This could be implemented with settings for "no delay probability" and "maximum delay", although this is not necessary, and a simple on/off would work, too.

    In timetable mode (including when a timetable event is started via a rail journey), every train (meaning both AI and the player) would get a random delay between 0 and X seconds (X being maybe around 1000 or so) following the probability curve.
    The scoring system would use the timetable time + delay for maximum action points, only deducting points if you add to the delay.
    The timetable would show the regular time and the delay so you know if you've caught up, but also if you've lost any time.

    Training and Scenarios would not be affected.

    Advantages:
    • Real trains are delayed at least a few seconds very frequently. Having frequent small delays and rare large delays makes things more realistic.
    • It increases the chance of conflicts where you catch up to other trains, making things more interesting as you encounter caution (or equivalent) signals more often.
    • It allows you to go faster. For example, on Kassel-Würzburg, you often only need to go 180 km/h to easily be on time. If you go faster because it's fun, you have to wait a long time in Fulda. Having a delayed train would give you a good and realistic motivation to speed up on the high speed line, and if you catch up to the timetable again, you can try to adjust and slow down.
    • This could even be used to differentiate trains further: Different delay parameters could be set for long-distance and commuter trains, freight trains, or different countries.
      While this would be fun, it isn't strictly necessary to make delays worthwhile, though.
    Disadvantages:
    • The aforementioned conflicts could mean you lose time on top of the initial delay, leading to point deductions. Adjusting the scoring system for this seems difficult; but you could add the option to set the player delay as the minimum delay for the event, so no AI train can slow the player down.
      This should not be mandatory, though, since it removes one of the advantages. As long as there is the option to disable delays entirely, the scoring system doesn't need to work perfectly with delays (it already has some issues anyway).
    • Dynamic dispatching needs to work. As it is, this is already implemented in the game, as AI trains coming from different lines can be put in front of you if you're late, even if they're usually supposed to be behind you. But these trains aren't always programmed to leave the map, so they can permanently block event completion.
      If you're on time, this doesn't matter as the problematic train is behind you, but if you're late, this becomes a problem. Going in and fixing all of those trains or the dispatching to make sure events can be reliably completed is doable, but not without effort.
    • There could also be further dynamic dispatching improvements, allowing for dynamic route changes such as entering sidings for overtakes (this could be done both by AI and player trains), and using alternative platforms if the regular one is blocked by another train. Making this work could make some of the fixes from the previous point unnecessary.
      Like some other things I mentioned, this would be nice, but isn't necessary.
    Overall, I think this would add a lot of variety to the gameplay and help make every drive a unique experience, while simultaneously making things more realistic.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2022
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  2. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Currently unless you create your own delays there is nothing to spice up a run. The above also goes hand in hand with a suggestion the other day for random TSR's to spawn.

    Unfortunately as we know the current built in AI signaller/despatcher struggles with the basic task of keeping trains on their predetermined path including the platforms used and in a strictly defined order. It has zero dynamic capability and would probably have to be redesigned from scratch. Not impossible as Zusi 2/3 can do this and the new despatcher feature in Run 8 is also pretty good. Maybe by TSW 8 - if DTG can get the programming skill in to do it.

    It's not just the disruption but the action that might have to be taken to recover the train service. As a retired (real) railway Controller, much of my time was spent with train service management, various recovery methods to restore right time running plus any resource constraints (usually traincrew willingness or running out of hours). Almost a game in its own right.
     
  3. tibomatthijs

    tibomatthijs Well-Known Member

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    Yes surely during rush hour it would be nice! Well some trains got delays, but thats 500min f.e. due broken time timetable. Nono but there are here and there some services that have slightly delays but thats not made like that. So it would be nice to have it implemented as an basic core/route thing!
     
  4. Stephen Crofts

    Stephen Crofts Well-Known Member

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    I made myself late taking too long to do a turn around on Arosa. Started the next service about 5 minutes behind. This led to a snarl up where the dispatcher just couldn’t figure the signals and priorities because there’s no dispatch beyond set at each station.

    I really want to see this idea, I think it’s great, but it also shows the dispatcher code needs it’s overhaul to help bring it about.
     
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  5. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    That's where we could do with a virtual SimSig attached to the game where we can step in ourselves and resolve conflicts or even delete totally stuck trains. Again Zusi and Run 8 allow you to do this.
     
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  6. tibomatthijs

    tibomatthijs Well-Known Member

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    There is now an new dispatcher (BKL already has it) where it just says ''Stop at "station name" instead of also already selecting the platform where you should go. So it just gives you now a clear platform instead of the one that was said to be when they made the service!
     
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  7. rennekton#1349

    rennekton#1349 Well-Known Member

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    The dispatcher still needs a lot of work for it to be truly dynamic and deal with whatever problems are on the track if any. The dispatcher was getting updated. It still needed a few more major upgrades for it to work. But Joe decided, maybe I can create a busier timetable without finishing the dispatcher upgrades. So it's not really a new dispatcher that would react dynamically
     
  8. OldVern

    OldVern Well-Known Member

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    As a postscript to this, currently doing a run over Tehachapi in Run 8 with the (in)famous oil cans from Bakersfield to Dolores Yard (DOBKU or as it would be known now UDOBK), as you do. Approaching Rowen I passed a defect detector then a minute or two later got an urgent message over the radio, "Stop your train, stop your train!" The fault was dragging equipment on the 136th axle so I duly complied and slammed the brakes in. After "flying" back along the train, identified the tank car concerned, clicked on it to bring up the dialogue box and "repaired" the problem. Now I just have to restart 10,000 tonnes on a 2.2% rising gradient.

    The point being it adds interest - R8 does a RNG at each defect detector as to whether you get a fault or not, but it adds a bit of interest and dynamism to the journey. It's also possible for your locomotives to develop defects or even shut down completely if they overheat or again another RNG roll spices up the mix!

    This is something DTG have to look at, even if the fault is rectified in a minute or two as opposed to the long delay you would get in reality.
     
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  9. tibomatthijs

    tibomatthijs Well-Known Member

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    The new one works really good, its only in BKL atm, hopefully more routes will get it, probably TSW3 ones already have it, not sure though
     
  10. steve08

    steve08 Member

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    Like this idea they could also add stop cancellations if late enough too.
     
  11. driverwoods#1787

    driverwoods#1787 Well-Known Member

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    Bring it on and for quad track routes you can have a train delay where a fast service must go all stations or all station trains become express. Here's an NYC version
     

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