Trains in the real world arrive at a predefined platform. Last minute changes, for example due to reasons like delays, can be very confusing and annoying for passengers.
Passengers in the game behave in the same way. They like to line up at a definite platform and wait for their train to arrive. This is the sole reason why trains do not choose an arbitrary (or any free) platform to stop.
It’s because Train Fever only implements a static path-finder – hence unless the track is modified or the route changed, it will always take the same path. And yes, it would be annoying as a passenger to make a last-minute platform-change, but in the real world, this does happen, and in some stations (especially in the UK), the platform is only announced at the last minute. However, if the track was changed to the other track of an island-platform, that would be a lot less annoying for the passengers.
One idea for improvement that I have is for when editing the route, it should be possible to create a branch in the route so that after a certain point, the route will split in two … even if it is just for the length of one waypoint – and then recombine. Which way the train takes when it encounters this split would be whichever way is cleared of blockages first. So if we had a station with an island-platform and two waypoints – one on each of the two tracks surrounding the island platform, you could split the route (using a ‘decision-point’ which is a bit like a waypoint (in fact, you could probably use an existing waypoint or even a signal, as signals can be added to the route)) and place each waypoints on each branch, and then recombine the route when it gets to the station. That way, the train will take whichever platform is liberated the first. It’s not a completely dynamic pathfinder, but even so, adding a few decision-points could improve station-throughput. You could also of course place the two waypoints after the station, and each branch of the route would have the station in it (after the decision-point) before the waypoints, and would then recombine. Another use of decision-points could be for building overtaking-track which can be used in the event that you’re gradually upgrading the locomotives on your line to faster ones, but can’t afford to do all at once and don’t want the faster ones stuck behind the slower ones.
I do agree with the fact that a train should be bound to a platform. But why cant other trains (lines) make use of the same platform? Why do all lines have their own platform.
In Train Fever, you can get multiple lines to use the same platform. In fact, you can even force your lines to use a specific platform by making use of waypoints. Unfortunately, when using the large bus-station, I still find that most of the time when I have a lot of lines using the bus-station, not all of the bus-platforms are made use of by the lines 🙁
Say i have a 320 mtr long platform. In Amsterdam Central Station trains can use the same platform from both sides simultaneous.
I agree, this would be a nice feature to have in TF. Even nicer if you had advanced station layout options and could divide the terminating track into two using buffers and a concourse where people can walk to other platforms. Without advanced station layout, you’d just need a virtual signal in the middle, and the ability for the pathfinder to be able to only occupy a half-platform (if the train is short enough) when stopping at the station. Another advanced station layout would be to have a third track in the middle of the two tracks with platforms at their edges, and two crossovers in the middle so that two platforms can handle four trains (that don’t even have to terminate or reverse). In fact, if the station is long enough, there could be two sets of crossovers and the two platforms would then be able to handle six trains at once.
Well, combining stations is a whole other story. As it is not possible to adapt a station directly to the landscape (it always keep horizontal) i am having a very hard time in placing two station either against each other or place them in length of each other.
A station is always placed at the altitude of the end of the path leading out of it (the hot-spot – where the mousepointer is, and the pivot the station gets rotated around using the M and N keys). To keep the station-parts aligned at the same altitude, you can make sure that all places that are likely to have a station-path have the same altitude. To do this, decide on which part of the area will have your station-altitude, and then build a road staring from that point. The road must be perfectly flat (to do this, click on the gradient arrow, and change the arrow so that it is horizontal (note that it must have a blue background – if it has a white background, that means it is just following the land-contours and it would be ‘almost horizontal’ instead of ‘perfectly horizontal’)). Demolish the road when you’ve finished with it. By building and demolishing several roads, you can turn an area of land perfectly flat.