Case Studies In AI Train Operation
Introduction - Operating multiple AI trains is a challenge!
With the advent of portals and scheduling in TRS2004, it became possible to add additional computer-controller traffic to any route without the scripting previously required.† If we have route with a portal at each end, we can run scheduled AI trains between them, adding realism to a train you control yourself.
Somewhere along the way, I became fascinated with idea of running multiple AI trains.† Once I completed my 25-mile route, I set up a map with a number of scheduled AI trains already in place and others due to arrive from portals.† The AI trains do most everything you might do if you were running it yourself:† They travel the mainline, enter and leave the yard, pick up cars at local industries and handle passengers at stations.† My goal is to go to bed with ten trains running on autopilot and have the route still running when I get up in the morning.† :-)
I learned very quickly that the AI will exploit any loophole you leave, no matter how small, especially over time.† Every switch, every industry, and every pass track is a potential problem for AI trains, and if you donít lock down the route as tight as you can, you can come back in an hour or two to find a massive traffic jam.† Been there and done that, friends.† :-)
In the case studies that follow, weíll explore some of challenges Iíve dealt with in my route.† Hopefully youíll learn something about planning for AI operations--something you can use on your own layout.