+5 votes
in Suggestion by (2.6k points)

Here's a video explaining all of this:


What should change?

1. Add an item filter menu to freight stations to what they will load/unload

2. Add an item filter to freight wagons to choose what they will load/ unload

3. Add bars at the top of the freight stations that enable the grippers which take the freight containers, to move to wagons that are not directly underneath them.

4. If both filters match, load/ unload that freight wagon.

Why it should change:

Trains are currently unnecessarily complex to set up and are limited in the stations they can unload at.

Unload station = 4 freight stations.
freight 1 = caterium
freight 4 = coal

If I want to have a load station for a coal node, that station requires the the train station to have 3 empty stations and then a freight station, which the coal node loads.
it means the train also NEEDS 4 freight cars, 3 of which will never be used, just because the train won't line up correctly to the loading/ unloading station otherwise.

How it should change:

By giving the freight station and freight car both an UI similar to that of the item list in a programmable splitter, the stations can check which wagons have which items.

If the filters match between the 2, the gripper from that specific freight station can load/ unload into that wagon.
In order to facilitate this, the grippers should also be able to move up and down towards other wagons instead of just the one directly below it.

Which issues does this fix:

It allows trains of any length to load/ unload at any station.

It entirely removes the need for empty stations.

It removes unwanted belt contamination (mixing items on belts), unless you specifically choose to not set a filter, or set a filter to accept any/ any undefined item.

by (2.6k points)
Programmable splitters will block if a belt gets backed up into the splitter so that is not a viable solution.

Aside from that, it also requires extra space to be used.

My solution limits used space.
While it increases setup time, it prevents future issues and simplifies the loading/ unloading process because you dont have to worry about matching station/ train length or accidentally mixing belts/ freight stations anymore.
by (200 points)
That's a good idea !
It allows to have small train able of going to big stations with a lot of freights station (for example a big train station in the main base).

indeed, programmable splliters doesn't solve the problem if saturation.

The thing is, something like that make signals mandatory, to allow each train to wait before unloading. Since currently we can juste make many dedicated station, I don't think it will be implemented soon.
by (33.6k points)
I think it is way easier in the current state of things and by a good measure, all considered.

However, your suggestion is very interesting. Stations size would be drastically reduced, no doubt; re-purposing satellite facilities also would come with almost no effort, logistic wise. Also, it would reduce incredibly the cost of building stations (which is not an actual problem in the long run, but still, as soon as the tech is unlocked, being able to switch almost instantly from wheels to rail, spamming stations, it does the difference indeed).
On the development side tho... not so "fast" as it might seem. The base concept is very different and, even if they said they are going to change things about trains (and they are willing to do more in the future too) guess this is not a viable solution. Still, thumbs up for the idea.
by (2.6k points)
Thanks for the constructive feedback people.


I think it doesnt make signals mandatory, trains currently clip inside other trains and will wait for the first one's load/ unload animation to finish before doing its own loading/ unloading.
This means this could theoretically work in the current system.
I'd still prefer proper signaling, waiting and collision though as it just looks better than X amount of trains in the same spot waiting on eachother.


They said they're going to revisit and improve on trains and the system in the future, I spoke to a dev about it on Discord, they're just not sure yet what kind of changes they'll implement as there are a few options.
It won't be in update 3, but it could be one of the next things they'll work on as trains definitely need some TLC.
The dev I spoke to mentioned an issue with longer trains than the station, as trains loading/ unloading on slopes mess up big time with the current system.
But other than that, he seemed positive about my concept changes :)
by (33.6k points)
edited by
There are multiple ways to implement this, If they're willing to go "the extra mile" (and since this definitely shrink stations size, adding a cap limit to the number of freight cars x train should contribute to better manage the whole system). I do also hope collision makes its way into trains, even if it comes down having the faster pushing the slowest in a tandem fashion. We'll see what future brings.

Example :
Empty Platform could become "extentions" of the dedicated freight platform adding to the mobility of the gripper to manage multiple wagons at once, maybe just in a single direction to make it simple. The downside of this "wondering" gripper is a longer stop, potentially lower efficiency (negligible, all considered imo).
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