Need help with a rail traffic generatiing system

Discussion in 'Model Rail Operations' started by Ralph, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Hi all,
    I've started running some operations (setting out and picking up cars) but up to now I just create trains by whim ("I think I'd like to switch the steel mill today").

    I'm trying to make a simple system to simulate customer need for rail service that would lead me to create trains. I've made up a card for each of the 12 industries on my layout and figured I'd roll a pair of dice to determine how many of those cards I'd draw from a shuffled deck. Then I planned to roll one of the dice for each card to determine how many cars were needed at each drawn industry. Most of my industries have room for 2 to 5 cars, one has room for 12. I figured if I rolled a number higher than the maxium the industry could handle I'd round it down to that max number.

    I made duplicates of each card so that if a pair were drawn I'd use one card to determine set outs on the train and the other to determine cars to be picked up there.

    A couple of trial runs revealed that sometimes I'd need a 50- 60 car train just for set outs!!! That's about three times longer than what I can run.

    Hmmmmmm. :oops:

    I'd still like to use these cards some how...anyone have any ideas?

    Below is an example of one of the cards.

    Attached Files:

  2. Rusty Spike

    Rusty Spike Member

    I'm not sure I want products from "La Roche Ma_ufacturing" - they might leave out an important part. ;-)

    Honestly though, I like your idea though. Sounds like you have a limit on the length of train you want to run so you'll need to limit the number of draws you do to avoid the big trains or cut back on the car maximums or both.

    You could always draw cards until the total exceeds your limit - then quit drawing or push the cars that put you over the limit to the next train leaving town - that's probably more prototypical.

    Anyway - I'm already thinking of ways to put your system to use on my layoujt.
  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    D'OH! I don't BELIEVE it!!!!! I've looked at these cards a million times. Arrrrgh!
    Good proof reading there Rusty! :) Hmmmm, I'm not sure I'd do business with them either! What's their slogan, "We Do Qulity Work!" ?!?

    Good suggestions, thanks!
  4. DougF

    DougF New Member

    Traffic Generation idea

    An idea that I've had kicking around in my head, but never tried, is to use the dice used in gaming. These come in many different sizes, commonly available in four, six, eight, ten, twelve, and twenty sided.

    I have thought that by generating the needs for a train at the industry it will vary the size and scheduling of the trains.

    Each industry would use certain types of cars and would need an average time to load or unload them. By using an appropriate die the car would be ready for pick-up at a certain time. The number of cars needed and the time when a car would arrive at the industry could also be determined by the die.

    I'm sure that some refinment will be needed but I'm throwing the idea out for comment.


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