A Legit Runaway

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A Legit Runaway

Unread postby dtrainBNSF1 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:15 pm

I had a bit of an experience this morning on Horseshoe Curve. I had previously developed a physics mod for the default Dash 9 from the old Dash 9 pack from way back in TS2012 to make it more in line with how the locomotive acts in real life. In short the mod works well and it does make things work and feel much better, so I decided to start applying said mod to the other Dash 9s in the pack. I got to the NS Dash 9 which is 4000hp instead of 4400hp and is quite a bit lighter than their 4400 counterparts, so I had to craft whole new physics for that engine. I renumbered the whole class and even made a non-driver version for looks then decided to take it for a spin with a coal drag on Horseshoe Curve.

My train was 4 Dash 9-40CWs on the head end (the units modeled in Train Simulator are not set up for dpu service in real life - that's another story) and 89 coal hoppers from the Norfolk Southern Coal District loaded at 143 tons each (I checked). I was planning on running all the way from Johnstown to Altoona. Coming out of Johnstown the units did fine, but immediately outside the yard the line climbs at 1.2% while going through a series of tight curves which increase the train resistance. My 4 units slipped and slipped then finally stalled because of the curvature. So I slapped on 2 SD40-2s on the end (the old High Nose version, not the newer ones developed for the NS Coal District) and I managed to get out of the yard.

I climbed up to Cresson without incident and I finally approached the top of the grade outside the New Portage Tunnel. I figured I've been playing simulators since 2001 with MSTS, I've taken heavy trains down Cajon Pass, Marias Pass, Stevens Pass, Donner Pass, Sherman Hill, the Coal District, and Horseshoe Curve and I figured between the dynamic brakes and the train brakes I'd be just fine without helpers. So I stopped the train on the West side of the New Portage Tunnel and disconnected my helpers, then proceeded through the tunnel.

Admittedly I hadn't been on Horseshoe Curve for a while and I forgot that almost immediately outside the tunnel on the East side the grade steepens to a freakish 3% momentarily. As I came out of the tunnel I began to wind up the dynamics, little by little so as to not jostle the train and to make sure I didn't cause any wheelslips. I got to full dynamics and my speed was just above 25mph and accelerating, so I started to apply the train brakes to try and keep the train under control. I got to Suppression and my speed was still increasing and I was on the 3% part. I started to go over the speed limit. I figured I'd bite the bullet and put the train into Emergency to get the train under control. I hit the Emergency brake - and the train didn't stop! Here I am with 12,727 tons of coal at full dynamics and brakes fully applied in Emergency and I was out of control. For the first time in all my years of playing train simulators I was in the cab of a runaway train!

It would have been easy to got into the F9 menu and begin setting hand brakes to simulate having retainers set, but I figured in real life you can't do that in the midst of running away so I figured I'd ride it out and see what happened. Maybe I'd be lucky and get the train under control on the less steep 1.8% and be able to get to Altoona.

Spoilers: I didn't make it to Altoona. The train continued to accelerate on the 1.8% slope. I got to the the actual Horseshoe Curve at the exact moment I hit 70mph and that's when my train finally left the rails.

I'm not really sure what happened there because that has never happened to me before anywhere. Maybe before setting off I should have applied some handbrakes or maybe I should have left the helpers on the back to add some braking power. I'm just surprised that a locomotive that does not have any sort of advanced braking physics like Mrennie's Connie, FEF-3 and Jupiter locomotives ran away like it had no brakes at all. I didn't think that could happen! And no I didn't do anything to the brakes. I have no idea what to do with brake scripts so I don't touch them.

So I wondered: has anybody else on the forum had a similar experience with runaway trains in Train Simulator? If you have then let's hear some stories. Or if you want to berate me for somehow letting my train run out of control and crashing despite about 16-years of experience in train simulation then that's fine too.
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby CArailroader » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:44 pm

Excuse me sir, would you mind peeing in this cup and don't flush the toilet. !*roll-laugh*! !*roll-laugh*!

I've never experienced anything like that and I've also been running Train Simulators since 2001. I've tried to replicate such events but no such luck. The air always sets and the train always stops.
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby dtrainBNSF1 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:52 pm

CArailroader wrote:Excuse me sir, would you mind peeing in this cup and don't flush the toilet. !*roll-laugh*! !*roll-laugh*!

I've never experienced anything like that and I've also been running Train Simulators since 2001. I've tried to replicate such events but no such luck. The air always sets and the train always stops.


I know, right???
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby JohnS » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:26 pm

I operate trains for a living and when something in the SIM goes wrong it still puts my heart into my throat. Reading your story got my blood pressure going. That was a great write up. Thank you for sharing. !!howdy!!
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby CArailroader » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:15 pm

JohnS wrote:I operate trains for a living and when something in the SIM goes wrong it still puts my heart into my throat. Reading your story got my blood pressure going. That was a great write up. Thank you for sharing. !!howdy!!


Maybe its because I'm not engine crew yet that I dont have those worries running in game. But man, out on the line and hearing the train go into emergency always gets me going. My first thought is always "what now??" Second thought then becomes "This was clearly the student's fault."
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby jwtheiv » Tue Sep 26, 2017 8:25 pm

Unlike real life, it's always a joy to run into a "surprise" in a sim. There's a weird piece of broken rail that's never gotten fixed on Horseshoe Curve, but I've never had quite the experience you've mentioned.
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby dtrainBNSF1 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:02 pm

jwtheiv wrote:Unlike real life, it's always a joy to run into a "surprise" in a sim. There's a weird piece of broken rail that's never gotten fixed on Horseshoe Curve, but I've never had quite the experience you've mentioned.


So I'm not the only one with the broken rail problem. Interesting.
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby buzz456 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:22 pm

jwtheiv wrote:Unlike real life, it's always a joy to run into a "surprise" in a sim. There's a weird piece of broken rail that's never gotten fixed on Horseshoe Curve, but I've never had quite the experience you've mentioned.

Ya know you could fix that in about two minutes.
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby jwtheiv » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:24 pm

buzz456 wrote:
jwtheiv wrote:Unlike real life, it's always a joy to run into a "surprise" in a sim. There's a weird piece of broken rail that's never gotten fixed on Horseshoe Curve, but I've never had quite the experience you've mentioned.

Ya know you could fix that in about two minutes.


Oh, I know. But it's such a weird, oddly specific bit of rail that once I modified the scenario I was writing to avoid it, I didn't really care. Horseshoe isn't a route I run all that often, so it's not something that bothers me.

The fix however is mentioned here.
http://www.railworksamerica.com/forum/v ... =29&t=9442
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby dtrainBNSF1 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 8:53 am

Has anybody made a modern version of Horseshoe Curve or is everyone satisfied running modern NS power through 1950s-era Pennsylvania?

BTW three developments, two of which could have contributed to my runaway train: 1) My car count was off. Instead of 89 cars like I swore I had I had 79 hoppers. Oops. Second, I found that the friction settings on the Dash 9s was a bit low. I set them to the same friction settings as found on the Marias Pass ES44DC and the wheelslip issue is fixed, so my four units can make it out of the yard now. Third, I found out that my main problem came from the particular hoppers I was using. They were from the NS Coal District route, and even though they do weigh 143 tons, for some reason in-game they act like they're heavier than 143 tons. That's the only way I can describe it !*don-know!* .

I ran a series of trials on Marias Pass with its 1.8% ruling grade, the first test with my original Dash 9 physics mod which have physics set to 4400hp and uses the same dynamic brakes as my NS Dash 9s with 98 loaded coal hoppers from GreatNortherner's BNSF Wagon Pack. Long story short, it was beautiful: the dynamic brakes held the train at a nice steady pace. Never had to go into full dynamics and never had to use the air brakes. So I ran the test with my NS Dash 9s with the 79 Coal District hoppers. Even at full dynamics the train accelerated as if there were no brakes at all and the only way speed could be maintained was with a brake application. I reset and ran the test using GreatNortherner's hoppers and everything worked perfectly with no problem. Even starting the train was easier, which surprised me because they're supposed to weigh the same when loaded (Checked and double-checked with the Advanced FEF-3). So I exchanged my NS Coal District hoppers for some hoppers from Donner Pass and again everything worked perfectly. So the results of my tests seem to indicate that there's something about those Coal District hoppers that doesn't quite work with my engines for some reason. They work fine with the engines that come with the Coal District, but not very well with other engines it seems.

So that was a thing. But it's nice to know that my dynamic brake scheme does work properly after all.
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby JohnS » Thu Sep 28, 2017 9:25 am

dtrainBNSF1 wrote:Has anybody made a modern version of Horseshoe Curve or is everyone satisfied running modern NS power through 1950s-era Pennsylvania

There was someone who started a modern version. It was in the Workshop. Not sure what happened, if it got finished or abandoned. I would like to see a modern version like the MSTS version for Conrail and NS
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby dtrainBNSF1 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:31 am

JohnS wrote:
dtrainBNSF1 wrote:Has anybody made a modern version of Horseshoe Curve or is everyone satisfied running modern NS power through 1950s-era Pennsylvania

There was someone who started a modern version. It was in the Workshop. Not sure what happened, if it got finished or abandoned. I would like to see a modern version like the MSTS version for Conrail and NS


I've milled about it for a couple of years now. What would it take to update it to modern standards? Remove one main track? Remove a chunk of Altoona's yard? Update Altoona station? Give the actual curve a facelift with the railroad park and put a bunch of figures there to replicate the park on a regular day? Does NS still use the PRR signals or have they replaced them? Retexture the ground? I know there's a livestream of the Curve on youtube that should have a link in the description to a copy of the employee timetable for the operating division.
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby dtrainBNSF1 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:38 am

Oh by the way, a found a modern version of the route. Still not finalized, but it's here. The only problem is that it needs the Portland Terminal route (which was pulled from the Store). Here's the link:
http://thelocoshop.wixsite.com/thelocoshop/tls-routes
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby JohnS » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:40 pm

The signals would depend on how far you wanted to into the future. Recently ALTO tower was closed and the track there moved around. They put up new signals and set up the PTC. I would go to just after the NS/CSX take over this way both Conrail and/or NS would look good.
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Re: A Legit Runaway

Unread postby Brickrail782 » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:59 pm

I had a train runaway on me too in the exact same place! I was taking a train of roughly 130 (I don't remember anymore) coal hoppers up the west slope of HC from Johnstown with a single CSX SD80MAC on the point. Got to the summit and started applying the dynamics and the train started slipping, things went downhill from there (pun fully intended). Applied the emergency brakes once I hit 50+mph and that didn't do much, so I just buckled my seat belt and held on as we went screaming into Altoona station at about 70 mph. Guess what happens next. *Makes explosion sound*

If you're wondering why I only had one engine on the train, I was using one of the default consists that came with the SD80MAC and all the cars behind me were empty. The moral of this story is always add helpers when going over a grade.

Slightly unrelated, if that Dash 9 mod you made is working properly, would you mind releasing it to the file library? We could really use one.
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