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Detail: Moving Cars Only If Space At Industry Or In Train

On smaller model railroad layouts, model railroad operations is usually busy, and trains and industry spurs are often close to overflowing. If too many freight cars get directed at an overflowing industry spur, operators will get frustrated trying to figure out where to place cars, and the realism of operations may suffer. Trains with too many cars can overflow passing tracks, blocking other trains from getting through. Sometimes this action is part of the action and fun of model railroading, but it can also be frustrating and unrealistic.

SwitchList has an optional feature to avoid overflowing spurs and too-long trains. With this option on, you can specify the maximum length of each train, and ensure that extra cars are left behind if the train would ever exceed that length. You also can specify the length of each industry spur track, then request that cars only be sent to a spur if space exists for the incoming car. If the spur would overflow, SwitchList holds the car at the previous yard or industry until the next operating session. SwitchList's algorithm only ensures that the track will not be overflowing at the end of the operating session, and so does not require trains to switch towns in a specific order.

You do not need to specify industry spur lengths at first, nor are you ever required to do. SwitchList's algorithm only limits cars going to spurs with lengths specified; spurs with a length of zero will accept all cars. You can slowly set spur lengths, and adjust your cargos to make sure no spur is requesting more cars than it can hold. You also can leave the option off completely and not worry about recording the spur lengths and car lengths required for this option.

Teaching SwitchList About Industry Spur Lengths

Having SwitchList avoid overflowing spurs requires three steps:

Once you've completed this setup and tuned your cargo descriptions, normal operations should only infrequently have overflowing spurs or overflowing trains.

Related Topics:

User Interface: Layout Tab to see where the "Move Cars Only If Space At Industry" checkbox is located.

User Interface: Industry Tab where the spur length field is located.

User Interface: Freight Car Tab where the car length field is located.

User Interface: Train Tab where the maximum train length length field is located.