Building depots

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In-depth Instructions

This page describes only railway depots. There are also depots for the other transport types.

Here you will learn how to build (place, position) the depots so they align with your tracks. Depots are places where you build your trains and also they are used by the running trains for servicing, so make sure trains can enter and exit from depots.


How do I place a depot?

  1. First of all, you must open the Railway construction toolbar - click the railway build button Manual html m772c5b23.png on the menu bar to display the railway construction toolbar:
    The railway construction toolbar
  2. Click on new depot button or press "7". A new window with depot direction selection will open.
    Selecting new depot button
  3. Select the direction you want your depot to face - this is where the trains will exit to tracks.
    Window for selecting direction of depot
  4. Now you must position the depot next to your tracks, facing the depot exit towards the tracks. Besides building on flat land you can also build on slopes.
    Selecting position for a depot
  5. Once you are happy with the position, click your mouse to place the depot. If there are rails adjacent to the depot, additional tracks will be placed automatically.
    A newly built depot with automatically connected tracks

Remember, you can always destroy your depot with the dynamite tool Clear title.png.

Where do I place a depot?

Where to place a depot is a strategic decision completely up to you. (You can always just stick couple of depots on your lines and hope for the best Smile 22px.png)

You should make sure that trains:

  • Can service effectively;
  • Will not cause traffic jams by servicing.

There are a few strategies for achieving those purposes:

  1. Let the trains to service at the specified time intervals or add depots into the train's orders list. The depots can be added into the train's orders list in the same way as stations and waypoints.
    Depots at the entrance of a station
    Depots placed on tracks
  2. Build rails in such a way that trains are forced to enter a depot each time they pass through a station or rail.
    Depots at the end of station lines. Trains are forced to service.
    Depots that forces trains to service

There are also other advanced depot configurations that solves some issues found into the basic configurations described above.

The most common problems related to depots are:

  • Fast trains slow down when enter or exit a depot which slows down other incoming trains. This could lead to traffic jam in a crowded rail network.
  • Sharp corners often used near the depots are also slowing down trains
  • If the traffic is intense then trains can 'accumulate' into depots and stay there for long time. For example when placing a depot at the end of a station and a train enters into the depot then a new train can enter the station on the same line blocking the first train into the depot. This can continue until several trains are blocked inside.

Advanced depot configurations

  • Depots at both lines: This configuration allows the trains to accelerate when entering/exiting a depot without slowing down other trains running on the main lines:
    Depots at both lines
  • Forced service: Often it makes sense to service a train after delivering the cargo or right before loading new cargo. This is because the income amount depends of the total time passed since the cargo was loaded and until it was delivered. So you may want to load cargo into a recently serviced train and do not send it to service again until the cargo is delivered.
    Example of forced service after delivering the cargo:
    Trains are forced to service right after delivering the cargo
Other advantages for this configuration:
  • Needs minimal space
  • The fast and long trains are slowed down only once for both servicing and passing through the station.
  • Avoids sharp turns by using the 'depot trick' to turn vehicles around 180 degrees (this is considered bad by some players because it looks ugly and it is not realistic)
  • Overflow depot: Place a depot at the entrance of a Ro-Ro loading station, so that the only way to the platforms goes through the depot. Instead of queuing up before the entrance, empty trains would enter the depot and wait there.
Trains waiting in the depot until there is a free platform. Note the path signal in front of the depot entrance.
  • Emergency overflow depot: An accidental blockage of the track (due to a crash or a disaster) can make the trains queue up. To avoid traffic jams further up the line, build a temporary forced depot that would consume the entire queue. After the blockage is cleared, the trains will automatically exit the depot and continue to their destinations. You might need to remove a signal or a piece of track to make room for the depot.
Be sure to stop the trains when modifying tracks or signals around them; failure to do this may lead to another crash.
  • Right-of-way depots: Trains exiting depots move much slower than trains traveling on the main lines. With pre-signals, you can make trains exiting the depot wait for trains on the main line to pass. It is a good idea to understand pre-signals if you want to understand HOW and WHY this works.
Entry presignal.png Exit presignal.png Combo presignal.png
Entry pre-signal  ·  Exit pre-signal  ·  Combo pre-signal
This layout creates a pre-signal chain running backwards along your track. In the picture, a train on the main line has made the gray exit pre-signal red. The red exit pre-signal communicates to the combo pre-signals, and turn them red. The entry pre-signal is red because its only exit pre-signal is red.
Right-of-way depot. The train from main line has the priority over the trains exiting the depot
Split in 2 or more rails before servicing is useful if the traffic is high. The trains slow down when entering depots so a queue of trains may appear before a depot. If the trains are directed to 2 depots using pre-signals then 2 trains can be serviced in the same time allowing a high traffic on that line.
This does not affect the average speed on the main rail.

Next: Placing signals »

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