Wednesday, December 14, 2011

OpenTTD: Toei Interlocking Add-on Set (TIAS) pt.1

After a very long silence, I'm back again. This time again something about the Toei Interlocking, but something different than a short history lesson: a visual project regarding the Toei Interlocking system and OpenTTD (the open source version of Transport Tycoon Deluxe. The same goodness from way back and then some).

For those who've been reading this blog and/or have been watching the Japan Set development topic on, you have been aware of the fact that I'm a Keisei fan and a sprite artist for the Japan Set.

With the introduction of different rail types in OpenTTD, I was getting motivated to add more standard gauge trains to the Japan Set. As you may know, regular trains in Japan run on 1067mm narrow gauge tracks and Shinkansen (bullet trains) run on 1435mm standard gauge tracks. However, there are a lot more trains running on standard gauge tracks, such as Keisei. In the upcoming release of the Japan Set there are only a few standard gauge commuter trains (Hankyu), so I thought that this moment was an excellent chance to further enlarge the rolling stock for standard gauge lines.

Foremost, I'd like to elaborate myself a bit more on the topic of 'Toei Interlocking'. This terminology was partially made up by me, since there was no real word for the "Keikyu - Toei Asakusa - Keisei and beyond system", so I came up with Toei Interlocking, since Toei is mainly responsible for connecting the Keikyu and Keisei networks together (in 1960). Next to that, other lines from other companies (mainly subsidiaries from Keisei) connect to the Keisei network and also have regular services running on the Toei and Keikyu routes. Companies like these include Hokuso Kodan/Kaihatsu, Chiba New Town (Urban Development Corp.) and Shibayama Railway. These companies, so to speak, all interlock with Keikyu through the Toei Asakusa subway line. Thus, hence the name 'Toei Interlocking'.

Page 01
The set I'm developing will not be a main part of the Japan Set, but an add-on, since these trains don't play a major role in Japan. It's focus will lie on the Keisei part of the network, since this company has the greatest diversity of trains, including their Skyliner and CityLiner services, plus the number of companies on this side of the Toei Asakusa line is more interesting in my opinion. The downside to this, is that I'm only able to include all of Keikyu's rolling stock. Only the 1000 Type 1st and 2nd Series, 1500 Type and 600 Type 3rd Series will be included. This is because only these types from Keikyu are allowed to pass through the Toei Asakusa tunnel. Some basic requirements for this are: 18m cars, 3 doors on each side per car, front door for emergency escapes. Most of Keikyu's rolling stock don't meet these requirements, except for those mentioned before, so they are not able to pass though the Toei Asakusa tunnel.

Page 02
Now, Keisei also has its fair share in trains that are not allowed to pass through the Toei Asakusa tunnel, but since they were mainly built before the planning of the Toei Asakusa connection and are not in use any more or are in use for Limited Express services (Kaiun, Skyliner, CityLiner), Keisei was the better choice. Plus, they have a larger variety in liveries, which will also make the fleet look more colourful and cheerful.

Page 03
One company that I want to include does however not run on the Toei part of the interlocking network: Shin-Keisei. I don't care if they don't run much on the Keisei network, they did hovever use a lot of old rolling stock from Keisei and recently started running on the Chihara line from Keisei. The inclusion of this company is however not completely certain though.

Page 04
With the rapid development of the Japan Set in general, I don't have much time for this rather personal project, but that shouldn't matter too much, since most trains I have planned for this set, have rather the same looks, but distinguish themselves in details like the air-conditioner units, front sides, colouring, pantographs, sounds (yes, I'm planning sounds as well) and performance. It's actually more work than it seems, working on these trains, since data on these trains is rather scarce online. Some of the data needs to be made up (like the traction in Nm and some power figures) but with the deliverance of a small data book on this subject by my dear Laser-chan, this might soon change.

For now, I can only provide you with a list of the trains that will feature in the set. I've sorted it according to the company and then train type number, since this is the most convenient and most understandable way in my opinion. Potential list of trains that will be included in the TIAS with images courtesy from Train Front View icons:


P.s. next time I'll do beer again.