Big hubs in a nutshell – finding a universal hub design

Recently I started playing a game on my own, featuring some LL-RR main network. When I had to build my first ever 4-way hub for double tracks, I first took a look at the Junctionary just to find out that all hubs were designed quite different and hardly any of them follow all necessary rules (curve length, double bridges/tunnels, merge after split). I then started wondering if there’s a universal way of thinking about hubs.
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Building means signaling

In recent games it occured quite some times that patches of ML were found without any signals on it or even worse that hubs or station entrances or exits came without signaling, just plain tracks. All examples shown here are taken from the current public server game #97.
properly signaled merge
Figure 1: properly signaled SLH (albeit unnamed!)
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Track curves

In games it is important that trains can stay up to speed, for the best flow of a network. In recent games we’ve noticed that curves in particular often aren’t long enhough, causing trains to slow down.

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Station balancing

As a follow up to the blog about Clean building we have noticed that, in recent games, stations frequently aren’t balanced.

During a game it is important to have a balanced network. There are a couple of ways to make the network balanced, one of them is by building a load balancer on the mainline. However a balancer like that isn’t preferred. It is preferred to let stations entries and exits function as balancers of the traffic load over the mainline.

Station exit balancing

Image taken from Memberzone Game 6

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Clean building

For coop gaming there is a wiki guide about proper building and there is a tuturial save game to help you in defining the basics about building on coop servers. During recent games it appears that these guidelines are not followed optimally.

Guide image
Example image taken from the guide.

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