Understanding Rails

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Understanding Rails

Postby Alien » Mon May 15, 2017 3:55 am

I haven't watched every walkthrough video or read every guide, so apologies if this has been covered or if you understand this already. I'm posting this hoping it helps anyone who struggles to understand how the rails work.

[Reveal] Spoiler: Picture

So, if you look at the picture, you'll see a fork in the rail. The direction is controlled by the "points". These points determine which way an object on the rails will travel when it goes through the points. The direction of the points can be changed with the lever you see on the left.

In the picture are three directions, A, B & C
If you are at position A, the direction you will travel is determined by the points. In this picture, the points are set to the left. If you pulled the lever, they would then be set to the right. That might seem obvious, but don't assume that the lever shows which direction the points are set.

Understanding Points

The way to know which way the points are set is to look at the rails. In the red box you can see a gap between the rails. If you follow the rails from position A, you'll see that they go to the left. If you had pulled the lever, the gap would be on the other side. This is the only way to know for certain the direction of the points (in real life, there isn't always a lever, hence why you always check the rail).

Direction Of Travel

So, as I said, if you are at position A, you would travel to the left (B) in this picture, because that is how the points are set. If the lever has been pulled, the gap would be on the other side and you'd go to the right (C).

If you approach from direction B, and then changed direction, you would return in direction B (in this picture).
If you approach from direction C, and stopped at position A, you would return towards B.
If you pull the lever, and change the points, B & C directions swap over in the above two lines.

If you are approaching from C, and wish to go towards B, you do not need to touch the lever to change the points. As you approach A from C, the points are forced open by the wheels and close once you have passed through. This is true for real life rails as well. Knowing this little trick can save you some time.

If you approach from B and wish to go towards C, then you would have to change the points when you are at A.

Changing Direction Of Travel

It should also be noted that because at position A, you are changing your direction of travel, you will leave position A facing the other direction. For example, if you approached A backwards, you would change your direction of travel and leave facing forwards. This can be useful to understand if you wish to turn around.

If you approach position A and return back in the same direction you approached from, you won't change which way you are facing. For example, if you approach A from C facing backwards, and returned towards C, you will still be facing the same direction.

I hope this explanation helps people understand how the rails work and make it easier for you if you give Obduction another play through. :)
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