Transport Fever: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started
“What the hell does the error, ‘Unable to find path to stop’ mean?” book-ended my first session with Transport Fever. I’d started play at an unwise time of night for a game I was still learning to be fair. But it was juuuust about enough for me to decide the game was ‘too quirky’ and put it down.
I’ve since come to love Transport Fever enough that it’s going to warrant a series. Considering a run at hard mode, starting in 1850, while attempting to achieve Penny Pincher, wherein you take no additional loans beyond what you start the game with until the year 2000.
I’d love for more people to be able to get on board as well, so hopefully sharing some of my early frustrations and their solutions will help, in addition to perhaps just some nice to know tips. So here’s the first of these, dealing with this blasted error!
Trains and the ‘Unable to Find Path to Stop’ Error
The most common reason for this is that your track isn’t actually connected like you think it is.
This will happen most often when either the angle of attack for joining the lines isn’t right. You might need to bulldoze further back where you’re trying to join to come in with a softer angle.
Even at a reasonably zoomed out view, it is possible to identify when this is happening. You’ll see far more speed indicators when it is creating a line that crosses over rather than joining. When it is ‘right’ there will be three key speed indicators surrounding the point of the join.
In addition to seeing only speed indicators for the track immediately before the join, at the point of the join, and immediately after — we can also tell this is right by the track positioning control doodackey being dead centre on the track we’re joining.
Unable to Find Path to Stop can Occur with Trucks, too
You might find it to be a connectivity error with the roads, but this is generally much easier to spot than the train example.
Most likely if you get this with trucks (or buses) then the line you’ve created is a complete mismatch of station/stop types.
Transport Fever does allow some flexibility here. Passengers will happily disembark at a freight station. Cargo can even be unloaded at a bus station if the catchment area includes the industry or property types that will consume it. This is actually quite useful when you’re dealing with just a small town in the 1850’s.
But passengers and cargo will never load at an incorrect station type.
If you’ve inadvertently setup a passenger to passenger line, and you attempt to assign a vehicle that carries only cargo to it (or vice versa) — you’ll see your old friend ‘Error: Unable to path to stop’.
Interestingly, setting up a train incorrectly in this way will allow the train to run regardless of the type mismatch. Possibly this is because it could be ‘fixed’ with adding an additional carriage of the right type.
Signals Might be to Blame
Signals may well require a post all of their own, but your first adventures with double tracking and signals may well cause the re-emergence of the ‘Unable to find path to stop’ error.
You’ll have found that simply creating a double track doesn’t mean your line will automatically use it. You will need signals to make it operate efficiently with more than one train.
Here are some things to note:
- Transport Fever pathing prefers traveling on the right side, even if you’re playing the Britain map.
- You don’t want to create any stops at a signal which will result in blocking other trains or traffic.
- Without signals, trains will check the entire section of rail ahead of it is clear, up until the next station.1
- Trains in Transport Fever will never crash. At worst, they’ll get stuck.
- Where you have contest for right of way, generally an unsignaled train will have right of way over a signaled train. Queuing and wait rules will be smartly managed though.
Facing the direction of travel, I placed just one signal on the right side. I placed it far enough back that any train exiting the station still has room to get by on the left.
If I had placed the signal much further forward at the split, we could still run into situations where two trains found themselves in a stand-off and unable to move.
You need to place another signal at the other station as well to prevent the same happening there. Flip the camera as necessary to again align yourself to direction of travel and place the signal on the right side, before the merge.
This is your minimal set of signals, and this should work in that trains should be permitted to be assigned to the line. If you have simplified your signals down to this level, and you still can’t — check your joins or other sources of potential trouble again.
…I mean we got this far. May as well finish the basic introduction!
Signalling for the Train Depot
Your depot may not require this, especially if you’ve simply attached it to the end of a station. But I figure this shows the principles in action again so might be useful.
The trains inbound to the depot will come from the right as we’ve discussed. I want them to be controlled off the main line and out of the way so that other trains can still carry on without interruption. To that end I pushed the signal as close to the join as I possibly could that still allows trains outbound from the depot to get by.
Similarly, trains leaving the depot should give right of way to any train already at full speed on the main line. I’m controlling them with the signal as close to the main line as possible to create space for any potential train incoming to the depot while one waits to leave.
That situation should be fairly rare, but as I noted under the image, if my trains start getting longer I’ll have to bulldoze this on/off section and rework it for additional length before the join.
Signal Pairs on the Main Line
This deals with the principle that in Transport Fever trains will look ahead at the next entire segment of track. If it has a train on it (even if they’re going in the same direction) the next train will not go until it is clear.
Fortunately, this has a simple fix. You apply signal pairs at regular intervals down the length of the track.
You don’t need them to be too close, but you will need (at minimum) one segment for every train you plan to run, otherwise eventually you will get something stuck. Being too far apart is not great either though simply due to the wait times if one section does happen to be blocked.
Here’s what I changed mine to:
And that’s it for the basics! Hopefully it helps. :D
One Final Bonus Tip on Pairing Bus Stops
Knowing that Transport Fever travels on the right (even in maps set in Britain) can certainly help when placing your bus stops in avoiding your carriages taking truly bizarre routes through town.
But you can simplify it a heck of a lot further by simply placing two bus stops together, one on either side of the road.
Transport Fever will automatically consider these as a single terminal/point for the purposes of creating your lines and will route to the correct side of the road depending on the needs of your path.