@jamespetts - I think experimental is doing a great job of cornering the "realism" market. You've noted in many places how standard doesn't accurately simulate the real world so for balancing the standard pakset I intend to adopt a "semi-realistic" model, i.e. reasonable historical top speeds, kW powers (for diesel and electric where known), but after that to imagine what a "sensible" historical load for each vehicle would be and fiddle the other numbers to get it about right in proportion with other vehicles. The idea is to get a sort of realistic "feel" to the whole game without breaking the limits of what Standard can achieve. Clearly that will mean quite different data from experimental, but standard is supposed to be more entry-level and there will always be experimental for those who wish to go for the extra realism.
@DrewTheGreat - thanks for the offer, it will be very helpful. Power and gear will be completely overhauled. The plan is to have gears more or less the same (actually electric, diesel, early steam, late steam (superheated) will all have different gear factors I think but within each group the same gear). I have an excel spreadsheet that should ensure a "sensible" load is possible with each loco. Many of the vehicles I made over the last few years have placeholder dat values or just copied straight from experimental, hence the need for rebalancing. Economics-wise it will be everything. First job is to ensure that full loads are profitable for sensible convoys and infrastructure, considering prices, maintenance costs and track costs. After that I'll look at the supply/demand side.