James wrote in another thread:

"In relation to an earlier suggestion about the ratio of production and consumption of farms and shops: whilst there is much to be said for lowering considerably the consumption of shops and increasing their distributionweight, care should be taken not to increase the production of farms too greatly, or else each farm will require a far more substantial transport link than would in reality be required. The idea, for example, that a single farm deserves a railway line all to itself is absurd, and the industries should be balanced with this in mind."

In this case, farms should retain fairly low production levels. But not *too* low (see below)

Several things need to be done, and I'll explain them all.

First of all, there are only so many trucks one can run on a short line: equal to the number of tiles, bascially.

On a large map, factories don't spread out that much, often being only 12 tiles apart. I never get any long supply chains, I get clusters instead. This means that many supply chains can only support up to 24 trucks. This is also only 3 km apart, making for very low revenue.

Conclusion 1:

The distance of factories from their suppliers needs to be larger. (Is it specified in terms of tiles instead of kilometers at the moment? If so it should be in kilometers.) The minimum should be at least twice what it is now in tile terms -- probably 4 times as much.

Now suppose we do this and factories are at least 48 tiles apart instead of the current 12. It becomes theoretically possible to put in a truck (lorry) line. However, it's not reasonable to do so because it's always cheaper to run a train line. This is mostly because the horses cost more if they're running a lorry line (!!!).

Conclusion 2:

Horse running costs for road, lorry, and canal horses need to be rationalized. For starters the pulling power should be rationalized (10 kw waterway 10 kw roadway 12 kw railway right now), but then the price-per-kilowatt should be approximately the same.

So suppose the horses cost X /km, with the 1-unit carts costing .01/km. And suppose the minimum line is 48 tiles long (long enough to supply a 48-unit-per-month farm). Suppose .17 remains the price for goods.

(.17 * 12 km - (X + .01) * 24 km) * 48 = Y (per month) operating profit

Y should be at least 2 * the cost of the cheapest halt, otherwise it's impossible to pay for infrastructure.

If the cheapest halt still costs 18 per month, then this means X is less than or equal to .04.

I strongly advise .03 for the single horse if revenues and halt prices remain constant

Conclusion 3:

It is probably desirable to raise revenues slightly and/or lower halt prices.

This would leave more room to adjust the price of vehicles.

(edit:)

Passenger and mail vehicles are going to continue to run short distances (as little as 2 km) and although they need not always be profitable when doing so they should come close to breaking even, when running a shuttle or extension service, for example. At most. Also, 90% full is as good as we can assume.

Short distance passenger for the 'minimum-length' trip, assuming some economies of scale with halts and a completely congested road: (Edited for hackney capacity)

(.90 * .22 * 5 * 2 km - (X) * 2 km) * 16 = Y (per month) operating profit

where Y will pay for *one* halt (we assume the one on the other end is pre-existing) and X is the running cost. Assume halt prices and passenger revenues stay the same and we discover that X can be no larger than .42. Assuming a completely congested line is an uncomfortable and unreasonable assumption. If we assume half as many buses, we find that X has to be negative. Ow.

This means that either passenger revenues need to be raised, or halt costs need to be reduced, or both.

Conclusion 3, revised:

Either halt (maintenance) costs need to be lowered or revenues need to be raised, or both.

I strongly suggest both.

Lowering halt maintenance costs. I suggest starting with an across-the-board reduction to 16 per level.

Raising revenues. Based on my computations, I suggest raising "slow" goods revenue to .18. (Edited): Passenger and mail revenue should go a lot higher than it currently is. It depends on the other changes made, but if single horses are reduced to a cost of .03, then .27 will suffice for passengers and .30 for mail.

FINAL CONCLUSIONS:

(1) Minimum factory distance: raise to 12 km/48 tiles from current 3 km/12 tiles.

(2) Horses: increase to consistent 12 kW, cost .03/km; double horses to 24 kw, .06/km

(3) Halt maintenance: reduce to 16 per level

(4) Revenues: slow goods .18, passenger .27, mail .30.