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## Real life costs and prices.

Started by inkelyad, October 14, 2010, 11:16:46 AM

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How near to reality pak128.Britain-Ex wants to be? Finding some real-life numbers is not that hard (Google Books:per ton per mile). But should we transfer them into game?

#### Spike

Quite often you'll find that realistic values lead to a badly balanced game, because the game has different constraints than reality.

#### jamespetts

Sorry for the delay in replying to these: have been preoccupied recently! My aim is to make the figures as close to reality as I can, and, if the constraints in the game differ from reality, alter those constraints to make them approximate reality as closely as possible.

I was hoping to obtain realistic information about the relative running and purchase costs of different types of rail vehicles (and other related matters) from somebody I know who works in transport, but he has been rather too busy in the event to procure them. What I really need to know, if anyone can find it out, are things like the comparative running and purchase costs of diesel, steam and electric railway locomotives, the differences between the running and purchase costs of large and small locomotives, the difference in running and purchase costs between different sorts of carriages, etc.. Once I have an idea how major factors affect the prices, I can extrapolate for individual vehicles. The same would apply to the differentials between rail and road, sea and air, etc..

The reason why I want these things, at least, to be realistic, at least in relative differential, is that those differentials in cost are the primary drivers of choice as to which vehicles to use in which cases, and appropriate vehicle choice is one of the important elements of Simutrans-Experimental. What I am aiming for is people making decisions in the light of realistic economic constraints, so that they do not need to calculate mathematically what will work in the Simutrans world, but can make the decisions as if they were making them for a real transport network, without having to think about how Simutrans is different to reality any more than necessary. For me, at least, every time I think in the game, "If this was real, I would do X, but in Simutrans, the best thing to do is Y", the game becomes less fun.

So, the challenge is: where does one find this information on the realistic relative costings? Does anyone know (or know where to find) information as to how much more that a steam locomotive costs to run per month and per mile than a diesel locomotive, or how much more expensive that it is to buy a luxury coach than an urban 'bus? All thoughts greatly appreciated!

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#### ӔO

sometimes, there will be bulletins on purchases for new fleets. Case and point here: http://www3.ttc.ca/News/2009/June/City_Council_approves_funds_for_TTC_purchase_of_new_streetca.jsp

204 bombardier LRV for a cost of C\$1.2 billion, or about \$5.9 million each.
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#### jamespetts

Hmm - unfortunately, contemporary things are only a tiny fraction of the pakset - we need a way of getting accurate historical data. Any ideas?

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#### ӔO

accounting for inflation would be quite a task too.

maybe there are books on historical ticket prices?
that should give a ball park figure of how much it cost to operate the trains.
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#### jamespetts

Normalising inflation would indeed be difficult - the best that one could do, I think, is look at the relative costs of equipment in snapshots over time and extrapolate from there. And ticket prices wouldn't, unfortunately, give an idea as to the relative costs of different sorts of vehicles (steam/diesel, etc.).

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#### ӔO

Would factors like expansion, downsizing, merger and acquisition of a company reflect if they were able to keep in the black or not with their fleet?
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#### jamespetts

Quote from: AEO on October 23, 2010, 07:55:35 PM
Would factors like expansion, downsizing, merger and acquisition of a company reflect if they were able to keep in the black or not with their fleet?

I imagine that they probably would, yes.

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Quote from: AEO on October 23, 2010, 07:35:40 PM
accounting for inflation would be quite a task too.
Well, there is site: How Much Is That?
But my head hurt when I try to understand it. There is no one way to compare present and past prices.

#### jamespetts

#10
That's interesting - thank you for that. The snapshot approach might obviate the need for specific inflation compensation, but I'll bear that in mind.

Edit: I have made a post on the uk.rail newsgroup here seeking information on this issue. The people there tend to be quite knowledgeable, so we shall see what that produces!

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#### prissi

Over the short amount of time, all those graphes give exponential growth (which is limited). But real number are almost useless. A car might cost a fortune in 1900 in relation the income while at 1955 everybody could own one. Thus the "real" price decreased, while the actual price did not decrease as much.

The above site used GDP and several other measure in order to get an answer. However, the data will inevitely be affected by the exponential growth of the population in the last 200 years (which is only slowly decellerating).

But for game purposes an saturated exponential modell for inflation of prices seems reasonable and is also used in OpenTTD. However, since its affect everything the same (maintenance, costs, prices, income ... ) is is just added to the system to increase prices in later years.

#### jamespetts

It is hard to normalise for inflation, but the real-life differential between, for example, the purchase and maintenance costs of diesel and steam locomotives at any given point in time are far from useless.

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#### jamespetts

A small amount of useful information has come to light: see here.

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