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Author Topic: Profit with cargo ships in pak128  (Read 3224 times)

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Offline Postlimit

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Profit with cargo ships in pak128
« on: January 21, 2012, 06:20:34 PM »
I've created an island game to experiment with ships, but I'm struggling, so I would like some input from the experts. Like with earlier questions, I might be overlooking something, so I might be frustrated with failures for nothing again. :)

My main problem is that ships seem quite expensive to operate. The 1930 bulk cargo ship costs 7.64$/km for 200 ton of bulk.
An equivalent bulk transport on rails would be 2 Nabe-JNR SL C11 locomotives with 5 bulk cars of 20 ton each, at a total of 2*(1.53+5*0.12)=4.26$/km

I know I don't need rails (no maintenance) so that's some compensation, but I do need very (very!) expensive Bulk cargo docks (648$ / month in maintenance each).
Just doing some calculations, then the maintenance of 2 bulk cargo docks (2*648=1296$/month) is the equivalent of a 270 tile long double low quality track (270*2*1.6=864) with 3-tile stations on each end (2*(3*72)=432), 864+432=1296.

So, for any line shorter than 270 tiles, the train's maintenance is lower too.

The situation in 1980 is that:
- maintenance issues are unchanged.
The 2 bulk boats are:
- the bulk barge (165 ton cargo, 5.73 $/km)
- the steamer (450 ton cargo, 17.19 $/km), which is more expensive per ton of cargo than the barge, and slower too.
But looking at the costs of trains in 1980, you can even equip your cargo train with fancy expensive locomotives, and still be cheaper than  the boat.

So, given all that, how are you supposed to run a shipping line for bulk (coal) in 1930 or 1980?

I'm curious to hear which obvious element of the game I am overlooking this time.

Offline Zeno

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Re: Profit with cargo ships in pak128
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 06:34:58 PM »
Ships are far less profitable than trains, that's true. Anyway, you should not use ships unless there's some water out there (obvious), but you can't place cheap track over there. Maybe you could compare that with bridges instead (which would be its rail competitor), maybe the comparison is not as much as 270 tiles.
Let me say that I also find those bulk cargo docks maintenance is terribly high; there might be a reason though. Probably an early version for these docks with a lower maintenance could do the job...

Offline DirrrtyDirk

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Re: Profit with cargo ships in pak128
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 06:51:18 PM »
Well, the cost, as with all stops, depends on capacity, and this type of dock/harbour is simply the largest. And again, there might be the misconception, that a "bulk dock" is needed to actually transport bulk goods - it isn't. Any freight type dock will do. Or even a passenger oder mail dock, as long as you build an extension building (or truck stop, or train station) enabling goods.

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Re: Profit with cargo ships in pak128
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 12:31:07 PM »
Of course... I feel stupid that I didn't try a mail or passenger dock for transporting coal :) (No sarcasm intended, although you can read it as such.)

Personally, I disagree with the fact that boats are more expensive. In reality, they are the cheapest form of bulk transport...

Anyway, I have learnt my lesson that I must be more creative with the stations/docks/platforms. It's good that this game is so flexible.

Offline Zeno

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Re: Profit with cargo ships in pak128
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2012, 03:26:27 PM »
Personally, I disagree with the fact that boats are more expensive. In reality, they are the cheapest form of bulk transport...
I meant in simutrans, not in real life ;)