Author Topic: Transporting passengers around cities  (Read 4898 times)

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Offline percy4u

Transporting passengers around cities
« on: April 19, 2015, 10:55:46 PM »
Hi all,

I am new to playing Simutrans, and was just wondering which modes people use to move passengers around and between cities.

I use pak128.britain, but I suppose any help for any pakset could be adapted...

I usually configure my games to have around 20 cities on a 768x768 map of the UK (flat - no elevation). I do not use industries at all with this pakset.

Thanks in advance for any help I can get. (If you need any more details, please ask - I don't bite :D)

Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Transporting passengers around cities
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2015, 01:49:06 AM »
Last I knew pak128 was not really balanced for Simutrans standard but instead aimed at experimental. As such I do not know how viable all modes of transport are.

In pak64 generally one uses trains or planes to move passengers around. Inside cities trams can be used, but so can long underground trains.

In pak128 generally one uses busses for inner city transport with trains between cities. A few cities connected together justify the maintenance of the inter city train lines and make tons of profit while the inner city transport will usually be break even or slight loss (due to road speed limits).

Generally to get reasonable passenger and mail traffic you need to connect as many cities together as you can. Two cities alone will not make many passengers between each other compared with 4 or 8 cities connected.

Offline Ters

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Re: Transporting passengers around cities
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2015, 05:12:47 AM »
Since it takes a while to set up a big enough intercity network to make money, I usually start by setting up some freight trains to give me some income in the meantime. It might not be strictly necessary, but I don't like red numbers. At some point, the number of passengers will explode, and so will the income. (Unless a pak64 game is started very late on the timeline. I don't know how other pak sets behave at that point.)

Trains and airplanes are usually the only way to go between cities. Buses might work for towns close together in the beginning, but eventually, buses won't have the capacity, unless (perhaps) you have a very interconnected network. Ships might have the capacity, but are very slow. Delivery times don't matter for passengers and mail like they do for other freight, but it is much harder to adjust the capacity of a ship line since it takes much longer time for any change to take effect.

Offline el_slapper

Re: Transporting passengers around cities
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2015, 12:18:19 PM »
I'm usually using a hierarchy of networks(Pak128, maps around 1024*2048).

The local town is linked by bus. If it grows bigger, I'm using trams inside. In 1910/1920, it's usually possible to earn a little benefit of a tram network for a city at 10k inhabitants.

Then there is the regional network, train or bus depending on the size.

Then there is the national network. I'm using a city well placed in each reagional network as my hub & airport(mandatory : the train lines must stop at the airport, not somewhere else). And I'm using planes between both. The tough part is that planes don't have a big capacity in the 20s, even in the 30s, so I shall not grow too fast. The real cash arrives with quicker airplanes, Constellation, and, later, the 707(an incredible money maker that can net its purchasing price every year - unless you're flying them half-empty, then it will kill your company.).

The idea is to have 2-4 big airports with a lot of demand between them, that will finance everything. The rest, buses, trams, trains, don't matter. They're just here to feed the money makers. I even sometimes drop a monorail for helping feeding the airport, even those are nearly impossible to make money with. I NEED those pax at the airport. At any price.

Offline sdog

Re: Transporting passengers around cities
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2015, 10:30:13 PM »
20 cities on a 768**2 map is quite sparse. More cities might help, best is to run the random map generator a couple of times until you have a nice mix of a few medium to large cities and lots of towns.

The key to passenger profit is the network effect. The more destinations you have connected the higher your utilisation of all lines is going to be. There is one idiosyncrasy of simutrans however, before you create local networks, make intercity networks calling at the city halls of each place. These are the points with the highest passenger density. If you start to early for bus lines* you can tear out city roads and build railways directly to the city centre, without bothering about tram tracks.

*While pak128.britain starts in the mid XVIII century it is not advisable to start at that time. If you want to use bus networks start after 1919, the first useful bus in the game is the AEC K-type. I shouldn't start early pax rail networks not before 1840 (Great Western, Star class) or better 1870 (Stirling one wheeler, Great Northern). Before mid XIX is only good for very patient and experienced players who want to explore the industrialisation, preferably to be played with simutrans experimental.

Offline percy4u

Re: Transporting passengers around cities
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2015, 11:15:17 PM »
All really helpful advice, people.

Quote
20 cities on a 768**2 map is quite sparse.

How many would you say is about right for what I'm trying to do then??

Offline Ters

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Re: Transporting passengers around cities
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2015, 06:04:17 AM »
How many cities one wants depends on taste, which might again depend on what you consider normal. In much of Europe, cities are quite close. I'm used to some distance between them, so 20-30 cities would be about right for a 768x768 map.

I currently play a 2048x2048 map with 55 cities. Many, but not most of them, were added manually to get at least some degree of realistically position cities (at places were trade routes would have converged since pre-historic time). I like to have a certain distance between my cities, and in this case, I was trying to really have some distances, so that airplanes would stand out more compared to trains. Still, this map might be too sparse even for me.

There might be one hard upper limit for how sparse a map can be. If you can't afford to connect enough cities (buildings actually) to start making enough money to cover the cost, you're doomed.

Industrial "density" is another matter, as long delivery times are disruptive to the original suppy-demand-model. (Although now there is an alternative.) "Density" is not quite the right term, as it's about how far apart connected industries are, not the distance between industries in general.

Offline DrSuperGood

Re: Transporting passengers around cities
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2015, 04:59:48 PM »
The city problem is mostly due to the current model of growth. Where as in 100 years towns of a few thousand have grown into cities of millions, in Simutrans standard a town of a few thousand will at most grow into the 10,000 range over that time. In a big map with few, far apart cities the cities themselves should be able to achieve pretty fast growth rates, in the 1,000 per month range until some natural limit is reached (either free land or transport success percentage).

Industries are another problem entirely. Currently they are just randomly distributed with only basic restrictions (climate or near city etc). You often end up with silly routes such as a milk producing farm being connected to a dairy across the entire map. There is no restriction on route length, something that is really important in real life (if raw materials are too far away some industries are just not economical). There is also no factory closure, as such no dynamic economy model as routes open or close due to viability (this is where pak128 Britain has problems as it is aimed at Experimental which supports this feature to some degree).

In Simutrans having large distances between cities is often quite useful since ways such as rails are themselves quite large. Where as a high speed line between two cities in real life takes the width of 1, maybe 2 normal houses, in Simutrans it takes the width of 2 fairly large houses or 4 lanes of traffic. Running a double track through a city is a substantial divide.

Offline Ters

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Re: Transporting passengers around cities
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2015, 08:34:45 PM »
I'm thankful Simutrans' cities don't have one million inhabitants. When they reach 50000, I'm long tired of building bus/tram stops. That growth took place in 200 years, but I reduced the growth after just over 100 years by not building more stops. At 100000, a city in Simutrans covers a lot of ground. Even if one could put more inhabitants on each tile, that would simply swap the stops completely.

There is no restriction on route length

Yes, there is: max_factory_spacing_percentage. (I think it works, because I've never had connected industries a whole map apart.) The default value is a quarter of the map size, which is a very long way on big maps. It also doesn't differentiate between types of goods, nor does it make much sense to me that a grain mill doesn't by from nearby farms, but from farms far away near another grain mill.