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Ships running empty

Started by passengerpigeon, August 18, 2017, 12:14:22 AM

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Dear community,
Today, I made my first attempt at a long-term Pak128.Britain Extended game after finally downloading Simutrans Extended. I started in 1780 on the custom Duck Islands map and linked many large towns with coastal boats and inter-island packet ships. However, my ships are carrying very few mail bundles or passengers. I know that increasing the frequency should help, but with me barely being able to get a single ship out not empty, I don't think a stream of ships would fare any better. Could anybody suggest how to optimise my network?


It seems as though you have a lot of very long sailing trips, often of over 10 hours (e.g., Pyeerhill Kipper Street to Sparrowsby St. John's Parish Church Dock takes over 14 hours, and the waiting time is another 14 hours. Very, very few passengers are prepared to make a journey of that length.

From what I can deduce from your schedules, you appear to be coasting with passenger traffic. While coasting was common for goods traffic historically, passenger traffic tended to travel inland.

What you need to do to get journey times down is use stage coaches to transport passengers inland, and then use short ferry crossings (e.g. between Warebrook and Crafhurst) where it is necessary to cross water. That way, passengers are able to be transported in a straighter line, and it is more economic to have a higher frequency service, as a stage coach costs less to run than a ship. Also, when the Yorkshire coach horse is bred in 1805, you can then get vehicles with a top speed of 18km/h by using stage coaches, rather than the ships, which can manage only 15 km/h.

I should note that I am currently working on the calibration of passenger generation such that, in future versions (when the passenger and mail classes feature is integrated), there will be more passengers generated overall. There may also be more passengers with a higher journey time tolerance (or possibly even a small proportion with an unlimited journey time tolerance), although I have not undertaken the work to ascertain whether this is necessary or desirable yet. The upshot of that will be that there will be somewhat more passengers willing to travel in the early days when routes are slow, but still very few by comparison to the number travelling in modern times.
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