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SS Great Western data

Started by DrSuperGood, March 31, 2018, 06:32:50 AM

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As part of rough balancing to keep the server game playable I was looking to adjust the costs of ships.

SS Great Western stood out due to its odd passenger configuration so I looked into it some more.

From what I can tell the following applied.
  • The average speed of the SS Great Western was considerably slower than 20km/h. It may have only achieved such speeds once, likely as the result of favourable weather conditions.
  • The maximum speed record for the SS Great Western was only obtained after the ship was refitted in 1839-1840.
  • The SS Great Western was refitted between 1839-1840. The refit increased the length of the ship as well as the tonnage (volume, hence carrying capacity).
  • It is unclear if the refit raised its capacity at all, the extra tonnage might have gone towards coal to raise average speed.
  • Wikipedia lists its capacity as "128 passengers in 1st class + 20 servants", however it is not clear if this was before or after the refit.

    Since simutrans does not support people traveling with their servants. This has resulted in the very strange capacity of the ship of 128 very high passengers and 20 medium passengers. I would imagine servant accommodation being classed as low, but that would look even more strange. It would make more sense if it was 118 high passengers and 10 very high passengers. Each very high ticket includes space for their own servants as part of the service, hence also has a lot better comfort. This would avoid the potential pitfall of refunding medium passengers unless the line is suplimented by other passenger transport.

    Speed wise I would imagine using mean operating speed would be the most historically accurate. As a guess this is around 16km/h (18km/h if using record max) before refit and 18km/h (20km/h using record max) after refit. This ship was not fast, it was just fast for its type and route. Some clipper designs were much faster but were not really suited for profitable passenger transport due to their small capacities and short lives.

    In 1840 there should be an upgraded version of the SS Great Western. However as mentioned above I have no idea in what way it was upgraded or that the passenger statistics were for the per or post retrofit version of the ship. In any case the upgrade should likely raise maximum speed by 1-2km/h. Technically art work should be unique as it was made longer, however with how low resultion Simutrans is I doubt people would notice the difference so the same art could be recycled.

    Currently I have no idea if it would ever be viable to get 128 very high passengers on a line. Hence lowering it to a few very high and mostly high makes sense for a ship of its type. Its role would be a luxury passenger transport boat.


Thank you for your research on this: this is most helpful. It should be possible in principle to have a pre- and post-refit version of the SS Great Western, but only if we have a reasonable idea of the appearance before and after (is the current graphic the before or the after graphic?). If we do not have the data to distinguish the two clearly, it is probably better to retain just one until we do have those data.

As to the speed, do you (or does anyone else) have an idea of the actual average (or at least normal top) speed of this ship or, failing that, large paddle ships of this era, was/were? I am reluctant to set the speed based on a guess if I can possibly avoid it.

As to the servant space, this is retained to be consistent with the handling of rail vehicles, in which accommodation for servants in family saloons was always second class. The servants would have had to have individual tickets, so, for balancing purposes, this would need them all to be treated as separate passengers of medium class. It is not relevant in so far as balancing is concerned who pays for the tickets, and the only way in which travelling with servants is different in reality to what can be represented in the game is the unity of origin and destination, which will not exist in the game: but this is not likely to be significant economically.
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