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Balance cost between train and trucks.

Started by maxim13, August 22, 2022, 10:14:01 PM

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Let's compare the simple train and truck for bulk goods at 1930

RVg 2-5-1 "Muscle Arm" + 11 RVg bulk wagon
203310$ + 11 * 3500$ = 241810$
It's capacity 220t or 241810$/220 = 1100$ per 1t capacity

Sindor-Praga N - bulk
It's capacity 6t or 1570/6 = 260$ per 1t capacity

What this means: if you want transport bulk goods for trains you usually must spent much more money for buying train vehicle than if you want do it by trucks. See 1100 vs 260.
For more modern vehicle this problem is still actually.

You may say it's not problem, but every vehicle has release cost that decrease for the time. So with this  decreasing of base cost more profitable always use trucks than trains, even they have lower rate for cost per km on 1 t.

My suggestion: you should increase the base cost for trucks by 5-10 times, for give a chance trains be more profitable than trucks.


Maxim, welcome to the International Simutrans Forum!

It's very possible that this pakset is unbalanced. For a long time, nobody worked on it. But this year some kind people are trying to revive it. You can read how to help here. Please ask questions if you need help with GitHub or anything else. I have a list of some commands that I found helpful.

I would also note that it's pretty common for train freight wagons to cost more than road wagons, both in Simutrans in rail life. I think this is mainly because train wagons are built to higher standards and carry bigger loads. They are still profitable because they can be used more efficiently. Trucks spend a lot of time waiting in congestion; trains can be timetabled to be working all the time. That's true in Simutrans too.
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Oh, I think i will have some free time in september and may be try rebalance some costs and commit it.

Let's do more mathematics for my previous post.

See  the "Muscle Arm" train with 11 bulk wagons it operation cost will 3,55$ per km.
But it's not really correct.
Let's imagine we will operate this train for 10 years (it's may be few for real life, but good for game when we usually always want upgrade your vehicles), and it always be move at it's max speed for 50km/h.
After 10 years it odometer will show 50/100 * 640km * 12 * 10 = 38400 km.
It resale cost will be 241810$ * 0,85 (immediately after purchase) * ((0,997)^12)^10 = 241810$ * 0,5927 = 143321$.
So you will lose after retire 241810$ - 143321$ = 98489$
Or 98489$ / 38400 km = 2,56 $ per km.
So the real operation cost will be 3,55$ + 2,56$ = 6,11$ per km. (even more because i think the real average speed will be about 30km, and it's possible you will decide to retire it early)
Or 6,11 / 220  = 0,0278 per km on 1 t capacity.

And now let's see Sindor-Praga truck with base operation cost 0,12$ per km.
For same 10 years it odometer will show 42/100 * 640km * 12 * 10 = 32256 km.
It resale cost will be 1570$ * 0,5927 = 930,5$
So you will lose after retire 1570$  * (1 - 0,5927) = 1570$ * 0,4073 = 639,4$
Or 639,4$ / 32256 km = 0,02 $ per km.
So the real operation cost will be 0,12$ + 0,02$ = 0,14$ per km.
Or 0,14 / 6  = 0,0233 per km on 1 t capacity.

0,0278 > 0,0233 it is the reason why i say trucks almost always more profitabe than trains.
For trucks resale losses are not as sensitive as for trains.


pak128 is badly geared towards road transport.

There are several wrong assumptions in your calculation. First, in Simutrans you really do not replace goods vehicles (at least in standard). You rather run them forever. So the resale value is useless. Furthermore, any vehicle is immediately cheaper after running the first tile (I think this value should be set to 30% deprecation after the first tile).

Then, you cannot take any engine for trains. The engines should be compared using their full load, i.e. the load which still allows them to get to speed. Then one has to choose for what freight to balance. Faster engines are often geared for passengers.

Finally, you need to consider way maintenance. Roads are often there (bt limited to 25 km/h) while tracks need to be custom built and are quite expensive compared to roads. This is the main imbalance in pak128.


Now i don't want compare engine, i want just show disbalance beetwen trains and trucks transportation for bulk goods. (It's also actually for oil and many other goods)

I also understand that the count of cargo wagon should match the possible speed of choosed engine.
So i chose Muscle Arm" + and exactly 11 bulk wagon, becase i really think it's a good setup for bulk goods transportation with train vehicles allowed at 1930.

Also i think the possibility upgrade your vehicles for make more money it's good idea and make the game more interesting. And usually more modern vehicles more efficient, but not always, but it's should be another discussion for balance.

The fact that vehicle is immediately cheaper after running the first tile - already in my calculations see 0,85 multiplyer. It's good and correspond to reality. It's stimulate you operate vehicle for some years before upgrading. Reducing this ratio i think bad idea for all cases.

Also usually train infrastructure maintenance more expensive than trucks infrastructure. It's good, because if trains will be more effective than trucks, in cases when you can't load rail way with at lest 4-6 train per month will stimalte you use trucks for more efficiency.

Disbalancing in passengers and post transportation more complicated problem. But for decide it, i suggest first of all cap penalty for lower speed, by example at 70 percent, but it's another discusion and may be i write post about this in future.