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Offline colonyan

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Considerably higher route construction cost case
« on: September 25, 2009, 09:03:21 PM »
    For any pak set, cost of construction of railroad and vehicle road seems more like a
    construction cost for one city block rather than 1km.
  
    Even the most inexpensive way can earn company maximum profit
    as long as the train is fastest. If this is the case, why not
    increase the cost of all track by at least 10 times?
 
    It will require more careful planning and foresight.
    (at least pak maintainer which want to attract that kind of player)

    The bigger map and setting make it harder to increase the per tile cost?
    Why not allow some government aid in the beginning of the game with
    almost no interest rate? And the amount will be proportional to the size
    of the map.

    There will be more way to explore the financial management aspect in ST.
    Maybe I just want to have some discussion about ST.
    Please criticize if you care to...
    (yeah I know, I should try my self creating dat file)
    (But I also want there's more discussion going on)
« Last Edit: September 26, 2009, 07:20:24 PM by colonyan »

Offline prissi

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Re: Considerably higher rail construction cost case
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2009, 06:36:47 PM »
The main problem is, that this would even make road vehicles more profitable. In pak128 trains transport makes hardly sense at all (finacially).

Offline colonyan

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Re: Considerably higher rail construction cost case
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2009, 07:19:31 PM »
Ah.... I d_mn my self...

I should of said any kind of route...
I will correct the title...

Thank you for reply prissi.

For anyone, please be frank and just spill out in this thread about ideas.

Offline neroden

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2009, 07:03:26 AM »
    For any pak set, cost of construction of railroad and vehicle road seems more like a
    construction cost for one city block rather than 1km.
 
    Even the most inexpensive way can earn company maximum profit
    as long as the train is fastest. If this is the case, why not
    increase the cost of all track by at least 10 times?
First of all, simutrans-experimental fixes *this* bug -- there, speed bonuses are based on *actual* speed so you can't run your TGVs on sand track and get the bonus.

Simutrans-experimental also helps deal with the "roads are dominant" problem.  This problem arises because of the free "city roads".    By allowing large maps in a more reasonable fashion, it means there are fewer city roads available.  The city roads and free intercity roads also have fairly low speed limits -- and with the first bug solved, this means that you have to build expensive track or road to get the speedbonus money.

Note that the remaining free roads mean that road vehicles will be dominant within cities (until congestion hits) and in the very early years, but this is probably appropriate.

With these major fixes in place, it becomes entirely reasonable to increase the prices of road and track significantly.  The balancing spreadsheet I just helped adjust for pak128.Britain figures road/track/station costs into vehicle profit computations, making it feasible to rebalance all the vehicles for more expensive roads and tracks.

knightly

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2009, 07:29:33 AM »
Neroden,

First of all, simutrans-experimental fixes *this* bug -- there, speed bonuses are based on *actual* speed so you can't run your TGVs on sand track and get the bonus.

Simutrans Standard has long been adopting a different approach to calculating revenue, but this is *not* a bug. This system is what is is now probably due to historical reasons. Changing it to what EXP is will involve a major rebalancing of all existing paksets, and you have to understand that the development team has to make sure that new features/changes will not break too many things.

EXP can make more radical changes, because it is not meant to be official. And if you are aware, EXP's default pakset (pak128.Britain Experimental) still needs a lot of rebalancing before it is playable, as EXP has introduced many features.

Knightly


Offline neroden

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2009, 08:50:38 AM »
Neroden,

Simutrans Standard has long been adopting a different approach to calculating revenue, but this is *not* a bug.
The resulting ability to run a TGV on sand track and get the maximum passenger revenue, however, *is* a bug, because it breaks plausibility and allows drastically unbalanced gameplay.  This could be fixed by many methods simpler than that used in experimental, of course -- a field on the vehicle which knocked down the speed-for-revenue-purposes the moment the train crossed a piece of lower-grade track, and reset after each time it unloaded at a station, for instance, would do most of the work.  I think it is ludicrous to claim that it isn't a bug, though.

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This system is what is is now probably due to historical reasons.
Or "hysterical raisins", as I have heard them called.  :-D
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Changing it to what EXP is will involve a major rebalancing of all existing paksets,
Yeah.  They all need a good rebalancing anyway, though.  None of them are terribly well balanced anyway; pak64 already has a single dominant train right through to the 1960s (BR39), an outrageously profitable industry (coal->power stations), an unplayable industry (AAC stones) and a large number of completely worthless vehicles.  Plus, because of the TGV-on-sand-track bug, most of the track types are worthless economically (you need an *astounding* population or production volume before you actually need the higher speed tracks for volume rather than speedbonus reasons).  And pak64 is relatively "well" balanced!

If I have some extra free time I'll do the spreadsheet work for rebalancing pak64 -- though I think my time is better spent on balancing paks *for experimental* where the revenue model is better.

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and you have to understand that the development team has to make sure that new features/changes will not break too many things.
Of course.

Offline prissi

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2009, 10:06:59 AM »
The speed bonus is a confort bonus. And in reality, I you go via TGA to lets say Burg-Saint-Maurice you will run a good part of your journey on old tracks but paying the TGV surcharge. (At least I had to the last time I did this.)

Offline Fabio

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2009, 10:37:27 AM »
prissi, you're right. But this would support Exp-like method of speed-bonus _and_ comfort-bonus.

Offline Spike

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2009, 12:03:13 PM »
I think it is ludicrous to claim that it isn't a bug, though.

It depends strongly on how you define a "bug". For programmers, things that work as they had them intended to work are no bugs.

Usually the word "issue" is used for reports nowadays, since not all "issues" are "bugs", but still things the user of the software wants to be addressed.

Offline prissi

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #9 on: October 23, 2009, 03:51:47 PM »
@neroden
In pak64 the Br39 is not a very profitable engine, I found it rather useless in actual games. The Br38 does much better for most tasks. And please show me how to make much money with a coal mine in pak64. The AIs (which choose the best combination of vehicles usually) barely survives road transport and usually goes bankrupt with rail. If you said the money generated by oil transport is too high, I migh have agreed though.

I also not agree many useless vehicles (you are surely referring to trains as there are very little choices for other modes of transport). This is only true if you play without timeline. Otherwise there are vehicles for all purposes (long trains, high speed bonus, electric and otherwise). Moreover player demand vehicles from the country and in several speed categories.

I wonder on what your argument is based.  Because usefullness depends very much on the good to transport. For passengers, usually the faster/newer will generate more revenue (if you get the trains full enough) and the Br39 will do crappy here. The engines are all balanced with the same sheet based on how many vehicles they can manage and the respective intro/retire years (see cars.xls in the SVN).

knightly

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #10 on: October 23, 2009, 04:28:48 PM »
Neroden,

The resulting ability to run a TGV on sand track and get the maximum passenger revenue, however, *is* a bug, because it breaks plausibility and allows drastically unbalanced gameplay.  ...  I think it is ludicrous to claim that it isn't a bug, though.
...
They all need a good rebalancing anyway, though.  None of them are terribly well balanced anyway; ... a large number of completely worthless vehicles.

While you are free to express your opinions, please respect other people's efforts (programming and pakset creation/maintenance). The developers and pakset creators/maintainers have devoted a lot of efforts to improve the game, but instead of being grateful and appreciate their work, you just keep criticising, and negate their achievements with your casual comments.

Simutrans has long been using the current revenue system, and even if it is not ideal, I think it is simply hilariously ridiculous to call it a bug. I have identified and fixed many bugs in EXP -- and those are really bugs.

Besides, without Simutrans Standard in the first place, do you think EXP can ever exist?


If I have some extra free time I'll do the spreadsheet work for rebalancing pak64 -- though I think my time is better spent on balancing paks *for experimental* where the revenue model is better.

I think you have made it pretty clear that you prefer EXP to Standard. You don't need to emphasize it again and again. If you really love EXP so much, please post in the EXP board.


Knightly
« Last Edit: October 23, 2009, 04:43:54 PM by Knightly »

Offline neroden

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #11 on: October 25, 2009, 06:48:03 AM »
@neroden
In pak64 the Br39 is not a very profitable engine, I found it rather useless in actual games. The Br38 does much better for most tasks.

You're not using the right strategy.  The BR39 is quite definitely the most profitable engine in the game up to a certain year, because it has the best cost/power ratio -- unless you've rebalanced since 102.2.  I have no idea how you're playing, but I consistently find it more profitable for passenger runs (until high speeds are needed), and every freight run other than the long coal runs (noted below).

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And please show me how to make much money with a coal mine in pak64.
I'll be happy to.  Attach a very cheap engine (H-Trans 0-4-0 T in the early game) to a very long train of old_open_car 's (the .10 cost ones) and run it on (double tracked) sand track.  Rinse and repeat until you're earning enough money to be satisfied.


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The AIs (which choose the best combination of vehicles usually) barely survives road transport and usually goes bankrupt with rail.
Does it avoid using obsolete cars?  If so, that's its error.  The obsolete cars are the way to go most of the time.
Also notably, the AI is quite dumb about choice of station length and track type, which is critical.  Though it's not bad at picking routes.

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I also not agree many useless vehicles (you are surely referring to trains as there are very little choices for other modes of transport). This is only true if you play without timeline. Otherwise there are vehicles for all purposes (long trains, high speed bonus, electric and otherwise).

I always play with the timeline, and I ran through the vehicles in excruciating detail.  Most of the locos prior to 1962 are not very useful.  One of the crucial points here is that *obsolete waggons are often better*, and they don't actually go away no matter what year in the timeline you're at.  If you're self-limiting by avoiding the obsolete waggons, the game is much, much harder.

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Moreover player demand vehicles from the country and in several speed categories.
Yes, I understand that vehicles which are strictly inferior strategically may be popular from a "model trainset" point of view.  I guess I should respect that more than I do, being a strategy player myself.

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I wonder on what your argument is based.  Because usefullness depends very much on the good to transport. For passengers, usually the faster/newer will generate more revenue (if you get the trains full enough)
Up to a certain point in the game, you don't generate enough passengers to use up the capacity of a BR39 with the maximum number of PrPersoenenwagen (48-passenger waggons).  After that point, there are still a number of years where the vastly increased per-person cost of the Passagierwagen outweighs the added revenue -- particularly if you use an engine with lower power, which can haul fewer of them (remember they're also heavier!).  *Eventually* you need to upgrade, and as I noted the first three electric engines available are not worth upgrading to.

EDIT: Note that in the early part of the timeline, interurban trams (T13/TB13 and T24/TB24) are the most profitable way to move passengers, until the passenger volumes start rising enough to fill a 288-person train routinely (without long waits).  The BR38 is of limited utility because it simply can't haul enough people to be much better than the trams (which can go slower and get the same revenues, thanks to the way the speedbonus works). //

I guess there are more worthwhile choices in the later half of the timeline.

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and the Br39 will do crappy here.
Except that, of course, it doesn't.

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The engines are all balanced with the same sheet based on how many vehicles they can manage and the respective intro/retire years (see cars.xls in the SVN).
Maybe I should work on that sheet, because I think it may be missing a number of important parameters....

« Last Edit: October 25, 2009, 05:11:36 PM by neroden »

Offline neroden

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2009, 05:05:55 PM »
Neroden,

While you are free to express your opinions, please respect other people's efforts (programming and pakset creation/maintenance).


You seem to be reacting emotionally to something.  Let me be clear:
- I love simutrans,
- I think the people who've created it have put a tremendous amount of great work into it,
- It's got the best goods routing / economy system in any game I've seen,
- It's amazingly great that it's free/libre/open source,
- simutrans-experimental couldn't even exist if simutrans-standard hadn't developed as far as it has,
- I'm amazed by all the great artwork,
- pak64 on simutrans-standard is terribly fun to play even with one or two 'strategically dominant vehicles' and some easy ways to make loads of money,
- and it really, really needs to be rebalanced, so that that great artwork is being used on stuff with a strategic value.

I tend to really work out the profits of convois, in detail, when I play.  It may be that I have developed a better understanding of how to use them most profitably than others, and I hope I can use that both to balance them, and perhaps even to improve the AI.

Offline prissi

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #13 on: October 25, 2009, 07:56:32 PM »
First: Obsolete cars I do not consider for balancing, as they are not visible to AIs and new players by default. Also the balancing is done for convois that can reach its topspeed. Anything else is completely useless, as comapnies (apart from wild wild west) did never overload their engines or else they would easily stranded somewhere and hinder all traffic.

And still by using this scheme, you can earn more money with modern cars, if you can keep them at average 50% load. This is done by a combination of capacity and speed bonus (if there). There are also some ggods, which are not profitable, but are required to run the whole chain (the AAC example.) This is fully intended.

Back to the Br39, in 1924 at introduction of the fast passenger cars and the the Br03, you can earn 16ct per large passenger car with Br03 and 7.2 ct with the old cars (at 100km/h). (New cars and Br39 gives less than 11ct and allows only 5 cars, so this is out of question.) The Br39 can draw 6 old cars, but the Br03 can draw 6 new cars.) The maintaince cost of the Br39 is only 18ct lower, which is only a single new car. (Apart from being able to move twice as much people.)

(If I want to overload engines, I would use the Br38, which is even cheaper with only 4.4ct.)

Offline neroden

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #14 on: December 28, 2009, 05:33:50 PM »
First: Obsolete cars I do not consider for balancing, as they are not visible to AIs and new players by default.
This is silly, because if a player starts in 1870 (for instance), many vehicles are not obsolete.  If you then play through over a long time frame, you find that your now-"obsolete" convoys are more profitable than potential replacement convoys.  In real life, old vehicles keep getting used as long as they're more profitable than alternatives -- VIA Rail uses passenger cars from the 1950s as its main fleet today, and I see rusty old open coal cars rattling by my house regularly.  You're supposed to be able to play through from 1890 to 2020, right?  New players are going to say ' "wait, where's the car I was just using for that line, it's more profitable than the new one... oh, there is is, "show obsolete" '.  That's what I did. 

That said, it does sound like you are trying to make obsolete convoys less profitable than new ones, which is the right thing to do.  And you are *largely* succeeding.

Regarding coal, all that really needs to be done is increase the running costs of the old_open_car, which is simply outrageously cheap, even in 1875 when it becomes obsolete.  Speedbonus is only 2% for most bulk goods, although the food addon has grain (which does benefit from faster travel).  Therefore the difference between running costs of .02 per ton-mile and .07778 (for the next available bulk car) is really substantial.  You aren't going to make that up on a 2% speed bonus, not for a long time anyway.  By 1926 the difference in revenue between running at 45mph and 90mph is only .05 for sand and stone, so the old car is more profitable even before considering engine costs, and even if it runs full both directions!  For coal and iron, the difference is .07; that would be an improvement if the cars ran full both ways, but running empty one way the old car is much more profitable.  In 1872 when the new coal car is brand new, the situation is only a little better; running empty when returning, the old car is more profitable for everything but grain, though the new one is more profitable if you can run both ways full.

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Also the balancing is done for convois that can reach its topspeed. Anything else is completely useless, as comapnies (apart from wild wild west) did never overload their engines or else they would easily stranded somewhere and hinder all traffic.

As an *American*, with the Wild West not far away, I am quite used to companies which did overload their engines.  :-)  Or more accurately, which used big powerful engines to haul huge trains of slow cargo, rather than to run at top theoretical engine speed.

But for the most part in Simutrans it is only profitable to overload it by a tiny bit -- a train with a top speed of 110 will run more profitably if you overload it so that the top speed is 107.  So this is well balanced.  Giant bulk coal/sand/stone trains are often more profitable than shorter ones with smaller engines, but this is arguably desirable.

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And still by using this scheme, you can earn more money with modern cars, if you can keep them at average 50% load.
Not always.  The situation with freight depends very much on which good you're looking at.  *Most* of them are pretty good, at least for the rail vehicles, with the exception of the "old_open_car".   The more general problem lies in the difference between different modes of transport -- certain goods are far more profitable to run by truck than rail or vice versa, and while that's fine if it's intentional, there doesn't seem to be any logic to it -- at least before 1950, plastics & cement, wood products, and paper should always go by road (which feels especially wrong for wood products, which are often transported by rail or water), and all boxed goods should always go by rail (which also feels wrong).  Oil should go by rail (rather than road, fine, but why is rail preferable to a tanker?).

The situation with passenger vehicles is a lot worse, probably because there are more of them, meaning more things to balance.  The trams really should be checked against the trains, because giant interurban trams are often more profitable (certainly in every year when a new tram is introduced) than trains along the same route; they can carry a large number of people, the costs per passenger-mile are miniscule, and they make more revenue thanks to the speedbonus structure.  (Perhaps this is intended?  I know the US actually had a lot of giant interurban trams.)  I have to upgrade to trains eventually when the volumes start overwhelming the track, but it causes a sharp drop in profit margins.

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This is done by a combination of capacity and speed bonus (if there).
This is indeed how it should be done, but it's not always balanced to actually do this.

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There are also some ggods, which are not profitable, but are required to run the whole chain (the AAC example.) This is fully intended.
While there is nothing wrong with this in *theory*, the other elements of the AAC chain are barely profitable too.  It's not worth running the chain at *all* unless you need it to make a city grow.  If any one step in the chain were fairly profitable it would be worth it. 

Although it makes little difference in strategic terms, in terms of "feeling right", I think the *final* element in the chain ought to be profitable, while the earlier ones might not be.  In terms of "realistic feel", this is how "industrial development" works: you set up a loss-making line delivering raw materials so you can sell finished goods.  You don't set up a profitable raw materials line in order to lose money selling the finished product, which is what's going on with the AAC chain.  It would feel a lot more right if AAC was profitable and sand and stone weren't profitable.  (Sand and stone are barely profitable anyway.)

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Back to the Br39, in 1924 at introduction of the fast passenger cars and the the Br03, you can earn 16ct per large passenger car with Br03 and 7.2 ct with the old cars (at 100km/h). (New cars and Br39 gives less than 11ct and allows only 5 cars, so this is out of question.) The Br39 can draw 6 old cars, but the Br03 can draw 6 new cars.) The maintaince cost of the Br39 is only 18ct lower, which is only a single new car. (Apart from being able to move twice as much people.)
I am going to try to redo your example, but I can't find any "BR03" engine in the game. Perhaps this is the problem?  :-)  I'll assume BR03 is another name for the BR01...

Example from 1926, since the BR01 isn't introduced until Nov 1925:
(the BR39 seems to have been renamed BR289....)
BR289 + 7 SingCo cars, max speed 97 (same passenger income as 100): running cost 16.08, revenue .19 per passenger * 336 passengers = 63.84 -- net is 47.76 per mile.  Or .1421428571
per *passenger mile*.  At 50% load, revenue is 31.92, net is 15.84 per mile, or .0942857142
per passenger mile.  At 80% load, revenue is 51.072, net is 34.992 per mile, or .1301785714
per passenger mile.

BR01 + 6 HTrans cars, max speed 129 (same passenger income as 130); running cost 78.91, revenue .28 per passenger * 630 passengers = 176.40 -- net is 97.49 per mile.  Or .1547460317
per passenger mile.  At 50% load, revenue is 88.20, net is 9.29 per mile, .0294920634 per passenger mile.  At 80% load, revenue is 141.12, net 62.21 per mile, .1234325396 per passenger mile.

OK, that was surprising to me.  Yes, the BR01 is more profitable for passengers -- if you can keep it completely full, it runs in a straight line, and you don't run mail.  (Note that this doesn't work with mail -- the volumes will *never* reliably fill up even one large mail car, at least not before the computer slows to a crawl.  If you run the mail cars as "economic development loss leaders" on the front of passenger trains, the BR39 train is more profitable.) 

So why do I always lose money when I replace 36 BR39 trains on a line with a smaller number of BR01 trains with the large carriages?

I did some more computation and the breakeven point for all-passenger trains, where the BR01 starts being more profitable, is 86% full.  It is of course harder to maintain consistently high load factors with fewer larger trains than with more smaller ones.  Passengers tend to come slightly irregularly, and passenger loads are usually uneven along the line, and so I can usually achieve an average load of 90% with careful handling, but not 100%.

One extra, and very important, point is that the train route is never as-the-crow-flies, so if you have train-miles slightly longer than earned passenger-miles, you'll find that the breakeven point is at an even higher load.  When  the train trip is about 16.28% longer than the as-the-crow-flies trip between stations, the BR39 becomes more profitable even for completely full loads.  The best you can actually *get* on some routes is 7.96% longer than as-the-crow-flies, because tracks can only go in the eight cardinal directions -- in this situation, the load at which the BR01 is more profitable is  93%.  This level of load is actually very tricky to achieve reliably.  (If you're playing with pay_for_total_distance=1 or pay_for_total_distance=2 this is even more noticeable.)

So the BR289 is a more reliable profit generator than the BR01, even for passengers. 

Which matches my experience.  Except for the 221A (which has huge capital costs) the other engines aren't even in contention, until the NS-1000 shows up.  Upgrading to the BR01 is usually a serious hit to my profits, and I only do it when the line is simply too crowded to take any more BR39s. 

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(If I want to overload engines, I would use the Br38, which is even cheaper with only 4.4ct.)
You're right, it's the cheapest in cents per kilowatt-mile. For BR289 this is .0055404958, for BR38 .0050806451, for Garratt .0070344827.

However, unlike the BR38, the BR39/BR289 can "almost" maintain speed with a huge consist.  It can stay at speed with 6 of the 90km/h oil cars, and is only down to 72km/h with 13 of them.  Running at 72km/h with a BR38 would require two trains of 6 cars each.  I ran a lot of scenarios with most of the goods in the game (not mail or trash, and not the ones where road traffic is far more profitable).  Prior to 1948 (when the NS1000 shows up) the only times a different engine was more profitable for freights was for Printer's Ink with the 12% speedbonus (which needs to go as fast as possible), and for 45mph bulk trains with the old_open_car, which are cheaper to run with the BRV36.

Offline skreyola

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Re: Considerably higher route construction cost case
« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2009, 07:22:18 PM »
Passenger revenue really ought to be affected by the along-the-rails distance. Maybe it shouldn't be a huge factor, but any transport company is going to charge based on how far they have to move their vehicles, so it ought to have some effect if people are going 6 distance-units straight using a passenger line that has to traverse 9-12 distance-units of ways. So, the distance figure used to calculate revenue should be some combination of straight-line distance and a percentage of the difference between that and the along-the-rails distance.