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mini-challenge: tramadness

Started by Optimix, July 22, 2011, 09:00:51 PM

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The local governments of the 4 cities in this map, have asked you to
to take care of the passenger transport, between the 4 cities and the
3 attractions. They promised they would build houses, and other
buildings near the highest point of the map. So you decided to build
a beautiful station there: Cambridge-Ripon TOP station. You finished
your work now, but it seems the 4 local governments do not keep their
promises, because they did not build anything near "Cambridge-Ripon
TOP station". That's stupid, because it must be great to live there, with
such a beautiful view and clean air.

Now you built that nice station for nothing, the tram stops there for
nothing, and it only cost you money. Of course you can ask a lawyer
to help you, but perhaps there are better ways. All passengers from
Cambridge to Ripon, will watch every day how beautiful the area there
is to live, and with a little advertising for buying ground there, maybe
some of the passengers will decide going to live there, and build a
new house!

If you will succeed with that plan, soon there will be passengers from
and to Cambridge-Ripon TOP station. Exactly at the moment the
first passenger is waiting there, your job is finished, and you can save
your game. The winner is the player who is the first, according the
date, time left down in the screen. Save your game BEFORE the
passenger(s) from Cambridge Ripon TOP station jump into
your tram, else we can't check if this passenger has really departed
from there.

Only few rules:

- ONLY trams
- only single stations (stops) of ONE tile. Never expand stations,
to spread out, with parking places, post offices, bus stops or such.
- Do not touch 3 stations: Cambridge TOP station, Ripon CS and
Cambridge CS. You cant change the exact locations of these
stations. (34,39,0 - 25,45,5 - 18,55,0) All other stations you can remove
or replace.
- You can change, expand, delete everything you want, and build
anything new you like. You can build roads, you may use
upper/lower land, and use more than one tram for a route, with
double tracks and signals.
- Every station you can use as a transit station, and/or use it for
different lines (routes). Only you cant do that with Cambridge-Ripon
TOP station. Only the line (1) from Cambridge CS to Ripon CS
may use this station.
- You can expand line 1 as much as you want, with all kind of stops
between the stations Cambridge and Ripon, but take care that all
passengers from Cambridge CS to Ripon CS can travel with only
one train, line 1. So you cant delete the existing stops of this line,
but you can add stops as much as you like.

Of course I checked if this challenge is possible. The answer is
YES, but you have to be patient, or use the speed up option in
Simutrans. But it would not surprise me, if some simutrans-wizzards
here, will finish this job in a very short time.
Good luck!  ;D
(you need 102.2.1 (stable) and pak128 1.4.5 - 102.0)


Hi Optimix,

you´ve made a very nice challenge. I´ve completed it by reaching January 2002. It was my 2. try of this game. I will contiue to play this game until the company makes a profit.
Here is the game.




Hello Rohal, I am happy you like this mini-challenge.
You are doing very well. My result was august 2003,
just one month before I was bankrupt  ;D

I am very interested how you will fix it to make this
profitable. The trouble with this scenario is, that the
monthly maintainece costs are so high, and the
tram-income so low.

I have only one problem with your file. It seems you
did this with a "pak 128 open r517". So I cant watch
your result. Is there any chance you do it again with
the "normal" pak-128? For me its not such a problem to
download your pak, but I think its nice for other viewers
(or participants), if we all only use one and the same


I will soon retry it, and then publish a new sve. Problem is version 102.2.1 with pak128 1.4.5 is not working on my system


Hi Optimix,

i´ve got it working now. The problem is company is profitable, since the second year, but I am now in 2007 but haven´t got any building at the station.



Well Rohal, if you have a profitable company, so not bankrupt,
then you did a good job! I am very interested how you fixed
that; I almost could not get these trams profitable. But it
seems it is possible. I was only concentrating for the goal of
the challenge, and I only hoped the first passenger at
Cambridge TOP station appeared, just before I was bankrupt. ;-)

Can you upload your game? Would be nice.


Hi Optimix,

here is my savegame, as you will see the company is profitable since 2002. I´ve changed the trams you builded at the beginning and I´ve divided the map in 2 parts connected by line 1.
I´am starting a new attemp to get it faster, but it is already 2003 and no house is there.




WOW Rohal! This is amazing! Can you tell me more about
your tactics to get this all profitable? Did you search for
cheaper trams? All my compliments for your work!

So sad the TOP station do not give passengers. It's only
one tile you need.......the buildings round the TOP station
are just one tile too far away. It really surprises me that
there is no building there after all these years of playing.

Can you tell me more about this tram-station? I have never
seen before a station on a tile that is not straight.....
here is a pic. Tell me the secret! :-))


It is very simple to get this station, just use the slope tools to get a plain area.
Well my tactic was  very simple. At the beginning I stop the game and made the lines for the trams. Then I bought 3 Rvg T110 trams and sold all the trams that were in the game. After that I demolished the unused tramdepot. Only the central one left. Now I continued to play and just enlarged the network when it was needed.


Well Rohal, it seems I am not so smart. :-)
I tried a lot of things with the slope tool, but I could not find it.
But now suddenly, I discovered that there are in the raise and
lower land tab, some options I never use. And that is the
solution: the buttons "build artificial slopes". So strange: I play
Simutrans for years and I never knew that.
Never too old to learn....thanks for the hint!


No problem,

I think it is the job of a community to learn from eachother. I am playing simutrans now for over 10 years and I still find things I haven´t recognized before.




Does anyone have the starting save for this challenge they could post as a link or send to me please?  I would like to give it a go. 

Only the 8Aug post has a working link and that is a finished game.




Thank you Rohal.

Got it and it loads just fine in the stable standard version I use 110.0.1 r4359.  Got to do some real work now but will give it a go later this weekend.


My second go: Completed 5:23h in April 2001

Not sure if I was meant to extend line 1 in quite the way I have (everywhere) but via the top station is the only way passengers from both Ripon and Cambridge can travel.  Top station is the only station on the route twice.  I wonder if increased numbers of services attracts buildings? - it did seem lucky for the building to appear next to top station when it did.

I had one other tactic that I think helped very much. Can you spot it?



Great you played this challenge Severous!
If I had known, you would participate too, I had added
some coal mines or oil rigs, because that is your speciality :-)

The pic is too small for me, so I cant read it. Perhaps this
is my problem: my eyes or the size of my screen.
Can you upload your game? I would like to watch is, because
your result is amazing. As you can see, I had this result 2 years
later, and that is a big difference! :-)


Hold on a sec. I will take another picture and host it on sim germany.

Edit Here it is.   Hopefully easier to see.


try this one:

Here the pics are easy to click to 100%, or original size.
Choose "family safe" mode, and there are no stupid popups
while watching.


One thing I realised today is the German Simutrans file hosting site allows long retention periods. I thought it was limited to just 60 days...but now see thats the default. So I will use that site for all my pictures and saves from now on.

And here is the saved game:



I was trying to send you a reply of your PM, but I cant send PM's.
("you are not allowed to send PM's")

For me you are the winner of this challenge and it looks great.
I studied your sve, and I reread my rules. Especially this rule:

"You can expand line 1 as much as you want, with all kind of stops
BETWEEN the stations Cambridge and Ripon, but take care that all
passengers from Cambridge CS to Ripon CS can travel with only
one train, line 1. So you cant delete the existing stops of this line,
but you can add stops as much as you like."

It was my intention, that Cambridge CS en Ripon CS both were the
end of the line, and that only stations could be built, BETWEEN these
stations, but I cant blame you for that, only myself. It's sure
possible to explain this rule, that line 1 can be expand "as much as you
want". So I dont have any problem with your solution, and its amazing
how fast you could get a building at the TOP station.

I think you used your money very efficient, to rebuild everything.
I also think we can see here, how profitable ringlines are, because
these lines are so easy to handle.

This question you wrote is very interesting.
"I wonder if increased numbers of services attracts buildings?"
I think you are right, but I am not sure. Build a station in the middle
of nowhere, and if you dont let pass trains, nothing will happen.
As soon as you let pass a train there, it seems that this is recognized.
Most of the times immedeatly a tree is planted there. I think if more
trains pass and stop there, the chance there will build houses there,
is much bigger. Perhaps we can construct a challenge to investigate

Thanks for playing my challenge, and congratulations for your result.
Sorry for my not always correct English, but I think you can understand
it :-)

PMs granted -- VS


Thanks for your long reply Optimix.  Your English is very good.

I too thought the intention of your rule might be to have a simple direct line between Cambridge and Ripon. My first go did that - much like the set up that Rohal described in his attempt.  

My first attempt failed. But not due to that routing. I had tried a very different way to achieve the objective. I prevented all city expanasion except in the direction I wanted. I used message posts to prevent city roads or buildings on the 'wrong' side of Cambridge and Ripon I tried to channel the growth towards the Top station. It worked but it also slowed city expansion. Rather than expand the cities became denser - with higher value buildings being developed rather than more buildings.  I gave up in 2007 because progress was so slow. I was two squares away from Top station and many years behind your achievement. I  built a company HQ next to the Top station.  That completed the game sure enough with 12 passengers appearing within seconds. But knew that was not the 'right' way to win.

I could have tried again and switched to public service and expanded both cities.  That would also complete the challenge within days of starting the game. Again that would not be in the spirit of the nice challenge you made for us.

The way I achieved the result posted was not due to routing.  My clue is in the picture that shows the details of the building that appeared next to Top station.

Edit: As for making Personal messages - that is a forum measure to stop spam. To stop new players registering and sending spam/offensive PMs. I am sure a moderator will authorise a good person like you to make PMs once they notice your comments.


Quote from: Severous on October 30, 2011, 11:34:10 AM
My second go: Completed 5:23h in April 2001

Well Severous, I cant beat you, but I am getting better and better.
My previous attempt(s) gave 2003, but now, playing your tactic
(an enormous ringline) gives a July 2001. Just before I was bankrupt.

This is a little addicting; I have to gain 2 months to beat you, and I
decided not to sleep or eat anymore, untill I have a April 2001 like
you! You will hear from me!



Hello Optimix.

I do not wish you to loose too much weight or miss out on the opportunity to sleep with whoever may share your life.

Here is a tactic to try on your next attempt. Its what I learned about city control in the other Arena game recently completed.

New city buildings appear in the 'City Limits' of the city.  This can be found on the world map as a display option.
To expand the 'city limits' the city has to grow - but I have a hunch that its not city population that is measured, but the number of buildings in the city.
Not the level and value of the buildings, but the number of buildings of any type.
When a city population grows it will either start a new building or increase the level of an existing building. But if you buy a building (special construction) it will never grow any bigger, so new buildings have to be built to house the growing population.
So I reasoned, if you buy all the buildings as soon as they appear, the city will soon have to start another building. This increases city limits and soon it can build next to top station.


Hello Severous, I have to tell you, that it helps getting good results
in Simutrans by not to eat and not to sleep.

I made this tramadness challenge in an older version. And my own
attempts untill now, I played in that old version too. And as far as
i can see, there was no option there to buy houses.

When I read your latest message here, I started to play with the
newer version, so I could buy houses. What is happening when you
buy every house that's appearing, is really amazing. It's all growing
so fast that I cant believe my own eyes.

I still have to find out what you tell about buying a house, and that
it will never jump to a higher level. I am not sure, it looks like for me
untill now, the houses jump to a higher level, but you have to buy it
again. But you know more about this, so sure I may be wrong!

The fun about this all, is that it cost you almost nothing, and sometimes
your buy is free, like a park, or that funny camp for disappointed
simutrans-players. :-)

With this great option to buy houses, I could beat you, and my latest
result is 2000 december 20h03. I really did not do this in one attempt, and
sure I had a little bit luck too. Bankrupt is always a big problem here.

Perhaps we could expand this challenge with exactly the same rules, and
try to connect all the city-limits as fast as possible, so that all the cities
have grown together.
I think that is extremely hard. To wait for a building at the "TOP-station"
is possible before we are bankrupt, but it is almost impossible to get
the complete company profitable, so there is enough money to invest
in new tramlines.

Here is a screen and an SVE.


Now that is fast Optimix. Well done.

I will not play this again as city growth as an objective is fine for a while but detracts from the main objective of transport simulation.

When I asked for guidance on this forum about house purchase the replies were certain. That once purchased the building plot will not expand again. If you want/like the look of a certain building, you can buy it and the game will retain that.

As for cost - yes it is cheap. But beware - you pay a maintenance fee every month.  Not sure how it is calculated and its not itemised anywhere - but it occurs and was a significant factor in the other arena challenge where I purchased 80+ low and medium level buildings.

Micro managing the individual vehicles will help avoid bankruptcy. Just before a well loaded tram reaches a destination that might cause it to unload a lot of passengers without replacement, you can change the trams schedule - sending it somewhere else.  The process of changing its schedule will cause income to be generated. (unless waiting at a signal).  You can ensure trams run fully loaded most of the time in this way.

Once again well done. Go and eat and sleep. I think your record is safe.


There is an even faster way of beating it: just build the company headquarter near the TOP station. Then you will get the first passengers right in the first month 8) Ofc this is within the rules but not within the spirit of the scenario.

There is an easy fix: forbid building headquarter near the TOP station.
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and maggikraut.


@Dwachs, that is a good idea, and then there is only one possible conclusion. There's something wrong with the rules of my challenge. I think the reason is, that I never built headquarters, so I did not know anything about the passenger effect. Did you try it?
I did some experiments, but I am not lucky. We have to destroy a lot there (upper land) because the ground is not "suitable". As soon everything is okay, to construct headquarters  I dont have enough money :-)
I dont know what it cost, but it must be more than 80.000

@Severous, I was wrong about my guess, that houses could be bought again. I tested it, and you are right. Bought houses are not upgraded to higher level.


Company HQ - As I posted on 30th October that is how I ended my first attempt. Not in the spirit of the game so had not done it at the outset.


@Severous: I did not read your post that carefully to notice your mention of HQ ... :P
Parsley, sage, rosemary, and maggikraut.


Severous, I forgot that you was writing about the HQ....maybe I was so confused about your great result! :-)

Btw. I did some testing: buying only first appearing house, buying 2, buying 3 and so on. For this scenario it seems that the break even point is 2 houses. So buying 2 houses is more profitable than 1 house (in each city) for the trips, the health and the total number of inhabitants. But of course this is for short term.......I think it is a nice trick to have a good start of a game. Maybe not for the long term, but eventually you can destroy your own bought houses later, to make it possible te get houses there with a better passenger level.


When I destroyed a building, the population reduced at the rate of 6 people for every £1,000 value of the building.  

I therefore assume that as cities increase population that it needs 6 population for every additional £1,000 level of building.  When all buildings are maxed out the population continues to increase - but as homeless.

I have no observations about profitability of 2 brought houses being better than 1 or 3. My assumption is there is no difference except that the more you buy, the more building maintenance you pay, yet I wouldn't expect any financial or health or population benefits.  At one stage I thought that each building when started added further population to the city and am still undecided if this happens or not.


Here are my test results. Playing this challenge, with some changes in the tram lines and finished at 1 jan 2002, so about 14 months playing.

buy nothing:                                   3290 population, 17825 trips, 32.000 health
buy first appearing house in each city: 3381 population, 19156 trips, 38.500 health
buy 2 houses in each city                  3475 population, 20752 trips, 41.000 health
buy 3 houses in each city                  all numbers falling down

Of course this is only ONE test, and to be sure I have to do this more times. I will test something like this, with another simple scenario, and you will hear from me :-)


small update for pak128 scenario:


  • new landscape of pakset as far as possible
  • rebuild roads, tracks and overhead wires
  • set start money (needed because of rebuilding player ways,...)
  • change script to new map levels
  • old version compatible