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Author Topic: Maintenance costs on railroad (and other infrastructure)  (Read 9557 times)

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bornflying79

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Maintenance costs on railroad (and other infrastructure)
« on: February 10, 2011, 06:16:27 AM »
In the spirit of keeping things as close to realistic as possible, I think that the maintenance cost on railroads are far too high.  At minimum, it would be great if we could change this in config file.

It's hard to find reliable information on the cost of maintaining railroad, but currently the cost is so high in the game that it is equivalent to replacing the entire system approximately every 3 years!  For example, using the year 2000 in Simutrans-Experimental a mile of 90km/hr 40-ton track costs $225 and a monthly cost of $6.  That equal replacing the rail every 3.125 years.[ (225/6)/12 ]

In contrast, using (hard to find) data on year 2000 railroad costs you find that a mile of railroad cost *approximately* $3.5 Million (2.5x1.40) but maintenance costs are *approximately*  only $4500 per month on a line of average use [(6/111)/12],  According to http://www.railway-technical.com/finance.shtml and ftp://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdot-info/tpp/asr/sect_12.pdf.  That would equal replacing the rail every 64 years in 'real life'!  That is a huge difference.   

In fact, having a monthly cost is apparently not the best measure of rail maintenance cost, as the report uses an estimated $5 per TRAIN MILE to calculate maintenance cost on the rail road.  This makes sense, the more it's used, the more it wears out.

Similarly, a year 2000 asphalt road costs $365 ($8.5) also equaling about 3.5 years replacement time.  Again, real life costs about $1 Million per mile of construction and about $100,000 per mile per year (30/$3M) according to http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/biz/construction/pdf/I-C_Const_Cost.pdf and http://www.sacog.org/mtp/pdf/MTP2035/Issue%20Briefs/Road%20Maintenance.pdf.  That's a replacement time of 10 years.

Thanks for the hard work on this simulator...I hope to see it simulate even better!



Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Maintenance costs on railroad (and other infrastructure)
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2011, 09:39:59 AM »
Might I ask - which pakset are you using? The maintenance costs vary depending on the pakset, so this is more a pakset issue than a Simutrans-Experimental issue. (As for the suggestion of having maintenance for railways  (and, indeed, other ways) based on use rather than fixed per unit of time, see further here).

bornflying79

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Re: Maintenance costs on railroad (and other infrastructure)
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2011, 04:00:53 PM »
Britain 128 exp, but all the paks seem similarly too high of maintenance costs.  A "Use realistic cost and profits" setting would be great.  I would propose reducing infrastructure costs by 3x for roads, and by 20x for rail using a maintenance reduction factor in the config file.  At the same time, this setting would need to decrease profits by a certain amount for balance...not sure what that amount should be.

Offline Rebelfish

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Re: Maintenance costs on railroad (and other infrastructure)
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2011, 12:36:54 AM »
I don't think it's that the maintenance costs are too high.  I think that it's construction costs are too low.  Right now you can build (in 128pak 102.2.2) 1493 tiles worth of cheap track for the cost of one steam locomotive (muscle arm) or 20 tiles just for the price of a box car.  The highest cost by far is that of buying trains and cars to the extent that there is no incentive to optimize track layout -- just make sure that you build enough tracks so that your trains always have room to run.  Similarly, a simple signal costs as much as 16 cheap tracks meaning that it's often better off to just have dedicated lines for each train to go back and forth on, rather than build in signals for actual 2-way travel.  I think the tracks could be 10 times as expensive (and keep maint. the same) and then the ratios (and game economics) would make more sense.

Offline Banksie_82

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Re: Maintenance costs on railroad (and other infrastructure)
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2011, 01:42:35 AM »
I agree with Rebelfish, that the initial construction costs are too low rather than maintenance being too high, at least in pak128 and Pak128.Britain (EXP also).

A 10 fold increase I believe would be appropriate, with no change to the maintenance, convoy cost or revenue. To account for the additional capital costs, perhaps an increase in the starting money. But this is a pak balancing issue anyway.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Maintenance costs on railroad (and other infrastructure)
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2011, 02:00:52 AM »
I have moved this to the Pak128.Britian board, as this is a pakset issue.

Offline Rebelfish

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Re: Maintenance costs on railroad (and other infrastructure)
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2011, 03:14:00 PM »
I disagree.  Even in Pak64, the problem remains, though not as extreme.  There you can build 150 medium grade rails for the cost of a typical locomotive.  I feel like to be realistic, building track ten tiles long should not cost less than building a train 5 tiles long.  And the signals problem is even more extreme in Pak64: 20 cheap tracks cost less than one simple signal.  A signal should cost at most as much as 2 tracks.  (Instead of bringing the cost of the signal down to 75 from 750, tracks would go up to 300 for simple and 800 for medium etc, and yes, increase starting money.)

Nathan

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Maintenance costs on railroad (and other infrastructure)
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2011, 12:40:28 AM »
Nathan,

I'm not quite clear what you're disagreeing about here...

Offline Rebelfish

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Re: Maintenance costs on railroad (and other infrastructure)
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2011, 03:52:43 PM »
Sorry, I'm disagreeing that this is a pakset issue (and should be moved to a different msg board), as I feel the costs are too low in every variation that I have played.  Should have mentioned that.

Nathan

Offline The Hood

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Re: Maintenance costs on railroad (and other infrastructure)
« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2011, 04:01:16 PM »
That means it still is a pakset issue - just an issue for every pakset.  In other words, the problem is not a problem with the basic program code.