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Author Topic: Running costs of locomotives in the 1840's.  (Read 2901 times)

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Offline Dutchman on Rails

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Running costs of locomotives in the 1840's.
« on: June 22, 2010, 04:39:58 PM »
In my game, I've recently hit a small snag.

Up to the 1840's, some of the locomotives available (Puffing Billy and Locomotion) have running costs that allow reasonably profitable trains with few cars. But after 1844, these locomotives are retired. The cheapes replacement (Lion) has a running cost of 2.64, which needs something in the order of a 100 ton freight train to be profitable. The other ones are even more expensive. This makes railways only profitable with very large trade potential.

This to me seems fairly realistic, and to be sure the maps in my game represent much more backward areas than the big cities that were first connected. But I was wondering if there are any plans for somewhat cheaper engines in this period.

Ordinarily I would alter some of the locomotives' running costs for my own game and continue, but in this case makeobj refuses to cooperate... :-[

Offline The Hood

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Re: Running costs of locomotives in the 1840's.
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2010, 07:56:59 AM »
Things aren't perfectly balanced anyway, so it is probably more a case of things being too expensive.  I'm not too sure of any different cheaper type of locomotive in the period anyway...

Offline Dutchman on Rails

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Re: Running costs of locomotives in the 1840's.
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2010, 04:48:05 PM »
Well, in the 1830's and 40's, obviously the rail lines being built were mostly the big intercity rail links. Liverpool-Manchester, London-Birmingham-beyond, East Coast Mainline, Great Western Railway and so on. Thousands of tons of freight and hundreds of passengers per month were probably the order of the day for that. A backwater region like mine (16000 odd souls and a few industries here and there, with at best some 80 tons of cargo per month per train) would be connected much later generally, with simle tank engines or perhaps even a shunting engine.

That said, Simutrans normally of course has less traffic potential than real life, so perhaps something can be said for lowering the running costs.

In my experience, a locomotive that has a running cost of no more than 1.50 should be fairly profitable with a train of some 75 tons. A locomotive with less than 1.00 should be profitable pulling 50t and for one of 2.50 or more you need at least 100t.

Also, in my experience, one needs between 4 and 6 profitable trains to offset the maintenance cost of a not-too-expensive rail line in this era.

I hope that gives you an indication.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Running costs of locomotives in the 1840's.
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2010, 10:27:32 PM »
That said, Simutrans normally of course has less traffic potential than real life, so perhaps something can be said for lowering the running costs.

In Simutrans-Standard, I find quite the opposite to be true - at least, at the default passenger factor settings.

Offline Dutchman on Rails

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Re: Running costs of locomotives in the 1840's.
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2010, 09:33:00 AM »
Sorry James, my mistake in formulating.

You're right about the high passenger levels in Simutrans Standard. What I meant to say was that the size of towns and villages in Simutrans and the number of shops and industries are normally much lower than in real life. Given that I've been able to get the trade potential in tune with the population and industriousness, it is no wonder I can't find traffic potential for 1840's locomotives. I don't have major industrial centers like London, Birmingham or Manchester on my map... ;D

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Running costs of locomotives in the 1840's.
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2010, 01:08:53 PM »
Sorry James, my mistake in formulating.

You're right about the high passenger levels in Simutrans Standard. What I meant to say was that the size of towns and villages in Simutrans and the number of shops and industries are normally much lower than in real life. Given that I've been able to get the trade potential in tune with the population and industriousness, it is no wonder I can't find traffic potential for 1840's locomotives. I don't have major industrial centers like London, Birmingham or Manchester on my map... ;D

Ahh, then you need to increase the starting size of towns and the number of industries... :-)

Offline Dutchman on Rails

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Re: Running costs of locomotives in the 1840's.
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2010, 09:36:45 AM »
Hi James,

Well, economic development is moving in that direction of course. But some relatively cheap transport would still help further. Also, I now consider abandoning my test game and starting anew with still further ideas on how to make the industry work the way I want to.

But that's off-topic for this one. Here I was wondering about the locomotive running costs... ;)