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Game play notes for 0.7.1, starting from 1750

Started by ӔO, January 14, 2011, 11:29:52 PM

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hopefully, these notes will be useful for the balancing project.
I will only mention the relevant specs to keep clutter to a minimum.

using default game settings
starting credits: 250,000c
passenger factor: 20
bits per month: default, 19 I think?
timeline: on

Starting off in 1750...
Hackney carriage (cost: 25c, maint: 0.14c, cap: 5, speed 10km/h, comfort: 30): In a word: Useless

The stage coach, while costing more initially, is better rounded and the cost over time easily makes up for the cost difference. Not to mention that the initial starting money is more than enough to cover the initial cost.

Stage coach carriage (cost: 62c, maint: 0.06c, cap: 4+4, speed 18km/h, comfort 58): Nothing better, until omnibus comes around in 1828. Basically, the goal of the early game is to generate as much revenue as possible, so the aim is to connect up all the city halls on the map and some attractions if they aren't too far off course.

Which engine/horse should you use?
Single horse (cost: 125c, maint: 0.13c, speed: 18km/h, power: 10kW/1kN)
Double horse (cost: 250c, maint: 0.26c, speed: 18km/h, power: 20kW/2kN)

Double all the way. There's just no point in using Single, unless, for some reason you want to use the Hackney carriage.
Double + Double for hilly terrain, as the double and single both drop down to 4km/h when climbing hills.

Q: Why not Single + Double?
A: Not enough power when going up hill, and defaults to 4km/h, so it's a waste of money.

In 1830, the first usable passenger trains appear.
Q: Why not earlier?
A: LMR 3rd class carriage is not exactly fast, nor is it comfortable, and they're available from 1828, which means you're likely to just upgrade them in 1830, no need to rush.

Train combinations that work well: LMR Planet x2 + 7x LMR 4 wheel carriage and LMR Patentee x2 + 7x 4 wheel carriage. Both are 3 tiles long and hold (18+9) x7 passengers.

Q: Why double headers (2 locomotives in one train)?
A: Currently, in experimental 9.2, double headers are less lossy in power, so a single engine might only be capable of 80% of its full potential, but a double header will be capable of 95%. This means that a single double header convoy will be better than two single engine trains, especially so when the locomotives are underpowered.

LMR Planet (intro: 1830, cost: 11880c, maint: 6.40c, power: 25kW/4kN, speed: 45km/h, weight: 4+1t )
LMR Patentee(intro: 1833, cost: 18144c, maint: 7.70c, power: 40kW/5kN, speed: 55km/h, weight 8+1t)
LMR 4 wheel carriage 1st class (cost: 360c, maint: 0.09c, cap: 18+9, speed: 55km/h)

road horse carriages
Horse Omnibus (intro 1828, cost: 25c, maint: 0.05c, cap: 10, comfort: 37): slight dip in comfort, but 2 more passengers, and no overcrowded capacity. overcrowding reduces comfort, and that's a guarantee with the stage coach, so a good trade off. Don't replace this with the knifeboard for longer distances, where your rail network is incomplete.

Knifeboard horse omnibus (intro: 1845, cost: 42c, maint: 0.07, cap: 30+2, comfort: 20): major dip in comfort, best used for local, as in, within city or to neighbouring city and leave the longer distances to the Omnibus.
As usual, use double + double horse for hilly terrain.

Starting off with the double LMR Planet and eventually moving up to the double LMR Patentee, these two will be the mainstay of all passenger locomotive operations until the LBSCR Jenny Lind comes around. At this point in the game, the horse carriage operations should have generated more than 5,000,000 credits, depending on how large your network is, and ALL of it is needed to build up your rail network. I had about 7,000,000 credits at this point. Perhaps the most costly part of the network are the trains themselves, as the higher speed allows more passengers to travel further, which means more are generated.

One major problem with your newfound higher passenger generation, is meeting capacity demands. This problem will be visible in two places. One is your wallet, where you must increase the amount of your expensive train convoys, and the second is between horse carriage and train transitions. Up until 1845, the Omnibus horse carriage is the only horse carriage you need to be using. Now, the Omnibus is not exactly a high capacity road vehicle, and this is where the transition problem crops up. The trains are high capacity, but the horse carriages are not, meaning that your trains will completely overwhelm the horse carriages, leading to unhappy passengers :(, as they get tired of waiting and expire. In 1845, the Knifeboard horse carriage comes around, and it has three times the capacity of the omnibus, and it's more than enough to meet the demands of the trains. To work around this problem, it's best to demolish city buildings and roads to ensure the train station catchment area sits on the town hall, which is by far the largest passenger generator and destination in this era.

In the next version, the train to road problem should be fixed, so you might not need to demolish city buildings to ensure your train station catchment area is sitting on the town hall for prior to 1845.

At 1847, the best engine for this era, LBSCR Jenny Lind is introduced.

Before looking at the Jenny Lind, let's look at the other locomotives that are available, and look at why they might not get any use.

LMR Lion (intro: 1837, cost: 7000c, maint: 2.46c, power: 125kW/26kN, speed 35km/h): more of a freight engine, and the top speed is not exactly good.

SDR Derwent (intro: 1845, cost: 13200, maint: 3.30c, power 50kW/9kN, speed 40km/h): decent power and greatly reduced maintenance costs compared to the LMR Patentee and Planet. Unfortunately, the Patentee and planet are not exactly bleeding money, so there's no need to save money by switching out to this well rounded locomotive. To nail the coffin, the LBSCR Jenny Lind costs less initially, has higher power, speed and tractive effort, at not a lot more maintenance.

LBSCR Jenny Lind (intro 1847, cost: 12480c, maint: 3.96c, power: 200kW/21kN, speed: 70km/h): Replaces all LMR Patentee and Planet trains. This locomotive is very well rounded and the only reason you wouldn't use it, is because it becomes obsolete.

LNWR 4 wheel carriage (intro 1847, cost: 360c, maint: 0.07c, cap: 24+12, speed: 100km/h, comfort: 37): Only passenger rail carriage for quite some time.

LNWR 4 wheel carriage brake (same as above, except cap: 8+4): This is a mail carriage, but needed to complete the convoy.

Convoy consist: LBSCR Jenny Lind + 9x pax LNWR carriage + LNWR mail brake, 4 tiles long.

This is where a lot of money can be earned as well as recuperated and it's basically a great time to expand as much as possible. You can enter 1847 with less than 1,000,000 credits, but walk out of it with more than 10,000,000 credits and earn more than 2,000,000 credits yearly.

Q: Why is money "recuperated"?
A: Do you remember how the Planet and Patentee convoys were double headers? Basically, since the expensive locomotives are now halved, you actually earn money for each Patentee and Planet convoy that is replaced with an Jenny Lind convoy.

There's not much else to say, except the speed bonus, and general excellence of the Jenny Lind is second to none for a long time.

Along the rail road to 1860

Not much more development for a while. Diesel and Steam road vehicles are still a while off, and there's not much in the way of new stuff that is available. Probably worth building new cities and connecting them to your network to increase revenue even further. We might as well look at why the Jenny Lind is the best locomotive for this era again, by looking at what else becomes available after the Jenny Lind.

LNWR Bloomer (intro 1851, cost: 20748c, maint: 9.90c, power: 200kW/17kN, speed: 85km/h): Even faster than the Jenny Lind, but at the cost of, well, cost. It doesn't have enough power to actually reach 85km/h unless used as a double header, and has very similar performance to the Jenny Lind, but at more than twice the maintenance and nearly twice the cost for just a single engine, there's simply no use for this locomotive.

SDR 1001 (intro 1852, cost: 14784, maint: 6.60c, power: 250kW/36kN, speed: 50km/h): This is more of a freight engine, with high tractive effort to power and lower top speed, but consider the fact that it only has 50kW more power, meaning its haulage capability isn't that much greater than the Jenny Lind. Going by power to maintenance ratio alone, for the SDR 1001 it is 250/6.6 = 38kW/1c, while for the Jenny Lind it is 200/3.96 = 50kW/1c. So you're paying more for a freight service that is slower.

LNWR DX Goods (intro 1858 Aug., cost: 7912c, maint: 4.62c, power: 400kW/48kN, speed: 60km/h): This locomotive is actually a pretty good all rounder.  There's no point replacing the Jenny Lind with this locomotive, but it does take place of the Jenny Lind, which retires in June 1858. There's a slight availability gap between the two, but this locomotive does an excellent job of filling in for the Jenny Lind. Of particular note is how it absolutely demolishes the SDR 1001 in every single aspect.

LNWR Problem (intro 1859, cost: 19008c, maint: 11.22c, power: 300kW/22kN, speed: 100km/h): First true express locomotive. A bit costly, but if given the same 10x 4 wheel carriages as the Jenny Lind, can still hit 85km/h. Is it a good express locomotive? probably not for this era, since it's only a 15km/h boost in top speed, for a single, but at nearly three times the maintenance cost. Still needs to be a double header if 100km/h is to be achieved and can be up to 8 tiles long. A 30km/h boost in speed is interesting, but requires station expansion.

When I play, I plan ahead and make the station hubs that I know will become busy with a maximum of 8 tiles in mind. This seems length seems to be a sweet spot for express service trains, while slightly slower services work quite well with both 8 and 6 tile lengths and local commuter service seems to have a sweet spot of 3 tiles. For freight services, the convoy length can be anywhere from 3 to 16 tiles long.

Slightly beyond 1860, or a future prediction, since I haven't played beyond 1860, yet.
More express use locomotives crop up, but how good are they?
When looking at the newer express locomotives, the LNWR Problem actually looks like a good deal.

Midland 156 (intro 1866, cost: 17430, maint: 13.20c, power: 500kW/31kN, speed: 115km/h)
GNR Stirling Single (intro 1870, cost: 32736, maint: 21.12c, power: 550kW/32kN, speed: 125km/h)

Taking a look at the specs, and new carriages that are available, we see that...

LNWR Problem double header + 21  LNWR 4 wheel carriages: (maint: 23.91c, 100km/h, passengers: 480+240)
Midland 156 double header + 11 MR 4 wheel carriages: (maint: 28.49c, 115km/h, passengers: 300+150)
GNR Stirling single double header + 9 GNR 4 wheel carriages: (maint: 44.22c, 125km/h, passengers: 240+120)

Considering all of that, the LNWR problem double header is the most flexible and has the potential to earn the most revenue, but the midland 156 should prove to be better for a pure express service, because of an issue with service frequency. GNR stirling single double header just looks like a poor investment, due to its lower capacity, higher maintenance and just slightly faster top speed. The LNWR problem express is worth a try at the very least.

Other thoughts
Rail Bridges: Brick viaducts all the way. There's simply no point in paying for the cheaper, but higher maintenance cost bridges on routes that you know will become permanent. That said, if the route will be temporary, like a factory line, then it might be worth building the cheaper bridge. I say might, because you never know if this line will become part of a greater network, or simply become obsolete when the factory shuts down. It's a bit hard to guess such things. However, considering how much revenue there is in passenger transport, does bridge cost for a factory line really matter? part of a good thing with large networks is their ability to spread out costs, so one or two expensive bridges shouldn't hurt, even if they end up being temporary lines.

Q: 115km/h or 200km/h brick viaducts?
A: You're paying an arm and a leg for the brick viaducts, so you might as well pay your kidney as well :D
Actually, as was previously written, the train costs the most when first building up, so there's really no need to cut costs by using cheaper to build bridges. One further comment, the 200km/h bridges and elevated ways seem out of place, along with the 175km/h tunnel. Shouldn't the +175km/h parts start cropping up later when trains can actually run at more than 125km/h?

Road Bridges: Masonry stone bridge (cobble) is all that is needed for a while.
Boats: Unfortunately, I haven't been able to use boats at all, as the railway and road bridges were affordable with the amount of credits available. Perhaps they could be used on a map with more isolated islands, instead of just wide rivers.


Update: Up to 1868
Turns out the express trains do generate a ton of money, despite their maintenance and costs.
Yearly revenue has grown exponentially with their use and allowed long distances to be linked up.

Both LNWR Problem and MR 156 double headers are very good.
Both have the same capacity at the same tile length, 480+240, but the MR coaches have better comfort and the MR156 has slightly better top speed at the same length.

The LNWR DX goods proves to be highly useful in replacing overcrowded lines that run LBSCR Jenny Lind. Quite useful any configuration of 4, 6 and 8 tiles.

I didn't spot it at first, but the GWR Class 517 becomes available at the end of 1868. Quite a good multi role engine with 295kW/56kN and 80km/h top speed, very cheap to boot.
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The Hood

From just a quick scan of what you've said, it looks like a reasonable historical representation of the different locos available.  To answer your question about 1830, that is historical.  That is when the Liverpool and Manchester really got going, and started the railway boom.  Good to see the Jenny Lind is a good loco in game - it was a very popular loco with many companies across the country!


Thank you for that detailed rundown! That is very useful information indeed, and, I have to say, does support to some extent the points that Moblet has been making in the other balancing threads. I did some work last week on balancing the performance of some steam locomotives (improving the Bloomer in particular, as that was known as a particularly successful locomotive), so things may be a little more even next time around.

Another one or two things that may need changing for the next version:
(1) stage coaches - the outside seating on these is represented as overcrowded capacity, but this may not be the best way of doing it, since outside seating is better than standing, and other vehicles with outside seating capacity do not represent it as overcrowded capacity, so it may be better to reduce the overall comfort a little and make the combined normal and overcrowded capacity into the normal capacity and set overcrowded capacity to zero, increasing the comfort of these vehicles when full; and
(2) passenger numbers - are too high in 0.7.1; the passenger factor should probably be 16 with slightly tighter journey time tolerances; it may be better to start with larger towns (median 3,000-5,000) to compensate.

There may also be some merit to introducing more early steam railway locomotives to improve choice in this era (pre-1875).
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The Hood

Quote from: jamespetts on January 15, 2011, 02:16:47 PM
There may also be some merit to introducing more early steam railway locomotives to improve choice in this era (pre-1875).

I think so too, especially given the proliferation later on.  I could only find out about a few different locos of that age though when I first drew the set, so it is a bit thin between 1830 and 1875ish. 


I have a big book on locomotives between 1825 and 1925 (although it is less good for the 1900 - 1925 period), so I can make some progress on this when I get a chance. Can you send me some .blends of some of the early locomotives in the meantime to use as templates?
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here are the saves.
prior to 1800:
in 185x:
in 186x:

there is a major difference between 185x and 186x, in that linking up with the west with an express train has caused a massive influx of passengers and money.

Since there's nothing else to link up, an expansion of city bus lines and plotting down more cities where there are gaps wouldn't be a bad preposition.
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The Hood

Quote from: jamespetts on January 15, 2011, 03:41:56 PM
I have a big book on locomotives between 1825 and 1925 (although it is less good for the 1900 - 1925 period), so I can make some progress on this when I get a chance. Can you send me some .blends of some of the early locomotives in the meantime to use as templates?

Any in particular?


Hmm - off the top of my head, planetee, Jenny Lind, Bloomer and SDR Derwent.
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at the end of 187x
spent quite a bit on the east coast with the spare money.

I thought of an initial balancing setting for maintenance on rail locomotives up to this 1880.

If the locomotive, when introduced, is on the higher end of the speed limits or is the fastest, then maintenance should cost at least 4x power.
example: Midland 156 has 500kW and is the fastest when introduced, so the maintenance will be  $20.00/km.

If the locomotive is slower than average or slowest, then maintenance should cost 2x power
example: LBSCR A1 terrier has 220kW, and slower, so the maintenance will be $4.40

If the locomotive is somewhere in the middle, then maintenance should cost 3x power
example: GWR 517 has 295kW, and not slow or fast, so the maintenance will be $8.85

I'm not sure how far this formula will work, but it should cut down excessive money generation.
Either the above formula, or some tweaks in the speed bonus.
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From 1880 to 1900.

One glaring problem comes up in the years from 1885 to 1894, and that is a total lack of medium power/speed engines. A slim picking of three high powered locomotives with 130km/h and one 75km/h low power locomotive. Actually, between 1885 and 1887, there are only 3 engines to choose from, which isn't so bad, because the LBSCR B1 Gladstone will do everything, until 1891. From 1891 to 1894, there is an even worse problem with availability of variety in locomotive choices.

In 1894, the situation improves drastically with HR jones goods and LNWR A class and it only gets better.

Sorted chronologically and by speed.

Fast locomotives (+120km/h)

GNR Stirling Single (intro 1870, last order: 1895) Not much reason to use when the LNWR Jumbo comes around.

LBSCR B1 Gladstone (intro: 1882, last order: 1891) The best engine for this era. Fast, quick powerful and cheap.

LNWR Jumbo (intro 1887, last order: 1901) A very good express engine, until the GER Claude Hamilton comes around 3 years later.

MR 673 class (intro 1896, last order: 1904) Although it has 135km/h top speed, it is a terrible engine and I skipped over it entirely, due to to the lack of power it has to pull the newer, heavier carriages.

GWR Bulldog (intro 1899, last order: 1906) Not the fastest, but is quite versatile. If only the maintenance was better, it would be a better competitor against the HR Jones goods and GER Claude Hamilton.

GER Claude Hamilton (intro 1900, last order 1911) Probably the best express use locomotive for this era, due to its power and maintenance. Not too good with tractive effort, but it's not a big issue for express lines with minimal interruptions.

Medium locomotives (+80km/h)

GWR 517 (intro: 1868, last order: 1885) It is worth stocking up on this engine in all depots, because they are better than the LYR class 25

HR Jones Goods (intro: 1894, last order: 1911) One of the better engines that will be the go to for replacement of branch line engines, which might be in dire need of the power and tractive effort boost.

LNWR A class (intro: 1894, last order: 1900) A good freight engine. The only reason not to use it, is because you have no freight lines.

LSWR M7 class (intro: 1897, last order: 1911) Better than the Metropolitan class E. Not particularly bad or good, but should be a good choice for branch lines, if they are flat and spaced apart. Although, keep in mind, it's not that much more cost and maintenance for a quicker accelerating HR Jones Goods.

Metropolitan E class (intro: 1898, last order: 1924) Not much point in using this over the LSWR M7 due to maintenance costs.

Slow locomotives ( under 75km/h)

LNWR DX Goods (intro 1858, last order: 1880) Quite good until GWR 517 comes around.

LBSCR A1 Terrier (intro: 1872, last order: 1880) Not much reason to use, because the GWR 517 is better in every aspect.

LYR Class 25 (intro: 1876, last order: 1895) The only reason to use this, is because you didn't stock up on the GWR 517.

MR 2441 (intro: 1899, last order: 1924) Should be a decent choice for hilly terrain or for routes with numerous short intervals.

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From 1900 to 1917 ish

Golden age of GWR, more specifically, of the GWR 3150 2-6-2T.
cost: 10368c
maint: 5.94c/km
power: 1375kW/108kN
speed: 105km/h
weight: 78t

So why is it the age of the GWR 2-6-2T? Simply put, it is the most versatile locomotive to date.
It can be used for everything, except express service. It really does outclass every other engine, except the express use GWR Star and LNWR Prince of Wales. Even the faster GWR Saint class will need to be a double header for routes with shorter station intervals, because the GWR 3150 will out accelerate the Saint.

With the GWR 3150, there is also no need for the GWR 2900 freight engine for express freight lines. The top speed of the GWR 3150 allows the faster piece and cool goods van to be used to their full potential, especially as a double header.

The only penalty is the weight of the GWR 3150, as it tips beyond the limit of the standard wooden sleeper steel rail (WSSR) track. Not that the other high power locomotives don't do this either.

The cost of replacing all wooden sleeper, steel rail (WSSR) and improved wrought iron rail (IWIR) tracks with heavy WSSR tracks is not a problem, and should be done, because in the near future, the locomotives only get heavier. The only problem, as it stands now, is differentiating between the heavy and regular tracks, tracks should be replaced on a line-by-line basis, or you might end up with GWR 3150 trains with "can't find route", because you missed a section somewhere.

This problem is alleviated in 1913, when the improved WSSR (IWSSR) tracks come out, as they are a different colour, and it is obvious which tracks were replaced. I would recommend this route for now, since the lighter HR Jones Goods/LMS 4F aren't exactly dying, and network wide track replacements can be a hassle.

Other than the trains:

Some practical underground metropolitan trains can be built from 1905 to 1919. With 400kW/32kN x2 on each train, this is actually quite an improvement over the metropolitan class E.

Buses should be used network wide by now, because true capacity is not just the total capacity of the line, but also the speed at which the passengers can be moved by.

Electrical trams are quite practical now and are well worth the investment.

Not much else in terms of development for this age. Around the corner are the even faster locomotives, SR N15, GWR Castle and LNER A1

The following locomotives are not very useful and can be ignored altogether.
LBSCR Brighton baltic. very heavy, low power, high maint cost.
LNWR prince of wales. Worse in every way compared to GWR Star, despite later intro date

Other issues:

Improved wrought iron track retire date should be earlier, around 1900, no locomotives or even EMU can use it. The last locomotives that can use it, are the LNWR Jumbo and Midland 673, but these are capable of more than 110km/h limit the IWIR has.

Improved wooden sleeper steel rail, top speed should be set to 160km/h, from 175km/h, because none of the locomotives capable of 175km/h can use the IWSSR due to their weight, and the ones that can, come around in half a century, when the electric locomotives and concrete sleeper steel rail tracks are in. The heavy IWSSR should be left at 175km/h

LSWR compartment carriage retire date should be set to a later date. Otherwise, the SR N15 has no matching stock to pull if built between 1923 and 1926.
LSWR corridor carriage speed should be set from 130km/h to 140km/h, which compliments the SR N15 speed.

GWR toplight corridor carriage, retire date is a bit odd. the normal has 1950, while the dining and brake have 1935.
Q: should the toplight corridor carriage, which is introduced after the clerestory, have a higher comfort rating, or is it more of a 2nd class coach?

Private cars, specifically horse drawn 10km/h slow mobiles. Really do a great job of causing traffic jams inside cities, especially where your bus routes weave.
Q: shouldn't these retire after 1910, when your own horse drawn buggies are also retired?
They can't be overtaken inside crowded cities and you have to hope they turn off somewhere and is also a good reason for using the spacing feature.

Weaving, or crossings for bus routes. Some serious traffic jams can occur wherever buses cross paths, so it might be better to make all your bus routes in one direction only, while another transport method, like metro or tram cover the perpendicular routes. Seems to be caused by buses thinking it is okay to sit inside the intersection.

I accidentally saved in 1911, but it shouldn't be a big issue, since financial data goes back 11 years.
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From 1911 to 1932

Not much development, really. Just faster engines for most lines.

the main route was upgraded to LNER A1, because it's just really fast and powerful.

Skipped over GWR King, because it's slower and more expensive than A1. But I did use it for a short express, where the castle was a bit inadequate.
GWR Castle is quite good for various routes and replaced most GWR 2-6-2T engines.
didn't bother upgrading to LNER A3, because there was more than enough power on the main line already.

Couldn't really find much use for the lower powered engines, as there was already sufficient power and speed on all the lines.
Skipped over LNER B17, because it's too weak and heavy
skipped over LMS 5XP, SR V class, GWR Hall, because the GWR Castle filled the role quite well.

And this play will end in 1932, because the game is unplayable due to a bug. Looking forward to the next version that will have the fix.

Other misc. problems that came up.

LSWR N15 class to SR N15 class upgrade not working, or at least I don't think it was working when I tried it.

Network wide upgrade to AEC Renown LT or Regent ST was not done, because of the amount of roads that needed to be upgraded. Way too many roads and bridges that needed an upgrade and lots of micromanagement would be involved with that.


some other other thoughts.

LNER P2 2-8-2, V2 2-6-2 and BR 9F 2-10-0 might have a top speed that is too fast.
2 leading wheels on steam locomotives are not as stable as 4 leading wheels and this would limit top speed.
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BR 251 "Blue Pullerman" seems not to have enough tractive effort to get any competitive speed, even in it's smallest consist.

(AEO, i hope you don't mind me 'jacking your thread, it's just the newest feedback thread)