The Let's Play Archive

Chris Sawyer's Locomotion

by Jaguars!

Part 37: North America 1: 1900-1922

Veloxyll posted:

we have a Trans-New Zealand passenger service on the land lines right. And/or a stops all stations? That's about all that spring to mind.

That depends entirely if their simulation includes the plane randomly explosively decompressing because the windows are a bunch of squares
Xelada set a goal way back for a service between opposite ends of the map and I never got round to doing it. I can certainly do that. I can give an all station train for all passenger service stations, but It'll probably be a massive wrench in the works. I'll give it a go at the end.

Bulk hauling Eastern US 1: 1900-1922

For this one, We're going to the Eastern USA scenario, unmodified except for removing thoses pesky AI opponents. The southern part of the map is flat and contains a number of complementary industries, including oil wells and refineries.

We start by linking the wells near Baton Rouge with the refinery at Pensacola.

Our first train has 10 wagons and carries 100 tons of oil every few weeks. It's set to wait at Baton Rouge until it is fully loaded. With money coming in, we can rapidly turn our track into a one way circuit, then add some more trains. At this stage they all have 10 wagons.

The maximum station length is 15 squares, so we expand the stations and plan for the future by adding an approach sector of the same size.

The wells are producing about 120t of oil per month, and therefore it only takes three trains to clear everything from the station. Importantly, only 72% of production is shipped. This is a hard limit, and the wells will not ship any more when there is only nearby station. Therefore we start a new branch and build a second station on the other side of the well.

One thing I've learnt from the LP is that rectilinear intersections seem to help the trains path correctly.

With two stations in the area, 100% of the oil is shipped. Now everything is set up, and we start futureproofing these stations. I plan to take a lot of oil out of here.

We're making money pretty fast as it is, this is quite a lucrative route despite the low payment rate for oil.

I rebuild the exit for the Pensacola refinery with wider curves and shallower gradients so it becomes more friendly to heavy trains with very anaemic locomotives.

So here's the layout for the two well stations. Eventually all that extra track will be connected and turned into station platforms. You can also see here that I've shortened the trains down to 8 wagons. This is so that they don't take as long to fully load. We're still buying new trains whenever we can afford, so that we carry 100% of production.

Finally, it happens! Suddenly our railroad has twice as much to haul. It took a long time because our 10 wagon locos were waiting several weeks to fill up. There is some kind of requirement that the vehicles have to make money or deliver rapidly that must be fulfilled as well as shipping most of the production and having good station ratings.

Off course, as soon as production doubles, oil begins backloging again.

The special 2-4-2s are way too weak, so we double head them. All trains go back up to 10 wagons.

Already, the big station at Pensacola is proving it's worth. We want the trains to unload here as fast as possible so there's lots of lanes. At the wells, we only want one train waiting at each station or it will take too long to get a full load. The others queue until it's full and take it's place as soon as it leaves, so that every drop is transported.

We are still buying trains, I think we had about 7 at this point, plus a bunch of trams to keep cash flowing between deliveries.

Once all the trains are carrying 110 - 130 t we've matched production again and production doubles again.

We're also expanding to other wells in the area so that we don't lose it all if Baton Rouge closes down.

Oil is coming in pretty rapidly now. We build a few more trains, tweak their sizes and tweak a few corners to larger radii.

I want to add more platforms but the station is getting too large. We have to shorten the platforms. It won't make any difference as the platforms are already londer than the trains.

The wells outside Dallas are connected up. I also start passneger trains in the southeast so that the towns will grow enough to accept goods from the refinery.

Production redoubles, halves, and doubles again, but we can't sustain it and it drops back to 1907 levels about a year later.

Production at 500t per month is so fast that the station platform fills up with oil in the same time it takes for a train to vacate and the next one arrive.

This time we're fast enough to collect and production will stay at this level.

Now production is fast enough for two trains to fill up at each station without delay. We're up to 17 trains now just on the Baton Rouge route.

The Baldwin 2-8-0 has twice the power with much less weight, but the top speed is significantly slower. I change about half the fleet over, but eventually will replace them with pairs of specials again, as they are able to hit their top speed of 72kmh. Apologies, I meant to play this whole thing in imperial units, but at some stage I played the main LP game again and switched back to metric. Also note that these are the empty weights - the Specials weigh 410t when full!

So by 1918, we're already hauling a very large amount. Each of the trains delivers about every 40 days for about $1000, at a time when a steam engine costs about $3000. We're now rich enough to fund our own refinery in 1918 which is pretty bloody good going.