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Favorite Locomotive


GeneralSJC
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Well it all depends in what time period I'm playing -

Early one, each new loco. is usually an improvement over what went before.

The one that I'm always happy to see become available is the 2-8-0 Consolidation as I now have something that is acceptable on moderate grades.

By the early 1900s, I'm looking forward to the 2-6-0 Camleback, again for grade handling performance.

One, probably unsung, loco. that I like is the 2-6-2 Prairie. When it becomes available in 1912, there does not seem the need for it - the Pacific is faster; the Camleback is better on the hills. However the Prairie comes into its own later on, as its running costs compare favourably with later steam locos. The fact that it remains available for over 40 years means that for me these engines are often the last steam locos. to be retired.

The 2-8-2 Mikado deserves a mention for combining speed with grade handling, but its high maintenance cost means that it must be carefully monitered to ensure that it remains profitable to run.

The GG1 is of course, the best of the lot - it's appearance in 1935 shouts out to me, 'electrify now!'.

Its performance is probably too good since I tend not to buy many steam locos. once it has become available, and none of the later steam locos. since they are just too expensive to run.

In RT3 the hill climbing ability of this loco. was lessened, probably to give other engines a look in.

The GG1 is the only loco. that I struggle to replace, since by the time the first of the class are life expired (mid 1950s), the best available electric loco. is - another GG1.

I can't comment about diesels since I don't often play into the modern era and whenever I do, my main lines are usually electrified by this time.

I suppose another question that could be asked is:

What do you look for when choosing a locomotive?

For all round performance, I tend to look for decent grade handling, low maintenance cost, and reliability.

Funny that  - I use the same criteria when women are concerned!!! :-*

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I like reliability, then I can get speed by increasing throttle. For Whistle Stops and Promises, give me the Camelback. For Which Way to the Coast? give me the Prairie with the speed option. I will tend to take the speed options when available.

For China, forget steam it is the GG-1 except for Hong Kong - Beijing. The acceleration and reliability lets you crowd the track with impunity.

- John Bull, American, 8 Wheeler, Consolidation, Mogul, Prairie, GG1 for general purpose.

- Camelback, GP9 for short hauls on forgotten lines, with no maintenance.

- Consolidation, Mogul, Mikado, MagLev for long hauls, your game winning haul missions etc.

For train replacement timing I divide the price by the maintenance cost, and that is the number of years I will normally keep a train. However it does depend on what other locos are available. You know you have a favourite if nothing better comes along by the time you need to replace it.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 6 months later...

Early on-each new locomotive that comes out (with the exception of the DeWitt Clinton, which is inferior to the John Bull).  That said, the real quantum leaps in this era are the Prussian and the American.

mid to late 1800's-the 8-Wheeler for relatively flat express runs, the Consolidation for relatively heavy freight and/or grade work.

Late 1800's-Replace some or all of the 8-Wheelers with 10-Wheelers; replace all Consolidations with Moguls.

I typically use the Atlantic for fairly flat, medium-to-long-range express runs; put it on a short run and it'll run out of cargo due to its speed and will become less lucrative.

I prefer not to use the Pacific most of the time due to its high operating cost and the fact that it really doesn't go that fast unless you keep your track fairly straight (it has terrible cornering ability).  I do occasionally use the Pacific for fairly flat, long straight express runs.

I only use the Camelback for really steep grades or for fairly steep grades with heavy loads; it's just not fast enough for me to use it for express work.  I basically use it as the 3-Truck Shay of its era.

I use the Prairie for just about everything under the sun-it's faster than the Atlantic, more powerful than the Mogul, and is cheaper to both purchase and operate than its contemporaries.  Given the era, it's one of my favorites and quite possibly the one I use the most out of all the engines.

I've found that while the Mikado is relatively expensive to operate, its combination of extreme strength/grade climbing ability with respectable flatland speed opens up many opportunities for extremely lucrative routes that just aren't possible with most of the other engines.  I use it on routes that justify its use.

If I choose to electrify, the GG1 is tops for most purposes, but if you want to be honest with yourself about the operating cost you're paying for it, you must figure in the maintenance/purchase price of the electric track.

The Alco PA1 is a good general-purpose diesel, and I use it frequently, but I typically use the F3 for much of the early diesel era.  I use the F9 for a lot of uses whenever I want a really fast, strong locomotive.  It's expensive to operate, but it opens up lucrative opportunities the way the Mikado does.  Of course, on a map such as Alaska (the one I got off of philsteinmeyer.com), the operating expense of even one F9 (or Mikado for that matter) can bankrupt you.  Also, I use Geeps for heavy freight both on low and moderate grades.  I almost always replace my GP9's with GP18's as soon as they come out, except in Alaska (which I still haven't mastered), where the difference in operating expense justifies the use of the 9 over the 18.

For the late diesel era (think When Walls Come Down, a campaign scenario which I played the other day), I use the FP45 for flatland express and the Dash-9 for most heavy hauling.  I occasionally use the bullet trains when I want to make a lot of million-dollar long-range express runs in a short amount of time.  I generally favor the Eurostar over the Thalys Bullet for its lower operating cost.  I also use the Class 232 for heavy hauling and/or grade performance due to its speed, power, and reliability.  I usually limit its use to the most lucrative freight routes, however, because of its operating cost (the operating cost of the Class 232 is the only reason I ever use Dash-9s in Europe).

I never use the Maglev due to the fact that for the same purchase/operating cost of one Maglev, I can make much more revenue with several cheaper trains.  The amount of revenue you can make for a certain amount of investment is what business is all about, right?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I guess this is a good topic for my first post... ;)

Like with everyone, I've got different favourites for different eras, but in the end I think my overall favourites of all locomotives in the game is the Hudson. It can perform decently on both flat & grades, doesn't cost as much ro run as the contemporaries (Daylight and the light blue streamliner - can't remember the precise name right now), it's a steam engine* and it looks good :P.

* = I've got a bad habit of clinging on to steam as long as possible, even if diesel would be more profitable... ::)

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I guess this is a good topic for my first post... ;)

Like with everyone, I've got different favourites for different eras, but in the end I think my overall favourites of all locomotives in the game is the Hudson. It can perform decently on both flat & grades, doesn't cost as much ro run as the contemporaries (Daylight and the light blue streamliner - can't remember the precise name right now), it's a steam engine* and it looks good :P.

* = I've got a bad habit of clinging on to steam as long as possible, even if diesel would be more profitable... ::)

The blue one is the Mallard, and it's fuel is expesive.  I'm just the opposite and drop the steamers asap. But that's one of the nice things about the game, you can pick what you want.  Do you like that expensive steamer that comes out in 1999(?) ?  I found that never to be profitable.

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The 4-4-0 American - fast, cheap, and decent with small loads on grades.

The 2-8-0 Consolidation - same advantages as the American, with better grade performance.

The 2-6-2 Praire - good all round engine for most situations.

The 2-8-2 Mikado - my favorite steam engine unless a run demands flat out speed.

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I guess this is a good topic for my first post... ;)

Like with everyone, I've got different favourites for different eras, but in the end I think my overall favourites of all locomotives in the game is the Hudson. It can perform decently on both flat & grades, doesn't cost as much ro run as the contemporaries (Daylight and the light blue streamliner - can't remember the precise name right now), it's a steam engine* and it looks good :P.

I think the "light blue streamliner" he's talking about might be the J3A Streamliner.

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  • 2 months later...

There are few maps in which the GG1 can't beat the snot out of anything else. Decent speed, acceleration, pulling, climbing, cost, and unfathomable reliability. And it is available for a reasonable amount of time, too. Sure, there are engines that do better in specific areas (except the reliability), but unless your map is nothing but high mountains or your starting position doesn't allow it, it's hard to turn away from all its advantages. It's probably the only electric engine I can start scenarios with and not cripple myself with track costs.

I also really like the Big Boy; you can't deny all that power, but unfortunately, I've never found a use for it without really trying. All its disadvantages prevent me from putting it to use, and it doesn't stay in your inventory long, but man, I can't drag it down with anything less than a 8% grade.

GP18 is probably my favorite diesel, and it kills me that it's not available for very long, but when it shows up, I convert all my cargo trains to it. It has most of the advantages of the GG1, but not as fast, but doesn't require electric track either.

The Mikado is probably my favorite steamer that I use, because I can make it pull everything, just like the GP18 or GG1. I guess I'm a fan of simplicity - I like to be able to reroute my trains now and then when booms turn to depressions and the trains are just sitting. I pick a passenger train, a cargo train, and sometimes a long-distance passenger train, and that's all I want to think about.

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  • 3 months later...

Hey you guys - how about the E111?  It has the best mix of speed, mountain-handling & operating expense that I've found.  However, it suffers breakdowns a little more often than I prefer.

If you chart performance vs operating expense of all diesels, I think you'll find the GP-9 and SD-45 are tops on the list.

Forget limited time frames - use the cheat "show me the trains". <grin>

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  • 2 months later...

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