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Australia - How To Get Gold?

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I don't know how anyone can get gold on the stand alone Australia map!

Does anyone have any ideas??

I don't think I've ever tried that map, as my main interest lies with steam and the earlier RR history.

I much prefer Drewski's Western Australia map, which you can find in the map section here. You play as you want - with no time limits and no medals - a refreshing change from the bronze, silver, gold thing....which never made much sense to me anyway in a RR game.

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I don't know how anyone can get gold on the stand alone Australia map!

Does anyone have any ideas??

Are you referring to the challenge down under (starting ~1950 and needing to electrify)?

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Same as me +1.

You guys must be on a different map than I. Australia is a BIG favorite of mine. I have played "The Challenge Down Under" about 10 times (ok, maybe 20 times). I NEVER start with a coastal route. My aim is always to cross the center, so I usually start with Darwin - Alice Springs or Melbourne to Broken Hill (with an eye toward Darwin).

I can upload finished scenarios with grotesque amounts of cash (and electrified track).

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I thought I would try this one. I can't understand how the standalone Australia scenario with RTII TSC/Platinum can consistently be done on hard or expert starting in 1960 (the default start date) and finishing in 20 years for Gold. Theres barely enough cash even with maximum investment and stock issue to connect Darwin-Alice Springs or Melbourne to Broken Hill immediately (non-electrified) and buy a loco (GP18 seem a good choice). Revenue is too low to expand quickly enough and the first bond interest rate is a killer. Even Sidney-Brisbane needs a bond to start with. I managed to just complete (hard difficulty) in November 1980 (which is nearly 21 years but the gold still triggered) with the right economy and no crashes etc. with 51% electrified track. I ran an electrified track to Perth just to connect it at the last second I could with zero cash left.

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I guess it's time for me to do Australia again. I probably started early, so I'll make a point of starting in 1960 to see if it makes a difference.

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Just got gold on hard with 80% electric track. Started Sydney to Brisbane single track via coastal route, large stations with a sanding tower each and using 2 GP18 Diesels one at either end of the line, for which I had just enough money by issuing stock and a bond (which I paid back as soon as I had the profits). I had the choice of Rudolph Diesel as manager at the start so changed to him to get cheaper locos or the start would have been far slower as I could not have got the 2 locos. I issued stock every year when I could to get money for expansion and took a bond out at low interest when necessary for faster expansion. Never had more than one bond at a time. I upgraded these 2 stations with hotels etc to maximise passenger and mail revenue profits, then used the next profits to start a track from Melbourne to Bendigo, extending from town to town on to Alice Springs (switching to electric track at Broken Hill) then on to Darwin linking up to industry as I went. I then linked Broken Hill to Sidney to get the Brisbane connection as there were some useful industries on the route then linked up to Adelaide and lastly Perth. I bought industry that was profitable as I went . If necessary I could have sold industries off to get the last connection earlier and pay off the bond. All rail was single track.

My vote would go to a Sidney Brisbane start on the starting map I had.

I started the same map and different starting points. Darwin to Alice Springs wouldn't do as couldn't join them and there were no decent intermediate stations and a Melbourne start didn't work either. A manager that would allow cheaper trackbuilding would help a lot on this map but I didn't get one until over 10 years of the scenario had gone.

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Just got gold on hard with 80% electric track. Started Sydney to Brisbane single track via coastal route, large stations with a sanding tower each and using 2 GP18 Diesels one at either end of the line, for which I had just enough money by issuing stock and a bond (which I paid back as soon as I had the profits). I had the choice of Rudolph Diesel as manager at the start so changed to him to get cheaper locos or the start would have been far slower as I could not have got the 2 locos. I issued stock every year when I could to get money for expansion and took a bond out at low interest when necessary for faster expansion. Never had more than one bond at a time. I upgraded these 2 stations with hotels etc to maximise passenger and mail revenue profits, then used the next profits to start a track from Melbourne to Bendigo, extending from town to town on to Alice Springs (switching to electric track at Broken Hill) then on to Darwin linking up to industry as I went. I then linked Broken Hill to Sidney to get the Brisbane connection as there were some useful industries on the route then linked up to Adelaide and lastly Perth. I bought industry that was profitable as I went . If necessary I could have sold industries off to get the last connection earlier and pay off the bond. All rail was single track.

Whoa whoa whoa. Now we know why you were having so much trouble.

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Well, this discussion prompted me to take another look at this map....and in doing so I'm reminded of another reason that I never got serious about it. And that is those absurdly proportioned coastal mountains causing those insane grades out of the coastal cities.

It is reminiscent of many of RT3's maps with way out-of-whack topography. It's been years since I touched RT3, but I remember having to "iron" each map with the editor before playing.

Anyway, I say no thank you once again. Drewski's Western Australia is far more appealing to me.

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The reason for only one bond was that every time I took out more, especially early in the scenario, the interest rates went up and the economy always went rapidly downhill so the extra traffic from more rail didn't pay the bond interest. I tried taking out several bonds but the game went better without many bonds. Normally I would take out many bonds but on this map it just didn't work as well as on other maps. Paying back bonds seems to cause the economy to go downhill too.especially on maps later in 20th century.

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The reason for only one bond was that every time I took out more, especially early in the scenario, the interest rates went up and the economy always went rapidly downhill so the extra traffic from more rail didn't pay the bond interest. I tried taking out several bonds but the game went better without many bonds. Normally I would take out many bonds but on this map it just didn't work as well as on other maps. Paying back bonds seems to cause the economy to go downhill too.especially on maps later in 20th century.

Wait, really? I'd love to know if there is an actual connection here. Because that would be good to know, and strange.

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So I ended up beating this on Expert fairly leisurely. Took my time building a nice, double-tracked, electrified mainline from Sydney to Cairns which got me most of my income. My secondary mainline from Alice Spring to Darwin was constructed around 1970. The two AIs I was playing with seized Adelaide and Melbourne, which prevented me from expanding from there. Regardless, by '77 I had gold. Didn't seriously connect to the other cities; just built long single track stretches for the connections. I did build a proper connection between my two mainlines, but it didn't see much service because there was no real lucrative long-haul services to exploit, and the Sydney-Brisbane part of my mainline was already overcongested (without the room to fix it).

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Won it in May 1968. Could have done it earlier but wasn't really trying hard enough, nor perfected the strategy.

What you need to realise is you don't need to win the game with your starting company.

Establish Brisbane to Sydney - should take you 3-4 years. You should have a "shareholder's are excited" rating by then too.

Start a new company with starting public capital of $4mil, plus whatever you've made from Company A, and build a long point to point route without massive grades. I chose Melbourne to Darwin. Build the large Hotel, Restr & Salloon in each city. Set some trains running on it between the two cities then resign. Sell all your shares in Company B. Buy as many as you can afford in company A.

The AI will make a killing on the Syd - Bris route, probably adding a few more trains.

The AI will continue with the trains you set running on company B. Buy back into Company B just as the first of it's trains are about to arrive. Mine made ~$4mil each, sending the share price through the roof.

By now I've got a PNW ~$12mil. I could have sold all this, started a new company (Company D) to complete the construction with electric track and stations at all the required cities, but in the attached game I tried to pull the trick again with a company C., which was just a waste of time really.

The game can be won in the traditional way starting Sydney to Brisbane (but I think the best I've managed is silver), but there are plenty of other ways to win this game quickly too, even with your starting company.

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Yeah, if you set it on expert and add a bunch of AIs, it's paradoxically a lot easier. But I consider that cheating.

Then don't use the AI. Make Sydney-Brisbane profitable in ~4 years, depart with > $500k and a good reputation, and you set up the next company with $4mil of funds raised in your IPO. Use nthat to set up one of thbe longer required connections and run that profitably as yourself.

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Yeah, if you set it on expert and add a bunch of AIs, it's paradoxically a lot easier. But I consider that cheating.

That's not cheating, that's strategy!

No, really... Cheating is when you exploit a programming error. Strategy is when you correctly analyze a marketing opportunity and then make a profitable choice. If you equate such profit to cheating then... we need to take this discussion to the debate forum ;)

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My current game (US History for like the 22nd time in a row) is in year ~2031, and there were only cosmetic changes to make this time through (yay, time to upload a cosmetic update).

It's about time I tried something else, and I recall beating this Aussie scenario like a drum, so I'll give it a go this weekend and tell you what I run into.

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Playing the Aussie 1960 scenario... The $100,000 starting cash is a major choke point right there. The most one can start a company with is $1,000,000. That's chump change for a heavy industry, capital-intensive company, even by 1960 standards.

Even so, the map has profits to exploit. I started with single electric track from Melbourne to Mildura. My one lonely engine hauled 5-car pax/mail trains up to Mildura and returned with one car of whatever it could find. The game looked grim for the first six years as I eked out a few hundred thousand dollars profit each year. However...

Not only was I able to build up a war-chest of $1 million, but I also improved my credit rating to AAA. I could then take the plunge, maxing my bonds and building by stages to Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Newcastle Waters, Katherine and Darwin. "Stages" meant that as soon as one train hit the end of the line, I built to the next town and aimed subsequent trains at it. I had a lot of subsequent trains because Melbourne was prolific, and because I was holding consists to 3 cars.

I think that I have turned the corner. I have only four years left to win, but I have built Sydney-Perth, put twelve trains on that route, and doubled all track on both routes. I'm making ~$9 million per year profit, and that's after paying interest on the max number of bonds (now all at 5%). I just need to build Brisbane-Adelaide and pay off my bonds (not necessarily in that order).

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While I felt this map had a start that was too slow for my taste , I'm going to have another go at it.

And since l like using AI rail to support my rail, I'll add 3 of them to compete with me. That will get me past the slow growth period. :D

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I won gold in Feb 1978 almost as an afterthought. I probably could have connected Brisbane and Adelaide cheaply a year or two earlier, but I waited until it made business sense to build it right plus add the proper stations, services and trains. As I mentioned above, it was a very slow start. I had only one engine on single track for my first 8 years. The keys were to build up my credit rating and then go all in on reaching across the continent. Once my pax and mail started earning long-distance payoffs, I could expand very rapidly, pausing only to refi my high-interest debt.

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