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challenging Eastern USA

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Eastern USA

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This is a challenging and quite long (1830-2000) version of the Eastern USA map. Costs are increased and most engines are available at different dates to improve balancing. A list of engines and other major changes can be found in the forum here (6th reply or so) and in the included readme. Version 6 is the final version that is available as a map alone, version 7 uses a modded .exe - both are included in the download. note: 2 dates are wrong in the readme: the camelback gets retired in 1930, and the 8-wheeler seems to be available longer than mentioned.

Goal: In the 19th century, the United States of America wasn't called the 'land of opportunity' for nothing. You have 170 years to slowly become a legend here.


Stand tall with the highest personal net worth and 750 Automobiles hauled for the bronze.

For the silver you also need a personal net worth of at least $250 Mio, the highest company book value and 1500 automobiles hauled.

For the Gold you also need a company book value in excess of $500 million, a personal net worth over $500 million and at least 3000 automobiles hauled, while forfeiting a possible engine price reduction in 1930.

You must be the first player to start a company and be its chairman at the end of each year.


 

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version 7 features:

version 7 includes a modded RT2_LRM_v7.EXE. copy it in your RT2 folder (where you have the original RT2_PLAT.EXE) and start the game using the RT2_LRM_v7.EXE.

 

ENGINE DATES
============
1830 - 1855 john bull
1830 - 1855 dewitt clinton
1837 - 1857 prussian
1840+  stone + steel bridges (not mentioned in newspaper!)
1847 - 1850 vulcan (500k event)
1855 - 1880 american + A3
1862 - 1898 iron duke
1862 - 1907 3 truck shay
1868 - 1892 8-wheeler
1880 - 1900 mastodon
1880 - 1905 consolidation
1885 - 1895 ten wheeler
1890 - 1915 1-3 bobo
1892   electric engine purchase -75% for one year
1895 - 1915 mogul
1899   ship 50 passengers event (i usually fail this one)
1900 - 1928 pacific (passenger event)
1900 - 1915 atlantic (passenger event)
1905 - 1915 USRA 0-6-0 + 0-10-0 G10
1905 - 1935 camelback
1915 - 1930 USRA 0-8-0 + Ee 3/3 + BE 4/6 II
1915 - 1950 Prairie
1919 - 1950 mikado
1925 - 1950 4-6-0 B12
1928 - 1950 daylight (Y1900 passenger event)
1928 - 1941 mallard (Y1900 passenger event)
1930 - 1950 class 1045 + SB16
1930 - 1950 penn E44, 4-8-8-4 big boy (10 mio event)
1935 - 1955 class E18
1940 - 1980 CG1 + SPD40 (bronze medal event) //trigger disables penn E44, daylight, mallard //FP45 instead?
1941 - 1950 Hudson //only if no CG1
1950 - 1975 E69
1950 - 1980 AE8/14
1950 - 1980 F3A+B + class 1020
1955 - 1965 GP9 //only if no CG1
1955 - 1980 E60CP //only if no CG1
1955+  TGV //only if no CG1
1965+  SDP40, class 55 deltic
1975+  GP18 (10 Mio event)
1980+  AMD-103 + class E111
1990+  Eurostar

 

COST MODIFIERS
==============
1830 - 1900 engine maintenance +50% (note that engine purchase cost modifiers additionally modify maintenance)
1900 - 1915 engine maintenance +20% (note that engine purchase cost modifiers additionally modify maintenance)

1830 - 1930 (bronze, silver medal) engine purchase cost +100%
1930 - 1950 (bronze, silver medal) engine purchase cost +40%

1830 - 1950 (gold medal) engine purchase cost +100%
1950+       (gold medal) engine purchase cost +60%

1830+       (hardmode) engine purchase cost +100%

1830 - 1880 steam engine fuel + purchase cost + 100% (stacks with general engine purchase cost increase)
1880 - 1900 steam engine fuel + purchase cost + 60% (stacks with general engine purchase cost increase)
1900 - 1915 steam engine fuel + purchase cost + 20% (stacks with general engine purchase cost increase)

1905+  steam fuel discount -30% (10 mio event)
1915+  electric fuel discount -30% (10 mio event)
1950+  diesel fuel discount -30% (10 mio event)

1830+  prime rate -1%
1830+  track maintenance +50%
1830+  car maintenance +50%
1830+  cement revenues +100%

1830+  (normal game) passenger revenues -50%
1830+  (normal game) mail revenues -25%
1830+  (easy mode) passenger revenues -25%
1830+  (easy mode) mail reveneues -0%

fixed ports demand (editor bug)

 

EXE modding INDUSTRY
====================
current values are correctly shown in the game

steel bridges available from 1840 on
double stone bridge cost = 500k, single stone bridge cost = 300k
fixed demand bug for auto factories and cannery
auto plant demand steel 5->6, tires 2.5->4
landfill demand 4->6
dairy farm output 2->3
bauxite mine output 2->3

 

EXE modding ENGINES
===================
all current values are correctly shown in the game

dewitt clinton acc +10%
3 truck acc average, rel outstanding, base speed +1
0-4-0 A3 acc +10%
iron duke cheaper, acc +5%
mastodon rel below average, acc above average, maint+fuel cost increased
ten wheeler cost -20%
mogul fuel cost -25%
consolidation purchase +20%
pacific acc average, rel above average
0-10-0 class G10 acc fast, better for mountains and cargo
class 13H acc fast
USRA 0-8-0 acc average
class 1045 maint +50%
penn E44 acc average, rel above average, base speed -2
4-8-8-4 rel outstanding, base speed -4
class B12 maint -45%
Sb16 make it a camelback upgrade and more expensive and use from 1930-1955
hudson acc++
Ae 8/14 rel+1, acc-1
class 1020 base speed -2
F3 a+b maint -7%
TGV maint -50%, free weight 30 -> 100, base speed -10, drop 7 -> 6 (all in all it's bit faster now)
E60CP base speed +5%
GP9 fuel -10%
SDP40 cheaper -10%
class deltic drop -1
amd 103 rel good, acc +30% (very fast -> ultra fast), drop +1

prevent AI TGVx suicide by making it a diesel engine and 20% cheaper

 

EXE modding MANAGERS
====================
current values are correctly shown in the game and also saved in managers.xls (thx to Jeffry Fisher who provided the base file with his historical map)
industry buying (theodore judah) shows a wrong price on tooltip but works correctly

albert robinson stock price -10% -> -20%
allen mcnab remove goodwill +10% and company overhead -10%, add traction +25%, salary 10k -> 30k
ames oakes remove engine cost +12%
ben holladay remove company overhead -15%, mail revenue +10% -> +30%, salary 29k -> 32k
charles mayer track build -40% -> -30%, bridge build -20% -> -50%
charles hayes remove train safety -5%, track build -40% -> -30%, overhead = -25%
daniel gooch remove overhead -5%, track build -5% -> -10%
daniel willard no changes but values in manual are wrong (has 75k salary and -25% fuel costs)
ernst siemens salary 6k -> 60k
eugene debs remove company overhead +25%, salary = 110k
fredrick billings overhead -10% -> -20%, salary 3k -> 1k
henri giffard steam speed 5% -> steam acc 15%
henry booth car maint -10% -> -20%
herbert garratt steam fuel cost -40% -> -50%
john garrett electric track -40 -> -30
john wootten replace effects with credit rating +3, prime rate -1
john work garrett remove track build -5%, salary 21k -> 60k
robert garbe steam engine purchase -15% -> -20%, salary 6k -> 15k
robert gerwig salary 37k -> 55k
robert stevens track build -25% -> -15%
rudolf diesel salary 3k -> 65k (to get him more likely when you need him)
theodore judah remove overhead -30%, add industry buying/bulldoze -50% (not shown in price when buying, but substracted correctly)
thomas swann salary 6k ->26k (to get him more likely when you need him), add credit rating +1
william palmer remove track building -15%, add iron and steel revenue +50%
william strong station revenue +5% -> +10%, station building -10% -> -30%, remove company overhead +20%, increase salary to 40k
william vanhorne mountain cost -20% -> electric track cost -20%, remove station cost +10%, salary 26k -> 52k

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uploaded v4. it seems the fuel costs were not wrong, just higher than i expected.

 

changelog v3 to v4:

in 1905 diesel and steam fuel costs are permanently lowered by 30%

reduced some costs for AIs beginning with 1900 (maybe some of them don't go bankrupt now)

forbid stock selling (though mergers are allowed)

tweaked late engine availability dates

added a tire plant in greek town. in my last game i had no tire plants until after 1950.

 

there was something wrong with the victory event. i should have had a silver in my last game, but it showed a loss. i did not find the bug, but i changed some things in the victory events. i hope it's working now. in any case it shouldn't be hard to figure out yourself if you won or not =)

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" ...........forbid stock selling (though mergers are allowed"

 

I normally work the stock market to afford a merge.  If I wait until an AI goes broke........... :unsure:   Well heck I like working the stock market.

 

This an RRT2 map?  ;)

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yes RRT2. with stock selling it's so easy to double the amount of shares of my own company at the start of the game, that's why i forbid it. but it's quite easy to remove that feature yourself if it's important to you. removing it won't break anything, it's just a balancing issue.

 

in my experience with this map, around 1900 the AI companies often have enough cash to immediately get you back the money you paid for the merger. you just have to have it first. but with a scenario that long, it's totally possible to have much money. after 1900 they usually made losses and sooner or later went backrupt. so if you miss the opportunity it's better to wait for that. but i reduced costs for the AI beginning in 1900 in the latest version, i don't know how it plays now. i'm about to start a new game, but i'll not be at home for a week and therefore not be able to finish it before christmas.

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updated to v5. this is a rather big update, though the basic idea of the map is unchanged. in general it's a bit easier to play now, but harder to achieve the silver and gold medals.

 

reduced rubber, especially in the west

reduced chances for autoplants in the east

reduced chances for tire plants, except in mountain settlements, these have a higher chance

added 2 settlements in the mountains

tweaked many engine availability dates

removed the CG1. this is sad, but there is no senseful way to balance it. it's available only for those who don't want a gold or silver medal

removed aluminium form ports. added aluminium mills instead

ports now let you export cars

increased revenue from cement

fixed a bug in the victory conditions

harder requirements for gold and silver medals

 

i don't expect any more updates in the near future. i might reorder the events to make them easier to read, and maybe add an event for the shikansen bullet, but i have no other plans at the moment.

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Reordering events is probably more trouble than it's worth. Also, there's a bug in the editor that can corrupt multiple event slots whenever you delete an event. Therefore, never ever ever delete an event. If you want to remove an event, just hollow it out so it fires once in multiplayer mode and does nothing.

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ok, it seems the link in the first post is broken and i cannot edit the OP. how do i add my map to the database? adding the file here, but it's my copy that means the name start with zz in the map list (so i can find it quicker).

Eastern_USA_LRMv5.MP2

Edited by letsdance

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There seems to be a problem with maps sent here getting lost.  A while back I tried to open a number of maps.  All returned:  map is missing or words simular.  I also checked only a few maps on the map pages.  No player made maps to be found there either.  

Maybe I'm not pushing the correct button or I have a delete bug.   Now the maps seem to have come back.  I have not looked very hard to discover what happened. 

 

 

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is there a way to upload to the database? i made a new version of my map and will upload soon (after a full test game).

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Sure, I can give you permissions to upload maps, was the map added to the downloads section or just attached to a post?

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just attached to the original post in this thread

Edited by letsdance

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considering the amount of issues in v5 and no one complaining about them, i guess no one really played my map anyways :D but still, here's an update to v6, this time with lots of playtesting. this will also be the last version without a modded exe (i will start a new thread for v7 with modded exe in a few days after playtesting).

changelog from v5:
added bauxite mines
better train availability balancing
added an easy mode
reduced difficulty a bit (reduced upkeep beginning with 1915 i think)
improved AI
fixed port demand (editor bug)
probably some other minor issues including changes to map and territories
the .rar includes a .txt file with this list:


EVENTS AND ENGINE DATES
=======================
1830 - 1855 john bull
1830 - 1855 dewitt clinton
1837 - 1857 prussian
1847 - 1850 vulcan (500k event)
1855 - 1880 american + A3
1862 - 1898 iron duke
1862 - 1907 3 truck shay
1868 - 1892 8-wheeler
1880 - 1900 mastodon
1880 - 1905 consolidation
1885 - 1895 ten wheeler
1890 - 1915 1-3 bobo
1892   electric engine purchase -75% for one year
1895 - 1915 mogul
1900 - 1928 pacific (passenger event)
1900 - 1915 atlantic (passenger event)
1905 - 1915 USRA 0-6-0 + 0-10-0 G10
1905 - 1935 camelback
1915 - 1930 USRA 0-8-0 + Ee 3/3 + BE 4/6 II
1915 - 1950 Prairie
1919 - 1950 mikado
1925 - 1950 4-6-0 B12 //only if passenger event failed
1928 - 1950 daylight (Y1900 passenger event)
1928 - 1941 mallard (Y1900 passenger event)
1930 - 1950 class 1045, //add SB16
1930 - 1950 penn E44, 4-8-8-4 big boy (10 mio event)
1935 - 1955 class E18
1940 - 1980 CG1 + SPD40 (bronze medal event) //trigger disables penn E44, daylight, mallard
1941 - 1950 Hudson //only if no CG1
1950 - 1975 E69
1950 - 1980 AE8/14
1950 - 1980 F3A+B + class 1020
1955 - 1965 GP9 //only if no CG1
1955 - 1980 E60CP //only if no CG1
1955+ TGV //only if no CG1
1965+  SPD40
1974+  class E111
1975+  GP18 (10 Mio event)
1980+  AMD-103 + class 55 deltic
1990+  Eurostar

 

COST MODIFIERS
==============
1830 - 1900 engine maintenance +50%
1900 - 1915 engine maintenance +20%

1830 - 1930 (bronze, silver medal) engine purchase cost +100%
1930 - 1950 (bronze, silver medal) engine purchase cost +40%

1830 - 1950 (gold medal) engine purchase cost +100%
1950+         (gold medal) engine purchase cost +60%

1830 - 1880 steam engine fuel + purchase cost + 100% (stacks with general engine purchase cost increase)
1880 - 1900 steam engine fuel + purchase cost + 60% (stacks with general engine purchase cost increase)
1900 - 1915 steam engine fuel + purchase cost + 20% (stacks with general engine purchase cost increase)

1915+  electric fuel discount -30% (10 mio event)

1830+  prime rate -1%
1830+  track maintenance +50%
1830+  car maintenance +50%
1830+  cement revenues +100%

1830+  (normal game) passenger revenues -50%
1830+  (normal game) mail revenues -25%
1830+  (easy mode) passenger revenues -25% (not tested! maybe +0%)
1830+  (easy mode) mail reveneues -0% (not tested! maybe +8%)

fixed ports demand (editor bug)

eastern_USA_LRMv6.rar

Edited by letsdance

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Eastern USA

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Goal: In the 19th century, the United States of America wasn't called the 'land of opportunity' for nothing. You have 170 years to slowly become a legend here.

Stand tall with the highest personal net worth and 500 Automobiles hauled for the bronze.

For the silver you also need a personal net worth of at least $250 Mio, the highest company book value and 1000 automobiles hauled.

For the Gold you also need a company book value in excess of $500 million, a personal net worth over $500 million and at least 2000 automobiles hauled, while forfeiting a possible engine price reduction in 1930.

You must be the first player to start a company and be its chairman at the end of each year.

Author's Comments: The American east coast is ripe for the picking.


 

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Okay, I've uploaded the latest version which generates the post you see above which I merged into this thread. You should also be able to upload a new version of the map or other maps in the future.

btw, if anyone else wants the ability to upload maps to the download section just let me know.

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Since the map is difficult, why don't you provide some details about which strategies said difficulty is designed around?

For example, are you manually leveling cuts in hills for your tracks?

Did you limit yourself on how many extra stations per city for their extra demands?

Are you regularly taking out all the AI?

What player revenue modifier are you using?

 

Must apologize. I never tried the map. I meant to try it, but after some time I forgot. And eventually mistook it for immpy's US South map. Sorry about that.

 

I'm in 1855. I like what I see so far. :cool: Made some strategical blunders so far, especially for PNW. I don't remember seeing another scenario in which I can't sell the stock I actually own. This restricts available strategies. At this point I'm not sure if my choice is going to pay off.

 

 

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the difficulty mostly comes from cost and revenue modifiers (see 5 posts above for detailed list). i'm not quite sure what you mean by manually levelling cuts in hills. i do try to flatten single pieces of tracks that have high grades (lets say from 4.0 to 3.0 if easily possible) but i'm not spending serious time with that. i am not building extra stations for extra demand, but i do build extra stations if the traffic requires it. my current game is in 1885 and i have 2nd stations in milwaukee and chicago. in my last game i had 3 stations in chicago (one each for east, west and north trains) because otherwise it would have been jammed. detroit and new york usually also get 2nd stations.

the difficulty also comes from the goals =) the game becomes easier after the first few years of struggle, but the early 20th century is usually a challenge again.

i am playing on hard difficulty (that is -20% player revenue i think).

what's PNW?

not being able to sell stock restricts options. but it also removes the stock-micromanagement and i actually think it makes buying stock a more difficult decision.

i think you have to take out the AI, at least if you want a gold medal, because you need an efficient track network all across the map in the 20th century to ship 2k cars in total. and maybe also to get the required value more easily. in my last game i only got a bronze medal... if you want spoilers i can give you some *lol*

Spoiler

best start seems to be chicago.

buy up your own stock before investing in other companies, and buy it early. in the long run you'll buy all of the available(!) AI stock anyways, up to 51%.

if you merge with the AI companies, they will start a new company elsewhere with 100% ownership, that you cannot take over later, permanently restricting your track building options. it may be better to connect all important cities before you start merging.

the AI will be restricted to its region until it has 20 Mio cash at the beginning of a year.

be prepared to struggle for survival in the early 20th century - the AI will too! last game i managed that only by repeatedly issuing more stock (and immediately buying it myself). v6 has reduced upkeep (that i didn't have then), but i think the problem is the same. profit in the earlier 20th century is usually lower than before and you have some serious expenses to pay.

 

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Leveling is described here: https://forum.dune2k.com/topic/25126-better-ways-to-move-mountains/ . It's difficult to do with only connected track making it even more expensive but not impossible. With high loco running costs, over 100+ years the boost in efficiency can be worth it. It also allows curves at more locations as one should never put a curve on a grade.

 

You are probably on Expert if you have -20% revenue. Hard only has -10%. I always play at the custom -25% human revenue and +25% computer revenue, but I am slightly concerned based on the already high early loco costs and rumors of expected increase in the 20th century that the map maybe wasn't tested at this level. Maybe I'll make it anyway.

 

PNW is short for Personal Net Worth.

 

I started Philadelphia-Baltimore-Washington-Richmond. Obviously with industrial support. I took out an AI as my first stock move. It was the weakest one. I have 900k of cash and he has about 240k. He will start a new company for sure, but I think I will still be able to take him out. Possibly the second company will be profitable enough to pay me some dividends in the long run. I did realize that buying in your company is wiser, but I'm unsure that I would be able to get 51% in the AI that way. A couple AI already have 30% combined ownership in 1855.

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yes i just looked, its expert. if you use tricks like levelling and multiple stations, the 5% won't kill you. i'm usually quite lazy as soon as i have more than 4 stations. with some micromanagement you can make up more than 5% easily, too. of course, so far i never got a gold medal in my own scenario *lol*

i know i can do some levelling, but it feels like cheating (same as multiple stations for higher demand) so i never bothered how it really works. like i mentioned above, i just use it to flatten single pieces of especially annoying track. besides, the Eastern USA map is quite flat anyways.

AI companies are unlikely to pay out high dividends in the long run.

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I abandoned that attempt, as the AI chairman of the defunct company bought more stock instead of starting a new company.

 

Started again. This time founding my company with 600k of other investors money. Since my seed had no immediately usable industry in the Baltimore-Washington DC area, I went for a Madison-Milwaukee to Indianapolis-Terre Haute start (3x corners of 45 degrees). Before the first train arrived share price dropped enough that I could buy 2,000 more shares for 30% ownership. Have now added routes of Chicago to Wasua-Green Bay (2 corners total) and Chicago to Sudbury.(5 corners total). Tried having George Stephenson as manager for to ease the high engine maintenance and replacement costs, but back-tracked to an earlier save when I realized that I should have hired Pullman instead at least at this stage in the game.

 

Mentioned leveling the mountains because in other long games I've played it's tempting to do long runs. With this map I'm thinking possibly Louisville area to the Charleston area or Pittsburgh area to Boston area. Without leveling we need better locos for that. The drop in speed on corners even on flat ground is my major peeve with the game. I will generally not run any route with more than a dozen corners, and go to great lengths to avoid a single one.

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yes i do many long runs. chigaco-montreal and atlanta-new york are good ones. chigaco-new york works too, later. i like the fact that you need different trains for different routes. 30% ownership right from start is extremely good. i usually start with 700k outside investments, maybe i should also try 600k next time. in my current game, my shares trippled before i could buy any and i failed the 1899 passenger event :D

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That first run took just over 1.5 years. That's why share price dropped so low that I could buy 2,000 shares before the trains arrived.

 

The -5% revenue doesn't mean 5% less profits. Cost are still the same. So the ratio of revenue to profits is the determining factor. If profits are 40% of total revenue (mine up to now is 36%), a 5% increase in revenue will increase profits by 12.5% (5/40). This isn't the only thing, because a higher profit/revenue ratio will always allow some new runs to become usable at a decent profit. I'm thinking particularly about freight here.

 

My play-style has always been towards micro-managing. This is why I struggle with the long maps, as it might take a whole month to play a map like this in that way. It would work, but I don't have the time. My struggle is mainly to automatically deal with the disparities in supply of passengers and mail during the changing economic states and specifically the huge lumps that show up at least once every boom time. I find that there tends to be a small pre-cursor wave that is often enough to send your waiting trains down the line. Then when the big lump comes in, up to half of it rots away while waiting for the the in-coming train due to arrive in some months, if I'm lucky. The problem that trains waiting to fill don't load in the order they arrive, makes it difficult for me to find a good solution.

 

I'm tending to use 3 pax and 2 mail cars, set to wait for half full. But I'm pretty bad at automation in general. What pattern are you using? Also, what profit level do you need to be at in the period 1870-1900 to win the map? Is $7M per year enough? It's difficult for me to judge how tight the early 1900s will be.

 

I spent all the time I have for this right now, but might have to back-track again. I focused on buying up the AI when I should have been replacing engines, but still missed getting 51% in one company due to inattention. Once they started paying dividends, their cash balance on the overall started going down. One peaked at $18.4M. Now it settled back to $17.3M even though he has been consistently profitable but not by too much. I was planning for a takeover around year 1875, and in order to do this I expanded to most areas of the map while delaying engine replacement. To add to this I bought into my own false hope that it was worth putting some low-value haulage in place to try to grow cities before 1900. Without micro-managing, these trains just manage to turn a profit, but not enough to pay for their purchase and subsequent periodic replacement costs. Maybe I didn't wait long enough, but the cities here seem to be reluctant to grow. At least that's my current belief: expansion to sparse areas was a mistake in terms of profit. But I wanted to prevent the AI from starting untouchable companies. I probably need to micro-manage for longer as I really want the larger cities the AI have been steadily grooming like Washington DC and Louisville. Hopefully if I wait long enough the small towns will grow. It's just a bit more than I have time for right now. Maybe if I get sick.

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yes i'm aware how revenue modifiers influence your profits. but multiple stations for higher demands work the same way - they increase your revenues. so does cutting through mountains because you can deliver more cargos within the same time (or reduce costs by needing less engines, fuel and track maintenance). i'm confident, these issues contribute more than 5%.

i just finished my game. i was playtesting v7 with some changes (especially removed +100% auto revenues that v6 still has), but it's still pretty much the same scenario. early 20th century until 1950 was hard. 1950+ is quite easy again, but i think i'll  leave it that way. you deserve an easy end if you get that far. i fulfilled gold medal requirements in 1990.

7M sounds good. watch out for event pre-notifications. there are some points where you'll want to be able to spend 10m and you'll also need alot for engine replacements. i tried to have at least 20m in cash always (didn't succeed of course, but that way i didn't run into serious troubles either). be sure to keep an eye on maintenance and fuel costs. for high reliability engines often it's better to replace even if breakdown chances are still low - more in this scenario than others because of higher costs.

all in all, i think mail causes more troubles than it's worth. similar to milk (which is why i increased milk production). 1855+ i use 3 pax +1 mail and wait for half load, or 4+1. later and for long distance high speed trains i use pax only and wait for full cargo (at least on the bigger station). mail causes too many long waits, and when not waiting for full cargo, mail cars are often empty. i try to attach single mail cars to freight trains that don't wait for full cargo. sometimes i run mail-only trains with low maintenance engines (they wait alot...) between large cities. i think best for those is 5 cars and wait for half load. when boom time comes, i sometimes look which cities have much mail and buy new engines for single mail delivery runs. after a year i look if those engines can take high valuable cargo again from their destination. if they don't, i retire them. that's not that much micromanagement and i don't feel guilty for not delivering the mail :) it usually pays off, though not by much.

yes, growth is quite slow. in my last game, grand rapids didn't demand passengers until 1980. i don't deliver to small villages. i just attach single passenger wagons to freight trains leaving them. often you can build a station that covers 2 villages (like wausau and green bay), or a village and a city and get combined city demands. to prevent the AI from going there it's sufficient to connect a small station and then bulldoze the track again. i also do that when my station at a city is too far to get "connected".

don't ignore industry profits. even if your trains barely cover their own costs you still make a profit from industries. in the late game, my indrustry profits (5-6m) where often higher than my net profit. it's somehow scary when you run 140 engines, each with a purchase price of about 500k, and your shown average net profit is only like 4-5m, but it did work.

anyways, the end game is more about efficient track building and usage. i had 3 parallell tracks from toledo to cleveland and many cities with multiple stations - not for the extra demand but because it was the only way to avoid serious traffic jams.

version 7 gold medal will require 3k autos hauled, and i added a hardmode for pros like you =)

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