Hard difficulty is still ridiculous!

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    First of all, thanks for the new build. It got me excited of the game again.

    Only way to make profitable train line was really long electric train with coal + iron, but now that it is “fixed” there is no way to make trains profitable without 90%+ load and really long route.

    The main issue is running costs… they are ridiculously high! But in same time railway maintenance costs are way too low!

    Because railroad maintenance costs are so low, it is basically best to create dedicated railway track for every single thing. The main thing I wanted from hard difficulty was, higher maintenance costs, so I would have to think how I build my railroad network. Normal is too easy, and in hard difficulty you are limited to use only trucks & busses, even after a year from release…


    1. Triple the maintenance cost of railroad
    2. Keep bridge / tunnel maintenance cost normal ( they are high enough already )
    3. Reduce locomotive running costs 20% to 30%


    1. Does someone know a way how to configure this?
    2. Is there a mod for re-balanced hard mode already?
    3. If there is mod, it will disable achievements right?
    4. Why devs have not fixed this yet?
    • This topic was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by SHOTbyGUN.

    There are various mods to change any costs you want. Just have a look a train-fever.net. It also seems to be quite easy to change costs (or anything else) by editing the various files regarding the vehicles.

    I agree that maintenance and building costs are too underestimated and maintenance costs are high. However, I don’t find it is too hard to make a profit with trains (hard difficulty, euro maps… never tried USA) at the point that after the initial 10-20 years I usually don’t have to worry about money. Perhaps the only point I regret is that using trucks and busses often seems to be more profitable, maybe unless you really have long routes… but hey this is quite realistic that busses>trains on short routes and viceversa…


    Thanks for the reply. I installed the first mod I found: http://www.train-fever.net/filebase/index.php/Entry/1240-Cost-Price-Balancer/

    it makes 1850 trains possible yay! I have not been using train fever net because it was mostly german, but seems like they try to write some things in english too now days.

    Btw? would you want to share the tactics / screenshots you use to be able to use trains in early game with profit in vanilla hard mode? I tested many things and thought it was impossible.


    In reality I don’t use trains asap (I might have misinterpreted you, I thought it was a general comment).

    I usually start with cargo truck routes and some intercity and intracity bus routes to get a solid financial base and spur some city growth.

    After a while (typically 10-20 years) I replace intercity busses with trains. I usually connect three or four cities on a straight line based on population, distance and terrain (I often start with two but then extend the line asap and more with faster trains). I try to place stations close to the residential area, but I immediately set up intra-city busses to the other areas (often so that residential is in the middle of the route like industrial <-> residential <-> commerce <-> leisure). I often use 6 passengers wagons or more with the newer locomotives.  For the first 2-3 years the train are at a loss, but then they begin to make a profit.

    I still am not sure if bus lines would be even more profitable… but hey I like to play with trains 😉


    exactly the same… truck first then train,

    voyager line a bit rentable, city bus loosing money , goods ( truck !!) rentable, industrial lines lots of money !! ( train !! )

    its only in difficult you can really see the complexity of this game


    Funny, I start with trains in 1850 and still make loads of money by 1875! Lol

    In fact, nearly all attempted cargo routes either break even, or lose money (I use mostly trucks for cargo, trains never make me money!). So I tend to do no cargo until I have a solid passenger base to act as a safety net.

    I even over use trains, having more small trains, rather than fewer large ones.

    I always start by connecting to easily connectible cities with a double train line, and 2 trains with 4-5 passenger cars

    And create a few various bus routes inside each city to supply the stations, with around 15 busses (horses), to start with anyway…

    Within a few years that alone makes several million.

    Then I just add more cities, but I never have trains going long distances, seems to earn less for me.

    If I have 3 cities, A, B and C, I only have a line from A to B, and then a separate line from B to C… Never A-B-C-B.

    For some unknown reason, 4 trains running 2 separate lines cost less than 4 trains running to all 3 stops.


    trains have always been poorly balanced, and people just saying “mod it” are missing the point. The Devs should be providing a well balanced and developed game in the first place. we didn’t buy an engine, we bought a game, or that’s what they sold it as.

    There is just no reason running cost should be in the neighbourhood of just buying a new train.


    I have to disagree with you. I usually start with trains for all cargo supply and use trucks only for distribution. Of course, you should make lines as long as current engines can get, and morover you should load it properly. You can see a screenshot from 1853 (Hard difficulty, no mods at all) with cargo line making profit (this line delivers only coal w/o iron, so the recent update doesn’t affect the balance here) 

    Here is the same line when General locomotive appears  

    And to demonstrate that this strategy works well, here is the same map 79 years from start  

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by Semeon.
    • This reply was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by Semeon.
    • This reply was modified 8 years, 8 months ago by Semeon.

    new game in difficult :

    I am in 1923 i just have my first metropole ( 1500 hab) and 2 or 3 are coming soon.

    i think its even possible to manage it before, i had 800hab in my center city in 1870 nearly

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