Tips on Getting Started Making Money

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    Train Fever is a lot of fun when you have the cash, but frustrating when it dips in the read and you’ve maxed out your loans. The best part of Train Fever to me is engineering railway lines and running the trains. But this is costly and not always profitable.

    When you first start a map, pause it and look around. Find an industry chain, such as coal and iron ore to a factory and goods to a town. Preferably with the town between between the coal/ore mine and the factory.  Next place a cargo depot (road, not rail) next to each industry and the factory. Turn on the land use layer and find out where in your town the industry is located and place a cargo depot there too (or close to the industrial area of the town).

    Next set up two cargo lines. One linking your coal mine to the factory, then to the town cargo depot then back to the mine. Another linking the ore mine to the factory, then the town cargo then the ore mine.  Place a road vehicle depot, buy 6 to 10 vehicles and assign to one of the lines, do the same for the other. Add more vehicles as needed.

    This is a great setup. After a few years, a line like this can be making over a million dollars a year. By having the road vehicles stop at the town cargo on the way back to the mine, you are maximizing the capacity of the vehicles so they are not running entirely empty on the way back to the mine.

    When connecting two cities together, if they are fairly close together or there is a lot of elevation change, set up a bus line instead of a train line. This works better after 1900 when buses and trams get faster. If the line is busy, you can lay down tram tracks and then replace the buses with trams. I had a situation where I built a railway between two towns which were close together but had an elevation change. The train, steam in those days, had to go a long way round to make the climb. It was busy but lost money. So I built an express bus line between the two stations on the existing dirt road and it was an instant success. I upgraded the road and added tram tracks and the line now makes $800,000 per year.  I discontinued the train service.




    The above are great tips. Thank you.

    When I played my first game I made big mistakes mainly trying to connect my towns and cities. Obviously in the 1850’s travel between places wasn’t popular and no one used my services and I borrowed and borrowed just to stay afloat.  Once I figured that the townsfolk were happy to remain in their home towns I started a new game with much better results.

    I simply visited each city in turn and looked at the  distribution of dwellings, industrial, commercial and leisure buildings.  Once I worked out where people wanted to get from and to it was easy to create bus routes accordingly. I then constructed a vehicle depot next to the road in a free spot and then went around my route dropping off bus stops at appropriate distances. I then set up the route linking all the bus stops and finally purchased my vehicles. For most lines I found that 4 vehicles were sufficient. I started with stage coaches and moved on to the steam bus after 15 years. There’s maintenance to pay on the road depots so only build one per city.

    This simple start to the game means that in 25 years I’ve gone from the original $3m to $9m just running bus services. All routes are running at a profit and all are now operating the steam buses. It becomes a bit of a chore replacing vehicles at the end of their life but costs go up if you don’t.

    I may have missed the obvious but I did cause myself a problem when returning a vehicle to the depot for replacement. When you send it to the depot the Line Number disappears and so I soon learnt to make a note of the Line Number before returning the vehicle to the depot .

    With my funds increasing I feel more confident to move on to linking the industries as described so well by lightrail in his post above.






    Replacing Vehicles

    The easiest way is to open the route window. Pause the game.  Click on the $ symbol next to the route you want to replace vehicles, this sends all of the vehicles to the depot and automatically sells them.    It helps to name your depots so you know which one to pick to buy new vehicles. If you don’t there is a list of depots at the bottom of the routes window. When you click the $ the buses will appear next to one of those depots under “in transit”, or “on their way” (can’t remember the wording). Select that depot and then buy new vehicles, assign to the line (and you know which line if you keep the routes window open). Then un pause.  This has the least effect on your route and doesn’t seem to affect ridership.

    Definitely connect your towns together – people will travel and your towns will grow.  The key is building the cargo lines to feed your towns not only passengers but also good.  If you don’t connect them, the towns will not grow.


    Great tips lightrail. I’ll try them out tomorrow. Thanks again.


    But after 1940 electric trains come out, trains work better especially on closed big cities.

    My trains for those lines get over $5M per year.

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