Who use trains for cargo?

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    Well, the people believe that is good idea to transport goods from close location. True is that the distance is what brings the money. Therefore the farthest possible route which fits in the time limit is the best.

    With the idea on mind, you could build up very impressive train network. I used to play small maps cose of limitation of my PC. So, the farthest route is, from one side of map to another. Its done at 120Km/h. On the medium map, you could use 200Km/h locomotive with full advantage.

    The line you see is not evolved at the moment, factory does just about 150 annually. I expect double the profit soon. Its medium difficulty, no mode, pure vanilla.

    • This reply was modified 7 years ago by gGeorg.

    It took a little longer than expected but here it is.

    This is what I’m talking about: http://youtu.be/OfmRaVYOsuI

    Realistic complex network and long trains. All trains are using the shortest possible route. But since I’m using cargo mod, it necessary to make long tours.

    Its realistic, so I’m not using a long route without need just to make more profit.

    This is impossible with the vanilla game. The industry chain is so simple that everything can be done with trucks and choosing a long route while you have a much near industry to serve the area is simply stupid.

    What kind of transport game makes you go against the basic rule of logistic?


    Hi guys and sorry for my english (I need Google Translate).

    I play from 1 January and my first game is obviously on the small map of easy level and on land without mountains.

    I arrived at 1988 with a positive budget (approximately 230 M).

    My industrial chain is quite developed with links by truck: most of these lines make money.

    My problem is the rail freight connections: a first line short enough never took off economically, probably because he suffered competition from trucks.

    Now I have tried with a second line connecting a steel mill with a good production (140/200) with a city that is on the same side of the river, but on the opposite side of the map.

    The line is served by two freight train consisting of a diesel locomotive and four freight cars each. There are no road lines (and even roads) linking the steel with this city: the store that is near the freight yard, in fact, connects the factory to another city.

    Yet, as you can see in the picture, the budget is in significant deficit.

    How can I resolve the situation? Can I extend the line to another city far away? Or is it better to reduce the number of freight cars?

    I am very frustrated by this situation because the rest of the railway lines (passengers) are in positive budget.

    A second question: do you think it would be useful to install the Mod of Cargo Gwuinda?

    Thanks in advance for your valuable condigli.


    Paolo (Compay59)


    You won’t be profitable with 4 wagons. Trains are really for big cargo. 6 wagons minimum. For cargo it should be much bigger and the 20 min rule should not work with it, but it does. So to actually use trains with the vanilla industry chain is just impossible. Only if you simulate/fake long unnecessary routes, ignoring industries that are closer to the destination.

    If you install Cargo Mod you have to start a brand new game. Cannot use the current save. Also its nearly impossible to use Cargo Mod without some kind of cheat, because the industry chain is long and you will need a huge infrastructure to make it work. The 3 Millions you start with won’t do it.

    P.S.: You are a live prove that industry need tweak from the devs urgently. You have an industry with 172 production and still lose money with trains. This situation is ridiculous. Better to call it Truck Fever,


    Paolo, looking at that screenshot, it seems the factory is using the truck depot to deliver it’s goods. Your trains are losing money because they’re not carrying enough goods to make a profit. The factory may not be giving to the demand of the city, linked by rail, due to a number of possible reasons. Most likely;

    – It’s product is wholly taken by the city served by trucks


    – The city on the other end of the rail line is being served by another factory, and has little or no demand for this factory.


    Its not pointless. Its great way to deliver goods. Very efficient and this way you can have very long realistic trains. But its not possible. A passenger have willpower to get off the train or not. A cargo doesn’t. If there is demand for that type of cargo in the station, it will unload 100%. Actually even without demand it will unload anyway. If you send good to a station that collects iron, it will unload there.

    That’s not true at all. Douglas. I routinely have cargo trains stop at more than one drop-off point. My biggest one was a goods train that picked up and went to three different cities. It did not unload 100% at each city.

    With the randomness of placement, you sometimes don’t get a goods manufacturer near a city and sometimes even if you do, you might not get the resource anywhere nearby.




    Ok, thanks Douglas. So you think this line is too short? (see below)

    So in your opinion for a player who uses vanilla chain is virtually impossible to make freight trains … Too bad, are my passion!

    By connecting with the line most of the city and lengthening trains I could to do something?

    Anyway thanks again for your answer


    Tomorrow I read and translate the your answers, @killakanz and @cossmr, because now in Italy  is 3:30 am and I’m very tired.

    Thank you and goodnight


    That’s not true at all. Douglas. I routinely have cargo trains stop at more than one drop-off point. My biggest one was a goods train that picked up and went to three different cities. It did not unload 100% at each city.

    This is very good to hear. I will try.

    Well your routes doesn’t look short. Its probably a problem with the delivery like killakanz said. By your picture the trucks and the trains are carrying goods. So the trains are not running very full, so no profit. The industry needs to produce more to feed a full load train. And if you are not playing on easy, 4 wagons won’t be profitable.

    I think you can be profitable with cargo trains. Especially after what crossmr said. You can deliver goods to several cities in one load only.

    My problem with the cargo trains is the complexity of the network. Simple industry chains lead to simple networks.


    Ok guys, thanks! 🙂

    I will try to implement your suggestions and let you know …

    See you soon

    Paolo (Compay59)


    Some additional thoughts:

    1) Industries may need several years until they produce enough goods to be profitable. Especially when the mine/well/forest or factory has to upgrade their production to meet demand.

    2) Locomotives are the biggest cost factor in a train line. If possible, build one long cargo train, instead of several smaller ones. This is important.

    3) Cities get passengers by individual travel quite effectively; you have to compete rather aggressively, esp. in the later game. That is different with cargo. Unless raw materials and industry are quite close to one another and the city, cities don’t have much choice where they get their goods from. Usually, even if your train takes 10 minutes to the city, they will still buy your stuff. That is why you can and should do 2) above – fewer but longer trains.

    4) Try to service more than one city from a particular industry. With a manufacturing plant, you won’t hit the 400 production limit for a very long time, if ever.

    5) Take a look at where the blue industry quarter in a city is, and build the cargo terminal somewhere close to it. In the image above, Laceno Diramazione seems rather far away from the city.

    @topic:From my experience, you can make a nice profit with cargo trains.

    In many of those cases, though, you could make the same profit with a truck line. Trains are, unfortunately, often only an option, not a necessity, unless you actively plan around it (e.g. by not connecting the closest possible industries, but far away ones).

    The game is still very lacking in that regard – both placement of industries and transport chains could use a lot of improvement.

    Currently, industries are apparently distributed on the map in a completely random way, and there is an abundance of them. TF maps are small enough, even medium ones, and cities require so few goods, that only a few goods-producing facilities are more than enough to service all cities. Basically, you need more cities than industries; currently, it’s the other way ’round. At the same time, early trains (and trucks) are rather slow, so just reducing the number of industries isn’t a solution.

    Instead, cities should require much more goods, like 3 or 4 times as much. That way, trains become more attractive: they can transport and load/unload large amounts of cargo much more effectively than trucks. And you’d be forced to connect more than one industry chain to a city to fulfil its needs.

    That would require (apart from lowering the profit from individual goods units) a more planned industry placement algorithm: Currently, it doesn’t matter how industries and raw materials are distributed, because there’s an excess of everything, and the manufacturing chain is brutally short (oil -> goods -> city, wood -> goods -> city, coal+iron -> goods -> city). If it gets more complex, placement needs to be more deliberate to ensure that raw materials, industries, and cities are balanced. (Sorry if there’s already a sophisticated algorithm in place. It doesn’t show. :D) Hopefully, the amount of goods required by a city becomes at least moddable at some point.

    Also, manufacturing chains need to get longer. I see the Cargo Mod more as a proof-of-concept (and afaik it was created as such), but it’s a step in the right direction. Two to three steps between raw materials and consumer are a good compromise, imho.


    I agree with everything varana says.

    I always use trains for an industry that has reached 200+ production. Not because it were more profitable, but because it’s more sanitary. I’m also playing train fever, not truck fever.

    Currently i’m working on “train fever” achievement, which means that i can only use trains until year 2000. No busses or trucks. It’s year 1920, and I already filled one industry chain to top production of 400 (and i only wish there was more, like up to 1000, so that longer cargo platforms would come of any use).

    I already have 700 million in the bank and i’m positive, that i’ll easily see a billion or even two on my bank statement once i reach year 2000.

    So yes, trains for cargo, can be very profitable! I’m making so much money, i don’t even bother extending lines, so that one train serves various stations, because i’m already making so much money that i can afford buying more and more trains, what can i say, i’m a train enthusiast 😀


    Seems that the biggest problem lies in the way vehicles are configured. Which doesn’t make sense. Realistic train loads, like 60 tons of oil is divided by 4 to give a load of 15 in the game. Same applies to passengers etc. Real life / 4 = game capacity. However, this is not the case with road vehicles and gives an unfair advantage and hence the imbalance. 40 tonner truck is said to carry 20 tons load which comes from capacity 80 divided by 4. Now in reality we would be more in the ballpark of 24 tonne load on 40 tonner truck. Which would give capacity of 6 in game. That would be much more inline compared to trains. Doing this change would rebalance the game and trains would be the solution more often for large quantities.


    Pasi: This is precisely what Balance Mod does 🙂 It works very well.


    I did give it a go but there is few things which don’t work so well. Weight for the passenger coaches are too low (i know, improves acceleration) and the maintenance costs are way too low for locomotives. After all it should include capital expenses, maintenance costs, salaries for both maintenance and engine drivers & fireman and of course fuel.  But what comes to the load sizes, on that it does work well with much more realistic results than the game itself.

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