I don’t know if there’s more to it but distance travelled is certainly taken into account – In fact you’ll want to take advantage of that for industry. Never sell your goods or raw materials to a nearby industry if you can reach one further away.
This is where the high train maintenance costs really come into play – Making short lines is a great way to turn an otherwise profitable route into a money sink. The (large) amount of stuff moved back and forth is just done too cheap to earn you any profits.
but it seems to be the actual distance between industries, not the distance that your train travels. i connected two nearby industries, where one was high upon a hill via a rather long line that wriggled down the hill and i was loosing a lot of money on that.
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