[OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

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[OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

1801:

I've recently started a game in Chill's patchpack, using UKRS2+addons, eGRVTS, "sailing ships", FISH, HEQS, av8, and FIRS industries. I decided to start _very_ early (in 1801), before the invention of the steam locomotive, and see what developed. In the fictional narrative, I generally assume that (RRT3-style) there are roads and carts not seen on the OTTD map, which is why (say) brickworks can function without me delivering any clay. I'm playing with daylength 4, save that between about 1815 and 1830 I got fed up of waiting for the locomotive to be invented and switched to daylength 1.

In the late 18th century, so many fishermen from the outer isles landed catches at Pluborough Bay that a dedicated harbour facility was constructed. The company was founded to take the obvious next step; rather than fishing boats shipping their catches individually, the company would buy them up in the isles and ship them in large merchant vessels to the harbour. These vessels formed the company's entire asset base, with a debt outstanding secured on them equal to their value. This was a success for the Fort Chondtown fishing grounds, but not when the company extended the scheme further afield to the Wadinghead fishing grounds - the extra journey time made the fish unsaleable and the company had insufficient ships to provide an adequate service.

(In reality, these are FIRS fishing grounds on the map, but I like to think of them as off-map islands.)

Therefore the company discontinued the Wadinghead service, using some of the ships to extend the Fort Chondtown service and selling the remainder. With the capital this freed up, the company set up a wagonway into Fort Pluborough proper to sell the fish at market there.

Image

(In a game with transport faster than horses, I'd spurn the cheesy approach of selling all the food at one tiny village, but I can live with it here.)

Fortunately, in the course of construction and operation of the wagonway, the company's engineers made significant improvements to the technology, which led to key patents being awarded, and made it practical for the first time to transport passengers safely on a wagonway. With a great deal of capital from the sale of ships still unspent, the decision was taken to open an experimental passenger "tramway" on the streets of Rennford, the largest town in the vicinity. Initial opposition was overcome and by June 1801 the first "trams" were in operation.

Image

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by Hyronymus »

Very nice idea, I started in 1850 a few times. Nice too, it gives a new challenge :).

And while looking at your screenshots I wonder if we should ask for non-electric tramrails.

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

Hyronymus wrote:And while looking at your screenshots I wonder if we should ask for non-electric tramrails.
Well, in theory, but practically every bit of scenery is anachronistic for 1801 - terraced houses, roads with markings to control motor cars, the two motorboats neatly parked by the powered crane at the fishing harbour... Correct graphics for 19th century starts would be quite the project.

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

1805:

With objections to the Rennford Tramway now a thing of the past - rather, with the Tramway the envy of every other town in the area - a remarkable development ensued. No other town was large enough to support its own tramway, but some of the larger towns in the area proposed that the company build cross-country tramways in return for a considerable subsidy for the first year of operation. With the company's original fish business static (albeit that it still formed the financial backbone of the firm) the engineering staff were quick to respond to the difficulties of running tramways across the open country.

By 1805, tramways operated from Plugborough Bay up the coast to Wringfingfield, from Frendwood to Plondhattan, and from Bronburg Springs to the nearby towns of Detborough and Pontford. The interchange at Bronburg Springs is shown:

Image

The next development, however, was a commercial concern offering a subsidy for the transportation of sand from Detborough quarry to the nearby glassworks. With no wagonway vehicles suitable for this task, the company decided to employ conventional horse-drawn wagons, resulting in a vast expansion of the company's stables. The residents of Detborough were initially hostile to the parade of heavy horses through their streets, but their resistance is gradually becoming overcome; in the image below, the westernmost extents of the town are visible.

Image

(One thing that bothers me is I have no idea how to design a road vehicle station with multiple loading bays so that RVs actually use it intelligently. They almost always seem to love to all rush up to the same bay and then queue behind each other, blocking the junction that would give access to other bays. I wonder if this is just me, or if it's a fundamental consequence of the way RVs don't avoid roads that already have other RVs on?)

The company's debt remains largely unchanged - repaid when possible, but the directors have not hestitated to use the full debt facility for construction whenever a subsidy is offered - and as yet the company's assets do not match its liabilities.

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by kamnet »

You might want to try playing with North American Roads Set which offers brick roads in urban areas and dirt roads in rural areas, and I believe these run up into the 1940s.

For the trams you can lay them without the roads, IIRC the default trams w/o roads for OTTD is bare dirt. I'm not sure if removing a road from under a town's base tile will cause adverse effects, though. The Early Rail set also offers railways with horse-drawn carriages.

For buildings, you might appreciate the UK Houses set.

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by Nite Owl »

damerell wrote:1805:
(One thing that bothers me is I have no idea how to design a road vehicle station with multiple loading bays so that RVs actually use it intelligently.)
Have a look at THIS THREAD that discusses the topic.

Very nice early game start by the way. I am going to have to give it a try myself one of these days.
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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by Pilot »

Nice Screenies.
There isnt many threads that show a small company evolving.

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

Nite Owl wrote:Have a look at THIS THREAD that discusses the topic.
Huh. That ain't so different to what I'm doing. It's a help, but fundamentally I can't seem to overcome the problem that two RVs running close together both rush happily towards the same bay leaving the second inevitably stuck behind the first.

I think the design with the approach road hitting the middle of the facility is a good one.

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by Hyronymus »

Damerell, what is the profit of your company?

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by Eelco »

I Use the north american road set to give my scenarios thet look you want from a 19the century road. Brick roads in town, and dirt roads outside.
TT fan since 1995 - Trying to create a steam tram on narrow gauge track. HELP!

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

1810:

In 1807, the company adopted a policy of building a tramway in any town large enough to make one even slightly profitable. It was felt that local authorities would better tolerate larger construction work in their areas if they were also receiving the benefits of a regular passenger service. Typical of these local tramways - which, as of 1810, are present in only about half the target towns - is the Martbridge Tramway with its three stops on the High Street of this small community.

Image

The company also received a subsidy for two additional road cargo operations; one to bring coal from Frendwood coalmine to the nearby brickworks, and one to bring iron ore a considerable distance from the mine at Great Buntown to the forge at Fladhattan. This was an expensive construction project because of the distance, the need to bridge an inlet of the sea, and the position of the forge in the centre of Fladhattan.

However, fortunately, no sooner had the first shipments of iron ore made their way to Fladhattan than an additional subsidy was offered to transport engineering supplies back to the mine. Oddly, the company decided to use wagonway vehicles to tranport these - more efficient, but the difficulties of laying the wagonway without disrupting the iron ore traffic were considerable. These supplies increased production at the mine to such an extent that fully half the company's horses were being used to transport iron ore.

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~dame ... e-1810.png

(One hidden advantage of doing this is both stations have some stops only accessible to either road or tram vehicles, arranged so that it is difficult for loading vehicles to completely block the unloading stops. Obviously if vehicles loading at the forge block the unloading stops the entire operation comes to a halt.)

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~dame ... e-1810.png

As the number of vehicles involved increased, the disruption to Flathattan - Tatbourne transport services would become unacceptable, but that had not happened by 1810.

In spite of this large construction project, the operation was so lucrative that the company's debt was steadily decreasing - in 1810, it was down to 2/3 of its initial value.

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

Hyronymus wrote:Damerell, what is the profit of your company?
For 1800, £21,000 ship income, running costs £9,000, road vehicles negligible.
For 1805, £28,000 ship income, running costs £10,000. Road vehicles made £80,000 on running costs of £10,000 - 1805 was the first year where subsidies really made RVs surpass ships in profit.
For 1810, ships about the same, RVs made £180,000 on running costs of £40,000.

Most of this was eaten up by construction and new vehicles, though - the company has not yet actually accumulated a cash reserve.

I have actually played up to 1834 or so, I'm just writing these up once every couple of days.

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

Eelco wrote:I Use the north american road set to give my scenarios thet look you want from a 19the century road. Brick roads in town, and dirt roads outside.
Hmm, that's an idea. I'd have to blithely ignore the usual dire warnings about changing NewGRFs (and certainly disable its trams).

Are you the Eelco I know from Pratchett fandom?

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

1816:

By 1816 the project to operate a tramway in every town in the area was finished. Rennford had become a sprawling metropolis, with the company seriously considering a major expansion of the tramway - a project that, curiously, had not come to fruition 20 years later.

Image

Local farmers had also begun to overcome their preference for operating their own transport, with a farm near Martbridge paying the company to transport livestock to the nearby stockyard, where the animals are slaughtered and the meat transported on to market in Martbridge.

Image

Conthill fishing harbour - a surprisingly successful facility given the tiny lake it was built on - was paying the company to transport glassware from the glassworks at Detborough already served by company vehicles:

Image

However, the production of iron ore at the Great Buntown mine was now unprecedentedly large. Much of the company's activity between 1810 and 1816 had been oriented towards finding any possible way to transport these vast quantities of ore. The wagonway and road serving the forge and mine had been entirely separated to maximise capacity on the road, with a bridge built to end the disruption to crossing passenger services - otherwise very severe given the volume of traffic.

Image

(The way that RVs all love to route up the same congested road means I can't just build a second road, short of fancy games with vehicles having different sets of orders.)

An alternative approach was to transport some ore north-east to the nearby coast and ship it to the forge at Brafingburg. This was not a commercial success, with the ships losing money every trip, and by 1816 the operation was being closed down; the road NE from the mine had been dismantled, the ships had been sold, and the last iron ore was being moved from the docks in Brafingburg with those facilities scheduled for demolition in 1817.

Image

However the company was in good financial shape. in 1806 assets had exceeded liabilities, and by 1816 the company's net value was half a million pounds, with only £100,000 of debt outstanding.

(I suspect these figures are absurdly high for the period, but what can we do?)

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by colossal404 »

How about just turn the catenary invisible? In this time there's no electric trains, so it's not a problem, and when the first electric trams/trains come in service, just turn the invisible catenary off.
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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

colossal404 wrote:How about just turn the catenary invisible? In this time there's no electric trains, so it's not a problem, and when the first electric trams/trains come in service, just turn the invisible catenary off.
This (like the NA roads set) is not a bad idea. But fundamentally I don't worry about the screenshots looking odd for 1810 because whatever I do they will look odd for 1810. Every building is wrong.

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

1825:

With further industrial expansion came more opportunities for the company. The opening of a lime kiln near Bronburg Springs permitted the transport of stone from nearby Detborough Quarry (already sending sand to the glassworks); the kiln's output was partly transported by wagonway to two nearby farms and partly by road to a nearby paper mill:

Image

That paper mill supplied manufacturing supplies to a nearby textile mill whose output is itself sold at a retail emporium in Pontford:

Image

Few vehicles are as yet needed for that task, but the infrastructure stands ready.

(Since the lime kiln only gets stone and the paper mill only gets chemicals and the textile mill only gets manufacturing supplies, the end production of goods is predictably miniscule.)

Another paper mill near Rennford is supplied with clay and sends goods to Rennford to market, with manufacturing supplies going to the ever-hungry fishing harbour at Conthill:

Image

So far, so good. However, a less well-advised scheme was the construction of a canal to relieve pressure on the iron ore carts. This worked, but was astronomically expensive, with the company in 1825 having nearly six times the debt it had in 1816. Unfortunately this painting of the canal was defaced in 1828 by a Director's son, who drew these rather implausible tall ships on the depiction of the facility:

Image

(Really, I don't have any canal boats available, so used standard sailing ships. Oh, well.)

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

1834:

Matters changed fundamentally with the invention of the steam locomotive. In 1832 the company succeeded in securing the rights to build locomotives of the 2-2-0 "Planet" design on the condition that the Great Buntown canal was filled in and replaced by steam operation. This was an unwise decision; the locomotives did not perform as well as expected, especially with loads uphill, and it proved necessary to use two of them on each train simply to climb the one incline on the route and to lay multiple parallel tracks to let trains climb it simultaneously - to say nothing of the crippling expense of filling the canal, and the use of the old wagonway as a bed for the railway further increasing congestion on the road.

Here you can see three trains struggling up the notorious Great Buntown Bank. It was clear that they could not be practically employed at that time for the transportation of heavy cargo.

Image

(My fault for setting weight multiplier 3x. But I don't like to back out of a difficult setting just when it gets difficult, so...)

Instead, the company concentrated on passenger services, replacing the Pluborough Bay - Wringfingfield tramway with a "railway" first:

Image

Initially the two operated in parallel, with many of the locals refusing to travel in these newfangled contraptions, but when it became clear that the railway travelled at such hitherto unheard-of speeds, the tramway traffic wasted away and eventually it was closed and sold.

The interchange at Bronburg Springs has also been replaced with a tramway joining two railway stations. The initial plan to run through trains did not prove feasible:

Image

Last but not least, it was realised that the locomotive could be used to run heavy goods efficiently downhill, returning with empty wagons. A single locomotive was assigned to assist coal carts travelling from Frendwood coalmine to the nearby brickworks (which, by then, supplied builders' materials to the builder's yard at Raham):

Image

The question of what the company should do next was a vexed one, especially given its enormous debt levels. It was clear that the locomotive was not the promised panacea.

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by teccuk »

Goodness, amazing to see how many carts are required to do the job of trains!

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Re: [OTTD] Rennford Fish & Tram Company (UKRS2, early start)

Post by damerell »

teccuk wrote:Goodness, amazing to see how many carts are required to do the job of trains!
Well, at 12mph and 6 tons each... I suspect it would be even worse if FIRS didn't like to keep early production values low.

Mind you, those very early trains can't do the job of trains either. It's not reflected in the posts yet, but I resorted to making a cutting for the iron ore line to run it downhill-only - which let me sell a lot of engines and reduces the running costs, so it'll pay for itself.

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