There were some opportunities that weren't being used. For one, there's a new fishing harbor off Kaktovik that is ideal to link up a half dozen fishing grounds near there. There are actually two, but the bottom left one is in the best position out of the two of them.
Alarm! Horrible news! The schooners are obsolete. Which means we'll have to finally upgrade to the new fishing trawlers. They should do okay but their running costs are so high that our fishing profits will take a hit. We bite the bullet and issue a replace order for all schooners. We replace the supplies schooners with Whitgift Freight Barge. It moves at 18 mph and has the lowest running cost of the freight moving ships. The hold is almost twice as large though, so we'll have to see if the port has enough supplies to deal with 3 of them.
We reinstate the coal train now that we have a new engine that can pull more coal at a time and still make the climb. Let's hope it can finally turn a profit.
Next up, there's another oil well all the way up at the pass, which only needs a small sidetrack to be connected. More oil means more chemicals, so this can only be a good thing.
Now, on to building materials. There are two clay pits in the Primrose valley (dark pink on the map) that we want to ship to the brick works. The pit on the right is the one that newly spawned! Neither will be good money makers, but we need the raw resources shipped. The western one we'll hook up to the rail as usual, but we have a different plan for the eastern one - Cargo trams!
The idea behind this is simple - the distance is short enough that road vehicles make sense, and cargo trams have more horsepower to go up slopes. They need a bigger rail investment at first though, so that's the tradeoff.
Our Mogul engines are much more powerful than the old American, and we're slowly making use of this by using the template replace functions in our version to add more wagons on to our food and chemical trains.
We're busy doubling up the valley line, there are so many trains using it now that we can't really make do with sidings anymore. It's during this construction that a horrible accident occurs! One of the chemical trains got onto a new stretch of rail that hadn't had its signals put in yet and crashed right into a waiting ore train when it merged back into its proper tracks. In other works, I made a mistake replacing signals.
After we've cloned up the crashed trains, it's time to supply even more materials to the brick works. There's a coal mine west of the pass, at the top of the Kenai valley. It's easy enough to hook up and set up a train to drop the coal off in Primrose valley.
Our valley line is now so large that it's starting to have a direct effect on how hard it is to hook up new industries. For example, there's a quarry east of an already hooked up oil well near St George and Nondalton. By extending the existing extension, it's trivial to send a sand train to drop off its stuff at the brick works.
We now have clay, coal and sand being delivered to the Brick works. This should result in very large amounts of building materials. The problem is shipping it all out! Building materials are worth quite a lot, as you can see compared to the big earners goods (orange) and food (pink).
So, building materials. It's a good idea to ship them out all the way down the valley for the big bucks. But if we want to achieve our goal, we can't afford to clog up our valley line with dozens of building supply trains. We'll look at funding a builder's yard in the valley so we can keep the drop-off traffic on a completely separate dedicated line.
For now, let's see how much we can earn from these. We set up a building materials train to load at the brick works, and drop them off at a station that already accepts building materials... Kenai.
We let the game running for about a year, and notice that the massively long-distance trains don't make a profit at all. It's simply too far for our current speed. Given that the builder's yard is 'only' 3 million to fund and we have that to spare right now, we may as well set up our end-game route for building materials immediately. We build it in the back of the valley, on a site that's easily reachable from the brick works, but away from the main line. For delivery we set up a roll-on-roll-off station, because we expect heavy traffic in the not so distant future.
We set up a small one-way sidetrack from the delivery station to allow the building material trains to get onto the right rails and adjust their orders. One of the trains was almost at Kenai, so he's got quite the trip back!
There were three building material trains, and the first two arrive at the new loop quickly enough and start making a healthy profit. We can't really support 3 trains with the current production, so the third is sold off after it finally delivers the cargo it had carried all the way up and down the valley.
This has done wonders for our goal progress!
While we're making plans for the immediate future, a new engine is available! It's impressive. It's slightly slower than our previous engine, but 40 mph is the top speed of our hoppers anyway, and these trains define most of the speed of our network. And it's 30% more powerful! This beast can pull a lot more uphill than we could before. We immediately replace all our ore trains - using the template replacement feature we tell all our hopper trains to use the new engine and add more hoppers so that they pull 8 each. While we're busing setting up, we assign some colors to the different types of trains so that they're easier to distinguish on the network - chemical trains are purple, wood trains green, food trains orange, ore trains brown and oil trains grey.
There are some options for making building materials in FIRS on extreme setting, so that's good. Some of the other goals that people have, don't have nearly the same variation - alcohol and petroleum fuels only have one!
We have some vague ideas that we should form into plans for hooking up the other industries On top of Primrose heights is a smattering of industries that we could connect up, potentially reaching the level of 550 tons per month we need for the goal. In particular, there's a cement plant as well as a coal mine, clay pit and quarry so that we can run the cement plant at maximum efficiency.
Beyond that, we'd like to run a timber yard, as that takes timber (processed wood) and chemicals, which we have in the network already. We could divert wood from the iron works and chemicals from the metal workshop and generate a ton of extra building materials quite easily. The problem is that the Primrose Timber Yard is quite a long way out of the way up the side of the Primrose valley. So we're probably looking at funding a new one next to our existing brick works and scaling that station up the wazoo. Funding a timber yard is 'only' $6.5 million. However, there's also no sawmil anywhere nearby, and those run up a lovely $18 million to fund.
Another problem with that plan is that it will collapse our metal output, and then our packaging output, which will drop down our food output. All of which will put a serious dent in our profits. And we *need* food as well, in order to eventually grow Primrose. So it would be smart for us if we can supply iron ore to the current iron works first, so that metal production will keep going.
We'll call the first the 'cement plant plan' and the second the 'timber yard plan'.
But before we start on those, we're going to make good on some plans for ol' Ted. It's time to start laying tracks up towards Primrose heights. First, east towards Crow Village and Lutak. We'll make a double line right from the start, because we can afford to.
We made it up all the way to Lutak, but about halfway there it was clear there's an easier path up that doesn't involve detouring all the way there. So after installing the passenger station that won't see any use right now, we laid down the tracks all the way to the upper pass to Primrose.
It's time for some passenger services in Primrose itself if we're going to be building around it. It's only been 29 years since we've started, but there's a coach driving around our home village now. It won't help with growth in the slightest, because towns in the snow in the arctic map need food. (I was building with tree rendering off, because it's much easier to see the slopes that way. We'll have a nice screenshot of Primrose next update)
The passenger station next to the hotel is ready to go, even if the train won't be there for quite a while. You can see the Primrose elders weren't so happy with seeing their wonderful pristine views marred by a railroad line. They'll come around eventually.
With all this money lying around, we should invest in some statues for ratings. We place one in St Mary's, and in Kenai. We need one in Primrose as well, but we should try and grow the town first. Seems wrong to put up a statue in our home village when we haven't really done anything for them yet.
The statue isn't just for show of course, it gives you a flat 10% rating boost on your station ratings for that town, which is super important for secundary or tertiary industry production - it means we get a bigger slice of the resource generation pie. The statues are a million each... we won't be spamming them across all of our towns just yet.
So what have we achieved in this session? Well, quite a lot. A bunch of new industries connected, an industry funded, and at long last we have a connection to Primrose and Lutak. Our profits are soaring - do you remember we were forced to employ all those fishing trawlers? Yeah, they're doing great. Much better even than the schooners were. To the right of Lutak is another coal mine which was hooked up as an after thought, dropping off coal at the lime kiln in Brevig mission. We'll need those chemicals later as well.
Join us next time for the cement plant plan and/or the lumber yard plan - and possibly some mountain climbing hijinks!
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We get back to the game in 1884. It's been 34 years since we started and we still have a long way to go before we achieve our Building Materials Valley goal. Our finances look good. 37 million in cash, which is enough to fund a sawmill and a lumber yard if we decide to.
Let's look at the industry update! A new oil well has appeared. The new Builders Yard is the one we built last time. The oil well is halfway up the slope between Primrose heights and Primrose valley. If we're desperate for more chemicals we can hook that up later.
Technology wise, there's a new passenger tram that's kind of interesting. We may deploy some tram lines in the towns we're servicing. But far more interesting are the new wagons! They're expensive and heavy, but they can go fast! Not that we have any trains that can actually go that fast yet, but I'm sure that'll change in the not so distant future.
With the immediate fires put out, let's have a look at Primrose. It's much the same, but the elders have accepted that a trainline was inevitable and will allow us to do things here again.
After a lot of consideration, it's been decided: We'll execute the cement plant plan first. It involves building railways on top of a mountain range, which is very different from what we've been doing so far. Variety is the spice of life!
But before we start on that, Reginald has come up with an intermediate project: Project engineering supplies. Engineering supplies in FIRS are extremely important. You source them to mines, quarries or oil wells to increase their production rate. They can be made through various industries, so that's convenient. However, they always require the same materials as producing building materials, which means we can't spare them!
Fortunately, there's one potential other source that doesn't require any of these materials: Ports. Ports ship supplies in from off-map (simulated), so they don't require the normal production resources. In fact, they somewhat act like primary industries for engineering and farming supplies. We've been using the one at Kaktovik to ship farming supplies to our two arable farms in Kenai Bay. The engineering supplies there have yet to be touched, but they aren't nearly enough for our purposes. We need LOTS of supplies.
So the search is on for other ports to gather from. And there's a very enticing spot some way to the south east of Pilot Station.
Near the village of Wrangell on a peninsula, there are FOUR ports (orange). And there's a fifth one just across from the water way as well.
The plan is to ship these with freighters to Kenai Bay, then transfer them to a supplies service which will visit all relevant industries in the valley.
Let's get started on the project engineering supplies.
We set up the supplies station on Kenai Bay. It's right in the middle of farm land, but we don't have to worry about that anymore. It's liberating.
We set up 6 engineering supply ships to hook up 7 ports. 3 to hook up the four ports in the map above (one of the docks can cover two ports), 1 to hook up the port over the water, one to pick up the supplies in Kaktovik and one that we almost forgot, there's a port in Kenai itself!
We set up a train with orders to fill up at the exchange, visit a primary industry, then reload at the exchange and visit another, for a total of 5 industries. We'll increase this order list until it visits most interesting mines or wells in the valley. By adding more trains on shared orders and auto-separating them with the timetable, we can ensure all of these will regularly be supplied.
While waiting on these trains to get going, another town with three hotels scrolls into view: St George. And it's right next to Nondalton which also has a hotel. Time for more trams!
We're having to do some fiddling with the ore trains - the template for making the trains longer worked, but the new wagons weren't refitted - they still want to carry coal which doesn't work so well for sugar beets or sand.
And there was a train jam at the refinery too... there were 3 chemical trains with 3 platforms. This wasn't a problem before because the refinery kept pumping out chemicals, but due to the great deadlock near Brevig Mission the chemical trains had been stuck so long the refinery stopped delivering chemicals, and they then all got stuck loading when they finally arrived. We add another platform and park one chemical train in a depot for a while. That should sort things out.
The supplies freighters are dumping a lot of supplies at the exchange, but the ports are overflowing so we double up on almost all ships.
With all of our train jams fixed, our production and profits shoot back up from the low they were in. An extra metal train is needed to handle all the metal currently being produced. Several of the mines and oil wells are now going gung-ho and need extra trains to deal with the production. At every place where we double up the trains we add extra platforms to avoid jams in the next recession.
Project engineering supplies is a success, so this is the time to stop tinkering with small things and start building on the Cement Plant Plan!
Hooking up the three primary industries is straight-forward enough.
There's small hickup as I made another mistake - the cement plant wants the stone from the quarry, not the sand. A quick refit and that's sorted.
Project engineering supplies is doing great! Kenai Exchange is spilling over from supplies, so we add a bunch more trains to the service, and have it visit more industries.
As part of preparing for the lumber yard plan, we hook up an iron ore mine past Crow Village. We'll need the metal production so we can divert the wood trains without our other industries collapsing. We should consider shipping in some sand to Kenai Exchange and moving that to the metal works. Maybe next session.
To finally help Primrose grow from its 231 people, we source some locally grown mutton. It's unknown what these animals eat up here in the frozen wasteland, but I'm sure Primrose is well known for its mutton recipes. It's processed at a local stockyard then served to the hotel in Primrose by a small train (the stockyard that appeared in session 2).
Right as we're considering ending this session, two new engines appear together! It looks like it's actually the same engine in two configurations - one for traction and one for speed. The slower one can pull even more than our trusty Consolidation. We'll look into that for the long distance hopper trains - we want to haul as many resources up to the Primrose valley as we can. The speed is a bit of a waste though. We don't have wagons that can go that fast, nor will our slow rails allow anything above 50 mph.
With the express engine and fast passenger carriages, we could set up express services to interesting places. Although we'd have to upgrade a whole lot of rail, or build dedicated tracks.
We'll hold off on upgrading engines until next time.
Join us next time to see if we can manage to be the first player on the server to earn our medal!
Thanks, will do!STD wrote: ↑07 May 2020 15:58 I have no questions. It's just interesting to see various screenshots and detailed descriptions. Not every topic can boast of this in this section. More often, players just show screenshots and a little description. You have a related story of your company's development, development of new land, construction of a railway, and coverage of various industries. I like this approach very much. Continue in the same spirit .
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