Basic info and how to play CZTR
To make our set more accessible and understandable for everyone I have decided to write about some features we have already implemented into the game, the reasoning behind and few tips. Take a note that the release is something like "early-alpha-prerelease", so many things may be subjected to change in a future.
It is vital to have "realistic" acceleration model enabled. The set was also primarily tested with x3 weight multiplier on freight trains, but I guess x2 for starters is good enough
We also encourage players to use our set with FIRS, which it is compatible with. Until of course we will create and release our own industry set Changed economics
Almost everything is much more expensive! Oh my god!
Well, we did not want our set to be flat and so we put more weight on money. If you expect to build first track and immediately make wads of cash from that, you are probably wrong. People tend to play the set like original, while we want to somewhat portrait the real world. But do not be sad, there are many mechanics that we hope you enjoy and improve your gameplay
Landscaping abuse - landscaping is waaay more expensive than it was. Why? In reality unless there is no other way, the landscaping is avoided by all means. Because its expensive. So its better to plan the railway carefully, especially in the beginnings. Railroad pioneers also copied terrain, following rivers and heightlines. As your company grows, you will be able to afford some changes, but they will still cost you. So don't bulldoze your way through terrain, plan better, build bridges, tunnels and such.
Overbuild - it is nice that you can fathom future of your railway and build some lines double tracked from the start, but... Well, that is not how it works. In reality you have sidings or the pass is going place in the station where there more tracks. Why is that? Of course - it is expensive to build and maintain two tracks along the whole route. So we encourage people to think about the capacity of their railway to plan better. To help you, we have provided many railtypes with different speeds and used materials:
Track Speed - always a factor, faster tracks cost more cash to build and to run
Wooden ties - cheaper to build, costlier to maintain
Concrete ties - more expensive, lesser maintenance cost
Electrification - always a factor, do not build electrified lines when you run them with diesel trains, point of electrification is to save money on locos running cost, so don't waste this on the maintenance of tracks.
Engine abuse - well, its nice to hear the sound of 750 or 363 leaving station and gaining speed, but do you really need these powerful engines to haul those few cars? These engines can take on 20-car freight train on a steep grade. So its better to use cheaper locos for shorter trains or routes, you will save money otherwise spent on purchase and maintenance of more powerful loco. Take also note of difference between maintenance cost of steam/diesel/electric locos.
Car abuse - these double headed trains pulling 30 cars sure look mighty, but unless its from well planned feeder station or some crazy mine, it seldom brings you more money than two trains with single loco. Why is that? Waiting for cargo means that cargo already loaded starts to lose value. Ideal state is that arriving train has to wait no more than 6-10 days for its intended load.So few tips for the starters:
Always check what carriages are available for your intended transport line and their parameters
Plan your line carefully, avoid landscaping and overbuilding as much as possible
Don't be afraid to start with slower tracks (for example 60km/h is very cost effective for many types of freight)
Choose the right locos for your train (as of now Class 726 or Class 210 are my faws especially for shorter routes)
Do not build more cars for the train than you need, sometimes its better to have 2 shorter trains (with weaker = cheaper locos)
If available, use specialized cars, they always provide some kind of bonus - faster loading speed, better preservation of cargo and such
Check your maintenance costs on regular basis
We will try to keep you all posted about important changes, so you can enjoy our set to its full potential