In Railway Empire, your task is to build train stations, railroad tracks and use train lines to transfer people, post and goods.
Both in the campaign and in the scenarios, it is required to perform tasks (in free play, the tasks are optional), which revolve around the core of the game - the business of transporting goods and people. If these are not completed within the given time, the scenario or campaign fails. The faster you are, the better the final assessment.
Setting Up Railroads
Your main task is to set up rail tracks between the cities and between rural businesses and cities. For this you need stations and trains connected by tracks. Trains always consist of a locomotive and a list of stations where the train should stop.
Fortunately, it is not necessary to specify exactly what the train should load and unload at each stop: as soon as a train stops at a station, it will automatically pick up anything it can unload along its route, if there is enough space on the train. Experienced railway workers can deactivate this automatic system and determine at each station which goods should be loaded and unloaded. It should be ensured that the selected goods in a nearby city are really in demand.
Once a freight wagon, passenger or parcel has reached its destination, the player receives a transportation allowance. But this is not always the same: For each freight wagon unloaded at its destination station, a fixed remuneration is paid.
Each passenger who reached his destination station (this can also be a transfer station), pays a ticket price. However, the longer the distance traveled and the longer the journey, the higher the ticket price.
In addition, every train gets a certain popularity among the passengers. This passenger rating additionally influences the paid ticket price.
For packages of the post similar prices as with the passengers are paid. However, here, the passenger rating does not matter.
Maintenance of Trains and Engines
If a train engine is not regularly maintained and its resources (water, coal and lubricating oil) are not regularly refilled, it will become very slow over time. To avoid this, every train engine should stop on its line at a maintenance-building station. In addition, there should be a supply tower along each route. Each train engine has a slightly different level of maintenance and requires different amounts of equipment, but the following applies to all engines:
- The older a locomotive is, the greater the maintenance overhead.
- Slopes and heavy loads require a locomotive more than flat tracks and small loads such as passengers or mail.
- Water and lubricating oil consumes a locomotive according to their distance traveled.
- Sand prevents a locomotive from spinning its wheels on inclines. Therefore, a locomotive needs more sand, the steeper their routes are.
Cities - Centers for supply and demand
Each region has different sized cities with different numbers of inhabitants.
Every inhabitant asks a certain amount of every commodity every day. But while the citizens of small towns only need basic goods, more and more complex goods are being requested in larger cities (citizens ask every 5,000 inhabitants for another commodity). At the same time, demand for basic goods is falling there.
In most cases, farms are located near cities that supply a city with the most necessary goods by means of traditional transports. A city retains its size when about half of its demand is satisfied.
Cities can also get bigger if they are well supplied with goods. However, as the capacity of traditional transports is limited, growth usually does not take place until a city is supplied with freight.
Farms and Mines
Every region has farms, farms and mines scattered across the country. As long as they are not connected to any train station, they deliver their goods in the traditional way by horse cart to the surrounding cities.
If an agricultural company has the opportunity to use train lines to transport its goods, it does so too. A company only sends goods to a city if they are in demand there.
If a country farm succeeds in continuously selling its produced goods, it increases its production. Compared to its initial size, each farm can achieve ten times the production capacity in this way. A factory can also shrink if it can not sell its produced goods.
Basically, goods are always sent by the producer directly to a consumer. This means, for example, that a farm only sends its maize by train if it also travels from the farm to the destination town.
Each city can have up to three industries depending on its size. An industry manufactures goods of higher value and always requires the raw materials and basic goods of rural businesses or even industrial intermediates from other cities. Industries in a city therefore always increase the demand for goods locally.
If an industry always manages to sell all its produced goods because it is well connected with raw material suppliers and consumers via the railways, then it can grow and in extreme cases, just like farms, achieve its tenfold production capacity.
An industry can only be built in a city if its goods are in demand somewhere in the region. In addition, depending on the period, there are different goods and chains of goods in a region.
Travelers & Post
The bigger a city is and the larger the cities in their immediate vicinity are, the more passengers want to travel there daily. Also the amount of mail increases strongly with the size of the cities.
Unlike freight transport, passengers use the railway even when they have to change trains or only travel part of their journey by rail.
Basically, passengers and post belong to the time-critical transports. Trains are therefore often used if they shorten the travel time. However, a passenger does not wait forever for a train to his destination city, but leaves after a few days in another way on the way, if a train line too rarely drops by.
Postal transports are similar to the transport of passengers. But while there are fewer and fewer passengers between cities, the farther apart the cities, the distance plays a smaller role at Swiss Post.
At the beginning of every month, you will receive a certain number of innovation points that you can invest in research, for example on new train engines. Mostly, only things can be researched that are within the current time epoch. Technologies of earlier periods are usually already researched and are available anyway, but here there are quite a few exceptions.
Incidentally, an increase in innovation points can be achieved by building universities, staff and research.
If "Complex Routing" has been activated when starting the game, trains cannot get jammed. In this case, there may only be one train on each section of the track. If a train cannot be guaranteed that its next track is free, it will remain at the station and wait.
With the help of a signal, a route can be divided into two sections. Each track may only be used by one train, but there are now two trains on the original track.
There are two types of signals: stop signals divide a route into two sections and allow a train to stop in front of the signal. Trains only observe the stop signals that are right in the direction of travel. Therefore, it is important to note on which side of a track a signal is placed. Direction signals are stop signals with an additional specification of the direction of travel. Trains may only use a section of the route in the direction specified by the direction signal.
The latter are designed to solve conflicts by means of sidings. First, build a parallel track and connect it at both ends by a switch with the main track. Then you install a direction and stop signal before each turnout. As a result, the respective track section can only be traveled in one direction and the train knows that it is allowed to stop at the signal if the route section in front of it is occupied.
More trains need correspondingly more track sections and thus longer or more sidings, which are organized with signals.
Signals are placed in building-building mode. You can specify on which side of a track the signal should be placed. Zooming in facilitates building.
When setting a signal, stop signals are always set first. However, selecting a signal subsequently changes the direction of effect and the signal type.
Optimal for the train operation are of course flat and straight as possible, but that will not always be accomplished. In general, if too large bumps are added, landfills, tunnels and bridges are inserted. These are expensive, so they should be avoided! On the other hand, too steep grades are driving up the speed. More expensive routes can also be worthwhile - especially on express trains.
From a certain size of the railway network, it is worthwhile to optimize trains further. It is recommended to separate express freight (passengers and mail) from normal freight. Because cargo is heavy and slows down a train. In addition, loading and unloading freight costs time and reduces the proceeds of express freight.
Use fast locomotives for express freight on most direct routes. Recognized express trains and the right train staff increase revenue even further. In principle applies: Fast locomotives for express goods and strong for freight. The right staff will give the important bonuses and the research will ensure a smooth transport with patents.
The exact need of a city can be seen after selecting the city in the info dialog.
To earn money as quickly as possible, you should pay attention to what goods the cities near you need. Depending on the size of a city, the demands of citizens are increasing and higher-quality goods are in demand. Therefore, it is worthwhile, if you look at the table of goods in the dialogue of the city. It also lists the needs of the local industry.