Creating a money line

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1.0 Moneyline in Sub-tropical climate.

Tropical maps call for multiple possible starts, almost all equal in terms of efficiency (if done right of course).

I will guide you through the basics of tropical starts, by defining 3 different starts with 3 different types of cargo.

1.1 PAX

As most of you know, pax stands for passengers. A passenger start is 9/10 times the best possible start you can make, if you find the right cities of course. Before you start try to find 2 cities with a good amount of population (1,2k-1,5k) with a nice distance in between (diagonal track is preferred here). When you start, do the following in this order:

1.1.1 Station one

Pick the city with the highest population. Put a station on the edge of the city, then place a truckstation/busstation/trainstation(1x1) in the middle of the city (by holding control), so you can transport as much pax/mail as possible. Depending on the starting year choose a cs2400 engine or a renfe 269 engine (yes the 40k one), and add 10 passenger cars and 3 mail cars. Send it to full load on the station.

1.1.2 Station two

Go to the other city, place a trainstation there and combine it with a truckstation and a busstation the same way as you did the first station. build a road depot and send 1 bus and 1 mail truck to that station. Once they hit station, send them right back to the road depot, because you dont want them to load anything here. You just want to trigger the passengers/mail takings of the station.

1.1.3 Connect

First give your train the second order to go to the other city. After you did that, start connecting the stations with your tracks, starting from station one. Dont worry if you run out of cash, because eureka! you can sell that old bus and mail truck you made before :). The extra 10k should be enough to finish your track. Once your train hits station two, its probably already full with pax/mail waiting. This is why adding a bus and mail truck is so important!

Chances are that you can make a second train after the first train gets his first income. If thats the case, make it in the same depot as train 1, near the first city. If you dont get enough money from the first ride, dont worry, you can make it after the second income. But be sure to make it near the other station and once you copied the train, dont forget to switch order so it goes to the second city first, instead of going empty across half the map.

Make a switch so trains can pass each other. After they both hit stations again you can make the 3rd train. Depending on the length of the track you can choose to make a fourth train, or double track more parts of the rail first.

1.1.4 Add more cities

After getting some good income, you can look for more cities that are in length of your track. Further away gives more $, but dont OVERDO it. Make the tracks to long and you will eventually lose money. You can choose here to make your first and second station a hub for more cities, or connect those cities separately, really doesnt matter to much here. After you connected about 5 or 6 cities. Money is rolling and you can move on towards lumber. (3.)

1.2 Oil/Copper ore

Oil is the most profitable of the two stated here, but if you can find a good hub with alot of copper mines close, you might aswell choose that! Get a train rolling, (cs2400 or renfe 269) connect to a refinery/factory. Prefer a diagonal line here, again. Gives 33% more income, remember that. After train 1 hits station make a second train. If you cant affort a whole train (7 tiles long) make a shorter one. At this stage any income is welcome. Make a switch for the trains to pass each other and once train 2 hits unload station, and add the missing copper ore/oil cars on train 2. Once you have about 2 to 3 trains your track is probably saturated, so go for nearby oil/copper ore and connect it to your first station, making a hub. Keep adding more trains on the mainline and so on. You eventually want to extend your line to a further away refinery/factory to increase your income, good choice, go for it! :). After that its lumber time! (3.)

1.3 Lumber

Lumber? why lumber? easy: Lumber mills are dirt cheap compared to other industries, + they give HUGE amounts of income. You got two options here:

  • Place the track from the lumber mill into your mainline, so you have to spend less on making tracks
  • Make a separate line from the lumber mills (recommended).

Once you have enough money and your main-moneyline is pretty saturated, find a nice spot for lumber mills (only rainforest). Place a station which will eventually be used as roro, or make a roro right away. Once you made a lumber mill, add 1 wood train (prefer a renfe 252 engine(70k) with 13 wood cars, or even better, TWO renfe 252 engines and 12 wood cars. Reason for that is once your tracks get crowded, the double engines accelerate much faster, less chance of jams and higher income).

1.3.1 Tracking

Try to find a diagonal route towards an excisting factory. In this time its also wise to pick a town too, so you can eventually route the lumber to a factory near your town, or build a factory yourself later and connect your lumber-line to it. A track with a length of 300-400 tiles is perfect here. Income will be about 250-300k (pounds) when they hit unload station. So once lumber is up and running, income will skyrocket.

Build the track towards the factory, and make it a one-way track (only from lumber to factory is what you need right now. Later on you can make the back-way track into your lumber mills, but you might need the cash earlier in the game to spend it on trains or a second lumber mill. Once your stations are fully connected make sure to keep enough trains on track so you arent stocking wood on station (you first want good income, later you can easily affort to fund more lumber mills). Keep adding lumber trains every once in a while and lumber mills, and you will get a huge income in no-time. You can even set up a 2nd and a 3rd lumber hub, this is optional but your income would rise up exponentially.

1.4 Tips

  • Always choose another train before lumber mill, if the station has a stock of wood waiting. This way income will rise up faster, and your town will eventually get bigger
  • Dont forget to seed new trees every once in a while (try every 2-3 months just to make sure). Remember, once a lumber mill runs out of wood to chop, it will close down business and will take another 6 months (after first trees are planted again) to get back to work. So be warned, this can ruin your game!
  • Try to fund your first lumber mill when your income (yearly) is around 1,5-2,5mil pounds or higher. Lumber mills cost 593k (pounds) but you will get that back with 2 incoming wood trains ;)
  • Make a diagonal line, a straight wood line isnt really worth the effort.
  • Avoid hills, renfe252 and renfe269 are just poor climbing engines, one big mountain can cause a huge jam, which you really want to avoid to get the maximum income (with double engines hills are not that much of a problem though)
  • Don't overkill on the amount of wood trains you make. I'm speaking from experience now, even yesterday i made the mistake. To much trains is just waiting for a jam to occur.
  • Avoid building through rainforest land/rocks in the start of the game. Grass tiles without trees on it are the cheapest to build on, next is desert, next comes rainforest areas and rocky areas

1.5 Why a moneyline anyway?

Tropical maps lack primary industries, you wont find many farms/fruit farms/water wells/diamond mines on those maps. Once you get a gazillion income from the moneyline, you can just fund your primary industries, whenever you want, where-ever you want. You can get up to 130mil income /year (maximum i got), which means around 30 primary industries you can fund each year. Think about it: that means 30 water supplies, 30 diamonds mines, 30 farms etc.

1.6 Advanced oil/copper start

Not all maps are fit for this option. However some maps are. The idea is to make a double oil/copper line and to do it as fast as possible. The best start for this is deliberately choosing the cs2400 over the renfe train, only to replace them later anyway, and get a longer start track but also right away setup a back and forth order for your trains.

Think of it like this: The train load at station one, unload at station 2, not far further loads at station 3 and goes all the way back to unload to a refinery/factory near station 1.

Make sure to trigger the oil/copper for the backway by using a truck, the same way as triggering pax and mail earlier discussed. This strategy makes sure to always have your trains fully loaded, using them to the maximum capacity.

The to-delivered factories/refineries can also even extend your starting line and you can make double way goods tracks (be warned: At this stage mistakes easily get made and can result in making your startline even worse than without goods).

Double way oil/goods can get you up to 5 million income in year 2 if done right, after that funding lumber mills is a piece of cake :-).

1.7 Advanced moneyline

You can double your income from lumber trains if you make a back and forth line. After the factory, place a new hub for lumber mills and connect you line to it. On the way into first lumber hub you can make a factory so they can unload.

Keep in mind: You only want to fully load lumber on station 1. On the station on the backway track, dont fully load. This counts for all 2-way tracks!

Hope this will get you rolling!

Goodluck trying this!