If you’re looking to build a profitable railway empire in the game, here’s a comprehensive guide on how to maximize your earning potential.
Establish Efficient Trade Routes
One of the first things you should do is to set up a beer-meat line. Having an express train on the beer-meat line can significantly increase your revenue. Aim to balance out your freight and passenger services to maximize the utilization of your network.
Aim to have a warehouse in every third city, supplying it with basic natural resources. However, keep in mind that during certain scenarios, this may only involve one to three resources. Place warehouses at points where your trade routes intersect. Integrating agristations into your long lines can also boost efficiency.
Manage Train Types
Use mixed trains on long lines until later in the game when express/freight trains yield a better return on investment. It’s important to understand that each type of train is optimal for certain conditions and managing them effectively is key to profitability.
Expand Your Network
The key to making more money is to expand your network (go wide) rather than concentrating on individual cities’ growth (go tall). Growing cities can take time, whereas wide networks generate more goods early on which means more revenue for your empire.
Upgrade Stations Strategically
If a line can’t keep up with demand, resist the urge to immediately upgrade from 2 tracks to a full 4-track system. Instead, identify choke points and only make those stations 4 track. Use your resources to connect new cities and resources instead of fully upgrading every station.
Manage Personnel Effectively
Use personnel settings as follows: 10 hours, 200% training, 100% salary, 200% well-being, 50% recruitment. These settings are the cheapest way to get the max bonus which can greatly benefit your bottom line.
Invest in Key Commodities
Immediately purchase a key commodity (like cattle or wheat) and a matching industry. It might be initially expensive, but if multiple cities require those goods, you’ll get your money back very quickly.
Connecting tracks to stations is expensive, so limit yourself to the minimum number of connections necessary. A double track between cities with rural industries merging into it works well, and you can always expand stations at a later date.
Encourage Passenger Travel
Since station warehouses won’t be required for quite some time, focus on purchasing passenger buildings to attract more passengers onto your trains.
Utilize Strategic Bidding
In 1v1 scenarios against AI, you can use bidding strategically. Find a key city industry and start the bidding process. Push the price up as much as possible and let your opponent buy it, reducing their finances and slowing down their progress.
Growth is key, so don’t be afraid to borrow heavily and connect as many required products as possible. You may hover around zero finances for a while, but once the green arrows appear, your finances will quickly turn into millions, allowing you to expand much faster.