TYPED BY JEZ!
Railroad Tycoon is a game about the fascinating world of railroads:
steel tracks stretching to the horizon, promising adventure and romance;
steam, diesel, and electric locomotives, some of the largest machines man
has ever built; nations transformed by the speed and strength that
locomotives could achieve, eclipsing the puny power of man himself and
the animals he could domesticate; the sounds of steam whistles, diesel
horns, and clanging bells; a world of risk - natural disasters, poor
economic times, and rival railroads; and a world of opportunity -
money, prestige, and fame.
Railroad Tycoon puts you into this world as the president of a tiny
railroad enterprise. Your railroad empire is only a dream, but you
have a little money from investors and your own ability to start with.
Your task is to carve your railroad empire out of this great world
In Railroad Tycoon, you, the player, construct and operate a
complete railroad, from tracks and signals to locomotives and
livestock cars. If you successfully manage your resources and make
them grow, you can expect a long professional life of railroading
achievement. However, you are not alone in the world and other men
possess the same dream as you.
Your skills as a tycoon are tested by competing railroads run by
men such as Commodore Vanderbilt, James Hill, and J.P. Morgan,
determined to crush you or brush you from their path. Running your
own railroad well is not going to be enough if your competitors do
better, or raise the money to take you over.
You begin Railroad Tycoon by choosing one of four different
world maps to play on: Northeastern America (1830), Western America
(1866), England (1828), or Central Europe (1900). The date in
parentheses indicates the historical year in which the game starts.
Each region has its own geography, economic opportunities, and
These four worlds were chosen for their specific interest or
railroad history. England was the scene of the beginnings of
railroading. The Northeast United States witnessed the beginning
of railroading in America, and fostered many of the world's most
famous railroads. The Western USA was the site of some of
railroading's greatest construction efforts, the building of
transcontinental railroads. Europe remains very railroad oriented,
and France is running some of the fastest trains in the world.
Each new world map is empty of railroads but full of the
opportunity to earn money hauling freight and passengers. You
must parlay one million dollars of loans and stockholder
investments into a functioning, revenue earning business. If you
dawdle or make too many mistakes, expect to be forcibly retired by
irate stockholders or see your company gobbled up by a competitor.
You simultaneously wear the hats of construction superintendent,
master of the road, dispatcher, chief financial officer, and chief
executive officer. You decide where to lay tracks, what types of
trains to put in service, when to schedule trains, where to change
the types of cars in a train, when to upgrade equipment, where to add
facilities, where to encourage industry, and how best to finance
expansion and improvements.
At any moment in the game your attention can be directed to
several places: to find the best route for expansion toward a new city,
to examine the maintenance costs of your locomotives to see if any are
getting too high, to scan Shipping Reports to see if one cargo or
another is piling up enough to justify another train, to look for new
industries springing up in areas where you can provide service.
To succeed you must balance the investment of your limited funds
between more construction projects, adding more trains, adding more
facilities, and stock purchases. Profitable investment decisions
increase your revenue and make possible further expansion
and service improvements. But keep your eye on the stock market to
see what your competitors are up to and don't let them ambush you.
Competing railroads are operated by their presidents in the style
of their historical personality. Expect a road run by Jay Gould to
look for stock market profits and take every opportunity to raid your
stock. Jim Hill can be expected to build an extensive and profitable
system. Beware of his propensity to quickly grab access to profitable
areas, blocking you out if possible.
Competing railroads can be attacked operationally by building tracks
into their stations and starting rate wars. The railroad that does
the best job of providing service to the city is given a monopoly
on local service by the city council. The loser must withdraw from
the city, forfeiting his investment in track and stations. By this
tactic you can reduce the earnings of competitors and continue your
Alternatively, you may invest in the stock of competing railroads
and possibly take them over. If you get control of another railroad,
you can direct its finances and expansion, using it to help your road
or block competitors.
Your ultimate goal as a Railroad Tycoon is to run the most profitable
railroad that you can and retire to a prestigious position, perhaps
even becoming President of the United States. If your railroad is
sufficiently profitable at your retirement you may be enshrined in
the railroader's Hall of Fame.
If you aren't able to make the grade as a railroad president, you
may be able to find work as a snake oil salesman or circus impresario.
Table of Contents........................6
What is a Railroad?......................9
Before You Start........................12
The Difficulty Factor............18
RR President's Aptitude Test.....19
Reading and Using the Displays..........20
The Regional Display.............20
The Menu Bar.....................21
The Game Menu....................21
The Display Menu.................23
The Reports Menu.................24
The Build Menu...................25
The Action Menu..................26
The World View Window............27
The Train Roster.................28
The Area Display.................29
The Local Display................30
The Detail Display...............31
Ending the Game and Winning.............32
Ending The Game..................32
Railroader's Hall of Fame........32
2. SAMPLE RAILROAD TUTORIAL
3. RAILROAD ENGINEERING
How To Lay Track.................50
Surveys And Grades...............51
Track and Bridge Demolition......54
How To Build A Station...........58
Wait Until Full Orders...........78
Revenue And Cargos......................81
How Revenues Vary................82
How Signals Work.................89
Overriding a Block Signal........91
No Collisions Mode...............93
4. THE RAILROAD BUSINESS
Calling Your Broker..............97
Short Term Loans.................98
Train Income Report.............101
Stock Price Graph...............102
5. RAILROAD COMPETITION
Stock Market Takeovers.................111
Controlling Other Railroads............112
6. THE RAILROAD STORY
The Origins of Railroading.............115
The Role of Railroads..................118
Changes Over Time...............118
Stock Market Shenanigans........123
Where To Build..................126
Operating A Railroad...................133
Making Up Trains................137
Development and Decline.........146
7. NOTES AND CREDITS
Railroad Tycoon Worlds.................149
Specific Map Features...........149
North American Locomotives......151
North American Tycoons..........165
WHAT IS A RAILROAD
Consider a railroad operating between Baltimore and Philadelphia.
The railroad has laid a single track between these cities, setting
up stations at each city where cargo can be put on trains and taken
off. The railroad also purchases a locomotive and some freight cars.
It advertises service between these cities leaving Baltimore at certain
hours and arriving in Philadelphia roughly an hour after leaving
Baltimore. Return trips are also scheduled from Philadelphia and take
about an hour to reach Baltimore.
Businesses in either city have the ability to use the railroad to
ship goods back and forth. Whether the railroad is used for shipment
or not depends on the relative cost, safety, and timeliness of railroad
shipment versus alternative shippers (trucks, ships, airplanes, etc).
This Baltimore & Philadelphia Railroad (the B&P) can only draw
business by providing the required service at attractive prices, and
thereby staying competitive with other transport modes.
Once the B&P has started carrying cargos, it must balance its
expenses and revenues to remain in business. The start-up costs of
the railroad are the land it had to purchase to place its tracks,
the cost of track construction plus any bridges or tunnels required
along the way, station facilities, maintenance facilities, its
locomotive and freight cars. All of these items plus operating
personnel must be in place before the first train can run.
After operations begin, the railroad has to provide fuel for the
locomotive, maintenance expenses for equipment, and salaries for the
work force. The revenue earned by the railroad must be sufficient to
cover the expense of construction, operation, and provision for the
For the B&P, the future may mean upgrading stations, buying additional
locomotives and cars to carry more freight, double tracking the line so
trains can simultaneously run in both directions, building signal
systems so that multiple trains can run on the same track without
colliding, freight yards, new car types for special cargos, etc.
Railroads must constantly evolve because technology and service demands
are changing and they must adapt to remain competitive.
All railroads, regardless of their size, are composed of three
elements linked together for one function. Track, locomotives, and
cars are combined to move people and things from one place to
The strengths and efficiencies of a railroad come from the elements
that make it up and how they work together. Tracks make it possible
for enormous loads to be supported, guided, and moved at one time. The
cars are designed to carry specific cargos, for ease of loading and
unloading, and for safe movement in combination. The locomotives make
the railroads go. Supported and guided by the tracks, they can pull
long trains of loaded cars at relatively low cost.
A railroad train is made up of a locomotive, or source of motive
power, and the cargo car's lined up behind it to be pulled. Types
of engines and cars that make up the train are called the consist.
For example, a train consist might be a single 1500 horsepower (hp)
locomotive and 20 coal hopper cars.
In a typical railroad operation, a crew of three or more men
(engineer, conductor, brakeman, etc.) are assigned a locomotive and
a train to pull. The crew takes the locomotive from the engine house
out to the departure yard and connects up to the waiting train
previously assembled by the yard crew. The conductor checks the
train against its manifest to be sure everything is in order and okays
movement. Following train orders from the dispatcher, the crew
begins its trip, pulling the train from the yard out onto the track of
On the mainline the engineer takes over, controlling the speed of
the train according to speed limits posted along the right-of-way,
watching the signals that additionally govern movement and speed in
each block, watching the track ahead for obstacles, making proper
horn signals at crossings, and monitoring the performance of the
locomotive. The brakeman's duties on the road are mainly to watch
the train itself, looking out for smoking wheel bearings or other
conditions that might result in an accident.
At the end of its run, the train pulls into the receiving yard of
another terminal and the crew uncouples the locomotive from the
cars. They head to the engine house for maintenance and refueling of
the locomotive, while the train is turned over to yard crews who break
up the train and place the cars into other trains that take them on to
Railroads earn their money by being paid to move things. In the
case of freight goods, the railroad and shipper make arrangements for
the cargo to be loaded into a freight car. The railroad then arranges
for the car to be picked up and added to a passing train. This train
pulls the car towards its destination, perhaps directly there,
perhaps only to a rendezvous with another train which carries it on
farther. Ultimately the railroad brings the car to its destination
where the receiver of the cargo arranges to get the goods out of the
The railroad is paid a fee for the delivery. This fee is normally
prearranged and paid upon delivery within a reasonable period.
Because a late or damaged delivery may reduce the fee or drive
business to alternative transportation modes, railroads must be op-
erated safely and according to schedules which assure timely service.
Railroads today generate most of their revenue and profits from
hauling large, heavy trains over long distances. In this role they
continue to be the most efficient carrier. The purpose of most
railroad operations is to get freight into and out of these long
trains quickly and safely.
Railroads came into existence because their technology offered
transportation at speeds and costs previously unimagined. They
continue to prosper today, despite competition from other transpor-
tation modes, because in certain situations they are clearly more
efficient than any alternative.
BEFORE YOU START
Sorting the Materials
This Manual provides detailed instructions on how to play and
information on the background of railroad construction, operation,
and finances. The manual text is printed in two main type faces,
normal and italic. Text in normal type usually discusses specific
instructions. Text in italic type is usually a commentary on the
information discussed in normal type. When you are looking for
specific information in a manual section, look first in the normal
type parts. The manual applies to all computer systems.
The Technical Supplement gives specific instructions for loading
and/or installing the game on your computer. It also provides
complete reference of all the graphics and keys used in the game.
Learning the Game
The Player Aid Cards offer a handy reference for the economic
relationships of the various industries and geographic features on
the individual region maps.
The Technical Supplement has complete information about how
to install Railroad Tycoon on either floppy or hard disks.
Study Method: You can study the actual controls and instruc-
tions in this manual (pages 3-113). Begin by reading through the
Interface Introduction (pages 13-15), Pre-Game Options (pages 16-19),
Reading And Using The Displays (pages 20-31), and the Tutorial
Railroad (pages 35-47). Now begin play and refer back to the instruc-
tions as needed.
Jump Right In Method: This is the most popular with experienced
computer game players. We recommend you at least read through the
Interface Introduction, Pre-Game Options, and Reading And Using The
Displays, but even this is not necessary. Refer to the manual's
instructions for help with problems that arise.
The interface of Railroad Tycoon was primarily designed to take
advantage of the mouse. It may be played with either a keyboard
interface or a combination keyboard/mouse interface, but play is
faster if you have a mouse available.
Throughout this manual there are references to certain keys, the
Selector, Selector 1, and Selector 2. Because the manual is written
for all machine formats you need to refer to the Technical Supplement
to learn what these keys or buttons are.
The interface relies heavily on menus. At every point where you
can perform game functions there is a menu bar available from which
menus can be accessed.
Throughout the manual you are instructed to pull down menus
to open them up and reveal the options they contain. To open a menu
using the mouse, place the mouse pointer on the name of the menu
in the menu bar and press Selector 1.
You can also pull down a menu by pressing the keyboard letter
key for the first letter in the name of the menu. For example, the
Game menu is opened by pressing the G key.
When a menu is opened, the choices it contains appear listed in
a menu window.
In Railroad Tycoon there are generally two types of menus. The
most common is simply a list of choices from which you choose the
one desired. Making your selection usually closes the menu and imple-
ments your choice at the same time.
In the second type of menu, the options are either toggled on or
off. Options that are on are noted by a check mark. Options that are
off have no check mark. To exit these menus press Selector 1 outside
and below the menu or press Selector 2.
To make your choice of the options available using the mouse,
place the mouse pointer on your selection and press Selector 1.
Alternatively, you can open a menu by placing the mouse pointer
on the menu name, pressing and holding down Selector 1, and
dragging the mouse pointer down from the menu name. As you drag
the pointer down the length of the opened menu, its options are
highlighted one by one. To select an option, drag the pointer down
until the option of your choice is highlighted, and then release
If you don't have a mouse, you can make selections from a menu
by using the direction keys to move a highlight bar up and down the
menu until the choice you want is highlighted. Then press the Selector
1 key to make your choice. Note that in most menus the highlight
bar does not appear until you press a direction key, usually the one
that moves downward.
When you are using the mouse, if you have opened a menu and
wish to make no choice, you can accomplish this by either moving the
mouse pointer below the menu and pressing Selector 1, or just by
pressing Selector 2.
Even when using the mouse, there are places when one key can
save several steps. Included in the interface are several of these
shortcuts, described in the Technical Supplement. These keys are
normally accessed with the left hand, leaving the right hand free to
use the mouse.
When playing Railroad Tycoon, you spend most of your time viewing
one map display or another. In order to be able to move down the various
maps you need to understand how to scroll whether you use a mouse or the
If you are playing with a mouse, move the mouse pointer to any
part of the map visible, and press one of the following: Selector 2, the
Center key, or the shortcut key for the display map that you are on.
The map immediately centers on the position of the pointer.
If you don't have a mouse, a cursor is usually present on the map
display. (If not, press the Tab key to get it back on the map.) Use
the Direction keys to scroll the cursor around the map. If you go off
the map edge, the map is redrawn if possible, centered on the cursor's
new position. Rather than move the cursor off of the map edge, you can
move it to any position on the map and press either the Center key or
the shortcut key for the display map that you are on. The map
immediately centers on the position of the cursor.
Zooming and unzooming from the various map displays explained in
Reading And Using The Displays, page 20.
The beginning of a game of Railroad Tycoon requires you to make a
number of choices regarding the parameters and location of the game
you wish to play.
To begin a game of Railroad Tycoon, follow the instructions in the
Technical Supplement for booting the game. After the title and credit
screens, you may be required to answer a few technical questions
regarding your hardware, depending on the machine format you are
using. You then proceed to the selection of pre-game options.
The first menu that appears asks you to choose which game to load:
"Start New RR"
"Load Saved RR"
Choose "Start New RR" to begin a new game. Choose "Load Saved RR"
to load a previously saved game. A menu of your saved games appears
and you choose the one you wish to load. Choose "Load Tutorial" to
load the tutorial railroad.
The next menu asks you to choose the world you wish to play in:
"Eastern USA" (begins in 1830)
"Western USA" (begins in 1866)
"England" (begins in 1828)
"Europe" (begins in 1900)
You are next asked to choose the level of difficulty at which you
wish to play:
The Investor level is the easiest level to play and the difficulty
increases as you move down the list. The level of difficulty affects
how much revenue is earned by each delivery and the number of years
you can play before you must retire. At the Investor level you can
play 40 years, at Financier - 60 years, at Mogul - 80 years, and at
Tycoon - 100 years. At the end of the period when you normally must
retire, you may
have the option of increasing your level of difficulty in order to
In addition to these effects, the level of difficulty chosen also
affects your tycoon rating when you retire, as explained below in the
section on Difficulty Factors.
After you have chosen the difficulty level, you are then asked to
set the level of reality at which you wish to play. A menu appears
with three reality levels listed:
"No Collision Operation/Dispatcher Operation"
"Friendly Competition/Cut-Throat Competition"
"Basic Economy/Complex Economy"
This menu differs from most others in that each option is actually
a toggle between two choices. The option that is shown in the menu
is the active option of each pair. If you choose an option, that option
is turned off and is replaced by the other one of the pair.
If the menu currently lists "No Collision Operation", then the
game is set to run in the No Collision Mode (see page 93). If you
choose the "No Collisions" option from the menu, that turns on the
"Dispatcher Operation" option and the game is set to play with more
complex train operations. In this case, the movement of trains is
controlled by block signals, and collisions are possible (see Operating
Trains, page 88). New players should choose No Collisions.
If the competition is friendly, they do not buy your stock, attempt
to take you over (see Stock Market Takeovers , page 111) , or start rate
wars at your stations (see Rate Wars, page 109). If the competition is
cut-throat, they aggressively buy your stock, try to take you over, and
start rate wars to capture your stations. New players should keep the
In a basic economy every station serving a moderate size city demands
all cargos. This makes it easier to make money, because any cargos that
you can pick up can be delivered to any city station. In a complex
economy the demand at a station is determined by demand of the industry
and community it serves (see Railroad Stations, page 56). New players
should play with a simple economy until comfortable with the concepts
of supply and demand.
For each of the reality levels, choosing the easier option makes the
game easier to play by dropping out some concepts a new player then
doesn't have to think about. As you get more familiar with the
mechanics of the game and the decisions that must be made, you can
selectively increase the reality level of your games.
In addition to making the game more or less easier to play, setting
the reality level has an effect on the difficulty factor explained
The Difficulty Factor
The difficulty factor is a measure of the degree of difficulty that
you have set for your game. When you retire or are forcibly retired,
the difficulty factor helps to determine your retirement bonus and
tycoon ranking. The difficulty factor is a percentage, from 25% to 100%,
and the higher the percentage, the higher your ranking is, other things
The difficulty factor has two general components, the levels of
difficulty and reality that you have set for your game. Each level of
difficulty has a difficulty factor value.
To these factors are added the factors from each of the reality
levels. The easier levels of reality have a 0% difficulty factor. The
difficult levels of reality are each assigned a number of difficulty
factors that are added to your total when selected.
When you are setting the level of reality for your game, the
Difficulty Factor window is also visible. Within this window is dis-
played the current difficulty factor of your game, ranging up to a
maximum of 100%, and set at first by the level of difficulty that you
have already chosen. As you adjust the reality levels, you can see the
difficulty factor changing with each adjustment.
New players should start with a very modest reality level. A
difficulty factor of 100% is achieved by playing at the tycoon level
with all three of the difficult reality levels turned on. This is the
ultimate Railroad Tycoon challenge.
The effect of your difficulty factor on your retirement bogus
reflects the number of jobs you took on as president of your railroad.
If you additionally acted as your railroad's dispatcher, had to battle
much fiercer competition, and acted as your railroad's shipping agent,
then your bonus is going to be larger.
When you are satisfied with the reality levels that you have chosen
and the difficulty factor that results from your choices, press the
Selector 1 key, or Selector 2 if using the mouse, to proceed.
This ends the pre-game choices you need to make to begin play.
At this point the map is drawn and mountains, resources, and cities
are added to complete the world for your game.
As prompted, press any key to begin play.
RR President's Aptitude Test
Before you are actually accepted for the job as president of the new
railroad being formed, you must pass one simple test. A window appears
showing one large locomotive and a list of possible identities for it
below. You must correctly identify the locomotive pictured. If you
need some help, you can refer to the Locomotive Roster, beginning on
page 151 of this manual.
If you fail to correctly identify the pictured locomotive, your
future as a railroad president will be severely handicapped.
READING AND USING THE DISPLAYS
After you finish choosing the pre-game options, the game opens at
the Regional Display. The main feature of this display is the world
map chosen for this game shown in the display window. The other
important features of this display are the Menu Bar, the Train Roster,
the date, your railroad's current cash, and the World View window.
These features are found on the other displays as well.
You spend the majority of the game playing from the displays, and
you need to understand what you are seeing and how you can perform
game functions from these displays to play well.
The Regional Display
This display shows the entire world chosen for your game. In the
case of the Tutorial Railroad from which the above illustration comes,
the game world is the Eastern USA. You should be able to recognize the
rivers and coastlines. Refer to the Technical Supplement to learn what
the different colors that are visible on land represent.
This display gives you the complete picture of the world. It shows
the basic geography, including the location of mountains and rivers,
and also indicates centers of population. If railroads have started
operating, they are visible as well.
From the Regional Display you can pick out likely areas to consider
building your railroad. Normally this is an area where at least two
good sized cities are close enough together to make building a railroad
between them a reasonable proposition.
The Menu Bar
Across the top of the entire window is the menu bar. From here you
gain access to a number of menus from which you can change game
parameters, save games, jump to other displays, read railroad reports,
build railroad equipment and structures, and perform other game
functions. In the following sections, the individual menus that are
found on the menu bar are described in detail.
The Game Menu
When opened, the Game menu consists of 5 options:
You can open this menu and make choices from it at any time during
the game. The 5 possible options have these functions:
Game Speed: Choose this option to vary the speed of the game.
A new menu opens listing the 5 game speed options:
Choose "Frozen" to completely stop the passage of time. This allows
you to examine geography, build track, place stations, etc., while all
trains and activities of competing railroads are halted. In addition,
although you may call your broker, he won't answer until time starts
"Slow", "Moderate", and "Fast" are simply relative scales of time,
each faster than the other with no additional effect.
"Turbo" speed is another special case, that not only triggers the
fastest passage of time, but the game does not pause as is normal for
any messages or end of year fiscal reports. The game just continues
playing at top speed with no stops.
Train Messages: This option refers to the train arrival announce-
ments that appear in the World View window at the top right of the
display. Normally a report appears in this window each time a train
arrives at a station. This report lists the number of the train, where
it has arrived, the time of arrival, what cargos are delivered, and the
revenues earned by the delivery. By choosing the "Train Messages"
option, you open another menu that gives you the choice of turning off
these messages, or having them go away fast or slowly.
News Reports: Choosing this option opens another menu from which
you can set the type of news reports you wish to receive. From this
menu you control the presence of the reduced sized newspaper reports
that appear from time to time. If you are getting the information,
the option has a check mark next to it. If you have the option turned
off, the check mark is missing. Your options are:
o Financial News: These are mainly reports on the financial activi-
ties of competing railroads, specifically the stock that they are
buying and selling. You do not receive news of their bond sales and
purchases unless the competing railroad transacting bonds owns stock
in your railroad.
o Railroad News: These are reports on the non-financial activities
of the competing railroads, such as the start up of a new railroad, and
the building of new stations and track.
o Local News: These reports refer to events on your railroad such
as the presence of a Priority Shipment or a change in the local supply
or demand due to the loss or addition of industry (only when playing
with a Complex Economy).
o Animations: Certain events in the game such as bridge building
and train wrecks are marked by an animated graphic sequence. You
can turn off these animations to speed up the game.
Repeat Message: If you were not able to read the last message that
appeared, you can choose this option to have the message repeated.
Save Game: The game you are currently playing is saved at the
moment you make this choice. You are asked which of the 4 saved game
files you wish to place the saved game in. Thereafter, this game can
be called up again and play resumes from the exact moment when you
saved it. If you choose to write the saved game into a file that holds
a previously saved game, the older game is eliminated.
The Display Menu
The Display menu consists of 5 choices:
This menu is used to zoom in or out among the displays, or to change
the information shown on the displays. The Regional Display is the
farthest zoom, and the Detail Display is the closest zoom. How best to
zoom from this menu depends on whether you have a mouse or not.
If you do not have a mouse, use the Direction keys to center the
cursor box in the area of the map now visible where you wish to zoom,
regardless of direction. Pull down the Display menu and choose the
display to which you want to zoom. The new display centers on the
If you have a mouse, pull down the Display menu and choose the
display option you wish to see. You are prompted to "Click on map
center". Place the mouse pointer in the area of the current display
to which you wish to zoom and press Selector 1. The new display
centers on the mouse pointer.
Alternatively, the shortcut keys shown on the menu can be used with
either the mouse or keyboard interface. To use the shortcut keys,
center either the cursor (when using the keyboard) or the mouse pointer
(when using the mouse) in the area you wish to examine, and
press the shortcut key specific for the display you wish to see. The
new display centers on the area you marked.
Options: By choosing this option, you open another menu from which
you may toggle on or off information reported on the displays. The
information that can be toggled on or off are the Shipping Reports and
the Resource Map. If the information is on, the option has a check mark
next to it. Information toggled off has no check mark.
o Shipping Reports: If checked, Shipping Reports are visible from the
Area and Local Displays (see Shipping Reports, page 58). If not checked
these reports are removed.
o Resource Map: If checked, this option converts the Area and Local
Display maps to Resource Maps to help you find nearby sources of cargo
supply and demand (see Resource Map, page 83). If not checked, the
normal Area and Local displays appear.
The Reports menu consists of 7 choices:
Choose the option you wish to examine, and the report opens. Each of
these reports is explained in more detail elsewhere in this manual, but
a short description is included below.
Balance Sheet: A financial statement from your railroad that shows
its current condition in terms of assets, liabilities, and the retained
earnings, or profits over its lifetime. (See Balance Sheet, page 99.)
Income Statement: Another financial report showing your railroad's
revenues and expenses, both for the fiscal period to date, and
lifetime of the railroad. (See Income Statements, page 101.)
Remove Track/Build Track: Available only from the Detail Display,
this option toggles between building track and demolishing track. When
the "Build Track" option is active, the menu choice available is "Remove
Track". When the "Remove Track" option is active, the menu choice is
"Build Track". In addition, the color of the Construction Box box changes
to reflect the active option, as explained in the Technical Supplement.
(See How To Lay Track, page 50, and Track And Bridge Demolition, page 54.)
Improve Station: Available only from the Detail Display and only
if the Construction Box is centered over an existing station, choose
this option to build improvements at the selected station, such as an
engine shop, maintenance shop, post office, restaurant, etc. (See
Station Improvements, page 61.)
Upgrade Bridge: Available only from the Detail Display and only if
the Construction Box is centered over an existent bridge, choose this
option to replace an existing bridge with a better one.
The Action Menu
The Action menu consists of 5 choices, or actions that you as
president of your railroad can undertake:
You can open this menu and make choices from it at any time during
the game. The 5 possible options have these functions:
Call Broker: Gets you in contact with your stock broker so that you
can buy and sell stocks and bonds. You can buy the stock of your own
railroad or the stock of a competing railroad. Also through your broker
you can direct the operations of any railroads that you control. (See
Calling Your Broker, page 97 and Controlling Other Railroads, page 112.)
Your broker may not always be able to return your call because he is
currently taking calls from competing railroads or because you have
frozen time. If you have a call placed, a letter B appears to the left
of your current cash indicating that your broker will get back to you as
soon as he can, and that you don't have to keep calling.
Survey: Available only from the Detail Display, choosing this option
calls in your engineers to survey the area visible on the display map.
The engineers mark the elevation of the area in order to help you plan
where best to lay your tracks to minimize grades. (See Surveys And
Grades, page 51.)
Name RR: Choosing this option allows you to give your railroad
a new name. A window opens and prompts you to type in the name you
desire. In addition to the full name, you are asked for a 3 letter
handle for your railroad that is used in places where the full name
would take too much space. For example, the handle of the Baltimore
& Ohio Railroad might be the B&O.
Reality Levels: Choosing this option opens a new menu of the game
options that you selected when beginning play (see Pre-Game Options,
page 16). You may turn these options on or off from this menu. The
reality levels that can be changed are:
o No Collision Operations/Dispatcher Operation: New players should
choose No Collisions.
o Friendly Competition/Cut-Throat Competition: New players should
keep the competition friendly.
o Basic Economy/Complex Economy: New players should play with the
Retire: Choose this option to end the game or to see how you are
doing at this time. By choosing this option, you receive a report on
what your retirement bonus would be if you retired now, and what
occupation your performance indicates that you are best suited for.
Press Selector 1 to open a menu that gives you a chance to return to
the game or really retire.
The World View Window
This small window is most often used to show you at a glance the
part of the world map that is currently shown in the display window.
It is also used to display Train Arrival Announcements when one of
your trains arrives at a station. (Note that how long Train Arrival
Announcements linger in this window, or whether they appear at all
can be determined by you from the Game menu, see page 21.)
When the world map is shown within the World View window, a box is
drawn around the part of the world that is currently shown in the
display window. Since it would not make any sense to show this map when
you are at the Regional Display, the Railroad Tycoon logo is shown in
the window instead.
The amount of money shown here is the cash your railroad currently
has on hand to spend. The color of this number (as described in the
Technical Supplement) indicates whether the balance is positive or
negative. A negative cash balance is the current amount of short term
loans that you have outstanding (see Short Term Loans, page 98).
This is the current month and year of your Railroad Tycoon game.
Each game begins in the month of January of the starting year. For
example, games in the Eastern USA begin in January of 1830. The end of
December in each odd-numbered year ends a fiscal period in the game and
you review the financial reports of your railroad at that time. At the
end of December of each year, you are charged interest on your bonds
and short term loans.
The Train Roster
This roster is a list of your trains, in order, from Train #1 at the
top, down to the last train on your railroad (see Train Roster, page 65).
From this roster you can tell at a glance the cars currently in a train,
whether they are loaded or empty, the train's destination, whether it is
currently paused or not, its relative speed, and whether or not it is
carrying a Priority Shipment. If a Priority Shipment is available on
your railroad, the current reward for its delivery is shown at the bottom
of the Train Roster.
From the roster you can obtain more detailed information about each
train and make changes to its route and consist by opening its Train
Report (see Train Reports. page 66).
The Area Display
This is the next zoom down from the Regional Display and is a
schematic display of your railroad. It shows no geography, but only
the track, signals, trains, stations, and Shipping Reports (if not
toggled off) of your Railroad. For this display you may toggle off the
Shipping Reports (see Display Menu, page 23) and toggle on or off the
Resource Map (see Resource Map, page 83).
This display is useful when you want ho see more of your railroad at
one time than you can at the Local Display. From here it is also easier
to pick out the railroad features since the local geography is hidden.
The Local Display
This is the second zoom down from the Regional Display and shows not
only your railroad's features, but also the local geography and industry.
From this display you can plan the expansion of your railroad into nearby
areas with good population centers or industrial sites, while keeping the
location of mountain and river obstacles in view.
On this display you may also toggle on or off the Shipping Reports of
your stations or the Resource Map.
The Detail Display
This is the closest zoom possible, and is the display at which all
railroad construction is done. This display shows in greatest detail
the geography, population centers, and industrial sites on the map. From
this display only, you may survey the local geography and plan in detail
the laying of track (see Surveys and Grades, page 51).
This display is also the most useful when planning train movements
that require the overriding of block signals (see Overriding A Block
Signal, page 91), because you get the clearest view of the relative
locations of your trains on your tracks.
ENDING THE GAME AND WINNING
Ending The Game
A game of Railroad Tycoon can end in one of four ways. First, if you
are thrown out of office and replaced as president of your railroad by
irate stockholders (see Stockholder Happiness, page 96), the game ends
immediately. Second, if another railroad manages to buy enough stock to
gain control of your railroad, your services are no longer required and
the game ends immediately (see Stock Market Takeovers, page 111). Third,
when the number of years have passed for the level of difficulty you chose
(see Difficulty Levels, page 16), the game ends unless you accept an
increase in the level of difficulty. Fourth, you have the option of
retiring at any time.
Regardless of how the game ends, your performance is rated according
to several factors, including the value of the railroad when you retired,
the number of years that you were president, the difficulty factor of your
game, the number of competing railroads, if any, that you control, and
whether you were thrown out of office.
The resulting retirement rating is your retirement bonus and final
rank as a tycoon, and indicates the job that you are most qualified for
after retirement. Post retirement jobs range from Hobo, the worst, to
President of the United States, the best. In the final scene of each
game you are shown a picture of yourself in your new position.
Throughout play, as you reach new levels of achievement you may
receive offers of other jobs. These offers give you a general idea
of how you are doing in the tycoon rankings.
Railroader's Hall Of Fame
If you do an exceptional job as railroad president, upon your
retirement you maybe elected into the Railroader's Hall Of Fame. This
is a select group of the 5 greatest Railroad Tycoons. If your tycoon
ranking is high enough, you are given the opportunity to add your name to
2. TUTORIAL RAILROAD
To help new players understand the major concepts of Railroad Tycoon,
a working railroad has been started and is described in this section.
Follow the instructions for loading this railroad and read through this
section with the railroad on your screen. Before attempting to follow
the tutorial you need to at least be familiar with the manual section
Interface Introduction, page 13.
To load the tutorial railroad, follow the instructions for setting
the Pre-Game Options (see page 16) up to the point where you have the
option of starting a new railroad, loading a saved railroad, or loading
the tutorial. Choose "Load Tutorial". This action skips the remainder
of the pre-game options and takes you into the tutorial railroad game.
The first step is the drawing of the world map. When the map is
complete, press any key to begin the game.
After you press any key from the previous step, the Regional Display
opens. Before you do anything else, pull down the Game menu at the top
left of the display on the menu bar and choose the option "Game Speed".
From the new menu that opens, choose "Frozen". This action freezes time
until you change game speed again, and allows you to look around your
new railroad before resuming operation.
You are looking at the Regional Display. In the biggest window of the
display is the map of the Eastern USA world, and you should be able to
recognize the Great Lakes, rivers, and Atlantic coastline. In the bottom
of one of the rivers, is an angled line that is a different color from
the rivers. This is the track of your railroad, the Charlottesville and
Richmond. Throughout this tutorial the Charlottesville and Richmond is
referred to by its handle, the C&R.
When you play Railroad Tycoon, you spend the majority of your time at
this display or one of the three other similar displays. The other three
displays are similar in design, except that the maps they show are closer
zooms of this world map. For a more detailed description of what you are
seeing on these displays and how to use them, refer to the manual section
Reading And Using The Displays, page 20.
For new, just pull down the menus listed across the menu bar, one at a
time, to familiarize yourself with the options they contain. Note that
some of the options have shortcut keys listed after them. You can use
these keys to choose the corresponding option without having to use the
After you have looked at the menus, open the next display down, the
Area Display. There are several ways to do this, but for now place
either the mouse pointer (if you have a mouse) or the cursor (if you
don't have a mouse, move the cursor with the Direction keys) just
below the visible track of the C&R. Then open the Display menu with
the keyboard and choose "Area Display".
This display is a schematic representation of your railroad, and
shows no geography. The parts of your railroad that are visible
are the tracks, stations, signals, trains, and Shipping Reports. The
Shipping Report graphically report which cargos are supplied and/or
demanded at each of your stations, and are described in more detail in
the manual section Shipping Reports, page 58.
Notice that the display features surrounding the map window have
remained unchanged, with one important exception. To the top right of
the display where the game's logo previously appeared, there now
appears a section of the world map. Within this map section a box
appears. The area within the box is the area of the world map now
visible within the display window.
This Area Display can be modified to change the information it
reports. To see this, open the Display menu and choose "Options".
Notice on the menu that appears that Shipping Reports are checked,
indicating they are on, and that Resource Map is not checked,
indicating that it is off. Take the time now to switch these features
on and off, pressing Selector 2 after each change to see the effect.
As you play, you may find it helpful to have the Shipping Reports
turned off to see more of the surrounding area. The Resource Map shows
you at a glance the location of industry and population that
supply and demand goods. For more information, see Resource Map, page
Before going on to the next display, reset the options to Shipping
Reports on and Resource Map off. To zoom in closer to the C&R, center
the cursor or mouse pointer just below the Charlottesville Shipping Report
(the box marked "Cha"). Then open the Display menu with the keyboard
and choose "Local Display".
This display is a closer look at your railroad and the nearby
geography. Now you can see map icons that represent the different
types of terrain, industry, and population centers. These icons are
described in detail in the World Economies Chart found on the Player
Aid Cards. The parts of your railroad are represented in the same
manner as they were on the Area Display.
Note that the display features surrounding the map window have
remained unchanged from the Area Display. Also, on this display you
may turn off the Shipping Reports or turn on the Resource Map, as was
possible on the Area Display.
From this display, for the first time, you can obtain information
about some of the map features. Using the mouse, place the pointer on
the icon two squares below the Charlottesville station, and press
Selector 1. Without a mouse, use the Direction keys to center the
cursor directly on this icon and press the Information key. In either
case, the icon is revealed as a steel mill.
To zoom in as close as possible to the C&R, center the cursor or mouse
pointer on the railroad's track, half way between the Charlottesville and
Richmond stations. Then open the Display menu with the keyboard and
choose "Detail Display".
This display is the closest zoom you can achieve, and the most detailed
view of the map and your railroad available. From this view you can see
the trains moving in detail, including the smoke puffing from their
stacks. Also visible in the greatest detail are the map icons for the
geography and industries. The icons now visible are the ones shown in
the World Economies Chart on the Player Aid Cards. Also visible for
the first time are the names of the cities on the map.
From the Detail Display you can obtain information about the map
features present, as you can from the Local Display. However, the
Shipping Reports are no longer visible and the Resource Map cannot be
The Detail Display is the display where all railroad construction is
conducted. From this display you lay track and build stations. How
to perform these functions is described later in the tutorial. Before
beginning construction, you should examine a few reports to get a better
idea of how your railroad is operation.
Move the Construction Box onto the Charlottesville Station icon and
press the Information key or press Selector 1 if you have a mouse. In
either case you open the Station Report for the station at
Charlottesville. This report shows you how big the station is, what
improvements have been made there (only an engine shop at this time),
what cargos are waiting to be picked up (cargos that are supplied there),
and what cargos the city will pay for (what cargos are in demand there).
This information helps you plan what trains to run where. You learn,
for example, that you can sell anything here that you can carry, and
that the city is supplying mail and passengers. If you look at the
Station Report for Richmond you see that it also supplies mail and
This presents you with an opportunity to run mail and/or passenger
trains back and forth between the two cities, hauling mail and
passengers between them. At each end you can pick up a cargo, take it
to the other city for delivery, and then pick up a similar cargo for
the return trip.
The information regarding the local cargo supply and demand is also
available in the Shipping Reports visible from the Area and Local
Displays mentioned earlier. You use the Shipping Reports and the more
detailed Station Reports to help plan where you wish trains to run. For
a more detailed discussion of how stations work, see Railroad Stations,
The tutorial railroad is set up to run at the lowest difficulty and
reality levels. One of the reality options is the basic economy, where
a city icon generates demand for all cargos. To quickly see how a
complex economy works, return to the Detail Display from the Station
Report, and pull down the Action menu. Choose the option "Reality
Levels", and from the menu that opens choose "Complex Economy". This
places a check mark next to the option indicating that the complex
economy is turned on.
Now return to the Station Report for the Charlottesville station to
see the effect of changing to a complex economy. The station will no
longer pay for (demand) everything. It will pay only for those cargos
that the surrounding industry and population want. The city wants
mail, passengers, and goods, the steel mill wants coal, and the paper
mill wants wood. These are the only cargos now in demand.
Before continuing with the tutorial, you can turn off the complex
economy or leave it on as you wish. Next, it is time to examine one
of your trains.
From the Detail Display, turn your attention to the Train Roster
at the bottom right of the display. In this area are shown in order
the three trains that already exist on your railroad. For each train
the roster shows the number and types of cars in the train, the train's
destination, and other information as explained in the section Train
Roster, page 65. For now you want to use the roster to open the
detailed Train Report of Train #2.
To open the report if you don't have a mouse, use the Tab key to
move the map cursor into the roster, and then use the Direction keys
to move the cursor down the roster to Train #2. Then press the Selector
key to open the Train Report. If you have a mouse, place the mouse
pointer on the locomotive icon of Train #2 and press Selector 1. In
either case, this opens the Train Report.
The Train Report that is now visible provides you with detailed
information about this particular train, including what it is carrying
and where it is headed. For a more complete discussion of what you can
see here and what you can do to make changes, see Trains, page 63.
Of particular interest right now is the part of the report titled
Scheduled Stops at the bottom left. Listed here are the four stops
planned for this train. To the right of the planned stops, under New
Consist, some freight cars are visible. The stops and consist changes
for this train have been planned to take advantage of opportunities for
profit along the C&R.
If you return to the Local Display of the C&R, you can see the reasons
for the schedule and consist of Train #2. At Charlottesville Junction
there is supply of coal and at Charlottesville there is a steel mill that
wants coal. The steel mill takes the coal and converts it into steel,
creating a supply of steel. In Richmond there is a factory that wants
steel. If it gets steel, it converts the steel into manufactured goods.
The city of Charlottesville wants manufactured goods.
So Train #2 has been scheduled to load coal at Charlottesville Junction
into a coal car. It then travels to Charlottesville, delivering
the coal. The coal becomes steel. Train #2 takes off its coal car and
puts on a steel car to carry away the steel. The steel is carried to
Richmond and delivered to the factory. The factory converts the steel to
manufactured goods, creating a supply of goods. Train #2 takes off its
car and puts on a goods car to carry the goods back to Charlottesville.
After reaching Charlottesville a second time and delivering the goods,
the train switches to a coal car again and starts the route over again.
Note that next to Charlottesville Junction on the list of Scheduled
Stops there is a letter "W". This indicates that this train is ordered
to wait at this stop until it is fully loaded before leaving. How this
order is placed and the advantage it offers is explained in Wait Until
Full Orders, page 78.
Note that at this time, Train #2 is listed as a Bulk Freight Local.
Open the Train Type menu and select the choice "Limited". This
changes Train #2 to a Bulk Freight Limited, and the train now only
stops at the stations listed in its schedule, and only in the order
listed. In the manual section on Routing Trains, the reasons for
making this change are explained in detail.
The manual sections on Routing Trains and Train Consist explain
how schedules such as this one for Train #2 are arranged. If you wish,
read these sections now. For practice, take Train #3, now hauling coal
to Charlottesville, and give it the same schedule and consist of Train
#2. Before leaving this report, however, pull down the other menus
across the top to see what options are available.
The first real step in getting a new railroad operating is laying
track. Although the C&R is already operating, it is going to have to
expand to grow and increase revenues. You are going to lay some track
to the north of Charlottesville to connect up to the lumber mill on the
map in that direction. Wood from the lumber mill can be carried to the
paper mill and converted into paper, as noted on the World Economies
Chart (see the Player Aid Cards).
To build some new track, return to the Detail Display and place the
Construction Box on the track section directly below the paper mill
that is to the east of the Charlottesville station. Now press the Track
Construction key for laying track in a northeast direction. You see a
new track section appear, branching off from the mainline to Richmond.
Lay one more section in a northeast direction.
Because the terrain directly ahead is hills, it might pay to survey
the local area to see what the best route is. Press the Center key to
center the map on the Construction Box, and then open the Action
menu and choose "Survey". The elevations of all the visible map squares
are revealed and this makes it clear that laying straight ahead would
mean a steep rise in the relative elevation. However, if you build
north for a while and then curve around the hills, the elevation changes
remain reasonable. You can leave the survey on if you like, or remove it
by pressing the Center key again.
Lay four more track sections straight north, and then one more
northeast. That brings your track adjacent to the lumber mill. Note
that with the laying of each track section, your cash is reduced. Cash
is being spent for the track and the land, or right-of-way, that the
track takes up. You now have the track completed for the connection to
the lumber mill, and it's time to put a station there to load the wood.
Building A Station
To build a station for the lumber mill, place the Construction Box
on the track section that ends next to the mill. Pull down the Build
menu and choose "Build Station". A new menu appears from which
you choose the type of facility to build. Also, the economic radius
of the types of stations available appears centered around the Construc-
The economic radius is explained in further detail in the manual
section How to Build a Station, page 58. Basically it represents how
far people and industry are willing to travel to each station type to
pick up deliveries or drop off cargos to be shipped. The better the
station, the farther they will come. Since your station is going right
next to the lumber mill and there are no other likely customers nearby,
you need only build the smallest station, a Depot with a radius of one
square in every direction.
Choose "Depot" from the list of options, and a station report for
the new station at Charlottesville Crossing appears. This report shows
that the station can be expected to supply 2 cars per year with a
normal economy, and that no cargos are in demand here. Now that the
track and a station have been built to a supply of wood, you need to
put on a train to carry the wood to the paper mill.
Building A Train
To build a new train to carry the wood, pull down the Build menu
and choose "New Train". A new window appears offering you the choice
of locomotives to put on the train. However, at this time, only
one locomotive is available, the 0-4-0 Grasshopper.
If you don't have a mouse, a menu appears from which you can only
choose the Grasshopper locomotive. If you have a mouse, no menu
appears, but you make your selection by placing the mouse pointer on
the icon of the locomotive on the left side of the window and
pressing Selector 1.
In either case, you are taken to the Charlottesville Station where
the new locomotive is built. The engine appears here because the only
engine shop on your railroad is at Charlottesville. (For more informa-
tion about the engine shop and other facilities that can be built at
your station, see Station Improvements. page 61.)
The new locomotive drives out of the engine shop and stops to the
left of the station platform. At this point you add the cars that you
want on the train. You can put as many as 8 cars on any train, but this
tiny locomotive is not capable of pulling that many. As time passes
and better engines are developed, you can build much bigger trains, but
for now just put on one wood hopper car. When the hopper is on, choose
"No Thanks" to complete the train. You now go to the Train Report for
your new train, Train #4.
Your train is ready to go except that its schedule sends it back and
forth from Charlottesville to Richmond. You want this train to go to
Charlottesville Crossing instead, to pick up wood. You need to make
this schedule change before allowing the train to start out.
To change the schedule when you don't have a mouse, use the Direction
keys to move the highlight box that is visible to the row marked #2 under
Scheduled Stops. Now open the Schedule menu on the menu bar at the top
of the report and choose "Change Station". This opens the Route Map.
Use the Direction keys to cycle the cursor around the stations of your
railroad until the cursor highlights Charlottesville Crossing. Press
Selector 1 to choose Charlottesville Crossing and return to the Train
To change the schedule when using a mouse, place the mouse pointer on
the city name "Richmond" and press Selector 1. This opens the Route Map.
Move the mouse pointer to the small box beside Charlottesville Crossing
and press Selector 1. Press Selector 2 to return to the Train Report.
In either case, Charlottesville Crossing is now stop #2 on the list
of scheduled stops for Train #4. This train is now scheduled to run
back and forth carrying wood to the paper mill at Charlottesville.
You can now leave the Train Report.
Restarting The Railroad
You have now examined the major game functions that you must
understand to play Railroad Tycoon. Pull down the Game menu again
and choose "Game Speed". Set the speed to "Slow" and let your
railroad begin operating. Take the time now to examine some of the
reports found in the Reports menu. They are explained in detail in the
manual chapter, Railroad Business, page 94. Zoom in and out among
the displays, and turn on the Resource Map for a while to look for
likely areas to expand the C&R.
It may be useful to save the C&R at this point, and then experiment
with new routes, trains, and the reality options. To save the game at
this point, pull down the Game menu and choose "Save Game." Your first
experiments with Dispatcher Operations may result in some collisions,
unless you have studied the manual section on Operating Trains, page 88,
and have broken up your railroad into signal blocks. If things go wrong,
simply reload the C&R from where you last saved it and try again.
If you decide to experiment with Dispatcher Operation, consider
placing a signal tower halfway between Charlottesville and Richmond,
and two more just after the switch on the way to Charlottesville
Crossing. Place one on the mainline east of the switch and one on the
branch line on the north side of the switch. Experimentation and
reading the section on Operating Trains, page 88, should make it clear
how these signals can speed the movement of your trains.
The track between the new signals at the Charlottesville Crossing
switch and Charlottesville can be double tracked to allow two trains
at a time to move through this block.
You may also consider changing over to a complex economy. The
C&R as set up for you can operate perfectly well with a complex
economy. Further profitable expansion, however, will require that you
understand how stations work, and the relationship between industry
When you have finished experimenting, it is time to restart the
game, select your new railroad world, and build your own railroad
from the beginning.
3. RAILROAD ENGINEERING
Where a railroad places its track can make a significant difference
in its operations and profits. If track is laid up a hill, every train
using the route must slow down or increase power to make the climb. If
the track is sharply curved, trains must again slow down to prevent
derailment. Poor track planning increases costs and reduces earnings.
The most desirable track is straight and level, allowing trains to
maximize speed in both directions. The more curves and grades, the
slower trains can move and thus, the slower deliveries are made. Since
most revenue is tied to speedy delivery, slow trains may be the
difference between profits and losses.
Once a railroad decides to lay track between two points, the
construction process takes several steps. The first is to send
engineers to the country to survey the geography. The surveyors select
a route that minimizes grades, curves, and right-of-way expense.
Railroads must buy the land, or right-of-way, over which their tracks
are to be laid. The route selected should pass over undeveloped and
less expensive real estate where possible, rather than expensive
residential or industrial areas.
Once the route is selected and the right-of-way acquired, track
laying begins with the leveling of the road bed to as nearly level
a grade as possible. This may require earth fills in depressions,
cuts through ridges, and bridges and tunnels for more serious
obstacles. Once the road bed is prepared, on goes the gravel ballast,
the wooden crossties, and finally, the steel rails.
In Railroad Tycoon you may also survey the area through which
you wish to lay track. By conducting your survey you can plan how
best to run your tracks so as to minimize grades, curves, tunnels and
bridges. Building tunnels and bridges greatly increases the cost of
your track, but may be a better alternative to long detours or steep
Your trains will move more slowly up steep grades and through tight
curves, so good planning before the trains start running will increase
your average train speed and profits over the life of your road.
As construction engineer of your railroad you must carefully balance
the cost of alternative routes versus their effects on your train
How To Lay Track
Track is constructed on the Detail Display only. It is built in
sections, one section at a time. A track section connects the center
of one map square to the center of an adjacent square.
To lay a section of track, center the Construction Box on the map
in the square from which you wish the track piece to be constructed.
Press the correct Track Construction key to build a section of track
in the direction you desire. Watch the new track piece appear and note
that the cost of the right-of-way and track construction are subtracted
from your cash.
Once your first section of track is laid, you can continue putting
down more track in any of six directions: straight ahead or back, a 45
degree angle to the left or right, or a 90 degree angle to the left or
right. However, once track building begins, you may only build new
sections off of existing track. You cannot there after start a new
section independent of existing track.
All track built into a new square is single track. (See Double Track
You may build switches by having track split off an existing track
piece at a 45 degree angle (not a 90 degree angle), but either the
switch or original track must be a straight section. You cannot build
a 'Y' track junction.
You may not lay track across another section of your track or a
section of another railroad's track.
Surveys And Grades
As you lay track you may receive a message reporting that the section
you wish to lay has a grade of a certain size, 1.5% or higher. The higher
the percentage, the steeper the grade and the slower trains can move here.
You are given the choice of proceeding or not with construction. Before
laying the track consider conducting a survey of the area to look for
an easier route.
You can survey an area by centering it in the Detail Display and
choosing "Survey" from the Action menu. In each square of the map a
number appears. These numbers represent the relative elevations of the
squares. Grade percentages result from a complicated calculation of the
differences between the elevations of two adjacent squares.
Trains are slowed down by even the tiniest grade, and are only
unaffected when moving downhill or on a level. Grades of some sort are
all but impossible to avoid, and in many cases you have no good
alternative but to accept grades of 3% or even higher.
Bridging the gaps over rivers and other geographic features was a
major engineering challenge for railroads. In the early days the material
of choice was stone, but its expense often forced the compromise of
wood. As technology and engineering science progressed, engineers
turned to steel as the best structural material for their bridges.
It was relatively cheap but still capable of supporting the growing
weight of trains.
You may lay track across rivers by building bridges. To build a
bridge, proceed as if you were laying a normal straight track section.
Bridges cannot be built on curves. A menu appears showing you the
cost of each bridge type now available. You have the option building
any one of the bridge types, or of not building the bridge at all.
River bridges may only be built in a straight line over one river
square. The bridge is built from the starting square to the first land
square on the river's other side. You may not build a bridge that
crosses more than one river square.
Floods may wash out your bridges. Trains on bridges that wash
out or that cannot be stopped or rerouted before going off of a washed
out bridge are destroyed (see Train Wrecks, page 80). A washed out
bridge is rebuilt after the passage of sufficient time. You cannot
speed the rebuilding process, or build a bridge of a new type at this
location while the washout remains.
You have a choice of up to three types of bridge to build. A wooden
trestle costs $50,000 and is very susceptible to washouts. A steel
girder bridge costs $200,000 and is much harder to wash out, but is
not available until the technology for it is achieved. A stone mason
bridge costs $400,000 and is almost impervious to floods. Only
steel and stone bridges may be double tracked, wooden trestles may not.
It is possible for your trains to cross tidal estuaries, the ocean,
or large lakes with the help of ferryboats. To build a ferryboat,
proceed as if you were laying track over the ocean or lake. In effect
you build a ferry route. This route may include curves, but it may not
be double tracked.
Ocean ferries are built one square at a time. If the water to be
crossed is several squares wide, you must continue building ferry
sections to the other side of the water.
Trains move over ferries as if they were normal track sections,
except that train speed is very slow.
Ferries can not be sunk or otherwise damaged.
When a hill or mountain along a planned route was impossible to
build around or slice through with a cut, the last resort was a
tunnel. Despite their cost, tunnels were normally bargains that
eliminated the need for long, tortuous switchbacks with steep grades
or long detours.
In Railroad Tycoon you may have situations where your tracks
cannot cross a mountainous area without building very steep grades.
In these situations the increase in train speeds may justify the cost
of a tunnel.
If you attempt to build a straight track section of sufficiently
steep grade, your engineers inform you that building a tunnel may be
an option here. To build it, choose the "Build Tunnel" option from
the choices presented. The engineers then calculate how long the
tunnel needs to be to come out at the same elevation it starts at.
A second menu appears reporting the required length of the tunnel and
its cost. To build the tunnel, again choose "Build Tunnel". To not
build the tunnel, choose "Never Mind".
If you build the tunnel, it appears on the map and you can continue
building track from its end. The track inside the tunnel is straight
Tunnels are constructed at the elevation of the square from which
they are built and therefore have no grade.
Tunnels may not be double tracked.
The value of having two tracks between stops, one for traffic in
each direction, was recognized by railroads early on. With a flexible
system of switching between the tracks and monitoring the relative
position of trains, double tracking made train movement more efficient.
Doubling track, even at a later date, was much less expensive than the
cost of a second single track because the right-of-way was already
owned and much of the preparation was already accomplished.
In Railroad Tycoon all of the track you lay is single track, but you
may go back over existing sections and double track them. This
immediately doubles the number of trains that can safely move over
any section (see Operating Trains, page 88. However, doubling track is
expensive and normally necessary on only your busiest sections. Monitor
your train operations and double track those parts of your railroad
where to often trains are kept idle waiting for tracks to clear.
To double a track section center the Detail Display over the area
to be improved. Place the Construction Box on the section to be
doubled and press the Double Track key. Note the change of the
section to the map symbol for double track. Track is doubled one
section at a time.
The following features may not be double tracked: 90 degree curves,
tunnels, and wooden trestles.
All stations, including signal towers, are automatically double
Track And Bridge Demolition
Railroads occasionally found it necessary to rebuild or remove
track and other structures. The B&O for example, rebuilt its main line
from Baltimore to Harper's Ferry several times to eliminate difficult
curves and grades. As railroads have concentrated their business into
long, mainline hauling, many branch lines have been abandoned and
torn up. Many industries have gone over to truck transport, or
entirely disappeared, eliminating the need for rail transport to
In Railroad Tycoon you may find circumstances where a station no
longer needs to be served because the local industry has gone out of
business, or where a bridge that can be double tracked is a good
investment, etc. In these cases it may financially beneficial for your
railroad to remove or realign your tracks. Note that track not being used
stills costs you money for maintenance.
To demolish a track section or bridge from your railroad, go to the
Detail Display and place the Construction Box at the end of the section
or bridge to be removed. Pull down the Build menu and choose the
"Remove Track" option. Note that the Construction Box changes color,
signifying that your work crews are now prepared for demolition.
Press the Track Construction key for the direction in which you
wish to tear up track and the section is removed. When track is
removed, you receive cash for the value of the right-of-way that is
When you have completed all desired demolitions, pull down the
Build menu again and choose the "Build Track" option. This returns
the Construction Box to its normal color signifying that track building
is again possible.
The first regularly operating railroad station in the United States
is thought to have been built by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the
Mount Clare area of its home city. This station was used for many years
until the passenger and freight traffic passing through it grew too
large. Most of its functions were moved to a larger station in the
Camden area that was better equipped to handle the traffic flow into and
out of the expanding city.
The purpose of a railroad station, like those on the B&O, is to
provide a place for people and goods to transfer to and from trains.
A small platform by the trackside where farmers drop off their milk
cans, the special sidings adjacent to a coal mine, or the New York
Central's Grand Central Station in Manhattan are all examples of
stations or facilities functioning as stations.
In order to work efficiently, a railroad sets up a network of
appropriately sized and equipped stations to provide reasonable service
to its customers. Grand Central Station would be wasted in a small
rural town, while a small commuter station would not begin to handle
the needs of New Yorkers.
In Railroad Tycoon, you have a choice of three different sized
stations to build. The larger the station you choose for a location,
the larger the surrounding area it serves. However, larger stations
cost more. Your challenge is to accurately assess the needs of the
local community and provide a station that provides the most service
for a reasonable investment. A station that is too large is a waste
of money and a station that is too small reduces the local supply and
demand for cargos, lowering potential revenue.
In Railroad Tycoon stations are the only places that trains can stop
to pick up and deliver cargos. Building track into industrial sites or
cities has no effect on creating supply and demand for cargos. The
transfer facilities that automatically come with a station must be
present for pickups and deliveries to take place.
There are three types of station: Depots ($50,000), Stations
($100,000), and Terminals ($200,000). They are differentiated by their
cost, economic radius, and map icon.
The economic radius is a range in squares out from the station in
all directions. The better the station, the farther people and industry
can be expected to travel to do business with your railroad. All
industrial and population sites within the radius of a station send
(supply) and receive (demand) business through the station. By
adding together the supply and demand for cargos from the industry
and population within range, the supply and demand for the station is
determined. For example, assume each coal mine creates an average
supply of two carloads of coal per year. A station with three coal
mines within its economic radius then generates a supply of about six
carloads of coal per year.
A Depot has a radius of one square in all directions, a Station
has a radius of two, and a Terminal has a radius of three. The
square the station occupies also contributes. During the station
construction process you are graphically shown the radius of each
station type before you actually spend money to build. Examine this
graphic to determine which station incorporates the area that you
The section of track that any station occupies is automatically
Each station comes automatically with a Signal Tower attached
(see How Signals Work, page 89). Additional facilities can be built at
any station location (see Station Improvements , page 61). An engine
shop is automatically built at the first station that you build.
How To Build A Station
Railroad stations are built on the Detail Display. Place the
Construction Box on the track section square where you want the station.
Pull down the Build menu and choose "Build Station". A second menu
appears offering four choices: "Signal Tower ($25,000)", "Depot ($50,000)",
"Station ($100,000)", or "Terminal ($200,000)". For now, ignore the
Signal Tower (see Signal Towers, page 90). Choose the station type you
wish to build and press Selector 1. The icon for the station type you
chose appears under the Construction Box.
Immediately thereafter a graphic appears describing the station
you just built. The station is named, and its type is shown with the
date of construction. In a window is displayed the average yearly
supply of specific cargos this station can be expected to generate, if
any, plus a list of cargos that are demanded here.
Stations may only be built on straight track sections, not curves.
The straight section may end in the square chosen, thereby placing a
station at the end of the line.
Stations may not be built if their economic radius overlaps the
radius of a nearby station in any square.
To replace a station with a larger or smaller one, repeat the
procedure for building a station and place the new station on top of
the old one. For example, if you have a Depot that you wish to replace
with a Terminal, center the Construction Box on the Depot and then
follow the procedure for building a Terminal. The Depot is replaced by
An operating railroad must be flexible in its ability to reroute
trains, add or delete trains, and otherwise adjust its service in
response to changes in the supply and demand of cargos along its system,
The opening of new coal fields, the burning down of a ferry, or the
growth of a city's population are the kinds of factors that are
constantly affecting railroads. A nimble management quickly adjusts
to increased supply of steel here and decreased demand for livestock
there by switching livestock trains to steel. Otherwise, trains that
could earn revenue in one area run mostly empty in another, while
the maintenance costs pile up.
In Railroad Tycoon you monitor the supply and demand of cargos
at your station by checking their supply and demand reports. When
you see supplies of cargos to be shipped piling up on one station's
report, you need to look at your other Station Reports to find places
to deliver those cargos.
Supply and demand information for your stations is found in two
places, Shipping Reports, and their cousins, Station Reports discussed
on page 60. These two reports are available at all times for each
station on your railroad.
To see a Station's Shipping Report, go to either an Area or Local
Display of the part of your railroad containing the station. The
Shipping Report is the window attached to the station icon by a line,
and is also identified by a three letter abbreviation of the station's
In addition to the name of the station, you can read the following
information on the Shipping Report: what cargos are demanded here;
what cargos are now available here to be shipped, and roughly how
many cars of each; whether freight rates for deliveries here are
halved, normal, or doubled; whether a priority shipment is available
or demanded here (see Priority Shipments, page 85); and a relative
measure of revenue earned for deliveries to this station.
A short line in a column of the report indicates that that cargo
is demanded at this station. For example, a line in the first column
of the second row indicates you can earn revenue for bringing
One or more train car icons in a column indicates the number of
carloads of the corresponding cargo now available here to be picked
up by a train. No more than four car icons appear in a column,
although more carloads than that may be available.
The border around the window indicates freight rates. There is a
border color for normal rate, for half rates (only during rate wars,
see page 109), and double rates (see the Technical Supplement for the
correct colors). Double rates exist for a new station from its opening
until the end of the current fiscal period, and for one fiscal period
after a successful rate war.
To indicate where you are making money, the bottom of the Shipping
Report window fills in as revenue is earned for delivering cargos to
this station. The fill is emptied at the end of the fiscal period.
The freight class cargos for England and Europe are slightly
different from those in the USA, as shown in the Shipping Reports on
the Player Aid Cards.
A Station Report provides supply and demand data in a different
format from the Shipping Report, plus other information as well. Where
the Shipping Report can show a maximum of four carloads of a cargo
waiting, the Station Report can show a more accurate account using both
car icons and actual numbers.
You can call up a Station Report from the Area or Local Displays in
two ways. If you are using the mouse, place the pointer on the Shipping
Report and press Selector 1. If you are playing without the mouse, use
the Direction keys to center the Construction Box over the station and
press the Information key.
From the Detail Display, the Construction Box must be centered on the
station for the Information key or Selector 1 to call up the Station
Report. However, when using the mouse, if you position the pointer on
the station and press Selector 1, the Construction Box moves to the
station square and then either Selector 1 or the Information key open
the Station Report.
In addition to stations and track, railroads developed a need for
additional facilities and structures to improve the efficiency of the
road or bring in additional revenue. Railroads built shops at strategic
spots along their lines for building and maintaining locomotives and
rolling stock. Switching yards were required at major junctions and
stops where trains could be quickly broken up and reassembled. Railroads
that skimped on these facilities paid high maintenance costs or provided
Railroads also found that they could earn money on additional
services beyond transportation. They built railway hotels near their
stations, and included restaurants in the stations themselves, such as
those on the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe run by the Harvey Girls
(the best food in the west!).
On your railroad you may build similar facilities to keep mainte-
nance costs under control, store certain cargos to reduce wastage, and
earn revenue. However, facilities are not cheap and you must carefully
measure their benefit versus cost. Decide what facilities to add where
based on the operating needs of your railroad and the traffic passing
through individual stations.
At each station (but not signal towers) you may build any of the
Engine Shop .............$100,000
Switching Yard ..........$50,000
Maintenance Shop ........$25,000
Food Storage ............$25,000
Livestock Pens ..........$25,000
Goods Storage ...........$25,000
Post Office .............$100,000
New trains may only be started at stations containing an engine
shop. When you build a new train you are given the choice of which
of your engine shops to place the locomotive. If you have only one shop,
the new train must start there. Having more than one engine shop
makes placing trains on the far reaches of your railroad easier. Engine
shops also act as maintenance shops. A switching yard reduces the time
required to change the cars in a train by 75% (see Train Consist, page
75). Place switching yards at stations where trains regularly change
their consists. The more trains you have changing at switching yards,
the greater the distance your trains can travel in a year.
A maintenance shop reduces the maintenance cost of trains that pass
through its station in a fiscal period by 75%. Trains that do not
receive regular maintenance may pay very large maintenance bills
and erode your railroad's profits. In your role as master of the road,
your staff informs you which trains are not receiving regular mainte-
nance each year.
All supplies of cargos that are not picked up eventually waste
away. In effect they are picked up by some alternative transport.
Storage facilities prevent this wastage of cargos at the station where
they are built. Post offices store mail. Food storage warehouses
store food. Livestock pens store livestock. Goods warehouses store
manufactured goods. England and Europe have storage for cargos unique
to their worlds.
Restaurants and hotels earn additional revenue from passengers
delivered to their stations, with hotels earning two times the revenue
of a restaurant. Rail travelers need to be fed and often require
overnight lodging when arriving or departing. Railroads that provide
these services fill the needs of their customers and earn extra revenue.
You build station improvements from the Detail Display. Center
the Construction Box over the station to be improved, pull down the
Build menu, and choose "Improve Station" from the options. From the
list of improvements that appears, choose the one you wish to place.
At the station you see the improvement being built. Press Selector
1 to return to the game.
You may build each facility only once at a station. A facility that
already exists at the station is shown in parentheses with no cost when
you pull down the menu and cannot be purchased again.
You receive an engine shop with the first station you build. Its
cost is automatically subtracted from your cash.
The Function of a railroad is to transport people and freight from
one place to another, and this is physically accomplished by trains.
A train consists of two parts, an engine providing the power for motion
and the carrying vehicles pulled by the engine. In the United States
the engines and carrying vehicles are generally known as locomotives
Since the earliest days of railroading there has been a continual
evolution in the technology of both locomotives and cars. Safety,
efficiency, and reliability have increased.
For locomotives the evolutionary trend has generally been toward
higher speed and greater pulling power. In addition, locomotive
designs were adapted to the role they were to perform and to the
geography the road ran through. For example, trains operating in
mountain or plains areas required different gear ratios. Locomotives
designed for express passenger trains had relatively less pulling power
but generated higher speed. Where speed was of less importance, such
as for bulk cargos like coal, gearing and wheel size emphasized pulling
In addition, locomotives have evolved from wood burning steam
engines to coal and oil burning steam engines, diesel-electrics,
diesel-hydraulics, and electrics.
Cars have gotten larger, but mainly more specialized. The earliest
cars were horsepulled wagons fitted for use on rails. These evolved
into specific cars for passengers, livestock, coal, liquids, etc.
The job of the master of the road is to provide suitable locomotives
and cars for the service the railroad is providing. This mix of
equipment and rolling stock must be maintained, upgraded when outmoded,
and adjusted for changing service needs.
In Railroad Tycoon you must continuously monitor the equipment
and rolling stock needs of your railroad so that the correct cars and
trains are in operation. As time passes new locomotive designs become
available for your railroad and correctly matching locomotives to tasks
improves your road's efficiency. For example, a fast Ten Wheeler
locomotive pulls a two or three car passenger train much faster than a
powerful Consolidation locomotive, but the Consolidation pulls a 6 car
coal train much faster than the Ten Wheeler would.
In addition, you must be sure that the proper cars are available
when trains arrive in a station to load cargos. A train of passenger
is not going to take on a load of oil. You arrange for the correct cars
to be in the right place by setting the routes of your trains and/or
changing the cars in an arriving train to provide the desired service.
Incorrect routing or cars means cargos are not picked up and revenue is
lost while the maintenance cost meter is running
You place a new train on your railroad by first building a new
locomotive and then buying cars to couple to it. In order to build
a new locomotive, however, you must have previously built at least one
railroad station. This is necessary because all new trains appear with
their locomotive at an engine shop, and your first engine shop appears
automatically with the building of your first station.
When at least one engine shop exists on your road, you may build
new trains from any Display. To build a new train, pull down the Build
menu and choose "New Train". This opens the New Train window that
shows a picture of the locomotive types available, their characteristics,
and their cost. If you are using the mouse, place the pointer on the
icon of the locomotive you wish to build and press Selector 1. If you
don't have a mouse, an Engine menu appears. From this menu choose
the train you wish to build, or the "None" option if you decide to build
If you build a locomotive, another menu appears listing your choices
of engine shops where the locomotive may be constructed. If you have
only one engine shop this menu doesn't appear. When necessary, choose
the location for your new train by selecting the desired option.
Having chosen the location for the new train, you go to the station
where it was built and watch the new locomotive driving out of the
engine shop. The engine stops on the left side of the platform ready for
you to add cars. Choose new cars one by one from the Car menu now
present. When the train is finished to your satisfaction, choose the "No
Thanks" option. This opens the Train Report discussed below.
A train may include up to 8 cars, of any combination of types. You
may build a train containing no cars. (They can be added later on the
The Train Roster is a graphic display of the trains currently
running on your railroad and is placed at the lower right of the display
windows. When a new train is purchased, it is added to the roster. The
oldest train on your railroad is at the top of the roster and the newer
trains are added in order below it. The bottom train on the roster is the
most recent train added.
Each train occupies one line on the roster, with a locomotive symbol
at the left of the line and up to eight car symbols to its right. The
car symbols are the same ones that appear in Shipping Reports. From
their shape and color you can tell at a glance what type of car each
represents. In addition, the color of the cars changes slightly
depending on whether the car is at least 50% full or not.
At the far right of the line is a three letter abbreviation for the
name of the city that is the train's next destination. In the above
example, the first train is headed for RIC, the abbreviation for
A colored line that appears below a train's destination indicates
the train's relative speed.
As each new train is built on your railroad, a Train Report is
created for it. Thereafter, this report is always available for
A Train Report provides in one place the important information
concerning a train, and also is where changes tn the train's makeup,
type, and schedule are made. Understanding how this report can be used,
how you make changes in what your trains are made up of and how you
change what they are doing is a key factor in playing Railroad Tycoon.
A Train Report appears immediately after a train is purchased, and
thereafter the report for any train on your railroad can be accessed from
The train report quickly provides the following detailed information
about your train.
o Train #: Train 1 is at the top of the Train Roster, number two
is the second from the top, etc.
o Name/Class/Type: If this train has been awarded a name, it is
shown (see Naming Trains, page 68). For trains that are not named
their freight class and type are shown instead. To change the
train's type, see Train Types, page 70).
o Location: The approximate location of the train on your railroad.
o Locomotive type: The locomotive type pulling the train. If
you wish to see detailed information about the performance of the
locomotive on your train pull down the Engine menu and choose
the option "Engine Info". To change the locomotive on the train
Locomotives, page 71. To retire a train entirely, see Retiring
Trains, page 71.
o Maintenance: The expected maintenance cost of this train per
o Speed: The current speed of your train.
o Destination/Loading/Unloading: The destination is the name of
the station to which this train is currently heading. To change
the destination see Changing Destinations below, page 76. If the
train is stopped and either loading or unloading, this is noted
and a destination is not listed.
o Consist: Graphic icons of the locomotive and car types that
currently consist this train. To change the train's consist, see
Train Consist below, page 75.
o Cargo: Type or types of cargo on board.
o Priority Orders: If the train has priority movement orders, they
are shown here. To give the train priority movement orders, see
Priority Orders below, page 77.
o Priority Consist: If the train has priority consist change orders,
they are shown here. To give the train priority consist orders,
see Priority Consist below, page 78.
o Scheduled stops: Each train may have from 2 to 4 scheduled stops and
they are listed here. To change the train's scheduled stops, see
Routing Trains below, page 72.
o Consist Changes: Any consist changes planned at scheduled stops are
planned here. To change the train's consist at stops, see Train
Consist below, page 75.
o Wait Until Full Orders: If the train is to wait at a stop until
fully loaded, that order is noted in this column. To place or
remove this order, see Wait Until Full Orders below, page 78.
o Revenue Earned: This fiscal period to the left, and last fiscal
period to the right.
To open a Train Report when you don't have a mouse, press the Tab key
to move the cursor or Construction Box (Detail Display only) into the
Train Roster window. The flashing cursor appears to the left of the first
train in the roster. Press the Selector key to open the Train Report for
this train. To select another train, move the cursor up and down the
roster with the Direction keys.
To open a Train Report with the mouse, place the mouse pointer on
the locomotive of the train that you wish to examine, and press
Selector 1. Alternatively. you can place the mouse pointer on a
locomotive on any of the displays and press Selector 1.
Railroads got into the habit of giving their fastest and best known
scheduled trains distinctive names. Crack named trains gave the public
a symbol by which to judge the railroad and improved the morale of
railroad employees. Most names were practical or had some historical
or geographic significance, but others promised or advertised something
more than just transportation. Examples of the latter types are the
Orient Express (adventure), Flying Scotsman (speed), and the 20th
Century Limited (modernity).
Trains that received names were generally passenger trains, but in
many cases the faster scheduled freight trains were named as well.
Trains maintained their names over many years, regardless of changes
in locomotives and car. The name was applied to a scheduled service,
such as the New York to Chicago express, not to the specific locomotive
and cars that made up the train.
In Railroad Tycoon you may have the opportunity to name certain
of your trains as well, and within the limits of length, you may choose
any title you think suitable.
The only way you can name a train is if that train succeeds in
setting a new speed record for service between any two stops on your
road. If one of your trains sets such a record you may type in the name
you choose. However, train names cannot exceed a length of 24 letters,
including spaces. Thereafter, the train's name appears on its Train
The passenger revenue earned by a train is increased by 25% if the
train is named.
Once a train has been named, the name cannot be changed unless the
train sets a new speed record. If the train is retired, the name is
Railroads have to move a number of trains each day over a limited
area. In order to help arrange these movements, they developed a
system whereby trains are ranked, or classified. depending on the
value of their cargos. When two or more trains want to move over the
same track, the dispatchers controlling movements had a clear set of
rules by which to determine the order of their movements. Generally,
the higher classed trains moved first.
In Railroad Tycoon trains are classified as either mail, passenger,
fast freight, slow freight, or bulk trains, with mail being the highest
class, bulk being the lowest class, and the others ranked in between.
Class is determined by the car types in the train. If only one type of
car is in the train. then the class of that car type sets the class of
the train. For example, a train made up entirely of coal cars is
classified as a bulk train.
If more than one type of car is in the train, it is called a mixed
freight, but its class is determined by the most common car type in the
train. For example, a train containing a livestock car (fast freight),
two grain cars (slow freight), and a petroleum car, is a mixed freight
classified as a slow freight, because the most common car types were
The class of the train is important when two or more trains are
attempting to move over the same section of track. In this case the
highest class train is given clearance by your dispatcher and moves
first, and then the others move in descending class order.
Understanding and acting upon these relationships can improve
the operation of your railroad. By keeping car types in trains
of similar or adjacent classes, you can keep cargos moving at
As explained later (see How Revenues Vary, page 82), for some
cargos the time elapsed from pickup to delivery is more important
than for others. It therefore pays to have similar cargos combined
into trains and not mix all of the cargo types together.
For speed sensitive cargos such as mail and passengers, it pays
to place them in smaller faster trains because the increased revenues
more than pay for the increased cost per ton for the train operations.
For bulk and slow freight cargos that are much less speed
sensitive, it pays to combine them into longer, slower trains. The
bulk or slow
freight revenues are nearly the same whether delivered in several small
fast trains or one long slow train. However, the long slow train has
only one locomotive earning the revenue, while moving in several faster
trains requires investing in several locomotives and crews.
An additional method of defining trains was to assign them a type,
such as local, through, express, or limited. The purpose of these types
was to separate trains, not by what they were made up of, but by where
they were intended to stop. By dividing its trains into types, a
railroad made planning of movements easier, and also advertised to the
public the various services these trains provided.
In Railroad Tycoon you also may define your trains by type. This
is useful because the train type determines what stops the train makes,
if any, in addition to those specifically scheduled.
You may make each of your trains a local, through, express, or
limited train. The effects of these types are that they stop at
less stations where they could possibly pick up or deliver cargo.
o Local: Stops at every possible station between scheduled stops.
o Through: Stops at every possible station between scheduled stops,
except that it does not stop at Depots.
o Express: Stops at every possible station between scheduled
stops, except that it stops only at Terminals between scheduled
stops, not at Depots or Stations.
o Limited: Stops only where scheduled.
Regardless of type, a train always stops at those stations scheduled
for it on its Train Report.
To change the type of a train, open its Train Report, pull down
Train Type menu, and choose the type you wish the train to be.
The train's type is changed on the Train Report, and thereafter,
the train makes stops according to its new type. Note that when a train
is first built, it is automatically made a local type train and remains
a local unless you change it.
The advantage to be gained from changing a train's type is that you
can customize where it does or does not stop. In most cases you are
raising a train's type to keep it from making unnecessary or unprofitable
For example, a passenger train running from New York to Philadelphia
could stop at several stations in between, all accepting delivery of
passengers. But knowing that passenger revenues are higher for fast
delivery over long distances, you change the type of the train to a
limited type so that it skips all of the intervening stations.
Your passenger train now receives the revenue for a longer delivery,
keeps its speed maximized by eliminating stops along the route, and
remains full. If it made many stops at smaller stations along the way,
the train would probably not be able to keep fully loaded.
Without this change, passengers may be picked up and delivered in
several places along the route, slowing down the train's passage
between the two cities, and probably collecting less revenue because
the passengers only travel a short distance before being delivered.
As the game continues locomotives age and their maintenance costs begin
to climb. In addition, new locomotive types are invented that offer
better service. Every locomotive needs to be replaced at some point,
either because it is too old or because a newer type can do a much
better job. When you decide it is time to replace a locomotive, you make
the change from the Train Report.
To change the locomotive on a train, open the Train Report, pull down
the Engine menu, and select "Replace Engine". From the list of
locomotives available that appear, choose the engine you wish to put on
The change takes place immediately. The Train Report is updated
to show the change, and the cost of the new locomotive is subtracted
from your cash.
You may occasionally find that a train is no longer profitable,
causing congestion on the line and slowing more important trains, or
otherwise no longer worth maintaining. If you choose to do so, the
entire train can be removed from your roster.
To remove a train from your railroad, open its Train Report, pull
down the Engine menu, and choose the "Retire Train" option. The train
disappears from the roster, its report goes away, and the numbers of
all trains adjust to reflect the new order in the Train Roster.
The routing, or scheduling, of trains is one of the most important
parts of railroad management. An efficient schedule insures that cargos
are picked up and delivered in a timely manner, and that the train
operation costs for providing service are kept down. A great many extra
trains insures timely service, but run up costs so much that railroad
In practice, the master of the road provides the locomotive and cars
that the dispatcher requires to meet the demands for service. The
dispatcher receives requests for service from industry and uses this
information to plan what trains are required.
Railroads found that by regularly scheduling certain trains, or by
arranging with important customers to provide service at specific times,
passengers and shippers could make their plans to ship or receive
according to the schedule. A regular schedule also made it easier to
plan the movement of trains, as dispatchers along the line could expect
certain trains to arrive in their divisions at scheduled times.
In Railroad Tycoon, the scheduling of your trains is also very
important. By examining the Shipping Records of your stations, you
learn what cargos are available for shipment, and where those cargos
can be delivered. Your task is to build trains of the proper cars to
carry the available cargo, and then rout the train so it moves from
stations where cargos are supplied to stations where the cargo can
For example, in our tutorial game both Richmond and Charlottesville
supply and demand passengers. So, a train of passenger cars can run
back and forth between these cities picking up passengers at either
city and delivering them at the other. To do this, you must build a
train of a locomotive and at least one passenger car, and then route
the train to run from Charlottesville to Richmond. Having been
scheduled, this train runs between the two cities forever, or until
you step in to make changes.
When a new train is built, it is automatically given a route between
the station at which it was built and another station on your railroad.
This is shown on the Train Report. You are rarely going to want your
train to run this exact route, so the route needs to be changed, and this
is done from the Train Report.
As an example, assume you are running the Charlottesville & Richmond
Railroad from the tutorial. You notice that the supply of coal is
building up at Charlottesville Junction, and that a train could take
this coal to a Steel Mill in Charlottesville, pick up steel there and
take it to a factory in Richmond, and pick up manufactured goods there
for delivery to Charlottesville. You decide to change the route of
Train #3, now scheduled to run back and forth from Charlottesville
to Charlottesville Junction.
To change the route of Train #3 using the mouse, open its Train
Report and place the pointer on the open line below Charlottesville
in the section marked Scheduled Stops. Press Selector 1, and the
route diagram for this train opens.
Notice that the current route of this train is marked. The number
1 next to Charlottesville Junction notes this station as the first
station on the route, and the number 2 next to Charlottesville notes
it as the second stop. Move the mouse pointer directly below the box
marking the station at Richmond, and the information regarding
supply and demand there appears to the right.
With the pointer below the Richmond station box, press Selector 1
to make Richmond stop number 3. Notice that the station box turns
to the color of scheduled stops, the track into the station turns
the color of an active route, and that the number 3 appears next
to the station box. Richmond has now been added to this train's
route as scheduled stop #3. To check
this, press Selector 2 which returns you to the Train Report. Notice
that scheduled stop #3 is indeed listed as Richmond.
Since you want this train to return to Charlottesville from Richmond,
you have to add Charlottesville to the route again as stop #4. Place
the mouse pointer on the open line below Richmond in the Scheduled
Stops section and press Selector 1 to open the route diagram. Move the
mouse pointer under the box for the Charlottesville station and press
Selector 1 again. The number 4 appears with the number 2 next to the
Charlottesville station box, noting that this station is stop #4 as
well as stop #2.
Return to the Train Report by pressing Selector 2 to be sure the
four scheduled stops are arranged in order from 1 to 4 as Charlottesville
Junction, Charlottesville, Richmond, and Charlottesville again.
To change the route of train #3 when playing without a mouse, first
open the Train Report. Note the highlight box that appears over the
number of the scheduled stops at the left of the report. This highlight
box can be moved up and down with the Direction keys. Use a Direction
key to move the highlight box to the empty row below stop #2,
Now open the Schedule menu at the top of the report, and choose
the "Change Station" option. Press any one of the Direction keys
until the station box at Richmond is highlighted. When the Richmond
box is highlighted, press Selector 1. This returns you to the Train
Report where Richmond is listed now as stop #3.
Repeat this procedure to select Charlottesville as stop #4.
As the final step in arranging this route, pull down the Train Type
menu and choose the "Limited" option. This makes train #3 a Limited
train and it stops only at stations on its route. This makes no
difference now, but if more stations are added at a later time, it
prevents needless or wasteful stops.
Train #2 is now scheduled to run its route between these four
stations. After it completes its route, reaching Charlottesville
for the second time coming back from Richmond. It returns to the
first station on its route and begins the route all over again.
The number and types of cars that make up a train are called its
consist. The dispatcher plans the consist of a train to insure that the
correct types of cars are available to carry waiting cargos. At stops
along its route a train may change its consist several times as it makes
pickups and deliveries.
In Railroad Tycoon, you may arrange for regularly scheduled consist
changes to take place at stops along a train's route so that the train
contains correct cars for cargo pickups. You can coordinate the
changes in the train's consist with its scheduled stops, so that the
train may carry several different types of cargos in one circuit of
its route. If all the cars needed were put on at the same time, only
some of the cars would be needed at one time, and the others would
be just extra weight for the locomotive to pull.
For an example of planning a train's consist changes, return to the
Train Report for Train #3 of the Charlottesville & Richmond whose
schedule was just rearranged in the section above.
Train #3 is now scheduled to run to four stops to take advantage
of several related industries. Coal from Charlottesville Junction can
be taken to the steel mill at Charlottesville and converted into steel.
The steel from Charlottesville can be taken to the factory in Richmond
and converted into manufactured goods which can be delivered to
Charlottesville. But the train cannot take advantage of these
industries if the consist remains one coal car because the coal car
cannot carry steel or goods.
To change the consist of Train #3 using the mouse, open its Train
Report. Place the mouse pointer on the line showing "no changes"
to the right of the scheduled stop Charlottesville Junction under
the heading "New Consist". Press Selector 1 and choose "Coal Car" from
the Add Car menu that appears. Note that a coal car icon appears on
the line where "no changes" was previously showing.
You may also use the mouse to repeat the train's current consist
from the top of the report in any row of the New Consist area. Place
the mouse pointer on the row where you want the consist repeated and
press Selector 2. This is useful if you want to add cars to the
current consist without rebuilding the entire train.
To change the consist of Train #3 when playing without the mouse,
open its Train Report. Note the highlight box at the left hand side of
the report under Train Orders. Move this highlight box to stop number
one, Charlottesville Junction by pressing the Direction keys. When the
box is on the "1", pull down the Consist menu and select Coal Car from
the options. Since this is the only car making up the consist at this
station, choose the "No Thanks" option to get back to the report.
The presence of the coal car indicates that the consist orders for
this train are to remove all other cars on the train when it reaches this
stop and put on one coal car. Repeat this process and place a steel car
at the second stop, Charlottesville, and a goods car at the third stop,
Richmond. Leave the consist at the fourth stop, Charlottesville again,
You have now arranged the consist changes necessary for Train #3 to
take advantage of the industry along its route. It is scheduled to
carry coal from Charlottesville Junction to the steel mill at Charlot-
tesville. The steel mill uses the coal to make steel and your train puts
on steel cars there to carry the steel to the factory at Richmond.
The factory takes the steel and converts it into manufactured goods.
Your train again changes its consist to a goods car so it can carry the
goods back to Charlottesville for delivery.
When your train reaches Charlottesville for the second time, it has
completed its route and returns empty to Charlottesville Junction to
start the route over. At the start of its route it replaces its goods
car with a coal car and starts the cycle over again.
As you monitor the operations of your trains, you may wish from time
to time to change slightly the route of a train. This may be useful
when a bridge is washed out on the route, or because a supply of a cargo
further down the route has diminished, or for other reasons. By
changing the destination of the train, you can have it skip a wasteful
stop or avoid a wreck.
In the Train Orders section of the Train Report, under Scheduled
Stops, the next city to which the train is moving, its destination, is
highlighted. You may change this destination to another city on your
railroad, regardless of whether the new destination is on the train's
of scheduled stops or not. To temporarily change the destination to a
city not on the current route list, see Priority Orders, page 77.
To change your destination to another scheduled stop when playing
without the mouse, move the highlight box to the city to be the new
destination. Pull down the Schedule menu and choose the "Go To Station"
option. The highlight changes from the old destination to the new city,
marking it as the train's next destination.
To change your destination to another scheduled stop when using
the mouse, place the mouse pointer on the name of the stop you wish
to make the new destination for the train and press Selector 2. The
new station is highlighted, signifying that it is the next destination
for this train.
You may find it occasionally useful to have one of your trains
temporarily change its route to avoid a washed out bridge, to pick up a
Priority Shipment, or to take advantage of a temporary change in the
supply or demand of a cargo nearby.
For example, a train that was unable to fill up with coal to take on
to a steel mill may be rerouted by a Priority Order to another nearby
city where coal has been sitting unused. By rerouting your train to pick
up this coal, you fill it with coal more quickly than having it wait at
its first coal stop until full.
To temporarily change the destination for a train to a city not on its
list of scheduled stops, you must give it Priority Orders. This change is
made from the Train Report.
To give a train Priority Orders using the mouse, place the mouse
pointer on the space below Priority Orders to the right of the "P"
symbol, and press Selector 1. On the route diagram that appears, move
the mouse pointer to the station box for the city which you wish to be
the new destination and press Selector 1. A "P" symbol appears next to
the city you have selected, noting this station as a priority destination.
Press Selector 2 to return to the Train Report.
To give a train Priority Orders when not using the mouse, use the
Direction keys to move the highlight box under the "P" symbol below
Priority Orders. Pull down the Schedule menu and the route diagram
appears. Use the Direction keys again to highlight the station that you
wish to be the priority destination, and press Selector 1. This returns
you to the Train Report.
Back on the Train Report, you see that under Priority Orders the
new destination is listed, and the bottom part of the Train Orders
section is screened out. This signifies that the normal train orders
have been overridden. Once the train reaches its priority destination,
it returns to its normal route, picking it up where it left off.
Occasionally during play you may wish to temporarily change the
consist of a train. This is especially useful when attempting to pick
up a Priority Shipment, see page 78. This type of change is made from
the train's Train Report.
To give a train a Priority Consist order when using the mouse,
move the mouse pointer onto the line below Priority Consist marked
"no changes", and press Selector 1. This opens the Add Car menu from
which you may choose a car to be added to the Priority Consist. When
a car is selected, the menu goes away, but you can call it back by
placing the pointer on the same line again and pressing Selector 1.
To delete a car in the Priority Consist, place the pointer on it and
press Selector 1, and it is removed.
To give a train a Priority Consist order when not using the mouse,
use the Direction keys to move the highlight box onto the 'P' symbol
to the left of the Train Orders section, and pull down the Consist menu.
This act automatically clears all of the existing cars, if any were
present, from the Priority Consist line. Choose from the Add Car
menu the cars you wish to add to the Priority Consist.
The cars of the Priority Consist are placed on the train at its
next stop, overriding any previously scheduled consists. The train
proceeds along its normal route (unless given Priority Orders) and at
the second station it stops at, its normal consist orders again go into
Wait Until Full Orders
For sufficiently large customers, railroads put on unit trains, or
trains dedicated to the one shipper. A common example are coal trains,
sent to one mine to load coal and carry this cargo directly to a port
, steel mill, etc. These trains were not scheduled to arrive and
depart by timetable as other trains, but were sent to be loaded, and
when loading was complete. In this way the railroad could arrange for
proper locomotives and crews knowing that they would be moving a full
In Railroad Tycoon you may also arrange that a train wait to move
until fully loaded by giving it Wait Until Full Orders. Trains given
the order do not move until every car in the train is fully loaded or
until the order is lifted. Using these orders you can improve the
efficiency of your railroad, especially when the train is to pick up a
cargo to be converted and carried on to another stop on its route.
For example, consider Train #2 on the Charlottesville & Richmond
Railroad of the tutorial. This train is scheduled to make four
stops and change its consist three times. The coal it loads at the
start of its route is converted to steel which is carried to a factory.
At the factory the steel is converted to manufactured goods which are
delivered back to Charlottesville.
As noted later in the section about cargo conversions, the conversion
process is 100% efficient. If the train starts with 40 tons of coal,
this converts to 40 tons of steel, and this converts to 40 tons of goods.
For this reason, it is beneficial to begin with 40 tons of coal, thereby
guaranteeing full loads at every stop.
For cargos where no conversion is to follow, or where the cargo is
very speed sensitive, such as mail, waiting until full is less
valuable or actually wasteful.
To order a train to wait at a stop until fully loaded, open its Train
Report. When using the mouse, place the pointer in the space between
the stop number and the name of the stop under Scheduled Stops and
press Selector 1. Use the same procedure to remove wait orders from
a train that is already waiting.
When playing without the mouse, use the Direction keys to highlight
the number to the left of the stop where you wish the train to wait.
Pull down the Schedule menu and choose the option "Wait" to order a
train to wait until full, or choose the option "Don't Wait" if the train
is already waiting and you wish that it no longer do so.
A "W" appears to the right of the stop number signifying that the
train is ordered to wait until full at this stop.
The accidental wrecking of trains has been a part of railroading
from its start. The severity of accidents ranged from commonplace
derailments to spectacular head-on collisions. Wrecks resulted from
mechanical failure and bad weather, but more often from human error.
The negative effects of a major wreck included not only the possible
loss of passengers, crew, cargo, and equipment destroyed, but also a
drop in demand for the railroad's services. Passengers and shippers
looked to alternative railroads or transport rather than risk the trains
of a demonstrably incompetent railroad.
In Railroad Tycoon you can suffer train wrecks due to washed out
bridges or to collisions. Trains that cannot be halted or rerouted in
time plunge off of washed out bridges. When you override block signals,
you run the risk of letting too many trains into a block and causing a
If one of your trains goes over a washed out bridge or two or more
of your trains collide, the result is a train wreck. When a train wrecks,
the locomotive, cars, and cargos that make it up are destroyed and
removed from your railroad. You receive no compensation.
In addition, all cargos of the same type as those lost on your train
immediately disappear from every other train on your railroad. Shippers
have their cargos taken off your trains immediately.
Also, all supply of these same cargos disappears from the stations
on your railroad, as shippers find other ways of moving their goods.
Eventually calm is restored and the cargos once more become available,
assuming you suffer no more wrecks.
REVENUE AND CARGOS
Railroad revenue comes from two main sources, passenger fares and
freight charges. A passenger boarding a train in Chicago pays a fare
for being conveyed to Detroit. A steel mill in Pittsburgh pays a
freight charge for delivery of a load of coal from Scranton.
In these examples the railroad is responding to the supply and
demand for passengers and coal. The passenger in Chicago represents
a supply of passengers there. The coal piled up in Scranton also
represents a supply, this time of coal. The desire of the passenger
to go to Detroit represents the demand for passengers in Detroit, just
as the mill's desire for coal represents demand for coal in Pittsburgh.
Since steel mills in Railroad Tycoon also demand coal, a steel mill
within the radius of a Pittsburgh station on your railroad would be
represented by the demand at that station for coal. If your railroad
has track connections to a station near Scranton that has a coal mine
within its radius, you can make money by having a train take coal cars
to the Scranton station, load coal, and then deliver it to the Pittsburgh
The key is a good start and profitable existence in Railroad Tycoon
is understanding the relationships between the industries that create
the supply and demand for cargo, the stations that act as shipping and
receiving points for industry, and the revenue you earn by having trains
carry cargos from stations that are shipping to those that are receiving.
Revenue is earned by loading your trains at a station that is a supply
source for a cargo and then routing the loaded train to a station that
has demand for that cargo. When a train stops at a station to make a
delivery, several things take place to mark the event.
First, in the World View window at the top right of your screen, an
announcement appears describing the train's arrival. The announcement
lists the time of the arrival, the train's type and number, the name of
the station, the cargos delivered, and the revenue received.
Second, when the cargo is delivered, the car icons on the Train
Roster switch from loaded to unloaded.
Third, your cash balance shown in the bottom of the Information
window increases by the revenue received.
And fourth, the bottom of the Shipping Report fills in green
proportionally to the revenue earned.
How Revenues Vary
Some cargos are more valuable to railroads than others because
some customers are willing to pay higher fees for faster service. For
this reason railroads develop a hierarchy of trains offering different
services and customers can select the type of service that suits them
In general, mail, passengers, and express packages attract the
highest fares because they are given the best service. The fastest
freight trains earn slightly lower fees for speedy delivery of
important cargos such as perishable foods. Bulk cargos such as coal
have the lowest rates but are still profitable because railroads can
efficiently carry them in huge quantities.
On your railroad you can arrange some differentiation of service
to improve profitability by making up trains of the same or neighboring
freight classes, by carefully setting train types and routes, and by
understanding how freight rates are determined.
The revenue earned for delivering cargos can vary between stations
(see Shipping Reports, page 58), cargo classes, worlds, and over
time. For the Western United States, revenues are higher than normal
for east-west deliveries and lower than normal for north-south
deliveries. The other worlds use the normal rate structure. Over time,
freight rates tend to fall. To compensate, you must run bigger, faster,
and for greater distance trains.
The revenue for mail is most sensitive to time and distance. The
faster it is delivered once picked up and the farther it is carried,
the higher the revenue per ton. Passengers are less sensitive to time
and distance, fast freight is even less sensitive, and so on down to bulk
cargos that are insensitive to time and distance. It doesn't matter how
far you carry bulk cargos or how fast. You are paid a strict fee by the
The economies of the United States, England, and Europe are each
represented by 11 cargos that can be carried by railroads. Some cargos
are unique to one world, and some are available in all three. The 11
cargo types are separated into 5 freight classes, each with a distinctive
color as described in the Technical Supplement: mail, passengers, fast
freight, slow freight, and bulk.
The cargo class determines the revenue earned for delivery (as
explained in the section above), how long it takes to load or unload a
car, the weight of a full car, and the weight of an empty car. Mail
class cars take the least time to load or unload, then passenger cars,
etc., down to bulk cars that take the longest time. Mail cars are the
heaviest when empty, then passenger cars, down to bulk cars that are the
lightest car type when empty. Conversely, bulk cars are the heaviest
when full, then slow freight, up to mail cars that are the lightest when
By being aware of these differences in cargo types when loading,
riding empty, etc., you can improve the efficiency of your railroad by
carefully arranging the makeup of your trains. For example, a train
made up entirely of mail cars or mail and passenger cars, loads and
unloads much faster than the same train if a slow freight car is also
in the consist. Thus a mail train moves faster.
The supply and demand for cargos is derived from cities, villages,
and industries as shown on the World Economies Chart found on the
Player Aid Card. Be aware, however, that it takes more than one village
by itself to have any significant effect. The aggregate of supply and
demand from several villages is needed to make rail service worth-
To help you see where cargos are supplied and in demand, you can
convert the Local Display into a Resource Map. When you do this, the
geography of the map is removed, and new one-letter symbols appear
to mark sources of cargo supply and demand. You can call up this
Resource Map while planning and see at a glance the economic situation
in your vicinity.
To access the Resource Map, center the Area or Local Display
over the part of the map that you wish to examine and pull down the
Display menu. Choose "Options" from this menu. From the Options
menu, choose "Resource Map", and a check mark appears next to that
option. The check mark indicates that the Resource Map is now taking
the place of the normal Area and Local Displays. Press any Selector to
make the display change to the Resource Map.
The letter symbols that appear on the map indicate a source of
supply for a cargo at the symbol's location. For example "C" indicates
a source of coal which must be a coal mine.
A letter symbol on a square background indicates a source of demand
for a cargo. For example, a "W" on a square background indicates a
source of demand for wood, most likely a paper mill.
If the Shipping Reports of your stations are blocking your review
of the map, you can turn them off from Option menu as well. When the
Shipping Reports are visible their menu option is checked. Choose
"Shipping Reports" from the menu to turn off the check mark, and this
makes them disappear from the display.
To put the Resource Map away and return to the normal map displays,
reverse the procedure for accessing the Resource Map and remove the check
mark from the Option menu.
Certain industries developed a special relationship with railroads
because raw materials brought to them by rail were converted into
products that were in turn shipped out by rail. For example, cattle
brought by train to packing plants was converted to frozen or canned
meats and then shipped by rail to markets. In this case an important
rail cargo, processed meat, does not exist as a naturally found resource.
In each world of Railroad Tycoon there are a number of cargos that
come into being only after the conversion of another cargo at an
industry. These types of cargos can offer special opportunities for
revenues because the same cargo can be carried several times.
As shown on the World Economies Chart found on the Player Aid Cards,
some industries demand one cargo and then convert it to another that
they now supply. For example, a carload of coal brought to a station
that serves a steel mill is converted into a carload of steel. A
carload supply of steel is then available at the station. This steel
could then be taken to a factory's station, converted to manufactured
goods, and then carried finally to a station demanding goods. In this
case, one carload of coal is converted into two successive carloads,
each earning revenue.
The majority of railroad trains are run according to timetables. In
this way the railroad can schedule its stops and equipment needs for
efficiency, and its customers can confidently make travel and shipping
plans. However, railroads are often requested to provide special trains
for excursions, emergency shipments, etc. These special trains are
usually quite profitable because the railroad would not disrupt its
normal service to accommodate the specials if they weren't.
Occasionally during play your railroad can receive requests_for
delivery of Priority Shipments. When delivered quickly they can be
very lucrative, but at other times the pickup and delivery points are
placed such that the disruption to your regular service may be too great.
When a priority shipment appears, take a few moments to decide whether
the delivery is worth your trouble.
You are notified by a message window when a Priority Shipment becomes
available. The message tells you the cargo type to be delivered, where
it must be picked up, and where it is to be delivered.
In addition, a letter P appears in the Shipping Report of the station
where the shipment is waiting, and a letter D appears in the report of
the destination station. The color of these letters corresponds to the
color of the freight class of the shipment. For example, if the shipment
is food, classified fast freight, the letters are the color of fast
freight, as described in the Technical Supplement.
When a Priority Shipment appears, the fee for delivering it also
appears in the bottom of the Train Roster window. The amount shown
is what your railroad would earn for delivery at that instant.
Unfortunately, that fee continually shrinks in size as time passes,
are so large as to be quite substantial even after much time has passed.
If the delivery fee reaches $20,000 the shipment is cancelled and all
further references to it are removed.
In order to pick up a Priority Shipment, a train containing a car
capable of carrying the priority cargo must be routed to the station
where it is waiting. When the train stops, the Priority Shipment is
loaded on board. The color of this train's locomotive icon on the Train
Roster changes, to indicate the shipment is on board. Note that every
train containing the correct type car that stops at this station picks up
the shipment, not just the first.
Priority Shipments may be handed on to other trains. Whenever a
train carrying the shipment stops at another station, it "stocks" that
station with the shipment. Thereafter, any train containing the correct
type car and stopping at this "stocked" station, also picks up the
Recognizing the long run benefit to themselves and the economic region
they served, railroads often took steps to encourage industry along
You may find at times that your railroad could substantially benefit
from new industry in the right area, such as placement of a steel mill
near a large coal area, or a food processing plant near a grain area. A
judicious investment such as these, or the provision of a missing link
for a chain of cargo converting industries could provide a handsome
As an alternative to waiting for industries to grow along your
railroad, you may speed the natural process by attempting to invest
in specific industries. You may try this at any time. The industries
that may be built in each world are shown on the World Economies
Chart, found on the Player Aid Cards.
To build a new industry, go the Detail Display. Center the
Construction Box in the area where you want the Industry to appear
and pull down the Build menu. This menu lists the industries available
to be built. Choose the Industry you desire. If a suitable site
was found in the area, the industry is built and the Construction Box
moves to the site to point it out. If no suitable site is available,
you are informed that the industry can not be built.
The search for a suitable site is carried out by your engineers.
You cannot choose the square you desire. If a suitable site cannot
be found within 3 squares of where you placed the Construction Box,
the investment does not take place. In this case you may elect to
move the Construction Box to another location and try again.
As with other industries in the game, ones you build may also go
out of business or change type.
The operation of a train is in the hands of two people, the locomotive
engineer who sets the train's speed, and a dispatcher who determines
when and where the train moves.
Railroad locomotives only move straight ahead or in reverse, they
have no steering wheel. The engineer, sitting in the locomotive's cab
and watching the track ahead, uses the throttle to adjust the train's
speed to reach points along the line as scheduled. He assumes that
the track ahead are correctly arranged to guide the train to its proper
In Railroad Tycoon, all of your engineers drive like Casey Jones on
a good day. When the tracks are clear, they open the throttles wide on
your locomotives and make the best possible time.
The dispatcher's job is to be sure that the orders given the engineer
before the train pulls out put his train at the right place at the time,
that the tracks are properly arranged as needed, and that the movement
of all trains is accomplished safely.
You perform the first two functions of the dispatcher on your
railroad (scheduling and switching) on the Train Report. When you set
a train's route on the Train Report, the division dispatchers on your
road schedule departures and arrivals, and arrange for the necessary
The third function of the dispatcher, providing safe operation, is
more complicated. The safe movement of trains is controlled by the
dispatcher on a large schematic diagram of the railroad. The location
of each running train is continually updated on the board. The entire
road is divided into blocks, and the movement of trains into blocks
is controlled by signals, like traffic lights. A train is not allowed
into a block until trains ahead of it are out of the block, thus
preventing the chance of collision.
On your railroad, safety is assured by signals that are automatically
set up when stations are built. However, relying on these signals
alone may result in very conservative, inefficient operation. In your
role as construction engineer and dispatcher, you may improve the
efficiency of your road for minimum cost by selective placement of
additional signals and double tracks. You may also step into the
management of individual trains by pausing them or opening blocks
that would normally be closed.
How Signals Work
The rules for signals apply only when the reality option "Dispatcher
Operations" is in effect.
Each station or signal tower on your railroad comes equipped with
a set of track signals, one signal on each side of the track that passes
through the station. These signals control the movement of trains past
them in either direction. A Go signal allows an approaching train to
pass, while a Stop signal stops it. Refer to the Signals Chart on the
Player Aid Card for a description of Go and Stop signals.
All of the track stretching from one signal to the next along the
line is considered a block of track. Only one train at a time is
allowed in a block of single track. When a train enters a block of
single track, the signals at both ends of the block turn to Stop
preventing any more trains from entering. When the train reaches the
end of the block, the signals at both ends turn to Go and once again
Note that the boundaries of a block are set by the placement of
signals. In cases where tracks split at a switch, the tracks that
continue on from the switch remain part of the original block unless
a signal is placed after the switch.
For example, assume your railroad lays track between Richmond and
Charlottesville. You then place a switch between these two and run
another track section north to Washington, D.C. If you don't add any
more signals, all of the track between the three cities exists as one
block, and only one train can normally run on all of this track at a
By placing another signal just past the switch on the way to
Washington, you separate the old block into two blocks, one that runs
between Richmond and Charlottesville, and one that runs between the
switch and Washington.
If all of the track in a block is double track, the signal system
allows two trains at a time to be in the block, regardless of their
Every set of signals on your railroad comes with a signalman in
a tower. If a train approaches a tower and the block ahead is empty,
the signal is set to Go. When the train enters the block, the signalman
telegraphs the dispatcher and the dispatcher marks the train in the
new block on his board. The dispatcher telegraphs the signalman and
his counterpart at the other end of the block to close the block. Both
signalmen set their block signals to Stop and no further trains are
allowed in. When the train inside reaches the other end of the block,
the signalman at that end telegraphs the dispatcher, and he gives the
okay to reopen the block.
Recognizing what track constitutes a block can become complicated
when tracks begin branching out. Signals do not come with switches.
All track that extends off of your mainline from a switch remains part
of your mainline block unless you add a signal tower to the branch to
A block that separates two stations a great distance apart may be
so long that trains are running very inefficiently between them. While
one train is traveling across the block, the second is sitting at a Stop
signal at one end.
One thing you can do to speed the relative movement of trains in this
situation is divide the big block into smaller blocks by adding signal
towers along the line. The mathematics of calculus say that the more
blocks you divide the big block into, the faster two or more trains can
move between the ends of the original block. But signal towers are
expensive. You must find an economical compromise between the number of
towers to add and the increase in train speed that would follow, versus
the cost of the those towers.
To build a signal tower, go to the Detail Display and place the
Construction Box on the track section where you want the tower to
appear. Pull down the Build menu, choose the option "Build Station",
and then choose the option "Signal Tower" from the menu of station
choices. The new tower appears within the Construction Box on the
display and the signals immediately begin affecting the movement of
A signal tower consists of a set of signals and a section of double
track. An unlimited number of trains may wait adjacent to a signal with
no risk of collision.
Signal towers cost $25,000 and may only be built on existing
straight track sections. They may not be built on curved, switch,
bridge, or tunnel sections.
Overriding A Block Signal
The dispatchers on your railroad never make mistakes, but they are
also very conservative. There may be times on your railroad when more
liberal train operations can result in faster, yet safe, service. In
your role as chief dispatcher, you may open blocks that are normally
closed to get stopped trains moving. This action is useful when a fast
train is already in a block and a slower train is waiting stopped behind
it, or when one train is inside a complicated block of switching tracks
and a train that is waiting has a route that doesn't interfere with the
You may override a signal from any display except the Regional
Display. On the Detail Display, the Construction Box must be centered
on the signal you plan to change.
If you are using the mouse, place the pointer on the signal you
wish to override and press Selector 1. A Signal window opens showing
the track, tower/station, and the two signals, one in each direction.
The two signals are at either end of the building and control the blocks
that they are adjacent to. Inside the Signal window, place the mouse
pointer on the signal you wish to override and again press Selector 1.
To override a signal when you don't have a mouse, place the cursor
on it and press the Signal key. This opens a widow that requests that
you indicate the direction of the signal you wish to change. Press the
Direction key that corresponds to the direction of signal. For example,
if the signal you wish to change is on the west-
bound side of a station placed on a straight track running east to west,
you would press the due west Direction key to override that signal.
In both cases, another menu opens offering you the choices "Normal",
"Hold", or "Proceed".
Choosing "Normal" restores normal signal operation: stop if the block
is full, go if the block is empty.
You may override existing signals with either menu choices "Hold"
or "Proceed". How these overrides are graphically displayed is shown
on the Signal Override Chart in the Technical Supplement.
A signal overridden with "Hold" stops all trains until the signal
is overridden again back to "Normal" operation.
A signal overridden with "Proceed" allows the next train through,
but then automatically returns to normal operation.
The menu choice "Normal" returns a currently overridden signal
back to normal operation.
Railroads find it desirable on occasion to hold up the movement of
a train. A train could be held to prevent an accident or to allow a
following train to pass.
On your railroad you may also find it desirable to temporarily halt
a train. In addition to the above reasons, you may wish for a train to
wait outside a station until a supply of cargo has built up for the
train to carry away.
You may pause a train by either changing the signal that it is
approaching (as explained in the section immediately above. Overriding
Signals), or by ordering the train itself to pause. Changing a signal
to "Hold", however, stops all trains that reach this signal. Pausing
an individual train stops it alone.
You pause an individual train from the Train Roster.
If using the mouse, move the mouse pointer to the line below the
train you wish to pause, and press Selector 2. The line below the train
changes color or pattern to indicate that the train is ordered to pause.
If you don't have a mouse, use the Tab key and Direction keys to
move the cursor next to the locomotive of the train you wish to pause
and press the Hold key.
The change in the line below the train indicates that this train is
going to stop moving at the next signal it reaches and move no farther
until you remove the pause order.
To remove the pause order with either the mouse or keyboard,
repeat the procedure for pausing. The line reverts to its normal
appearance and the train resumes normal operation.
No Collisions Mode
When you are first learning to play Railroad Tycoon, it may be
useful to play without having to worry about signals and collisions.
This may allow you to concentrate on learning other aspects of the
To play without the possibility of collisions and be able to ignore
the system of blocks and signals, choose the "No Collision" option
when you are setting the parameters of your railroad.
The effects of the No Collision Mode are that trains can never
wreck. Even though the signal system does not work, trains do not
collide. When two trains meet or pass each other, the lower class train
pulls over to a siding and halts. This is handled automatically by your
dispatchers and you don't have to make any preparations. When the
higher class train has passed, the halted train gradually begins
moving again. A disadvantage to this mode is that a low class train
may be halted many times when trying to complete its route.
4. THE RAILROAD BUSINESS
Railroads were one of the great capital enterprises of the industrial
age, requiring huge investments in the global construction projects that
they became. Before the first train could run, costly and extensive
preparation was required: miles of roadbed prepared, bridges built
where necessary, rails purchased and laid down, minimum station
facilities built, locomotives and rolling stock made ready.
The money that made railroads possible came from several sources,
including investors subscribing to stock shares and thereby becoming
partial owners of the enterprise, investors buying long term bonds,
short term bank loans, and profits generated by the railroad once
When a new game of Railroad Tycoon begins, you have already
sold part of the public on your dream and attracted investors who have
bought enough of your stock and bonds to give you a start. As play
continues you may have the opportunity to sell additional stock, borrow
more money, buy back stock into the treasury, and buy back bonds.
The initial capitalization of your railroad is $1,000,000, $5000,000
obtained from selling bonds and $500,000 obtained from investors who
have bought 100,000 shares of your stock at $5 per share. This is
the money you begin your railroad with.
As time passes and your railroad grows, new stock, in addition to
the 100,000 outstanding at the start, may come into existence in two
ways: new stock issues or stock splits.
New stock may be issued only when you build a station into a new
city. As a bonus for the new railroad connection, the local city
leaders may offer to buy 10,000 new shares from you at the current
price. If this occurs, you have the option of making the or not.
Choose the option you wish from the menu that appears. The stock
sold consists of newly authorized and registered shares that previously
did not exist. The sale increases the outstanding shares in the
public's hands by 10,000.
A 2 : 1 stock split occurs at the end of any fiscal period in which
your stock price reaches $100 per share or higher. At the beginning
of the next year, the number of shares is doubled and the price of the
new shares is halved from the price of the old. For example, if the
price at the end of the year of 140,000 shares is calculated to be
$110, the stock splits resulting in 280,000 shares priced at $55 per
Regardless of the fact that the railroad you are running is your
dream and that your decisions have made it the great enterprise that
it is, you nevertheless work for the stockholders and they are a cynical
bunch. Your stockholders are only happy if the stock price is higher
than last year and headed higher. If the stock price doesn't increase
they become unhappy, and they can become quite angry if by some
shocking circumstance the stock price should actually fall.
You retain office as president of your railroad so long as the
stockholders are at least content with the job you are doing. Their
happiness is measured at the end of each fiscal period when the
stockholders calculate their return on investment (ROI) averaged over
the last 5 years. The higher this number, the happier they are.
If for several periods in a row this number doesn't increase, or
actually decreases, the stockholders become progressively angrier.
If stockholder patience runs out, they may throw you out of office
and replace you as railroad president. You are forcibly retired and
your management of the railroad ends. However, if at least 50% of
your railroad's stock is in the treasury, you cannot be fired.
Your railroad starts with an outstanding 4% bond of $500,000.
Further bonds are sold and bought back in $500,000 increments.
Each bond sold has an annual interest rate which is subtracted
from your railroad's cash at the end of every December. The interest
rate on any new bond you wish to sell depends on the economy and
the number of bonds you have outstanding as in the table below.
Once the current interest rate reaches 9%, you may not sell any
further bonds, regardless of how many you already have outstanding
or the current state of the economy. If the economy improves and
Economic interest rates fall, you may sell further bonds until
the rate reaches 9% again.
Bond rates are lower in the Western USA due to government subsidies.
To sell bonds or buy them back, call your broker.
Interest Rate Table
Number Of Bonds Outstanding
Climate 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Boom 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% X
Moderation 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% X X
Normal 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% X X X
Recession 5% 6% 7% 8% X X X X
Panic 6% 7% 8% X X X X X
Notes: Interest rate percentages are the rate you will pay another
bond, depending on the current economic climate and the number of
bonds you have outstanding. X = no bond sales possible.
Calling Your Broker
To conduct most financial transactions involving stocks and bonds,
you call your broker to get access to the financial activity menus.
Pull down the Action menu and choose the option "Call Broker". This
opens the Financial Summaries window. From here you can obtain certain
financial information about your railroad and your competitors, sell or
buy back bonds, buy and sell treasury stock, buy and sell competing
railroad stock (Stock Market Takeovers, page 111), and operate competing
railroads (see Controlling Other Railroads, page 112).
To sell or buy back a bond, pull down the Cash menu. If you choose
the option "Sell $500,000 Bond", that amount of money is added to your
cash and to the size of your bonds. Choosing the option "Buy Back
$500,000 Bond" subtracts that amount from your cash and bonds.
To buy stock in your railroad and put it in your treasury, pull
down the Buy Stock menu and choose the option "Buy Treasury Stock".
The cost of the stock is subtracted from your cash and 10,000
shares are added to your treasury. Treasury stock is sold in the same
manner as it is bought, except from the Sell Stock menu. Note that you
cannot buy treasury stock if the public doesn't own any, and that you
cannot sell treasury stock if there isn't any in the treasury.
The price of stock is determined by normal buying and selling on the
stock market. When a very large order to buy or sell is placed, the
is forced up or down in order to find enough sellers or buyers on the
other side to complete the transaction.
All stock transactions in Railroad Tycoon are extraordinary orders
involving relatively large amounts of the outstanding shares. For this
reason, expect to actually pay 10% more than the quoted price when
buying, and receive 10% less than the quoted price when selling.
Short Term Loans
During play you may spend more money than you have. When you engage
in deficit spending, the color of your current cash ln the display
window changes color. If at the end of a year you have a negative
cash position, you are charged 12% on the negative balance.
Like any business, railroads can get so deeply in debt that
protection from debtors and court supervised reorganization is the
only alternative to utter ruin. The normal result of a bankruptcy
is that the previous owners (stockholders) are wiped out, the bonds
outstanding are reduced to a manageable level, and the remaining
lenders receive new stock in exchange for their money that was lost.
If the business returns to health, the rising stock price may someday
equal or exceed the money lost when part of the bankrupt company's bonds
were converted to stock.
If economic conditions, accidents, and other circumstances work
against your railroad to the extent that it appears headed for ruin, you
have the option of declaring bankruptcy at any time. This step can
partially relieve your debt burden and perhaps get your railroad back
on its feet. There may be times when it's good defensive strategy as
To declare bankruptcy, call your broker, pull down the Cash
menu, and choose the option "Declare Bankruptcy". All bonds that
can be repaid from your cash are paid off, half of your outstanding
bonds are eliminated (rounded down), all of your treasury stock is
eliminated, all of your stock held by competing railroads is eliminated,
and the public is left with 100,000 shares.
After declaring bankruptcy, you may not lay any more track until
your cash balance is positive and all remaining bonds have been repaid.
As your game of Railroad Tycoon continues you may call up a number of
different financial reports to examine the process of your railroad.
The reports that are available are a Balance Sheet, an Income Report,
a Train Income Report, and a Stock Price Graph. All of these reports
are available during play. From any display, pull down the Reports
menu and choose from the list the report you wish to see.
BALANCE SHEET: 1832
Charlottesville & Richmond RR
Assets: Lifetime Year to Date Changes
Operating Funds: $ 418,000 $ 130,000
Treasury Stock: $ 360,000 $ 90,000
Other RR Stock: $ 170,000 $ 40,000
Facilities: $ 100,000 $ 0,000
Industries: $ 0,000 $ 0,000
Real Estate: $ 127,000 $ 0,000
Track: 42 miles $ 126,000 $ 0,000
Rolling stock: $ 26,000 $ 4,000
Outstanding Loans: $ 500,000 $ 0,000
Stocking Equity: $ 500,000 $ 0,000
PROFIT: $ 300,000 YTD: $ 260,000
The Balance Sheet compares the value of the assets and liabilities
of your railroad and shows whether you have made a profit or loss during
its existence. The figures are presented in two columns, the right
hand side for the year to date, and the left hand side for the lifetime
total of the railroad up to this moment.
Liabilities, expenditures, or losses are indicated by figures in a
specific color on screen (see the Technical Insert), or with a (-) sign
in documentation illustrations. Figures in normal color indicate income
gains, positive value of assets, increases in value of assets, and profits.
Operating Funds is the cash you now have on hand.
Stock assets are the value of your treasury stock and the stock
of other railroads that you own. This value is a liquidation value,
or what you could expect to get for it if you tried to sell it all right
now. Because each buy or sell order tends to raise or reduce the price
by 10%, the listed value is substantially lower than just the number of
shares you own times the current price.
Facilities include all of your stations, signal towers, and station
improvements, valued at their purchase cost.
Industries include any steel mills, factories, or other industrial
sites that your railroad has purchased, also valued at purchase cost.
Real estate is the value of the right-of-way that you have purchased
when laying track, and does not include buildings which are listed
Track is the value of track you have laid, listed at what it would
cost if laid during a Normal economic climate.
Rolling stock is the value of locomotives and cars you own at their
Note that most assets are valued at what they cost. For example,
in the illustration above the C&R railroad has purchased 3 stations for
$100,000 each, and they are listed as assets under Facilities as worth
$300,000 in total. Real estate is an exception, in that it generally
increases in value. Stock, both treasury and in other railroads, can
fluctuate in value.
In the year to date column is shown any changes in the value of
assets during the ongoing fiscal period. The statement above shows
that so far this period $132,000 in cash has been generated, treasury
stock has increased in value by $90,000 and other railroad stock owned
has increased by $40,000. A negative number appears in the rolling
stock row for the current year if you eliminate cars from your trains,
or replace or retire locomotives.
The asset total for the railroad is the value at this moment of
everything the railroad owns.
The liabilities of your railroad are the bonds which you have
outstanding and the stockholder's equity, the money they paid into
your company to buy stock when it was started. In accounting terms
the long term profit of your railroad, the money that it has earned, is
the value of your assets minus what you owe bondholders (debts) and
stockholders (equity). This profit figure is also known as retained
earnings, or profits above investment and debts that have been plowed
back into the company.
In the case of the C&R railroad, it has assets of $1,330,000 versus
equity and bonds of $1,000,000. It has made a profit of $330,000 in
its operating lifetime.
Income Statement; 1832
Economic Climate: Recession
REVENUES: YTD: Total:
Mail $ 0,000 $ 0,000
Passengers $ 32,000 $ 292,000
Fast Freight $ 31,000 $ 0,000
Slow Freight $ 0,000 $ 77,000
Bulk Freight $ 0,000 $ 91,000
Other Income $ 80,000 $ 0,000
$ 143,000 $ 460,000
Interest / Fees $ 0,000 $ 40,000
Train Maintenance $ 0,000 $ 6,000
Track Maintenance $ 4,000 $ 22,000
Station Maintenance $ 9,000 $ 40,000
$ 13,000 $ 77,000
Operating Profit $ 130,000 $ 383,000
Stock Profits $ 130,000
The income statement reports earnings and expenses for the current
fiscal period and for the lifetime of the railroad. The left hand
column reports year to date (YTD) figures and the right hand column
the lifetime total. The figures in the total column do not include the
YTD figures in the left hand column. Revenue shows sources of income
and expenses show where cash has been spent. The operating profit (or
loss) is the money earned (or lost) in either time frame, calculated
by subtracting expenses from revenue. Stock Profits indicates the
gain or loss, so far this year, in the value of stock you own.
The revenue for the freight classes, such as mail, passengers,
etc., is the income earned for delivery of that type of cargo. For
example, in the statement above, the C&R has earned $32,000 so far
this year, and $292,000 in its history prior to this year, for delivery
of passengers. Other Income is earned for delivering Priority
Shipments and by restaurants and hotels your railroad owns in stations
where passengers are delivered.
Under expenses, Interest/Fees is the money you have paid out in
Interest on bonds, interest on negative spending (spending money when
your cash balance in $0 or less), and fees paid for selling or buying
back a bond. Train, Track, and Station Maintenance are expenses you
must pay for salaries and up keep of these items.
Train Income Report
From this report you can read at a glance how each of your trains
is performing. The most important information is normally what the
train has earned so far this year (YTD), what it earned last year
(Last Year), and what its expected maintenance cost is for this year.
The Train Class shows whether the train is a local, through, express,
or limited. Under route is shown the stops the train is scheduled to
and a > indicator shows its next destination.
Also shown is the train's name if it has one, correct icons for the
types of locomotive and cars that make it up, and its average speed.
If you have so many trains operating that they don't fit on one
page, press the Selector 1 to flip to the next page of trains.
Stock Price Graph
This graph displays the relative prices of your own stock and the
stock of the competing railroads. Across the top of the graph are the
names of the railroads that have stock outstanding. Starting in the
bottom left corner are colored lines that trace the changes in stock
prices as the game continues.
The lines on the graph are color coded with the names of the
railroads above. Trace from the right-most end of any line to the left
side of the graph to get an approximation of the current value of that
stock. For example, the line with the same color as the C&R's name
ends just short of the $20 line, indicating a price of around $18 per
When a stock's price reaches or goes over $100 per share, the
stock splits. Two new shares are issued for each one old share,
and the price of the new shares is set at half the price of the old
share. The scale of prices on the graph changes to reflect the
splitting of a stock.
The scale of the graph on the left side extends from $0 to $100
when a game begins. After a stock split the scale doubles so that it
always can show the correct price of stocks. For example, the first time
a stock splits, the scale changes from $0 - $100 to $0 - $200. In this
way the correct relationship between the prices of split and unsplit
stocks is maintained.
The economic climate in Railroad Tycoon moves between Panic,
Recession, Normal, Moderation, and Boom. Panic is the worst, and
Boom is the best. The overall trend is a gradual movement toward
better times, but sudden bad news can drop the economy quickly and
far. The current climate affects the interest rate on bonds, the
cost of track, the cost of double track, the cost of right-of-way,
and the supply of cargos generated. Generally, things cost more and
more cargos are generated in better times.
Competing railroads are also affected by the economic climate.
They normally have lower revenues in worse times, but may do more
building to take advantage of lower costs. They may also roll over
their bonds in good times to lower their interest costs.
Changing economic climates offer you opportunity and challenge.
The opportunity in good times is to possibly lower your interest costs
by buying back high interest bonds and selling new low cost bonds.
In bad times construction costs are lower and this can save you money
if you can arrange to do your expansion then. Also, bad times may
require you to reduce the number of trains or the cars on existing
trains. Smaller, faster, full trains in bad times can be expected to
make much more money than larger, slower, half empty trains.
In addition to Financial Reports, you may call up other reports for
information about your railroad. These include a list of your Accom-
plishments, an Efficiency Report, and a History of your railroad.
These reports are available during play. From any display, pull
down the Reports menu and choose from the list the report you wish
This report is simply a log of the important events that have taken
place on your railroad during your presidency. Generally, any news
that is sufficiently important to make it into the newspaper headlines
is added to the list of your accomplishments. Examples of accomplish-
ments are the initiation of service to a new city and new records set
This report supplies information on how well your railroad is doing
in taking advantage of opportunities to pick up cargos supplied along
The first part shows the total number of carloads of cargo that
have been made available so far this fiscal period and during the
previous period, and how many you managed to pick up. The percentage
number indicates approximately how much of the available cargos you
carried. The closer the percentage approaches 100, the more efficient
your railroad is at taking advantage of profit opportunities.
Ton-miles traveled is a measure of the capacity that you have moved.
For example, a 40 ton car that travels 10 miles equals 400 ton-miles
traveled. Ton-miles delivered is the number of tons delivered times
the distance those tons were carried. If the 40 ton car is fully loaded
when it traveled 10 miles and then delivered, it would equal 400 ton-miles
The utilization efficiency is ton-miles traveled by your railroad
divided into ton-miles delivered. It roughly tells you the percentage
of time your cars are traveling empty.
Revenue efficiency measures the money you make versus the number of
ton-miles you carry. The dollar figure is an estimate of the money you
earn per ton delivered. The higher the number, the more money you are
making per ton, and the more efficient are your operations.
The history report is a replay of your railroad's accomplishments
reviewed on the Regional Display that shows the growth of your
railroad, the economy, and your competitors, up until now.
The replay is carried out on a year by year basis.
5. RAILROAD COMPETITION
Once the technology of trains on rails was demonstrated to be
practical, railroads began appearing throughout the industrial world.
The earliest roads had large areas all to their own, but that circum-
stance didn't last. As more entrepreneurs and investors were dazzled
by the glamor and apparent riches of railroading, the countrysides
became crisscrossed with new tracks.
Rival railroads fought for access to new or already lucrative areas.
When in direct competition, healthier roads cut rates hoping weaker
opponents could not afford the losses. The ultimate competition came
in the stock market where rivals fought for control of each other's
companies or other railroad pawns on the map.
The people who ran railroads during the era of expansion were of
all types, brilliant engineers, accomplished executives, shrewd
financiers, incompetents, and crooks. Railroad presidents not only
had to manage their own business, but understand the strengths and weak-
nesses of their rivals and plan accordingly.
In Railroad Tycoon you too have rival railroads to contend with.
Watch out for competing railroads expanding and cutting you off,
starting rate wars at key stations, or attempting to take control of
your railroad in the stock market. In return, look for opportunities
to cripple or take over your competitors. Getting control of one or
more of your rivals may significantly improve the success of your
Up to three of your rivals may start up their own railroads. These
railroads are run according to the personality of the historic figure
that is their president. For example, a railroad run by Jim Hill is
always looking for new cities to build to. Roads run by J. P. Morgan
or Jay Gould are adept at stock market dealings.
You may not lay track across the track of a competing railroad,
and you may not build a station within 5 squares of a competing
railroad's station. You may lay track directly into a rival's station,
triggering a rate war (see Rate Wars, page 109).
Once competing railroads are started, you may buy and sell their
stock in a manner similar to that for buying your own stock (see
Calling Your Broker, page 97). If you can purchase enough of a
competitor's stock, you take the railroad over (see Stock Market Take-
overs, page 111) and can partially control it (see Controlling Other
Railroads, page 112).
Prior to government regulation of freight rates, a standard tactic of
rival railroads serving the same cities was to cut rates. This drew
business away from competitors, weakening them and hopefully driving
them from the vicinity. The survivor could then raise prices to very
profitable levels without the competitive pressure keeping them down.
Your railroad may be the target of a rate war attack from a
competing railroad, or you may use the rate war as a means of weakening
a rival. To win a rate war you must understand what is going on and how
best to proceed.
A rate war is triggered when you either build track into a
competitor's station or a competing railroad lays track into one of
your stations. You receive a message announcing that a rate war has
started, and the border around the Shipping Report of the affected
station turns to the color signifying half rates. Until the rate war
is concluded, the border remains in the halfrate color, signifying that
all revenues for delivering cargo here are halved. A cargo that would
normally earn $20,000 when delivered, earns $10,000 when taken to
a station in a rate war.
The winner of a rate war is decided by the local city council of the
town where the war is underway. At the end of each fiscal period the
council examines the service provided by the opponents and votes for
which should be given a monopoly on service to the city. Beginning
with the vote after the second fiscal period of the war, the first
railroad to gain at least a 66% vote majority is declared the winner.
The votes in a rate war are directly tied to the amount of cargos
delivered to, and taken from, the contested station. For example, if
the station demands coal, the more coal you can deliver there, the more
votes in your favor. If the contested station has a large supply of
wood, your vote total increases for every ton of wood carried away. The
city council is affected by your record on every cargo that they supply
and demand, so it is in your interest to devote special trains to
servicing this station, regardless of revenue, just to earn votes.
If a competing railroad loses a rate war, all of its track leading out
of the station is torn up. If this leaves any stations isolated with no
other track connections, then those stations are also eliminated.
If your railroad loses, all of your facilities, track, trains,
bridges, etc., within three squares of the station are eliminated. You
receive no compensation for these losses.
If you win a rate war, the station becomes wholly yours. The
border around the Shipping Report for the station turns from the color
signifying half rates, to the color signifying double rates. For the
next fiscal period all cargo delivery revenues are twice the normal rate.
Having shamelessly acceded to the town's every wish to win the rate
war, you are now in the happy position of giving them a lesson in
You may not build facilities such as engine shops, post offices,
etc., at a station in a rate war.
STOCK MARKET TAKEOVERS
In the latter half of the 19th Century, many of the greatest railroad
battles in America were fought on Wall Street, far from the tracks and
trains of the combatants. One way to neutralize a competitor was to
take him over and make his resources work for you, not against you.
Some of the more infamous railroad men of this period knew next to
nothing about running a railroad, but were experts in stock manipula-
While building and operating your railroad, you must remain
aware of the stock market dealings of your competitors. Given the
opportunity, they may take over your company, loot it of cash, and
put you out of work. You must protect yourself from that risk, and
also look for opportunities of your own. It is possible for you to
take over one or all of your competitors, and have them work for you
In addition to buying your own stock, you may purchase stock in
any competing railroads. If at any time you hold over 50% of the stock
outstanding (owned by the public, in the company treasury, or in your
hands), you take it over and control it (see Controlling Other Rail-
roads, page 112).
Stock purchases and sales are made in a manner similar to those
for your own stock (see Calling Your Broker, page 97). However, if
the opposing management has bought the remaining stock you need and
put it in the treasury, you can only buy the remaining shares by
making a tender offer.
Once the public has no shares left to sell, you may tender an offer
for all of the shares you don't own. To do this call your broker from
the Action menu and attempt to buy more stock in the target railroad.
A new menu appears informing you that you must tender for all the
remaining stock in the treasury at twice the current market price.
You have the option of making this purchase or not.
If you proceed to tender for the remaining stock, the cost is
subtracted from your cash and you then own 100% of the stock in the
Note that since you only need over 50% to retain control, you may
sell off some of the stock now or later without losing control.
However, if you sell stock to the point that you no longer own over
50%, you lose control of the railroad and it becomes a competitor
CONTROLLING OTHER RAILROADS
Controlling one or more of your competing railroads can help you
financially and tactically. The value of their stock can increase,
helping to increase the value of your own. You can transfer money from
their treasuries to yours, or vice versa. You can attempt to have a
controlled railroad build track that blocks other railroads from
expanding, while your own railroad grows unhindered.
Having obtained control of a rival you must decide how best to profit
from its resources. Is the best course to invest in it, or have it
invest in you? Use it as a blocker, or build it away from you to keep
your options open? Have it start a rate war against another rival?
Once you have taken control of a competing railroad, you may
make some operating decisions for it. To operate a controlled
railroad, pull down the Action menu, choose "Call Your Broker", and
then pull down the Operate RR menu. You have four operating choices,
as shown in the Operate RR menu below.
Choose the "Take $100,000" and "Give $100,000" options to move
money from the controlled railroad's treasury to your railroad's
treasury, or vice versa. Money is normally moved in $100,000 amounts.
Money may also be moved in $250,000 increments if a substantially large a
mount of cash is available in either treasury, and the Operate RR menu
changes to reflect this ability.
Choose the "Buy Back Bond" option to order the controlled railroad to
buy back one $500,000 bond. The railroad's cash and bonds are then
reduced by $500,000. Controlled railroads only buy back bonds when you
tell them to do so. They may never sell more bonds.
Choose the "Build Track" option to order the controlled railroad to
attempt to connect to a certain city. A text window opens giving you
the opportunity to name the cities you wish it to build from and to.
Type in the name of the city and press the Selector 1 key. Thereafter,
the railroad attempts to build to the city you named. If it is unable
to build there for some reason, a message appears telling you this.
Once you have taken control of a railroad, your exercising of this
option is the only way the controlled railroad continues to build.
You may build your tracks into the stations of a controlled
railroad, creating Union stations. When this occurs, you automatically
build a terminal (normal cost $200,000) for the cost of a station
($100,000). You may build facilities at Union stations.
6. THE RAILROAD STORY
THE ORIGINS OF RAILROADING
The history of railroading can be traced back to rut roads in ancient
Greek cities that are thought to have guided ceremonial carts. But the
elements of railroading as we think of it all came together for the
first time in 1825 when George Stephenson piloted his engine locomotion
No. 1 along the tracks of the Stockton & Darlington Railroad, pulling a
train of 34 cars.
Preserved from that day is an account of the somewhat mystical
beginnings of railroading from one of Stephenson's workmen. Having
unloaded the locomotive from its wagon, mounted it on the tracks, and
filled its boiler with water, the men discovered they had no match.
While one man went off to get a lantern, Robert Metcalf used sunlight
through his magnifying glass to light his pipe. Being practical he
turned his glass on some hemp packing and soon had transformed the
power of the sun into the fire of the first locomotive to pull a common
That day in September was a triumph not only for Stephenson and the
founders of the railroad, but for all the other inventors and thinkers
who had contributed to the new technologies and ideas brought together
there for the first time. The combination of track, locomotive, and
common carrier train, was to revolutionize the transportation of people
and goods, and help change the world forever.
The first component of the railroad to be developed was the track
that guided the trains and cars. The benefits of moving wheeled
vehicles along rails of some sort had been recognized for many years
prior to 1825.
By distributing the weight of the load along the rail and down
through the track structure, very heavy loads could he supported.
Without this weight distribution, the heavy steam locomotives that
were soon to appear would be unable to move without sinking into the
A smooth wood or iron rail surface in contact with the smooth
wheels of moving vehicles offered much lower resistance, or friction
than the uneven roads or ground. Flanged wheels on the vehicles
helped them adhere to the rail. The combination of rail and flanged
wheel meant that heavy loads could be pulled by horses, and then
steam locomotives, at unprecedented speeds.
Rails served as guides, allowing a single power source to pull a
long string of carrying vehicles and thereby spread the costs of power
over more loads. Prior to rails, vehicles had to be moved singly, each
with a single power source, usually a horse.
Track was used prior to the 1820's primarily inside and outside
of mines where the expense of its construction was practical due to the
frequent movement of heavy loads. Other than for mines, tracks were
rarely seen until tramroads appeared in the 1600's. Tramroads were
tracks over which horses pulled specially wheeled wagons. Before
tramroads became widespread, however, a new power source had appeared,
the steam locomotive.
The first practical demonstration of a steam locomotive occurred
in 1804 when Richard Trevithick's engine pulled some ore cars along
a tramroad in Wales. This early design did not generate the enthusiasm
it deserved, but other inventors continued to search for efficient
ways to transform high pressure steam into a locomotive power.
The success of Stephenson's Stockton & Darlington designs, plus
his later triumph at the Rainhill Trials of the Liverpool & Manchester,
got the Western world's attention. Men of industry and science came
from all over to see steam locomotive power first hand. Most went
home impressed with the new technology and many drew up plans for
railroads in their communities.
The difference between the Stockton & Darlington and previous
railroad experiments was that the train that Stephenson pulled was
a common carrier. Anyone wishing to travel or ship goods could buy
space on the train. The freight and passenger cars were owned by the
company, and they promised to have the train depart from a depot at
one end of the line and arrive on a schedule at another depot where
passengers and goods unloaded. The Stockton & Darlington was the
model for all future railroads.
Railroads would have been only interesting toys if there were no
opportunities for their profitable employment. By the 1820's England
had witnessed the economic value and profitability of canal transport.
The new technology of railroads promised even greater practicality
and profits than canals because it offered greater speed and capacity,
was cheaper to build, could be built anywhere, and could operate in
THE ROLE OF RAILROADS
The role of a railroad is to assemble and move trains of cars
carrying goods and/or passengers from one place to another. Because
they can move large loads over long distances for minimal costs, they
are often by far the most efficient method of transportation available.
Today in North America, mainline railroads principally carry freight.
Passenger traffic is mainly concentrated in commuter traffic into and
out of major cities, carried by local private or government owned lines.
In most European countries, railroads still have important passenger
Historically, the role of railroads has gone through many changes.
Beginning as a special type of transportation with limited use, they
expanded into the principal way of moving anything, anywhere. Their
role in the economy has shrunk in scope today, but not in importance.
Changes Over Time
Prior to the Stockton & Darlington, railroads were adjuncts to the
mining business. Only the steady volume and weight of mine traffic
justified the expense of tracks, power, and cars. The typical train
consisted of a horse or primitive locomotive pulling a few cars of coal
The main cargo of the first Stockton & Darlington common carrier
train was still coal, but the difference was that flour and passengers
were also carried along. The railroad advertised that it was offering
transport service to and from its terminal cities. Freight could be
shipped by the package or the carload, and passengers were welcome.
All the cars in the trains were owned by the company and arrangements
were made with the railroad for loading and unloading. From this
beginning of common carriage, the role of the railroad began to
broaden and diversify.
The first common carriage railroads were built to connect coastal
cities with sources of raw materials in the interior. For example, the
Stockton & Darlington, the Liverpool & Manchester, and the Baltimore &
Ohio were all planned originally to increase the flow of trade to ports.
This traffic did indeed flourish, and these early roads found to their
delight that traffic going back to the interior grew as well. Very
quickly passenger traffic in both directions far exceeded expectations,
and railroads developed the concept of trains wholly dedicated to
The success of the first railroads inspired imitators, and soon
railroads were being built everywhere. Every city and then every town
wanted to be connected to its neighbors by rails. People and goods
began moving back and forth by train in astonishing amounts. Access
to railroads brought new industries and population into a region,
increasing traffic even more. Dedicated railroads were built to serve
individual industries such as coal mines and lumber mills.
The cheap, fast, and safe transportation provided by railroads
was an added spur to the economic growth of nations undergoing the
Industrial Revolution. Railroads themselves benefitted from improved
technology as steel rails and more powerful locomotives provided
more efficient service.
The peak of railroad mileage in the United States came in 1916.
At this time most intercity transportation within the country was
handled by railroads. Raw materials, finished products, livestock,
and people moved throughout the country almost entirely by rail.
Since 1916 the mileage of track in the United States has decreased
nearly 25%, but surprisingly, the ton/miles of traffic carried has
more than doubled. These changes were brought about mainly by the
abandoning of parallel and branch tracks, and the consolidation of
traffic. During the heady days of railway expansion many routes
were overbuilt and the traffic could not support all the railroads
trying to compete. Inefficient lines have now been mostly eliminated.
When railroads hauled most of the passengers and freight for the
nation, branches and spurs trailed off the mainlines in every direction,
serving even the smallest industry or community. Today the branch line
is all but gone from Class 1 railroads ($50,000,000 gross revenue per
year), though many are being operated by local companies or governments.
The major railroads have trimmed down to just their mainline trunks.
Traffic is now concentrated at major freight terminals and large
consolidated freight trains constitute the majority of traffic. As
more of the transport roles that trains once provided have gone to
other carriers, railroads have concentrated their business where they
are most efficient. When freight can be quickly loaded into and
from the large, fast, long distance trains that operate today, the costs
of railroad shipping cannot be beat.
The single most common railroad cargo today is coal carried to power
generating plants, metallurgical industries, and ports for overseas
shipment. Additional common cargos are containers or truck trailers on
flat cars, iron and steel scrap, metallic ores, coke (the kind made from
coal and burned to make steel), petroleum products, fabricated metals and
When railroads became viable they quickly superseded canals,
stagecoaches, and freight wagons as the principle method of ground
transportation. For over 100 years they remained dominant. In the
20th Century many of their roles have been passed over to other
transportation modes, such as automobiles, trucks, airplanes, barges
and pipelines, but they remain extremely efficient in their core
Railroads can be expected to have an important role in transportation
for a long time, and in the future may find several of their previous
Railroads were some of the first great capitalized corporations.
The expense of their construction could not be born by one man or a
small group, especially when so much work had to be finished before
the first train could run. For this reason, most railroads were
originally financed by stock subscriptions.
The new corporation began with a charter from the government,
usually the state in the United States. According to this charter, so
many shares of stock were authorized for sale, each share equalling
a part ownership in the company. These shares were then offered to
the public for purchase, thereby raising funds.
In the Baltimore & Ohio's case, shares were offered at a price of
$100 each, but you subscribed to the shares by putting up only a
percentage of the cost, say $5. At regular intervals stock subscribers
were expected to make additional payments until the entire $100 had
been paid in. If you missed your payments, the ownership of the stock
normally reverted to the company and your investment to date was lost.
In return for your investment the company promised to begin
paying dividends at a future date from the revenue it expected to be
earning by that time.
The great advantage of funds raised from stock sales was that
there was no requirement that they be paid back. Investors were
gambling that the railroad would be profitable, returning to them
dividends and perhaps even an increase in the value of their shares.
But if the railroad did poorly, their only recourse was to remove the
president and bring in someone who could try to set things right.
In addition to stock sales to the public, local or state governments
would occasionally purchase stock to help finance a railroad enterprise
thought to be especially beneficial to the community. A town might
offer to buy stock to encourage a railroad to build into the area.
For example, the Baltimore & Ohio built a line from Baltimore to
Washington, D.C. at the request of the state of Maryland in return for
the state buying a large block of B & 0 stock and other considerations.
When stock sales dried up,the next alternative for raising money
was to borrow it. This was most often done by authorizing and selling
bonds to the public. The railroad agreed to buy back the bond at a fixed
date in the future, and pay a fixed amount of interest each year to the
purchaser. For example, if a 30-year 5% bond was sold for $1000, the
railroad would receive $1000 today, pay $50 interest each year to the
bond buyer, and after 30 years buy back the bond for $1000.
The bond buyer was betting that the railroad would not fail, giving
him a fixed return of $50 each year, and then returning his $1000. The
railroad was betting that it could put the $1000 to work immediately
in such a manner so as to generate enough future income to cover the,
interest payments and pay back the $1000 in 30 years.
The bond holder owned only the bond, he had no part of the railroad's
ownership. However, if the railroad could not buy back the bond after 30
years, the bond holder normally had first right to any money raised from
the sale of bankrupt railroad assets.
Railroads tried very hard to keep bond holders happy and paid up,
however, because the interest rates they had to pay and their ability
to sell more bonds depended greatly on their previous record of
The railroads in North America were often built into areas of low
population where traffic was expected to be light for some time.
Especially in the West where transcontinental railroads were thought
to have important national benefits, the government subsidized
railroad construction by giving the railroads large blocks of land.
The railroads sold this land to raise money for construction.
This system served very well, and by the late 1800's the western
expanse was bridged several times. The land was sold to farmers and
entrepreneurs who built new towns along the roads, accelerating
settlement and soon generating rail traffic. However, the system was
not regulated and many of the land grant railroads were rife with
corruption and swindle.
The most famous western fraud was the Credit Mobilier scandal
involving the Union Pacific Railroad. The directors of the Union
Pacific started a second company, the Credit Mobilier, and hired it
themselves) to do the construction of the Union Pacific. They then
proceeded to bill themselves about three times the cost of construction,
pocketing the difference. By the time the Union Pacific completed
its famous link with the Central Pacific, it was essentially bankrupt.
Despite the scandals, stock and bond holder losses, and the large
government give-away of land, the construction of the transcontinental
railroads was considered a good investment for the nation. When the
looted railroads were reorganized they generally proved to be good
investments beyond their strategic value.
It should be mentioned that one transcontinental road , the Great
Northern, was built from Duluth, Minnesota to Seattle, Washington,
entirely without government land grants. The Great Northern was the
creation of James Hill, tough and often ruthless, but one of the great
railroad builders of the age.
Stock Market Shenanigans
Unfortunately for many investors and bondholders, railroads and
their stocks often became playthings in the hands of shrewd and
skillful crooks. The result too often was a sudden railroad bankruptcy
and financial ruin for investors.
When the stock market worked as planned , the price of a stock at
any one time was thought to be an accurate representation of the value
of the company. But on Wall Street in the late 1800's, the stock market
often behaved oddly, manipulated legally (for that age) and illegally.
That time period was one of consolidation and competition in the
railroad business, as overbuilding of railroads was reducing profits.
Railroads looked to take over competitors or ruin them financially as
a cheap alternative to lengthy rate wars. In this environment men
such as Jay Gould, Jim Fisk, and Daniel Drew found opportunity.
The most common ploy was to quietly accumulate a low-priced stock
with little prospects, and then generate a lot of buying in it with
rumors. Since it was relatively easy to borrow funds against stock
values, rising prices generated more buying power that forced prices
higher, and so on. At some point the original plotters jumped out,
selling their accumulation at a profit, while the late comers watched
their hot stock collapse.
A more subtle strategy was the bear raid. A little judicious stock
buying and the spread of some rumors in the right places were designed
to get a stock's price flying upward. At the right moment the bears
started selling short, or selling shares they didn't have at today's
price, in the hope that they could buy them at a much lower price later,
just before they were to be delivered. Their short sales helped drive
down the stock, plus new rumors were designed to start panic selling.
The raiders pocketed the difference between the price they sold at, and
the lower price they paid later for the stock they delivered.
For example, assume the raiders decide to attack the Erie's stock,
a favorite target, now selling for $50. They begin buying the stock
and spreading rumors that the New York Central is buying Erie. The
stock begins to climb toward $80. The raiders jump in, selling Erie
short at $80, or selling it but not having to deliver the stock for a
week. They continue selling and spreading more rumors that the New
York Central is not only not buying but planning a new rate war. The
Erie stock plunges to $20 in 4 days. The bears buy back at $20,
delivering the stock to the people who bought it from them at $80, and
pocket $60 per share.
If possible the two ploys were worked together, making money on
both the way up and down.
The danger in a bear raid was the risk that the stock you were
shorting continued to rise in price, instead of fall, forcing you
eventually to pay a higher price than you had already sold it for. If
you sold short at $80 and the price rose to $100 before you could buy
it back, you lost $20 per share.
In one memorable case, Commodore Vanderbilt got wind of a bear
raid on one of his stocks, and started furious buying. The short
selling bears, led by Daniel Drew, were caught in a bear trap, as the
price kept rising further above the price where they had sold it. Drew
and his accomplices had to make a secret deal with Vanderbilt on his
terms to avoid total ruin.
Jay Gould and others took these games one step further by actually
taking control of the Erie and other railroads and manipulating their
stock prices from inside. The public may have been bewil-
dered by the violent swings in the stock price of the Erie, but Gould
and his friends were making money with each move.
Several years later, the moribund Union Pacific, still feeling the
effects of the Credit Mobilier scandal, fell into Jay Gould's hands for
a very low price. The railroad immediately began paying large and
steady dividends, and the stock price rose accordingly. When Gould
sold out for many times his cost, the new owners discovered massive
hidden loans that couldn't be repaid and the road went back into
By the turn of the 20th Century, new regulations on Wall Street
had curtailed many of the manipulators' frauds. The Security and
Exchange Commission and other government bodies were set up to
protect industry and stockholder rights. Most of the villains of
this age were brought down by either the government or their own
excesses. Jay Gould eluded his enemies to the end, dying rich, but
Where To Build
The first step in constructing a railroad was obtaining a charter
from the government (state or national). This empowered the railroad
to build its connections by obtaining passage through private land
with the government's right of eminent domain. Having decided that
the proposed railroad would sufficiently benefit the community, the
government made it possible for the railroad to obtain reasonable
Armed with its charter, the railroad sent its surveying parties into
the field to search for the best route. The surveyors had to keep several
factors in mind including changes in elevation, curves, the value of the
land the road was to pass over, and the proximity of possible revenue
sources. The two main concerns were to minimize grades and curves.
A locomotive pulling a heavy train uphill has to devote increasing
power to lifting as the grade, or percentage change in elevation,
increases. A 3,000 horsepower locomotive pulling a 2,000 ton train (a
1.5 hp per ton train) can travel at 60 miles per hour on level track, but
its speed drops to 22 mph on a 1% grade and 10 mph on a 2% grade.
Lighter trains are less affected by grades.
Straight tracks are easier to build and maintain, and allow trains
to move faster. When a train is moving around a curve, part of the
locomotive power is needed to pull the train around, and less is
available for pulling forward. Also, the centrifugal force of the curve
tends to push the cars out of the curve, putting more drag on the
locomotive. In the early days of railroading extremely tight curves
restricted the size of engines and cars that could negotiate them.
In 1828 the surveyors of the first Baltimore & Ohio route faced the
dilemma of choosing between tighter curves or steeper grades. Drawing
on the limited information available from England and having little
idea of the abilities of steam locomotives, they minimized grades and
accepted exceedingly tight curves. This proved the wrong compromise
as locomotives capable of handling grades soon became available. The
curved track sections were a constant problem for the railroad,
moreover, being rebuilt many times through the years.
When its survey was complete, a railroad had a plan of the track,
including where bridges, fills, and tunnels would be needed. Armed
with the power of the state, the railroad bought the required land and
the construction gangs began building the road.
The earliest track designs in America were modeled on less expensive
English examples, including cast iron straps fastened to stone sills laid
lengthwise, wood stringers laid lengthwise with iron straps on top, and
iron straps on wood stringers laid on stone blocks. The stone
construction was satisfactory for horse pulled cars, but absolutely
unsuited for locomotives whose weight required give in the track for a
smooth ride. Some English roads were built of edged plates laid
lengthwise, but these were too expensive for American use.
Where wood crossties had been used instead of stone as a temporary
expedient to save time and expense, they were found to actually work
quite well. Wood proved to have the necessary resilience and cushioning
effect required when steam replaced horses. In addition, track could be
spiked directly into the wooden tie.
The wooden ties used today weigh 200 pounds. They are pressure
treated with 25 pounds of preservative to slow decay. Additional
improvements include pre-drilled spike holes that reduce fiber damage
and improve spike grip, and metal tie plates that spread the load
of the rail over more of the tie to prevent tie cutting and crushing.
The expected useful life of first quality ties has been extended to 25
or more years.
In many parts of the world where wood is difficult to obtain, concrete
ties have been used instead. The future of concrete ties depends on the
length of their useful life, which is still being tested. Concrete ties
require a new track structure because the dynamic action occurs between
the tie and the ballast, not the tie and the tie plate of wooden tie
The weight of increasingly heavy locomotives made strap rail
dangerous as well as obsolete, because the straps tended to roll with
the weight and separate from the roadbed. The disconnected ends,
known as "snake heads", had an alarming tendency to pull up and
pierce the bottom of cars passing over.
Alternatives to strap and plate rails were bar rails rolled in the
shape of an "L", upside down "U", "I", or "T". The flange of the L rail
kept the wheels of the cars on the track. The U, I, or T rails laid on
wood ties and run over by cars with flanged wheels were found to be the
best system. The T rail, laid upside down, proved to have the greatest
strength and is still used today.
Robert Stevens, the son of early railroad proponent Colonel John
Stevens, is credited with designing the T rail on a trip to England in
1830 to study English railroads. During his sea passage he whittled out
of wood the first T rail, the familiar rail spike, and the tie plate, all
used today in modified form.
The T design did not become universal, however, until after the
development of the Bessemer process reduced the price of steel from $300
per ton to $50. Prior to that cast iron (hard but too brittle) and
wrought iron (strong but too soft) had been cheaper alternatives. As a
nearly ideal construction material with a useful combination of hardness,
strength, and stiffness, steel made the developing power of heavy steam
locomotives usable. The iron rail that Stevens ordered in England
weighed 15 pounds per yard; current steel rails are rolled out at 112 to
145 pounds per yard.
Rail sections in North America have been 39 feet in length since the
1920's, so as to fit on 40 foot flat cars. The sections are bolted
together at the ends. These bolted joints, however, are the weakest
part of the track. They
wear out first, and the reduced stiffness at the joint requires extra
maintenance to minimize rough riding.
An answer to this problem has been 1500 foot welded rails, made up of
shorter rails joined as they are made. These long rails are transported
and laid down by a special train, and laid only on high temperature days
and with special techniques to minimize contraction and expansion
problems. A 1500 foot steel rail would contract 1 foot if the
temperature dropped from 100 degrees to 0 degrees without the special
steps taken when it is laid down.
Below the wooden ties to which the track is fixed lies the track
ballast, usually consisting of crushed rock. Ballast holds the ties in
place, spreads out the load from the rails, and keeps the track
structure drained. If the ballast does not drain free of water, ice
may put additional stresses into the rail and tie system, and the track
may heave when it thaws. Soggy ballast also speeds the rotting of the
Below the ballast is the subgrade, earth accumulated and tamped
down so as to support the track pressure from above in all weather
conditions without settling. Drainage ditches are normally dug to the
sides of the subgrade to improve drainage. In only a few instance can
track be laid directly on the ground without some subgrade preparation.
In his book about modern railroading, John Armstrong describes
4 diesel locomotives linked together rounding a curve at 70 mph being
guided and supported by 260 feet of track. Combined, these locomo-
tives weigh 750 tons. The track below them consists of:
o 11.5 tons of steel rail, held in place by
o 600 lb. of spikes, and resting on
o 3.1 tons of steel tie plates, resting on
o 16.7 tons of crossties, resting in
o 130 tons of crushed rock ballast,
which in turn is resting on the subgrade and right of way below.
In 1940 there were nearly 4,000 miles of track in the United States
laid on bridges, enough to stretch from New York to London. Bridges
were found immediately necessary to cross rivers and other obstacles
in the geography because railroads had to minimize the elevation
changes on their lines. Preferred construction materials were either
stone, wood, or metal, depending on the location, engineering science
and technology of the day, and cost.
For the earliest railroads, especially in England, stone was the
preferred material for bridge construction. The science of wood bridge
building was not advanced, and the early builders were making their best
guess as to the future demands on the bridge. These early English
structures had great beauty and durability, and the English continued to
build in stone when it could be afforded.
The Baltimore & Ohio in America emulated the English, building
its first four great bridges and viaducts out of stone as well. But
it was soon realized that the expense and time of construction made
stone generally impractical in America where the distances covered
were so great and the number of bridges needed so large.
Necessity being the mother of invention, American engineers turned to
wood as a cheap and fast alternative to stone. Wood was very plentiful
in America and often right at hand for the bridge builders. Engineers
found that bridge parts could be prefabricated and then brought to the
bridge site for installation. In this manner the B&O was able to replace
wooden bridges burned by Confederate troops at Harpers Ferry in a matter
Where stone was not practical, English engineers turned to long
iron plate girders laid end to end and supported by stone piers. These
were practical in England because of the relative availability of cheap
iron versus wood. English railroads as well, were more profitable than
American roads of the period and more capital could be raised for
American railroads continued experimenting with wood first, and
then iron construction techniques. The result was the truss bridge,
first of wood, then wood and iron rods, and then the all iron truss
bridge. Trusses linked together in spans could inexpensively bridge a
large distance. A major step in the improving science of civil
engineering came in 1847 with the publishing of a study analyzing the
stresses in truss bridges.
When cheap steel became available, it surpassed all other materials
in bridge construction. Its characteristics made it an ideal and
economic choice, and opened the way for new designs such as the steel
arch, the suspension bridge, and the cantilever. The first all-steel
bridge was built of truss spans in 1879 across the Missouri River at
Each member, or part, of a railroad bridge must be calculated to
support several loads and forces, including the weight of the bridge
itself, the weight of the locomotives and cars expected to pass over it,
the sideways thrust of swaying vehicles, thrusts generated by trains
attempting to stop on the bridge, and side pressures of the winds. As
train weight, size, and speed increased, there had to be a corresponding
evolution in bridges.
In those cases where a ridge or hill must be passed by a railroad,
a tunnel may be the economical solution. The engineers have to
estimate the costs of tunnel construction versus alternative track
arrangements to bypass the obstacle, and then the railroad manager
have to evaluate the effects on their operations of the alternatives.
In the United States, tunnels have been the chosen alternative in over
Tunnels were not a new idea, having already been found useful for
canals. The earliest canal tunnel was built in France in 1678. Even
in the United States there were at least two canal tunnels before the
first railroad tunnel was built.
A tunnel is simply a hole bored through a mountain or hill. The
construction crew works its way through the mass with drills and
explosives, attacking the face of the tunnel and removing the debris.
Where practical the tunnel is built from both ends towards each other
to speed construction. In some cases shafts are sunk from the top of
the hill down to the tunnel elevation and new bores are built out from
the middle, increasing the working faces.
The earliest railroad tunnels were dug with hand drills and black
powder. Later in the 19th Century pneumatic drills became available,
as did a superior explosive, nitroglycerine. Tunneling could be
dangerous work, especially under rivers when added precautions were
necessary to prevent collapse.
A common practice was to send the tunneling parties ahead of the
railroad so that the tunnel might be ready when the tracks reached it.
In America, railroads often built some expedient track to get the line
operating while work progressed on tunnels that would eventually
become the mainline.
The longest through railroad tunnel in the United States is the 7+
miles Cascade Tunnel finished by the Great Northern (now Burlington
Northern) in 1929. The shortest tunnel in the United States is the 10
yard Bee Rock Tunnel finished by the Louisville & Nashville between
Kentucky and Virginia in 1891.
The longest railroad tunnel in the world is the 33+ miles Siekan
Tunnel in Japan between the islands of Honshu and Hokkaido. Slightly
less impressive is the 30 mile Channel Tunnel or "Chunnel' between
Britain and France, expected to be completed by 1993.
OPERATING A RAILROAD
In the United States today less than 3% of railroad revenue comes
from passenger service, mainly because travelers prefer the convenience
or speed of automobiles and airlines. In Europe and other areas this
is not the case because greater congestion and population densities make
railroads important people movers, and automobiles and highways are not
Historically, however, passenger traffic was significant. The
earliest railroads were planned to be freight haulers, but the large
revenues that quickly materialized for carrying passengers were a
pleasant surprise. Not only did travelers abandon the road coaches of
the day, but new traveler's flocked to the stations, attracted by the
speed, low cost, and novelty of rail travel.
For most of the 19th Century and the early part of the 20th,
railroads were the prime means of intercity transport. By the early
1900's industrialized nations were crisscrossed by tracks reaching
every community. You could reach any town in the country by train.
The alternative remained travel by coach or horseback on often poorly
Catering to the demand of the growing middle class, railroads
regularly scheduled passenger trains promising speedy and comfortable
service. Salon cars, bar cars, dining cars, sleeping cars, observation
cars, and others were designed to enhance the experience of traveling by
train, even overnight.
As part of their publicity campaigns and competition with each
other, railroads in the Golden Age invested disproportionate funds in
their passenger service. High speed luxury trains, rigid timetables,
elegant hotels, restaurants, and elaborate stations all served to
impress the public with the grandeur and prominence of the providing
railroad. The public goodwill and prestige earned by highly visible
passenger service was expected to make the railroad more attractive
to freight shippers and investors.
Passenger service was generally divided into three modes: local
trains that stopped at every station along their route, through trains
that covered a larger route making only a few stops, and the crack
prestige trains normally running between major terminals at each end
of the railroad. In addition, passengers often had a choice of travel
classes as well, and could pay higher fares to travel in privacy and
luxury. This was especially true in Europe.
Local trains were relatively slow, stopping at every small station
between two major terminals. For example, a local train might stop at
all stations between New York and Philadelphia, connecting passengers in
the smaller communities with the major cities at the route's ends.
At the same time, through or limited trains ran non-stop, or with
only a few stops, back and forth from major cities that generated
enough traffic to support the service. A through train from Philadel-
phia to New York might stop at only a few communities, such as
Trenton. A person wishing to go from Princeton to New York could
catch the local to New York, or the local to Trenton and then catch the
through train to New York.
On important routes such as New York to Chicago or London to
Edinburgh, railroads put on crack trains and competed fiercely for the
honor of providing fast and luxurious service. It was believed that
these crack trains were the main standard by which the railroad was
judged, so every effort was made to keep the quality of service high.
Normally these trains covered long distances making few, if any stops.
By the end of the Golden Age, many of the crack trains were as well
known as the railroads that operated them. Examples of crack trains
were the New York Central's 20th Century Limited, the Pennsylvania's
Broadway Limited, the Santa Fe's Super Chief, the London & North
Western's Irish Mail, the London & North Eastern's Flying Scotsman,
and the Orient Express.
In North America, the decline in intercity passenger traffic is
directly linked to the automobile, the extensive highway system, and
airline growth. By the late 1960's passenger traffic had dropped so
much that many railroads were facing bankruptcy trying to maintain
service mandated by Federal law. Ultimately, most of the Intercity
traffic was taken over by a government corporation, Amtrak, that now
provides this service on a much reduced scale. However, Amtrak is
still not profitable and requires a large government subsidy to
The principle business of railroads has always been the hauling
of freight. The first railroad of any kind was built to haul coal,
and the first train pulled by a steam locomotive carried iron ore. As
railroads developed into common carriers, prepared to haul anything in
their cars along their tracks, they came to carry every cargo imaginable.
The earliest freight cars were wagons modified to run on rails. Some
of these were built to haul specific cargos such as coal and ore, but
most were just open wagons into which sacks and barrels could be packed.
The transfer of freight to and from train cars was handled by brute
strength at a rudimentary station building or platform. As railroads
and the demand for their services expanded, new equipment and techniques
were developed for handling and shipping cargos.
One advance was designing cars to carry specific cargo types. Among
the earliest of these were hopper cars to carry bulk items such as coal,
ore, sand, and gravel. The familiar box car replaced the wagon as a
general cargo type, providing protection from the weather. Flat cars
remained useful for odd shaped items. Later developments were tank cars
for transporting liquids, gondolas (a flat car with low sides),
livestock cars, refrigerated cars (first with ice and then electric
cooling), mail cars (for sorting mail enroute), and others.
The history of the railroad freight business has been a continuing
evolution of the process of getting the shipper's freight onto a train
for shipment, and off again fr delivery. Railroads are undeniably
efficient once the cargos have been placed into trains, but the
efficiency can be squandered if pickup and delivery are too costly.
The first freight cars were mainly loaded at a stop or station on
the line where the cargo was moved from wagons onto the train cars.
At the other end, the receiver's wagons picked up the load. The work
was done mainly by hand and was slow, but was the only alternative for
small, less-than-carload shipments. For shipments the size of an entire
carload, other transfer methods were developed.
An early idea was to set up an area of team tracks and access roads
where shippers loaded and unloaded entire cars that they arranged
to meet. The name is retained from the days when wagon teams met
the trains. If a customer consistently generated sufficient business,
tracks were laid to his door, and cars were directly delivered and
picked up by passing trains. For a consistently large customer, such
as a coal mine, entire trains provided service, special chutes or docks
were built to speed loading and unloading, and even special cars were
built, as noted above. In these ways the process of transfer was
speeded up for both the railroad and customer.
In a manner similar to passenger trains, freight trains were
scheduled as local trains, through trains, and even some express fast
freights. In addition, there was the unit train.
Local freights originated at a major freight yard on the line, and
would travel on to the next yard, collecting and setting out cars at the
sidings of shippers. Starting out with cars to be delivered to shippers
along the way, it would reach the other yard made up of cars filled by
businesses for delivery elsewhere. When the local freight reached the
yard at the end of its route, it was broken up and the individual cars
were placed into through trains headed to a distant yard destination.
At its destination yard, the through train was broken up and its cars
placed in another local freight for delivery.
Through trains traveled non-stop between major freight yards and were
made up in the yard of cars collected by the local freights for delivery
elsewhere on the line. A through freight might stop at several yards
along the route, adding at each a few more cars also headed for the
The crack, or fast, freights moved valuable or perishable cargo
that required fast shipment, such as milk, livestock, produce, etc.
They generally traveled non-stop from one yard or customer to their
The unit train is made up entirely of one cargo, usually carried
from one shipper to one destination, and is an example of railroading
at its most efficient. Most unit trains carry coal from a mine to a
port or steel mill, where the coal is quickly unloaded by special
equipment. Unit trains may travel thousands of miles without a
consist change and can weigh up to 13,500 tons with their locomotives.
Each business day in North America, approximately 100,000 freight
cars are loaded at industrial sidings, at team tracks, or by special
equipment such as coal chutes. The average freight train consists of
66 cars, weighs 2080 tons, and travels at 17 mph,
including all delays enroute. Within that average, however, are many
varieties of trains such as a local delivering newsprint to a downtown
newspaper, a long drag of coal cars headed from Virginia coalfields to
Norfolk, or a fast freight of California produce headed for New York.
Making Up Trains
Trains are assembled in freight yards or terminals under the
direction of a car distributor. His job is to supervise the break up
of each train entering the terminal so that cars are placed into proper
trains for the next stage of their journey. He receives information from
the yard crew and the railroad's computers on what is arriving, and
balances this information with empty car requests from shippers in
his division and orders from other car distributors elsewhere on the
The car distributor makes up a switch list that tells the yard crews
on which tracks and in what order the new cars are to be placed.
Within the yard certain classification tracks are assigned to each of
the new trains being made up, the west bound local, the east bound
local, the through freight to the next major terminal, etc. Within these
trains, cars headed to similar destinations, such as a paint or
furniture factory, are kept together in blocks. Blocks are placed in the
trains in the order that they are to be dropped off.
The work of the yard crew is done by either flat or gravity
switching. In flat switching a relatively light locomotive is used to
get the waiting cars and place them into the new train. This is a slow
and laborious process, requiring many engine movements, track switches,
and a nimble crew. This push-and-pull switching has been part of
railroading from its earliest days, and is still carried on in all small
yards and even some large ones.
Where possible, railroads alternatively employ gravity switching.
In this process the arriving train is slowly pushed up a hill or hump,
and each car is automatically uncoupled at the summit. The free car
then rolls down the hill and is switched and braked from a control
tower so as to arrive in the correct classification track. The work of
the yard crew is reduced to pushing the train over the hump. The
classification work is done by the tower staff.
A hump yard was first successfully operated on the London & North
Western at Edge Hill, near Liverpool, in 1873. The Pennsylvania
Railroad opened the first American hump yard in America at Greensburg in
1882. In these early yards, men were stationed at each switched down
the hill and signalled to properly direct the cars. Other men actually
rode the cars down, turning the brakes by hand to control car speed.
Cars were classified by clerks who checked the waybills from the
arriving conductor and marked the cars with chalk.
Today the hump switches are controlled electrically from the tower,
and the cars are slowed by retarders along the tracks that squeeze against
the wheels as they pass. The drop of the hill and the classification
tracks are carefully designed to help control car speed. Cars are
classified by electronic codes read off their sides, and the information
is almost immediately available on the tower's computer. A single hump
yard can classify up to 1500 cars in an 8 hour day, and as many as 3,500
in a three shift day.
Once the classification is complete, the train is pulled forward into
a departure yard, and road locomotives join up. In some cases the
classification yard produces only blocks of cars, and in the departure
yard the blocks are assembled in station order to be dropped off, and
then the road locomotives join. At this point the train is ready for
The primary revenue producing railroad operation is moving trains
from one place to another. In the United States today the average
mile of track in freight service carries about 5.5 trains per day.
However, 67 percent of the traffic travels over only 20% of the existing
mileage, so the mainlines carry much more of the load.
Once all the track and yards are in place, the efficient movement
of trains depends on having the correct locomotive available for power,
a safe way of controlling congestion, and a good mix or schedule of
trains operating to meet the demand for service.
When the early railroads converted from horses to steam, man
loaded cars could be put into a train because of the enormous increase
in motive power. The first steam locomotives were not differentiated
by task, but as the technology improved, some designs were found
capable of greater speed and others more pulling power. At this time
the distinction began to be made between smaller fast trains, primar-
ily for passengers, and slower, more powerful trains, primarily for
Fewer but larger drive wheels produced higher speeds when pulling
relatively light loads. This resulted in the popular American and
Ten-Wheeler designs in the United States, and the graceful single
driver locomotives in Britain. These locomotive types remained useful
and popular from the 1840's until the 20th Century, when increased
train sizes and new technology passed them by.
Where pulling power was more important than speed, especially
over the grades typically found in North America, new designs such as
the Mogul and Consolidation developed. With their heavier weight and
greater traction, they were capable of pulling greater train weights
and climbing grades. In England the 0-6-0 goods engine performed a
similar service for many years with very little design change.
On United States railroads today, diesel-electric locomotives
provide most of the power, and they have proved to be much more
versatile than their steam ancestors. Only six different basic
locomotive types are now being built, ranging from light industrial
switchers to Amtrak's 3600 horsepower passenger engines. These types
are differentiated by horsepower and traction, and within types, gear
ratios can be adjusted to change running speeds.
A railroad meets its power demands by choosing a locomotive type
of certain gear ratio, and linking several engines together if
necessary. In this way an efficient amount of power, traction, and
speed is provided for moving the train in question.
Once the train is powered and ready to move, it is placed in the
hands of dispatchers who control movements over the road. The track
of the railroad is divided into manageable parts, usually called
divisions, each with its own dispatcher. His job is to move trains
over the tracks efficiently and safely. He must allocate a limited
resource, space on the tracks, among the waiting trains so that the
railroad fulfills its obligations with a minimum of trains sitting
To help dispatchers do their jobs, trains historically have been
rated for importance, with higher class trains being given priority
others. The highest value trains are normally the fastest, as well.
Dispatchers organize train movements by first planning the schedule
of the highest value train, then the second highest value, etc.
Passenger and express freight trains were normally given priority
over freight trains due to the relatively high revenue of a passenger
train and the high public profile of the passenger business. Among
passenger trains, the crack express trains were normally given
priority over their entire route. Next in value were through trains.
Local passenger trains still had priority over most freight trains, but
occasionally an express fast freight was more important.
Among the freight trains, regularly scheduled fast freights were
normally given priority, but a special freight that was put on might
override the normal arrangement. The lowest priority freights were the
locals, stopping many times along the division to set out and pick up
cars. They had to get out of the way of just about everything.
Once the dispatcher has an understanding of the priority of trains
expected to pass over his division, he plans how the movement is to
take place and passes out the orders to the trains. In these orders the
conductors on the trains are told when the train should be at various
points on the line. If this timetable is followed then the railroad
should be running efficiently.
The dispatcher then oversees the movement of trains from his tower
by keeping track of their location on a control board. On this board
are displayed the various tracks and switches of the line and the
current positions of all trains, stopped or moving.
The track of the division on the board, as well as on the line, is
divided into blocks by signal towers. Once a train has entered a block,
that block is normally closed to all other trains until the first train
has passed through. By this system, if the signals are properly
obeyed, collisions are avoided.
Inside each train's locomotive, the crew conducts the movement of
their train as ordered. The dispatcher monitors their position on his
board by messages from signal towers reporting passing trains, and
from direct communication with the locomotive crew if necessary. Due
to any number of factors such as accidents, engine trouble, bad
weather, etc., the dispatcher's original plan often must be modified.
By changing signals and switches, the dispatcher can hold up or
reroute certain trains to let others pass.
The crew on the train can only control whether the trains moves
forward or backward, and train speed. Where the train moves is
controlled by how the dispatcher sets the switches the train passes
over. By his control of switches, signals, and train orders, he
orchestrates the movement of the trains.
On some parts of the railroad, especially in mountain districts or
on single tracks, the movement of trains presents especially
interesting problems for the dispatcher and train crews. Where the
problem is an extended region of steep grades that sharply reduce train
speed, the solution is often to change locomotives at the beginning of
the mountain region. More powerful mountain engines pull the train over
the grades, and then hand the train over to lighter engines more suited
for speed on the level land below.
Where the problem is a single relatively short grade and the line
is not crowded, an alternative solution is doubling the grade. In this
maneuver the locomotive takes half the train only to the top of the hill,
leaves it in a summit siding, returns for the other half, and then
rejoins the parts at the top and continues downhill.
Another solution to the grade problem is adding helper engines,
either as pushers or double heads. A pusher engine joins the train at
the bottom of the grade by coupling on the end, and then applies its
power to the back of the train. When the summit is reached the pusher
uncouples while moving and the train continues with minimum stopping.
Double heading places an extra locomotive at the front of the train.
This requires more switching and time, but is desirable for
passenger trains because it reduces the discomfort that normally
results from the combination of pushing and pulling engines.
On single tracks the dispatcher must deal with trains coming
together from opposite directions, called meets, and faster trains
overtaking slower trains, called passes. Operations on single track
roads require the judicious placement of double-ended passing tracks
where trains can pass each other. Passing tracks are designed to hold
entire trains where possible, but terrain, right-of-way cost, and local
ordinances often prevent this and the dispatcher must keep in mind
the variable size of sidings when planning meets.
Where one or both meeting trains do not fit on sidings they must
stop and maneuver past each other by breaking up the trains and
moving manageable parts back and forth until they are entirely clear.
These maneuvers are known as saws when one train only can fit on
the passing track and double saws when neither train fits on the
An efficient railroad keeps an adequate schedule of trains running
along its routes to provide service that is competitive. This
schedule depends on a proper mix of locomotive and car types being
available and proper management of moving trains by crews and
dispatchers. An inefficient railroad can have the wrong equipment
attempt a task, raising costs, offer an inadequate schedule, or
regularly fail to meet its schedule and lose customers to the compe-
The enduring symbol of railroading is the steam locomotive, one
of the most marvelous and fascinating machines that man ever created.
They were tangible proof in their time of mankind's ability to conquer
the known world with technology. In the span of one generation, the
speed limit at which people could travel rose from the few miles per
hour limit that had remained constant since the domestication of the
horse, to nearly 100 mph. For their day they were a combination of the
automobile, the airplane, and the space shuttle.
The marvel of the machines is that they were so large and so
solidly heavy, yet could move so fast and so gracefully. That they
could move at all seemed a great achievement when their mass was viewed
up close, and it was difficult to comprehend how the power was generated
to pull the enormous loads they dragged. They were incredible machines
in their day, consisting mainly of a fireplace and a tank full of water,
but capable of great power and speed.
The fascination with steam locomotives derives from their physical
presence and from watching, smelling, and hearing them work. Standing
next to one of the last generation of steam locomotives, you cannot
help but feel dwarfed by its height and breadth. The polished
connecting rods look like the largest wrenches ever made, and the top
of the drive wheels are at eye level or more for most people. Standing
near a moving locomotive you feel the perceptible tug of the machine
driving past, pulling the wind with it, and sucking you off of your
At rest the engine gives little indication of its capability. The
only apparent movement in a fired up locomotive are tendrils of smoke
and steam, and possibly the preparations of the train crew. In motion,
the locomotive is the picture of undeniable, massive power. The wheels
turn, the burnished connecting rods shimmer, the dust rises, and the
smoke and steam puff from the stack, all in a delightfully precise
The smells of the locomotive are the smells of engines: oil, grease,
coal, hot metal, a roaring fire, and boiling water. This is the no
nonsense smell of work being done.
The sounds of a steam locomotive give it credence as a living,
breathing being. The hiss of an idle engine sounds like the boiling of
the giant teapot that the locomotive nearly is. The chuff-chuff of steam
escaping the cylinders and venting through the stack is the breath of
this colossal iron horse. The blast of the steam whistle, whether in the
distance or up close, is the call to travel and adventure. The clanging
bell of a locomotive approaching a station means your wait is just about
over, or your adventure is about to begin.
In most of the industrialized nations, the steam locomotive no longer
works hard for a living, but is kept running as a tourist attraction or
museum piece. That so many are still operating is a testament to the
fascination they inspire.
When water is heated in a container, it begins to boil, or be
converted into a hot gas of water vapor called steam. The important
factor in this process is that steam takes up a much greater volume
of space than the equivalent amount of water, over 1500 times as
much space. If the steam in the container cannot escape, the energy
of expansion becomes pressure building up inside the container. If the
pressure gets high enough it splits the container open.
The objective of all steam engines is to capture the pressure of the
expanding steam and make it do work. This is usually accomplished by
building up the pressure to a certain level in a boiler, and then opening
a path of low resistance that the pressurized steam can escape down.
Along the escape path, however, the steam must push a partially resistant
blockage out of the way. This blockage is a piston, and the steam
pressure forces it back down a cylinder until a valve opening is
uncovered allowing the steam to escape.
By opening and shutting separate escape paths from the
boiler, steam pressure is alternatively directed to opposite sides of
the piston, pushing it back and forth. This push-pull motion of the
piston can then be converted to power.
The first step in making steam in a steam locomotive is to boil
water. This is done in the boiler, the long tank that makes up most
of the length of the locomotive. At the back of the boiler, just in
front of the cab where the crew is located, is the fire box. In the fire
box the fire is built that heats the water. In the early locomotives
wood was the usual fuel, but coal became more common later on. Some
locomotives burned oil where it was cheaply available.
The fire is fed by hand or automatic loaders. The draft necessary
to provide oxygen comes from a grate at the bottom of the fire box
and is pulled through the box and out tubes that extend through the
boiler to the smoke box below the smokestack. Air passes through
the grate and is heated in the firebox. As it passes down the tubes
to vent out of the stack, it heats the water that surrounds the tubes
in the boiler. In this way the heat of the fire is transferred to the
water, making it boil and convert into steam.
Inside the boiler the steam begins to accumulate, gradually filling
and expanding. When it tries to expand, it has no outlet and the
pressure inside the boiler increases instead. When the pressure gets
sufficiently high, the locomotive is said to have "steam up" and be
ready to move.
While the locomotive is getting up steam, the crew is overseeing the
process. The fireman is responsible for building the fire and
maintaining sufficient water in the boiler. The engineer lubricates the
connecting rods and other working parts of the locomotive, inspecting it
for any prob-
lems. As steam builds the engineer keeps track of the pressure to be
ready when the locomotive can move.
When one steam pressure is sufficient, the engineer opens the
throttle. This opens the escape path for the steam down the "dry pipe"
to the cylinder valves and pistons. The valves pass the steam through
into the cylinders where the steam builds up pressure against the
piston. The piston is designed to give way under sufficient pressure
and it begins to move backwards.
The pistons are connected by massive rods and other connecting gear
to the drive wheels. The motion of the pistons is converted by the
complicated connecting gear into movement by the wheels in one
direction, either forward or backward.
At the same time, the cylinder valve over the piston is connected
to the wheels and the wheel motion moves the valves back and forth.
The motion of the valves opens and closes vents into and out of the
piston cylinder for the entry of new steam and exhaust of spent steam
from the opposite sides of the piston.
The engineer controls the speed of the locomotive with the throttle.
By opening and closing the throttle he lets more or less steam into the
cylinders. The amount of steam let in controls how fast the pistons
move back and forth, and thus the speed of the engine.
Development and Decline
By the 1850's, most of the basic principles of steam locomotive
power had been discovered. Thereafter, the development of the
locomotive was a matter of making them larger and more powerful,
and only a few significant advances in technology were made. The
larger weight and increased power was made possible by the availability
of cheap steel that could be made into the heavy rails necessary for
the support of heavy trains and engines.
One of the most important later inventions was the idea of using
the exhaust steam from the cylinders, now low pressure steam, to
power a low pressure cylinder. This was called compounding, and the
massive compound engines of the 20th Century were the pinnacle of
steam locomotive development. The Union Pacific Big Boy, a 4-8-8-4
weighing over 500 tons, was capable of generating over 5,000 horse-
Steam locomotives were made obsolete by the development of the diesel-
electric locomotive in the 1930's, even though steam power continued in
use on North American roads into the late 1950's.
The advantages of the diesels were mainly that they were cheaper to
operate and more reliable. Diesels could be linked together in tandem
under the control of one crew and do the work of several steam
locomotives and crews. Diesels also converted more of the energy from
their fuel into power.
Despite their obvious inferiority, however, steam locomotives are
still in use in a few nations, notably China and South Africa, where
coal is plentiful and oil dear. In addition, railroad buffs and museums
in the industrialized nations have preserved a remarkable number of
operating steam locomotives. The thrill of seeing a steam locomotive
in full flight is still to be felt, even if only on Saturday afternoons.
7. NOTES AND CREDITS
RAILROAD TYCOON WORLDS
When starting a new game of Railroad Tycoon you choose one of 4
different worlds for the location of your railroad. Your choices are:
Eastern USA, 1830
Western USA, 1866
Each world approximates the geography of the region portrayed,
but no world exactly duplicates the real geography. Each new map is
generated from a base map that represents the economic geography
prior to the time period of your game. From this point a new mix of
resources and industrial growth is placed.
As a result of this process, each game you play must be different
because the growth of cities and location of industry is never the same.
In one game New York is a great city, but in the next it may be just a
village. The best location for railroads is therefore different from
game to game.
Once you have made your opening choices of play options, the game
begins by placing you at the Regional Display. In order to read the
map of this display you must refer to the Regional Map Chart in the
Technical Supplement. This chart explains what type of geography
is represented on the map by each color.
Specific Map Features
The worlds in Railroad Tycoon differ slightly in the mix of
resources and industries that are present. These separate mixes
result in some different cargos being available only in one world or
another. For a description of the map icons and what they represent
in each world, refer to the World Economies Chart on the Player Aid
The Western USA world has some unique features. Revenue earned for
carrying cargos on east-west routes are double what would be normally
expected. Revenues earned for carrying cargos on north-south routes
are half what would normally be expected. These effects are designed
to encourage east-west railroads. In addition, completing a railroad
connection from the east side of the Mississippi River on the right side
of the world to the Pacific Coast on the left side of the world earns a
$1,000,000 bonus for achieving a transcontinental railroad.
The four game maps have been built in a square grid. Each position
on the grid is referred to as a map square throughout this manual. The
speed of trains, the distance they travel, and the distance effect on
revenue earned is kept consistent between the worlds, despite the fact
that the worlds have been built to different scales. In addition,
adjustments are made when building or traveling in a diagonal direction
to account for the difference in distance when traveling diagonally, as
opposed to horizontally or vertically within a grid.
A game of Railroad Tycoon is broken into fiscal periods for
accounting purposes, and each period lasts two years. At the end of
a fiscal period, you are normally shown a number of fiscal reports to
review that concern your railroad and any competing railroads that
While your reports detail the operations of your railroad for two
years, the numbers are actually derived from the operations of your
trains for only one 24 hour day, converted into what would be expected
from these operations over an entire year. The operation of one of your
trains in the 24 hour period, represents many trains running that
route over the two years.
When a Train Arrival Announcement reports the arrival of one of
your trains at a station, the time of the arrival is also noted. The
hour of the arrival corresponds to the 24 months in the fiscal period.
12:00 AM corresponds to January of the first year, 1:00 AM to February
of the first year, etc.
The locomotives included in Railroad Tycoon were chosen to represent
important historical designs and evolving technology. When each game
begins, only one or a few locomotive types are available for purchase by
your railroad. As time passes, technology improves and better locomotives
can be purchased. Eventually the older types cease production and are
thereafter not available.
Each locomotive included in the game is listed below with an
illustration and descriptive notes. Included with the notes are some
suggestions on how best to employ the locomotive types in the game.
The North American locomotives appear in the Eastern and Western USA
games, and the European engines appear in the England and Europe games.
North American Locomotives
0-4-0 Grasshopper: The first of these locomotives was built by
Phineas Davis of York, Pennsylvania, winning a $4,000 prize offered
by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad for a 3-1/2 ton coal burning
locomotive. They were called grasshoppers because their motion
resembled that insect. They were front heavy, moving with a pitching
motion, and their vertical rods moved up and down to power the wheels
like a grasshopper's hind legs. These four wheeled vertical boiler
engines were ideal for the sharp curves of the B&O and were the
railroad's main power by the mid-1830's.
These are the only locomotives available at the start of a game in
the Eastern USA, so you have no choice. Use them for everything but
note they are not particularly fast, even when pulling only one car.
4-2-0 Norris: William Norris of Philadelphia built the first of his
Norris type locomotives for the Philadelphia & Columbia in 1834 and
its performance, especially on a steep incline, was sensational. The
design was simple, sturdy, and versatile enough to be useful through-
out America, and influence European designs as well. The Norris type
was noteworthy for its bar frames, outside cylinders at the smokebox,
the Bury firebox, and placement of the driving axle in front of the
firebox to improve adhesion.
This is the first modern locomotive available in America and the
performance of your trains can be substantially improved in both speed
and pulling power by replacing your grasshoppers with it. No other
locomotive replacement has this impact.
4-4-0 American: The most popular locomotive type in North America from
the middle to late 1800's, with over 25,000 being built. Noted for its
ability to handle heavy loads over varied routes, its ability to operate
over uneven tracks, simple construction, low initial cost, and ready
maintenance, it was the ideal general purpose locomotive for the period
of westward expansion. It became the national engine because it answered
Use the American for most of your long haul trains, especially those
hauling passengers or mail. When cars are kept to three or less, the
locomotive can maintain very good speeds.
2-6-0 Mogul: The mogul engine type was developed to power heavy, fast
freight trains that were too much for the American type which it bettered
in tractive power by nearly 50%. The wheel arrangement had been tried as
early as 1852, but a really successful mogul engine was not built until
1864. The mogul type was on its way to replacing the American as a
national type, at least for freight service, but was itself replaced by
the 2-8-0 before it was firmly established.
By the time this locomotive comes available, you maybe running large
or long freight trains. Add a car or two to these trains if the business
is there, and put Moguls at their head. These trains can then maintain
their previous speed, while delivering more cargo. Placing a Mogul on a
passenger train, however, is wasting money.
4-6-0 Ten-Wheeler: This was the second most popular wheel arrangement
of the 19th Century in North America, and it began to seriously rival
the American after 1860. First used as freight engine, it
was recognized by the 1850's as useful in general service. By the
1880's the dogma of specialized motive power for each class of service
relegated the Ten-Wheeler to passenger service. It served on mainline
passenger trains until about 1910 when heavier engines were required.
Use the locomotive for high speed trains carrying mail, passengers,
and fast freight. They can maintain the speed of Americans while
pulling one or more additional cars. Alternatively, put them on long
runs with a few cars and they set speed records.
2-8-0 Consolidation: This wheel arrangement was originally introduced
in the late 1860's for slow pusher service, but by the middle 1870's its
value as a road engine was recognized. It was built in larger numbers
than any other single wheel arrangement, approximately 33,000 between
1866 and 1950. The original Consolidation was designed by Alexander
Mitchell in 1865 and incorporated all the elements that made the 2-8-0
a success. When the Erie replaced its 4-4-0s with Consolidations in
1876, it found that the heavier engine could pull trains of twice the
weight, while reducing expenses from 96 cents to 53 cents per ton-mile.
Use this locomotive for long, heavy freights, or for trains passing
over steeper grades.
4-6-2 Pacific: Baldwin Locomotive Works claims the first Pacific type,
delivered to New Zealand in 1901, although locomotives going back to 1889
had the wheel arrangement. Early into the 20th Century the Pacific
became the preferred locomotive for almost all express passenger
trains and many fast freights, and they remained useful after being
replaced on the top trains in the 1930's by 4-6-4 Hudsons. About 7000
were built in the United States.
By the time the locomotive is available, you probably have some
very long runs on your line. Use the Pacific to haul fast trains on the
long distances. It can maintain very high speeds if not burdened
with too many cars.
2-8-2 Mikado: The first 2-8-2s were built in 1897 for a railway in
Japan, hence the name. The type was introduced in the United States in
1903, and it grew in popularity. It became the most common freight
locomotive in the United States, partly because it was specified as an
authorized design by the federal government when US railroads were
briefly nationalized for World War I. They were again built in large
numbers during World War II and exported after the war as part of the
Marshall Plan. Although more often known as "Mikes" in the United States,
during World War II their class name was changed to "McArthur" by
sensitive railroad managements.
This is a heavy freight engine for pulling long trains. Use it to
replace Consolidations when you want to add a car or two to the train
4-6-6-4 Mallet (Challenger class): In the late 1800's Anatole
Mallet, a Swiss engineer, developed the design of the compound, or
articulated, locomotive with a rear group of drive wheels powered by
high pressure steam and a forward group of wheels powered by the
residual low pressure steam. Work on this design continued with the
first large mallet, an 0-6-6-0, appearing on the B&O in 1904. This
type proved very popular as power for heavy freights and pusher
engines. The final era of the mallets, and the final development of
steam power, was marked by the Challenger class 4-6-6-4 locomotives
that appeared in the 1930's. Weighing nearly 300 tons and exerting
over 5000 horsepower, yet capable of running speeds over 70 mph,
were used for heavy freights and mountain passenger trains.
The most powerful North American steam locomotive in the game, use
it for your heaviest freight trains and for passenger trains that must
negotiate steep grades.
EMD F Series Diesel-Electric: In 1939 the Electro-Motive Division of
General Motors sent a 4 unit diesel locomotive on a 83,764 mile tour
over 20 major American railroads to demonstrate its capabilities.
The demonstrator units consistently outperformed their steam competition
and suffered no mechanical failure, convincing railroads of their
worthiness. Within 20 years steam disappeared from American railroads.
The demonstrators developed into the F series of cab (A) and booster (B)
units that could be geared for variable speeds and equipped for passenger
traffic. Over 7,000 F diesels were built until production stopped in 1953
due to the increasing popularity of hood diesel units and declining
Useful for any train that is relatively small and needs to move fast,
the diesels additional advantage is that their maintenance costs are
substantially lower than steam locomotives.
EMD GP Series Diesel-Electric: Responding to the desire of railroads for
a road switcher locomotive, capable of switching as well as some road work,
in 1949 EMD produced the first of its GP (general purpose) series. It was
an immediate success and an improved version remains in production today.
The structural strength of the locomotive is in the frame, and the hood
serves only to protect the mechanical parts. In addition, the hood gives
the engineer very good vision in both directions, and allows easy access to
the motors. It is available in different gear ratios and capable of being
linked together under the control of one engineer, making it very flexible
Use the GP diesel to replace aging steam freight engines, because
the GP, like the F series, has substantially lower maintenance costs.
2-2-0 Planet class: Delivered by the Stephensons to the Liverpool
& Manchester Railway in October, 1830, the Planet proved to be very
successful for its day. Its major innovation was to put the cylinders at
the front end, helping to distribute the weight of the engine. The Planet
proved to the world that reliable steam locomotives could be built, and
laid the foundation of the fortune of Robert Stephenson & Co., locomotive
builders. However, the design was flawed by problems with forged crank
axles and by its short wheelbase with the firebox outside it at the rear.
Axles failed, and the engine had a tendency to pitch continually,
threatening to derail.
You must use the Planet in England at the start as it is your only
choice, but replace it as soon as you can when the Patentee becomes
available. If possible, keep its train lengths to only one or two cars.
2-2-2 Patentee: The Stephensons continued to develop the Planet design,
adding a third axle and removing the flanges from the large center drive
wheels. The result was less force on the drive axle, lower axle loading
on the L&M's track, no pitching, and allowance for an even larger
firebox. The improvements were patented, hence the
name "Patentee". The Patentee type, with variations and improvements,
was constructed by most locomotive builders in England and Europe from
1835 to 1845. Patentees, built either in England or at home, were the
first locomotives to run in several countries, including Belgium, Holland,
Italy, and Russia.
The Patentee is useful for all types of trains, but should not be
asked to pull more than three cars. It substantially improves the service
of your road by easily surpassing the Planet in speed and power.
4-2-0 Iron Duke Class: The Iron Duke was an express engine designed by
Daniel Gooch for the 7 foot gauge Great Western Railway and built in their
own shops in 1847. The long wheel base made for stable running but
required ample curves. The broad gauge allowed a larger firebox and thus
greater steam production. These locomotives and their immediate
descendants, the slightly modified Lord of the Isles class, were extremely
successful, consistently demonstrating high speed and stability. Oft he 29
Lords class built beginning in 1851, 23 were still in service on express
trains in 1892 when the broad gauge was abolished.
Place these locomotives into service on all of your fast trains as soon
as you can afford them. They can pull 2 cars at very good speed, and 3 or
even 4 reasonably.
0-6-0 Dx Goods: A universal freight, or goods, engine designed by John
Ramsbottom for the London & North Western Railway, the class was built
from 1855 to 1872. They were simple but sturdy, and very popular with
943 being built, a record number for any type of English locomotive. They
served for nearly all types of freight business, and after reboilering,
some continued to run until 1930.
Replace any type locomotive on freight service pulling 3 or more cars
with this locomotive as soon as possible. None of its predecessors can
pull cars or climb grades as well.
4-2-2 Stirling 8 ft Single: One of the loveliest and most graceful steam
locomotives, it is named for the Locomotive Superintendent of the Great
Northern, Patrick Stirling, and its 8 foot single drive wheel. They were
built from 1870 to 1893, and finally withdrawn in 1916. While the
standard express train was 6 compartment cars, the Stirlings handled all
of the crack passenger trains of the GNR, including the then unofficial
10 AM King's Cross (London) to Edinburgh "Flying Scotsman". The advent
of heavier "corridor" passenger cars and dining cars, reduced them to
This locomotive should be placed at the head of your fast trains,
especially those carrying mail and passengers. Don't burden it with more
than 3 or 4 cars because under those conditions it slows considerably and
loses much of its value.
0-8-0 Webb Compound: Built by Francis Webb for the London & North
Western to pull heavy coal trains, it was powerful but difficult to drive
and expensive to maintain. The locomotive had outside high-pressure
cylinders and a single low-pressure cylinder between the frames. In
various modifications, over 470 were built and the last was not withdrawn
until 1964. They were found especially useful in the mountainous
regions in and near Wales.
Place the Webb compound on your long and heavy freight trains,
especially those moving in mountainous regions. Don't waste its power
on passenger trains.
4-2-2 Johnson Midland Spinner: Though the single driver locomotive
was thought obsolete by the late 1880's, Samuel Johnson of the Midland
Railway designed this class, nicknamed Spinners, in 1887. The reason for
his confidence was the recent invention of steam sanding gear which
assured a steady supply of dry sand under the drive wheel, sufficiently
improving its adhesion to make the design again practical. The Midland
competed with other companies at all of its passenger stops but one, and
consequently operated many light trains at good speed to attract business.
The Spinners served this need well, and remained in service well into the
20th Century, beautifully painted with the Midland's distinctive crimson
This locomotive is the ideal choice for a one or two car train that
must travel at high speed.
4-4-0 Claud Hamilton Class: Between 1900 and 1923, 121 of these engines
were built by the Great Eastern Railway for light express passenger
service, mainly from London to the Norfolk coast. They incorporated a
number of design features considered to be before their time, including
a large cab with windows, power-operated reversing gear, and a water scoop
(for picking up water from a trough between the rails without stopping).
In addition, they burned waste oil from the company's oil-gas plant. Other
modern features included an exhaust steam injector and a variable mouth
blast-pipe for adjusting the amount of exhaust steam sent up the stack to
improve the draft in the fire box.
Another high speed locomotive for relatively light trains of 2 or 3
cars, possibly more if the grades are moderate.
4-6-2- A1 Class: The first class of Pacific locomotives to run in
Britain, they were ordered in 1922 by Nigel Gresley, Locomotive
Superintendent of the Great Northern Railway. Very attractive engines
with graceful lines and a pleasing livery, they could pull as well as
they looked. Beset at first with a number of irritating problems, after
adjustment they established an excellent reputation. Beginning in the
summer 1928, they ran the longest non-stop service in the world, 392 3/4
miles from London to Edinburgh. This was the Flying Scotsman, inherited
by the London & North Eastern from the Great Northern when English rail-
roads were amalgamated into four systems in 1923.
An excellent locomotive for longer passenger trains and fast freights,
use it to upgrade any non-bulk or non-slow freight of 3 or more cars.
Also very useful for trains trying to cross substantial grades.
4-6-2 A4 Class: Possibly the most popularly known steam locomotive in
Great Britain, this streamlined Pacific engine holds the world speed
record for steam, 126 mph. Built from 1935 to 1938, they were not
displaced from their role as express locomotives until the arrival of
diesels in the 1960's. In the interim they powered the crack trains of
the London & North Eastern, including "The Silver Jubilee" from London
to Newcastle, the "Coronation", and the "West Riding Express".
This is the best steam locomotive for crack passenger service,
especially in areas where the grades are kept to a minimum. It can
pull several cars at very high speeds, or moderate speed trains at good
speed. Don't waste it pulling slow or bulk freight.
6/6 GE Class Crocodile: These electric locomotives were first put in
service on the Swiss Rhaetian Railway, serving ski resorts in the Alps.
Electricity was chosen because of the easy access to hydroelectric power
and the lack of coal in Switzerland. The first crocodile, so named for
their engine hoods, entered service in 1921 and proved much more powerful
and reliable than the steam locomotives that were previously employed.
The design was so successful that it was embodied in larger locomotives
for parts of the Swiss Federated Railways. As a tribute to their
soundness, the entire class of these locomotives was still working in
1987 with the exception of the first built which was destroyed in an
This locomotive is very useful for moderate freight trains, especially
those needing to negotiate steep grades. It is too slow for passenger
service, but its low maintenance costs make it an attractive replacement
for aging steam freight locomotives.
1-Do-1 Class E18: This electric express passenger locomotive entered
service on the growing electrified network of the Deutsch Reichsbahn in
1935, and was the result of 9 years of evolution from earlier designs.
The design was characterized by the four independent drive wheels within
a rigid frame, guided at both ends by single trucks. They proved to be
very fast and powerful, the most advanced electric locomotive in the
world at the time, and 92 were ordered. However, the war intervened and
only 53 were built. Two of the locomotives were in Austria at the end of
the war and retained there. The Austrians copied the design, and for
many years they were the fastest passenger locomotives in that country.
Use these locomotives tv replace any aging steam locomotive in
passenger service except possibly the A4. Like the diesels, all electric
locomotives offer substantial savings in maintenance costs.
4-8-4 242 A1: Rebuilt in 1946 from a pre-war 4-8-2, this was the
most powerful steam locomotive to run in Europe, and the most powerful
locomotive of any type outside of North America. It was designed by
Andre Chapelon after the 4-8-2 from which it originated proved a failure
and an embarrassment to the government committee that had designed it.
The A1 developed 5,500 hp compared to 2,800 before rebuilding, and was
similar in output to an American 4-8-4 which weighed 50% more. At a
time when French railway brass were trying to convince the government
to finance an expensive conversion to electric operation, the A1 proved
an even greater embarrassment than it had as a failure in its previous
life. It was more powerful than any existing electric locomotive and
was sufficiently economical in coal consumption to nullify the savings
of electrication. Unfortunately, the bureaucrats won out, and the only
example of this superb locomotive was quietly broken up in 1960.
When this locomotive becomes available it is a good choice for
powering your longest and heaviest freight trains, as well as your
longer fast trains. Its pulling power can make up for its maintenance
V200 B-B: These 1,100 hp diesel-hydraulic passenger locomotives were
built as prototypes in 1953 for the German Federated Railway and went into
production 3 years later. A diesel-hydraulic locomotive transmits its
power directly to the drive wheels, not to
electric traction motors as in a diesel-electric. They were designed
for use on those parts of the railway that were not scheduled for
electrication. By 1962 these locomotives were averaging 145,000
miles per year of service, pulling loads 30% higher than originally
specified for the design. In the 1980's the number in service has been
reduced due to further electrification.
This locomotive is useful for pulling shorter trains, especially those
carrying mail or passengers. However, don't ask this engine to perform
in mountainous areas, it works best in the plains of central and northern
Bo-Bo-Bo RE Class 6/6: This heavy duty mixed traffic mountain
locomotive entered service in 1972 on the difficult Swiss Federated
Railway's St. Gothard mainline over the Alps. It provides an astounding
10,000 hp in a single unit, and was built to help cope with the steadily
increasing tonnage moving over this route since the 1950's. The RE 6/6
developed from earlier designs stretching back to the 1930's, and are
over 80% more powerful than their immediate precedents, the Ae 6/6,
within the same weight limitations. In addition to being capable of all
freight traffic, they are also suited for trains moving at the highest
speeds allowed on the Swiss system.
This is the locomotive for powering all heavy freight and passenger
trains, especially in mountainous regions of the map. Its huge horse-
power output means it can handle any load over any grade.
TGV: The French TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse, literally "train with
great speed") is a high speed articulated multiple unit electric train
placed in service in 1981 between Lyons and Marseilles.
The route between these two cities and on to Paris is the busiest in
France and the TGV trains were intended to reduce congestion.
Although the minimum speed for these trains is now limited to 168
mph, they have reached 236 mph, a world record. Each train consists
of eight cars and two power units, one at each end. The train remains
together as a unit. Most of the existing trains have first and second
class accommodations, though a few are for first class or mail only.
The special track on which they run has now been extended to Paris.
Employ this locomotive on your fast trains, primarily mail and
passenger. No locomotive in the game is capable of its speed. Heavier
freight loads slow down the train dramatically, so leave those chores
to the RE 6/6.
North American Tycoons
The following historical figures may appear in a game of Railroad
Tycoon as the president of a competing railroads. The management style
of competing railroad presidents can be expected to reflect the per-
sonality of these tycoons. One set of tycoons appear in games in North
America, and another set appear in games in England or Europe.
After the name of each tycoon is a letter in parentheses, either a "B",
"R", or "M". A "B" indicates a builder, a man you can expect to
concentrate on building the best railroad he can. An "R" indicates
a robber baron, a man you can expect to be very active in the stock
market. An "M" indicates a mixed personality, a man capable of both
building and stock manipulation, but not particularly adept at either.
Jay Cooke (M): Made a fortune during the Civil War selling Union war
bonds that the government had been unable to move. In 1869 his firm,
Jay Cooke & Company, undertook the financing of the Northern Pacific
Railroad. Despite Cooke's good intentions and an early strong start in
raising funds, the railroad stalled. Construction costs had soared and
funds had dried up. Unable to pay his debts or interest on Northern
Pacific bonds, Cooke's banking house closed, precipitating the Panic of
Erastus Corning (M): A nailmaker and ironmonger, as Mayor of
Albany he rode behind the Dewitt Clinton, the first locomotive and
train to run on of the Mohawk & Hudson Railroad. He served for 20
years as president of the Utica & Schenectady, drawing no salary, but
made a fortune supplying everything the railroad needed in the way
of iron. He formed the New York Central in 1853 by combining several
small railroads linking Albany to Buffalo. Outmaneuvered by Cornelius
Vanderbilt, he lost control of the NYC in 1867.
Daniel Drew (R): Called the King of the Bears for his Wall Street
short selling attacks, or bear raids. ("He that sells what isn't his'n,
must buy it back or go to prison.") Gained control of the Erie Railroad
in the Panic of 1857 and looted it ruthlessly with the help of Jay Gould
and Jim Fisk who joined him after the Civil War. Was bankrupted by Gould
after Drew left the Erie in 1868 and tried to raid it once more.
Jim Fisk (R): A Vermont tin peddler, carnival sharpie, and stockbroker
brought into the Erie Ring by Dan Drew to help with stock manipulations
and speculations. With Jay Gould he attempted to corner the gold market
in 1869. Gould forced him out of the Erie in 1872 because of criminal
charges and scandals. He was shot by the boyfriend of his former
John Forbes (B): Made his fortune as a young man with clipper ships in
the China trade, and was persuaded to lead a group taking over the failing
Michigan Central Railroad. He built it into Chicago, and turned his eyes
farther westward. He bought the tiny Aurora Branch Railroad and
eventually built it into the Chicago, Burlington, & Quincy. Praised by
Ralph Waldo Emerson for his remarkable force, modesty, and goodness,
uncommon traits in the railroad men of the era.
Jay Gould (R): The shrewdest Robber Baron. Brought into the Erie Ring
by Dan Drew, he directed the looting of the railroad as president from
1868 to 1872. He manipulated the stocks of several
other railroads thereafter, and cheaply bought control of the scandal-
plagued Union Pacific with funds looted from the Erie. He paid out large
dividends and drove the UP stock to astounding prices, at which point he
sold out. The new owners found a huge secret debt and unpaid interest
due. He went on to buy up and manipulate the stock of several other
railroads including the Missouri Pacific, the Texas & Pacific, and the
Wabash. Died rich at his estate in Lyndhurst, New Jersey in 1892.
Jim Hill (B): The greatest American railroad entrepreneur, he built
the Great Northern from Duluth to Seattle without the government
assistance claimed necessary by the other trans-Mississippi trunk lines.
The Great Northern was the only trans-continental railroad built without
land grants, and the only one not to go into receivership. Hill built
and operated his road well and actively helped the settlers along it. He
later proved an adept financier, taking over the failing Northern Pacific
and the CB&Q to gain a link to Chicago. He was ruthless and tough when he
had to be.
J. Pierpont Morgan (R): The pre-eminent banker and financier of the
late 1800's and early 1900's. He was an active force in consolidating
and reorganizing railroads such as the Philadelphia & Reading,
Chesapeake & Ohio, Erie, Norfolk & Western, Southern, and others.
He helped Vanderbilt take over the New York Central, financed other
railroad ventures, and eventually began running them himself, often
placing a deputy in charge to keep his ownership secret. His ultimate
dream of combining all US railroads into a cooperative cartel to reduce
ruinous competition was squashed by the anti-trust campaigns of
President Teddy Roosevelt.
J. Edgar Thompson (B): The man who made the Pennsylvania Railroad the
best in the country, consistently outmaneuvering his rivals while set-
ting and meeting the highest standards for engineering and efficiency. It
was said that his power was so great that the state legislature would
delay its adjournment until he had no more business for it to conduct.
Cornelius Vanderbuilt (M): The "Commodore" made his fortune in shipping
but sold out to get into railroads in 1857. After gaining control of the
New York & Harlem Railroad and the Hudson River Line, he bitterly fought
for and captured the New York Central. Combining these lines he
eventually extended the NYC to Chicago. He furiously battled the Erie
Ring and later fought the Pennsylvania Railroad until J. P. Morgan brought
peace. At his peak he was the richest man in America.
Isambard Kingdom Brunel (B): One of the most noted Victorian
engineers, he was famous for the bridges and ships he built, including
the colossal Great Eastern, an enormous iron ship and a wonder of the
age. He was appointed engineer of the Great Western Railway at the age
of 27 in 1833 and built it to the unprecedented gauge of 7 feet. His
innovative and graceful engineering works, plus his exacting standards,
made the Great Western and its subsidiaries the most efficient and
smooth riding railroad in England. Great Western trains averaged 50 mph
in comfort long before most other railroads could dream of such speed.
George Hudson (R): Known as the "Railway King", he was a draper in
York who invested an inheritance in railway shares and thereafter became
active in railroad affairs. In 1837 he was appointed
chairman of the York & North Midland Railway, and later was instrumental
in the formation of the Midland Railway, becoming its chairman. His
ambition was to unite all the railways of England under his control. He
manipulated and schemed without principle, and at his peak controlled
nearly one third of the track in use. His efforts helped trigger the
Railway Mania of 1845 that swamped Parliament with worthless and
fraudulent railway schemes. His financial collapse ended the mania.
George Stephenson (B): A coal mine enginewright who went on to
develop and demonstrate to the world a practical steam locomotive. He
built some of the most famous English railways, including the Stockton &
Darlington and the Liverpool & Manchester, and founded with his son the
famous Robert Stephenson & Company locomotive works in Newcastle upon
Robert Stephenson (B): The son and co-worker of George Stephenson,
and a brilliant engineer in his own right. He worked with his father
in the design and construction of the first practical steam locomotives,
and operated their locomotive works that supplied the first engines to
many parts of the world. He was appointed engineer of the London &
Birmingham Railway, completing it in 1838, and went on to build
many lasting and famous engineering works.
Napoleon III (M): His self-style "Emperor" loved expansion for
the sake of glory, even if it incurred large debts. He promoted railway
expansion by a law that guaranteed railroad bonds. In addition to
weak financial thinking, Napoleon III was unable to manage complex
problems. This eventually caused the ignominious collapse of his
Benito Mussolini (M): This fascist leader of Italy (1922-45) was
Hitler's "model". Despite his many faults, Mussolini was said to have
"made the trains run on time". However, his nepotistic bureaucracy
was actually quite inept. Worse, a crushing debt load and a world-
wide depression destroyed all attempts at Italian economic expansion.
Otto von Bismarck (R): "Iron" Chancellor to the King (Kaiser) of
Prussia, Bismarck unified Germany by forcing smaller neighbors to
submit, through politics or war, as appropriate. Competent in finance
and administration, he waited for sufficient strength or a golden
opportunity before forcing a "unification."
Helmuth von Moltke (B): As Chief of the German General Staff,
1900- 14, Moltke was a great planner and administrator. His detailed
orders for railroads to mobilize and maneuver troops were very
successful. He believed that a good attack may be the best defense.
Czar Nicholas II (B): Last of his line, Nicholas was a weak and
hesitant leader. Railroading progressed well when he had good
advisors (such as the genius Serge Witte, who organized the vast
Vladimir I. Lenin (M): Architect of the soviet governmental system,
Lenin was a bold, gambling leader who returned to Russia in a "sealed
train". He took over a weak, confused nation and started its rapid
industrial expansion (during the 1920s and 30s).
Charles de Gaulle (B): French head-of-state after WWII, he was
concerned with growth and glory first, but unlike Napoleon III, de
Gaulle had greater skill in administration and problem-solving.
He vigorously defended all "French" possessions, but avoided overreach-
Baron Rothschild (R): One of the greatest banking houses in Europe,
the Rothschilds were financiers of many railroads. Ruthlessly efficient,
they bankrupted failures as quickly as they supported successes. Like
most bankers, they disliked open warfare or conflict. Money and size
were their chief weapons.
The final product of any computer game project is determined by
the strength of the central game concept, the ability and tastes of the
designers, and the trial and error process of the game's evolution.
Provided here is a brief description of how these elements were
brought together to design Railroad Tycoon.
The Railroad Tycoon design team consisted of Sid Meier, Bruce
Shelley, and Max Remington, all working at MPS Labs, the software
design studio of MicroProse Software.
For Sid, Railroad Tycoon was most memorable as a game unlike
any other he has made in his career. Knowing trains were "cool",
he was challenged by the task of building them into a fun and
interesting game. Bruce had worked on railroad games in a previous
life, including the 1830 game mentioned below, and has had a
longtime interest in railroad history. For him, Railroad Tycoon was
the most interesting game project of a ten year career in games. Max
joined the team after the basic mechanics were proved sound and jumped
in with his normal unending stream of ideas and artwork. Inspired to
build his own model railroad at home, he lived up to his nickname,
The inspiration for Railroad Tycoon came from several sources.
One was playing 1830, a boardgame about US railroads, during after
hours gaming sessions here at MicroProse. Then Sid worked up a
system for building and operating model railroads that looked like
something right out of a model railroading magazine. In the Spring
1989 Bruce wrote a proposal for a railroad game based on his
experience with railroad boardgames, his interest in railroad history,
and the play of the innovative new "sandbox" or "god' computer
games that had recently appeared.
The railroad game idea kicked around for some time, until in a
burst of activity during a vacation in August of 1989, Sid built
the first working prototype. This game was crude, but the potential
was clearly there. A project underway at that time was put on hold and
development of Railroad Tycoon went full-time.
A central design problem was choosing the scope of the game.
Sid's early game was a model railroading game. Bruce's proposal
posed the player as the president and guiding force of a railroad, but
it left out the tycoon competition so popular in 1830. The dilemma was
how much to include in one game.
In the end we automated much of the low end detail, such as
throwing individual track switches, and concentrated on the higher
end, you as president of your own railroad. We found that running a
big railroad and having to fight off rivals made the most interesting
We didn't forget train operations, however, and stretched the
game to allow for that to be included. By having one day of train
operations represent the operation of your entire railroad for two
years, we retained the feel of day to day train operations within the
framework of running a big railroad.
By this decision we hope to have retained the appeal to real rail
enthusiasts, while broadening the appeal to game players. We gained
the evolution of locomotives and other technology, the changing of the
game worlds as time passes, the influence of your railroad on the
growth of cities, and competition over time with competing railroads.
The more tedious details of train operation, not remembered as fun
now anyway, are left for lower level managers on your "staff".
The keys to making the details of train operation fun and
challenging were the routing of trains by station, the different
economies for each world, and the competition with rivals over
territory and stations.
Trains were previously routed by you acting as a switchman, setting
switches to allow certain types and classes of trains to pass in
one direction or another. The new system gives more of the feel of
you being the dispatcher, planning the movement of trains and then
letting them run. This system was one of the big breakthroughs in
making the game work.
The next big change was increasing the complexity of the original
economy in which just five types of cargo existed: mail, passenger, fast
freight, slow freight, and bulk. Now the whole map became important
as you scanned for industrial sites and resources. The more complex
arrangement of supply, demand, and conversion of cargos added a new
dimension to play.
The last major addition was the competing railroads. Before their
inclusion, the game was just a puzzle, or a race to accumulate cash.
Now players had some real worries: rate wars, stock takeovers, and
being beaten into rich areas. In addition, they had some new oppor-
tunities: takeovers resulting in more cash or an ally against another
The game originally was built for the Northeast USA, but we talked
ourselves into expanding into England first, where railroading started,
and then the Western USA and Europe. By making each world different in
some manner, we hope that each has its own flavor and interest.
Giving the game as much variety as we could was one of our goals
from the start. We think that the endless variation of the maps, the
four different worlds, and the influence of your railroad on regional
economic growth insure that no two games can be alike. In our
experience no two games, nor any two people, play similarly, and
different styles of play can succeed. We believe there is room for
detailed operation, wide expansion, and financial wheeling and deal-
ing as you wish.
The player is the master of his own destiny. Each time you start
a new game, you don't know how the game is going to go.
We are very happy with the result of our work. Railroad Tycoon
was a great project to work on, and we're not just talking about field
trips to the Strasburg Railroad and the B&O Museum. We think we got
just about everything in that we wished for, and even as we wind down
from many months of intense work it remains a joy to play.
We hope that Railroad Tycoon is as interesting, challenging, and
fun to play as it was to design.
March 2, 1990
For new player's it is recommended that the reality levels all be
set at the easy options. With more experience add the Complex Economy.
then Dispatcher Operation, and finally Cut-Throat Competition.
The most important part of building a new railroad is selecting an
area of the world to start in. One option that often works well is to
start your railroad between areas containing one or more cities each, 20
squares or less apart. Two areas such as this should be able to provide
passenger traffic capable of generating substantial revenue right
away. Then look to expand your mainline to other cities and extend
branch lines to industries or resource areas.
Also important when first starting out are the locations of
industries and sites that generate the supply of cargos besides
passengers and mail. Having a harbor on your line is very useful
because in all worlds they demand at least some cargos, and in others
they generate the supply of cargos as well.
Concentrations of natural resource sites are useful because they
tend to grow tn size with utilization. If you can get trains into a
large natural resource area, it can pay to put on several large unit
trains just to haul this resource.
Also look for industry connections, such as those found in the
tutorial railroad where coal is converted to steel and then into goods.
You can then set up train routes like the one in the tutorial where one
train carries all of the conversions, earning revenue on each delivery.
Use Wait Until Full Orders to make such conversion trains more
efficient by running full.
When planning your track, minimize grades and curves, avoid 90
degree curves, and minimize bridges. These track features all have
their uses, but they also slow your trains and sometimes limit what
you can do.
Double track where several trains are normally scheduled to use
the same sections, but use signal towers as much as possible to
increase speed rather than double track. Where to double track and
where to place signals should be determined by how much traffic is
moving past and how much cash you have to spend.
The longer the distance between stations and the faster the trains
that are running, the longer the distance you can afford between
signals. If you break blocks at track switches with signal towers, you
can prevent long blocks consisting of both mainline and branch line
Signal towers at both ends of a bridge may be useful if the bridge
washes out. You can then override the signals to Hold, and prevent
trains from wrecking.
Try not to get into a negative cash position, but also keep your
outstanding bonds down. However, there may be times when the
opportunity to expand or the purchase of new facilities or equipment
can justify taking on a heavy debt. Refinance your bonds during boom
Don't necessarily replace all of your locomotives just because a
new model has become available. You must balance the cost of
replacing a locomotive versus savings in maintenance costs and
improved performance. Often an older design is more efficient at
performing a task than a newer engine. When playing in the North-
eastern USA or England, it usually pays to replace your Grasshoppers
or Planets on better class trains as soon as you can afford to.
If you have stations generating several carloads of mail each year,
the high cost of improving them with post offices may pay, if you can
put on trains carrying mail to take advantage of this supply. Use the
other storage facilities as well to minimize the wastage of cargos and
keep your trains as full as possible. For example, goods storage at
USA harbors is helpful if you are carrying off the goods. Restaurants
are usually a good investment for any station where passenger deliveries
are made, but reserve hotels for the busier passenger stations.
Because the time taken to switch on new cars at a consist change
applies against the next movement of a train, the cost of a switching
yards may be a good investment at stations where higher class cargos
are being put on. The yard can help speed the cargo on its way and
eventually repay your investment in higher revenues for deliveries.
Keeping all of your trains adequately maintained reduces your
maintenance costs but may require many strategically placed engine
and maintenance shops. The decision of when to replace locomotives
depends on their maintenance cost and the availability of better
engines. You'll have to decide at what point would the lower mainte-
nance cost of a newer engine repay its cost.
When just getting started or building expansions, it may pay to
freeze or slow time while you build. Adding new stations in January
of the year and having trains ready to run to them can maximize the
first year revenue bonus for deliveries to new stations.
Plan your rate wars carefully, if possible, and try to win them
quickly. They can be useful in blocking your competition and reducing
his stock price, but are usually very costly to put in effect. The
reduced revenue at a rate war station continues until the war is
Adjust the length and consist of your trains to best suit the job
they are to do. Shorter trains normally move faster, but for slow and
bulk freight its more important to move quantity, regardless of speed
or distance. Also keep the car types the same or within one class in
each direction. Where trains are running empty in one direction, the
return trip may be faster with just a caboose on the train instead of
Buy your own stock when it's cheap, or when you can afford it.
Remember that you can't be thrown out of office if 50% of the stock is
in the treasury. Carefully consider local offers to buy more stock that
may occur when you build into new cities. The cash may help, but
diluting the stock makes it more difficult to raise the price. Buy the
stock of your competitors, when you can afford it, as this at least
forces them to buy as well. Take over competitors if you have the
opportunity. This greatly improves your situation.
As time passes, it is harder to keep up profits. To do so you will
probably need fast trains carrying mail, passengers, and fast freight
over long distances, or a great deal of slow and bulk freight deliveries.
A wide variety of sources were consulted for this game. No single
source discusses locomotive specifications, railroad history, or railroad
operations, especially for Europe as well as North America. Among the
many books used, the following were found especially useful and are
recommended for further reading:
The American Heritage History of Railroads in America, by Oliver
Jensen, American Heritage Publishing, New York, 1975. An excellent and
well illustrated history of American railroading.
Aboard a Steam Locomotive, a sketchbook, by Huck Scarry, Prentice-
Hall, New York, 1987. A children's book, but nevertheless a well
illustrated and simple explanation of how railroads and steam
Early American Locomotives, by John H. White, Jr., Dover Publications,
New York, 1972. A collection of locomotive engravings from early railroad
Cade's Locomotive Guide, by Dennis Lovett and Leslie Wood, Marwain,
Bletchley, 1988. A guide for modeler's of British locomotives, but
includes useful information and photos.
This Fascinating Railroad Business, by Robert Selph Henry, Third
Edition, Revised, The Bobbs-Merrill Company, New York, 1946.
Includes a variety of interesting details about the history of
constructing and operating railroads until the time of its being
The Great Book Of Trains, by Brian Hollingsworth and Arthur
Cook, Portland House, Crown Publishers, New York, 1987. A major
source of locomotive information. Includes some beautiful
The Guinness Railway Book, by John Marshall, Guinness, Enfield,
1989. Interesting railroad facts, records, and trivia.
A History Of The American Locomotive, Its Development 1830-1880,
by John H. White, Jr., Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore 1968, and Dover
Publications, New York, 1979. Design influences, component development,
and case histories of early locomotives in America; not for beginners.
A History Of The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, by John F. Stover,
Purdue University Press, West Lafayette, 1987. An excellent history of
the pioneering American road known as the "railroad university."
How To Operate Your Model Railroad, by Bruce A. Chubb, Kalmbach Books,
Milwaukee, 1978. An entertaining and understandable discussion of
railroad operations as explained for model railroaders.
Impossible Challenge, by Herbert H. Harwood, Jr., Barnard, Roberts,
and Company, Baltimore, 1979. A history of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad
within the State of Maryland.
The Lore Of The Train, by C. Hamilton Ellis, Crescent Books, New York,
1975. An entertaining, though wordy, world history of railroading.
The Railroad - What It Is, What It Does, by John H. Armstrong,
Revised Edition, Simmons-Boardman, Omaha, 1982. The best source
found for what American railroads are like today and how they are
The Railway Revolution, by L. T. C. Holt, St. Martin's Press, New
York, 1962. A very interesting biography of George and Robert
Stephenson, two of the most famous design and construction engineers of
Steam Locomotives, by Luciano Greggio, Crescent Books, New
York, 1985. An excellent source for locomotive illustrations and
information on the historical development of locomotives throughout
Track Planning For Realistic Operation, by John Armstrong,
Second Edition, Kalmbach Books, Milwaukee, 1979. Although directed at
model railroaders, this paperback succinctly discusses and
illustrates railroad operations.
The World's Rail Way, J. G. Pangbom, Bramhall House, New York, 1974,
a facsimile of the 1894 edition. A beautifully illustrated and
descriptive narration of the history of railroading prior to the 1893
Columbian Exposition. The author helped organize the railroad
exhibit there and this book resulted from the material he gathered.
SKID ROW SKID ROW SKID ROW SKID ROW SKID ROW SKID ROW SKID ROW
Checking file type of TechSupp.doc ...
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For Commodore Amiga.
Your Railroad Tycoon package should contain a manual, this technical
supplement folder, two Commodore Amiga disks, two player aid cards, and
a registration card.
Computer & Display: This simulation requires a Commodore Amiga with
a minimum of 1 Meg. of RAM and a color monitor. Please pre-format a
disk for your Saved Games.
Controls: The simulation can be run entirely from the keyboard, or
with a mouse and keyboard. A mouse is recommended as the interface
has been designed to take advantage of the mouse. Unlike some
MicroProse simulations, a joystick cannot be used to run Railroad
Installation on a Hard Disk
COMMODORE AMIGA: Boot up your hard disk as normal and insert Railroad
Tycoon Disk A. Open this disk and double-click on the "INSTALL" icon.
Please follow any on-screen prompts. A folder titled "Railroad" will be
created on your hard disk, containing all necessary files.
Loading from Floppy Disks
COMMODORE AMIGA: If your computer has KickStart in ROM, insert the
Railroad Tycoon "A" disk into the internal drive. The program will
If your computer does not have KickStart in ROM, load KickStart
as normal, then insert your Railroad Tycoon Disk A into the internal
drive. The program will then auto-load.
Thereafter during play you are prompted when you must remove the
"A" disk to insert the "B" disk. Note that at certain times the
program accesses the "A" disk for information so do not remove the
"A" disk from your drive once the game has begun unless prompted to
make a switch.
Loading from a Hard Disk
COMMODORE AMIGA: Boot up your hard disk as normal. Open the
"Railroad" drawer and double-click on the "Game" icon.
You may save games currently under way and recontinue them at a
later date. Games may be saved onto your hard drive or onto a
previously saved game disk. You may not save games onto your
original game disks or back-up game disks. To save a current game,
open the Game menu and choose "Save Game". If the game was booted
from floppy disk, you will be asked to insert your previously
formatted Save Game disk before selecting a slot to save to.
You may only have four games saved on any disk. If the game
files are full on any disk, move the highlight to the existing
saved game you wish to overwrite and press return. This writes
the new saved game over the old one, erasing the old one. If you
don't want to erase any game on a full disk, hit the ESC key to
return to the game, and start over. However, you cannot format a
disk while the game is underway, so have additional formatted disks
Loading a Saved Game
Saved games can only be loaded during the pre-game options.
To load a saved game, follow these instructions:
1) Choose the option "Load Saved RR" when you start the game.
2) If you are playing from floppy disk, follow the prompt to
insert your Save Game disk.
3) Move the highlight down the list of saved games until the
game you wish to load is highlighted, and press RETURN.
This loads the saved game.
AMIGA RAILROAD TYCOON FEATURES
Dissolving Railroads: If the shore price of a competing railroad
falls below $5 and stays there for too long, there is a chance that
the railroad can be dissolved and disappear entirely from the game.
Bankruptcy Penalty: For each bankruptcy that you declare, the
interest you must pay for selling new bonds is increases by 1%.
After enough bankruptcies, you will be unable to sell any bonds.
Car Costs: Each car you place on your trains costs $5,000.
When you make consist changes, you are only charged if the total
number of cars on your railroad increases.
Menu Options: You may highlight any menu option by pressing the
letter key of the first letter in the option. If more than once
choice share the same first letter, additional letter key taps
cycle through the options that start with the same letter.
Sound Effects: If you selected one of the sound driver options
when you started your game, you may toggle the sound effects on or
off later in the game. This is done from the Features option,
found in the Game menu. If you selected No Sounds when beginning
play, the sound effects option does not operate.
Find City: You may zoom into the Detail Display around any city
in the game world by pulling down the Display menu and choosing
"Find City." Type in at least enough letters of the city name to
distinguish it from all other cities in the world and press RETURN.
Animations: There are no animated sequences in the Amiga version,
speeding up game play. Hence there is no Animation option in the
Difficulty Levels: You are not required to retire after a certain
number of years as explained in the manual on page 16 under Difficulty
Levels. Instead, you may play up to 100 years at any level. However,
you may not increase the level of difficulty once you have started
playing. The difficulty level you choose when beginning a new game
remains in effect for its duration.
WORLD ECONOMY NOTES
North America is blessed with huge natural resources that have only
been exploited since the beginning of European colonization. To this
day, the region remains a major source of raw materials such as coal,
metallic ores, oil, and wood products. It is also one of the richest
meat and grain producing regions in the world.
Railroads were especially useful in America because they made
cheap transportation available throughout this large continent. They
made exploitation of this bounty of resources possible.
The early railroads were built to bring mainly raw products, such
as coal and grain, from the continental interior to the peripheral
harbors. As the region industrialized, the role of railroads
expanded. They moved people westward during the great expansion,
they interconnected the growing eastern cities, and they connected the
growing industrial sector with both the sources of raw materials and
In Railroad Tycoon the economic impact and role of railroads in
North America is similar to that of the real world. The equivalent
of the Pittsburgh steel mills, the West Virginia coal fields, the
Detroit automobile factories, and the Chicago stockyards are in the
game, though rarely in their historical location. The opportunity is
their for your railroad to find the raw materials and connect them to
the industries, and the industries to their markets. You develop
your business by linking the coal fields to the steel mills, the
steel mills to the factories, and the factories to the cities.
In a similar manner you can connect the cattle ranches to
stockyards, the grain elevators to food processing plants, lumber
yards to paper mills, etc. When you connect larger cities together,
you create the opportunity for carrying mail and passengers between
them. Harbors and river landings are places where you can pass on
cargos to ships and river boats, and may be a source of new cargos
As you build and operate your railroad, you witness the impact
you have on the population and industrial growth of the area that
you serve. Cities along your railroad may become the Pittsburgh
or Detroit of your world.
Great Britain was the first nation to industrialize and the place
where the concept and technology of railroading was invented. The
earliest railroads in Britain were built to connect interior
industries and resources with harbors. The main export resource
was coal, mostly shipped around the coast to London and other
population centers. But unlike North America where there was a rich
variety and quantity of resources, in Britain the resources were more
As a result of the Industrial Revolution, this island nation was
converted into an industrial powerhouse, a world leader in
manufacturing technology and production. Raw materials not available
at home were imported and converted into good for export or home
consumption. Railroads played a vital role in this industrialization
by easing and speeding the movement of materials, finished goods,
and labor throughout the country.
For example, coal from the mines near Newcastle was first carried
by rail to coastal ports like Sunderland, and later directly by rail
to the steel mills and factories of Sheffield.
The famous Sheffield knives went by train throughout the country and
from ports throughout the world.
Another major industry comprised the cotton mills that grew around
Manchester to use the water coming down the hills for power. Cotton
for the mills arrived at Liverpool from India and the American South,
and was carried by rail to Manchester. The mills converted the
cotton to cloth goods that were carried back to Liverpool for
In Railroad Tycoon you can profit by looking for these same
economic relationships. Harbors are sources of supply for cotton
and hops, and these cargos can be carried to textile mills and
breweries for conversion into goods and beer. Pottery and glass
goods from glass works, the products of chemical plants, and factory
goods can all be shipped to harbors for exportation.
To be successful, your railroad must link the peripheral harbors
to the industrial midlands and resource centers. Since each game
map is different, you must locate coal and chemical deposits now
not necessarily outside Newcastle, and link these resources to the
industries that use them. In this way you can help build cities
such as Salisbury or York into another London.
The European economy is in the middle, between the resource rich
North American economy and the industry rich British economy. Europe
is large enough to have substantial resources and thus not depend so
much on imported resources. Still, the European nations
industrialized, although after Britain and not to the same degree.
Blessed with greater natural resources than the island nation of
Great Britain, the European nations were not as forced to rely on
their ability to manufacture goods for exportation. Although trade
was certainly important, it was not necessary to finance the
importation of food and materials as it was in Britain. Most of the
larger European nations found within their borders sufficient natural
resources for industrial production.
Nevertheless, some nations proved to have a comparative advantage in
the production of certain goods. These advantages became the basis
for international trade across the continent. French wines were traded
for German guns or Italian cloth.
Railroads served their familiar important transport role throughout
Europe. Within nations they brought the coal and ore to the mills,
and moved the mill products to other industries and harbors. They
were also found to be more important people movers than in either
Britain or North America because of congestion, lack of roads, and
high petroleum costs. Between nations railroads hauled resources,
finished products, people, and mail.
In Railroad Tycoon the rich industrial region of the Ruhr River
Valley or the grain fields of the Ukraine may turn up anywhere.
As a railroad president it is for you to search the map to find
the pieces of the economic puzzle and profitably link them together.
Regional Display Map Colors
COLOR INFORMATION DISPLAYED
Dark blue Oceans and lakes
Light blue Rivers
Dark green Cleared land
Light green Farmland
Light grey Foothills
Light blue Hills
Dark red Harbors
Black Coal, wood, chemicals, nitrates
COLOR INFORMATION DISPLAYED
Black line Stopped train
Red line Paused train
Green line Train speed indicator
Black engine Normal loads
Green engine Priority Shipment on board
White car Mail car at least half full
Light grey car Mail car less than half full
Light blue car Passenger car at least half full
Blue car Passenger car less than half full
Yellow car Fast freight car at least half full
Light green car Fast freight car less than half full
Red car Slow freight car at least half full
Dark red car Slow freight car less than half full
Black car Bulk freight car at least half full
Dark grey car Bulk freight car less than half full
COLOR INFORMATION DISPLAYED
Light blue Passengers
Yellow Fast freight
Red Slow freight
Black Bulk freight
COLOR INFORMATION DISPLAYED
Red Losses or decreases
Black Profits or increases
Shipping Report Borders
COLOR INFORMATION DISPLAYED
Grey Normal revenues
Red Halved revenues
White Doubled revenues
Train Report Scheduled Stops
COLOR INFORMATION DISPLAYED
Light grey Scheduled stop
Black Current destination
COLOR INFORMATION DISPLAYED
Dark green Cargo picked up this period or
Revenue earned for delivery
Red Cargos removed by other transport
Light green Cargos available now
Construction Box Colors
COLOR INFORMATION DISPLAYED
White Build track
Red Remove track and bridges
FUNCTION KEYBOARD MOUSE
Selector RETURN key Left button
Selector 1 RETURN key Left button
Selector 2 Right button
Open menu First letter key Right button
Move cursor, Numeric keypad keys
Construction Box (Box)
or menu highlight
Track Construction/Demolition Keys
FUNCTION KEYBOARD COMMAND
North Shift and numeric keypad `8' key
Northeast Shift and numeric keypad `9' key
East Shift and numeric keypad `6' key
Southeast Shift and numeric keypad `3' key
South Shift and numeric keypad `2' key
Southwest Shift and numeric keypad `1' key
West Shift and numeric keypad `4' key
Northwest Shift and numeric keypad `7' key
FUNCTION KEYBOARD COMMAND
Go to Regional Display `F1' key
Go to Area Display `F2' key (centers on cursor or pointer)
Go to Local Display `F3' key (centers on cursor or pointer)
Go to Detail Display `F4' key (centers on cursor or pointer)
Open Income Statement `F5' key
Open Train Income Report `F6' key
Build a new train `F7' key (must own engine shop)
Build station `F8' key (Box on spot)
Call broker `F9' key (game not frozen)
Survey elevations `F10' key (from Detail Display only)
FUNCTION KEYBOARD COMMAND
Double track a single track section Shift and `D' key
(Box must be on track section)
Single track a double track section Shift and `S' key
(Box must be on track section)
Get information `I' key or Shift and `?' key
(for icon inside Box)
Override signal `S' key
(for signal within Box or cursor)
Center map on cursor or pointer `C' key
Quit game Alt and `Q' key
Exit menu without making choice ESC key
KEYBOARD INTERFACE ONLY
FUNCTION KEYBOARD COMMAND
Switch cursor TAB key
(between map and Train Roster)
Open Train Report RETURN key
(train marked in roster by cursor)
Pause train `H' key
(train marked in roster by cursor)
Train Report Controls
FUNCTION KEYBOARD COMMAND
Go to priority row of Train Report `P' key
Highlight schedule stops 1,2,3, or 4 `1',`2',`3', or `4' key
Go to Route Map Shift and `S' key
Move highlight on Route Map Numeric keypad `1-9' keys
Select highlighted stop on Route Map RETURN key
Exit Route Map without any changes ESC key
Sound Caused By
Whistle/Horn Train passing through station without stopping
Clink of coins Revenue earned (one clink for each $25,000)
SIGNAL OVERRIDE CHART
Existing Signal Color Effect
GO Green Indicates currently safe to enter block
STOP Red Indicates currently not safe to enter
PROCEED Yellow Passes next train and returns to NORMAL
HOLD Black Stops all trains until overridden with
NORMAL or PROCEED
Note: On the Area and Local Displays, normal signals appear in black
boxes and overridden signals appear in white boxes.
WORLD CITY LISTS
The following lists include all the cities found on the four world
maps. To find the location of any city pull down the Display menu
and choose "Find City." Type in enough letters of the city name to
differentiate it from any other name on the list. For example, in the
Northeast USA, "All" is enough identification for Allentown because
those letters differentiate it from all other cities on the list,
including Albany and Altoona.
The same information is sufficient when ordering a controlled railroad
to build track from one city to another.
Northeast USA Cities
Akron Cumberland Knoxville Roanoke
Albany Dayton Lansing Rochester
Allentown Detroit Lexington Saginaw
Altoona Dover London Salisbury
Asheville Elkhart Louisville Sault Ste Marie
Ashland Elmira Manchester Scranton
Atlantic City Erie Memphis Sherbrooke
Baltimore Evansville Milwaukee Springfield
Bangor Florence Montreal St Louis
Binghamton Fort Wayne Morgantown Sudbury
Bluefield Fredericksburg Nashville Syracuse
Boston Gary New Haven Terre Haute
Bridgeport Grafton New York Toledo
Bristol Grand Rapids Norfolk Toronto
Buffalo Green Bay Oil City Traverse City
Burlington Greensboro Ottawa Trenton
Champaign Greenville Paterson Utica
Charleston Hagerstown Pembroke Washington
Charlotte Harpers Ferry Philadelphia Watertown
Charlottesville Harrisburg Pittsburgh Wheeling
Chattanooga Hartford Portland Williamsport
Chicago Huntington Poughkeepsie Wilmington
Cincinnati Indianapolis Providence Winchester
Cleveland Jamestown Raleigh Winston-Salem
Columbus Johnstown Richmond Youngstown
Western USA Cities
Abilene Burns Dodge City Fort Worth
Albuquerque Butte Duluth Fresno
Amarillo Calgary Durango Gary
Austin Casper El Paso Grand Junction
Barstow Cedar City Elko Grand Rapids
Baton Rouge Chicago Eugene Great Falls
Billings Chihuahua Evansville Green Bay
Bismarck Decatur Fargo Hays
Boise Denver Flagstaff Hermosillo
Bozeman Des Moines Fort Smith Houston
Indianapolis Monclova Regina Spokane
Jackson Monroe Reno Springfield
Kansas City Nashville Richland St Louis
La Crosse Needles Rock Island St Paul
Lake Charles New Orleans Roswell Thunder Bay
Las Vegas Ogallala Sacramento Tonopah
Lincoln Oklahoma City Salt Lake City Tucson
Little Rock Omaha San Antonio Tucumcari
Los Angeles Phoenix San Diego Tulsa
Memphis Pierre San Francisco Tuscaloosa
Midland Pocatello Saskatoon Vancouver
Miles City Portland Sault Ste Marie Waterloo
Milwaukee Pueblo Seattle Wausau
Minot Rapid City Shreveport Wichita
Mobile Redding Sioux Falls Winnipeg
Aberystwyth Chatham King's Lynn Peterborough
Aldershot Cheltenham Kingston Plymouth
Appleby Chester Lancaster Portsmouth
Banbury Colchester Leeds Preston
Bangor Colwyn Bay Leicester Reading
Barmouth Coventry Lincoln Rugby
Barnstaple Crewe Liverpool Salisbury
Barrow Croydon London Scarborough
Bath Darlington Ludlow Sheffield
Bedford Derby Luton Shrewsbury
Birkenhead Doncaster Macclesfield Southampton
Birmingham Dover Manchester Stockport
Bletchley Durham Merthyr Tydfil Stoke
Bolton Exeter Middlesbrough Sunderland
Boston Gloucester Minehead Swansea
Bournemouth Great Yarmouth Morpeth Swindon
Bradford Harrogate Newcastle Taunton
Brighton Hastings Newport Thetford
Bristol Hereford Newtown Torbay
Builth Wells Hexham Newhampton Whitehaven
Cambridge Holyhead Norwich Winchester
Canterbury Horsham Nottingham Wolverhampton
Cardiff Ipswich Okehampton Worcester
Carlisle Kendal Oxford Wrexham
Carmarthen Keswick Penrith York
Adrianople Dijon Lublin Rostock
Amsterdam Dresden Lvov Saint Etienne
Antwerp Essen Lyons Salonika
Barcelona Florence Madrid Salzburg
Bari Frankfurt Magdeburg Saragossa
Bayonne Genoa Marseilles Sarajevo
Belgrade Graz Metz Sofia
Berlin Grenoble Milan Southampton
Bern Hamburg Minsk Split
Bialystok Hannover Munich Stettin
Birmingham Innsbruck Nantes Strasbourg
Bologna Istanbul Naples Stuttgart
Bordeaux Kaunas Nice Tirana
Bremen Kiel Nuremburg Toulouse
Breslau Kiev Orleans Tours
Brest Kisinev Osijek Trieste
Brest-Litovsk Konigsberg Osnabruck Turin
Bristol Krakow Ostrava Utrecht
Brussels Le Havre Paris Valencia
Bucharest Le Mans Plymouth Varna
Budapest Leipzig Poznan Vienna
Cologne Lille Prague Vinnica
Copenhagen Limoges Regensburg Warsaw
Danzig Liverpool Reims Zagreb
Debrecken London Rome Zurich
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