This is a simple guide on how I build my railroads in Railway Empire…
Building Your First Lines
When you first start, you need to decide on what you should go for in the beginning, either completing a simple task early or earn a lot of money for expansion depending on which character you chose for Free mode or Scenario mode.
When starting a new company, it’s important that you try to earn cash as quick as possible with little money spent to build repair sheds and locomotives, one good way is to run both a freight and passenger train between cities. For example, if New York has a brewery making beer, and Baltimore has a meat packing plant producing meat, that’s a good area for freight traffic, don’t forget to supply the cities with the raw materials to make the finished products, aka Cattle/Livestock to Baltimore and Grain/Wheat to New York. Also take the time to add a passenger train as well for extra cash, and if available, add a dining car and mail car. Best combination for both is this.
Passenger trains have 5 loads of passengers, one load of mail, and 2 empty slots for the dining car and mail car. For freight it depends, for the previous example, set the route for freight only, add a reefer car and a caboose, as you’ll need it for your crews later.
For routing, it’s simple, if it’s a intercity passenger or freight train just add the letter ‘P’ for Passenger and ‘F’ for freight. And if there’s more than one train serving a rural industry, put a number at the end of the route name, 1, 2, 3, etc.
Choosing The Right Locomotives
Locomotives are the heart of your railroad as they pull the freight, passengers, and mail to keep the company going, but choosing the right locomotives can be challenging depending the era you’re in.
Freight Locomotives have low speed, but capable on hauling heavy loads
Mixed Traffic Locomotives have average speed and pulling power, meaning they can work on mainline passenger and freight trains, as well as serving the rural farms, mines, logging camps, and oil fields.
Passenger locomotives have high speed, but struggle on freight.
Each locomotive can help or break your company as well as completing your tasks within time.
In my eyes, most mixed traffic locomotives like the Brooks 2-6-0 can replace the Baldwin 4-6-0 on mainline freights with the Reno replacing the Inyo in passenger service, along with the 4-8-0 Mastodons in charge of serving the rural industries, and eventually the NYC American 4-4-0 taking over on all passenger trains, but if you want realism, try putting both the class B and C shays in service serving the logging camps.
As for the trains in the beginning of the 1910 era, use the Mikado 2-8-2 for mainline freights, the Berkshire 2-8-4 in passenger service, and the Old Maude and 2-6-6-2 Mallets in rural industrial service. Until replacing them with the 2-10-2 Santa Fe, 4-6-4 Hudson/Super Hudson/EMD E-Series, and the 2-10-4 Texas respectively.
Crews and Cabooses
The thing that makes Railway Empire different from the other Railroad Tycoon games is the fact you can hire people to operate your trains, they can make your trains faster, more reliable, earn more money on passengers or mail, and protect your trains from bandits sent by your competitors. Each one has their own personality, that will improve or make life on the train difficult if you have 2 or more employees getting into a argument and stopping it. The caboose can boost the effects on the crew and make their bonus a little higher than it is normally on a train without it.
To better use the crews in my books, is to assign a engineer and stoker/fireman with a speed bonus to freight trains as they can prevent passenger trains waiting behind them, and the same thing applies to passenger trains, but with a crew with a reliability bonus to prevent your passenger trains breaking down in front of other trains. Passenger trains also should have a conductor with a passenger revenue bonus, and for mail trains, one with a mail revenue bonus. And to avoid both of them being robbed, add a security guard on ALL passenger trains/mail trains to keep them safe from bandits.
Tracks, Stations and Auctions
To serve towns and industries, stations must be build, for this, (If you have realistic track mode on.) is to build stations with signalling control to keep your trains running smoothly, for a city station at a far end of the map, a terminus station with signalling control is needed, and for station that will have track branching in all directions, a train station or large train station with signalling control is a good choice depending on how much money you have. For rural industries serving 2 towns, a train station is needed, for more than 2, a large station with signalling control is the best option as all trains can choose which track is free to load their cargo, and for the 2 track stations, try assigning one train on one track and another train on the other track to avoid one train waiting for the other being loaded.
For track, it’s best to double track and place signals in each direction of travel, when connecting a rural industry to the mainline, try to avoid building switches too close to a station serving a city or you’ll expect a traffic jam within time.
When a auction is up, especially for a new locomotive, it’s best to enter it, or if you have enough innovation points to unlock that technology. But be warned, if you have a character other than Rodger Smythe on a auction for a industry, prepare to fight for it. You’ll also get auctions for rural industries as well, it’s best to buy the ones near your railroad to keep your account stable.