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Currently, the game is pretty easy. You make plenty of money to buy new trains and trackage, can easily get performance bonuses of 110%, and are never more than a couple of log deliveries away from profits. But if you want to go a little slower and work a little harder, here’s a walkthrough for making an economic hard more for the game. Also check: Railroader Locomotive Guide.
The Dillsboro Industrial Line
What if, instead of being the head of a rapidly rebuilding railroad on a fast track to running a Berk to Andrews, you wanted to go a little slower? To struggle a little more? To run a penniless industrial shortline with bankruptcy looming over your head?
Introducing the Dillsboro Industrial Line.
First things first, set the time to 1:1. You’ll need a bit more time because you will be doing everything by yourself.
Next, take out a $20,000 loan. There is now a ticking clock to your first interest payment.
Now, use that loan to buy the Track to Sylva, the Dillsboro Engine Service, and the Dillsboro Yard. You can’t really be the Dillsboro Industrial Line without owning Dillsboro.
Now, switch to Sandbox mode (“/mode sandbox” on the Console) and fly over to the log cars at the Sawmill. Logs are incredibly profitable, and make the game pretty easy.
So delete them!
That second locomotive that just needs to sit in the shop for a bit?
Passenger service gives you a third of your Performance Rating just for making a few passengers stops?
Too easy; delete it!
Oh, and your rolling stock is your collateral for your loans, so now you owe $20,000 out of a maximum of just under $10,000. Enjoy your garbage credit rating.
Switch back to Company mode (“/mode company” on the Console).
Hire 3 employees at each of your two Engine Service Shops. What, you thought you could run a company without a payroll?
You can keep the caboose. That’s your office.
Your First Trip
Walk (not teleport!) over to the switch to the coal car. Flip it, then tell your engineer to move forward to couple to it. Walk up to it and tie on the air.
Walk back to the switch and tell your engineer to move back on to the engine shop track. Flip the two switches in front of him and roll forward to the water and coal. (You can use manual mode for this part, since the AI engineer can’t really do this part.)
Top up on water and take the 1 ton of coal still in the coal conveyor.
Hop on to the back of the tender and hold on while you roll back to the yard (at 15 miles an hour of course, because that’s the yard limit!). Tell your engineer to stop short of the switches behind the Engine Shop and hop down. Flip the first two switches. Move backwards to the next switch and go past it.
Hop down and flip the switch after the coal car goes past. Couple it to your caboose. Unhook your locomotive and back up past the switch again.
Using this same process of stopping and jumping down off the loco and flipping switches, take your loco past the Whittier wye, back on to the wye, and head back to East Whittier Yard pointing the other way.
Couple to your little eastbound train you’ve made, and head to Dillsboro. When you get there, uncouple your two cars on the mainline and back into the Engine Service area. Top up your water and fill your coal all the way up – the Dillsboro Coal Tower comes with 38 tons of coal in it already; lucky you! Note, you will need to save the game and quit to the main menu before you can use the new Milestone unlocks like these.
Use the turntable to reverse your locomotive in preparation for tomorrow’s westbound run. Back your train onto the Sylva Interchange Yard. Make sue you set the coal car Loads and Empties if you want to use it right away – I recommend setting it to East Whittier since Dillsboro still has thirty-something tons of coal.
The Next Morning
You can take the rest of the day off.
When you wake up, you’ll have paid for some coal, payroll on your shops and your engineer.
You’ll also discover that without running passenger service, no one really cares about your dingy little industrial line. Sorry.
Okay, now for the really hard part. Switch to sandbox mode again. Type “/money cheat -xxxx” where the xxxx is all your money. Note the minus in front of the number. Switch back to company mode.
Okay, now you are running an indebted, unloved, dingy little penniless industrial shortline.
Well, no time to worry about that; it’s time to get to work. The 1st Class blocked out your cars for you; that’s awfully nice of them. But your East Whittier coal car and your caboose are not part of that neat little line, so take a moment to get them ready for your first westbound train.
You’ll need to deliver those cars, and do a good job of it because the future of your company depends on it. It costs about $100 a day to run your railroad, you have about 80 tons of coal to keep your engine running, and you owe $2,000 in interest payments in three days. Oh, and you need to pay in full for any new cars you want, because you are broke and your credit is trashed.