ON BOARD TUTORING
The following tutorial will get you up and running your trains and provide
the groundwork for understanding some of the financial intricacies of the
game. You'll find detailed explanations of menus, commands, investment
suggestions and general game play advice in the Reference section of the
The tutorial assumes that you have a mouse. The left button is the default
mouse button for selecting actions and commands, unless otherwise stated.
If you're playing without a mouse, see the Addendum for keyboard
Please refer to your Addendum for procedures to install and start A-Train.
Once the program is running, you are ready to begin your training.
After the title screen and credits for the game have been displayed, the
SYSTEM menu will open.
When the SYSTEM menu is opened, the game clock stops. The menu has a number
of commands, but for tutorial purposes, just click on NEW GAME. A submenu
will open. The six numbers represent the choices of map landscapes upon
which you can build your train empire. Click on #1 and then click on LOAD.
You will now see the lovely map of your new railroad operation, surrounded
by the "picture frame" of menu choices. The running clock in the
upper-right corner indicates the fiscal term (from April 1 to the present),
and the month, day and hour. The clock is the measure for train scheduling,
which will be discussed later in this Tutorial. The passing of time is
illustrated by the changing patterns of light as day fades and night falls
(VGA only). The light changes can
be turned off if you wish; see your Addendum for details. There will also
be seasonal changes, such as the appearance of winter snow, as the game
All of the maps provide you with at least one operating railroad, and some
amount of cash. See the Cities chapter in the Reference section for
amplification on the challenges each map presents.
Map One is one of the most open and undeveloped of the six scenarios,
providing space for experimentation and risk. One of the goals will be to
develop the "bedroom community" of its new town. Take a few moments to
"mouse around" on the map to get a sense of your territory. You can make
incremental movements by clicking in the arrow boxes on the right side of
the frame, which will cause the map to scroll a small amount in the
direction of the arrow. You can orient yourself to the overall map
boundaries by clicking on SATELLITE (on the right edge of the frame), which
will display a small image of your complete map. (All picture frame menus
will highlight when the mouse pointer is positioned on the menu title. and
they then can be opened with a mouse click. ). The rectangle on the
Satellite map captures the current territory displayed on the large map.
You can drag the box on the Satellite map to any area and click, and the
corresponding terrain will be displayed on the big map. Take careful note
of the hills, rivers and lakes; terrain plays a significant part in your
rail setup. The land is divided into small squares that we'll refer to as
"blocks." The block is the measure for a number of A-Train procedures.
Use the Satellite rectangle to return to the existing train station on the
map, then leave the window by clicking on EXIT. There is both a freight and
a passenger operation on your established lines, both running on the same
track, both going off the map. Note that the freight train returns from its
excursions outside laden with materials, which are deposited in the large
pile at the station ;if the storage place is full, it will pick up
materials to be sold to the outside. Those are the construction materials
from which commercial properties and other holdings are developed. Their
placement and train transport play an integral part in your city
And city development is one of your goals. Click on REPORT 4--the Urban
Growth chart--and note the statistics on your city's status, particularly
the population total. It is wise to periodically check these facts to see
how rapidly your city is evolving. These figures give you quick feedback on
how your moves affect the city scale. Click on EXIT to leave the report
Track laying can be a trifle tricky at first, so we'll experiment a bit.
Scroll to one of the undeveloped areas on the map, so that you can put down
and remove some track without destroying existing development.Open the
TRAlNS menu. This menu provides you with the functions you'll need to build
and schedule your railroad. Click the LAY TRACKS command. Make sure that
LAY is highlighted. Click the mouse and you will see a terrain block
highlight; these blocks are the units of measure in the survey of your
Drag the mouse in any direction and you will see a highlighted line follow
your movements. The highlight will reflect any curves when you deviate from
a straight line. You can see that by slight manuvering with the mouse,the
display of your proposed line will change its angle and course.
Drag a straight line from left to right about six blocks and then click. A
strip of track will be put down in place of the highlight. Click on REMOVE
(in the LAY TRACKS submenu), and click on either end of the track and drag
to its other end. The beginning block will highlight, just as when you
place track. Click again and the track will be removed and replaced by
You can see that the figure in the COST box changes with each block over
which you lay track. This number reflects the purchase price of the land,
and the track laying/removing charges. You will still own any land from
which you remove track.
Hint: If you are trying to put down some lines and your track tactics don't
result in the desired direction, you can cancel the LAY command by clicking
the right mouse button. Then try to lay the railroad by clicking first the
destination point and then the beginning point. The railroad should turn to
the opposite direction.
For curved track, if you can't achieve the desired angle with a single drag
of the mouse, you can lay piecewise segments of straight track, connect the
curved joint, and then connect additional segments. Of course, it's more
expensive if you mistakenly put some down, only to remove it later.
THROWING YOUR TRACK A CURVE
Curving track can require some wily maneuvering,but it's a skill that will
serve you well in future track laying.Try running a line from east to west
and then have it veer sharply up or down. Also try a few wide, looping
curves. If you haven't established a practical line position, you'll get a
nasty message from the track layer or construction manager. You can see
that controlling the curve isn't always easy, but small mouse motions can
usually establish the desired angle in a highlighted planned line. If you
have difficulty getting a curved length properly positioned, do it
inshortone or two-blocksegments. Try removing curved track as well.
Hint. When trying to place a line segment, its easier to get a block to
highlight if you click directly in its center.
If a track removal path won't follow any curves that might be on your line,
you will have to remove piecemeal sections. It is expensive to rip track,
so in the real game, plan carefully before you lay your line. Experiment
with curved and straight track laying and removal until you have a more
natural feel for it.
GETTING BACK ON TRACK
When you've untangled this track-tying rope, scroll the map so that your
original station is near the top and center of your screen. We're going to
run a new line from here to the east and then south, so that we can use the
existing commercial market of the town, without having to schedule trains
around the existing lines.
We'll establish two new lines on a connected track near the established
lines. These will provide us with a small passenger market, and let us
acquire some construction materials to spur development around our new
lines. The schedules and routes of the original line are fixed and can't be
adjusted, but any additional trains can be laid down separately or
integrated and controlled.
Click at a spot a couple of blocks below and a couple blocks to the right
of the station. Move the highlighted planned line from west to east about
five or six blocks, and click to place the line. You can add to existing
track by clicking the mouse at track end (the initial block will be
highlighted), and dragging. Click at the eastern end of your line and move
it east a block or two and then draw it down, straight south, to a few
blocks from the bottom of the screen.
The curve southward should be indicated in the highlighted planned line.
You might have to do some wiggling to place it so that it "sets," but when
you have positioned the line to your satisfaction, click at its end. This
will establish the track (or you will get a message informing you if you
have laid a line in an unsuitable position).
When you are laying track you often have to make many adjust- ments for
geography--avoid hills and try to use fairly straight segments, since
curves are more costly. You can click the right mouse button to cancel a
planned line if you haven't yet clicked the left button and placed it.
Look at your new track in the Satellite view to see it in relation to the
original map. (You must exit the LAY TRACKS submenu to use the Satellite
Let's lay a second line that connects on a spur from the first. It is
actually easier at the beginning of games to lay two close-but- separate
lines, freight and passenger, so that you don't have to be concerned with
switches, but we'll get your switchin' feet wet early, so you won't be
fearful of those complex waters later on.
Connecting track must be first established on a diagonal line from existing
track. Position your mouse so that it is about two-thirds of the way down
the first section of your track.Highlight the first block and drag the
mouse down so that your second line runs parallel and one or two blocks to
the west of your first track. Drag until you reach the terminus of your
first line and click to set your dual line. The result should look like the
Second New Line diagram; minor var- iations in placement aren't important.
TRAINING YOUR FIRST TRAIN
There are a number of approaches you can take to or- ganizing your initial
railroad, such as buying and plac- ing the stations first and then
arranging your trains, but we'll get a train up and chugging right away so
you'll have something to brag about.
Exit the LAY TRACKS menu and click the BUY TRAIN command in the TRAINS
menu. You will see a Rolling Stock Market display of all the available
train models, a chart detailing the statistics of the chosen train, and a
train registry showing what trains are already in oper- ation. Other maps
that you develop will show all your purchased trains by their highlighting
on the calendar chart,but you cannot adjust Map One's existing trains, and
thus the entire chart is open.
To buy a train for your new line you must first choose an unused train
number from the registry(#1 has a lovely ring) by clicking on it, and then
assign the number to a particular train chosen from the train chart.As you
click on the various small pictures of the trains,a larger picture of the
selected train will appear at the bottom of the window along with its vital
statistics (model, capacity, cost, etc.).
Your first line should be a freight line. We recommend the dashing GP 40,
the bottom unit in the second column, with the crisp Maxis Lines logo. (You
may want to start with a cheaper, lower-capacity freight in a real game. )
Once you have chosen a train, make sure the BUY command is highlighted and
then click CONFIRM. The train is now yours, registered by its number, which
is highlighted and underlined on the registry chart.
Click EXIT to close the Rolling Stock Market. Then click the PLACE TRAIN
command from TRAINS menu. You'll find that the new train number has already
been chosen in the calendar chart, with its train stats displayed. (From
this menu you can click other numbers if you want to make changes to future
Make sure that #1 is highlighted and then place the train near the bottom
edge of your eastern line by positioning the pointer over a spot on the
track, which will display the highlighted box. The train will appear on the
place clicked. If the place isn't appropriate, a message box will appear to
scold you. The new train will have two arrows, one in front of the train
and one at the back. The white arrow represents the train's direction. You
can click on these arrows to toggle the direction; for now, point its
travel up the line towards the original railway. The train starts moving
after you click on EXIT. You got yourself a railroad!
Hint: Whenexpanding fufure lines, it might be convenient for you to place
Several trains at one time--multiple track placements--using the SATELLlTE
view scrolling, which lets you move around the map very quickly.
GIVE YOUR TRAIN A HOME
You'll see your train making its merry path from north to south without
relent, on the outside line. Let's give it a place to pull over and stretch
its wheels. and also pick up some business in the meantime.
All maps will start you with a least one station on a line. One solid
approach for a line with only one station is to establish another on the
same line some distance(at least 15 or 20 blocks)awaypreferably near some
development--if there is any--so as to provide both materials transport and
some passenger income. (Passenger fare increases with distance traveled.)
We're dealing with freight right now, but we're going to put a passenger
line down as well.
There isn't a preset ideal" distance between stations for running
passengers. Dependent on development factors, set the stations close early
in the game to reduce track laying expenses, and when there is more
passenger traffic, remove close stations to get the increased fare received
for longer trips. There are many strategic gambits concerning station
development; refer to the Trains chapter in your Reference section for
For simplicity's sake. Iet's establish a station at the southeast end of
our new line. You can add additional stations to your original line later.
The large stations, the ones with tall buildings attached, are more
expensive, but their larger passenger processings provoke the simulation
into faster city and urban road development. Scroll to the the southern end
of your line and click on the BUILD STATION command on the TRAINS menu.
Trains will stop running when this menu is opened.
You are given a choice of four small and four large stations in various
orientations. Click on a small station that will face the tracks from the
west and then position the mouse at the southernmost edge of the track.
(Station orientation is a factor in city development; see the Crossroads
section in Reference.) Stations can only be placed on diagonal segments of
track with no curves. You'll see the station outline in highlight, which
will occupy at least three blocks. Click when the position is right, and
the building will settle nicely into place. When lines are this close, they
can share a single station.
It's necessary to immediately make an area for materials storage near the
station,so that your can pave your kingdom.You need to buy some land
adjacent to your station for this storage. It's actually a very sound move
to buy up a lot of land around your stations quite early in the game,
because this land's value skyrockets in relation to later development. If
you truly have an eye for the long-term, buy land in areas where you might
concentrate development later; it's sure to bulge your future wallet.You
prohably shouldn't spend too much too soon, though. because startup rail
costs are high.
Open the subsidaries menu. This menu provides the commands to buy and place
your land, income properties and commercial developments. Click on REAL
ESTATE. A submenu will open with buy and sell I commands. a figure
revealing your current holdings and a cost figure that will tally the price
of prospective land buys.The prices for the individual blocks of land will
be revealed when you move your pointer over them.
Land without buildings on it is cheaper; buy accordingly. Click the Bl IY
command; the mouse pointer will become a highlighted block. Click on
several blocks of land in a line near your western station.You can buy more
later if the traffic's hopping. You can also buy property in the general
periphery of the station. Leave any residences and buildings be.You can see
that when you purchase the land,its surface is cleared. Cleared land with a
black highlight around it is owned by another company. Exit the subsidaries
Scroll (if necessary) up north near the map's original station and open the
BUILD STATION menu. Place a station at the northern end of your line, which
should be just a few blocks below, parallel to, and a touch east of your
original station.You will have to build over some existing buildings. This
station's placement allows you to feed" off of some of the existing
materials brought in from the outside and to transport them down to your
southern stations for city develop- ment. Buy some land near this station
for materials storage.
Now your train's all dressed up with a place to go, but you need to tell it
where and when. Exit the build STATION menu.
DON'T FIGHT; SWITCH!
Go back to the TRAINS menu and click on SChedule. You will see the calendar
chart with your highlighted train number and a route map that displays the
operating trains. their tracks and stations in miniature. Clicking on the
number of each purchased train will highlight its image at its current
position in a small white box on the route map. Info on the selected train
is underneath this map. This map can he a particular asset when you have
many trains running and their respective numbers are not so fresh in your
mind. We'll set schedules when we place your passenger train,so ignore the
DEPARTURE TIME command; click on SWITCH. A small diagram of a switch will
be shown in the box below the command.
Move the mouse so that the pointer is near the junction of your southwest
line and click.A highlighted box appears on the map at the switch's
location and the switch display shows its current position. Click on CHANGE
SWITCH to direct your freight to your southwest track. The switch will be
redirected on the route display and the game map.
Click on the TEST RIJN command and you will see the altered route on your
route map, with your train represent- ed by a swiftly moving dot. You must
click on END TEST to halt the manic pace of the test demonstration.
Exit the SCHEDULE window and watch the movement of your train. You'll see
that it will soon start transporting materials to your southern storage
place, or dependent on availability of materials near your original
station-- taking them away.You can redirect the course of your train
through the PLACE TRAINS menu. Clicking on its number will scroll the
screen to your train. which will display its directional arrows.Sometimes
materials won't be available and your freight will begin to take materials
away from your southern stations. You can use the arrows to send your
freight back to deposit materials it was going to take away.
Switches, scheduling and all their intrigues are discussed in more detail
in the Trains chapter in the Reference section. You will need to become a
competent switchmaster and scheduler when you place your passenger train.
For now, let #l run freely, as long as it is depositing construction
materials at your southern station. Those blocks are the flagstones on your
road to fortune.
This part of the tutorial will guide you through the basics of the building
trade in A-Train. There are many stratagems regarding development around
your stations and subsequent city expansion. All situations are variable
according to the existing level of map development, your cash resources,
and your approach to growth, be it devil-may-care or cautious. For tutorial
purposes, we'll just give you some fundamentals on property development,
its effect on the population, and how the simulation responds to your
decisions. All of these matters, including a chart of development expenses
for each subsidiary, are expounded upon in the Cities chapter of the
Of critical need now are those construction materials, the stuff your
dreams--and buildings--are made of. Construction materials are the "flour
and water" from which all buildings are constructed and from which the
simulation builds. You will see them start piling up near your station not
long after it's built(as long as your outside lines are bringing them in).
The pile will shrink and grow dependent upon the movement of your new
freight line and the materials use of your initial trains. When you've
built up a storehold of materials you can do some property development.
Of course, you can rather cleverly relieve some of these materials
anxieties by making some of your own. Why not build a factory nearby to
produce the little devils for you? ( It is better early on to rel ony
materials brought in from the outside and not to build an expensive,
high-maintenance factory, but we'll do it here to demonstrate how they
Open the SUBSIDIARIES menu and click on FACTORY. A submenu will open that
displays an image of the factory and BUILD and REMOVE commands. Click on
BUILD and position your pointer in the territory south of your northern
station, but within about eight blocks of the track. You will see the land
costs change as you move your mouse. Click when you've found a spot to your
You can't utilize these materials unless they are first transported by your
freights to your storage place, so keep that in mind--the direction of
utilization is towards your southern stations. You can, however, use
materials directly from the factory if you build within 10 blocks of the
factory storage place. You can remove the factory when you have sufficient
materials; the maintenance costs are high, and are charged to you even when
the factory isn't producing. Factories do, however, also provide employment
for your citizens.
If there are placement problems for any property development, you might
have to face the Construction Manager, who will inform you of difficulties
in a message window. Change the site selection if you can't immediately
place the factory. It takes 20 materials to build a factory, but that
sacrifice is softened by your realizing that all A-Train factories are
Right now, the only things your train is picking up are construction
materials and flies, so let's do some developing-- environmentally
conscious, of course--with your passenger train in mind.
Open the APARTMENTS submenu. There are no differences in operating expense
or income among the three styles, but their initial purchase increases
inexpense from left to right. Choose one,and find a good site on the map
near a station to house some hard-working families. All of your initial
property developments should be close to the station, since it increases
their value, surrounding property values, and centralizes initial
You might want to place your first apartments near your eastern track, if
you don't want them to have to see the factory out their front window.
Click on a block to place their new homes. You will get advisory messages
from the simulation if your placement is unsuit- able or if you don't have
enough construction materials. (Apartments require eight materials.)
Building apartments indirectly 'primes" the simulation to develop other
buildings around yours. Early rapid buying and selling of apartment houses
does not in itself provoke more rapid development by the simulation, though
you can parlay the income from sales to buy more companies and land, which
brings up population totals, which does provoke the simulation to build.
Build a few apartment complexes near the station.
You can see from the SUBSIDIARIES menu that you can truly fill the
landscape with properties galore, but all these decisions must be made in
the shrewd light of company benefit and profit, so don't go hog-wild. You
should put down some commercial or rental property nearby so your residents
will have someplace to work.Avoid building or buying land directly behind
your station without later selling it, because that is where the simulation
will build roads when your city expansion is really cooking (if you have
built with large stations).
Now that you have acquainted yourself with all of the TRAINS and
SUBSIDIARIES menu functions, you can open the SYSTEM menu and click on
QUICK MENU. This will display the icons for all of those menu functions
without the large title windows, so that the display area is larger.
Clicking on any of the icons will open the submenus you have already seen.
You can toggle the QUICK MENU on and off through the SYSTEM menu.
ESTATES AND THEIR REELINGS
The simulation will produce additional residences as soon as you reach a
certain developmental scale; you might see the program clear some land
first, and then fill it with houses after a materials deposit. You can make
this happen more rapidly by buying real estate near your stations and then
selling it not long after.
Clearing land by purchasing it removes one step in the simulation building
process by making it easier for the program to build after you sell the
The program can also be kick-started by selling all old subsidiaries and
buying new, but don't buy anything like golf courses or sta- diums until
you have an urban base. However, constant speculation in subsidiaries will
eventually result in a "There are no buyers" message. Check the "Look At
Your Report Card" section below for details on buying and selling assets.
You might have to take an initial loss on these sales, but once you have
developed the area around your station a bit, and there are available
materials, the program will start popping out houses and small commercial
buildings, often where you've just made a transaction, and you'll have that
warm glow only a mother knows. You can't expect your new residents to walk
to work, and what about when Grandma wants to visit from the Great Beyond
outside the map's borders? It's time to be a prime mover in the
ecologically conscious (and hopefully, logically profitable) world of mass
transit. We'll place a train on the outer ribbon of your existing line so
that your passenger train enjoys the same rights (and rites) of passage as
Open the BUY TRAIN command and buy one of those sleek little numbers you've
always coveted. The AR 111, fourth from the top in the third column, is
recommended for its efficiency, but it might be a touch expensive now, so
you may want to buy a cheaper, lower capacity train (perhaps the handsome
CF Lines FP 45 right above it) while your town's still in its infancy. You
can always replace existing trains with faster, higher-capacity ones when
the going's good.
Anyway, risk some dough: name your risk #2, buy it, and place it on its
line. Make sure the switch directs it down the eastern route. Now that you
have two trains with a shared line, scheduling becomes a bit more dicey.
Periodically check the number of passengers in the Satellite view by train
number once your train is running. (The display will center on the selected
TIME AND CHANCE
One of the central profit maxims of A-Train is that your departure time
must be set at 8:00AM in the residential areas and at 6:00PM (18:00) in the
urban areas in order to suck up -I those happy commuters and their happy
dollars. As you can
see from this map, it isn't exactly a bustling urban community yet, but
let's plan for your future. Exit the PLACE TRAIN menu and click on
Click on #2 in the chart and select DEPARTURE TIME under MODE. A chart of
times will be displayed. Move the mouse toward the image of the southern
station. Cross-hairs will converge near the station. Click to establish
this as the initial departure site. Click on 8:00AM.
Click on #1 and set your freight's southern departure time for 18:00. For
now, leave the northern station at one-hour stops for both. These settings
will make your trains travel to these stations, wait until the designated
time (picking up or dropping off passengers and freight and not using
expensive fuel for those down times) and then push their cargoes.
Were you to run separate lines, it wouldn't be necessary to set a schedule
for your freight, since it can perform constant pickup and drop off without
losses in profitability. You might have to remove and replace your trains
several times or set their directions differently so that the schedules are
synchronized. You may experience a few collisions at first, but they only
result in frozen trains and a delay in service, with nary an injury to
Later, you can adjust schedules for more map-specific events, such as
increased development in one area, which hikes passenger totals (or make
the switch to a larger-capacity train). Check on running passenger totals
in the train stats boxes in the Satellite window; you'll probably see many
more passengers from your northern station if you also set it at 8:00 am,
but you'll have to fuss with your freight's schedule in order to coordinate
For now, this schedule just keeps the trains out of each other's way. Also,
if your construction materials just begin piling up and you haven't the
funds for much building, replace your freight train with another passenger
train to try and pick up some extra passenger profit. Test different
schedules and periodically check each train's capacity in the Satellite
view at different station times to collar the biggest payload.
Later, you can boost profits by increasing track length and adding another
station on the line (larger stations stimulate greater urban expansion),
and by pushing sound commercial development. Build a factory near your
southern stations if materials movement is too slow and those houses aren't
hatching. You must, of course, wait until your territory and budget can
support pushing your frontiers. It's time to start attending to profits,
Iosses, and that eternal bugaboo, the bottom line. A-Train has a host of
financial chartings and investment possibilities: let's look at your rail
operation and maybe even manipulate some markets. The "fine print" of all
these money managings and manglings can he found in the Money And Its
Management chapter in the Reference section; we'll just look at the
elementary aspects here.
As mentioned before, it's nice and useful--to know what the population of
your city is and how rapidly it is growing before you even touch those
nastier numbers. Click on REPORT 4 and you'll see a window that displays
some city statistics, a graph of population change over time, and a radar"
chart that reveals the industrial orientation of your city. The Primary
Business is your rail operation, the Secondary is your city's main income
subsidiaries (factories,buildings for rent), Other Business refers to
things like amusement parks and hotels, and Residence is the ratio of your
city area taken up by your residents.
It is wise policy to check the population tally frequently to determine the
pulse of development. You can see how the erection of certain buildings
affects residential numbers, and how much internal build- ing by the
simulation boosts these figures. Your city's successful expansion is how
you win" in A-Train, so keep fiddling with your properties and trains--go
West (and East, North and South), young engineer.
THE RHYTHM OF THE RAILS
You can get a station-to-station broadcast" of your railroad's fiscal
health by clicking on REPORT I. The report's first level shows your cash on
hand, your total debt and the estimated taxes (after March 31) for your
company. Clicking again brings up the report's second level. which displays
the first figures and the constantly updated rail sales and suhsidiaries
income numbers for the day. the month and the fiscal term. The costs for
these periods are calculated onscreen also, as well as the profit loss
figures for those times. These costs include initial train purchases and
initial track laying costs. which call he quite dear.
Click yet again and you can see all this plus your station, switch. cars
and track length totals, as well as a graph showing your money (vertical
axis) over time (horizontal axis). You will undoubtedly see a negative '
spike"--the dreaded red--for your initial months. because of your
operation's developmental costs. Naturally!, you want to try to keep those
money lines a healthy black color. but it's typical not to see a profit in
your daily operation for some time. Exit REPORT 1 and click on REPORT 2.
This chart reflects your overall holdings: rail, subsidiaries, stocks, and
real estate, and also provides you with the values of these properties and
their associated taxes. There is a revenue column for all these holdings
that includes market dividends and taxes on all the incomes. Your
expenditures for all your holdings, including commission paid on real
estate deals and interest on your loans, are found in the second column.
There are two income tax figures, one the taxes on your assets, and the
second a tax on your profits. Refer to the income tax infor- mation in the
Money And Its Management chapter in the Reference section for the
maneuverings to escape the pinch of those prongs. You should refer to this
chart periodically to get a fix on the areas of weakness in your empire, to
decide whether you should dump subsidiaries if they are unprofitable or buy
them up to avoid heavy profit taxes, and in a general way to oversee your
real estate investments. There is a more detailed breakdown of this Balance
Sheet in the Money section.
From this window you can buy and sell these assets. If you click on
APARTMENTS and then on SELL, a window will emerge that pro- vides the stats
on the term sales, profit/loss and market value of all of your apartments,
plus the commission charged you for their sale. Click on one of the lines
of information and the Apartment Manager will appear, giving you the
opportunity to proceed by clicking on the YES or NO button.
Select one of your apartments and sell it.You will see your cash figure
rise and the ownership figures update. Selling and buying new subsidiaries
increases population and employment opportunities, creating competition to
propel development. The selling off of subsidiaries is also one of the
game's best fundraisers for quick cash infusions.After you exit this menu,
note that the properties that were once yours no longer have the little box
on their roofs. This indicates that your company no longer owns them. (This
is also one of the ways you can verify that new commercial properties have
been built by the simulation.)
Click on STOCK MARKET--open only from 9-5 and you will see a graph charting
the fortunes of a selected stock over the past 30 weeks, along with the
stock board, which can be scrolled to display the 24 stock | brands. The
two numbers after the company name represent its trading value and the
amount by which it has dropped or risen since the day before. In addition,
you'll often see a window with a securities advisor who will inform you
about the current market conditions.
You probably have a little spare time, since you're merely a CEO, engineer,
property developer, and city planner--why not dabble in the market a bit?
It's not necessary to do any stock trading to develop your city, but it is
a means to diversify your holdings, give your income an occasional kick,
and remind yourself of what a genius you are.
When you click on any of the stocks, the graph will update to display that
stock's trends. For now, search the board for a stock that seems to have a
fairly consistent rising trend, but that currently is in a flat or lull
state. Click on BUY and you'll see a chart that identifies the stock, its
price per units chosen and the brokerage fee for the sale. You can increase
or decrease your totals in units of 1,10 or 100 by clicking on those
buttons and using the plus or minus signs. Buy 100 units of your selection.
You can return to your train operation, but be sure to periodically check
the board for your stock's performance. If it shoots the moon, sell, or if
you have a canny touch, wait out your hunches (but don't say I didn't warn
you). When you click on the SELL command, your portfolio will appear,
showing your stock type, number, original purchase price and current market
value. Click again on SELL and your investment advisor will ask you to
verify the transaction.
Be advised that slumps can occur where the value of some stocks will bottom
out rapidly, no matter how well the rest of the economy is doing.Stay on
top of your stocks; you can make some pretty coin this way,but you can also
look like an absolute lunkhead at nosedive time. Stock investment is also a
good means to channel your profits when the taxman comes around. Check the
Money section in the Reference chapter for specifics about stock types and
BANK ON IT
You might find that your visions of sugarplums will remain blurry unless
you can do some developing right away, but every time you want to place a
property or buy something nice, that sour old Accounting Officer pops up to
tell you you can't afford it. There is a way to escape his tight fists:
Go to the BANK menu and click. You will see a window that reveals your
credit limit and the current term rates from 1-3 years. Your limit is 30%
of the company assets. You can adjust your loan amount by units of 1,000,
10,000 or 100,000 by clicking on the plus or minus signs. Decide what
amount would satisfy you and click on BORROW. You will see the CASH figure
tally your fresh funds.
Debts have an interest charge if they are not paid by the end of the loan
term; the longer the term, the higher the interest. The management chief
will warn you that your debt is due two weeks in advance. Debts are
automatically deducted from your company funds on the appointed dates; you
can go bankrupt if you don't have the cash on hand. Click on DEBT TOTAL to
see your loan list and the repayment dates.
Be sure to shop for the best interest rates. If you plan to take out a
sizable loan, these charges can kill you over time. But then again, living
dangerously can be rather stimulating.
Now you are armed with the whys and wherefores to make your mark on a map.
However,these procedures are but a single scamper- ing of your mouse across
a room, barely looking at the furniture. The A-Train landscapes are fertile
soil for many plantings--go dig in the Reference chapter for a while to get
a sense of the program's depth, particularly the fiscal model, and then try
to take over a territory. Or just jump right in and wing it. Each map has a
thousand success stories waiting to happen. (Or a thousand bankrupt
railroad owners, but hey, why be negative?) The following material will
provide in-depth details about all aspects of the program, including
specific situational strategies. Refer also to the Q&A section at the end
of this section for answers to some broad overview questions and some
detailed game play techniques.
A mouse is recommended when playing A-Train. All instructions in this
manual assume that you have a mouse. If you do not, see the section of the
Addendum entitled, "Playing A-Train Without A Mouse." The slight variations
for monochrome monitors will also be discussed in the Addendum.
A-Train is a game that lets you wear several hats: you can simultaneously
be a CEO,engineer,industrial magnate, cityplanner, stock market speculator
and big-shot financier. And you have the opportunity to fail miserably or
shoot the moon in all of these enterprises. Your goal, of course, is shrewd
management of all of these linked components, which are constantly affected
by the dynamic forces of the simulation, mimicking the roller coastering of
forces in any developing landscape.
Developing landscapes are the shapeable clay of A-Train. You are given six
different maps, all of which present varied, demanding challenges to
contend with--but the basic issues are identical. How do you operate and
expand a successful railroad? Where do you build factories, apartments,
offices? When is the best time to sell them? How do you balance out killing
taxes and piling profits? What's a strategic approach to bank loans and the
stock market? And of critical import, how do you manage the day-to-day
(often hour-to-hour) details of all of these concerns, while asking your
guardian angel to pull you up above it all to get a look at the big
picture, and your company's future years down the line?
And you thought this was just a game.
"WINNING" THE GAME
If you reach $50 million dollars in cash, you get the keys to the city and
your favorite locomotive, and a chance to start all over again-- your game
is won. But the money measure is just one of many targets of game success
to aim for. One significant notch on the ladder is the upgrading" of the
size of your city to the next notch on the city scale; see the Cities
section for details. What you need to do is craftily develop your railroads
and properties, jack up the population. and stack up some dough.
Aside from winning, there is only one condition that stops the game
play--if you go broke. If you don't have enough money to pay taxes or debts
on the appointed dates (the game will inform you), or if your cash
resources dwindle to a nub at any time. the game is over. To avoid a
game-over, secure enough money for your immediate taxes and debts by
getting bank loans or by selling off the company assets.
THE MAIN WINDOW
Most of A-Train takes place in the Main Window. This window is surrounded
by a "picture frame" of menu choices. Click on any of these choices to open
various menus, windows and reports.
The central part of the Main Window is a display of the current map. This
is where you view your city, as well as lay tracks, place train stations,
and buy and sell land, buildings, businesses and resorts. The map is
divided into squares, or blocks." In this manual, distances are often given
in blocks, i.e., "You should build an apartment no more than 10 blocks from
In the lower right of the picture frame are scrolling arrows. Click on
these to scroll the map in the display area.
THE SATELLITE VIEW
One of the most useful views of your city is the SATELLITE view, which is
accessed by clicking on the SATELLITE section of the picture frame.
The SATELLITE view opens up a small window with a small map of your total
landscape. In the small map is a highlighted rectangle that demarks the
area that is visible in the Main Window. Move the rectangle in the
Satellite map with your mouse and click to quickly move to any place on the
At the bottom of the Satellite window is a "calendar chart" for tracking
the active trains in the current map. Each train is assigned a number from
this chart. If no train is assigned to a number, it will be "ghosted" or
When you click on the number of a train, both the highlighted rectangle in
the small map and the display area in the Main Window center on that train.
Below the calendar chart is a display of the vital stats of the active
train, including: train model, formation, current passenger total and
There are six different maps you can develop, each of which consists of a
mix of urban and rural landscapes and at least one operating rail line. It
is a good idea to explore each landscape thoroughly; you'll need this
working knowledge of your kingdom in order to rule over it with a deft
The A-Train interface provides you with a "picture frame" matrix to access
the menu commands. The periphery (frame) of the display screen contains the
main menu headings, which will highlight when the mouse pointer is
positioned on them, and they then can be opened with a mouse click. The
exposed commands can then be executed with your mouse.
Most menus stay open until you click on the EXIT button. Many menu choices
open submenus. When a submenu is open, you can cancel a command by clicking
the EXIT button.
After the credits for the game have been displayed, the SYSTEM menu will
open. When this menu is opened, the game clock stops. The menu consists of
the following commands:
Lists available maps so you can begin a new game fresh or quit the present
game for a "green" one. You can select the same map with which you began a
game to play the same game from its beginning.
Х Choose a number from 1-6.
Х Click the LOAD command.
Quits the present game and loads a saved file. See your Addendum for
Saves the current map and game conditions. See your Addendum for details.
Provides a small, icon-based menu strip along the left side of the picture
frame that replaces the standard TRAINS and SUBSID- IARIES menu windows to
provide more map display area.
Х Click on QUICK MENU to toggle on and off the standard and Quick Menu
Lets you set some options for graphics, sound, and printing. See your
Addendum for details.
Adjusts the clock speed in the game. You may wish to set the speed
according to your computer type. The speed rate can be increased when you
want to jumpstart your city, and slowed when you are reflecting on city
developments or doing some complex work like laying railroads
There are 10 speeds that are set up or down one level at a time by clicking
the corresponding hox or the LAH switch. The clock goes fastest when all
boxes are clicked. Click EXIT when you are done setting the speed.
Quits the game. Be sure you save the game before quitting so that you can
continue the game later. Executing the EXIT command does not save the game.
This menu is composed of commands associated with the railroad
constructionoperation,suchaslayingrailroadsandbuildingstations. The clock
doesn't stop when this menu is opened, but does as soon as a submenu is
This command lets you lay or remove track using the LAY command and the
Lets you put a purchased train on a track or removes a train that was in
operation (using the PLACE, REMOVE, and TRAIN REGISTRY commands). There is
a "calendar" chart for selecting a train number below the TRAIN REGISTRY
heading. After you choose a train number, the model, the number of coaches
and the seating capacity are displayed. If it's in operation, the map will
center on the active train.
To place a purchased train, first click the PLACE command.Next,use the
calendar chart to select the number of the train that is to be put into
service. Trains that are "in storage," i.e., not in service. can be
returned to operation by selecting their number. Then click on the track
where you want to place the train--it will appear there on the map.
Your train will have a set of arrows on its roof,one dark and one light,
pointing in opposite directions. The train travels the direction of the
light arrow. You can toggle the direction of train movement by clicking on
the arrows. Statistical information on the train and its current operating
conditions will be displayed under the registry.
To remove a train that is in operation, first click the REMOVE command.
Next, select the train number. When the number is clicked, the map will
scroll to display the train on the center of the map. Click on the train
and it will be removed from the map, i.e., placed in storage. The train can
be placed again, or if you choose, you can sell it.
Lets you purchase or sell a train using the BUY, SELL and CONFIRM commands.
To purchase a train, click the BUY command, then choose a train number from
the calendar chart. Click on CONFIRM to seal the purchase. To sell a train,
click the SELL command. Next, choose the train number. Only the trains that
have been put in storage can be sold. The model, statistics and value of a
train in storage will be displayed after you click the train number. The
train will be sold and its value added to your cash as soon as the CONFIRM
command is clicked.
This command lets you build or remove stations using the BUILD and REMOVE
To build a station. click the BUILD STATION command, choose the station
type. then click the place where you want to erect your station.
A station can only be built adjacent to track Iying on a straight, diagonal
line. You can't place your station near vertical, horizontal or curved
track. Also, keep in mind that if you build a station on land that you
don't already own, you will be charged for the land when you build.
To remove a station, click the REMOVE STATION command and then click the
station on the map.
Use the schedule to determine the stopping time, the departure time, and
the routes for your trains. After you click on SCHEDULE, a window opens
that displays the Train Registry, along with a map showing the route for
the currently selected train, with that train's information and some
command choices. The selected train is displayed on the route map by a
small highlighted box.
First, choose a train number. Then, under MODE, choose SWITCH or DEPARTURE
TIME. (It's possible to set both for each train from this window.)
Set the SWITCH as follows: Click on SWITCH. You'll see a small diagram
displaying one of the switches for the train you've selected. The diagram
is above the CHANGE SWITCH, TEST RUN and END TEST commands. Move the cursor
on the route map so that the crosshairs shift to the nearest switch. Click
to choose the switch. The small diagram will update to the chosen switch.
When the CHANGE SWITCH command is clicked, the switch diagram will reflect
the new direction that your train will assume at that switch.
Use the TEST RUN command to see a model representation run of the new
route. The train (dot) will keep running until STOP TEST is clicked. You
can repeat the switch-changing commands to make the train run the desired
Choosing DEPARTURE TIME displays the window to set the depar- ture time.
Move the cross on the route map to the desired station and click. Then
click on one of the eight choices: choose either ONE- HOUR STOP, NON-STOP,
or one of the six departure times. You must set the departure time for each
train, so that each train has its own schedule.
This menu includes the commands associated with the building construction
and real estate businesses. Using these commands, you can construct
buildings on your purchased land or destroy (sell) the buildings that are
owned by your company.
With this command you can build or remove factories that produce
construction materials to speed your building or to augment the importation
of incoming materials from the outside.
Click on FACTORY and the BUILD and REMOVE submenu will open. A highlight of
the factory's outline will follow your mouse move- ment around the map. You
can place the factory by clicking, as long as there are enough nearby
construction materials and the site is feasible. You will be informed by a
message window if there are any problems. Factories are good sources of
employment for your population.
These are enterprises like department stores and furniture stores. Use the
BIJILD and REMOVE command to site your companies. Be sure to locate them
close to your stations in the early going.
Don't place hotels until you have a population base. They can be solid
sources of income in flourishing cities, particularly during those seasonal
periods when recreational facilities are operating.
None will be profitable until your city has enough traffic to support them.
They are all subject to seasonal income variation as well as influenced by
their proximity to stations. They are expensive--build them with caution,
with the long-term in mind.
The placement of apartments at the early stages of the game is critical to
city growth. The people who move into the apartments provide a labor force
for local enterprise and passengers for your trains. You can place a number
of apartments near your station and sell them fairly quickly, often at a
profit, in order to produce funds to build more. Do recognize that your
apartment dwellers need places to work as well.
You can adjust the number of stories in units of five for each type of
lease building by clicking on the various building icons. It takes time to
finish constructing a building for rent--you'll see a crane on top of the
unfinished building that will disappear upon completion. The building can
be opened for business only after the completion of construction.
This command allows you to buy or sell land. When you click on REAL ESTATE,
a submenu opens, showing the BUY and SELL commands. You will see a figure
that tallies the number of blocks that you own, and an expense figure for
land purchase or income figure for land sale that will update as you move
the mouse from block to block.
You can buy and sell (if company-owned) land where there are no buildings.
Land owned by other companies is surrounded by a dotted line. This part of
your display isn't really a menu, but a menu bar along the bottom of the
screen that accesses all the business reports and financial information.
REPORT 1 -- RAILROADS
This window lets you read the financial status of your railroad and
subsidiary operations--there are no commands in the menu. The clock keeps
going even when the menu is opened. The window has a three-part display,
which covers more of your screen display with each click on the Report 1
REPORT 2--BALANCE SHEET
This is an itemized report on the total assets and balances of the railroad
branch, including real estate and stock investment. When the menu is
opened, the clock stops. This window doesn't contain any commands.
Properties and real estate owned by the company. The taxes for each
category are also displayed.
Company sales and incomes as well as the one-year totals.
Company expenses are itemized, along with the yearly totals.
All of your rail, real estate and subsid- iary properties are taxed, as
well as your profits.
Use this menu to buy or sell buildings and facilities. The clock stops when
the menu is opened.
The number of buildings and facilities owned by your company and the number
of buildings and facilities on the map owned by the other companies are
displayed. Choose the BUY command or the SELL command. Next, choose the
building type. A list of buildings available for purchase or sale will be
shown. Move the cursor to choose the building and then click. The building
that is available for sale will blink on the display map. Fees will be
taken from cash assets for purchases: income from sales will be, added to
REPORT 4--URBAN GROWTH
This menu displays information on the town's character and environment.
(You can regard the display map as a part of a larger administrative
district.) The clock stops when the menu is opened.
Size reveals which of the following scales the city belongs to: a small
town, a small city, a moderate city, a big city or a metropolitan area. One
of the primary measures of A-Train success is the developmental upgrade of
your city to the next scale, as defined by a combination of population and
facilities development numbers. See the cities section for details.
There are six Types of cities: agriculture-based, balanced, industrial-
based, residential, tourist-based and underpopulated. The Budget is a
measure of public investment: more funding results in faster city
development. A growing Population figure results in more pass- engers and
income for your railroad and faster development. The 'RadarChart"graph
displays the relative scope of the industry within the city.
The menu lets you trade on the stock market. The business hours of the
brokerage firm are 9AM-5PM, except Sundays and holidays. The menu can be
opened only during business hours; the clock stops when the menu is opened.
Click the up or down arrow to scroll the board that displays all the stock
types. After you choose the company name, click the BUY command or the SELL
When using the BUY command, decide the unit totals of stocks to be
purchased by using +/- and the unit buttons, which allow you to buy in in-
crements of 1,10, or 100. You are restricted to buying 2,000 units at any
one time. There is a fee for purchasing stocks. To sell stocks, choose SELL
and click on the stocks from the brand list. Stocks are sold in the same
units as they are purchased.
The display will reveal your credit limit, adjustable loan amount, interest
rates for the chosen term, and the due date for repayment. Current interest
rates for the 1-3 year periods are displayed, as well as your available
cash and updated liabilities.
Use this menu for borrowing money from banks. The business hours of the
bank are 9AM-5PM, excepting Sundays and holidays. The menu can be opened
only during the business hours. The clock stops when the menu is opened.
Choose a repayment period for the debt from 1-3 years. Adjust the loan
amount using +/- and the unit buttons, which let you borrow in increments
of 100,000, 10,000 and 1,000. After you click the BORROW command, the loan
is added to your company funds. You cannot exceed the credit limit. The
debt is paid automatically from the company funds on the appointed date;
you can't pay the debt before that date.
To see your debts and their respective payment dates, click the DEBT TOTAL
Clicking on SATELLITE brings up a window with an aerial overview of your
map showing the layout of railroads and a train chart that provides the
status of train operations for all your trains. The clock does not stop
when the window is opened.
A rectangle enclosing the cursor on the reduced map shows the current
territory of the larger display map. By moving the cursor on the reduced
map and clicking, you can quickly move the display area to the cursor
position. If you select a train number from the TRAIN REGISTRY, the display
area will move so that the train is centered on the screen, and pertinent
train info will be revealed.
RAILROADS ON THE INITIAL MAP
The railroads on the initial map are part of your company assets. It is OK
to relay these railroads, to remove a station, or to build a new station.
You will be given at least one passenger train and one freight train that
are connected to places outside the map. They belong to the company, but
their timetables can't be changed. They go straight at switches, and stop
one hour at stations.
GETTING ON THE RIGHT TRACK
The most basic type of railroad is a single line between two stations. At
the beginning, the line should be as straight and as short as possible, but
long enough to be a reliable source of profit. Lay the track straight
toward its destination. Stations should be built far away from each other
(relative to the length of the line), because the fare you receive
increases with the distance between stations. Make the distance at least 15
A"belt line" is suitable for running several trains in the same direction.
A belt line is a closed loop of track. Using a belt line, with its
frequent, regulated scheduling, you can put many trains into operation at
the same time. At the beginning of the game, you probably won't be able to
bear the construction and engine expenses. After several stations have been
built, a belt line will seem more feasible.
When shy of cash, play only on a single line. The shortcoming is that only
one train can be put on the line, although it's conceivable to put a loop
on each end of a developed single line so that several trains can be run at
the same time. It's also possible to design a double line segment in the
middle of the single line so that two trains can run in opposite
directions, but it can be somewhat costly. The merit of a double-line
railroad is that you can run passenger trains and freight trains on
separated lines without conflict.
Laying a railroad is simple, but you should pay attention to your expenses.
Just click on LAY and move the cursor in the desired direction. A line of
track will highlight and will be placed on the map when you click your left
Normally you can lay a railroad on any cleared place (except on a hill or
on the ocean). You can't lay a railroad on land that you don't own or that
isn't available for purchase; thus when track is placed, you've bought the
land. When there are large facilities--lease buildings, parks, or roads--in
the way, the track will have to be curved around them. Bridges will have to
be constructed over rivers. If you start to lay some tracks and then change
your mind, click the right mouse button to cancel the operation. Х Don't
lay track any longer than necessary--the removal
expense is two-thirds of the laying expense.
Х You cannot destroy your company buildings to lay a railroad. But you may
lay the railroad after the buildings have been removed through the REMOVE
command in their respective SIJBSIDIARIES submenus.
Х When you want to lay a railroad on areas where other companies have
facilities, it's necessary to buy the facilities and then remove them
before proceeding. (They are not always available for purchase.) Keep in
mind that costs for projects such as these are tremendous.
LINE- LAYING NO- NOS
In summary. a line can't he built if:
1.) A railroad is connected to an established railroad by a right angle.
2.) A railroad crosses over an established railroad.
3.) A railroad intersects a river in an improper way other than at a right
4.) A railroad passes through a public place, like a park.
5.) A railroad passes through a company building.
6.) A railroad passes through buildings owned by the other companies.
7.) You lack construction funds.
8.) You place your cursor outside the map boundaries.
9.) Facilities such as skyscrapers, factories and amusement parks are in
CONNECTING RAILROADS TO EACH OTHER
Pay attention to the following issues when you connect one railroad to
1.) When the railroads are connected end-to-end, you can't set a switch.
2.) When a railroad is connected to the middle of an existing railroad, you
can establish a switch.
3.) You can't build a railroad that crosses over an existing railroad.
Note the angle between a planned railroad and an established railroad. You
must lay track on a diagonal from existing track--you can't make two
railroads connect to each other on a right angle. A track-laying advisor
will pop up with a discouraging message when your planned railroad can't he
connected to an existing railroad.
REMOVING A RAILROAD
To remove a railroad, choose REMOVE, in the LAY TRACK submenu. Click the
track's beginning point and follow the track to the desired removal point
with the mouse. The line should be highlighted along its original path.
Click the mouse button at your end point and the rail will be replaced with
cleared land. Only the part over lapped by the highlighted line will be
removed; any connected railroads traveling in different directions will
remain. If there is a switch, only one line in a single direction is
To remove a curved railroad, make the highlighted removal line match the
curve of the tracks, or, if the highlight won't follow the track direction,
separately remove the straight segments that con- stitute the curve. The
cleared land is still owned by your company. If you're not interested in
keeping the land, you can sell it by using the REAL ESTATE command on the
Sl JBSIDIARIES menu. The cost of removing railroads is not affected by the
When you click the beginning point of a railroad and then move the cursor
over different blocks, you might find that the number showing the
construction expense in the LAY menu varies. That figure represents the
construction cost plus the purchase price of the land. Your construction
expenses will be greatly increased if you choose to put in a switch or
build a bridge across a river.
When you are thinking of establishing a switch, consider the expense. An
often-used line should be as straight as possible so that it's not
necessary to make any directional change at switches, which can be
expensive and impair efficiency.
Х The railroad construction cost includes the track laying expenses and the
purchase price of the land. The amount of money is dependent upon your
route--long, curving tracks are obviously more costly. Some land may not
be suitable for railroad construction, or may not be available for
TRAIN "CALENDAR CHART" Facts
The calendar chart (the TRAIN REGISTRY) is found in the Satellite view, the
Place Trains window, the Buy Trains window and the Schedule window. If a
number is highlighted black, there is a train assigned to that number. If
the number is ghosted, there ain't no train assigned.
The underline of the purchased train number is the same color as the train
after its placement on the map. When a train is put on a line, the train
number is enclosed within a frame (the same color as the number's
underline), indicating that the train is in operation. The model and the
coach number of the train can be confirmed by checking the data column at
the chart bottom.
Clicking on an existing train's number brings up that train on the map.lf
you have just placed a train, it will start moving as soon as the menu is
closed and the clock starts.
All work such as placing/removing, buying selling and adjusting timetables
of trains is done based on the train number. The same number can't be
assigned to more than one train. You can assign trains their numbers in any
order, whatever your preference.
FlRST-TIME TRAIN BUYERS
To purchase a train, click the BUY command under the BUY TRAINS submenu,
then choose a train number from the TRAIN REGISTRY. It's easy to recognize
a registered train--the train number is underlined. To buy a train, click a
number that is not underlined. Click on any train image in the train list
on the top of the window. Detailed information on the selected train will
be displayed below the list. There are two types of trains: passenger
trains and freight trains. There are 15 models of passenger trains and 4
models of freights. The high-speed trains move three blocks per hour and
the low-speed trains two blocks per hour. After clicking the CONFIRM
command, your train will be registered on the display by its underlined
number.The train won't be put in operation until it is placed.
To sell a train, click the SELL command. Next, choose the train number.
Only the trains that have been put in storage can be sold. The model and
statistics of a train in storage will be displayed after you click the
train number. The train will be sold as soon as you click the CONFIRM
Х You are limited to ownership of 25 trains. whether they are in storage or
in operation; you can sell any of those in storage. The sale price is
half that of the purchase price.
Note:ARIII trains are a sound choice for a passenger train. They are a
little expensive, but the investment can pay off.
SMALL AND LARGE STATIONS
There are two types of stations, a solitary station and a station with
large buildings attached. The former is called a small station, and the
latter a large station. Choose your place to build the station according to
your budget. The game begins with an initial station on the map; a typical
approach would be to lay a railroad from the initial station to a terminal
station at the site of your choice (remembering that track laying isn't
cheap, of course). However, this might mean integrating your new trains
with the existing train's schedules,which can be a challenge.You can also
lay independent lines near your initial station that will still collect
passengers and freight without being connected to the original line. Your
track must be within two blocks of the original station platform to pick up
passengers, though you can build a new station near local development to
You can also site the station first and then lay a railroad to the new
station. Of course, all construction decisions should be made to promote
the future development of the city. Building a spate of stations early in
the game before there are a lot of passengers might imperil your cash flow,
your income and (shudder) your future.
Both small and large stations are used for the boarding and departure of
passengers, but they differ in construction expense, income and their
effect on the city development.
The construction charge is 120,000 dollars to build a large station, three
times that of a small station. Both require the initial purchase price of
three blocks of land.To remove a large station, it takes 12,000 dollars,
again three times that of a small station removal.
The most important difference between the two types of stations is how they
affect the city development. It is much easier to develop a large city by
building large stations. The large stations can handle bigger passenger
totals, whose movement is an agent in game development. The simulation will
not build a large, centralized road from your station--around which
development flourishes--unless there is a large station with plentiful
Smaller, residential areas will be built around the smaller stations, with
consequently fewer and smaller buildings built by the program. If you want
to develop a big city, it's better to build a large station at the
beginning of the game, provided there's no financial problem.
You need at least three blocks of land to build a station, plus a num- ber
of blocks for materials storage. It is wise to reserve some land for laying
another line in the future that will utilize that station, and advisable to
build your station in a place where no nearby hills or seas would hinder
You can use construction materials from any place on the map to build the
station(as long as your company owns them),but you must provide a place for
storing materials around the station for future construction by purchasing
nearby land. If there are no available materials on the map, you can't
build your station.
A train stops at a station when the head coach of the train arrives at the
middle of the platform. If the line is not parallel to the platform, e.g.,
the line turns at a switch, trains will not stop at the station.
Two separate lines of trains up to two blocks (track distance) away can
make station stops. Trains on lines passing at the back of the station
cannot stop at the station. The train on the left line has priority to stop
at the station over the train on the right line if the two trains have the
same distance remaining to the station stop. When both trains are far away
from the station, the train closer to the station has the priority. A mix
of freight and passenger trains can use the single station.
Х It's possible to build a station in a place where no railroad lines are
in operation. You will be charged for station construction expenses, but
the building will not func- tion as a station until a line is laid. They
make rather expensive ornaments.
THE END OF THE LINE
Train length is important in relation to where tracks end at the station.
Track ending at the middle of the station is suitable for two- coach
trains, but not for three-coach trains. This is because the three-coach
trains cannot stop at any station where tracks do not extend to the end of
If the tracks at the station aren't the correct length, the construc- tion
materials will not be unloaded, or the materials which have just been
unloaded will be loaded again and carried away.
When one of your trains reaches the end of the track, it will cleverly
reverse its direction and set off back up the line. The direction of an
operating train can be changed by choosing the train number via the PLACE
TRAIN command and then clicking on its directional arrows. For trains that
run on the wrong route, it's better to remove them and then rearrange them.
When two trains have a possibility of colliding head-on, you'll probably
have a traffic jam on your hands. The two trains will stop moving before
they collide, gently stopping end-to-end. To prevent such occurrences,
change the direction of a train or remove one train using the PLACE TRAIN
When a train is removed from the line, the building materials on the train
will disappear, but the passengers will go home--the popula- tion will not
If a freight train is placed directly at the station,it will depart without
loading materials. Place it just out of and toward the station if you want
it to pick up freight.
Х It is all right to put a train on any area of the track. But you can't
put a train on a line that is shorter than the length of the train. (Not
that it would provide a dazzling scenic excursion anyway.)
Х If your designated placement isn't displayed on the map, click the scroll
arrows on the right side of the frame or use the Satellite view to scroll
TRAINS AND THEIR CARGOES
Trains are divided into two main types: passenger trains and freight
Passengers board and disembark when a passenger train stops at a station.
The more buildings there are around the station, the more passengers.
However, the total of station passengers near facilities like amusement
parks or ski resorts varies with the seasons. The fare is based on the
distance between the stations: longer distance, more dough. Train operating
expenses are consistent regardless of these matters.
Passenger totals will often exceed the train capacity because they reflect
the common practice of cramming cars full of people at rush hour. Don't
worry, there's never been a fatality in A-Train. The stated capacity figure
in the Rolling Stock Market is intended to represent the suggested
Freight trains are used to transport the construction materials from which
all buildings are made. At the beginning of the game there will be at least
one original place to store the materials on each map; you must buy the
land for this storage for additional stations. Freight trains transport the
construction materials from the storage place to the first station stop. If
there are construction materials deposited at a station, any empty freight
trains will pick up and transport the materials to the next station stop.
Х Construction materials can also be produced by the factories on the map.
If the company has a storage place near the factory, the materials are
piled up there by way of your freight. If there is no station nearby, the
materi- als can't be carried away to build elsewhere. Obviously this
makes it a good idea to build factories near the station, or to build a
station near the factories. See the Cities section for details on
The trial-and-error method will instruct you in the most profitable means
of running your railroads for the specific conditions of each map. Each
train's operation is controlled by setting its switches and
departuretimes.You'll be charged lO dollars per setting.The income of a
train depends greatly upon its departure scheduling. A departure time of
8:00. is very efficient: you can make the train depart at 8:00 in the
residential areas and at 6:00PM (18:00) in the office districts so
passenger load is maximized. Belt lines require more closely scheduled
stops so that multiple trains can "play tag" at a succession of station
stops. However, if you're running trains on single lines into areas that
seem to be of equal growth or building type, e.g., both residential with a
similar population, you can set the schedule at 8:00AM at both stations. so
that the train is on a 24-hour "loop" service.
The train would leave one station on Sunday at 8:00 and go to the other
station, where it would wait until Monday at 8:00 Am to depart. The success
of this venture is dependent on variables like distance between stations,
speeds of trains, and game speed setting: you might not be able to make the
distance between stations in the 24- hour frame if conditions aren't right.
Frequently checking the passenger totals in the Satellite view will give
you a sense of what times are most favorable for filling your cars. Once
your lines are established, be sure to check periodically in the expanded
Report 1 to see if you are getting closer to turning a profit. Remove the
freight trains from the tracks when you have a big materials buildup. They
drain operating expenses when they're running.
All switches are set initially so that the train moves on a straight
course; the departure times are set for one-hour layovers. To run trains
efficiently, exercise care regarding the distance in blocks between two
stations. A long-distance excursion is more profitable than a short one.
Note that it is this block distance that affects the fare, not the length
of the track between the two stations. However, in the beginning, it's good
economics not to build stations a great distance--30 or 40 blocks or
more--from each other because of track laying and operating expenses. They
also can be so far away that you can't effectively use a 24-hour schedule.
You can remove short-distance stations further along in the game when
you're flush with cash.
When the income from a station is small, let the trains have a long layover
at the station so that the fuel costs can be economized and more passengers
can be carried at one time. Conscientious sched- uling of freight trains
might become necessary to insightfully control the amount of construction
materials at a station, though they can often run simply on the one-hour
stop schedule. Don't forget that personnel fees are charged when loading
and unloading materials.
When a train runs on a single line, a schedule is not absolutely necessary,
though setting one can greatly increase income. When two trains run on a
single line, schedule station departure and layover times so that trains
can lead or follow each other without trouble.
SCHEDULE MENU SPECIFICS
Х When several trains need scheduling for a specified switch or a station,
you can easily schedule them in succession by choosing the switch or
station and then the trains' respective numbers, setting the departure
time and then going on to the next train. without needing to leave the
Schedule window or return to the game map. You can schedule trains in any
order of their Train Registry numbers; you don't have to follow the 1-25
Х Since the train number is used to control the switch setting, trains
coming from the same direction on the same line can be made to diverge in
different directions. It's also possible to let trains that move on
different lines stop at the same station by using the switch setting.
Х The execution of the TEST RIJN command doesn't change the current
position of the train. The new direction for a switch setting is easily
confirmed by looking at the actual map. A train approaching the switch
goes in the direction the switch is set. The branch direction of a switch
is set for the chosen train--to have all trains turn in the same
direction, it's necessary to individually set all train numbers.
Х When ONE-HOUR STOP is chosen, the train departs by itself an hour after
it arrives at the station. During the layover, passengers get on and off
the train and goods are loaded and unloaded.
Х When NON-STOP is chosen, the train will pass by the station. NON-STOP
can't be chosen for a train that is not permitted to pass by a station,
as is the case for a number of train types. You can verify the type in
the Train Catalog section at the end of the Reference section.
Х When a departure time is chosen, the train stops at the station until
that time. Multiple trains cannot be set to depart at the same time if
there is only one line. (However, with careful staggering of train
placement, multiple trains on a belt line can be set to the same
SCENARIO SAND STRAT EGIES
Here are the map numbers and the type of challenge each represents. There
are six maps that have varying geographic features and degrees of
development. It is easier to get familiar with the relationships between
railroad operation and town development using a map with a smaller number.
Naturally, all of the counsel offered here constitutes merely one
particular slant to interpreting the maps. This is one of A-Train's
beauties: there are many fuels for the engine of commerce--experiment with
MAP NAMES AND FACES
#1. New Town
#2. Bay Area
#3. Resort Development
#4. Multi-City Connection
#6. Downtown Reorganization
There are also six basic types of cities: an agriculturally oriented city,
an industrial city, a "balanced" city, a residential city, a tourist-
oriented city and a "underpopulated" city. Plan your development or try
some free-form experimentation to move from one type to another.
There are five city scales; your map's current scale can be read in
Х--- Report 4 under "Size." They are Small Town, Small city, Medium city,
Big city, and Metropolis. These scales are determined by the
simulation, which assigns a point total to a combination of building
types and building totals plus the population figures. A block of
public buildings counts one point, and a block of lease buildings two
Broad development of your subsidiaries holdings and related expansion by
the simulation should eventually boost you to the next scale, which is one
of the signal benchmarks of A-Train success.
The Small Town population is usually under 24,000; the Small city, from
24,000 to 64,000: the Medium city, from 64,000 to 88,000; the Big city,
from 88,000 to 150,000; and the Metropolis, 150,000+. If you reach the
population figures without a scale upgrade, you need to build more and
larger property holdings. such as the large lease buildings. The Bullet
Train (Shinkansen) will run through middle- sized or bigger cities when the
population and building point totals have been attained.
Map One has the most basic geography. Besides an old railroad line and a
station,there are only small residences and ranches. This "new town" is in
the suburbs of a big city off the map, and its population needs increase.
It can be built up as a"bedroom"community when it has a good transportation
network. One problem is that there are no facilities (such as department
stores and lease buildings) in the town. You can build practically
anything. but to do well isn't so easy.
You should absolutely master the technique of how to lay a profitable line.
The simplest way to do so is pick a nice site, lay straight double lines,
and buy two AR 111 trains. Build the large stations at each end of the
lines, and set all the departure times for 8:00AM.
After finishing the train scheduling,wait to see changes ensue.You'll find
that the number of passengers increases to about 100. If you build two to
three apartment houses around the station. passenger numbers will increase
more rapidly. The key point is buying the AR IIIs and setting that old 8:00
AM departure time--and logical development thereafter.
Map Two isn't so difficult if you've mastered the basic technique of laying
profitable lines. There is already a large population. Rapid development
could be stimulated by active, broad expansion of the railroad company and
The problem here is how to effectively use the old railroad line at the top
of the map and how to transport the materials to develop the bay area at
the bottom of the map. (The harbor is used as a site to store the materials
unloaded from ships at the end of the reclaimed land; the ship is the
Bonhomme Richard. ) Doing nothing with the old line will land you a deficit
because of the expenditures you face in leaving it unat- tended. To avoid
the deficit, just apply the basic techniques:
First, check the freight train near the factories on the upper-right part
of the map. If there are only small amount of materials to be transported,
remove it from the line for a while.
Next, check the second train to see if the departure time is 8:00AM. Reset
it if necessary. If passenger load increases to more than 1,000 passengers,
it's also OK to set the departure time at 6:00PM. You can also change the
trains on the line into AR IlIs to spank some profits.
Of course, experimentation is always fun. Try to make an industrial strip
near the harbor. Bring the people amusement parks and hotels, and bread and
circuses a little further away. Be the master mogul of the map.
There is nothing here in Map Three except the rich natural surroundings.
Don't worry too much about the airport in the bottom-right corner of the
map. (If you're interested, the airplane is a DC-10.)Like Map One,this map
is wide open, but you haven 't much cash . Don't rush into development, or
your company will go bankrupt soon. Because the old railroad line is very
short and the materials-storage place is too easily filled with
materials,the first recommendation is to extend the materials-storage place
to keep more materials.
Next, make your lines profitable. Buy AR IlIs and lay a railroad that can
be expanded into double lines in the future. The departure time is, of
course, set at 8:00 AM. After making some money, set up a double-line
Choose a good site, and concentrate on its development. Don't forget that
the best use of your money for this map is for resort development. Sculpt
your city around the mountains and lakes to build a handsome, livable
environment. Taking out some bank loans is one way to make quick cash. Try
to work with one-year debts. From this map, you can learn the loan and
payback process. Rising development will draw the population from outside
the map. Keep in mind that the population will not increase suddenly.
Map Four looks quite similar to Map One, but they are different. When you
have a look at Report 4, you'll find that the scales of the industry and
residences are very small. Besides, there's no cash.
The first thing to do is to borrow money for laying railroads. Make as many
three-year debts as possible. It's very important to concentrate on
industrial development. Don't build commercial yet, but construct a factory
in a proper place, and lay a short railroad with an AR 111 locomotive that
Now it's time to encourage residential growth. Since there is little,pay
attention to the whole balance:number of worksites, other buildings, etc.
that develop the residential population.
If the program is slow in building residences, sell the factory, even if at
a loss, and build another factory. You can also sell the new factory and
build only apartments. When the city has been developed to some scale,
apply the techniques of profitable railroad operation to develop the land
in front of the station. If everything goes smoothly, enlarge your
apartment holdings to make some rental cash. To avoid a high profit tax,
you can invest in trains. Don't forget that you'll have to pay back any
It's a good idea to connect the scattered cities and villages by rail-
roads to stimulate growth. Focus on expanding types of businesses. But keep
in mind that a rash of thoughtless development may bring a state of chaos
to the local business community.
Although Map Five already has an advanced city, its progress will stop if
the transportation network lags behind the development. The railroad is now
on a belt line, but it's running at a big deficit. Your company will go
bankrupt if no action is taken. The first task is to reconstruct the
railroad to reduce the deficit. Your expenses are now twice your income,
and lack of cash is a big concern.
To cut down on expenses, get in there and manage that railroad.Check the
schedules.You'll find all trains have been set to one-hour stops. Reset the
departure time of each train to 8 :00 AM. You'll want to buy the AR 111
engines (not that - we're trying to suggest anything), but cash flow is
nil. What to do? Determine if there are any freight trains that aren 't
doing a bang-up job. (Hint: You'll find there's such a culprit at the
bottom- right corner of the map. Remove that train immediately.) By doing
so, you'll find that your expenses and income begin to equalize, although
there might still be a small deficit. From this point the real game starts.
Make some loans and build apartment complexes. When you observe that the
whole city is thriving, buy some good land and sell it soon after. Cash
will increase, and so will the population.
When you're flush with funds, change all the trains into AR IIIs step-
by-step. After only AR IIIs are on your lines, your railroad operation
should become profitable. The next stage would be to develop the area
around the lake. People will leave the city if they have no alternative.
Keep a balance between costs and progressive construc- tion to invigorate
Map Six already has a fairly developed city. There are a lot of buildings,
and the business is active. There isn't a lot of cash on hand, but it will
increase. Your belt line is profitable and the city is already on a large
Where's the challenge? As time passes, you might see the industrial center
deviating from the city center. Traffic jams--like a chronic disease in the
transportation network--mightappear. It's necessary to reconstruct the
transportation network in order to keep the city active. Here you should
carefully study the map and fine-tune the situations. Learn how to make a
steadily profitable belt line. Develop the area in front of each station.
Be playful: you might try repositioning a number of stations, try different
types of recreational facilities, new track sidelines...enjoy your
prosperity or create dangerous financial threats--it's all yours.
The basic process of the city development can be illustrated as follows:
At the beginning of the game, you lay railroads, build a station and
provide materials-storage places. Dependent on variable conditions, some
residences may appear around the new station, but there will be few
passengers for your startup rail operation.
Then you construct apartments near the station to increase residents. The
program will gradually respond by building residences, providing more
passengers for the railroad. Repeat the procedure of purchasing and selling
off lands to increase this building of lots and residences.
Only the subsidiary companies of your railroad company can be directly
constructed. Their purpose is to produce profits. (Commie insurgents are
found off the maps.) Facilities around the station also lead to the
development of the city. Choose the optimum sites to construct facilities
that will produce the most profits. There is a list of building expenses
for all properties--that includes advice for their utilization--at the end
of this Cities section.
MAKING HAY WHILE THE SUNSHINES
The initial conditions vary with each map. It is to your advantage to learn
the details of company capital and property and to examine the weak points
of the company management.
The debt limit, as well as your expenses and your tax owed, depends on the
company assets. Study and confirm operating train incomes on the map. and
pay attention to the town population and to the fluctuations of stock
prices to find opportunities for growth.
On each map, there are lines connected to the outside areas. These lines
play an important part in transporting construction materials from outside.
At the beginning, schedule the train run once a day (for those trains that
you can schedule), and increase the number of runs as the town grows.
INDUSTRIES DEPEND ON YOUR INDUSTRY
If the population doesn't increase naturally any more, you have to create
employment opportunities. You can build factories, depart- ment stores,
etc. Stunted population growth is rare, but sometimes it may happen.
The balance between supply and demand of the labor force has a great effect
on the economy of the city. For example, if there is a surplus of labor
force, factories will increase production, and consequently so will the
incomes of other subsidiary companies increase. But the construction of new
residences slows down. You should keep a sufficient labor force--by
building of apartments and work sites to stimulate the program's
building--to ensure the development of the city. Besides working, the
residents carry on with their daily lives. They play golf and ski on
holidays. The recreation facilities provide places for their leisure and
You can check the concentrations of your city's industrial economy in the '
radar chart" scale in the Urban Growth window. By secondary industry, we
mean the fundamental infrastructure of the city, as opposed to your primary
industry, the railroad. Factories and lease buildings are the basic
elements of the secondary industry. The income of a lease building depends
upon the number of tenants. The companies using the building will provide
employment oppor- tunities for your residents.
Factories produce materials that are essential to the city development.
They are also large sources of employment. They don't pollute the
surroundings. If :; there is no need for materials, the materials will
pileup.Your map's initial railroad will export them for sale if you don't
The elements of the Other Business consist of golf courses, amuse- ment
parks, ski resorts, stadiums and hotels. The income of each depends on its
location. Don't construct two large-scale facilities of the same type near
Different facilities can be built in each neighborhood. It's better to
build hotels near recreation facilities. When you have a substantial level
of development and ready cash, build each of the four leisure- type
facilities and several hotels around a station. The entrance fees for the
recreational facilities and the incomes of the hotels will symbiotically
At optimal sites, other companies will attempt to do the same business. In
order to avoid competition, it is better to buy all the land around the
station early in the game. Competition can spur development, however.
Besides being a source of profits, these commercial developments supply the
ornamentation for a colorful, scenic map as well--one vote for style.
EFFECTS OF SPECIAL BUILDINGS
Certain businesses produce high concentrations of people, which can
increase the passenger totals of the station nearby.
At the end of a year, customers of department stores (commercial buildings)
greatly increase, while in winter, people crowd the ski resorts. People
often visit amusement parks on Sundays and holidays. Take measures (such as
reduced scheduling or longer station stops) to deal With the situations
when there are few passengers.
Most maps have a lot of facilities belonging to the other companies.
Competition among the same types of businesses will contribute to the
development of the city. When the city has several of the same types of
enterprise, the city becomes larger. There's no limit on land purchase, but
there is a restriction on the number of commercial properties that your
company can erect.
Materials are essential to the city development. All buildings are
constructed with materials, whether by you or the hand of the A-Train
simulation deity.When building a station,purchase the land that will be
used as the materials-storage place when you build the station. As you
expand your city, materials are gradually consumed, so you have to use your
freight trains to carry in materials from factories or from the stations
outside the map.
The materials piled up at the factory sites need to be transported once by
one of your trains before they can be used. You can, however, directly use
the factory materials when you construct buildings adjacent to the
The materials-storage place should be located within eight blocks of the
station--otherwise it can't be used to load or unload materials. When the
factory materials are directly used, you can erect buildings within 10
blocks of the factory storage place.
BUILDING AN EMPIRE
If there are construction materials available, you can construct buildings
around the station within an eight-block radius. With materials available,
residences will begin to appear a short distance away from the station. The
residences should reach enough numbers to constitute a residential town--a
These residential inhabitants are the labor force needed for the
construction and operation of various facilities. If there are no more new
building sites, the population won't increase, and residences won't be
naturally constructed by the simulation. The reason that residences are
rapidly built when there are only two stations right after the start of the
game is that the cities outside the map need a labor force. The needed
labor force varies from one map to the next.
After awhile,when a number of residences and public buildings have been
built, the construction speed will slow down. When it does, build
department stores and other commercial income property to increase
employment. If you develop these kind of building lots, the construction of
new residences by the simulation will continue. It's all right to develop
property outside the town if you have a strategic overview of future
connectivity. You can also construct leisure facilities such as stadiums
and amusement parks if your population can support them. Other companies
will also build hotels and commercial properties around stations.
Residences and public buildings are constructed more quickly by the
simulation on land that you have sold after purchase. There is no fee for
purchasing/selling land, but there are expenses for the develop- ment of
building lots if it is necessary to clear the land.
Residences are rapidly built by the simulation if the blocks are vacant
lots. If there are farms, ranches or woods on the blocks, the blocks are
first changed into vacant lots, and then residences will appear. This can
take a good deal of time. When farms and ranches are destroyed by the
program, that agricultural industry is on its gradual decline, and won't
recover. When woods are destroyed, they cannot be planted again. Thus it's
important to make a good city plan that recognizes these contingencies and
allows for them--if you want to retain an agricultural flavor, for
instance--before you begin the development of building lots.
After awhile, a street begins to extend from the rear of the big stations
at a right angle from the track. Buildings will be constructed along the
street by the simulation. (The street will not be built up by the program
with skyscrapers and big buildings unless you build the large stations.)
Buildings naturally constructed by the simulation are usually about 10
blocks from the station. After the residential development around the
station has been completed, the demand for materials decreases. The
simulation will then begin the street construction, and local rentable
buildings will become taller, all of which may consume a lot of materials.
Building-expansion by the simulation will occur if there are materials
within 12 blocks.
Besides the residences and the urban street, the simulation will also build
small office buildings, stores, schools, hospitals and public parks.
All of the facilities built by the simulation are a natural consequence of
growth. The roads and parks belong to the public, so you can't buy them or
construct facilities on them.
Occasionally, depending on how you develop the map, the town will not
naturally grow to become more than a bedroom community. If this is the
case, it's necessary to create additional opportunities for employment by
building factories, etc. However, make sure that you have enough cash flow
to cover new and old debts.
When the land in back of a station is owned by other companies and they
have erected large buildings, or there are buildings other than residences
and public buildings on the land, the urban road can't be built by the
simulation--it won't appear. You can buy the land in back of the station,
but don't develop it with any facilities; if conditions are right, the road
should appear soon after you sell the land. When a road appears, big
commercial projects and lease buildings of considerable size can be
constructed by the program.
THE ULTIMATE SHAPE OF A CITY
In the map below, there is a crossroads where two roads intersect.
Designing your city center around a crossroads like this has a great effect
on the city development. The city center will move from the station to the
crossroads. Around the crossroads, various buildings will be built by the
simulation, just as they are around the station. If the station
materials-storage place is also near the crossroads, those materials can be
used for this development.
The price of the land around the crossroads will greatly increase.
High-rise buildings are easily constructed by the simulation under these
prospering conditions. To develop a big city with many large offices, the
crossroads is essential.
The city outline shown in the bottom figure displays an optimum shape for
successful expansion. There are four stations around the belt line. If
there are materials at one station, they can be used to construct buildings
almost everywhere in the area. Your rail passengers will increase as you
develop the city.
If you have built according to these suggestions, you should be able to
jump to the next city scale goal. After the development around your first
stations has been settled, repeat the above procedure in a new place. You
can build flourishing cities--your empire-- everywhere on the map!
GENERAL BUILDING GUIDELINES
Х The BUILD and REMOVE commands are on all the menus.
Х The building area varies with the type and the scale of the build-
ing to be constructed.
Х To construct a building on land not owned by the company, you must have
the money for both land purchase and the construction expenses. Sometimes
the land may not be for sale. In such a case, you can't build.
Х The buildings that don't belong to your company can't be removed unless
you buy them.
Х A signboard (small square) representing ownership by your railroad
company is put on the top of each building. It will be removed if you
sell the property.
Х The building materials must be near the construction site for successful
Labor force: N/A
The player cannot build residences--they are a natural consequence of
certain game conditions. There are 8 families in one block, each family
having 7.5 members. There are 16 types of residences, but every residence
has the same number of members and a similar economic state. There are
about 60 people living on one block.
Expense: 340,000 dollars
Labor force: 10 people
There are 150 families in one apartment complex, each family having 3.5
members. The operating expense of a complex is 1,500 dollars to 2,000
dollars per day. Income is over 3,000 dollars if it is in front of a
station, but apartments will produce a deficit if they are located far away
from the station. If there are lease buildings or amusement parks nearby,
income will moderately increase. There are three types of apartment
complexes, and there are no differences between them in operating expenses
Expense: 250,000 dollars
Labor force: 500 people
Factories produce construction materials, which should be transported from
the factory by freight trains to areas outside the map if you don't use the
materials yourself. The operating expense is 2,000 dollars a day,even when
the factory stops working(after your materials-storage place has been
filled with materials). Each material is sold for 2,500 dollars, and a
three-coach freight train can carry four materials in a time. If you need a
lot of materials, factories can be linked together to increase production.
Labor force: 60 people
Built by the simulation in the residential areas, public buildings may
represent schools, hospitals or shops. There are eight types, which vary
with your city's development process. The more public buildings, the bigger
Materials: 10 for the first 5 stories;
8 for each additional 5 up to 40
Expense: 240,000 dollars
Labor force: 120 people and up
The tallest lease building can be up to 40 stories; every five stories
takes up a block. There can be 1,000 people working in one building. The
operating expense is 400 dollars to 450 dollars per day. The income is from
800 dollars to 900 dollars a day for a building near a station, and 500
dollars to 600 dollars if the building is far away from the station. The
income may increase when there are hotels in the neighborhood.
Expense: 1,200,000 dollars
Labor force: 550 people
To gain a profit, build your department stores and offices near a station.
The operating expense is 23,000 dollars to 26,000 dollars per day,
increased by 30% for holidays. The income is 22,000 dollars to 27,000
dollars if the store is near a station, and less than half that if the
station is far away. Income increases by 50% on holidays. If there are many
residences, apartments, lease buildings and hotels nearby, the income can
increase by at most 5,000 dollars a day. Income rises by 20% to 30% in
December, and decreases by 10% to 20% in February and August.lncome will
also decrease by 20% to 40% when there is a rival store.
Expense: 1,000,000 dollars
Labor force: 550 people
The income of a hotel varies greatly with the location. The operating
expense per day is 17,000 dollars to 19,000 dollars. The income per day is
about 14,000 dollars if the hotel isn't close to a station. and 16,000
dollars to l8,500 dollars when near a station.The income can be increased
by at most 2,000 dollars a day on working days if there are factories and
lease buildings nearby, and to 5,000 dollars at most on holidays if there
are residences and apartments nearby. The presence of recreational
facilities can also boost income. Your income can decline by 10 % to 30 %
when other competitive hotels open.
Expense: 1,000,000 dollars
Labor force: 150 people
The operating expense of a stadium is 2,400 dollars to 2,600 dollars per
day. The income per day is 800 dollars when it is not close to a station,
and 1,400 dollars when a station is nearby. Income will rise by 10 dollars
per 1,000 stadium occupants, and increases by 50% on holidays. If there are
residences, apartments, lease buildings and hotels nearby, your income may
rise by up to 5,000 dollars daily. But income will decline by 20% to 30%
when there is a competing stadium within 14 blocks.
Expense: 900,000 dollars
Labor force: seasonally dependent
To construct a ski resort, you need a mountain that has a wide slope. (Map
Four has no such mountains.)The opening period is December through
February. The operating expense per day is 500 dollars in the off-season,
about 9,600 dollars when open, and double on holidays. The income is 13,000
dollars when the resort is not close to a station, 16,600 dollars when it
is close to a station, and three times that on holidays. The income
increases by 1,600 dollars for each hotel nearby, and drops by 20 % to 40 %
when a rival resort opens nearby.
Expense: 1,900,000 dollars
Labor force: 200 people
The operating expense per day is 7.500 dollars to 10,000 dollars. The
income is 3,900 dollars when it is not close to a station, 5,500 dollars to
7.200 dollars otherwise. The income rises 10 dollars for each 1,00()
patrons, and rises by 50% on holidays. If there are residences, apartments
and hotels nearby, the income increases by up to 2,000 dollars
daily.Revenues decrease by 20% to 40% when arival appears. There are
fireworks shows on Saturday nights.
Expense: 2,050,000 dollars
Labor force: 200 people
The operating expense of a golf course doesn't depend much upon the
station. It takes 22,210 dollars to 24,420 dollars per day, and increases
by 50% on holidays. The income per day is 23,100 dollars on working days
and double on holidays. If there are hotels, resi- dences and apartments
nearby, the income increases. If the course is near a station, the income
is up by 10% . When there is another golf course, the income can be reduced
by 20% to 30%. The course doesn't open in winter.
Expense: 40,000 dollars
Labor force: 150 people
The small stations have red roofs. Residential areas with up to eight
apartment complexes and two hotels will be built by the simulation near the
station if development conditions are right. Of course, you can construct
as many buildings as you like in proximity to the station. The operating
expense per day is 50 dollars. The income is zero when there are less than
100 passengers, 20 dollars for 101 to 300 passengers, 40 dollars for 301 to
500 passengers, and 60 dollars for more than 500 passengers (per trainload,
station-to-station). Fares are calculated separately as part of rail
company income. Both small and large stations receive additional income
from gift shops and other tenant sales dependent on passenger numbers.
Expense: 120,00() dollars
Labor force: 150 people
Urban roads and skyscrapers can be built by the simulation only behind big
stations. The operating expense of a big station is 90 dollars per day. The
income is zero for less than 100 passengers, 70 dollars for 101 to 300
passengers, 100 dollars for 301 to 500 passengers and 120 dollars for more
than 500 passengers.
Labor force: O
Parks are built by the simulation according to the local budget. But they
cannot be built when the figure representing the local budget in Report
Four is less than 20,000. They are usually built at the final stage of city
development. When a road extends though a park, the park will be destroyed.
Road Materials: 2 Expense: O Labor force: O
The conditions for which a road is built(by the simulation)vary with the
number of apartments,hotels,leasebuildings,railroad passengers and station
size. For each block, two materials are needed for the road and six
materials for a bridge.
LAND CLEARING Expenses
AND TERRAIN INFORMATION
Blocks encircled by dashed lines represent the plain land on which
residences and public buildings can be constructed directly without
land-clearing expenses. The land is owned by somebody besides you until you
shell out the dough.
Blocks with only a single tree as well as true forestlands are called
"woods." (It's a sign of our optimism. ) To turn a wood into cleared land
takes 100 dollars.
To turn a farm I into cleared land takes 200 dollars.
To turn a ranch into cleared land takes 200 dollars.
There are some hills where ski areas can be built on slopes.
A river has little effect on the city development,but a railroad or a road
can't go through the river without a bridge being built.
Sea and Lake
Nothing except Shinkansen can be built on a sea or a lake.
Mysterious FLYING OBJECTS
You might occasionally see some the migratory birds flying in group
formation on your map: they are red-crowned cranes. They fly south October
1-2, north April 5 6. They appear at 5:00AM and take about one day to cross
How TO MAINTAIN THE COMPANY
At the beginning, it's foolish to build long, lavish railroads with the
initial company assets. For some maps you will need to secure some bank
loans to open business lines based on the original holdings. It is a good
idea to lay short, cheap railroads in your initial phases of development.
You can take out a loan anytime.Your loan limit is about 30% of the company
assets-- The greater the company and its assets, the greater the limit.
There are one-year, two- year and three-year loans; the rates rise with the
term length. The management chief will inform you in a message window when
to pay the debts two weeks in advance, but you can see dates anytime by
clicking the DEBT TOTAL button in the BANK window. If you can't pay at that
time, your company will go bankrupt. You are limited to 8 loans
Large loans should be made when the interest rates are low. The rates are
variant according to the terms. The lowest rates are 2% for one-year debts,
3% for two-year debts and 4% for three-year debts.
Frequently check the sales of your rail operation. Extended rail lines have
increased expenses, and require a longer time period to turn a profit. Make
sure that you have enough insurance capital in case expenses become greater
than your income.
The land prices rise as the city grows. Be aware that land previously
purchased is taxable. Keep in mind the dates when your taxes and other
debts are due. If the company operating funds are negative, the company
will go bankrupt and your trains will run no more.
Watch the current (and constantly changing) financial circumstances of the
city to seize every good opportunity to make a killing by getting good bank
loans or by selling off stocks. You can play the game without doing any
stock trading. but if you're careful, it can be a valuable source of
surplus funds. However, as many sad traders know, it's not an absolutely
There are 24 stock brands. You can scroll the board to view them all. The
two numbers after the company name represent its trading value and the
amount by which it has dropped or risen since the day before. After you
select a particular stock name, a graph appears to show the price
variations of the stock over the past 30 weeks.You may find that the stock
prices change considerably over two-month periods for many brands. There
are also brands whose stock price won't change much over several months.
The fluctuations don't depend on the brands, but vary with each game.
Try to discern a fluctuation pattern for stocks you're interested in and
buy when the price is at the bottom of the curve and sell when the price at
the top of the curve. (Mama didn't raise no fool.) Of course, it can be
difficult to know just when the top of the curve has occurred.
The stock price of a brand might display a trend of increasing value over a
six-month to one-year period. But a stock slump may also happen once every
year and a half or so. Be alert to trends by checking the stock board
frequently and paying attention to the advisors in the message windows. If
a slump occurs, the stock price will drop to one- half or one-third of its
past price in a day.
Do-Beeus Trading: a worldwide general trading company.
Twisstad Metal: a company that manufactures metal materials used for cars,
trains and ships.
Pickupstik Construction: a construction firm skilled at building
skyscrapers, halls and domed stadiums.
Whozit & Whatzit Export: a general trading company that imports and exports
various materials such as foods and chemicals.
Mjollnir Products: a company that makes iron and steel products for
Aahp-Yurs Building: a construction company that builds residen- ces,
Tricks o' Trade: a general trading company.
Big Iron: a big iron company.
Radon Realty: a big real estate company that owns most office buildings in
the big cities.
Anything Goes Trading: a general trading company. Taffy Steel: an iron
Brauny Construction: a construction company that builds mainly residences.
Heavy Water Chemistry:a company that produces chemical fertilizers and
Raxsoft Lighting: a general household electric appliance company that
produces lighting equipment, audio-visual equipment and computers.
Artdink Estates: a real estate company that deals with residences and
Tesla Electric: an electrical company that makes wires and electrical
equipment used in factories and buildings.
Maxis Motors: a general electrical company that makes household appliances
Slippery Stuff Chemical: a chemical company that produces lubri- cants,
detergents and wax, etc.
Sticky Disks: a company that produces various magnetic media such as
cassette tapes and floppy disks.
Spinnin' Wheels Auto: a big automobile company.
IoeCo Gas: a city gas company.
I.B.B~M.: a big communication company that has the second- largest share of
the world market.
JSmgmt: a company that is known for developing a new material with wide
JenSuz Power: an electric power company that supplies electricity to
generators for big cities.
TRACKING YOUR TRAIN COSTS
The running expenses of the railroad company are your prime expenditures.
Naturally, you can't get income without incurring some development
expenses. Your profit, obtained by subtracting the expenses from the
income, is added to the cash figure you see on your financial reports. If
you have a minus profit, your cash is reduced by that figure.
The expenses of the railroad branch are calculated by hours. A running
train costs 90 dollars per hour. When passengers get on a train, the
operations charge is lO dollars for each 10 persons. The train's income is
relative to the travel distance, fare and the number of passengers.
Use REPORT 1 to see your com- pany's profit and loss figures. If the
balance is a negative figure, your company has a deficit. The menu has a
three-part display that covers more of your screen display with each click.
This display charts the information on your available cash, debts and the
estimated amount of tax for your company.
Cash is the money used for purchasing and construction. Your company will
go bankrupt--and your game lost--if your cash be- comes a negative figure.
Debts are the total monies borrowed from banks. They must be paid on the
The amount of tax is estimated on March 31, and is due on June 1. It's
essential that you have a cash reserve to cover your tax expenses.
The status of the railroad and subsidiary sales and expenses as well as
Level One information is displayed. A figure will appear in the Taxes
column after estimation.
Today: sales, expenses and income for today are displayed.
This Month: the business report from the first day of this month to
yesterday is displayed.
This Term: the business report from April 1 to yesterday is displayed.
Level Three The railroad branch data as well as well as Level Two
information is displayed.
stations: the total number of stations on the map.
Switches: the total number of switches on the map.
Trains: the total number of trains owned by the company.
Rail Length: the total length of railroads (in blocks).
The strips in the graph show the difference between the income and the
expenditures. If the color is red, the expenditure is greater than the
income. If the color is black, the income is greater than the expenditure.
The vertical axis represents money, and the horizontal axis time--the
changes are recorded in one-month blocks.
The income and expenses of the nine subsidiary companies can be viewed in
Report 1 from 11:OOAM to 7:00PM. At 9:00PM, each station reports its daily
All of your company funds are deposited in banks paying an interest rate of
at least 0.1% . The company collects the interest once a month . Stock
dividends are paid once a year on July 1. You will get an on- screen
message: "You have received a dividend." Don't forget that you pay taxes on
June 1--you MUST have enough money set aside for this purpose or the game
The most critical factor in your commercial success is the income of the
railroad branch--it's the base of the company. The second most important is
the income from subsidiary companies. You might find it useful to always
display the first level of Report 1 on the screen during game play. Check
your cash when you want to purchase something.
The macro-economics of the game are complex. It's hard to antici- pate all
business fluctuations, because some of the business condi- tions have
random elements built in. When the business conditions deteriorate, the
number of railroad passengers decreases by 10%.
In April and December, when there is a great demand, your business is sure
to be in good shape. But if there is a stock market slump, a recession will
follow. Your income changes also have a small effect on business successes,
and so does the balance between supply and demand of the labor force.
There are two dominant expenses: temporary or fluid ones, such as the
railroad construction/ removing costs, the cost for purchasing lands and
the fee for purchasing trains; the on going expenses consist of personnel
expenditures and everyday fuel costs.
Your subsidiary companies, like factories and department stores, also incur
expenses. To see the expenses of subsidiary companies, use REPORT 2. The
subsidiary companies can make profits by expanding the city and helping to
develop new stations and railroads. When the profits of a subsidiary
company are poor, you should consider selling it.
SETTLEMENT OF ACCOUNTS
The simulation will settle your accounts for the year by calculating the
final income and expenses. The amount of taxes is also estimated. You must
take measures to ensure that your cash figure isn't lower than your tax
due. The tax and debts are paid on the following weekday if the
corresponding due date is a holiday.
Your term profits will be taxed at 50% and your assets at 5%. Thus the
principal way to save on your tax bill is to spend your profits to purchase
assets--subsidiary companies, lands, stocks, railroad facilities,
etc.-before the March 31 tax estimate. (You can see the figure in the Taxes
column in Report 1 and Report 2.)
You can turn any profit into newly purchased subsidiary companies before
the settlement of accounts, and sell them in the new year. since a
subsidiary company can gain a profit by itself, in many cases it won't be a
"loss" to purchase it. Besides, the appraised value of the subsidiary
company may grow. But the money you get from selling the subsidiary
companies will add to the profit of the new year, so the cycle of buying
and selling might have to be repeated every year. It is sound--and
necessary--policy to consider the development and/ or sale of subsidiary
companies as an integral facet of your overall financial flowering. You are
restricted to a total of 15 subsidiary sales for a single year.
Within a limit of 18 for each category and 60 total, you can choose the
following buildings and facilities for your company develop- ment:
factories, commercial properties, hotels, golf courses, amusement parks,
stadiums, ski resorts, apartments, and lease buildings.
Your railroad company logo, in the form of a small box, will appear on top
of the building or facility after purchase. (The logo will be removed after
it has been sold.) Some buildings and facilities can't be bought or sold
depending on how much speculating you have done and the development state
of the game.
Purchasing land is also a reasonable method of investing profit, hut it
saves you less than buying a subsidiary company. because the price of one
block of land is far cheaper. Purchasing stocks is probably the easiest way
to divert the profit tax. But keep in mind that there may be a stock market
slump. It's also possible to save taxes by laying railroads or purchasing
trains. If you don't have enough time (or money) to make a plan for laying
railroads, it is better simply to purchase trains and hold them for the
READING THE BALANCE SHEET AND CALCULATING YOUR TAXES
Use the Balance Sheet (Report 2) to learn about the current financial
management of the company,your assets, and as a basis for planning. You can
find itemized information on assets, their appraised values and the
There are three main parts: assets, revenue and expenditures. As mentioned,
there are two types of tax: asset tax and profit tax. For assets, such as
subsidiary companies, stocks and lands, the tax is 5% of their appraised
value. The tax does not vary with the overall business balance of the
The profit tax is 50% of the company profits, which are obtained by
subtracting the expenses from the whole incomes. The minimum amount is lOO
dollars, even when the company is operating at a deficit.
The tax amount is calculated on March 31 , and paid on June 1 . Keep in
mind the company will go bankrupt and the game will end if there is not
enough money to pay your taxes on June 1. Railroad Assets
The railroad track in one block is worth about 1,500 dollars, the switch
1,550 dollars. A small station is worth 48,000 dollars, and a large station
196,000 dollars. This is in addition to the valuation of purchased trains.
The appraised value is the total amount of market values of all subsidiary
companies. Each appraised value varies with the income of each separate
The appraised value is the total market amount of the stocks you have at
The appraised value is the total amount of the current market prices of
your land holdings.
The total amount of the sales of the railroad branch from April 1 to the
The total amount of sales of all subsidiary companies from April 1 to
present. You can find the sales of each subsidiary company in Report 3.
The total amount obtained from selling subsidiary companies.
The total amount obtained by selling stocks.
Selling Real Estate
The total amount obtained by selling lands.
The dividends of all the stocks on July 1.
The total interest of this term (from April 1 to present).
The sum of operating expenses of trains and stations.
The total operating expenses of all subsidiary companies.
Acquisition of Subsidiaries
The total price of purchased subsidiary companies.
The total price of purchased stocks.
The total price of purchased land.
The fee totals of this term. When buying stocks, there is a charge of 10
dollars for each stock and a basic fee of 50 dollars. To sell a subsidiary
company, the basic fee is 500 dollars, in addition to a commission taking
2% of the appraised value of the company.
The interest totals paid on all debts.
The difference between the total income and the expenses.
This tax takes 50% of the profits. When there is no profit, it takes 100
The total cash at present.
The sum of the profit tax and the asset tax. It is estimated on March 31
and due on June 1.
Railroad operation figures are calculated hourly. The consolidated figures
of your subsidiaries for the hours between 11:00 and 7:00 are calculated
daily, along with the station sales at 9:00PM. Interest income on your cash
balance is the sum of your lowest balance multiplied by 0.1% once monthly.
Stock dividends are distributed on July 1.
Hold down and and type [CHEATER-CHEATERWIMP].
It'll supposedly give you $1 mil and some supplies, but I
couldn't get it to work on my copy... must be version specific...;-)
Press and hold and , then type [BELLYBUTTON].
This wil change the ending...