Rails Across America [cheats&hints]
Managing Your Tracks:
-from lord x
The best way to manage your tracks is to check your
Track List screen every once in a while. Track List
shows you all the different tracks that you own, both
finished and under construction. Open up the screen
and click on the Utilization header at the top. This
will sort the tracks by how bad their traffic problems
are. Open the Track Details screen for the first track
by clicking on the arrow to the right of it. Fix this
track by adding/removing/upgrading the engines assigned
to it, then move to the next track either by clicking on
the right arrow next to the track name, or moving the
mouse wheel while the pointer is over the name. One easy
shortcut: Wherever you see the Utilization lights (the
zigzag lights), you can add or remove engines just by
clicking on the specific light that you want your
Utilization to be.
You can upgrade an engine by clicking the large arrow on
its card. This will open the upgrade box. If you want to
upgrade all your engines of that class, click on the upgrade button on the engine card in the train pool (the area on the right that shows all the cards). If you only want to upgrade the engines on a single track, click on the upgrade button on the engine card in the Track Slot area.
Many tracks will not have any passenger traffic. If you
have a single engine assigned to carrying passengers, and
the light is red on the right, then there may not be enough
traffic to justify the engine. By not running an engine, you may save money in maintenance costs.
If you're running out of money, you may want to focus on just a few tracks. It's much better to have some high volume tracks running efficiently, and only paying maintenance for those tracks, than to run everything badly. If you take all the trains off of a track, you pay much less maintenance on that track.
Loans are key to the game in the early phase, because you'll want to expand quickly. Loans have two elements to them: the interest rate, and how long they go. Every year, you'll pay some interest on the loan, and at the end of their duration, you pay back the principal. Make sure you have enough money to pay back the loan when it comes due! If you have to take out another loan to pay it off, it's usually better to do so than to go into bankruptcy. If a loan comes due, your finance department will try to take out an emergency loan to cover the amount, although it won't be at a good interest rate.
If you do go into bankruptcy, don't be so quick to come out
of it. After all, you\'ve already taken the prestige hit, so why not take advantage of it? Bankruptcy reduces all your maintenance costs, and removes all of the debts. You can stay in bankruptcy until you either leave it voluntarily by hitting the button, or you've had twelve straight profitable months, or you've gone three years. You can\'t lay track or buy shortlines until you leave bankruptcy, so there are reasons why you may want to get out of it.
You don't win the game by having the most cash, but by having the most prestige, so don't focus just on building up your worth. Use that cash to build more aggressively, and smarter, than your opponents! You may have to flirt with bankruptcy, but that's what it takes to win!