Each era has its own selection of engines on offer. The goods that become available in each era can only be transported by the engines that belong in the same era or higher - except that each era has a final item of technology that can be researched, a coupling, that allows all trains of the era to carry the goods of the next era.
You can see the specs of each engine type by following the media link on the rail-nation home page, or on this wiki.
In Rail Nation, there are three types of engines: steam, diesel and electric.
- Eras 1 and 2 have Steam engines.
- Eras 3 and 4 have Diesel engines.
- Eras 5 and 6 have Electric engines.
The only time this makes a difference, is when you have a worker that gives a boost to a certain type of engine, e.g. Rudolf Diesel increases the speed of diesel engines by 30 km/h.
The number of engines you can own is determined by the level of your Engine House. As you advance through the game, you'll upgrade your engine house to operate more engines, and you'll replace your engines with better models. The maximum number of engines you can have is increased with the each era.
The sales price when discarding an engine is always 44% of the purchase price, independent of any upgrades made to the engine or by the current condition when selling.
Each engine has a number of available upgrades. An upgrade can only be bought once it has been researched. Some upgrades are also requirements for researching the more advanced engines of an era. These are shown with full lines on the Research screen. The upgrades shown with dashed lines are optional, and not required for researching the next engine.
Keywords: DA: Reparation, DE: Wartung, ES: Revisar, FI: Huoltu, NL: Onderhoud, NO: Reparasjoner, PL: Serwisowanie, PT: Manutenção, SV: Reparation
The condition of an engine affects its max speed. If the condition is low, the max speed drops to the product of its condition and its rated max speed. The condition is restored by servicing the engine. The reliability of an engine determines how quickly its condition deteriorates.
The cost to perform servicing on an engine is based on its "bare-bones" purchase price; in other words, the price before buying any upgrades. Thus an era 2 Lynx is pretty cheap to service, since its initial cost is low (most of its cost is in the upgrades), while the era 3 Morpheus will cost many times more to service. The cost to service an engine is also based on current condition; but it is a sublinear function of its wear --- i.e. servicing an engine at 80% condition will cost much less than twice as much as it would cost at 90%. The ideal condition to service an engine depends on a few factors: an engine that is "acceleration-bound" where it spends much of its time below its top speed; or an engine operating on a schedule with long wait times will have a lower ideal condition than engines that rapidly can accelerate to maximum speed and that have very short wait times relative to total schedule time.
Each era, and the endgame, has a bonus engine. The bonus engines have quite good specs, and don't count towards the maximum number of engines you can own. You can only own one of each bonus engine. The bonus engine can't be bought like a regular engine. The only way to get it, is to win it in the lottery,in a competition or if you purchase the retail-box. In the lottery you can win the bonus engine of the current era, whereas competitions will only let you win the bonus engine of the previous era.
Evaluating Engine PerformanceEdit
Reliability is a measure of decrement of engine speed in time. If the reliability of an engine is 60%, it implies that the speed of that engine will drop to 60% of its rated speed in 24 hours. The drop in speed is linear in time. In other words, engines with higher reliability will need less servicing.
Acceleration is increment of speed when the train departs from a station. It is given without a standard physical unit, and it varies between 1 and 20 in the game. The acceleration is independent of the mass of goods hauled.
WSP is short of "Waggon-Speed Product". If an engine can haul 6 waggons, and its maximum speed is 120km/h, then its WSP value is 6x120=720. WSP is a measure of amount of goods carried in long time, assuming that the delay of initial acceleration is neglected. An engine with higher WSP will carry more resources between distant locations. The WSP should be adjusted for the number of slots an engine takes up in the engine house, before it is used to compare engines.
Choosing the right engine should be done by referring to these criteria. Some engines have very high service costs, so reliability is important for them. If goods are transported between two neighbour stations or goods-integration is used frequently, an engine with high acceleration should be preferred. If goods are transported between two distant points, speed is more important than acceleration. Where waiting time becomes significant in comparison to travel time - ie for short distances between stops or high waiting times, an engine with high tractive force and low speed outperforms an engine that achieves a similar WSP with a higher speed and lower tractive force. In practice, and particularly in the later eras of the game, you'll often be transporting goods over long distances, so the WSP will often be a good indicator of how useful an engine is.
Tonnes per Hour Edit
I recently made a formula which allows you to calculate the amount of tonnes a train can deliver in an hour. This is quite the deal as WSP isn't 100% accurate in all cases. This formula is a 99.9% accurate in all situation. It works with all trains. And wait time, distance, speed, acceleration and tractive force are all taken into account.
This currently only works for direct hauls and supply hauls. Not for integrated hauls. Edit
This can be used to figure out what train is the best to use in every situation. Usually high speed and acceleration goes together with a low tractive force. And low speed and acceleration with high tractive force. They might both have around the same WSP, but one train benefits more at a high distance, and the other from a high wait time. So how high does a wait time need to be before the other train type will be more effective. Go find out now.
If you want to make use of this, click the following link. I made a document with the formula and further explanation:
(access denied to document; please fix)
On a sidenote. Reliability is not taken into account with this. So if the difference is not that big you might still want to take the slightly worse train if that results into much lower repair costs. Also don't keep changing your trains if the scale just tips over to the other side. This will cost a lot of money and is definitely not worth it. Only swap if there will be a considerable advantage with it, or if you just don't give a f*ck about your money.
I hope you guys find this useful.
Special thanks to Opalia for cracking the acceleration mystery.
Copyrights @ Jerryt Boersen A.K.A. Crimeguy
I am not gonna make a list for this this is way to much work. in order for it to be effective you'll need a table for every train with a minimum of 8 tracks and around 5 different wait times which give 40 answers per train. And that times the amount of trains. If you have some spare time, feel free to add one.