Developer blog #5: Cargo system

While development is running at full speed to prepare everything for the upcoming >beta test<, we are very happy to today release another developer video blog.

Based on the criticism we received for the cargo system in Train Fever, we tried to eliminate the weaknesses and fulfil the major wishes. We are convinced that our new approach significantly improves game-play, and that it brings the cargo system to a new level.

Here is a short summary of the cargo system:

  • About 20 cargo types (six end products are required by towns)
  • About 15 animated and growing industries
  • A wide range of complex cargo chains
  • Stock and cargo type conversion simulation
  • Realistic cargo flow (cargo items never get lost)

As always, we look forward to receive feedback, questions and suggestions!

Posted in News.

Tom (Community Manager)

Community and Project Manager at Urban Games


  1. Thats a great blog video. Looking forward to the game even more now!

    Although i have one small graphical suggestion, Buffer stops!. it kinda looked odd that the track just ends with nothing at the end of the track.

  2. Will trucks pick up cargo from inside the industry? That would look and feel more real and do away with those small depots. A loading bay that you can connect a track or a truck route to would look great.

  3. Realistic cargo flow (cargo items never get lost)

    Disapearing cargo was second annoyng thing in Train Fever.
    First annoying is factory immediate stop production when you try improve a train or rebuild a single crossroads.
    If you solve this pain, would please describe how the industry works when supply chain is under upgrade ( line connection dropout) ?

  4. Anyway 15 cargo types and huge factories are great. I hope that mines are even bigger. An average coal mine is actually a size of a village.
    I have noticed one issue – when factory is using and is incoming a material at the same moment, the first container blinks. That is awful.

  5. Very cool! I love the more complex industry chains!

    This also gave me an idea. What if goods produced from one factory can improve the production of another? For example, the tools and machines can also be delivered to other refineries and mines to increase their production speed.

    Either way, great job! Keep up the great work!

  6. Have you fixed the bunching issue that vehicles had in Train Fever? By which I mean when you’d release a bunch of vehicles into a line at once they’d be bunched up and there’d be a long time during which there wasn’t any vehicle picking up cargo at a station. This wasn’t as much of an issue for trains because they generally spend less time travelling between stops so it takes less time to space them out, but when you’re setting horse wagons on a several kilometer long stretch, it can take quite a bit of in-game time to get them sorted. During which they might also get in the way of other lines.

  7. I know this is a big ask, but I would love to see an advanced cargo system which incorporates pick-up and drop-off in a more complicated and realistic way. Something like:
    – Cargo is picked up directly from the industry, either by truck (no special infrastructure required) or by rail (player can build a rail connection in a similar style to those present in “Railroads!” – e.g. Direct rail connections to industry would be small, meaning that only small trains could directly serve the industry
    – Pick-up truck / train delivers to a marshalling yard, where a large train (possibly incorporating multiple good types) is assembled
    – Large train travels relatively long distance to another marshalling yard
    – Cargo delivered from the marshalling yard to individual industries by delivery trucks or more small trains

    I notice that by end-game I basically just use one or two loco types (the most powerful/fastest) … a cargo system like this would make small locomotives more relevant (for shunting), and would also be pretty cool to watch

    – Although it makes sense for resource extraction industries to be in the middle of nowhere, I think that “conversion” industries like steel mills and refineries belong in cities
    – Will mail be present as an “industry” of sorts?

    • That’s very interesting.
      « a cargo system like this would make small locomotives more relevant (for shunting), and would also be pretty cool to watch»
      Good point.

      Anyway I’ll buy your game right away guys! it’s great fun watching it growing. Thanks for the devblogs and best wishes from berlin.

    • That sounds good.
      I also like the idea, having loading/unloading platforms or stations directly integrated in the industries, like in SM Railroads. It will look much more realistic.
      I already try to use a marshalling cargo station in TF.
      Anyway game looks very nice.

  8. It would be cool if industries weren’t prebuild areas in which we can’t build our transportation empire but a group of buildings which can grow similarly like the cities do. Therefore we could build rails and depots between the buildings and achieve more realistic look and fidelity with cities. We could merge cities with factories and different factories together to create industry district. The possibilities are endless. And goods could be moved due to a proximity by belts and cranes. See Sid Meir’s Railroads. You simply put a crane over a track and that’s your cargo station.

  9. Great to see the changes made so far. I hope the trains will eventually have another “reverse” mode instead of the teleporting to the other side of the consists. The machinery and plastics factory industries are great. Really looking forward to get going with TF.

    • too much coding and can make the game less practical. not that I would like to see a turntable yard build into certain stations or simply a waypoint feature but yeah it is not practical in this kind of game.

  10. Would not it be useful if the production would be increased when also people (= workers) approach an industry?
    Also the industry can be a destination for workers (= passenger).
    I miss such feature bevore in Train Fever and it seems its still the same in Transport Fever

  11. This game looks great so far, but i just have a small thing to ask about the USA streetcars. In the Europe vehicles, there are trams that have trailers, but you seem to either have forgotten or not known in the first place that in Toronto, where your Witts, second generation PCCs, and CLRVs are based off:

    The Witts often pulled trailers
    The PCCs were fitted with couplers and sometimes worked in mltiple
    The CLRVs were fitted with couplers, although they never used them and later had them removed.

    I know this isn’t very likely to be added, but it would be helpful, as in my US DLC savegame in train fever, i have quite a few cities that could use that kind of thing.

  12. With increasing production volumes, will it grow plants? And also, when reducing the large plant to disappear or to collapse of buildings which are now not in demand?

  13. I’ll be one of the few on here to say that I’m actually pleased and surprised to see the variety of cargo types. I was starting to wonder if you all would add more to the cargo industry as that can be another major source of income for any tycoon. This game is starting to remind me of Railroad Tycoon 3 now, only with many more transportation options, however RRT3 did have other differences that made it special but I’m not going into any details. I am very excited to see what is in store for us, and I am overly thankful for the hard work you all have put into this game. All I have to say is, don’t spoil too much, and keep up the hard work!

  14. Plz also mention about
    -Is there an x minute rule for the cargo?
    -Can the cargo flow freely to any relevant industry or is it syncronizes to only one industry loke Train Fever

  15. That looks promising. As another user mentioned there were a few main annoiances in Train Fever related to cargo. For me they were:
    1. Industries dropping production (to zero!) and all cargo lost when modifying a line or moving a station, even when pausing games.
    2. Strict 20 minutes limit (which I like for passengers) is somewhat limiting for cargo (though I typically have no problems build lines that go coast to coast in a medium map, but they need more shorter trains than really needed to respect the rule) and distance-based pricing leads to innatural economic behaviour (I typically prefer to source from afar rather than close*)
    3. Problems with supplying industries or towns from multiple sources
    4. Time passing too fast, with trains needing even multiple years for the trip

    * This is also a byproduct of the monopoly we enjoy :). I really hope there would be some form of competition: the cargo walking by themselves is a start, but not really enough to force us to provide a good service :). Offcourse, in case you wonder, I am an economist :).

  16. One thing that I feel could be implemented is some kind of notification when there is a problem on a line. I have encountered problems where traffic log jams have stopped my trolleys or trucks and I wasn’t aware of it so the production went to zero. Also trains sometimes get blocked for some reason and I was not aware of the problem and production on the line ceased. Would it be possible for some kind of notice when these problems arise?

    • Yeah, this would be really useful. I also got sometimes this problem with trains reversing for no reason even one-way tracks when modifying track layouts and even with game paused (I forgot to mention this as one of the most annoying things in my previous post) and blocking with another or trucks getting stuck with full charge option. So it would be definitely welcome.

  17. I still have questions: would it be feasable to use complex routes for cargo ? Like truck -> train -> ship -> truck -> train -> truck ?
    As far as I can tell if the industry economy model is stock-based rather than time-based, this shouldn’t be an issue.

    Either way, good job so far guys, I likewhat I’m seeing !!!

  18. “Realistic cargo flow (cargo items never get lost)” – That doesn’t sound realistic, my stuff always gets lost!

    Anyways, onto the point, Will passengers also be a cargo type that needs delivering to businesses?
    So a mine in the middle of nowhere, when small can rely on workers driving themselves, but as it gets bigger it will then need more workers which will be more efficient to be delivered in bulk instead of private vehicles.

  19. Hallo zusammen,

    was mich mal interessieren würde: Bekommen die Güter diesmal Gewicht? Wenn ichs richtig in Erinnerung habe ist es bei Trainfever so gewesen, das ein leerer und ein voller Güterwagen gleich viel Gewicht hatten. Ansonsten siehts echt genial aus und ich freu mich schon tierisch drauf!


  20. Hallo,

    genau das ist, was ich auch beim Transport-Giganten geliebt habe und mir bei Train-Fever gefehlt hat. Ich werde auf jeden Fall kaufen und werde mit Sicherheit viel Spass haben.

    Mich würde mal interessieren, ob man auch verschiedene Warengruppen modden kann, wie z. B. aus Öl wird Plastik, aus Plastik wird Spielzeug? So könnte man eine Reihe von Produkten herstellen, wie z. B. Computer, Telefone, Regenmäntel, etc. und sie dann hintereinander und zwar jahresabhängig ins Spiel bringen.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen


  21. Ok, so what’s “complex” about these supply chains? The companies still don’t make contracts around and you can take cargo and fetch it to ANY company that accepts this type of good, can’t you? This is not complex by any measure, sorry guys. Maybe on your third try you’ll realize how transport works and make a decent game, I really hope you finally will. Sorry guys.

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