Important! Following hints are based on these scenario settings:
Time limit - 1850-1950; Number of AI Players - 2. Randomize landscape and Randomize locations features have been deactivated.
The game won't force you to do anything. As a result, you will be able to customize the gameplay. For example, you have an opportunity to play each scenario without having to worry about the competition.
Here's the list of main mission objectives. You will have to fulfill them in order to succeed:
LEVEL 1 - From Sea to Shining Sea
You will have to complete all of these tasks by: 1899.
Level one objectives:
1) Build a shipping lane from Flagstaff to Phoenix and Las Vegas.
I'm sure that you won't have any problems understanding what has to be done here. Creating a complete shipping lane, on the other hand, is going to be much more difficult. You will have to connect three different cities in order to start shipping goods. I'd strongly recommend that you start off with the Phoenix-Flagstaff connection, mostly because it'll be much easier to fulfill this goal. If you were starting your game in Eloy (4 on the map), then it's going to be quite simple. Otherwise you would have to place a lot of expensive tracks in order to reach Phoenix. The next important thing is your money supply. Creating all of these connections is going to be very expensive, mostly because these cities aren't close to each other. You will also have to build a lot of tunnels and bridges and that makes the investment even harder. I would recommend that you start creating smaller portions of these connections. Make sure that you're making a lot of adjustments. This will allow you to choose the quickest and the cheapest connection. Once you've connected Phoenix with Flagstaff, you will have to earn a lot of money in order to be able to proceed to Las Vegas. As you've probably noticed, this city has been placed at the other end of the map, so you won't be able to get to it right away. You will have an opportunity to choose between several different strategies. Choosing the mountains would be much more difficult, mostly because you would have to spend your money on bridges and tunnels. You could also choose lower parts of the map, however the connection itself would have to be longer. If you decide to ignore the mountains, you would have to connect Phoenix with Las Vegas. Remember that you won't have to create a connection between Las Vegas and Flagstaff! Additionally, you would be able to connect all of the surrounding cities. Thanks to that, you would have a lot of money at your disposal. There are also several industrial facilities in this area. The choice is yours, however you must remember about the time limit. You will have to finish constructing these connections by the end of 1898. I'd also like to add that you could ignore the western part of the map for the time being.
2) Get in on the gold rush! Ship 5 carloads of gold to get yourself started with some spendin'g money.
This is the first mission objective that will require to do a little searching. First of all, you will have to find resources on the game map. They will have to be delivered to certain cities. Thanks to that, you will have an opportunity to manufacture different types of goods. Alternatively, resources may be sold right away, without having to create any production chains. The first thing for you to do here is to find a gold mine. It would be best to use the resources window, so you won't have to lose too much time looking for it. Additionally, make sure that a chosen gold mine (there's going to be several of them) is located near a larger city. I had a very successful start, mostly because one of the gold mines was located near Phoenix. As a result, I was able to create my first production chain without any major problems (or having to spend a lot of money). Otherwise you would have to lay down some new tracks. The next important thing is to find a factory that will be able to manufacture gold from the delivered carloads of ore. Phoenix should have such a factory. You could also try and buy a factory, however I wouldn't recommend doing that, mostly because you would have to spend a lot of your money. Make sure that you have read the second chapter of my game guide. Thanks to that, you'll find out more about these types of actions. Once the production has started, you'll probably notice that the gold is being stockpiled in Phoenix. You will have to sell it. Use the resources window once again. Find out which cities are demanding the gold to be delivered to them. Sadly, it's probably going to be quite difficult. I was able to deliver gold to two different cities. Furthermore, they weren't even in this area. As a result, you'll probably have to spend some extra money, laying down new tracks. Thankfully, you'll be able to earn a lot of money here, so these connections should become very profitable. You will have to deliver 5 carloads of gold. It's not much, but make sure that you do this before the time runs out.
Start off by creating a connection between Phoenix and Flagstaff. You will be able to earn a lot money here, especially if you decide to transport civilians and mail. Don't worry about reaching Las Vegas just yet. You'll deal with this problem later during this mission.
LEVEL 2 - The Desert Blossoms
You will have to complete all of these tasks by: 1930.
Level two objectives:
1) Build safe passage through the desert by connecting L.A. and Las Vegas.
I'd strongly recommend ignoring this objective in the early part of the game, however you also shouldn't try completing the task at the last minute. Before you decide to proceed with the main objective, it would be wise to create connections to all major cities of this area. Most of them will be located south of Las Vegas. The purpose of all these actions is quite obvious. Creating some of these connections will allow you to spend less money trying to get to Los Angeles, mostly because a large portion of the tracks will be ready. Try focusing on the cities that are located in the central area of the map, especially near Yuma. I'm sure that you have taken care of these problems on your own. I would only like to remind you about the importance of this problem. As for the new part of the connection, try building it without having to buy a larger number of tunnels, bridges or other expensive constructions. I assume that you're playing with a number of computer players. This will probably make this task a little bit harder. As you've probably suspected, other railway companies will be operating in this area. As a result, you will have to spend more money to build a proper connection. Thankfully, creating this connection will allow you to focus on carrying new types of goods. You should be making a large profit here. Los Angeles is one of the biggest cities of this entire area, so there's definitely going to be something that you will be able to transport. You won't have to do anything else here. Creating a connection will allow you to fulfill this mission objective.
2) Expand your company to unheard of heights by attaining a net worth of $5 million.
In order to increase the value of your company, you will have to invest in a most profitable connection and industry buildings. You shouldn't have any major problems completing this mission objective. You will be able to attain $5 million very soon. The most important thing here is to keep creating new connections. Focus on the largest cities of the area. The only exception are those connections that are required to complete other scenario objectives. Thankfully, there's not going to be too many of them. You could also try and win some of the industry buildings, especially factories. This isn't necessary, however you may consider taking part in a few auctions. I've described how all of this works in the second chapter of the game guide. You should also observe what's happening on the market, because demands will be changing quite often. Either way, there's nothing that you should be worried about. Focus most of your attention on finishing other goals.
You will have to create a connection between Los Angeles and Las Vegas at some point of the game. It would be wise to use previously constructed tracks, so you won't have to spend a lot of money on this investment.
LEVEL 3 - Overcoming Depression
You will have to complete all of these tasks by: 1950.
Level three objectives:
1) Casinos are thirsty for more power! Tap into the energy business by building or purchasing a power plant in Vegas.
Once again, you should have any problems understanding what has to be done here. Completing this objective isn't going to be that simple. You won't have to create any additional routes. The main problem is that a new power plant costs 500000 dollars and you want be able to win an existing one. You will have to construct this object on your own. This is a very large sum of money. As a result, you should leave this scenario objective for later. Remember that you won't have to take care of the power planet to achieve other mission objective. You may as well build it just before the time limit runs out. Of course, if you have managed to earn a lot of money earlier in the game, you may consider building the power plant right away. You should know that having it will provide an additional income. Power plant is less profitable than other industry buildings, however you won't lose any additional funds here (due to maintenance costs). Either way, make sure that once you've built a power plant, you still have a lot of funds at your disposal. You're going to need them to expand.
2) Strengthen your company's assets by attaining a net worth of $10 million.
You have solved a similar task before, so you shouldn't have any problems with this one. Instead of gathering 5 million, this time you will have to attain a net worth of 10 million dollars. There aren't any major changes here. You will have to spend your money on profitable connections. Additionally, make sure that you improve the existing ones. You should also consider taking part in several auctions. Thanks to that, you should be able to buy interesting (and profitable) factories. Make sure that you avoid risky investments. You mustn't stop expanding your railroad empire. Keep spending your money on new things and you should be just fine. There's nothing else to add here.
3) Put yourself in sole control of your destiny by eliminating all of the remaining competition.
This is by far the most difficult (and tricky) objective of this scenario. You'll probably have some serious problems completing this task. I'd strongly recommend that you start taking care of this problem much earlier (during the second level of the mission). The main objective here is to be able to buy stocks of other companies for a lower price. Taking a full control of the competition will require you to spend a lot of money on these stocks. You mustn't forget about the given time limit.
It would be wise to buy a power plant much earlier. Doing this would allow you to earn some additional profits. It's not going to be much, but I'm sure that you'll notice a difference.
This picture shows the most important cities of the region:
1 - San Diego; 2 - Los Angeles; 3 - Phoenix; 4 - Eloy; 5 - Las Vegas; 6 - Yuma; 7 - Flagstaff
Red lines show three cities that need to be connected in the first place (not necessarily in a straight line). Green line show two cities that need to be connected later during this mission. You won't have to worry about them right away.
Additional hints for the entire scenario:
Important! This is the first scenario of the game, so I've explained a lot more. Most of the details are going to be skipped in the next sections of this guide. I'm sure that you won't forget these things, especially since they are fairly obvious. Instead, I'll try and concentrate mostly on telling you how to complete given tasks.
Before you even decide to begin a new game, you will have to choose a starting point. Each time you load a scenario you will be granted with a different opportunity, however there only a few cities to choose from. I'd strongly recommend that you choose Eloy for your start city. Using this location will allow you to fulfill one of the main objectives of the first level much faster. You will be able to create a connection with Phoenix and Flagstaff. Additionally, there are a lot of industrial buildings and mines in the area. You will be able to create new tracks here in order to provide yourself with extra profits. Most of these resources can be sold in Phoenix.
You could also consider choosing San Diego for your starting point. You would be able to make a lot of money here, mostly because of the second large city of this region of the map - Los Angeles. Creating such a connection would allow you to begin transporting civilians and mail. Sadly, you would have some serious problems reaching nearby factories. The same goes with Phoenix and Flagstaff. Additionally, you would have to avoid getting too close to the area that's being occupied by the competition. As a result, it's best to stick with Eloy. Plan your first movements from there.
The small city of Eloy seems like the best place to start the game.
Your first tracks should connect Eloy with Phoenix. You can find this city to the north. Start off by transporting civilians and mail. Additionally, you should consider selling some of your stocks. This will allow you to receive extra cash. You're going to need a lot of money to plan your next investments. Notice that there are a lot of industrial buildings in the area. The game will randomize their locations, however you can be certain that you'll find refineries, farms or mines here. You've probably noticed that most of these resource points can delivered goods that are demanded either in Eloy or Phoenix. It's very important that you start shipping these goods as soon as possible. It would be wise to buy a few other locomotives. Thanks to that, you'll be able to deliver these resources faster than usual. Try building up the entire area around Eloy and Phoenix. Ignore only these factories which produce unwanted (at this moment) goods.
You should also take a closer look at the created tracks. This is done automatically, however the game often creates unprofitable connections. You can't allow this to happen. As a result, try building smaller portions. You should also move your mouse a lot in order to find cheaper possibilities. Make sure that you're building tracks while the game is paused, so you won't lose precious time here.
Bridges, tunnels and other wooden constructions look nice, but you should avoid building them. You can't afford these kinds of investments at the moment.
You could also consider taking part in several auctions. Winning one of the currently used factories seems like a good idea. These objects should be located in Phoenix. It's also very important that you do this right away, because it'll be harder to acquire these factories later during the game, especially if they're manufacturing luxury goods (wine, steel...). You should be on a look out for other ways to earn some cash. Notice that mayors of some of the cities will grant you with such an opportunity. The objective of these kinds of assignments is always the same - you will have to be the first railroad to provide a city with a certain merchandise. If you manage to do that, you will be rewarded with 100000 dollars. It's a lot of money, so it's definitely worth a try. Nevertheless, don't forget about your main mission objectives. Your first important goal will be to create a connection between Flagstaff (it's to the north) and Phoenix. Once you've done that, you should move to the western side of the map. There's at least one big city here - Yuma. Furthermore, this city will start to grow sooner than the rest of the cities of this region. There should also be a few interesting factories here.
The game will unlock new locomotives from time to time. It would be wise to take a closer look at them. Notice that each locomotive specializes in hauling certain types of objects - civilians & mail or manufactured goods. I wouldn't recommend exchanging older locomotives for the new ones. You don't have enough money to do this. You should get back to this feature later during the game. As for now, concentrate mostly on creating new connections.
The game will unlock new types of locomotives. Don't forget to take a closer look at each model.
You should concentrate most of your efforts on laying down new tracks. There are a lot of cities, factories, farms and mines in the area. I'm sure that you won't have any problems choosing most interesting objects. A lot of industrial buildings should be located to the north of Yuma. Going there will also get you closer to Las Vegas. I'm sure that you still remember that reaching this city is considered to be one of your primary objectives. You shouldn't delay this action too much, especially since Las Vegas will be demanding a lot of expensive goods. Also, you mustn't forget about delivering five carloads of gold. Sadly, I won't be able to get into details, because it's always random. If you're lucky, you won't have to create any additional tracks to sell your gold, however you will be receiving huge profits from this operation, so you don't have to worry about spending too much cash.
You could also take a closer look at some of the factories and farms that will be located in the vicinity of Flagstaff. Most of them will allow you to create or expand production chains. You will also receive additional profits, without having to lay down a large number of tracks. The next important thing involves patents. You should try and acquire a few interesting inventions. Sadly, not all of them will be useful. Concentrate on those inventions that will allow you to decrease maintenance costs or provide additional profits. Make sure that you have connected Las Vegas before official time limit runs out. It won't be a cheap operation, however doing this will allow you to further expand your railroad into this territory.
Remember to connect Las Vegas to Phoenix or Flagstaff. You will have to do this before the end of year 1898.
Your next main objective will be to reach Los Angeles... that is, if you have managed to solve all problems from the first level of this scenario. Before you decide to proceed any further, make sure that the most interesting (and valuable) cities and industrial facilities are already connected. Use the fact that you will be able to lay down parallel tracks. This will help you to avoid dealing with traffic jams, however make sure that you don't spend too much money of unnecessary connections. You should have a lot of money in reserve. Also, you should be observing to what the newspapers have to say. This is the only way for you to find about what's changed on the market. The competition will probably play passively, however you should monitor these movements. Additionally, start buying out stocks. You will need them to fulfill a goal from the third level of this scenario.
Once you've connected Los Angeles to the rest of your grid, you will be able to earn some extra cash. You can transport passengers and mail however you will have to create parallel tracks almost everywhere. Expand the most profitable regions of your territory. You could also consider patricipating in auctions. This will allow you to buy out inventions and more interesting factories. You should also remember about your train depots. Upgrade them to stations or terminals. Doing this will allow you to receive extra profits. This is very important, especially if we're talking about biggest cities.
Once again, I would like to remind you about the importance of reading newspapers. Invest your money into most profitable goods. This will allow you to earn a lot of money, without having to construct anything new. Remember that it's best to expand existing railroads, rather than building new ones. You should be making a lot of money from carrying all sorts of goods. There are a lot of mines in the area. Make sure that you have connected most of them. Furthermore, you should also build factories. Bear in mind that connected cities will expand. This means that new types of demands will appear. Try and fulfill most of them, even if you don't have to transport goods to complete certain types of objectives.
Once you've constructed a large grid, you should start thinking about buying new locomotives and getting rid of the old ones. It's quite important, because older models will have higher maintenance costs. This means that you will have smaller profits. Use one of the game menus to find out which locomotives need to be replaced. Also, make sure that you're not using them for more than 40-50 years.
One of the game options will allow you establish which locomotives have high maintenance costs. They need to be replaced as soon as possible.
You can consider expanding your empire or taking care of the existing connections. Make sure that you're participating in new types of actions. If you're lucky, you will be able to increase the value of your company or acquire some new inventions. Observe market fluctuations, so you don't end up having unprofitable connections.
It's very important that you observe demands of your most important cities. Monitoring enemy movements is also very important. Keep buying stocks of other companies. Remember that you will have to acquire all of them in order to finish up with the goals from the third level of this scenario. Observe profit and losses charts. This will help you to establish what should be modified and in what way. Buying new factories also seems like a good idea. Remember to keep your trains in a good shape. If you don't make too many mistakes, you should be able to finish this scenario without any problems.