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I'm playing Railroad Tycoon 2 and my trains keep breaking down. I understand why and just haven't gotten into the groove of the game to prevent them, but what do I do once a train does break down?

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sorry. missread. – TrickyM66 Apr 8 '11 at 3:05
That's why I didn't downvote. I couldn't tell if you'd misread or were just joking. – indyK1ng Apr 9 '11 at 2:34
While both answers answer the question, the one I accepted provides added information. – indyK1ng Apr 9 '11 at 2:35
up vote 11 down vote accepted

You can't do anything to fix a broken-down engine. It'll eventually start running again on its own. You can't upgrade it while it's broken.

What you can do:

  • Keep your engines well-oiled (with roundhouses). The lower oil gets, the higher the chance of breakdown. If you run out of oil completely, chance of a breakdown is triple the normal level.
  • Don't overthrottle. If you push an engine to full throttle (all the way into the red), your breakdown risk is four times the normal level.
  • Reducing throttle reduces breakdown risk (but also makes your train go much slower, of course).
  • Replace old engines. As engines age, their chance of breakdown increases. You can replace them when that percentage gets too high. The manual suggests replacing at 15 to 25 years of age.
  • Buy engines with greater reliability. Each reliability level is about one-third less likely to break down than the level below it. (For instance, "above average" reliability is about one-third less likely to break down than "average" reliability.)
  • Seek level ground and light loads. Engines under a heavy load or traversing steep ground are more likely to break down.
  • A caboose reduces the chance of breakdown by 25%.
  • Certain managers can reduce the chance of breakdown.

Engines can also crash. A crash is a more extreme version of a breakdown, and means your engine is gone for good. The game will take you to a crashed engine. You should replace it right away if you want to keep the route, because the existing train will be gone after the crash sequence finishes. To replace it, view it in the car selection window, then return to the main window and buy a replacement engine. By default your replacement will have the same consist and route as the last train you viewed.

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Just to add to this, I would argue replacing 15 to 20 years is perhaps generous for most (especially steam) locos! If we take it that the maintenance cost of a loco goes up by 10% the original maintenance cost (from observation), then we can find a simple formula to minimise the combined purchase and maintenance cost per year for a loco: optimal lifetime = sqrt(purchase cost * 20 / stated annual maintenance cost). Replacing trains earlier means you are spending extra on locos, replacing them later means you are spending extra on maintenance. These numbers vary at least from 7 to 21yrs (E111). – VisualMelon Jul 9 at 7:45
It is, however, important to consider more than just the costs involved, as this answer shows, older trains breakdown more, and a busy blocked junction can kill a railway just as quickly as a depression. It's also a good idea to replace locos at stations or when they otherwise aren't moving, because they lose any speed they previously had when replaced. You will always need to balance running costs, reliability, and performance, all of which depend on the terrain and consist, as well having to manage your locos (replacing them regularly). – VisualMelon Jul 9 at 7:50

Just wait, it will automatically be repaired after a while and will then continue its route. If an engine is breaking down repeatedly, you might want to consider getting rid of the engine and replacing it. The older an engine is, the more likely it is to break down.

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