So I had a little discussion with my friends that play Satisfactory, and also some players from the Satisfactory Discord in the Experimental chat section. I was suggested to open a Suggestion thread here, so I am.
In the discussion, there were different opinions, some argued against and some argued for the point I will make now:
Trains are not really useful at all in the game in their current state. Let me explain:
The arguments against my suggestion were mostly, if not all, about the looks/design. I do agree with this partially and the opinion isn't wrong, but it doesn't cover the entire aspect of Trains and what they in theory were meant to be for.
Trains are first introduced in the game at Tier 6, which is quite late game. Trains are supposed to replace Conveyor Belts over longer distances, however if look away from the design/architectural argument, Trains are in every way inferior to Conveyor Belts in their current state. The issues are the following:
- Introduced way too late in the game
- Cost more than MK4 Conveyor Belts to produce and maintain
- Their maximum speed is not fast enough
- Their docking speed is atrociously slow
I will go into depth which each point made.
Introduced way too late in the game: The Trains are introduced in the game at Tier 6, which is by my and all of my friends opinion at least one Tier too late. It should be at Tier 4 or Tier 5 for cost efficiency, since researching them and building the entire system with Tracks and Trains requires quite a lot of time, which can easily be negated by already having just MK3 Conveyor Belts which are available in the Tier's before the Trains. Once the items start rolling in from an MK3 Conveyor Belt, the supply is infinite.
Cost more than MK4 Conveyor Belts to produce and maintain: This is pretty self explanatory, but Trains cost resource-wise more than MK4 Conveyor Belts to produce and maintain. While you have to make the resources for both, MK4 Conveyor Belts do not require power, which is a resource in itself, but they also do not require anything of a main object to be made that moves the items across the Conveyor Belts, unlike as with the Train which has to move the items across the Train Tracks. The Train also costs more to produce due to the Computers being involved in the crafting recipe, while MK4 Conveyor Belts only cost their base product and then the small amount of Iron Plates and other low-level resources for the Pillars.
Their maximum speed is not fast enough: Considering that MK3 or MK4 Conveyor Belts deliver an endless, constant supply of items, the Trains should at the very least be faster between the Stations, at least 180-220KM/h or otherwise they cannot even compete there, but the maximum speed limit isn't the worst speed offender, it's the next point.
Their docking speed is atrociously slow: I mean even those who tried arguing against my arguments for, that Trains are worse than Conveyor Belts and not a good/proper replacement, even they had to admit that the Docking Speed of Trains is trash. They dock so slow that items from a fair distance on Conveyor Belts roll in faster and give an endless supply of items contrary to Trains that take their sweet time of a few centuries to dock.
Considering all of this, Trains are in every practical way worse than Conveyor Belts, because they require more resources, more power, they came come too late in the game when all the stress of a setup and resource transport across the map is gone (due to Conveyor Belts stretching across the map, and even if some few players care about the looks, most players do in fact not care about the looks too much so they aren't bothered by very long Conveyor Belts but rather the efficiency at which items are delivered to keep the Factory running), they are slower because once items from Conveyor Belts roll in they keep on coming contrary to Trains where the items only come in batches, and they also require more space to be set up than Conveyor Belts (this is not really an issue but something I point out for the cost efficiency argument).
I really love Trains, but besides the coolness factor argument and the looks/design aspect, they currently provide no value due to efficiency and resource loss in practically every aspect. I sincerely hope you consider this to balance Trains and make them more useful and less of a waste in total, as they serve practically no purpose other than to replace Conveyor Belts in a way that is less efficient in every aspect other than long distance fast player transport.
Best Regards, -Loke