The standard shuttle is available at green science. It is a burner machine that runs on typical locomotive fuel. In addition to being faster than the average train in regards to both acceleration and top speed, it is also much more efficient and consumes roughly 33% less fuel. Due to the performance-enhancing qualities of higher tiers of chemical fuel, it remains a viable option into the late game, especially if fuel efficiency is something you value or you're having problems with your electrical grid. It will inevitably be outperformed by the electric shuttle, however.
Acceleration Power: 300 kW (increased with improved fuel)
Max Speed: 300 kph (increased with improved fuel)
Energy Consumption: 300 kW
The electric shuttle is available at purple science. It is powered via electricity by recharging while remaining stationary within any electric pole coverage area. It has an internal energy storage of 50 MJ, recharges at a rate of 2 MW, and consumes 1 MW while moving (50 seconds of continuous movement before needing to recharge, 25 seconds to completely recharge). As such, it consumes quite a bit of energy compared to the standard shuttle or even a typical train. Where the electric shuttle lacks in efficiency, however, it makes up for in performance. With a weight of only 300 but an acceleration power of 1 MW, the electric shuttle can reach 500 kph in less than a second and sustain that speed for almost a minute, while also being able to stop on a dime. It is truly the pinnacle of personal transportation technology.
Acceleration Power: 1 MW
Max Speed: 500 kph
Energy Consumption: 1 MW while moving, 2 MW while charging
Energy Storage: 50 MJ
Shuttle cars are unpowered compartments that can be attached to shuttles in order to increase the number of players that can be transported at once. Shuttle cars are very light and don't have much impact when used in moderation, but they can nonetheless slow shuttles down if used in excessive numbers. Different types of shuttles and shuttle cars cannot be mixed and matched and there can only be two shuttle per train of shuttle cars.
- All shuttles have great breaking power and acceleration, owing to their low weight. They are able to start and stop in a fraction of the time it takes for a normal train.
- Because shuttles weigh significantly less than standard trains, getting hit doesn't mean instant death. If the "Magnet Shuttles" mod setting is enabled they can even pick you up automatically upon contact.
- As mentioned before, shuttles are not able to connect with other wagons and locomotives due to their low weight. As a result, they cannot be used to transport resources and are restricted only to personal transit.
- Shuttles are quite fragile (200 HP) compared to standard trains (1000 HP) and are unlikely to survive collisions with bigger vehicles or travelling through biter-infested territory. Ramming into a biter is more than likely just going to make it angry because of the lack of momentum, even at extreme speeds.
- You can set a station name that will prevent electric shuttles from ever trying to go to that station. This is useful if you're using a mod like Train Refuel Station that doesn't really apply to electric shuttles.
- If the "Magnet Shuttles" mod setting is enabled, when a shuttle hits a player on the rails it will automatically pick them up instead of nearly killing them at the cost of a tiny amount of damage. The shuttle must not already have a passenger. This can be used to create high-speed expressways of constantly moving shuttles- just step onto the rails and off you go.
- Attempting to attach invalid rolling stock to a shuttle that is next to a train station sometimes causes the rolling stock to snap to the train station and clip into the shuttle. In this scenario, neither can be moved until one of them is manually picked up by the player.
Credits and Additional Resources
Real Shuttle Trains is best used alongside Shuttle Train Refresh by Stefan T in order to get the most out of the shuttles. Stefan's mod allows you to setup a robust shuttle system and call shuttles to pick you up- even in the middle of nowhere.
The code to recharge electric shuttles while within an electric pole coverage area was adapted from Battery Locomotive by KoharaKazuya, which provides electric trains that do just that. It's an awesome and intuitive approach to electric trains.