Bessemer Steel Ingot (Guide)

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Wiki note: The previous version of this guide, with more in-depth calculations of efficiency, can be found at Bessemer Steel Ingot (Guide)/Calculations.

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Bessemer Steel Ingots (BSI) are the main resource used to advance the Great Hellbound Railway, as they are the primary component of the Railway Steel needed to build tracks.

At around 23 x Bessemer Steel Ingot per Railway Steel, and up to 11.4 x Railway Steel on average needed to build toward each station, it ultimately takes up to 2360 x Bessemer Steel Ingot to complete the Railway. This makes it especially desirable to know the most efficient source of BSI available to you at a given time.

I need HOW many BSI?![edit]

BSI converts to Railway Steel at a rate of 22.5–23 BSI per Steel, depending on which of the manufacturing options you choose:

Cost Output Efficiency
Option & actions Actions per 10 per 10 per 10
Make tracks 90 1 4 2.5 225 2.5
Make a lot of tracks 345 3 15 2 230 2.0

As the table shows, Make tracks is slightly more BSI-efficient, while Make a lot of tracks uses fewer Justificande Coins and actions.

Steel per station[edit]

The amount of Railway Steel needed to build toward each station varies, with around 9 Steel as the minimum and some stations presenting options that require different amounts of Steel. Before the 24th of November 2023, Railway Steel cost 70% more than it currently does.

Station requirements
Station Steel BSI
Ealing Gardens 9–12[s 1] 203–207
Jericho Locks 9 203-207
The Magistracy of the Evenlode 12–18[s 2] 270–414
Balmoral 18 405-414
Station VIII 10 216–221
Burrow-infra-Mump 9 203–207
Moulin 9 203–207
The Hurlers 9 203–207
Marigold 9 203–207
Total 94–103 2106–2360
  1. 9 if you have an Impossible Theorem
  2. 12 with a plains route, 18 with a hills route

Therefore, depending on your choices for Ealing and the Evenlode, and whether or not you make tracks in bulk, you'll need a total of up to 103 x Railway Steel, requiring up to 2360 x Bessemer Steel Ingot, to build to all nine stations.

Other Use[edit]

Quick list of BSI sources[edit]

Your options for grinding BSI, and which method is most efficient, varies depending on a number of factors; e.g., your skill levels, the locations you have access to, and your sources of the items certain methods require. In general, we'll cover how many BSI each method yields, BSI per action (where this is reasonably straightforward to calculate), and ways of optimizing your returns.

In brief, the sources of BSI are:

The rest of this guide will cover each of these methods in more detail.

Brawling with dockers[edit]

Brawling is one of the easiest sources of BSI. It's available fairly early—as long as you've completed the A Name Scrawled in Blood storyline (see Making Your Name) and come to an agreement with the Garrulous Drunk (and have, of course, started the Railway), you have access to this method.

The base efficiency, assuming you can 100% the main challenge (Fight without taking your eye off the goods!), is 4 x BSI per action.

Brawling with a group[edit]

This involves intervening on the side of order, the dockers, or criminals. The main challenge is Dangerous 125, and you need 209 to 100% it.

Your cashing-out options and their efficiency are as follows:

Brawling solo[edit]

If you have Dangerous 292 or higher, you can 100% the main challenge when brawling for yourself.

More efficient Brawling[edit]

Depending on your Dangerous and other items or skill levels you may have, you may be able to shorten these grinds by using other options that give more Brawling per action. This includes several Airs-dependent options, as well as options requiring a Honed Ushanka, Vigilant Chitin-Fur Boots, A Hunter's Instinct for Nightmares, or a Special Dispensation. For more information on optimizing your Brawling, consult Brawling with Dockers (Guide).

Selling to an Enthusiast of the Ancient World[edit]

In the Bone Market, the Enthusiast of the Ancient World will pay BSI for skeletons with Antiquity, or for Femurs of a Jurassic Beast. To sell to him, you need Respectable 3.

Selling him Femurs[edit]

Sell him a Jurassic Thigh Bone allows you to unload one Femur of a Jurassic Beast per action, in exchange for 10 x BSI. The efficiency of this method, therefore, depends on your source of Femurs.

  • Brawling: As mentioned above, you can cash out Brawling for Femurs, which is more efficient in BSI/action than taking BSI crates. When Brawling in any group and always succeeding at the basic fight option, this works out to 4.7 BSI/action. The efficiency can be improved from there with advanced Brawling strategies.
  • Methods besides Brawling tend to be less efficient, but additional sources for Femurs are in the Bone Sources list.

Selling him Skeletons[edit]

The Enthusiast will buy any skeleton with at least 1 point of Antiquity. He pays BSI based on the Approximate Value of Your Skeleton in Pennies, with a bonus if the current Bone Market fads are in your favour (check World Qualities to see what these are). The formula for his payout is (Value + Zoological Mania Bonus)/50 = BSI.

Optimizing the value of your skeleton can be a complicated endeavour, with varying requirements depending on the type of skeleton you want, and efficiency dependent on your bone sources. If you're interested in getting the most bang for your buck selling the Enthusiast skeletons, consult Assembling a Skeleton (Guide). For the purposes of this guide, we'll just give you a few options that yield a decent amount of BSI without a lot of hassle.

Smuggling industrial materials[edit]

Getting access to this method is a bit complicated and requires waiting for a card, but yields 130 x BSI on success.

Stealing from Mr Iron's warehouse[edit]

Look for Mr Iron's Warehouse is a Parabola-based heist, which is available from your Base Camp once you have Shadowy 200. It costs 15 x An Identity Uncovered! (which is not consumed if you fail the check—and you eventually will, as it would take Shadowy 367 to 100% it). The efficiency, therefore, is based on your source of Identities Uncovered.

Success gets you 100 x BSI.

Professional Activities[edit]

Claiming payment in steel for Professional Activities is a very efficient source, at 4+ BSI per action. The caveats are:

  • They are only available with Tier 3 Professions.
  • All actions have two challenges, one based on a Main Attribute and another based on an Advanced Skill, and success requires passing both. (Mathematically, your overall chance of success is Main % * Advanced %; e.g., if you have a 60% chance on both checks, your overall chance of success is .60 * .60 = .36, or 36%.)
  • The most profitable activities require A Professional Specialisation (with some action costs to set up initially), and their skill checks are very high: 200 in a Main Attribute and 12 in an Advanced Skill, requiring 334 and 17, respectively, to 100% the check.

Payment In steel grants 25 x BSI in exchange for 1250 x Approximate Value of Outstanding Invoices in Pennies. This means 1 x Invoice Value = 0.02 x BSI, or 1 BSI for every 50 Invoice Value (corresponding to BSI's implicit value of E 0.50).

The actions available for each turn of Professional Activities varies with the Airs of Industry randomiser. Action challenges come in three levels of difficulty, with corresponding payouts of 320, 410, and 450 Invoice Value. For all difficulties, failure gains 200 Invoice Value.

Challenge to 100% Average  Average 
36% 100% 36% 100%
200/13 334/17 290 450 5.8 9
180/5 300/9 275.6 410 5.5 8.2
140/11 234/15
90/1 150/5 243.2 320 4.9 6.4

Table legend:

The average payout in Invoice Value, and the resulting BSI per action, of the three difficulties of Professional Activity (formatted as Main/Advanced skill levels). The calculations are done both for a 36% overall success chance (i.e., if your Main/Advanced levels exactly equal the challenge levels, giving you a 60% chance on each check and therefore an overall 36% chance of succeeding at both) and for a 100% success chance. BSI for consistent failures (at 200 Invoice Value per action) is 4 BSI per action.

To pick the most profitable action available, please consult this handy chart:

If your skill is as shown, pick the option if your stats are above:
Advanced Skill Medium (Stats) Hard (Vs Medium Stat) Medium (Skill) Hard (Vs Medium Skill)
4 Easy Easy Easy Easy
5 286 Medium Easy Easy
6 245 Medium Easy Easy
7 215 Medium Easy Easy
8 191 Medium Easy Easy
9 172 Medium Easy Easy
10 172 Medium Easy Easy
11 172 Medium 223 Medium
12 172 Medium 191 Medium
13 172 Medium 167 Medium
14 172 Medium 100 Medium
15 172 Medium 100 Medium
16 172 312 100 312
17 Hard 160 100 280

Curator's Gratitude[edit]

At the Museum of Prelapsarian History you can trade 1000 x Curator's Gratitude for 20 x BSI. Gratitude can be grinded in the Osteology Lab in the museum, where completing a monograph on the subject using a Femur of a Jurassic Beast gives 6500 x Curator's Gratitude which is worth 130 x BSI. See The Prelapsarian Museum (Guide) for more detail.

For comparison, the optimal grind comes out at 8.55 BSI/action, but this requires Persuasive 300. A more accessible grind, from Watchful 200, produces 7.59 BSI/action.

The Game of Poison & Delight (a.k.a. Hearts' Game)[edit]

You need to be a tier 2 PoSI and have a (modified) Dangerous stat of 200 or higher to unlock this activity. Once you've joined the game, every action, no matter if you succeed or fail a challenge or win or lose a round of the game will reward you 1 x Hearts' Game: Exploits. For 14 Exploits you can choose to get A consignment of steel which will reward 100 x Bessemer Steel Ingot. It takes one action to claim the prize so 15 actions in total. At 6.67 Ingots per action this is quite an efficient source. The main drawback is the very endgame requirements for joining in the first place. See Hearts' Game (Guide) for more detail.

Other sources[edit]

The remaining sources of BSI are inefficient in terms of BSI per action, but are listed here for completeness.

L. B. Industries[edit]

Request Bessemer Steel Ingots as pay at L. B. Industries: 8 x BSI for Foreman's Favour 60. You also get 7 x Hinterland Scrip. This might be a good option if you're grinding Shadowy anyway—there's a Menace-free Shadowy 178 challenge here (Assist with assembly). It averages somewhat under 2 BSI per action.

Hunting the Storm-bird[edit]

Search the Cloud: 5 x BSI for concluding your Storm-bird hunt this way. There's no particular benefit to this hunt if you aren't actually looking to capture Storm-birds, though there's a chance of getting a Whirring Contraption or A Miniature Model Ship as an alternative success, if that appeals to you.

Sell an Aged Egg at Whitsun[edit]

During Whitsun, you can buy an Aged Egg from the Reliable Eggmonger for 100 x Jade Fragment and sell it to the Enthusiast for 10 x BSI. If you find yourself flush with Jade during Whitsun, and you don't have a source of Sabre-toothed Skulls that makes selling him full skeletons efficient, you might do this; otherwise, you'll get more BSI for your Jade by spending it on Headless Skeletons to re-capitate.

Obtaining Railway Steel directly[edit]

Finally, you can completely avoid grinding BSI when you have a source of ready-made Railway Steel. Currently, the only such source is to Involve the Clay Highwayman's gang in industrial steel robbery, which is possible from Balmoral onwards.

The Clay Highwayman's gang[edit]

There are two versions of this, depending whether or not you are a Marauder of the Clay Highwayman. You get 10 x Steel for the non-Marauder version, and 11 x Steel if you're a Marauder.

Both versions require a fully-upgraded Cabinet Noir at Balmoral, in order to create a Cover Identity with specific Ties.



In terms of efficiency, the Cover Identities Guide has this to say:

Involve the Clay Highwayman's gang in industrial steel robbery costs 32 actions + 1 Favour to receive 10–11 Railway Steel. In order to get 10 Railway Steel from other sources, it takes 2 actions, 230 BSI and 2 Justificande coins. Assuming 2 actions for the coins, and 1 action for the Favour, one would have to get more than roughly 7.9 or 8.7 BSI/action to make it more efficiently through other sources. This is in line with the best sources of Steel.

Therefore, a fully upgraded Cabinet Noir is a viable alternative to any of the high-BSI/action grinding methods for the latter half of the Railway.

Ridding your Bessemer Steel Ingots[edit]

You've finished building the last station of your railway. You've overshot the BSI requirement, so you have surplus steel. Or you accidentally took a consignment of steel or whatever, so you have surplus steel. How do you profit from them now?