The Academy will grant access to the Tech Tree, which contains all the stages of modernization (Upgrades) for Locomotives, Steamboats and Airships, as well as New vehicle Models.
You’ll be able to conduct Research by spending Blueprints there:
Note - As depicted in the example Tree, Research of the 1st Upgrade for the Puffing Billy must be complete in order to Unlock Research of the 2nd Upgrade and the Rocket Locomotive.
All Transport types have two kinds of Upgrades available to them: Necessary and Additory:
Necessary upgrades need to be researched gradually in order for new vehicle models to be Unlocked in the Tech Tree.
Additory upgrades will allow you to focus on certain characteristics of Transport. I.e., Speed or Reliability, for a specific vehicle.
Note - While you may have previously researched a particular Upgrade such as a Wheelpair for the Puffing Billy, you may be required to research Wheelpair for other Locomotives such as the Rocket as Research conducted is unique to each vehicle.