Author Topic: North America, East and Central: fantasy rail network  (Read 3168 times)

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Offline Carl

North America, East and Central: fantasy rail network
« on: August 03, 2015, 12:04:51 PM »
Savegame download: note that this requires Simutrans Experimental.

Time to share a new project that I've been slowly working on over the past 6-8 months. This map aims to reimagine the rail network of North America - specifically all of the USA and Canada east of Texas and the Midwest. It's a 6000x5000 map with a scale of around 550 metres per tile. It's still very much in its early stages, as you can see from the progress map below.

The map's extent

The idea is to imagine what the North American railway network might be like if the attitude to and extent of passenger rail networks was more similar to Europe. So there will be lots of rail lines that don't exist in reality (at least any more). Examples so far include lines to Allentown PA and Salisbury MD.

Progress on the map so far, from DC in the south to Boston and Albany in the north

Another diversion from reality is the addition of high-speed rail. I'm going to add a high-speed network on core routes between major cities, like you might expect to find in parts of Europe and Asia. The max speed on the fastest lines will be 300kph (186mph) which is in line with the fastest high-speed lines in Germany. The only high-speed line so far is between Washington DC, New York, and Boston. It takes 1h13m to get from Washington to Philadelphia, 56 mins from Philadelphia to New York City, and 1h38m from NYC to Boston. It runs once every 20 minutes. Its approximate route is on this map. This is a dedicated high-speed route for the entire length - that won't be the case for all HS services.
 Future high-speed routes will include NYC-Toronto via Albany and Buffalo, and Washington DC to Detroit via Pittsburgh, though I doubt many will have the same high-frequency timetable as the North-East corridor.

Conventional lines through New Brunswick and Perth Amboy, and the high-speed line inbetween

The base pakset is the same as for the Great Britain map, but I've added some USA-friendly buildings adapted from Pak128. There are only two types of train in service so far: first, one based on the Class 350 which runs a mixture of suburban and express services on conventional lines (max 100mph). My high-speed train is essentially an adjusted Pendolino which can run up to 300kph. Everything so far is electrified, but some more minor diesel routes will appear at some point.

Stamford Connecticut, with a mixture of local and express services. The branch to Danbury leaves near Norwalk, and the high-speed line runs in the north of the screen

Because of the 550 metre-per-tile scale, it's not possible to simulate much detail in major cities. So for instance there's only a limited suburban rail network in and around NYC and Boston compared to what you'd expect to be able to run in a city that size. This simplification is ok, because the intercity services are the main focus of this map covering a very large portion of the continent.

Boston (right) and Providence (left), with the surrounding area. Many of these rail lines don't yet have any services.

Much more to follow - but do note that my Simutrans time is more limited these days, so substantial updates might not be very frequent!

Offline Carl

Re: North America, East and Central: fantasy rail network
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2016, 01:15:54 PM »
Time to share some more work from the North America map. I've built lines up to Toronto, Buffalo and Rochester, and filled in plenty of gaps elsewhere.

You can download the updated save game and pak folder here.

The above picture shows Bridgeport (Connecticut), where the Northeast Corridor high-speed line (top) branches onto the conventional line (bottom). The fastest trains go non-stop from NYC to Providence and don't use this junction. Two trains per hour branch off from the high-speed line here and run semi-fast to Boston via New Haven, Springfield, Hartford and Worcester. The high-speed train from New Haven to NYC takes around 45 minutes.

Albany in upstate New York, an important junction between the conventional and high-speed lines. The hourly high-speed service from NYC to Toronto stops here. There are a number of branch lines (e.g. to Saratoga Springs), and also a high-speed link to Boston. Eventually this will run onwards to somewhere like Detroit, but that's not built yet.

Suburban rail network map around Boston, Massachusetts. This has developed quite a lot since I last posted but is still incomplete.

Offline Vladki

Re: North America, East and Central: fantasy rail network
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2016, 06:29:19 PM »
Hi Carl,

what pakset is used for this game? I like those diagonal double tracks.

Offline Carl

Re: North America, East and Central: fantasy rail network
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2016, 06:35:37 PM »
It's a heavily adapted version of pak64. It includes some scaled-down pak128 graphics as they're quite North American-looking.

The double tracks are something I made myself by adapting existing graphics. You can get them here:

Offline Carl

[update] North America, East and Central: fantasy rail network
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 11:28:08 AM »
Thought I would update this one since it's been over a year (time flies). I haven't spent mountains of time on it since then, but enough to warrant an update!

I've added local and regional services in the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Long Island areas. I've also spent some time making parts of the map look more pretty. Next up will be extending the High Speed network to Cleveland and Detroit. This will help distribute the passenger load a bit since it will be accessed from two different directions (both Washington - Pittsburgh - Cleveland - Detroit and Boston - Buffalo - Cleveland - Detroit).

This shot shows Philadeplhia (top left) with a large part of New Jersey, including the Atlantic City line, Trenton, and Toms River. The highspeed line bypasses Trenton and goes straight from Philadelphia to Newark.

This shows the lines heading west from Wilmington, Delaware. The line through Elsmere carries an hourly service from Philadelphia to Baltimore. The line through New Castle carries two services from Philadelphia to the Delaware peninsula - one that terminates at Dover, and one that continues to Salisbury. Local services from Philadelphia and beyond also terminate at Wilmington. The highspeed line bypasses Wilmington, so for destinations further afield passengers will change at Baltimore or Philadelphia.

The download file and savegame is here:
This will only work properly with Simutrans Experimental.