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Offline jamespetts gb

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Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« on: February 11, 2012, 11:41:53 PM »
I have been wondering for some time about how best to implement underground stations other than those designed for tube stock. As I have mentioned before, I am planning in Experimental to have types of stations that can, must, and cannot be built underground (which should be a fairly easy feature to add). We already have The Hood's adaptations of Timothy's hand-drawn tube stations, but they do not look right for anything other than tube trains; yet there is often a need - or at least desire - to have underground stations for full sized trains.

I am wondering how these might be drawn - they should show platforms, I think, and perhaps a side wall, but no roof (or else the player could not see the trains!). For modern underground stations, something like City Thameslink might work:



Older prototypes of underground stations are harder to come by except for sub-surface lines on the London Underground - but these stations were usually cut and cover or even just in the open air. One example of a fully buried Underground station of the early type is Temple:



Perhaps a better known and more characteristic type, however, is Baker Street:



Baker Street has sides similar to the familiar brick arch retaining wall common on all parts of the rail network. Perhaps a station with platforms backed by retaining walls will suffice for this earlier era?

I have started work on a retaining wall to use as a possible replacement texture for the artificial slope interiors; here is what I have produced so far - thoughts would be much appreciated:

Edit: Also attached is a sample of the platform with the brick retaining arch - I should be interested in views on this before making further images of this sort.
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 11:53:22 PM by jamespetts »

Offline ӔO

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 12:47:56 AM »
for the underground platform, where are the entrances?


btw, I've just noticed, that on all the graphics where the train points down and left ( I think that's south?) the front seems to be off by about 1 or 2 pixels.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 02:08:33 AM by ӔO »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 11:52:07 AM »
The entrances to underground stations should be above ground - something like this:


Offline kierongreen

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 12:11:57 PM »
City Thameslink is cut and cover too (I remember it being built!) :p It'd actually be pretty good to have the same design for these earlier stations (with the curved recess retaining walls) above and underground. If you look at some of the Thameslink route for example Kentish Town it's overground but in steep cuttings. One thing to consider about the brick retaining walls (dunno whether it has been suggested, and for experimental anyway) -  you could code it so that vertical slopes within city limits used these as opposed to the plain rock texture?

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 12:39:38 PM »
Kieron,

actually, it has been suggested - I am currently working on using the retaining wall graphics for the artificial slopes (it looks good so far). That way, above ground stations in deep cuttings (such as Kentish Town, or a station that I know well, Denmark Hill)

However, I wonder whether it is really necessary to have the rock type faces in the countryside at all? The only reason for building the brick retaining wall is the practical necessity of keeping the vertical embankment from falling down. Whether this is necessary will depend on the type of material from which the embankment is cut, not whether it is in the town or countryside. For vertical embankments, most types of ground will need retaining walls, aside from very hard rock. Indeed, I am fairly sure that such walls were used in the countryside as well as the town when steep embankments were needed, but it is hard to find example pictures, as very few people who have posted such pictures on the internet are likely to put anything in the surrounding text about the brick retaining wall that is probably not the main subject of their photographs!

In the countryside, however, it is rarely necessary to use the vertical embankments, and the more gently sloped type of embankments, created using the up/down tools, can be used more readily. These have no retaining walls at all.

Offline AP

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 01:14:21 PM »
Edit: Also attached is a sample of the platform with the brick retaining arch - I should be interested in views on this before making further images of this sort.
These are very good James.

I like the rays of light in the painting you show, i wonder if light/shadow on the platform would emphasise and enhance it's underground nature? And thus help distinguish underground from above ground more. The platform graphic is obviously darker but if that's because it's "in shadow" then, with rays of light, that would fit well.

The brick retaining arch is excellent, I agree with suggestions it could be the standard graphic above-ground for when terrain is raised on a sheer embankment - it's structurally far more plausible current flat brickwork. So long as it matches the brick bridges etc, which it will adjoin (the existing sheer brick texture doesn't).

For vertical embankments, most types of ground will need retaining walls, aside from very hard rock. Indeed, I am fairly sure that such walls were used in the countryside as well as the town when steep embankments were needed, but it is hard to find example pictures
They were. The use of stone vs brick generally depends more on the prevailing local geology - if it's granite they use local stone, if it's clay, they'll ues brick. Since Pak.britain is using brick for everything else, I'd suggest for visual coherence to stick with that.

There was a suggestion that climates could be used to define "geology" with reference to the castle/cathedral stone colour, so I suppose that could also apply to earthworks too, but then you risk having brick viaducts adjoining stone retaining walls, which will just look odd.

The entrances to underground stations should be above ground - something like this:
There used to be one of these in-game, i remember seeing it a while back.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 01:21:33 PM by AP »

Offline Ashley

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 01:41:38 PM »
So long as the ends of the platforms have a tunnel portal of some kind, and the retaining walls behind the platforms are full-height I think you'd attain the correct effect no matter what the style was. The brick-arch look is pretty good :)

Offline wlindley us

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 02:02:13 PM »
Here are two prototype stations from the 1932 extensions -- as often, adverts tell us more about the past than the articles. (my scan, thanks to trainmanchuff for the materials)



and also Chiswick Park, before and after 1932:


« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 02:08:30 PM by wlindley »

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 02:08:59 PM »
Interesting! We already have an "art deco station" extension building type, of course...

Offline greenling

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 02:48:42 PM »
Cool.
New Trains and Station.
They be looks good out.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 03:08:28 PM »
I have now finished work on the brick retaining arches, as can be seen here:



The source file is here:

.

No changes to .dat files are necessary.

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2012, 03:09:43 PM »
I have now finished work on the brick retaining arches: see this post.

Offline Ashley

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2012, 03:20:21 PM »
Oh that looks really good! One minor improvement could be to add some kind of cornicing or finishing to the top of the wall, where it joins with the grass above.

Offline greenling

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2012, 03:46:25 PM »
Very Nice.Good Work Jamespetts.

Offline AP

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2012, 03:51:46 PM »
That looks really good James. I think the brick colour should be tweaked though, so that the brick blends seamlessly with the other brick entities we have - the brick elevated ways and viaducts - since they are very often going to be used side by side. (EDIT - I think this can be done with a simple photoshop/etc filter)

The existing brick bridges are more orange-red than maroon-red, I think.

Also, at the base, where each arch steps in, there's a strip of grey. Suggest this should be made grass-green, to match the terrain at the bottom / adjacent. Would further emphasise the 3d-ness of the structure too.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 03:59:27 PM by AP »

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2012, 03:56:39 PM »
Quote
I am fairly sure that such walls were used in the countryside
Generally in real life you wouldn't get high steep retaining walls in the countryside. Embankments would almost always have gentle sides as the fill would not be stable enough otherwise, and the cost of erecting a retaining wall would be greater than the extra land required by a wider embankment. With relatively hard rocks (sandstone, chalk, granite) cuttings can have steep sides if necessary. If rocks were not stable enough for steep sided cuttings then usually a more gentle slope would be used, as again, retaining walls would be more expensive than land.

In mountainous areas steep sided cuttings (or ledges) are common and the geology in such areas would often allow this without retaining walls. In simutrans I use single tile slopes in these areas as 1) it is cheaper when the alternative is leveling a 6 height hill and 2) doesn't "ruin" the landscape around the railway....

Various pictures:

http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/singleimage.php?id=9923
Illustrates stone retaining walls and plain rockface. In a semi-urban setting

http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/singleimage.php?id=12978
Plain rockface, urban setting.

http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/singleimage.php?id=35516
Rural setting with somewhat unstable geology - originally just a rock cutting in more recent times various methods have been used to stabilise; wire netting, concrete tunnel and stacks of sleepers (these are often used across Britain for low retaining walls).


Incidentally while I have that site open this is the inspiration for the wooden viaduct in the pak:
http://www.railbrit.co.uk/imageenlarge/singleimage.php?id=5817

Offline jamespetts gb

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2012, 04:56:45 PM »
Interesting pictures!

Yes, as described above, whether a retaining wall is used or just plain rock will depend on the geology, not whether the area is urban or rural, although it is far less likely that one will want to use sheer faces in rural areas in the first place, as they cost more than ordinary land levelling.

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2012, 05:01:51 PM »
Greenling,

thank you.

AP,

hmm - I used an existing brick texture from the Pak128.Britain texture repository, although it's not quite the same as the bridges. It is, however, more similar, I think, to the earlier type of bridge, see below:



As for the grey, this is not entirely straightforward: if I replace it with grass, I have to make a choice about what sort of grass to use: it will only fit in seamlessly with one climate, but will look odd with any of the other shades of grass, or with snow (these things cannot have snow textures). The grey, I thought, was the best compromise: this is from the "rocky" terrain texture, and simulates, perhaps, the foundations of these arches, or ballast, or something of the sort.

Offline The Hood

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2012, 07:48:05 PM »
This new retaining wall certainly looks good. I am quite tempted to include it as the standard brick face. 

I have also split out and merged all the discussion on cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations into one place to avoid confusion.

Offline AP

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2012, 08:45:06 PM »
Quote
I am quite tempted to include it as the standard brick face. 
I think it's a big improvement over the current Standard one, although...

hmm - I used an existing brick texture from the Pak128.Britain texture repository, although it's not quite the same as the bridges. It is, however, more similar, I think, to the earlier type of bridge
I may be alone on this, but I think the best/most flexible bridge we have are the brick viaducts and brick elevated ways, which are one and the same colour. These the bridges I see being used most in game, and the ones I expect will most often be seen alongside the retaining walls, and therefore the one I'd aim for a seamless match with. Visual coherence just improves the 'feel' of the game. The earlier bridge you link to is very attractive, but... used less outside the early game I think.

As for the grey, this is not entirely straightforward: if I replace it with grass, I have to make a choice about what sort of grass to use: it will only fit in seamlessly with one climate, but will look odd with any of the other shades of grass, or with snow (these things cannot have snow textures). The grey, I thought, was the best compromise
Ah, I understand, then yes it seems sensible indeed. I was nitpicking really! ;D

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2012, 11:22:28 PM »
The question becomes - do we change the retaining wall to match the bridge, or the bridge to match the retaining wall...? (I'm not entirely sure that they need to look the same, since, in reality, many different structures were built at different times using whatever brick was available at the time, but others' views may differ...)

Offline ӔO

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2012, 11:27:21 PM »
I think the hotchpotch look is better

Offline sdog

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2012, 02:40:17 AM »
The entrances to underground stations should be above ground [...]

I can see the reason in this suggestion. It greatly enhances the usability for passengers, no need to carry digging implements when trying to get to the platform!

(Out of context, your sentence rather amused me, i hope you don't mind.)





looking at those pictures posted by kieron, it's not a miracle why the science of geology developed in britain. quite a diverse island.



James, those two level retaining arches look excellent!
« Last Edit: February 13, 2012, 02:45:34 AM by sdog »

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2012, 08:04:05 PM »
Yes, quite - can't be doing with having to carry a shovel ;-)

And thank you re: the retaining arches. There are some at a station very near where I live, and they are so wonderfully characteristic of Victorian railway architecture, I did want to include them.

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2012, 01:52:04 AM »
I have been wondering to-day about the economics of cut and cover in Simutrans (using elevated roads as the "cover"). This has previously been discussed, and considered potentially impractical because roads are usually only one tile wide, and it would usually be necessary to have a double track cut and cover tunnel. However, this is perhaps not as much of an obstacle as it seems at first. Cut and cover was traditionally used both under roads and in what were at the time areas of relatively low urban density. Even in 1863, cut and cover did not venture into central London - it would not have been possible to have demolished so many large buildings. What could sensibly happen is that a single road and row of buildings could be replaced by a double elevated road. This would stop cut and cover going into the densely populated areas, as it was indeed stopped from doing in reality, as these densely populated areas, with their high level buildings, would be too expensive to demolish.

What, then, of the interaction with elevated railways? On the face of it, they would seem to be the obvious choice in every instance in preference to cut and cover. However, if they were restricted so that they could only be built over buildings of a low level (perhaps up to a maximum of level 1 or 2), and prevent higher level buildings being built underneath them, that would restrict their use, too, to relatively low density areas (which would then give economic significance to deep level, mined tunnels). In these circumstances, cut and cover tunnels would have the potential advantage of being able to be intermixed with short stretches of mined tunnels to go under larger buildings that are either too expensive to demolish or are undemolishable (such as town halls, industries or attractions), or underneath hills, while still having the stations in covered over cuttings rather than in tunnels (the plan in Simutrans-Experimental is to make only certain kinds of stations available underground, and to make these much more expensive than ordinary stations, and also available only much later in the game - the late 19th century at the earliest).

If this were done, the cost of a cutting plus an elevated roadway to city road standards would have to be about the same as the cost of an elevated railway (which ought in turn cost the same as a bridge of equivalent type, now that their water crossing abilities are the same) - not implausible when the far lower weight that road bridges are required to take is taken into account. That would make the cost of either cut and cover or elevated railways the same, and therefore make other factors determinative of which is used.

I should be interested in any views on this matter, as it is significant for the development of early London Underground vehicles, infrastructure and architecture.

Offline ӔO

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2012, 02:07:28 AM »
one problem with cut and cover, is that they would be impossible on cities that are sitting at 1 tile above sea level and the tunnels would have to be made entirely out of, well, tunnels.

another way of doing, such construction would be to make one lane cut and cover, while the other is entirely or mostly tunnel. This way, the roads are still a single tile wide, but with two lanes of rail underneath. In this case, it's still desirable to have a platform that can be used underground.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2012, 02:13:50 AM by ӔO »

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2012, 05:09:46 AM »
Quote
I have been wondering to-day about the economics of cut and cover in Simutrans [...] What could sensibly happen is that a single road and row of buildings could be replaced by a double elevated road.
when one has to demolishing buildings anyway, why bother to cut and cover. laying surface tracks would be much cheaper and more easily done. typically the price of demolishing even small buildings is rather high in most pak sets and usually stepped up quite a bit in online games.

Quote
cut and cover tunnels would have the potential advantage of being able to be intermixed with short stretches of mined tunnels
the way tunnel entrances are right now, this is not so easily possible. To do this tunnel entrances independent of a sloped tile would be required. this allows the real tunnels to be diagonal right after the entrance and the tile before the tile to be used for stations etc.

Diagonals or curces can't be built well with cut and cover, as the retaining walls only are only available in cardinal orientations.


It has been done in standard before curves in tunnels where introduced. It used to be not very well useable as it was not viewable. This has changed however with sliced underground view

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2012, 06:50:50 PM »
Also cities wouldn't build well around elevated roadways - they wouldn't be recognised as roads by the city building placing code. It is very fiddly to go down this route of cut and cover as has been pointed out it was a real pain before the tunnel construction mode was added and I'm against it. It's a game which is meant to be fun to play, yes by all means make it challenging, but not outright awkward!

On the other hand hugely expensive underground only stations I'd support (and also blocking surface stations from being built underground). Having an intro date of 1863 (give or take) for these would I think be appropriate ;) With such restrictions players may well effectively create cut and cover tunnels by burying lines later to free up space over stations for development. I'd suggest that capital costs in the region of 10x surface stations, and maintenance of around 2x might be a starting point.

While the brick curved retaining walls are interesting I've already said I wouldn't support having them as the default artificial slope texture - it would be more appropriate to use it to replace the brick texture currently used under buildings on slopes.

When I started the pak it was created as pakBritain, not pak(South)London :p

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2012, 07:52:29 PM »
Hmm, I see from Kieron's and Sdog's post about (and some abortive experiments yesterday evening with) cut and cover that there are some difficulties. In principle, the code could be modified to allow elevated ways to count for city building rules, but I do not know how easy that that would be. Likewise, it could become possible to have a tunnel built into a vertical slope with a code change (this should be done in any event), but it is not a high priority, may be difficult, and may well not be done for some time. However, it is not difficult in principle to use an artificial slope at the end of a section to begin a tunnel.

Surface tracks might be cheaper, but in a multiplayer game, one might have a server rule requiring that city roads be reinstated if demolished (which I think ought be a rule when I next restart my server). This might be accomplished by the use of elevated ways over tracks in cuttings if the code were modified to recognise this in the building rules.

However, if we start from the premise that cut and cover using elevated roads is not readily feasible until some relatively low priority code changes have been made, this does pose some difficult economic questions for early Undergorund railways: cut and cover is undoubtedly cheaper to build (at least, in low density areas) than a mined tunnel, and possibly by a considerable margin. This no doubt substantially affected the economics of those early railways. Also, the stations were not built deep undergrond, as the tube lines were, but in shallow trenches sometimes filled in (as with Baker Street) but sometimes left out in the open (as with Farringdon and the original King's Cross).

One compromise that might work is to prevent players making underground stations until rather later in the day than 1863, to whenever the first proper deep level mined underground stations actually first started to appear (whether on the Underground or elsewhere - if not on the Underground, does anyone have any dates?). That would mean that the stations would have to be in cuttings in the early days, even though the lines between stations could be in (shallow) tunnels. This would come close to replicating the reality of the old cut and cover lines, or, at least, as close as we can come without more major code changes than can presently be contemplated.

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2012, 09:03:57 PM »
Oh ad just to add if you do go with the arched brick retaining wall to replace the current brick retaining wall then I think the texture should stay the same as it is currently (which is the same as the brick viaduct).

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2012, 10:42:03 PM »
Oh ad just to add if you do go with the arched brick retaining wall to replace the current brick retaining wall then I think the texture should stay the same as it is currently (which is the same as the brick viaduct).

Texture of what should stay the same as what? The texture of the brick arch retaining wall should stay as it is now? Or the current brick retaining wall retaining (if you will excuse the pun) the texture that it has now, so that there are two brick arch retaining wall textures? Or keep the hewn from stone look for the standard slopes and only use the brick arch retaining wall under buildings, but change its texture to match the texture used by the viaducts...?

Offline The Hood

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #31 on: February 17, 2012, 10:24:48 PM »
I think Kieron means you should use the brick texture as used on the brick viaduct for your brick arch artificial slopes.

In more detail on tunnels and cut and cover however, I do think that from a gameplay point of view "true" cut and cover (i.e. remove road, dig artificial slope, build track in cutting, replace road as elevated way) would be such a faff for the player it would rarely be used, especially given the current flexibility of elevated ways.  Elevated ways are also far too good at present because they can be built on top of anything regardless of what the building might be like. A possible solution to both these problems is to add a z component to any buildings. All buildings would of course take up the square of their "ground" (as at present), but most should also take up the next height level too (except some low level buildings such as fields, warehouses, car parks - this would all be set in the dat too).  This would make elevated ways far less impossibly useful.

By default I would also suggest that all citybuildings (but not stations) took up one square on the level immediately underground (for foundations). This would force subsurface railways (i.e. cut-and-cover) to follow streets above as in real life. Of course this does not solve the problem of dual track - this would need dual track roads but then e.g. Euston Road would be represented in game as two tiles wide and would also ban subsurface railways from developed city centres as Kieron points out actually happened in London. Deeper tube lines would be required, which only intro later.

To prevent insanely large underground stations, cost per station tile could be related to depth and/or require a connection to the surface via every underground level (in much the same way two station buildings need to connect in the x and y directions to count as the same station), i.e. forcing the player to build (expensive) extension buildings representing the escalators and underground ticket halls to access the underground platforms.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2012, 10:48:17 PM by The Hood »

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #32 on: February 18, 2012, 12:08:27 AM »
Hmm - interesting ideas!

The "z" dimension parameter is not too difficult in principle to add, and fields, etc., of course, could simply have this as zero. I had originally thought of simply using the building's level as a guide to its size, which would have the advantage that it is already present, and less memory would be consumed. The rule would be that elevated ways could only be built over buildings of level 2 or less (or perhaps even level 1). Do you foresee any significant difficulties with this?

Adding foundations to buildings would be much more difficult, as it would require a rather more fundamental alteration to the code, as would allowing different stations in the "z" dimension and requiring a surface connexion tile by tile (which would also require underground station extension buildings, which would actually be rather difficult to implement and would require quite a few fundamental changes in the code). Making true underground stations very expensive, however, and only available later in the game (you don't have any idea as to the earliest non-cut-and-cover underground station in the UK, do you?) would probably suffice for present purposes.

The idea of having a different cost for tunnels based on depth has been discussed previously, and the general view, I think, was that that was impractical, so the same should probably hold for stations.

Out of interest, I note that most underground stations built even now are cut and cover - the Crossrail stations, for example, are mostly cut and cover (witness the excavations at Farringdon and Tottenham Court Road), although the lines themselves are mined.

Offline The Hood

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #33 on: February 22, 2012, 09:12:15 PM »
Just another thought about vertical face textures and retaining walls. Instead of being related to whether there is a building on the tile or not (as at present), I wonder if this could be changed to be climate dependent? I know the link between climate and geology isn't fixed like that in real life, but there is some sense to me in having the lower climates requiring brick walls and the higher climates being rocky enough to support vertical cliffs of rock.

Offline kierongreen

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Re: Cuttings, retaining walls and underground stations
« Reply #34 on: February 22, 2012, 09:15:54 PM »
Oh but what about the white cliffs of Dover! :p Yes it should be quite easily possible to have different rock textures for different climates and would be a neat way of lower level towns using walls, higher level passes using bare rock. As I said, another way would be whether a tile is in city limits.