Layton City, Light Rail and Oh Look – Auckland!

Cities Skylines Addition simulates what Auckland is to go through

 

Cities Skylines announced today that they are releasing a second expansion pack (after After Dark) that will bring in seasons and new transport options including THOSE TRAMS!

You can see the teaser below:


Features from the upcoming expansion will include:

Snowfall will include:

  • Now is the Winter of This Content: Rain and fog for existing maps, plus a new “Winter” map theme with snow and all of its challenges
  • The Streetcars You Desire: Expanded public transportation options, including easier management of existing lines – and Trams, a new system demanded by fans
  • World Warmth, Too: Cold weather increases demands for electricity, unless new water-based heat systems are in place
  • Plowers to the People: Build a snowplow depot to keep traffic flowing during winter weather, and employ new road maintenance systems to keep your streets in shape
  • New Chirps: #yeahthereare

…..

Source: Cities Skylines

 

Just well I built that new nuclear power plant for Layton City for when it decides to snow (although doubtful given the City is built on a tropical map setting – but hey Climate Change right 😉 )

 

But the main two items that have my attention are the trams (Light Rail) and new road maintenance systems to prevent those pot holes and overgrown berms – eh Mark Thomas(?).

The road maintenance system will speak for itself but it is the trams that will be my focus for Layton City  – my current large city (I do have another one in start-up stages as well so will prove just as interesting).

 

Layton City is 182,000 people and consists of:

  • A main City Centre and secondary Centre
  • Metropolitan Centres both in the core and outer fringes of the urban footprint
  • Several industrial complexes ranging from agriculture, manufacturing, forestry and oil
  • Continued expansion to the main urban foot print and addition of satellites such as the current Layton Shores
  • Comprehensive road and public transport system (also Taxis)
  • Cycle lanes and dedicated cycle paths
  • Comprehensive heavy rail system moving freight through the City linking the Port and industrial centres to the commercial centres of the City (thus cutting down the need for heavy trucks to traverse long distance on urban roads)
  • Wind turbines and two nuclear power plants

 

Those above pictures show Layton City as it currently is.

 

Now like any city Layton City does have issues with transport. Heavy Rail in Cities Skylines is not effective in moving enough people between points within the City so I am more reliant on buses and subways. As you can work out subways are exceedingly expensive to build especially to outer suburbs and satellite centres like Layton Shores. Buses are slow and have capacity issues which make them not effective for longer distance travelling as again Layton Shores proves with buses running between it and the Uptown Bus Station. The rail system was more designed around freight leaving passenger options somewhat limited although I am going to build two more lines to allow ultra-long distance commuting especially over the river although I will be watching effectiveness.

 

The layout of Layton City can be seen above where the Metropolitan Centres like Newmarket are within the high density core while Metro Centres like Sharni Park and Sunnyside District are on the fringe (the second City Centre for the moment is Sunnyside but will move once I have establish Manukau further down the east side of the river) making transport just that more interesting.

Sunnyside is connected to the subway system because of the airport but that came at huge capital cost while Sharni Park was decided it was too far from the main subway system to be effective. Again yes there are buses but they are slow and have low capacity and both districts are serviced by heavy rail but that is used to connect between districts not within them. So enter the trams.

As Layton City continues to grow the decision on how to connect the City up away from the core will need to be made. Using the trams to connect the suburbs up to their respective Metropolitan Centres and the secondary City Centre where you can then transfer to either the subway or heavy rail system would seem most prudent especially on high patronage routes (buses would continue on low patronage routes). That said trams could have a use between City Centre and Newmarket Metropolitan Centre (the two densest areas of Layton City) to help relieve pressure and congestion on both the subway and bus system in the area. That is allow the subway to handle commuter traffic from those two areas with the other areas of the City while the trams deal with intra City Centre-Newmarket running as it is the busiest area in terms of public transport patronage. The tram line would definitely connect Uptown to Layton Shores to boost mass transit capacity and relieve road congestion between the two areas.

So the upcoming tram system will able to plug that missing middle gap between buses and either the subway or heavy rail system just like any real life City like Auckland.

 

Light-Rail-to-Airport-Route-from-video Source: http://transportblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Light-Rail-to-Airport-Route-from-video.jpg
Light-Rail-to-Airport-Route-from-video
Source: http://transportblog.co.nz/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Light-Rail-to-Airport-Route-from-video.jpg

Note: I do not approve of LRT to the airport.

 

Which is rather interesting as Auckland is about to embark on the very same issue Layton City is. That is using light rail to fill the missing gap between the buses and the heavy rail system to get more people onto public transport (when Auckland transport is not raising fares: Auckland Transport to Raise Public Transport Fares Next Month). However, the needs with Auckland a bit different to Layton City in that the Isthmus especially to the west is not connected by heavy rail and the buses are often over capacity where as Layton City it is connecting Metro Centres to its surround suburbs. However, when the Botany and North Shore Lines (both light rail) are built then Auckland enters into a situation of connecting Metro Centres up to nearby suburbs, the heavy rail system and both City Centres (Manukau and main).

And given retrofitting for trams is initially going to be needed in Auckland like Layton City I can (as far as a game simulator allows) appreciate difficulties Auckland will go through. But the pain getting an effective tram system in to plug that missing middle gap will be quickly forgotten by happen people able to get to their destinations that don’t involve being stuck in a car.

 

Oh how similar Auckland and Layton City are, it can be quite scary.

 

Light Rail
Light Rail

 

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4 thoughts on “Layton City, Light Rail and Oh Look – Auckland!

  1. Why can’t you make light rail the same gauge as our heavy rail and run light rail vehicles on either their own network or the normal railway system?

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