pierreh

The United Cities of Talaran

102 posts in this topic

Pierre, I feel you really did a great job with this upgrade..

Really, like the look of the rail system you have built here,,,

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Upgrades attract traffic, it seems, and some parts of the rail system in the cluster are bursting at the seams.

Here is an example, found in Arcens, the center city in the cluster. The rail station in the next picture got upgraded very recently. The statistics after a few months of gameplay are quite worrying:

E2dgte.jpg

 

The pair of dual tracks going to the top of the picture link to the neighbor city of Deramey - quite exactly to the rail triangle that was recently upgraded in my recent CJ entries. The volume statistics on those pairs of tracks are also of great concern:

9ZcqXe.jpg

On the left pair of tracks the volume is - unsurprisingly - 65535. This means that the link is saturated, which in turn explains the excessive usage rate of the train station.

Aside from upgrading the station again, I could put in a third pair of tracks, but I find this rather unrealistic. Another option is to add one or more subway links. I am undecided at this point.

What this tells me is that I am encountering more and more saturation issues in inter-city traffic, and it may put an premature end to my work with the cluster.

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wow Pierre,

a quarter million usage at a Train station !

That surely has to be a record..

You continue to amaze , with some of your traffic numbers...

I hope you find some workable solutions to some of your traffic congestion issues soon..

 

Brian

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Here is another picture of the same train station, with the traffic query for it:

L9TSyi.jpg

 

When we add the figures for bus, train and 'elevated train' (which is in this case GLR) we get 112'435 - much less than the quarter million shown by the other query. But we would need to add the Sims on trains arriving from the bottom of the picture and passing thru the station, which are possibly not shown here.

At an rate we can see that Sims arrive at the station from both directions, by GLR and by bus, and leave in the direction of Deramey and Cherenne; this is the morning commute. It is not easy to reconcile the figures. Also, queries on the rail tracks at the bottom of the picture show numbers, but no travel paths. It is possible that the traffic simulator has not yet completed its work since the upgrade of the train station. I'll keep watching that situation, while pondering the next upgrade steps.

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Pierre,

, thanks so much for your additional pic + explanation my friend !..

3 hours ago, pierreh said:

It is possible that the traffic simulator has not yet completed its work since the upgrade of the train station. I'll keep watching that situation, while pondering the next upgrade steps.

yes, i think this is the correct assessment. I have seen similar situations when you have to wait for some routing paths to show up for a bit.

I will than await your next posting + any additional steps you take to handle the traffic situations in this area..

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Excellent work on the rail interchange. I particularly like something about the landscaping in this area :P

 

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Since Brian is showing us his plan for the development of the city he is currently starting to build, I'd like to show the current state of one of the cities in my cluster, where I am not pleased with my initial design decisions. The city is Desognes, it is situated in the upper left corner of the cluster.

Here is how Desognes is currently zoned;

4mB359.jpg

R1 was the first residential zone to be developed; fairly soon during the growth of the city I started the zoning of R2, the second residential zone, on the other side of the river,

Similarily, I1 was the first industrial zone to be grown. As I didn't want it to become too large, and because I was still asked by the game to zone for more industry, I started the zoning of I2; I2 has remained rather modest in size, and at present I do not zone for more industry.

C1 was the first commercial zone; i decided to place to the right (i.e. on the eastern side) of the citly tile. This was done because Desognes has links (highway and rail) with Marlande which is contiguous to Desognes on the eastern side. C2 is a very recent development, still modest in size, that will not be able to grow much, because of the terrain available.

In retrospect,, C1 is too off-centered, relatively to the R areas, especially relatively to R2; Sims travelling from R2 to C1 must pass thru R1, and this generates an excess of thru traffic in R1. It is in order to alleviate this to some extent, that I decided, belatedly, to start the second commercial zone C2, closer to R2. All morning commute traffic to C1 comes from the west and the north, this tends to saturate the roadways and the public transportation (GLR/subway, local rail and buses).

With these design flaws, the city has currently a population of 742'351 Sims. However, its growth has slowed down, and the traffic issues are getting worse. I'll continue to work on it of course, trying to compensate for the noted defects. This is in fact an interesting challenge, that is encountered in RL in many old cities (my home city of Geneva is a good example of that....).

Some other cities in my cluster exhibit various other 'defects' and/or limitations due to the terrain, waterways, etc. I may document some of those later.

Edited by pierreh
typpos

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Thanks Pierre for your recent update...

I really enjoyed this one from you my friend ..:)

Your " visuals" with the diagram is very nice and sharp work . And you know how to put together and do these diagrams quite well and better than myself.

So very "sharp" work with that .

But the best part for me was the reasoning you had that you so well articulated to us, in your posting and, for how the zones were laid out, originally  . But more so the additional modifications you had to make as the city progressed and developed, And it shows the complexity of a city building game so well . The reasoning and examples that you cited in your posting..

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AT present the trend in my cluster of cities is to note several traffic situations where corrective action is required, and then to ponder very long about how to apply some fix. Here is a new example, also affecting rail traffic, in the city of Salveille. This is the central railway station:

lEugeW.jpg

The issue in this case is that the central station is wedged much too tightly in the pattern of the CBD. This is a classical example of not reserving enough space for expansion - something that happens often in my developments. I have noted the need for replacing the station with one with a greater capacity, and this will be addressed as soon as feasible.

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2 hours ago, pierreh said:

The issue in this case is that the central station is wedged much too tightly in the pattern of the CBD. This is a classical example of not reserving enough space for expansion - something that happens often in my developments. I have noted the need for replacing the station with one with a greater capacity, and this will be addressed as soon as feasible.

Pierre,

thanks so much for your update here :

Yes indeed as you noted reserving the required space for expansion in SC 4 is one of the hardest lessons to learn. it requires a great deal of time and many hours of playing experience. And much like yourself, i too am in the process of learning this :huh:

Please keep us updated on how some of the proposed solutions work out for you my friend ..in the CBD.

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I never leave room for expansions like this and always have to rework areas of my city. However in a weird way I find that challenge fun. Try to look around for things you think could be improved along with the rail layout.

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I fully agree with you, mayorm, expansions in crowded environments pose very interesting challenges, and it is great fun to deal with them.

I seize this opportunitty to mention that I have currently resumed work on RTMT, and this means that I'll have less time to spend on my cluster of cities for a while: updates to this CJ will be less frequent, but I'll keep at it, for sure.

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My modding activity for RTMT is currently slower and this allows me to play the cities in my cluster, and to update this CJ.

A milestone has been reached: Marlande is the first city to reach a population of 800'000 Sims:

bPXRMn.jpg

As can be seen on this global picture, there is still room for expansion, so that the city could potentially grow further.

However, the limitations of mutli-city playing are becoming more and more apparent in this cluster.  Most of them have probably been documented at length in various forums, although my searches on the topic have not been very successfuk sofar. I'll illustrate some of my own findings in my next posts.

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Pierre,

thanks for your update here !

Yes, you are starting to get close to that 1 million sims now. I was curious if you have ever had an individual city reach  this milestone of 1 Million population before ? i also look forward to hearing some of these aspects you have discovered about regional play in sim city 4. You have played the game using regional play as much as anyone I have heard of.. So I think this would be an interesting posting for all of us.. When you are ready to do so of course :D

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In a previous region I had 3 cities that reached over 1 million Sims:

- Hermone, 1'010'236 Sims

- Orelle, 1'072'900 Sims

- Velarville, 1'631'137 Sims

That last city is the largest city I have managed to grow sofar. I didn't have the CAM mod installed at the time. I stopped playing those cities because they suffered from the 'eternal commuter syndrom'.

Separately I play at my mother's place, we currently have 2 cities, linked with each other, that have respectively 1'396'913 Sims and 1'358'262 Sims. The first of those is 'buitt', there is no space left for growth, and the second one is getting there fast. The first of the cities was built without CAM; CAM was installed during the growth of the second city.

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Pierre,

thanks for the extra city stats.

Yes. i had no idea you had this many cities surpass one million in population. And even one city that has more than 1.5 million.

Excellent job here  and accomplishments.. !

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I love the region play here! You have had a lot of cities surpass 1 mill also, so that is cool!

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Yes, Pierre has been one of the few players that i am aware of who has explored the region play aspects of SC-4 in the depth fashion that he has accomplished.

In addition his ability to churn out one Million + population cities is legendary in the community..

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Brian, thanks for your praising words. I think that you are doing me way too much honor by describing my ability to develop million+ population cities as 'legendary' (but it makes me feel quite good...).

 

Today I'll describe my subway implementations, and this will be a sort of rant about the way that subways are handled in the game. In short, that handling is over-simplistic and primitive. Now for the longer story:

My model is the Paris subway, the "Metro". It is a classical subway network (the first line opened in 1900), built with the principle of 'one tunnel - one line'. In other words, each line runs independently from any other, in its own tunnel. A few lines have branches at their extremities. There are service tracks between lines where they intersect, to allow for the exchange of rolling stock and its moving to and from maintenance yards.

Crossings of lines are never at the same level; this would be both dangerous and inefficient. (On the busiest line of the Metro, trains follow each other at 95 seconds intervals during the peak periods).

Here is an excerpt of a schematic map of the Metro:

T6oID4.jpg

We can see that the blue line (Line 2) crosses the brown line (Line 11) at the station Belleville, and the green line (Line 3) at the station Père-Lachaise. A detailed tracks map shows that, at Belleville, the brown line passes under the blue line; the location of the respective platforms is also shown; on the blue line there is a short siding before the platform of the left track:

Nae6Ck.jpg

 

These are simple crossings between two lines. There are more complex implementations. For example, when constructing Line 3 in the vicinity of the Paris opera in 1904, it was anticipated that 2 other lines would cross that line there. A 3-level construction was built. Schematically it look like this:

qyXwAx.jpg

Line 3 is on top level; Line 7 is in the middle, Line 8 is on the bottom level. A picture taken at the bottom level shows the 'bridges' of the 2 other levels:

TbRqf5.jpg

 

The most complex arrangement of tunnels and platforms is under Place de la Republique, where no less than 5 lines meet. A representation of the tracks - colored tracks for the regular lines, black tracks for the service links - illustrates the complexity of that setup:

7VGUxw.jpg

 

 

Ok, so much for the Paris metro. In the game, there is a single level for the subway tunnels, and there is no notion of 'stations' with platforms. All we have is the 'subway square'. By convention, I consider that this square is the station, and I run tunnels into and from that square. When 2 lines intersect in a station under a road it looks like this:

DmZByu.jpg

 

I know that the tunnels intersect at a single level, but I 'assume' the integrity of the intersecting 'lines', just like in the above example of the Paris metro at the Belleville station. Route queries show Sims travelling from one 'line' to another, and I assume that they do that by changing trains in the station (even though there is, of course, nothing like that happening).

I avoid the crossing of lines outside of stations (with very few exceptions), because of the unnatural flows in the tunnels. I am aware of the ESURE mod that was designed in part to overcome the problem of the level crossing of tracks; unfortunately that mod is restricted in its usage, and was insufficiently developed, so that I have found it quite difficult to implement in my cities.

 

There are two cases where the restriction of only 2 lines crossing at a station can be lifted.

1. Avenue subway+ bus combo RTMT stations cover 2x2 tiles, and the 4 tiles are part of the station, even though the subway square only covers one of the tiles. This allows to bring more lines to the station, and also to lay 2 parallel tracks under avenues when the traffic warrants it. For example:

ASHggk.jpg

 

2. SLURP'ed railway stations act as large subway stations, since all tiles of those railway stations are subway-enabled. This allows to bring several subway tunnels to the railway station. For example:

LkNEln.jpg

 

Finally, here are the pictures of subway networks in the CBDs of two cities in the Talaran cluster. I am still expanding the cities, and dealing with the traffic generated.

DPIL8T.jpg

In the above picture most lines link residential and industrial areas to the CBD, transitioning to GLR at the outskirts of the CBD. Some lines are limited to the CBD, like for example the short line from the train station, that may be extended later.

 

The picture below illustrates that various section of subway lines have very different rates of usage, down to a section between two stations that is sofar not used at all:

Ih9Rse.jpg

I have observed this in many cities. It is as if the traffic simulator deliberately ignores the existence of some subway tunnels. Presumably those sections are not attractive for the Sims, there are alternatives, buses for example.

 

Very recently I implemented the first cross-city subway link between Arcens and Deramey, because the 2x2 tracks railway link was saturated. I'll report later about that link, which is not yet fully operational. Other similar links are planned.

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Pierre,

 

... i felt this was one of your best postings in a  long time my friend !

Thanks for the detailed history of the Paris subway system, it was quite the interesting read.. i especially enjoyed the last pic you provided under Place de la Republique . Also some very nice diagrams you provided to help the reader's understandings of this.

Next we move on to your excellent subway systems.,

First off I am always impressed by the high subway usages your able to generate by the excellent engineering designs you use.. You have always been an impressive role model to other aspiring mass transit players.

Second, I feel you use very good spacing between your subway stations..

Very recently I implemented the first cross-city subway link between Arcens and Deramey, because the 2x2 tracks railway link was saturated. I'll report later about that link, which is not yet fully operational. Other similar links are planned.

I look forward to this report..

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This post is about regional playing in the Talaran cluster. There may be further posts on the same subject, depending how far I get into that discussion. I am certain that everything that I will describe here has already been exposed time and again in other forums in the course of time. Since I prefer to play, and report about it, rather than read old forum entries, I am not aware of how many open doors I am going to crash into here.

 

In this CJ's first post I showed how the 9 cities in the cluster are linked so as to prevent the occurence of the Eternal Commuter syndrom. I show these links again here:

SOTXRH.jpg

We look now more specifically at the links between Arcens, Deramey and Cherenne:

UFXV5a.jpg

Arcens has links with Deramey, and Deramey has also links with Cherenne. This means that there will also be traffic between Arcens and Cherenne, going thru Deramey. The more links a city has with its neighbors, the more thru traffic flows are occuring. When the cities' populations grow, these 'pass-thru' flows become significant.

 

Arcens, being at the center of the cluster and being linked to its 4 neighbor cities, should have a lot of traffic, including pass-thru traffic. Oddly, as already noted earlier, this is the slowest developing city in the cluster; its central position hasn't turned it into a big hub - but its complex topography with large bodies of water explains perhaps at least partly its relative under-development.

Traffic, within a city as well as between linked cities, is generated by Sims going to work in the morning commute, and going back home during the evening commute. Within the confine of one city, where they go to work is determined by the Destination Finder, and how they get there is determined by the Pathfinder, both being components of the Traffic Simulator. (This is wonderfully documented in the tutorial about the Traffic Simulator in the SimCity Encyclopedia).

When a link exists between two cities, the tile or tiles at the border 'represent' the other city with all its places of work. Since the Destination Finder always tries to find a job for a Sim as close as possible to its residence, if the border tile of the link is closer to the residence as the commercial or industrial areas, the Sim will be sent to work in the other city rather than in the city where he resides.

I have been aware of this 'property' of the game for a long time, but I still don't factor it sufficiently in my zoning decisions. The price to pay for this is increased inter-city traffic.

The following picture shows the current zoning in Arcens, and schematically the flows of traffic observed:

7jMNrk.jpg

R1, R2 and R3 are residential zones; C1 and C2 are commercial zones; industrial zones play a lesser role in the flows and are not considered here.

Because the residential zones are close to the borders of the city, the Destination Finder sends many Sims to the other cities looking for work. Of course the commercial zones find workers - otherwise they would dilapidate. C1 gets Sims mainly from R3, and to a lesser extent, from R2 (dotted blue line); C2 gets Sims mainly from R1.

 

I tried to force Sims to go work to their city's CBD rather than to another city, by implementing the following railway layout: TSR is the train station in the residential zone, TSC is the (main) train station in the CBD; the tracks at TSR are laid out so that Sims taking the train at that station can only travel to TSC, and therefore, to the CBD:

3rxNQ3.jpg

But this doesn't work: Sims going to work in the other city (on the right of the drawing) board trains from TSR to TSC, change trains there, and travel to the next city (pink flow). As a result, the load on the tracks between TSC and TSR is actually doubled, since the same Sims travel those tracks 2 times!

Of course the same thing happens on highways: if only partial intersections are laid out in the residential zone, so that the highway can only be entered to drive to the CBD, Sims will still drive to work to the other city, by changing directions at the next full intersection (using the exit ramp, crossing the highway on a surface road, and using the entrance ramp in the reverse direction).

 

In Arcens, because the border to Deramey is closer to the R2 residential area than the main CBD (C1 commercial area), a heavy flow of workers is observed between R2 and the eastern border. I already illustrated in a previous post the congestion on the railway tracks between Arcens and Deramey. As a reminder here is the previous situation in the train station in the R2 residential area of Arcens:

9ZcqXe.jpg

The train station (Passenger Railroad Depot) was saturated, running at 277 % capacity.

 

I replaced the Depot by the Surbiton Station that has a higher capacity, and I added an inter-city subway connection between Arcens and Deramey, hoping to relieve the railway tracks.

A few game months later, the situation has not improved. The Surbiton station runs at 214 % capacity, the total number of passengers in the station has grown, and both dual tracks to Deramey are saturated (65535 passengers on both - note that the picture is rotated 90 degrees relatively to the previous one):

Bo5sUA.jpg

 

The subway connection to Deramey is not saturated yet but is already quite heavily used:

EP0HtJ.jpg

(Other flows in the picture are those of surface GLR tracks)

Possibly the subway should not be connected to the Surbiton railway station, because it increases the load on that station. Yet it should collect Sims in the residential area, and needs subway stations in that area. This is a point that I'll look into further. More measures are required to reduce the saturation on the railway; there is no room for a third pair of tracks, so something else will need to be implemented.

(to be continued)

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Pierre,

very intensive and educational posting on regional play and mainly its effects on traffic flows and routing in Sim city 4 !!

First i am very happy you have posted this as you have more experience and know more about region play in SC 4 than i do my friend ..

Quote

In this CJ's first post I showed how the 9 cities in the cluster are linked so as to prevent the occurence of the Eternal Commuter syndrom. I show these links again here:

i liked how you set this up and to me it is a good city set up for region play with a lot of thought being put into the issues of the eternal commuter issues..

After reading your fine analysis on the issues concerning commuters using the borders, and the difficult issues of the traffic on those :

To me it seems despite all the changes and improvements to the traffic Sim over time ( most of these have been implemented by Z ).. that none of these have effected how sims handle the border connections. So it is very much like how the original game worked concerning traffic.. Which i summarize by saying that it seems the sims only factor in chosing these connection tiles for their commutes would be the direct straight line number of tiles that exists between there homes and the connection tile, and nothing else it seems. So it does not seem to matter what the commute times are and how you construct your transit system to effect this. it is still based only on the actual straight line distance as a product of number of tiles .. But sure if this is correct, i can see how this would be very frustrating in a player's attempts to change there commutes and routing.

But please keep us updated on the transit changes you are implementing to do the best you can with the traffic congestion situation ?

 

 

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It is time to present a general overview of the current development of the Talaran cluster. Here is a general view, with the city limits removed for better clarity:

uz2jSz.jpg

(Since I used the Steam version of the game I haven't been able to use the full screen width, in spite of the specification in the start parameters, hence the cut on both sides).

 

Now for some statistics. In the following table the cities are listed in decreasing order of population. The first 6 cities are growing 'in parallel', the others lag behind to various degrees, with Arcens at the bottom of the list. I also show the age, in game years, of each city, and the average yearly growth of its population, as well as the total population of the cluster:

DUesdW.jpg

All cities are relatively 'young'. I play at slow speed, and I pause the game during large zoning activities and during  the construction of large infrastructures (especially when this entals interrupting roadways or transit infrastructures).

The city with the best developement rate is Prandergal, one of the youngest at 38 game years; it also has one of the best potential for further growth nd will surely exceed one million Sims when fully developed. On the other hand, Polsay has nearly no more room to grow and will probably remain low in the list.

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Pierre ,

thanks for your informative post on your cities population.. + .. you give what i assume to be the full region population total also ?

this looks to be a very exciting time for you as you have no less than 6 cities that are now over 800 K population !

I am hoping that you plan future population milestone postings as each city exceeds the 1 million population mark ?

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