Heavy rail system delivers the goods
When Cities Skylines first came out the heavy rail system was more optimised for moving freight or inter-city passengers rather than commuters. Commuters were best to use the busses or subway system if they wished to use transit to get around..
With After Dark and Snowfall DLC’s as well as a few transport mods to sharpen up game play heavy rail has become the favoured choice in moving the most amount of commuters over long distances across a Cities Skylines map.
I have blogged at Talking Southern Auckland how a transit system has a hierarchy for people moving efficiency:
- Short distances and feeders: bus
- Medium distances: Light Rail (and subway)
- Long Distances most often regional or high-capacity short distance shuttling: Heavy Rail
The same principle applies to Cities Skylines as well although a subway line can span the same distance as a heavy rail line. It is that the subway stations are at much shorter gaps between each one compared to a heavy rail station. Also subways being underground save space in high density areas like a City Centre so optimally the surface heavy rail system brings the passengers to the outskirts of the City Centre from the region while the subway moves people around the City Centre free of road conflicts busses or light rail would otherwise face.
Developing the City Centre and heavy rail
Layton City already had a fledgling heavy rail system with two commuter lines and an inter-city line. With the development of the City Centre, Downtown and, the Airport District is the heavy rail system coming into its own.
The heavy rail system works through moving people between hubs or rather Centres. Where there is a station often that station will be alongside other transit nodes such as bus stations, subway stations, tram stops and from time to time parking buildings. The urban development around what is effectively a transport interchange is often high density with lower density developments as you get further out (unless it is a cluster like the City Centre, Newmarket, Downtown corridor or a minor secondary city centre like well Manukau).
So the heavy rail system moves people between the Centres in a rapid fashion unlike the other modes except for maybe the subway system.
If you are wondering about cost the passenger rail system generally breaks even in cost. However, the wider system does post a loss on nominal monetary value. But with ~6,000 cars and several hundred trucks off the road (the City is 100,000 in population) the benefits arrive in more than simple monetary terms.
As for the City Centre that is now developing with the central station and Civic Square all set to go. Now it to lay down the zones, the bus and tram stops and we are away with the heart of Layton City.