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About this City Journal

Westover is a massive region (8x8 large maps) with fantastic coastlines. We're going to see a little bit of everything here so pull up a chair and enjoy!

Entries in this City Journal

atsummerlin53

Welcome back, Simtropians!!

Well it's the saddest day of the year in Westover: the end of the professional soccer and competitive rugby seasons. The games are finished, the points are in, and champions have been crowned in each of the four divisions. Dragons are this year's Elite champions, although it was hard-fought near the end. They had to worry about a late surge in form by runners-up Gremlins. Fortunately, Dragons were able to take it a little easy on the last day of the season as it was impossible for Gremlins to catch up to them. The Elite and Premier leagues have only been around for 26 years, but have made steady progress improving not only the quality of play on the field, but the passion and pride in the fan-bases supporting each team. There are twenty teams in each division. The bottom three Elite teams are relegated to Premier, while the top three Premier teams are promoted. Unlike some divisions out there, there are no playoffs for any of the relegation or promotion spots.This year Eagles, Knights, and Wrens were relegated and will have to fight to bounce back up next season.

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Earning the promotion spots were the Rebels, Admirals, and Lumberjacks. We'll see whether or not they're able to keep up with the bigger dogs of the Elite league and avoid dropping back down at the first try. The financial incentives to stay up are pretty good, and have been used by most clubs to finance not only better talent, but stadium improvements and training academies.

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This is a nice view of Dragons' home ground (The Lair) in Menokin. Situated in a mostly residential part of the city, it seats a modest 22,436 fans in relative comfort. Not the fanciest of venues, it is a fan-favorite with its excellent sight-lines, wonderful pitch, good transportation connections, and cleanliness.

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Here, we have Gremlins' stadium (Erco Arena) in Germanna. Slightly smaller with only 19,537 seats, it's still a great place to catch a match.

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And finally, this is the home of the Premier League Kingfishers in Chericoke. An up-and-coming team, they finished fourth in the lower league this year, and are hoping to break into that top three tier in the next couple of years. This stadium only seats 6,297 fans, but they're passionate and love to sing the team off the field at the end of each game.

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Although there is not enough fan interest in Westover to build and sustain a professional rugby league, there are lots of adults who take out stress from their daily lives on the rugby pitch. Some of these clubs have huge numbers of participants and field teams in several different age and skill groups. They also start 'em young, with introductory sessions for elementary and middle school students. Tournaments are regular occurrences on the sports calendar in Westover, and teams come from all over the country to participate. Just as in the soccer leagues, the bottom and top three teams swap leagues at the end of the season. There are no major financial incentives, but the competition is stiffer in the upper league and local bragging rights are important.

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As you can see, there are a lot of Eastside teams in the league right now. As the largest club in the region, Eastside has a large representation in the leagues. But, as the leagues become more popular and other clubs form, the Eastside teams will undoubtedly lead the charge in forming a new league format. They have a fairly large field complex and host one of the largest tournaments in the country every year.

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Finally, we get a quick look at some of the other sports facilities in the region.

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Thanks for visiting again!!

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atsummerlin53

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Welcome back to Westover, Simtropians!! Although I am consider myself by no means even an advanced user of the lot editor, I've spent a considerable amount of time recently working with it, trying to improve the variety of lots in my city. I've focused on construction lots recently as I realized that although there are some extremely useful lots on the STEX already, many of them aren't really appropriate for the level of development I have in my city. Also, they don't quite do justice to the sorts of buildings and projects that I was seeing. So, I put together a few lots that I though would be useful for my latest CJ entry on expanding the airport. So, here we see some of the lots that I've put together over the last week. Since the airport will be an ever-expanding project as my city grows, and as my CJ philosophy revolves around the entirety of a project, rather than static shots of the finished project, good construction lots will be vital to my future work. Absolutely feel free to offer suggestions and criticism (bearing in mind that it's still early for me).

@NMUSpidey: Thanks! I used inkscape for both the map and the logo (something else at which I'm developing my skills).

@k50: Thanks for the compliment; it's off to somewhat of a slow start, but something new gets added to it all the time.

Well, as I've said before, right now this is simply The Airport to Westover's citizens. Since nobody has really done anything special in the region yet, the politicos have decided not to change the name until somebody does something big enough to deserve having the airport named after them. Prior to this expansion, there were only 6 jetbridge gates and 1 walk-out gate and no parking or maintenance facilities at the airport. In fact, there wasn't even a fire-station. Clearly some poor planning on the part of the designers. Most of these deficiencies have now been corrected. There still aren't adequate maintenance facilities, but there airport managers have hired a consulting firm and are developing a master plan for future expansion.

This is a 'before' shot of the airport prior to having its parking lots repaved.

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Here we have the beginning of the expansion: adding an access road to allow equipment to start infrastructure for the newest concourse and gates. As you can see the WTA's Airport Station is in the upper-right corner, as well as a small walking park betwixt the station and terminal. Arrivals parking is at the top and departures is at the bottom.

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Now, it's crunch time. Water, sewer, electrical, and communications lines are being laid, ground is getting leveled and foundations are starting to take shape for the expanded terminal and concourse, and preparations are being made to start on the new parking deck. The train station is being moved to accommodate connections to the terminal, and the walking park is being redesigned.

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The terminal and concourse expansion is complete, as well as the new Airport Station. Groundwork on the new short-term parking deck and long-term surface lot are well under way, and the perimeter road has been finished.

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And, here we have the completed terminal, concourse, short-term deck, and long-term lot. The walking park has been sodded and planted, and parking at the train station is also complete. The concourse now features 11 jetbridge gates and 1 walk-out gate. The terminal expansion means it will be capable of handling the additional traffic for any expansion up to 20 total gates. Currently, only Lufthansa and US Airways fly to the Airport, but there is ticketing space for several others when it becomes needed.

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Rectifying a long-standing deficiency in airport facilities, a brand-new fire station was built on the west end of the concourse. Capable of handling the largest aircraft fires, it also houses Coggin's Point Fire Department (CPFD) engines as part of an agreement with the nearby town.

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Across the runway from the terminal, parking places have been added for 6 small or mid-size jets. Airport officials hope to increase traffic and business by attracting charter groups. But, rather than have charters take up gate space at the main terminal, passengers would be bused to these planes after passing through security. We'll see whether or not that plan works. (Rather than create new lots for these 'empty' lots, I just didn't install the SCAG Dependancy before taking this picture. Now that I've installed it, there will be luggage carts and groundstaff around these planes, henceforth).

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This is the extent of the passenger side of the airport. There are as yet no cargo-handling facilities at the airport, since most cargo into the region comes by ship, train, and truck. Development of the master plan does include provisions for adding warehouses and freight facilities. I think it's coming along rather well 8) .

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And finally, we get the macro view of the area. Port Nottoway to the north, Coggin's Point between the port and the airport, the George River beyond the port, and the St. Claire River to the East.

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Not a lot of statistics in this update, as I'm still fleshing out that part of my CJ. Forty-six daily departures, however, to a combined dozen cities by the airlines.

Thanks for visiting Westover and I'll see you all next time when we get a look at the local sports scene in Westover!

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atsummerlin53

Welcome back Simtropians!

Now it's time for a new railroad update. I've tried creating custom lots before, but haven't devoted enough time for it before. With the substantial growth of freight and passenger traffic throughout the region, it was time for the Westover Transportation Authority to build a few dedicated maintenance facilities. As part of these efforts, engine and passenger car maintenance facilities have been added, as well as a motor pool. And these are just a few of the numerous rail lots that will be making their way into Westover.

This is the existing WTA network, with a few additional stations already in the planning stages:

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The main facilities have been constructed at the north end of the Blue Line beyond the airport. The first facility constructed was the engine maintenance yard. Trains don't do you any good if they won't go anywhere. This lot is still somewhat of a work in progress, so don't be surprised if it changes over time.

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Next, the network needed a maintenance and wash-down facility for its passenger cars. These things can get filthy pretty quickly working 20 hours a day moving commuters and visitors on Westover's rail lines. So, we have a shed that can hold a 6-car consist out of the elements, as well as a modest number of sidings for additional maintenance work and short-term storage.

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There are also sidings for maintaining and upgrading the interiors of cars, as well as outfitting the trains for special requests. This lot still has a lot of work to do, but I wanted to get it out there for this update, rather than wait.

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In order to keep all of those rail lines, trains, and buildings up to standard, the WTA also owns a substantial fleet of support vehicles. The motor pool has storage, repair, cleaning, and storage vehicles for dozens of vehicles ranging from small pickups to large, tractor-trailers and tankers. The large sheds give the WTA plenty of space to perform maintenance in-house rather than outsourcing to contractors.

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At the end of the day, all of those trains have to go somewhere, so several large plots of farmland have been acquired for the construction of a large storage yard for passenger trains. Most of the trains here are only in use during rush hour, and so they wait here until needed.

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Thanks for coming back to Westover!!! Helpful comments are always appreciated, and I'll see you next time!

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atsummerlin53

@ dubaidude303 and Forthwall thanks for the compliments!

Well, I know I said I would be doing a railroad update last time, but I decided to change things up a bit, instead. Instead I've got a new container terminal (East) at Port Nottoway, so we'll get a look at it's construction and development. With one exception these pictures are oriented looking west.

First, a look at the area under development. The rail line is a secondary feeder line for the West Terminal, and up to now was rarely used as it does not have a good connection to the marshalling yards or intermodal terminal at West.

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At the start of construction the first thing to do is cut the new terminal access roads. Then, start the laborious process of clearing the terminal property of everything green or brown so that it can be replaced by gray concrete and black asphalt.

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Having gotten off to a good start on land-clearing, there is now room for the construction offices and a wind energy station to power them.

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At this point, the terminal owners took a long, hard look at their power-consumption and decided to install a new solar energy plant on the site to increase their renewable energy resources and become less reliant on the waste-to-energy plant at the West Terminal. The contractor has made a lot of progress and started building the pier complex. They've also cleared the plot for the soon-to-be-built cement plant.

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This picture being the one exception, looking south we can see the plant ready to start delivering massive quantities of cement. We've also got sanitary and storm water drainage systems being installed beneath the roadbed while pierwork continues.

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The solar energy plant has already been expanded to take some of the load from the waste-to-energy plant, and pierwork continues apace. The first set of piers is almost done, and the easternmost section of this project is now starting to project into the George River. These will be 50-foot deep berths, capable of handling the largest container liners in the world.

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Pierwork has been completed, with the exception of the heavy equipment. The pier cranes and container cranes are still en route from the manufacturer, but the piers themselves are ready to go. The cement plant has been dismantled, and work has commenced on the warehouse section and new bulk cargo rail terminal. The access road has also been paved, and you can see the large stacks of lumber ready to go into rail construction.

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Finally, we get a look at the whole complex, including new multi-modal terminal, maintenance shops, and warehouse section. The cranes have been christened and the first ship is ready to depart for her first delivery. The solar energy station has reached its designed capacity and now supplies most of West and East Terminals energy needs. A seawall has been installed along the shoreline and will provide a lot of stability if and when a hurricane decides to come calling.

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I haven't decided what my next update will be. There's nothing else I can say about that.

Thanks for viewing!!

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atsummerlin53

Sorry about the long delay, but it's time for another update on Westover's transportation network. The WTA continues to add new lines and stations throughout the southeastern portion of Westover. I'm still developing my map-making skills so bear with me on that part.

Here is the current map of the region, sans legend. Remember that the St. Claire river runs between the Green and Blue lines. As of yet, there is only a ferry crossing (not shown) that links these lines above Allendale Station. Also, Rosedown Station, the newest station on the network is not on the map. It would be southeast of Linwood Station.

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Rosedown Station is the end of the line for the Yellow, Red, and Blue Lines, and also the southeastern-most end of the WTA's responsibility.

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Here we have the small, but soon-to-be upgraded Landry Station, one of the busiest stops on the Orange and Yellow Lines. Arriving now is a Yellow train from Menokin's Fairhaven Station.

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Finally, we have Montrose Station on the Yellow Line. Another busy station, here we have a Yellow Express eastbound to Rosedown Station from Rienzi Station, and a local heading to Landry.

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Well, that's it for this edition. Look for more rail updates next week as I keep making additions to the network and its accompanying maps.

atsummerlin53

Good evening everyone,

Welcome aboard Naval Operations Base (NOB) Mearside. Although the people of Westover like to believe that they live in a completely peaceful world, they know that there are still, unfortunately, people out there who wish them harm. So, the government has invested a considerable sum in developing a strong naval presence in the region. Although the naval base is well-developed already, there are plans for lots of expansion along the shore of Agreer Bay.

First off, I must give credit where credit is due. The naval base lots and ships are courtesy of the SNM team (all lots came from the LEX at sc4devotion.com). The large frigates that you see tied up at the pier are courtesy of ILL Tonkso. For future reference I also have Pegasus' CDKN naval lots, but they have yet to be integrated into existing facilities. I have to save something for the future. The trail parks that you see running next to the roadways are also courtesy of Pegasus.

Let's get oriented before we dive into the nitty-gritty. NOB Mearside is located at the northern edge of the city of Belvoir, and on the southern shore of Agreer Bay. The St. Claire river runs south to north between Belvoir, The Airport and the eastern approaches of Port Nottoway. To the north of Port Nottoway is the George River, which is joined by the St. Claire river at Mearside Point. The water is the Brigantine Water MOD.

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At some point in the future, I will add a greater variety of ships, but for now, the Navy consists of Vanguard-class LHAs, Resolute-class destroyers, Formidable-class frigates, and Justice-class corvettes. Teams are currently drafting several new classes of ships, including aircraft carriers, cruisers, submarines, and battleships.

We'll start with the first-in-class Vanguard (LHA-1). Located in Berth 2 (Berth 1 is the empty space in front of it), it is prepping for a week-long training cruise to work up its newest crewmembers. You can see the bows of the corvettes Audacious, Justice, Courageous, and Indestructible at the bottom of the image.

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Next up, we have the destroyer Resolute undergoing a scheduled maintenance period and overhaul in drydock.

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Here we have 2 Formidable-class frigates, Honorable and Fortitude. Frigates and destroyers are greatly outnumbered by corvettes. Mearside is home to nearly 30 corvettes, but only 3 destroyers and 4 frigates. Those numbers will, of course, change over time, but it is a navy designed mostly for coastal defense rather than true blue-water operations.

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Now we get a glimpse of shoreside operations and support activities. That large warehouse is also part of the SNM lots from the LEX. This one houses one of the bases primary maintenance facilities for weapons and ammunition. All of the secured facilities on the base have their own fencelines and restrict access to only those personnel with postings in the facility. However, to keep everyone happy, the base designers made a point to have plenty of recreational space, hence the trail parks and athletic fields. Parking on the base is confined to two large 8-level parking garages outside the restricted areas. This reduces the overall footprint of the base, and reduces the need for the base police force to deal with lots of auto traffic on base roads.

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Finally, we get a glimpse of the base fire station, which also supports fire-fighting crews from Belvoir, the base's club rugby pitch, recycling center, and second parking garage. The amateur rugby team participates in a league consisting mostly of military teams throughout the country, but also competes in large tournaments that include amateur and semi-professional civilian clubs, as well. The military water tower you see comes courtesy of ancientsociety. The fire station is actually an airport crash station from the LEX, but I think it also serves well here.

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Thanks for viewing. Don't forget to rate and comment!!

atsummerlin53

Well, it's been a little while since I've had a chance to sit down and put together an entry, so here's a brief look at the newest addition to Westover: the airport. It's so small, they haven't even come up with a name for it; they just call it The Airport. Maybe when a few more airlines come in somebody will come up with something better to call it.

Here we have a lovely shot of the terminal and concourse. Only 8 gates at the moment, but that's enough when you only get about 30 flights a day. So far the only carriers are Lufthansa and US Airways Express. Both airlines fly Canadair Regional Jets, with most flights at least 75% full. I have not yet added any modular parking packs or decks to my plugins folder, so my parking lots are repetitive. Never fear, that will be fixed in the near future.

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Across the runway we have the civil aviation area with a small maintenance area and 2 helipads. Accessible via security gate and fence, this part of the airport complex also does not see a lot of traffic. But, it's enough to pay the bills. The airport is somewhat distant from the nearest towns, and sits amongst an extremely large tract of farmland. It does have good road and rail access, however, and there are plans for a cargo terminal when traffic can justify its construction.

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Here is the taxiway-runway junction at the west end of runway 9. Only one runway; nothing spectacular.

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Finally, a slightly zoomed-out look at the west end of the complex (there's nothing at the east end), showing you that it truly is out in the middle of nowhere. A chartered Avrojet is just taking off, heading to someplace bigger.

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Thanks for taking a look, and I'll try not to let it be so long before my next update.

Thanks for viewing!!

COYS!

atsummerlin53

Ah! Virgin coastline . . . there is nothing better than completely unaltered land upon which to build a lovely new marina for Westover. Although smaller marinas have been built elsewhere in the region, this one is going to be quite a bit bigger. It also enjoys the benefits of a well-sheltered bay near the entrance to the George River, making it much safer during severe weather, and providing ready access to the river and gulf.

To orient you I have boxed the area of the region where this construction is taking place. The right-hand side of the pictures face north. If you would like to see the whole region at a glance, please see #3: God's Eye View.

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This is our first look at the soon-to-be developed plot of land on the south side of Willoughby Bay in the Poplar Forest area of Westover.

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The first thing to do is lay down a macadam street to handle the large trucks and vehicles needed to build the infrastructure (power and water lines, sewer pipes, communications). Then, the construction company sets up its project trailer and compounds for materials and vehicles; power lines are added from the nearest major line to provide power to the project.

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Laying down pipes for sanitary and drainage sewers, as well as underground lines for power and telecommunications are the first stage of actual construction.

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As pipe-laying continues, other sub-contractors start infilling and laying foundations for the marina and neighboring fire-dock.

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Now, the marina offices are ready for boats and a sport fishing business has moved in. Also, local zoning for medium-density residential has been carried out by the city zoning board, and a police station is going up across the street.

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The marina, sport fishing, yacht club, and police station have been completed. Large residential buildings are going up next to the police station, plans for the fire dock are continuing, and the macadam street has been updated to a tree-lined, two-lane median road.

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Finally, we get a bird’s eye view of the newest part of Poplar Forest. Finished marina, firedock, Alexandria Elementary School, Barnsley Hospital and its parking lots, police station, curling club at the north end, parks, and the slowly developing medium-rises along Marina Drive. Note also that there is plenty of room for expansion of the marina along the north-facing shore to the right.

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The population of Westover now stands at 252,857. It is mostly an agrarian economy now, providing masses of foodstuffs for the rest of the country. Ports and airports are small, with limited connections to the rest of the world, and trains are a growing part of the transportation sector. So far there are no high-density residential sections, and this is unlikely to change for the foreseeable future as there is just too much available land out there for people to build homes and yards upon.

Thanks for taking a look at this update, and I'll see you next time. Feel free to leave some pointers and suggestions!!

atsummerlin53

#3: God's Eye View

@mb1.0.2: Trains are easily my favorite part of the whole process. Thanks for viewing!

A really quick update today. Well, quick is relative; it took a long time to put this view together, but it will not take very long to see everything in this topographic picture.

I made a mistake in my first entry: this is an 8x8 large city map, not 8x6 as I originally stated. And, just to orient you, the views in my first entry show the bottom left corner of the map. As you can see there is a LOT of water in this map, and there are some monumental challenges coming my way when it comes to connecting the region around that water.

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There have been a few minor modifications to the topography due to urban development in the southeastern portions of the map. The major river is the George River, flowing west to east below the Rienzi Peninsula. Menokin is a rapidly growing city in the absolute southeast corner of the map, situated between the east and south branches of the St. Claire river. The St. Claire River widens, joins the St. Brutus River and winds its way north through Curle's Neck. The St. Claire has been bridged several times by roads and rails, and these connections will certainly grow over time.

For now, that is the limit of the geographic names I've developed so far. Probably some time in the near future I'll make a much better map with labels, major transportation networks, bridge connections, ports, and the tiny airport . . . but that is a project for another time.

If you have any suggestions, they are always greatly appreciated, and thanks for visiting!!!

atsummerlin53

Well, things are definitely beginning to look up in Westover. The population of the region is now just over 200,000, and citizens are definitely looking for innovative options in transportation. Trains being one of the more versatile functions, and one with a lot of carrying capacity, W-T (Westover Transport) has started investing money to build a robust rail network connecting the cities and towns throughout the coastal region. Ridership on the fledgling network is on the rise, and people have given positive reviews about their experiences.

This is Potomac Station, in Coggin's Point, one of the first stations built on W-T's Edgewood Line. Passenger trains share this line with a large number of freight trains entering and exiting nearby Port Nottoway. Here, we can see a Norfolk Southern engine taking a small consist to the piers for export.

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Acadia Station, and the nearby South Freight Terminal were the largest challenge for the small network. Their placement, and requirement to each travel on rails headed in four directions, dictated the complex connections immediately outside the station complex. The two large curves heading south (up) were the result of having limited space to make these connections, but did allow planners to retain the small forested swath between the rails.

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Here we get a very good idea about the volume of traffic through this junction. The complex junction makes it much easier for more trains to arrive in relatively small periods of time without upsetting the time tables of either the passenger or freight companies.

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Finally, an eastbound train arrives at Acadia's platform 5, crossing tracks for South Freight.

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Thanks for taking the time to check on my progress. Until next time!!

atsummerlin53

It's a beautiful day in Westover as we get our first look at this young region. This will be a much more detailed and complete region than the last one I attempted, so bear with me as I try some new things out with it.

To bring everyone up to speed on the state of the region, let us go over a few quick facts. The overall region map size is quite large, at 8x6 large map tiles. No medium or small maps anywhere in the region. Some of you might recognize the area as being that of the Hampton Roads region of southeastern Virginia, which is where I grew up (although I lived in Virginia Beach which is not actually anywhere on the region map). For those of you who followed my brief CJ of Georgiana, this region is located east of Georgiana, abutting the western reaches of the Gulf of Bulshon.

I have not included pictures of the whole region yet, as most of it is uninhabited or undeveloped forest and plains. You can definitely get an appreciation for how much water there is in the region, however, and a feature that will figure prominently in the development of the region. Already, you can see the beginnings of a decent port complex, and the hints of what will develop in the future as far as maritime commerce is concerned.

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This is the western-most portion of the developed areas of Westover. Although there are some farms sprouting up in the hinterlands of the forest, most of the towns in the region have developed in the eastern portions of the region.

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As you can see there is plenty of room for building more port facilities all over the place, but I'll try to contain them to a few well-developed sites in the region that are perfectly suited for large ships, massive railroad sidings, and of course several thousand container stacks.

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And here we can see the eastern approach to the George River. This is a massive river, and it will take some fairly substantial investment in infrastructure and terraforming to cross it. Ferries will be an appropriate means of crossing it in the near future, but we will need to see some clever ideas for bridging it if we are going to see some highly developed regional commerce.

As you can see in these pictures, there are huge farms spread across the region, all of which came about due to the tireless efforts of the SPAM team, and my heartfelt thanks go out to them for creating such a wonderful addition to the game.

Now, a quick look at one of the more advanced towns, Menokin.

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Sited at the confluence of the eastern and southern branches of the St. Claire River, Menokin is no longer a sleepy little town in the middle of farmland. It is rapidly developing a strong industrial base, as well as a large middle class. Although farms crowd the far shores of the river, Menokins civic leaders are putting the final touches on some proposals to expand the borders of the town beyond its current peninsula.

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Finally, Menokin High School, its athletic fields, and the nearby commercial district. Menokin High has long been a decent, but not spectacular, school to attend, and acquits itself well in sending its graduates on to college. Fortunately, the school budget includes a decent amount for athletics and physical education, so its facilities are kept in tip-top shape year round.

Thanks for taking the time to review the beginning of Westover, and I look forward to your comments now and in the future.

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