In my CJ, someone asked how to make a realistic railyard, so I'll share my secrets. First off, there's a couple of useful plugins that I'd recommend:
1. BRF Tunnel & Slope Mod by BigRedFish. NOTE: Unable to find. If you have a link to this file, please let us know!
2. BRF UrbanLegend Traffic Control Pack by BigRedFish
3. Newman Inc Rail Warehouse (optional) by CityNut NOTE: Unable to find. If you have a link to this file, please let us know!
4. BSC SimCityRail Utility Lot Pack by Deadwoods
5. PEGs RR lots
6. Any other rail plugins you might have could work just as well
Part I: Making the Railyard
The key to success with a railyard is flat, open terrain. If you're considering doing this in a city, I really do recommend making this one of the first things you do on a blank city square. Medium squares work best, but large and small also work just as well. I'll be conducting this session on a medium map.
Add a small spur. Length of the spur is irrelevant, as it only needs to be a few tiles in length. Repeat this process on the other end of where you want your rail yard to be. (see below)
Here’s the tricky part: start branching off of one spur line such as seen above. The number of tracks you make is up to you. The key is to make one trunk line, and then branch off into the spur lines.
Extend the branch lines. The outer-most line is the easiest to extend first, as it will determine your boundaries for the yard.
Connect the tracks like such. Once you've gotten your outer tracks set, the inside should be a piece of cake.
Now simply reconnect all the tracks in the yard.
Viola! The finished product. Up until now, we’ve created a completely eye-candy piece of real estate, the following steps will show you how to make it partially functional.
Part II: Making it function: How to get maximum freight trains on your tracks
Adding industrial zones just won’t get the job done. A couple factories may use the freight stations seen above, but I can guarantee you that most of the zones you see above will make haste for truck traffic to the edges of the map.
Below, I’ll show you how to force Industrial zones into using the RR to transport freight. It's a little trick I stumbled across in my cities, and should work well for you.
This is why I recommend the BRF UrbanLegend Traffic Control Pack. It comes with a handy-dandy zone(s) that prevent trucks from passing on roads, streets, and avenues. They can be found in your Misc. Transportation menu (if you’ve installed them, of course), and are very useful for situations like this.
When you plop these zones, it’s best to have the roads laid down already, and it’s best that you identify every possible roadway that trucks might take out of your city. Roads closest to the industrial zones are easiest to tag with these.
Again, I can't stress the importance of closing off all your streets to truck traffic. Doing this will route all those trucks onto the railroad.
Note: Leaving just one street open will ensure that a lot of trucks will go down that street- make sure to get them all closed off. Remember, SC4 industry seems to prefer trucks over all else.
If you have any questions about this article, please PM STOmnibus.