Let There Be Rail
An integral part of Whitefall is its basic rail system. Thirteen stations, one line. Shared with freight. Basic grade-separation on major roads. The rail system was intended to provide a back-bone for the majority of the city as it stands today. (region views are on page 1)
The rail system is well-used, being the only means of transport for many people. Trains run every 20 minutes with limited connecting bus services.
Today, we look at the first six stations on the network...
Whitefall Industrial Park
The current terminus of the main line that runs through Whitefall, Whitefall Industrial Park is the most heavily used station on the network, with an average of 1500 passengers per hour passing through its doors. Whitefall Industrial Park station also has the freight and rail maintenance yard located next to it, making this particular station very important to the entire network.
It services the industrial park and much of the northern-most suburbs of Whitefall.
One of Whitefall's largest single employers is located here: Joseph Rank Ltd. A flour mill that was constructed to provide the region with finely-milled high-quality flour, the facility employs 1805 people. In a classic example of vertical integration, a number of wheat farms and bakeries also fall under the Joseph Rank banner.
The next station on the line is no less important, either. Completely surrounded by development, it is an important interchange station providing connecting services to nearby Whitefall North Station by bus. The catchment is entirely residential. Whitefall's only radio station is also located here.
Another terminus station, for the spur line, Whitefall North is located close to the State Fair and the town centre. However, it suffers from infrequent services, so the station is basically underused.
Whitefall State Fair is a popular attraction, located conveniently close to transport. The station for North Whitefall originally stood across the road until a decision was made to move it further into town to provide better transport options for these people in the southern part of North Whitefall.
Back on the main line, Whitefall Heights is the last station before the rail line enters the tunnel under the subdivisions of Whitefall Heights. Located next to a smaller hamlet that is technically part of North Whitefall, Whitefall Heights has not changed much compared to the rest of the city.
Located at a busy intersection, Whitefall Heights is also a heavily used station.
Whitefall Heights is also the largest suburban subdivision, and provides many nice views over the rest of town to the water, depending on where you live in the Heights. Of course, this comes at a cost: it is one of the more expensive areas in Whitefall, which really isn't saying much, but it is.
Another major station, Whitefall Central is important as it provides service to the majority of Whitefall proper. It is the second-busiest station on the network, with 1250 passengers per hour passing through its doors. It has been planned to become a major hub for many rail lines in the future, however current situations prevent this from happening for upwards of 50 years.
Whitefall Central stretches from the Heights to the shores of the Whitefall River.
The last station on today's tour, Woodcroft Road is one of the busier stations on the network, providing access to the industrial park there. It also is the oldest passenger station on the network, since it was formerly the original terminus for the Whitefall River line before it was extended to Whitefall North.
Where to from here?
The future of the northern part of Whitefall's rail system is bright. Future extensions will definitely occur, and these will be done over the next 20 years if necessary. Most extension will be done from Whitefall Industrial Park, in Whitefall's northern suburbs. Investments in road infrastructure will go hand-in-hand with the extension of the rail line.
Part 2 of this update will go up tomorrow. If not, it will go up Friday. Remember, I update sporadically.