Moerp, TekindusT, 111222333444, Hamish, Schulmanator, Benedict, Huston, schokoladeneis 1: thank you so much for your kind words! I'm very happy you liked my first entry
ROFLYoshi: Thanks you! It's the Missouri Breaks terrain mod from the LEX.
Pioneer: It's just the story. It's of course not 'liberal' in the American sense of the word, but in the European sense: progressive on social issues, but on the right on economic issues. Personally I think green-blue is an interesting combination, so I chose that coalition for my CJ.
Allons-y, Alonso! (It's Doctor Who-day today.)
Today and in the coming posts, we're going to take a look at parts of the capital city of Vloesem, Bunden (archaic, meaning 'city of the federation'). This post (and the following) will present the public transportation infrastructure of the capital. We will especially focus on the underground system ('Metro') and the subway stations. We'll also take a look at interesting parts of the city on the ground that are in the vicinity of the stations.
Today: history and old parts of the system.
The oldest parts of the metro system were built from the 1940s when migration from the countryside to the capital city, the creation of suburbs, and the concentration of large office buildings in the emerging CBD caused growing demands for public transportation. The first few stretches were of course constructed where commuters needed to go: the CBD. This was also the part of town where the construction of tunnels was the easiest: roads were large and straight and the area was being reconverted from old industrial neighbourhood to CBD. This meant in this part of the city, it was possible to dig tunnels with the cut and cover-method without demolishing too many buildings.
How the area looks like today:
Construction went very fast thanks to the economic boom of Vloesem in the 1940s, and in 1949 the first stretch was opened. (operated with trams running underground, not yet heavy rail). Now the Central train station and the Liberté ('Freedom') underground station were connected, people from the eastern suburbs now had the ability to take the tram to station 'Citadel' and change to the metro system there, which allowed them to get faster to the center of the city.
Work did not stop, though. This time, the metro was extended towards the west of the city, to better connect the medieval historical center of the city. Construction techniques had improved, so roads didn't necessarily need to be followed. The construction of a metro line under the picturesque old town was however not attempted, because of fears that buildings would be damaged. Underground trams now stopped just outside the old town.
This part of the metro project (extension from Central Station to Helden - 'Heroes') was inaugurated in 1956. The system now counted 1 line and 14 underground stations. People could travel from the eastern to the western side of the city, via the CBD.
Although the system had outgrown its childhood, it was still limited to the dense center of the city. For this reason, construction on a second line began that would go from the center of the city to the less dense residential neighbourhoods of the capital. It was projected to open in 1962, but Vloesem was confronted with an economic crisis in the early '60s and public investments had to slow down. Vloesem had allowed deficits that were too large (over 10% of GDP) and this caused a public debt that increased very fast (side effect was that the state had to pay more and more interest!).
Because of this, construction was delayed and the second line opened in 1968. The system counted 20 stations, with line 1 going from Liberté to Helden and line 2 from Liberté to Thompson.
After '68, construction speed increased again now the worst of the crisis was over and economy was growing again with more than 3% per year. The next stretch was already opened in 1974 when 3 stations were added to line 2, that now stopped at Olympiade instead of Thompson. Line 1 was also finally extended to the medieval center, where a tunnel was constructed with a modern tunnel boring machine. Though no major incident occured, two housed collapsed, but luckily there were no casualties. The system now had 26 stations and during this phase it was converted from underground tram to a real metro with heavy rail. The iconic orange trains were introduced during that time.
After this phase, the metro was again extended in the east of the city, this had not happened since 1949! Finally the efforts of the inhabitants to convince the municipality and the province had succes. The eastern neighbourhoods were now connected.
Line 1 was finished and now went from Voltaire in the north-east to Lequay in the west, it counts 25 stations. Line 2 was also finished and now went from Liberté to Astronomie, it counts 27 stations. This part was first used in 1982.
The (until now) penultimate stage was finished in 1993. The metro system was overcrowded: two lines was far too little for a city like Bunden, so the construction of a circle line began. This line was constructed under one of the 'Grands Boulevards', in the chique part of town, where most flagship stores and exclusive boutiques are located.
Only 10 years ago, the network was completed. In 2003, the last new stretch was opened by the president (who operated the first train in service), which permitted the creation of a circle line, line number 4, a true circle line: it operates non-stop and has no beginning or ending. Line 3, the yellow line, was now also extended to the north east, which was good news for the people of that part of the city: frequencies doubled on that stretch.
Actual metro mapThis is the actual metro map of Bunden, with transfer possibilities (buses not included) and station names. It can be viewed in a higher resolution by clicking this link.
Animation of the construction phases:
Post Scriptum: I hope you have enjoyed this second update of my City Journal. I know it is rather long, but I tried to keep the text a bit interesting. For people not interested in text I tried to add enough pictures to keep it interesting. Please leave your comments (and a +1, if you don't mind ).
Next update we will make an excursion, in the update after that we will take a ride on the subway.