All Aboard! Taking Layton City Metro Line 2. #CitiesSkylines

Taking a trip around the flag City


Layton City is still my only City that used heavy rail as part of the commuter transit system. All my other cities either use a combination of subway and elevated light rail, trams and/or busses with heavy rail relegated to inter-city movements.


Consequently there are four heavy rail lines that run either around or through Layton City all of which pass through the City Central Interchange in the City Centre. The four Lines are:

  1. Layton Metro #1 and #2: this is the circular line that around the City in either a clockwise or anti clockwise motion. The Line colours are yellow or white
  2. Onehunga Line: This line runs from Olive Park in the South and runs north through the middle of the City before coming to its major interchange in Onehunga. The Line continues and joins Metro Lines #1 and #2 at Beech District before terminating at Onehunga Central. The Line colour is blue
  3. Manukau to Airport Line (that is Layton City International Airport). This Line starts at Manukau Interchange and follows Metro Lines #1 and #2 north until after the East-West Canal where the Line turns right linking up with the Space Elevator, Stadium Park, City Central and finally terminating at the Airport.


I will post the other Lines later on. But today Metro Line #2 (City Central to Manukau and back around to City Central going in a clockwise direction if looking from the south:

Layton City looking from south to north


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Looking down to the City Centre (from north to south)
Manukau Interchange


Layton City is Back #CitiesSkylines

Flagship City has returned


The release of the Mass Transit DLC caused a few hiccups for my establish Cities in Cities Skylines. While I got San Solarian City fixed up quickly my flagship Layton City was more troublesome.


The problem was two-fold:

  • Old subway stations needed replacing
  • An array issue meant the game stalled

Replacing the subway stations (and for that matter having to redraw a heavy rail route) was slow but easier of the two tasks. The array issue (mechanics were beyond the capability of the simulation engine) was something else as the issue could only be “fixed” when the simulation pause. That said after some checking on the Forums it was a simple case of “CLEAR TRAFFIC” which clears the traffic off the roads and starts the simulation again from that point. Given it was a Saturday (industry is offline) it was easier to have the reset done.


And from there Layton City is working again and I am reminded I have to fix up the bus and tram routes cause it looks worse than Auckland right now…..

So here is some aerial shots of Layton City in the day and night:

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And the night shots:

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Good to have the City back. Not so fun going to sort the routes all out when the Transport Lines Manager is poked!


Moving to Clean Energy in Layton City #CitiesSkylines

63% comes from clean sources


Power is a serious business for a large city such as Layton City. Placement of power plants also matters too as the tsunami saga showed when the City Centre was “cleaned” but the power plants were missed. In Layton City nearly two-thirds of its power is produced by non-Green House Gas emitting power plants with nuclear taking the lead.

Unfortunately a quirk in the game means you need incinerators for rubbish as your landfills do fill up and need to be emptied some how. However, and rather fortunately the main Layton City recycling plant recycles about 50% of the City’s trash lessening the need for incinerators. That said those incinerators still produce 17% of the City’s power so at least not all is lost.


Below is a pie chart of Layton City’s power production:

Layton City power production.png


As you can see the City’s four nuclear reactors produce 56% or some 1.92GW/h of total power with gas next in at 20%. The topography of Layton City rules out hydro but a large ocean means I can increase off-shore wind production. There is plenty of capacity in the incinerators so no new ones will be built for a long time even on current growth projections.


However, the demand load is at 90% of total power production so I will be needing a new power plant to be built soon. The question is what. I am most likely to build a new nuclear power station in the inland area of the City away from the Tsunami prone City Centre. While the new nuke plant would take its share to about 65% (meaning clean energy goes to 73% total) gas still forms a large part of energy production. Location of the gas plant is also a factor as it is next door to the energy intensive ore production complex decommissioning the power plant is not straight forward even replacing it with nuclear (becomes expensive to commission two plants back to back). That said the plant will be eventually replaced.


Heating wise Layton City is a temperate climate like Auckland so it can get cold at night. Heating using electricity would tax the power plants that are already at 90% as well as being straight inefficient. So I use a central heating system that covers about 60% of the City (still need to retrofit the historic parts) that draws on geothermal energy – aka natural steam.

Currently 640MW/H of electricity production is saved through the geothermal heating system (load is at 85% capacity) when it gets nippy at night. I prefer using geothermal over oil boilers for both cost and emissions (or lack thereof). Eventually I will get around to retrofitting the historic districts with central heating.


Here are some pictures of power and heat production in Layton City

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As for cutting emissions down further? Time to improve the transit system.


Christmas Sucks Thanks to Tornado #CitiesSkylines

No major damage and minimal lives lost


Well Christmas for Layton City got a tad wet and windy after a freak storm rolled through the City causing mass flooding and even a tornado.


The Imperial Management of Emergencies Agency reported that a EF1 tornado had touched down south of Onehunga and proceeded west through open country before dissipating near Layton City International Airport. However, the severe rains accompanying the tornado had caused mass flooding in the east with the storm water systems unable to cope.

Weather Observation analyst Bill Duncan said storms were not uncommon in Layton City as the Summer rolled on with a few producing a few tornadoes usually out to sea (Waterspouts). Having one touch down on land is unusual however, the Civil Defence system by IMEA worked as it was meant to. Of course the flooding in the east will need to be dealt with after the Foggy Heights Canal again breached its walls causing flooding in Evergreen Heights and Orchard Square.

Layton City Department of Transport reported that minimal damage to infrastructure was reported with a rail line and section of State Highway 20 damaged by the tornado but quickly repaired.


Citizens are hoping the rest of the Summer holidays are not as intense as the Christmas Day tornado. I think we can all count ourselves lucky the sucker missed the airport by mere metres.


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DISASTER! Layton City Surfs Two Tsunamis #CitiesSkylines

Disaster response management worked

Citizens are slow


Okay first lesson with the Tsunami, ONLY HIT THE BUTTON ONCE! The cool down timer and the arrival of the wave does take a long time as in towards six hours of game time being simulated. I accidentally hit the button twice and got a double tsunami which in real life does happen depending on the quake and amount of wave trains it generates.


Early Warning System works

As part of the IMEA (Imperial Management of Emergencies Agency) planning I had laid out a network of Tsunami buoys to detect any waves while deploying radio masts City-wide to give out early warning alerts.

A tsunami buoy


A large radio mast


Sure enough while I was checking out the City Centre as it was a weekend afternoon meaning LOTS of shoppers and tourists the buoys picked up a wave (well two) and the radio masts started sending out the alerts.



So I trigger the evacuation systems and you hear the wailing of sirens across the City alerting people to head to the bunkers – apparently.



People really didn’t start moving until the wave was beginning to break over the sea walls THEN people started moving. Remember I have capacity for 172,000 in a city of 242,000!


The double wave started its trip through the City Centre, Downtown, Airport and Newmarket before heading up one of the rivers meeting the wave from a second entrance.

The result? Surf’s up:

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Included is the disaster response which was extremely prompt with the choppers and later the trucks when the water cleared.


How far would the Tsunami go?

What I was interested to see and equally afraid of was how far would the wave travel up an estuary on one side and the west coast on the other. The estuary is a threat as it leads to the main industrial complex and both nuclear power stations that power the City. The western coast that feeds into another estuary leads to the main airport and to Manukau City Centre and its industrial complex.

The western coast got hammered and it wasnt until the wave met some canal walls that were part of the storm water drainage system did the wave’s reach begin to dissipate. As for the estuary the wave travelled up the waterway causing moderate flooding along the shore. The wave did manage to travel far enough upstream to have the wave reach one of the nuclear plants but only cause very minor flooding. The wave totally faded out before reaching the port while also dissipating well before it could hit Manukau.



The western side


The aftermath?

120,000 people were in the bunkers while 22,000 out of 242,000 were killed in the double Tsunami (9% loss). The City Centre and Downtown were hit but Newmarket which houses the leisure district was effectively wiped out.

The IMEA response teams were prompt and I was able to release the Citizens from the bunkers a short while later.

Infrastructure was hit with subway stations, power transmission, parks, emergency services and schools taken out but thanks to IMEA being fast restoration of those services was prompt.


The Rebuild

By morning the damage could be very easily seen. Newmarket looked like it had a bomb go through it while the City Centre and Downtown also took some damage mainly to infrastructure. The IMEA response units had been through all the infrastructure facilities meaning I could rebuild them very quickly. While with the urban development side about 85% had been seen too and could start rebuilding.

Priority was to get the crematoriums, fire stations and stations back open to avoid a secondary disaster and get the flow of goods and people moving fast.

Once they were built I went back to get everything else.



There were several factors that helped Layton City through a double Tsunami with 9% loss of lives. Yes we had the buoys, masts, bunkers and IMEA but things like the storm water infrastructure was able to pump out the flood waters very fast meaning water was not lingering.

The main industrial complex was never touched as wasn’t one of the nuclear power stations (the other was but very minor flooding that did not cause the reactors to SCRAM). The main water and sewer pumps were also not affected either so the emergency tanks were not needed this time around.

So with main power and water still available the City was able to function (although limited until the infrastructure was fixed) and the industrial complex providing materials for the rebuild.

Busses and heavy rail proved to be the most resilient in the disaster. Once the waves have swept through the busses began operating again straight away with freight and passenger trains not far behind. The subways and tram lines did need extensive rebuilds before they were operational again.

But it shows the resilience in transit modes especially after a disaster. The busses and trains were able to move thousands of evacuated people back home (unless their home was destroyed and a night in the bunkers) while freight trains moved goods and materials to their cargo hubs as part of the rebuild effort.




Already people are moving back and homes and businesses will be rebuilt. Layton City did extremely well with the disaster and its subsequent response. But heck citizens were slow to the bunkers. Next time let’s try to get a few more people there.


Preparing for a #CitiesSkylines Disaster

Fire and water tests Layton City’s resolve


So I got the Natural Disasters DLC for Cities Skylines. Once the mods were updated by their developers (to my massive thanks) I was able to load up Layton City (my grand city of 243,000 which is HUGE for Cities Skylines) and give the new DLC a whirl.

Now I do have the Rainfall mod that properly simulates rain and storm events which means run off and managing storm water effects. This means inlets, detention basins, outlets and pumps throughout the city to move the storm water. So events that trigger flooding like storms, tornadoes and the Tsunami will have their dynamics alters compared to NOT having the rainfall mod.


Preparing for disaster

So before letting a disaster rip (including sodding forest fires that spawn off every time the Rainfall mod lets loose a storm) we need to place down some disaster management items.

Radio towers, sensors (earthquake and tsunami), Deep Space Radar, Weather Radar, fire watch towers, bunkers, disaster response buildings, helicopter depots for fire, medical and police, water storage tanks and a depot to send out vacuum trucks to suck up flood waters. All needing to be placed and strategically.

I decided to create three centralised disaster response management centres that each have enough bunker capacity for 120,000 people. Scatter some more bunkers around the city and we have capacity for 170,000 out of 243,000. Of course police and fire helicopter depots are more scattered around the City for various reasons.

Post disaster the three disaster response centres (Imperial Management of Emergencies Agency) in total can deploy 12 search and rescue helicopters as well as 40 ground units. The IMEA’s were already tested with two small urban forest fires popping up that had caused destruction to some of the urban area. I was quite pleased in the responses and the pace of the rebuild.

So I thought given Layton City is a coastal city how about letting a Tsunami rip? Well I did with very interesting results. Needless to say the three IMEA Centres worked brilliantly as did a stroke of planning brilliance.


Nuclear Disaster?

Layton City is powered by four nuclear reactors and a two-unit gas-fired power station. Given Fukushima I did wonder how the nuclear stations would cope with the Tsunami in Layton City. Would the City suffer 95% losses as other Cities Skylines cities have with the 1-2 Tsunami – nuclear knock out?




Well you will see in the next post as well as the disaster recovery operation (and why rail is king).


In the meantime some photos in the lead up to the Great Layton City Tsunami Disaster:

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The slide show also contains a meteorite strike, a sink hole and a building going over as tests.


In the next post:



Planning the Downtown and More Err Driving. Oh and FLOODING # CitiesSkylines

Been a busy few weeks


It has busy few weeks in Layton City with a housing shortage (oh where have we heard that before) causing issues as well as the worst case of flooding I have ever seen to the City.

Also a new frontier opened up to exploit the mineral ore on the outskirts of the City to try to jump-start the industrial complexes which are causing goods shortages the retail sectors. Another frontier will be opened up later on try out some large format retail options I recently got.

Housing Shortage = MASS HOUSING BUILD

The commercial sector has been booming across Layton City. So much so the industrial complexes can not keep up (sparking opening up ore processing plants to try to jump-start the goods factories) and housing getting rather acute in supply.

Rather than going fringe with the new housing development (although there has been small editions to the fringe following the Onehunga heavy rail Line) I decided to focus development close to the action that was the City Centre. Thus Downtown was formalised with mass amounts of residential zoning being placed down smack bang in the middle of three major employment centres (City Centre, Uptown, Airport Complex).

This is what sprung up:

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The Downtown development will spread over into the Uptown district which is also a Leisure District (night clubs, bars etc).


Going for a drive

One thing I love about Cities Skylines are the mods that allow me to go driving or walking through my City. So here are some more driving pictures (with some context establishing pictures as well):

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The storm water system in Layton City is designed to take most storms with the emergency pumps activating periodically when you get the odd spike as you do in real life. The last intense spike at 4.0mm/hour triggered the pumps and caused one of the storm canals to top itself but not go over the emergency flood walls.

Well a spike of ~5.6mm/hour had to dump itself onto the City and did all hell break loose as result. By hell I mean MAJOR flooding on three districts while transit was shut down City-wide.

I’ll let the pictures tell the story:

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I had to turn off the pumps in the canal to get the water back down and stop it over-topping the emergency flood walls as it already was. This meant some localised flooding elsewhere but I managed to get the levels down in the canals so I could slowly bring the pumps back up.

Downtown I will have to look at as the water and turned the motorway into a river.

But this is the only time I have seen all but one emergency pump going WHILE the flood canals could not cope.

As a consequence I have deepened the canal in question in parts forming what is emergency flood storage when heavy rains hit again. I am also looking at more detention basins so there is more storage available before the pumps are needed.

I can certainly say that flood was an interesting experience.


The New Frontier

Layton City has been enjoying its successes with a booming commercial and office sector fuelling demand for goods and housing. While the housing side is under control the goods production side has not been keeping up meaning shops are short of goods to sell.

While the rail and shipping network is flat out importing there is a very heavy imbalance in the City’s economy. Zoning is placed down for goods producing factories to be built but they are slow in coming. So I have opened up an ore field on the frontier to jump start the factories. Needless to say it is slowing providing the kick needed although it will take some time for industry to establish.

Below is the new frontier being opened up along with some driving shots:

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And finally some random shots:


Next up is laying down the infrastructure to build the new Manukau district with lots of large format retail all linked up by a motorway and a heavy rail line.


All here on Cities Skylines.


Layton City Map Renderings Ctd

How does Layton City look in Maps mode


Seeing your Cities Skyline cities as “photographs” is one thing, seeing your city in Google Maps mode is something else.

Periodically I will run the Cimotographier mod that generates the maps for Layton City – both as an overview and close-up renders.


The overview render is the “low resolution” shot that you can load on a phone (1200 x 900) while the close up is 12,000 x 9,000 and would recommend for desktops only.


The Maps of Layton City:



Close up render. Warning: large size


One thing missing from the maps is the cycle boulevards that run extensively in the City. The mod for the maps needs to be updated to reflect the boulevards and where they are placed. Otherwise you would be able to see the extensive cycle network system in Layton City.


Photos of Layton City


More drive through photos later.


Licence Please: Driving in #CitiesSkylines



In the last post the walk-through photos showed rain had started falling. Well by the time of this post “Flood Warnings” were issued for the first time by Chirper for Layton City. Oddly though while the flood beacons did light up the pumps never activated as the detention basins were able to handle the run off. Most likely the rain was steady for a few hours before hand before the final spike meaning the basins were able to handle it unlike the last flood that did trigger all the pumps.



Hand Over Your Licence Please

I downloaded a new mod today that allows you to take control of vehicles whether it be on the road, on rails, on the sea or in the air much like the old Streets of Sim City (minus the weapons packages).

The mod is still in pre-Alpha stage but the basics of getting a vehicle and controlling it through your city is there. Just make sure you turn the acceleration controls down unless you want to do an Enterprise jumping to Warp 9. Also turn down the turning sensitivity as well unless you want to be doing Tokyo Drift (while collecting parked cars).

Once you have mastered the controls (I pick the station wagon for a general balance) driving through your City with the Rush Hour mod also enabled is quite a fascinating experience.


The Streets of Layton City

I started at the West Connector and travelled down two of the four main north-south roads (so not on the motorways outside of the connector) that form the spines of Layton City. This is what it showed:

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Note the clock in the bottom left corner. The driving session progressed from later afternoon to about midnight mid-week.

The tourist and leisure districts were humming along even on a week-night indicating I have a 24-7 City (with 24-7 transit to boot).