Travelling Down the Subways #CitiesSkylines

Metro Overhaul Mod overhauls subway systems


I will post an introduction to my latest city San Solaria in another post. In this post I will be showcasing what it is like being on a metro/subway train both above and below ground for the first time.

This is thanks to the Metro Overhaul Mod for Cities Skylines that allow you to create a conventional subway system as well as a ground and/or elevated metro (light rail) system seen in New York City, Chicago and London. The mod allows me to bring the expensive subway system above ground making it cheaper to build and maintain out in the suburbs (while in the urban centres the system goes back underground per normal) compared to being all underground or using the conventional heavy rail system like Neo Layton City.


With my new city – San Solaria (the map theme is California) I am trying out using the metro system via the mod to move mass amounts of people around the City in place of heavy rail (which will be used for inter city connections). Busses and trams are still used but for localised connections rather than pan-city connections.

One of the spin off’s from the Metro Overhaul Mod is that when in first person mode you can see an actual subway system with actual subways stations. The pictures demonstrate what can be seen for the first time:


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


San Solaria



Flying High, A #CitiesSkylines Look

Aircraft offer unique view points


One thing I love about Cities Skylines is the drive or walk by’s you can do by switching the camera to first person view. While I have shown ground level walk through’s I don’t believe I have shown one from an aircraft.


So here are some pictures of what it is like from a passenger’s point of view in an aircraft coming in or going out of Layton City:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Layton City has two airports; one being Layton City International Airport near Downtown and the City Centre with a smaller airport located next to Manukau City Centre (Manukau Airport).


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:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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).


The Way-less Travel in #CitiesSkylines

Placing the final road link


Wet weather means Cities Skylines time and some serious time at that. Yesterday I worked on two major projects for Layton City as it continues to grow.

First was to connect a main intra-Layton City Highways intersection up to the main inter-city highway at the western edge of the city (as currently the only connection is at the southern end). Second was to finish laying down the zones in Onehunga so that it could provide residential support to the City Centre and Downtown districts.


For the highway connection rather than doing the standard 6-lane motorway that would run across blank land I decided to use the 2-lane “National Highway” option which is a cheaper alternative (and still allows speeds of 100km/h). When Layton City expands westwards the 2-lane highway will be expanded into the full 6-lane motorway standard.


And the pictures (yes it decided to rain halfway through the drive through, rain that would trigger floods (see next post):

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Heavy Rail Moving the Cims #CitiesSkylines

Heavy rail system delivers the goods


When Cities Skylines first came out the heavy rail system was more optimised for moving freight or inter-city passengers rather than commuters. Commuters were best to use the busses or subway system if they wished to use transit to get around..

With After Dark and Snowfall DLC’s as well as a few transport mods to sharpen up game play heavy rail has become the favoured choice in moving the most amount of commuters over long distances across a Cities Skylines map.

Sound familiar?

I have blogged at Talking Southern Auckland how a transit system has a hierarchy for people moving efficiency:

  • Short distances and feeders: bus
  • Medium distances: Light Rail (and subway)
  • Long Distances most often regional or high-capacity short distance shuttling: Heavy Rail


The same principle applies to Cities Skylines as well although a subway line can span the same distance as a heavy rail line. It is that the subway stations are at much shorter gaps between each one compared to a heavy rail station. Also subways being underground save space in high density areas like a City Centre so optimally the surface heavy rail system brings the passengers to the outskirts of the City Centre from the region while the subway moves people around the City Centre free of road conflicts busses or light rail would otherwise face.


Developing the City Centre and heavy rail

Layton City already had a fledgling heavy rail system with two commuter lines and an inter-city line. With the development of the City Centre, Downtown and, the Airport District is the heavy rail system coming into its own.


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The heavy rail system works through moving people between hubs or rather Centres. Where there is a station often that station will be alongside other transit nodes such as bus stations, subway stations, tram stops and from time to time parking buildings. The urban development around what is effectively a transport interchange is often high density with lower density developments as you get further out (unless it is a cluster like the City Centre, Newmarket, Downtown corridor or a minor secondary city centre like well Manukau).

So the heavy rail system moves people between the Centres in a rapid fashion unlike the other modes except for maybe the subway system.

If you are wondering about cost the passenger rail system generally breaks even in cost. However, the wider system does post a loss on nominal monetary value. But with ~6,000 cars and several hundred trucks off the road (the City is 100,000 in population) the benefits arrive in more than simple monetary terms.

As for the City Centre that is now developing with the central station and Civic Square all set to go. Now it to lay down the zones, the bus and tram stops and we are away with the heart of Layton City.


TRAMS in Layton City #CitiesSkylines

Light rail finally surfaces


With the continued expansion of the heavy rail network in Layton City the question was asked would light rail have any place in the City?

The answer is yes it does as heavy rail is more for fast regional connections between Centres while light rail tackles more local routes where busses can not cope with the numbers.

So I have started rolling out the light rail system which now consists of seven lines as of yesterday. If you are wondering what the purpose of my subway system is it acts like the surface heavy rail system in moving large amounts of passengers. Although the station stops with the subway are closer and given the only above ground bit is the station it saves land space for development unlike heavy rail.


Let’s take a look at some trams shall we:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



  • Bus: 40-135 passengers @ 90km/h
  • Trams: 90-300 passengers @ 80km/h
  • Subway: 110-420 passengers @110km/h
  • Heavy Rail: – 210-600 passengers @135km/h (freight trains are at 100km/h)


Next post I will look at the heavy rail system again with the starting of the City Centre, Downtown and Airport District developments.



Beech District, Opening the Metro Rail System #CitiesSkylines

Beech District introduces heavy rail


Beech District while another expansion to the quilt-work that is the Layton City also marks a more historic occasion with the heavy rail metro network now operational. Right now it is only a shuttle between four stations but when completed the heavy rail network would incorporate several metro lines, an inter-city line and the cargo lines through out the City.

I have opted to undertake heavy metro rail for only the second time since I got Cities Skylines to give a more realistic feel to Layton City. Subways and light rail will still be used as I plan to create several multi-modal hubs like the one in the planned main City Centre.

City Centre Transport Centre
City Centre Transport Hub


Typically a heavy rail station will be a train/bus interchange to start with light rail being added later on.

Four track bus and train interchange
Four track bus and train interchange


Metro trains
Metro trains


Speaking of which I had to rip up the area around an inter-city rail station as I seriously underestimated the rail to bus patronage that would occur. Long story short the 2-lane road and its 4-lane upgrade were unable to cope with the volume of busses, taxis and cars caused by one of the two operating intercity rail stations in Layton City. It means busses were late and people getting frustrated waiting for busses that dropped off the system entirely (sound familiar).

Uh oh
Uh oh


As a result the road was converted to a two lane one way system and a bus station built south of the shot to service the two bus routes that go through there. It has worked with busses and taxis no longer held up and passengers able to transfer between modes quickly. I’ll have to be careful next time when opening the next intercity station.


One last thing before the slide show, I have start creating a network of dedicated cycle-ways through Layton City as the City expands. It wont be one continuous bike highway but rather areas of cycle boulevards connecting different districts and transit hubs up. You can see one such cycle-boulevard here:





It wont be long before the urban development follows the rail line up to the Layton City Centre Transport Hub and work starts on the main City Centre itself.


Layton City as of 24 July, 2016


This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Layton City: A Personalised Walk Through

From the citizens’s point of view


If you have the Free Camera mods for Cities Skylines you are able to drop down to citizen level and either walk around from the view-point of a person or follow any vehicle whether on land, sea or in the air. The great thing about this is along with the Screenshots button (F12) you get to see your city down at a personalised level. At the same time if you click on individual citizens or tourists they tell you their happiness and where they are going. This can allow fine tuning while enjoying the City as a person would see it rather than how most see it at 40,000ft.


Below is some citizen level and follow the bus shots going around Layton City. For full resolution right-click the individual picture slide and open in a new tab.

For the start of the mass transit roll out see:Layton City: Rolling out the Mass Transit Network


This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Next up will be the start of establishing the main City Centre.