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Author Topic: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle  (Read 5099 times)

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Offline compdude787

Wow, looks nice! Where did you get that fire station in picture 5.5?
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Last updated: March 5, 2017

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline siemanthepieman

REPLIES

compdude787:
Thanks. The fire station is by Shmails - http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/17750-shmails-small-firehouse/. He also does a matching cop shop - http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/17741-shmails-sheriff-stations/ - and clinic - http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/17766-shmails-small-clinic/.

One of my next modding exercises will probably be to make the radius and capacity on each of these lots large enough to service a full large tile. Does anyone know if I have to delete all existing lots in game before plopping the new ones if I do so?

UPDATE 6
It wasn’t long at all before backroads started branching of the ‘main’ road back to Bran Castle and the ‘backyard’ of New Portland started coming to life.

6.1


The King also started ‘selling’ land on leasehold terms outside the castle walls. Those that could afford to started finding more isolated pockets of idyllic countryside along the Simoleon River to build their homes. Scattered amongst those homes were the region’s first ‘shacks’ or holiday homes, owned by those who had found new and incredible wealth as the owners of the region’s blossoming industrial powerhouses.

6.2


Of course, when the Greater Isle was first settled, it relied on a band of dedicated farmers to provide the bulk of its produce. But none of the farmers came with King Schmo II to New Portland. It wasn’t long before a small group of entrepreneurs, if you could call them that – harking back, as they were, to the agricultural ways of days gone by – saw how much food was now getting imported to Bran Castle from Schmotenton that they decided to set up a small community some distance beyond the castle walls (they wanted to ensure they remained in clean country air as Bran Castle grew) and developed a small farming community. Before long, Bran Castle had a number of farms only a couple of kilometres from its town limits.

6.3


6.4 - The region’s first farmhouse



6.5 - It was only about 5 years until the agricultural belt had grown to this…


Sadly, the agricultural belt’s days were numbered … but you’ll have to stay tuned to see what comes of it.




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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline kbieniu7

I have really strange feeling when looking at theese modern houses and building inside city walls, heh... the originality of your MD :D Anyway, I think that those small maxis' w2ws fits well in there.

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline siemanthepieman

REPLIES

kbieniu7 Strange it may be, but you have to remember, this construction was only as far back as the 1920's and 30's. I am not sure what is more strange for that time, the houses that were built, or the wall itself. Also, by and large, this is a naturally grown region. I am plopping some industrials and commercials but, so far, no residentials. Just that row of Maxis W2W's took a long time to grow, bulldoze, grow, mark historical, repeat. I have since added some more custom residentials to my plugins, but could always use more.

UPDATE 7
The industrial boom brought Bran Castle huge growth, soon the castle walls were full to bursting – and the residents, at least those running some of the more advanced industrial enterprises down at the port, were bursting with amazing ideas of new technologies and building techniques.

It wasn’t long (about 1936 the story is told) before King Schmo decided to stretch his castle walls a little. There was already a small opening where ‘the farmers’ had broken a dirt road through to the north-east anyway and, at least in part due to swelling rumours of King Schmo I’s increasing resentment of the tariffs he was paying to export goods from Schmotenton to New Portland and beyond, King Schmo II wanted a few extra vassals to whom he could grant a fief in return for their willingness to defend his realm should the need arise.

7.1


As you can see, some of the commercial development that initially sprung up just outside the original town limits was literally quite ‘out of this world’ and looked like it belonged about 70 years in the future. In the future, the development in this area would actually come to take on a more historical feel and the area would actually become known as Bran Castle Old Town.

The King also decided to expand the walls on the north western corner so that they encompassed a small section of the railway line that originally ran just outside the wall. Although the rail line was already fairly busy with freight coming from Schmotenton, the King bowed to increasing commuter pressure and ordered a small branch line be brought inside the original walls and a passenger station to be constructed.

7.2


The junction right next to the rail crossing and main entrance to town was obviously prime real estate for some commercial development and it wasn’t long until a few more ‘ahead of their time’ commercial boutiques popped up lining the main road. The initial dual track entrance to the main line quickly became unwieldy with the switches and other rail traffic monitoring systems that the King had in place before 1936 and so the entrance to the main line was quickly remodelled to restrict passenger trains to one side only of the lines running to the port. Freight was still allowed to run on the ‘passenger line’ outside of commuter hours but a switch just before the line hit Bran Castle meant that, in practice, all freight from Bran Castle to the Port was segregated from the passenger traffic.

By 1938 the station and line looked like this (and ran express to New Portland – not one other station on the way!).

7.3


It was about this time also that there established the first little ‘very-well-to-do’ neighbourhood within the castle walls, a leafy corner back around towards the Crossing where the region’s first substantial homes were clustered all together so that the lucky owners could walk home from the numerous boozy dinner parties that they became accustomed to attend. 

7.4 - It quickly went from this …


7.5 - … to this …


7.6


7.7


7.8


7.9


If you were working in senior management at any of New Portland’s many successful businesses, this was the place to live. Whilst there would surely be many more posh neighbourhoods develop in and around Bran Castle, in the early days this was where the livin’ was at! 

 


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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline kbieniu7

Luxury pops out in the city! :D Good to see some improvements on the railline, never too much of raillines!

By the way - you could turn off the pause frame and U-Drive-It icons while taking a picture ;)

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline vortext

Hm, your MD has been flying under my radar it seems.  :-[

Awesome region so far, is it an existing one or are you making it by hand as you go? Either way, looking forward to a complete picture.  :thumbsup: And great work laying down the railway tracks, commendable enterprise by the King!  :D


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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline art128

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Ah, finally the wealthy people can feel safe and rich at the same time!

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline siemanthepieman

REPLIES

kbieniu7: Thanks. I remember seeing a mod or cheat that lets you turn of the UDI icon - and I have been meaning to find it and remember to do it. Thanks for reminding me. I am not sure how turn off the pause frame. Perhaps I will just take shots without pausing.

Vortex: Thanks, but sadly I can take no credit for the region - it is 'Chilliwack' by dunkapple. All I have done is add trees as I have rendered the tiles and named cities. You will have to keep following along for a few more updates before you get some more full region shots (and even then you still won't quite get to see it all).

art128: Safe and rich - how we'd all like to be!

UPDATE 8

The 1940’s saw things really take off around Bran Castle and the port. For starters, the region’s first stretch of highway was laid. Construction started just beyond the extended castle walls …

8.1


8.2 - … and slowly …


… snaked its way to the port. The highway was the first bitumised road beyond the original castle walls – it wasn’t really bitumised but was made of tar-bound macadam, which was close enough for the 40’s – and it decreased the commute for those who drove their own vehicles to work significantly. The King had plans in the future to bitumise most of the road network in his realm, but (leaving aside the fact that he was a bit of miser!) he wanted to ensure that the burgeoning industry didn’t run out of commodities such as coal and tar whilst it was still undergoing rapid development.

8.3


8.4 - He also needed to keep some stocks for what was to arrive next in New Portland – large scale power generation!


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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline compdude787

That's cool, now there's a highway and two power plants! It's neat to see your region becoming more modern.
Check out my MD, United States of Simerica!
Last updated: March 5, 2017

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline kbieniu7

Road infastructure, yay! Wish to see years of building an impressive network by the royal engineers!

I really like how you aligned the road parallel to existing railline, that looks excellent! :)

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline MushyMushy

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Looks nice!

The UDI icons can be turned off in the in-game UDI menus somewhere, no mods or cheats required. You can get ride of the yellow pause graphic with this handy mod: http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/18680-smp-yellow-pause-thingy-remover/

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline siemanthepieman

I thought I would post a small update because a) there are a couple of replies to reply to and b) I have started to get a little bit into lotting and I have a couple of questions to ask.

REPLIES

compdude787 & kbieniu: Thanks for the kind words and (ongoing) encouragement.

MushyMushy: Thank you. I found the UDI switch in game. I also found the 'pause thingy remover' download but have just been taking shots with the sim running so far - it seems that the visible traffic is greater while the sim is running too. You'll all have to bear with me though for the next few updates at least, some of my pictures were taken some time ago - so they have UDI's, pause frames, the grid, even the menu bar from time to time!

LOTTING QUESTIONS
Quite some time ago I tried my hand at re-lotting a few railway stations and I increased the power/radius of a clinic and powerplant or two. I have recently download the LE, Reader and Pim-X again and started to make a few new lots.

9.a - I started small, putting a Shmails/Jenx fire station on cobblestone streets.


9.b - I also made my first growable lots from some of Haarlemmergold's models.


But the reason I really got back into lotting was to make some more fillers - I love T-Wrecks' industrial fillers and wanted to re-texture some of them for my commercial areas (you'll see them in action later). As great as T-Wrecks' fill are though, I think there is a gap in the set in that they don't go right to the edge of diagonal roads.

9.c - So I have been using Paeng's fillers to do that job, but they don't match well enough with T-Wrecks' sets.


9.d - To get a bit more coherence across my industrial areas, I re-textured T-Wrecks' fillers with the texture used by Paeng (shown here but without any diagonal roads involved). I thought I could then use these fillers and Paeng's diagonal fillers whenever I was dealing with a diagonal road situation.


As you can see, my newly created fillers will match Paeng's diagonal fillers, but they then clash with the textures on the industrial lots themselves. T-Wrecks' fillers match the lots much better. What I would really like to do is apply the textures used by T-Wrecks to the fillers created by Paeng.

9.e - As you can see, I can re-texture the lot itself, but that is where I get stuck.


And I don't know where to go from here. It seems the rest of the lot is actually a prop. Can I retexture that or do I need to make my own prop? And if so, how? Is it something someone new to lotting can do? I don't even know which program I should be reading the readme's for to see if I can do it. If someone could just point in the right direction I would be indebted.

I'd also really like to make a cheat of sorts by increasing the capacity for the landfill lots  I have had a look at the properties in Reader but can't see where I could do it. I want to do this is because I think that it is the landfill capacity that sets the limits for the neighbour deals for trash (ie; even if you have a heap of recycling centres, if you don't have much landfill you can't import much from your neighbours? I say this because I have one tile with no trash because of all the recycling centres, but I still can't increase the import rate from a neighbouring city to the capacity I would like, even though the neighbouring city has garbage piling up and heaps of monthly income for the deal).



And now on with the update - UPDATE 9

Up to 1949, New Portland and Bran Castle had been reliant upon small generators and jerry-rigged diesel powered ‘power sheds’ to provide power to its inhabitants. In 1947, King Schmo commissioned the construction of the new New Portland Docks and ground was broken for the development that year. In addition to wildly expanding the export capacity of the port (and therefore of the whole of the Greater Isles) it would also open up new import opportunities. The King saw such growth ahead that he figured a proper powerplant was required for his region. And so Port Schmo Coal Co. Inc. was founded and construction of a new powerplant commenced. To start with, the needs of the region meant that the plant ran at nowhere near capacity, such that coal could be trucked in and stored in a relatively small number of storage sheds close by. But the King had a vision that, one day, coal would arrive at port in large tankers and be carried to the plant by train. It was likely that by the time the plant was a full capacity, massive storage mounds of coal would have to be maintained close by.

The Port Schmo Coal Co. Inc. power plant and the docks of the Port Schmo Shipping Co. opened on the same day. The King, of course, had substantial financial interests in each. The docks were small but efficient, well serviced by both road and rail. The dock exported a lot more than came in, so much so that the dock was initially open for import business on Mondays only. Tuesday through Saturday it was used for export business (90% of which was from Schmotenton and was therefore bringing the King and the region a handsome income) and on Sundays it closed. The port was so efficient that, by and large, goods were transported to dockside in 40ft shipping containers and loaded directly onto awaiting ships. This meant that the need for dockside storage and warehousing facilities was minimised.

9.1


9.2 - By the time the dock and the plant were completed, New Portland looked like this:


We’ll come back to look at the port and plant in more detail later.
About this time passenger rail was completely segregated from freight onto its own line. A handsome station was built near the powerplant to help get the workers (who were now flocking to the region in droves) to and from work each day.

9.3


The passenger line ran pretty straight and, with no stations between Bran Castle and the plant, the trip only took 8 minutes each way. With that, Bran Castle was set for a population explosion!

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline compdude787

Your city is really coming along! The docks look nice!! Though if you want to be historically accurate, containerized shipping didn't really come into vogue until the 1960s IRL.
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Last updated: March 5, 2017

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline kbieniu7

Regarding your question about diagonal fillers, I've never used Paeng's textures, but from what I can see at your screens, those triangle sections are indeed a prop. In such case, you cannot modify them in Lot Editor and you would need to make a new prop. To make this, you need to model such triangle and put a proper texture onto in. A program that allows model making is gmax with a plugin called Building Architect Tool (BAT). There should be plenty of tutorials and how-to's around sc4devotion and simtropolis.

And the update is cool! Impressive to see how big it has developed, when not so long ago it was just a small village  :thumbsup:

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline siemanthepieman

REPIES

compdude787: Thanks. It may just be that the Port Schmo Shipping Co. invented containerised shipping as the world knows it today. It only makes sense that it would take about 11 years for it to catch on in the rest of the world. If you check the history of the ship mentioned in the update below you will see I have taken some artistic licence with real life dates for this MD.

kbieniu7: Thank you for your push in the right direction. See below for an update on my lotting adventures.

LOTTING ADVENTURES
Okay, so I have spent plenty of time working on my region, but not much time at all actually playing it recently. First I spent most of a weekend (broken bits between looking after the kids, mowing the lawn, etc!) downloading and/or reacquainting myself with 3DS Max (I teach a Uni course = free licence = Yay!), GMax, the BAT gamepack, Reader, LE, LEProp, PIM, PIM-X and a FSH conversion tool and Photoshop.

I spent the rest of the weekend reading tutorials and trying to work out how to create my own overhanging prop in GMax. After quite a bit of fiddling around I almost got there. At the very least, I managed to make a prop and to add it to a lot and to get it in game. No mean feat for a first timer with the BAT really.

10.a - So here was my problem - gaps on diagonals with T-Wrecks IRM fillers


10.b - And only Nightowls' fillers to fill them with (I think I attributed these fillers to Paeng earlier, sorry Nightowls!)


10.c - My very first prop in game. The texture is way off but otherwise not bad.


10.d - After some trial and error, the texture is finally a pretty good match.


10.e - But what about the even bigger gaps on the other side of the road.


10.f - An even bigger overhanging prop, of course.


10.g - And as with everything you do yourself ... perfect! Just what I wanted.


10.h - Or so I thought. After my apparent success with the ID fillers, I went ahead and created a set of IM fillers. But when I put them in game, where were they? You can see the lot about to be plopped, but the overhanging prop on all the others is covered by the roadside terrain texture.

 
10.i - A closer look.


10.j - I eventually found a work around (of sorts) by extruding the prop model to 15cm (it was originally 0). This works if the terrain is dead level, but you can see the little lip created by the extra height from some angles.


If anyone has any better way to overcome this problem I would be grateful to hear how I could do it. Also, is there any way to match a prop texture perfectly to an in-game texture other than (lots) of trial and error. You can see that my IM texture is not a very good match yet and I wonder if there is an easier way than setting brightness in Photoshop, applying in Gmax, exporting, checking in game, repeat!

UPDATE 10

News of Bran Castle’s untold promise (and unsurpassed passenger commute by rail to and from the Port) got back to Schmotenton and new workers moved over and residential development went positively bonkers. Of course, by this time, the King had gotten quite a taste for having a substantial vault of simoleons. In fact, rumour initially had it that the hill upon which the King’s castle was built was slowly sinking due to the number of simoleons stashed away by the King. Later, rumour came to have it that the hill was actually growing – due to all the simoleons the King had buried under his castle! Whatever the rumours, the King did enjoy collecting simoleons from his subjects. And so he started allowing more and more Sims to settle outside the castle walls. Unlike the pristine and picturesque country along the riverside – of which the King wanted to keep true ownership for himself so only let his subjects settle on a leasehold basis – the King started selling off hundreds of quarter acre blocks just outside the castle walls.

The King had also by then started acquiring interests in various of the industrial businesses now flocking to the area just behind the port, one of which was a sort of ‘kit home’ builder. And so the King came to really pioneer the ‘house and land package’ idea that would see whole new Edward Scissorhands type suburbs pop up the world over in the decades to come. He offered a two story kit home for just 99 simoleons with every quarter acre purchased. 

10.1 – The kit home was popular.


10.2 …


10.3 – Very popular!


10.4 - Every now and then someone from management with a bit more money than everyone else would purchase a bunch of blocks and build a stonking big mansion (complete with a palm tree lined driveway) among the minions.

 
10.5


10.6


10.7


10.8


10.9


10.10 – A couple more palm tree lined driveway mansions nestled in amongst the masses. And kit homes running all the way to the Ag-Belt.

 
10.11 - As you can see, education wasn’t entirely overlooked in Bran Castle anymore (there is the high school in the picture below and you may have noticed the primary school in picture 10.4 and 10.9) and, indeed, a good education was becoming highly valued for the children of the increasingly large middle class of Bran Castle.

 
10.12 - Eventually, as far as the eye could see, even from the lofty heights of Bran Castle itself, two story pre-fab homes filled the plains in neat orderly rows between the castle walls and New Portland.


Eventually, new kit homes were released and new suburbs full of rows of different houses all the same popped up around the Castle.

10.13


10.14


The new port meant that Bran Castle and the Greater Isles had access to the rest to rest of the world for the first time. Although travel was not really an option for the average (or even very wealthy) sim in the 50’s, the King himself did manage to get ‘offshore’ every now and then and he was often seen down at the docks meeting and speaking with those who came to Bran Castle from afar.

He was fascinated by other cultures, none more so than that of Japan.

In 1957, he met and fell instantly in love with a young Japanese woman when she alighted from a ship as it was at port one day.  Her name was Himeko and she was the daughter of the Captain of the Hakone Maru, Japan’s first container ship,

10.15 – In 1959 they were married, and the King commissioned a two popular series of Japanese style kit homes (series one with brown render and black roof tiles, series two, slightly more expensive, was with white render and available in a selection of roof colours) to celebrate the occasion.

 
10.16 – The ‘diagonals series’ was also popular in some areas.


Again, we will come back to look at these and many other suburbs in more detail later. And yes, the 'Make Historical' button has had a work out in my game.


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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline vortext


10.j - I eventually found a work around (of sorts) by extruding the prop model to 15cm (it was originally 0). This works if the terrain is dead level, but you can see the little lip created by the extra height from some angles.
[snip]
If anyone has any better way to overcome this problem I would be grateful to hear how I could do it. Also, is there any way to match a prop texture perfectly to an in-game texture other than (lots) of trial and error. You can see that my IM texture is not a very good match yet and I wonder if there is an easier way than setting brightness in Photoshop, applying in Gmax, exporting, checking in game, repeat!

Instead of extruding the prop height, it works slightly better imho to 1) scale width & length of the prop slightly larger than ingame dimensions and then 2) raise the prop 0.1 meter in the LE. But yeah this only works on dead flat terrain indeed. As for the color calibration between photoshop and gmax, check this tutorial by Gascooker how to go about. Though it should be noted there'll always be a slight color difference between LE textures and props.

Okay, so I have spent plenty of time working on my region, but not much time at all actually playing it recently.

And thus it has begun, welcome to the darkside where actually playing the game takes up about 5% of time spend on it.  ;D

Fillers looks great though. Also really like the organic flow of transit networks in 10.12.  :thumbsup:
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 07:31:16 AM by vortext »

time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline brick_mortimer

...And yes, the 'Make Historical' button has had a work out in my game...
LOL!

Thanks for this great MD.
In really like your storytelling, funny and a bit tongue-in-cheek  ;D

Keep up the good work! :thumbsup:

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline Nanami

Interesting MD so far, the way you describing the development since early 20th century until then.. also interesting how the repentance of building do looks fine here :thumbsup:. keep up the good work!

Quote
the 'Make Historical' button has had a work out in my game.
Finally someone express same feels like I do with that button!!!  $%Grinno$%

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline compdude787

Wow, that looks nice! It looks good in spite of the amount of repetition.
Check out my MD, United States of Simerica!
Last updated: March 5, 2017

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Re: From Schmotenton to New Portland - the rise (and possible fall) of Bran Castle

Offline siemanthepieman

REPLIES

vortext: Thanks for those couple of tips. I have been playing in LE more than gmax the last little while but also trying to enjoy just playing my region with what content I've got.

brick_mortimer, Nanami and compdude787: Thanks for the comments and encouragement.

UPDATE 11

By 1950, two new stations had been added to the passenger line to New Portland.

11.1 – The very first station built, the one inside the original castle walls, continued to be in use and was known as ‘Bran Station Proper’ or ‘Bran Proper’ for short. The viaduct that was eventually built to avoid multiple road and rail crossings as it got out of town was so steep that it was actually faster to walk to the main station (just out of shot to the top) but Bran Proper remained in use and popular as a status thing (if you caught the train from Bran Proper it generally meant you lived inside the original castle walls) and also for prosperity’s sake.


11.2 – Bran Castle Central Station or ‘Bran Central’ as it was known, was only about 250 metres from Bran Proper but was a large station that could service the region’s needs – not just the line to New Portland but other lines and services to the rest of the region as the region grew. It was well serviced by small commercial boutiques along the surrounding streets and benefitted from a lovely park full of walking trails right out front. Parking was limited to encourage residents to leave their cars at home and walk to the station.


11.3 – Suburbiton Station was developed alongside a small commercial hub and residential area that built up just on the outskirts of Bran Castle and was effectively a mid-point between Bran Central and the station next to the powerplant. It too was well serviced by nearby commercial development and it had a substantial car park. It quickly became a popular ‘park and ride’ as well as serving as a gateway to north-eastern parts of the region.


11.4 – The New Portland Terminus was a much larger station than required at the time of its construction. But unlike stations in residential areas – where the King would always be happy enough to raze a few houses to build something bigger – the King wanted to ensure that the station built to service his port was ‘future proofed’. He didn’t want to have to acquire and demolish valuable industrial businesses to rework a passenger station or rail line as it came in to the port, especially as it was so close to the region's power station. A row of bus stops right out front ensured that the workers wouldn't have to wait long to whisked away to start in whatever grimy factory awaited them each day.


Naturally, the rail service to the Port ensured that industry kept expanding. By 1950, the backroads of the Port were knocking on the door of Bran Castle.

11.5 – You can see a little remnant of the old dirt road that the highway replaced in the bottom left!


You'll see Bran Proper Station again in a few updates time - keep an eye for a few little improvements to its surrounds.

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