Alberth, do you transport any goods from the secondary industries to the cities?
I couldn't find any trains of that kind in the screenshot and they nearly double the amount of trains (not to mention the tracks), which was my big problem
Hmm, no I didn't transport stuff to towns, I don't find towns very interesting. With ships it would be easy to do though.
apart from that: your tracks look cleaner, may you elaborate in what steps you built the network?
I tend to build very few tracks, and expand only where it is needed. I also do a lot of small scale shuffling to make it nicer, and swapped bridges at several points when it improved the situation. All the tracks at the bottom right, below the coal mines , and towards the right ore mines were particularly tricky, lots of different flows going in many directions.
At first I thought I would have to do a lot of track sharing, but in the end I made mostly dedicated tracks, and I still had space to spare. (Dedicated tracks is also good for flow, so it's nice to have room.)
For building, I first made a screenshot and drew lines from primary to secondary industries to get an idea of what needed to go where (didn't save it, so I don't have it any more).
Then I tried to design some general track layout, but that failed on me getting confused on their direction. What did became clear though was that both at the left and at the right in the area between the secondary industries, I needed track in both directions. In the center, just down seemed sufficient (I had a quick try to see if both ways would work, but there wasn't enough room).
At the top, south of the farms needed to go from left to right due to the ore at the right. At the bottom left to right needed also two directions, coal was needed at the right, while farm cargoes and iron ore needed to go to the left side.
The bottom double directions are really due to my decision to have two stations 'after each other' with the coal/ore, and wood/coal at the left 'horizontal' direction, the only place to move cargo from right to left was at the bottom.
At the far right, I think the trick was to have outgoing ore+coal flow between both rows of ore, which made it quite simple to attach the ore flow to the left-going flow at the bottom, and the coal down at the right.
I mostly put down the stations first, thinking about the direction of the trains and the flow of cargo. I started with the left part, and ran out of money doing that, so I connected the ore mines at the left first to get a little money flow. Then the wood seemed so unconnected at the left, so I added those to the saw mill.
The other wood was easily connected (except for the single forest at the right). At the same time I also connected the coal mine at the left, even though the power plant wasn't connected yet.
Wood outgoing flow and ore flow both going up towards the steel mill interfered, and the track was split.
After the sawmill, I added the power plant, and connected the coal mines at the left and at the middle part. I had some trouble with the flow of wood and coal going to the right at the bottom, which took a few attempts to get right.
The main part left to do was now at the far right, and I figured out where to put the stations and the flow. Plenty of money, so just connect it all. The flow up and down at the right was again a problem that needed fixing.
Also, the secondary industries (power plant first) got a lot of traffic by now, so they needed double entry lines, and more than 2 platforms. Wood at the right seemed easy enough. I should have added 2 platforms there, but at the time I thought I'd need the space for some track. Later the authorities didn't let me add a second platform.
The factory was last. The two sets of farms at the north were easy, from the factory, up to the steelmill, to the farms, and down along the center. At the bottom there were 2 rows free below the ore, plenty of space
The farm at the bottom right was more of a problem, but in the end I decided an empty grain/livestock train could go at the bottom line with wood towards the right, and then the problem was easy to solve. I also looked into getting the outflow down through the center, but there wasn't enough space, so I just made it use the bottom left-going flow instead.
Unfortunately, my farm connections used all space that I had planned for the oil flow, so that needed a new plan. The south-ward canal was very tricky, lots of crossing tracks there, and very little room. I moved a few stations 1 or 2 tiles to make it all fit. The north looked very tricky too, until I realized that I could put the canal between the farms and the station, and along-side the center town to the water that I had already created for the south connections. I didn't want to have many ships, so one of the oilrigs in each group of 4 acts as a feeder for the other 3. I expected to need many ships, but in the end only a few were needed. I didn't bother setting it up precisely, just buying 'enough' ships to get the job done (ships are not very interesting to me.)