1930-1935 - A Proper Network
1931 is upon us! It is time to expand the network yet again, this time to the towns around Johnstown, as there are still more passengers there than the network can handle. So, with limited space, and with traffic building at Tindham and Kedwood, we must turn to Johnstown itself to avoid putting unneded pressure on the inner city.
Thus, a third track is added to the station, with a waypoint put in place to guide it's train home. Using signals, all through trains will want to go to the middle track, even if the signal into it is red. This is good, as there is no room for a second waypoint.
The junction to the north of Johnstown is altered to allow for a new line branching to the north west, up to Little Frundhall. A pity the houses are in the way, because then we could double-track this section and avoid unneeded waiting times for trains. Oh well.
When this line is completed all the way to Frudhall, I decided that the tracks at Kedwood could cope with one more train, and added a 10-Wheeler to the line, to run from Kedwood to Frudhall, stopping at Johnstown. Ideally we would have two, and ignore the terminus at Johntown, but I would prefer to avoid having to rework the junction at Kedhall if it can be avoided.
Both trains terminate at the new terminus built at Frudhall.
However, to get the moneys worth out of the Doodlebug (another one displaced by another wooden interurban being added on the Henham line), instead of returning to Johnstown, it kicks back onto a spur, and heads east to Frabourne.
After visiting Frabourne, it then goes back to Johnstown, stopping at Frudhall again. Again, this gives Frudhall the service capacity of 3 trains, instead of 2
Currently a small bus service also connects up Frabourne and Drunpool, resultling in a nice circle of access (ie you can get anywhere from anywhere with a minimum of service changes)
By 1932, this line is fully operational.
To cope with the added potential adding more trains to the north will have on Kedinghall, it was decided to split the Western Line off from the other lines, and give it it's own terminus. This would also make it easier to electrify, as it has to climb some grades when it expands further west.
That just about covers the basics, read on for more details about where my network goes...
Now, although it was not realised how big it would become, in 1932 the above terminus change was to be part of a massive reworking of the network, to attempt to double train capacity, and triple it in the long term. It was the start of the "Network Colours" plan, which happened when I started doodling on a map of the network.
The main thing holding the network back from growth was that all the lines interacted, which lead to Kedwood junction growing larger and messier, and more trains cramming into it. This was combined with a very gradual shift west of the regions population. Rather than building a static, inflexible network, the goal of TTD is to get a flexible network that can adjust to such sublties as this.
The original plan was to make Tindham a massive through station, with all trains routing through there to their various terminii. This proved to be impossible, as the landscape at Bubourne and Henham didn't allow for much expansion of infrastructure, and secondly, it would also get very ugly at Kedwood station, trying to fit it into a network.
So, I poked around the map putting down little reminders about what needed doing. These took the form of signs, that said what was wrong, or what needed doing in a certain place. From there, I devised a way to divide all the routes into various seperate entities, which would then be upgraded to take more trains, thus increasing the size and capacity of the network.
Remember, there were still more passengers at Tindham and Johnstown than I could handle, so, rather than taking the easy option and lengthening trains (which would work in the short term, but not the long term), more trains were needed.
Thus, the following solution was devised with the coloured pens I found lying around as a hangover from my studying days, and a rough drawing of where everything was currently.
Green Line - Tindham - Dindingbury, NOT via Kedwood*.
Blue Line - Kedwood - Drunnwell** via Tindham and Bubourne.
Red Line - Tindham - Frudhall via Johnstown
Purple Line - Tindham - Frudhall via Medingbury***
Or, the desired result in map form:
(Excuse the scrap paper, I prefer to save the environment at all costs)
The first thing to do was to set up a grand new terminus at Tindham, to allow for the eventual flowthrough of trains through Kedwood to Tindham via Bubourne.
The first step was the removal of the roads, and the planning of where the terminus would go. The bought land shows where the plans where.
The next step was the expansion of Bubourne Station from 2 tracks to 4 tracks, however because we didn't have a bus service in this town, they were not as keen to let us do more work on the railway. This would prove to be a major problem until the 40's (work started here in 1934), holding up the completion of the major leg of the network
It was around now that Kedwood Station was expanded again, this time to split the Green Line away from the other lines. Below, you can see the end result of this, as it allows a much faster turnaround time for all trains visiting the station.
As this work was progressing, the line was also electrified, with double tracks added at the stations, to allow for the passing of trains.
As well as the line being extended to it's terminus, at Dindingbury:
This now provides a solid money making link between the three towns and Kedwood. As all the towns are producing a decent amount of passengers, the current line can handle them all as well as make a decent profit on the side. The upside to electrification is that the trains can move faster, meaning we need less trains on the line, which again maximises profits, as we pay to run less trains that can transport the same number of passengers.
To further improve Kedwood, it was dropped down a level, to save the trains having to climb up into the station each visit:
By 1935, the houses were finally out of the way, and the land bought to finish expanding Johnstown too.
This resulted in the final expansion of the junction:
And the soon to be complete expansion up through Drunpool:
This is a good time to bring up another point. Never remove old track unless it's in the way of current development. This junction is a good example of this. When the line eventuall stopped going Kedwood-Johnstown-Frudhall, and became Kedwood-Johnstown-Drunpool-Frabourne-Frudhall, the junction was closed. Due to the magic of PBS*, it could be left there, and not used. The line remained there unused for a few years, but later, as Regional Services started running, it was reopened to allow these trains to bypass Drunpool and Frabourne.
Leaving old tracks down is ESPECIALLY important in urban areas, even if it's only on the outskirts of a town. Eventually, the town will expand around the rails, and if it does, suddenly that abandoned industrial shortline is a vibrant inner city connection to the rest of the network...
TIP: PBS, or Path Based Signalling will become one of your best friends whilst working on junctions and networks, especially as crowded terminii stations. Take some time to read about it here, if you have not done so already. Be sure to read it all, as it's quite important.