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View Full Version : [WIP]railroad/transit system/map in fictional slavic world



Otviss
08-23-2013, 05:21 AM
Hello everyone. First time posting something ive done. It's FAR from finished but i thought id create a thread for it anyway.

So just a few words, i am a beginner like many others on this forum, probably. and as im doing this map, im also learning how to use inkscape. which means, it would be so helpful if i could get any tips on how to continue with the map.

I started in MS paint with drawing a few dots and then creating lines and then i made it all again in inkscape. but with layers.

All the (current) city names are fictional i made them up. They all have a european slavic touch.

So the idea of this, is to come up with a fictional world but starting in another end.

The picture I've uploaded is my current "Inkscape workbench".

Otviss
08-23-2013, 04:38 PM
I curved the lines for less straining on the eyes.

And i also drew a quick outline which is supposed to be the actual landmass.

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thepinksalmon
08-23-2013, 08:22 PM
I like where you're starting. I think you should take a little time to consider the efficiency of your transit system. Real subways/light rail systems won't have overlapping lines like that. Take a look at the map of the Los Angeles light rail system:
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In general the lines spiderweb out from one or two hubs and don't cross again. You will get some crossing with secondary lines that are needed to add coverage to new areas. Maybe it would be fun for you to rough in where you big cities are, then connect them with transit lines. After you do that place some smaller cities and add in the secondary lines. Just a thought.

Gumboot
08-23-2013, 09:17 PM
I like where you're starting. I think you should take a little time to consider the efficiency of your transit system. Real subways/light rail systems won't have overlapping lines like that. Take a look at the map of the Los Angeles light rail system:
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In general the lines spiderweb out from one or two hubs and don't cross again. You will get some crossing with secondary lines that are needed to add coverage to new areas. Maybe it would be fun for you to rough in where you big cities are, then connect them with transit lines. After you do that place some smaller cities and add in the secondary lines. Just a thought.


While that's true of the urban light rail for a single metropolitan area, Otviss' scenario is rail linking multiple cities together. They often do overlap.

Otviss
08-24-2013, 05:59 AM
First of all, thanks for the replies.

It is true that i am having a problem to systematise the different lines together since the map isnt very logical. My starting point was a bit too random. Though i don't want that to stop me, what i will be doing instead then is trying to create a railroad system which is not built around the clichés we are used to, such as: BIG cities are central hub of transport or that public transport costs money for that matter.

Which means,(This is just an example) but let's say it doesnt cost to travel, building a railway network around that must be different.

Thanks,"Thepinksalmon" for the feedback but im not concerned about intercity systems at the moment.

Since I'm only just starting out, i would appreciate feedback regarding how i can "CONTINUE" with the work. What I'm doing here is creating a fictional world but starting with some wierd rail system, hahah.

Triplicate
08-26-2013, 12:25 PM
Someone else doing what I'm inclined to: build a world around a rail system. Cool.

As a national/continental-scale rail system, it doesn't look too unbelievable... until you drew the coastline around it.

Applying real-world logic (which is the only way I know how to analyze this)...

I assume that each color is a different operating company; this is like the US, not like most of the rest of the world for much of the 20th century with government-run railways. Several of the companies have unusual route systems. Most railroads have a relatively direct route between distant parts of the system; otherwise, most long-distance traffic would go to rivals.

There are multiple competing routes west from Baga (12), suggesting its importance is like New York in the US. (If this country had ever nationalized its railways, I'd expect at least one of those routes to have been closed and the other(s) upgraded for the increased traffic.) Around such a large city, though, I'd expect more smaller cities, like the clusters you have at several other locations (east-central, south-central, etc).

The lack of connections between 7/2 and 1/8 suggests a geographical barrier; I instantly read it as "bay/inlet". Then your coastline doesn't have that.
However, you have several lines crossing a wide expanse of water. How large is this landmass, anyway? I was thinking in terms of US comparisons, thus thousands of miles across. I guess the multiple parallel routes would make more sense at that size than if this were comparable to, say, Britain.

Otviss
08-26-2013, 01:34 PM
Applying real-world logic (which is the only way I know how to analyze this)...

Sure, since it's unbelievably unfinished and to me it seems this is going to be a project that im going to work on for a long time but whenever i get in to fiction, i want to avoid applying real-world logic.

What i enjoy about railways is the principle of mass transportation and transport of the "Public", see, since the world im creating is heavily inspired by soviet/70-80's slavic culture. It would be unthinkable to privatise the railroad companies.


There are multiple competing routes west from Baga (12), suggesting its importance is like New York in the US. (If this country had ever nationalized its railways, I'd expect at least one of those routes to have been closed and the other(s) upgraded for the increased traffic.) Around such a large city, though, I'd expect more smaller cities, like the clusters you have at several other locations (east-central, south-central, etc).

Also another idea was to, instead of the stations being different cities, i was thinking. maybe the stations are different "Industries", as you get off the train, you must go through a large industry area and from there you walk, bike or take the bus/trolley/tram to respective cities and towns.(just an idea, but i like it).

I like that you analysed just by looking at the map, different scenarios that's exactly what i want help it, but also how to continue with this project. An idea would be, since i only have this railroad map and city names so far, to together with a few more people write small backstories which would bring inspiration to the "history making" of the world. But that could only be succeeded after the railroad map is believable enough and a bit more complete. I have made an update to the map(Curving lines more, and trying to map it a bit more realistic).

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How large is this landmass, anyway?

So again, since this is very unfinished i cant decide what it is yet exactly. But what i noticed when i drew a "Landmass" around the tracks is, it looks far too generic and like an island. and i wouldnt like that.
But im thinking of small scale perhaps the scale of "Slovenia" Though the map here doesnt need to be a whole country(The fictional country with no name..)

randigpanzrall
08-26-2013, 05:59 PM
A good start anyway, Otviss.

I think, that building railways is quite expensive in any time, so it´s logical to lower the costs by shrinking the lenght of your railway system. I think half the lines would do good for your country, because many routes could be optimized and some lines could be put together. What about some major lines from city to city, catching as much of them as possible. Then there would be enough space (and money) to connect major cities to its neighbor-cities. So when you have to travel from your south east to the southern middle, at the moment you have the choice between three different lines which are lying quite closely together..

Triplicate
08-26-2013, 06:40 PM
I think, that building railways is quite expensive in any time...
What about some major lines from city to city, catching as much of them as possible. Then there would be enough space (and money) to connect major cities to its neighbor-cities.
This is how railways would be built if they were being built today... but in Europe, North America and many other places, most railways were built in the 19th century. They started out as short-distance transport and were connected afterward.

This is a big part of why maps of the railway systems of socialist countries don't look different from those of other countries. The other is that socialist governments aren't post-scarcity. They don't change the basic nature of people and goods moving between places.

Looking back, I can see why I had the "island" reaction. There are no railway connections to neighboring countries. (Except those connections across the gap, which are at least physically feasible.) I suppose that would depend on "how does this fictionation fit into the world", a problem I've never understood how to solve.

The newest map makes things look stranger. Now there are more cases of parallel lines. They're obviously skirting somewhere impassable or nearly so - an inland sea? Honestly, trying to curve your lines doesn't add to realism when you don't know why you're doing it. I accepted the straight-line map as a schematic.

At this stage, you have a rough map, and a rough concept that I don't really follow. Either choose to take the map and justify it (as I tried to), or go back to the concept, develop it, and redesign the map to suit.

One of my favorite sites, which should give a lot of ideas for what real railway systems look like:
http://www.bueker.net/trainspotting/maps.php

Otviss
08-27-2013, 02:27 AM
I think, that building railways is quite expensive in any time, so it´s logical to lower the costs by shrinking the lenght of your railway system. I think half the lines would do good for your country, because many routes could be optimized and some lines could be put together.

Thanks for the feedback, i made a new map just quickly with city names and realistic railway, compared to before.

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For everyone looking at this post for the first time, this is a work in progress which must involve feedback and cooperation :)


This is a big part of why maps of the railway systems of socialist countries don't look different from those of other countries. The other is that socialist governments aren't post-scarcity. They don't change the basic nature of people and goods moving between places.

Explain a bit more please :)

--

Meanwhile i'll look at some Inkscape tutorials.

Triplicate
08-27-2013, 11:02 AM
Within cities (though that's not on the scale of this map), there are still workers who commute. Agriculture still takes place outside cities. There are still mines and factories and... In summary, socialist governments are stuck with inequalities in geography and resources, and the transport system still has to get people and things where they're needed. Combine that with the same technology, and the transport solutions look awfully similar to non-socialist countries.

Some things could've gone differently. For example, socialist governments could've set policies of more distributed production, reducing the need for long distance freight transport. They generally didn't. Maybe it's just a consequence of centralized decision-making. Maybe (almost certainly) regional economic autonomy was deemed conducive to separatism.

The new map definitely looks more believable, if less immediately evocative. I'm trying to guess the geography. Hmmm... possibly an east-west mountain range between Brojimjesto and Ljovamjesto, otherwise there'd probably be direct routes from Pydjalek to Plocica and Zalino. That logic only makes sense for a small country (if at all); if the mountain range were longer, they'd build through anyway.

Otviss
08-27-2013, 01:13 PM
possibly an east-west mountain range between Brojimjesto and Ljovamjesto, otherwise there'd probably be direct routes from Pydjalek to Plocica and Zalino. That logic only makes sense for a small country (if at all); if the mountain range were longer, they'd build through anyway.

Great observation, Im keeping that!

Otviss
08-27-2013, 02:43 PM
Another idea.
You like it or not?
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Triplicate
08-30-2013, 06:29 PM
So instead of the Brojimjesto-Ljovamjesto trunk line passing south of the mountains, it follows the valley between two ranges. I like it.

Otviss
09-01-2013, 07:54 AM
That's right. So, im starting to get there, map wise. still no history has been created. It shouldnt matter too much.
What's important is to finish the map, though i do not have the necessary photoshop skills yet. :)

Otviss
10-06-2013, 08:35 AM
To those of you who have been following this post, hello again.

Here's what im working on at the moment, the lines you see are different layers/areas such as mountains, forest, valleys, plains.
These helplines are only for me to know what to color in the future.

This is done in inkscape and im sure that if i knew how to work with photoshop perhaps, i could have skipped many steps, but no matter, the map is coming along nicely.

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Otviss
10-21-2013, 07:26 AM
Coloring, experimenting with textures on mountains and "Filters" for after effect.

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