xero_one's "A-Train 2001" exploits

The page has been translated through the English editor's knowledge of the game, machine translation, and information from the website administrator.
Please forgive any mistranslation.

Chapter 2 : The importance of road adjustment (Intermediate to Advanced)

Road adjustment is the act of eliminating wasteful road that appear as a city develops to improve the cityscape. If you control the size of a city block then you allow the city to easily place large buildings. For example, by using intersections made when placing a station we can encourage the city to grow along that path. One might even say that the size a city is able to develop depends on the arrangement of the roads.
Here we will introduce methods to adjust the layout of our city. Other methods exist but these are a good starting point.

Steps to optimal city block adjustment

1. Optimal block size by industry


When an industrial district develops the large factories will build over road, so we don't need to worry about adjusting the size of its blocks. When they develop into large industrial districts, growth of disposal facilities and big factories begins distant from the station then gradually works back to the centre.


Ideally we want to create city blocks of 10x10 or 5x10 tiles. This allows large apartment buildings to fit entirely in the block. Creating 10x10 blocks can be challenging, however, so don't worry if it does not turn out perfectly since large apartment buildings can build over existing road. Keep in mind this does not apply to 4x4 sized apartment blocks, which won't be built if the block is too narrow. It is also advisable to extend the road out as far as possible from the station. The reason is, since large apartments and other big facilities (schools excluded) only build near the station, the distant land can be used to build small houses and apartment buildings.

Near the station do not make 4x4 or smaller blocks because 4x4 apartments will not be built.
If we extend the road as far as possible from the station then many small residential buildings will appear.

Let's touch on the topic of the school building, which is the largest residential building in the game.
Many A-Train players might think that the school is worth the most points but the reality is that it is worth zero. If you allow a school to be built you limit the number of residential points you can earn. In short: Schools are an obstacle for truly large residential development. When you want to maximise your city population it's important to prevent the construction of school buildings.
※Note: Some players have said that their schools are not worth zero points, but it's been unconfirmed by the website administrator.

Schools take up a large plot of land. We want to prevent its construction to earn the most residential points.

By placing small agricultural attractions in and around our residential area we can prevent schools from being built. Be careful as occasionally a small farm will be constructed which removes the allocation.

The best method to prevent the building of schools is to mix small attractions of other industries in and among our residential. As you can see from the image to the right, in our residential and unassigned attractions are small 1x1 plots of agriculture. This is the trick to prevent the construction of schools. They'll be built if they're within range of residential or an unassigned attraction, but they will not be built on top of agricultural plots. In other words, if you set agricultural plots at a space of 15 tiles or less among your residential you will prevent schools from being built. This can be done with things other than agriculture but be careful as it can hinder the development of your residential city. Finally, once a large apartment building has been constructed it's no longer necessary to have agricultural plots around it as schools won't destroy them to be built.


When you construct a commercial district, an 8x8 block of land can support 8x8 sized buildings or groups of 4 4x4 sized buildings. There are other buildings which don't fall into either category but they are very hard to accommodate for, so it's best if those buildings are removed immediately if they are built on our 8x8 blocks.
In addition to 8x8 blocks near the station, it's desirable to have the road distant from the station in 12x12 blocks of land if possible. Why a 12x12 block ? At a far distance from the station it's possible that they will construct medium hotels of 6x6 tiles, so a 12x12 block can easily accommodate for 4.

With gray being the road and red being commercial blocks, this is the optimal arrangement of city blocks for commercial.
The thick gray line is in the image of a 4-lane road.


Basically, no modification is required. Due to the random nature of tourism building construction, there's little point in adjusting its roads. Rather, it's probably best to leave it alone without tinkering with its streets.

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2. Removing unnecessary roads

Unnecessary road can be removed through the placement of station buildings. If you construct a cargo station where you'd like to remove road then remove the station and track, the road will be destroyed. Because this method of road control is easy, it's highly recommended. Some people use rural stations to remove road but this is not ideal because of the extra road that comes with the placement of the station.

(1) The road circled in yellow is undesirable.

(2) By constructing a small freight station...

(3) The road has disappeared.

(4) When the station and track is removed the land is vacant.

Please refer to the image below for a diagram of the removal range of a freight station.

The dark gray area and railway tracks are the removal range for a small freight station.

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3. Preventing unwanted road expansion

While the city is developing it becomes cumbersome to frequently remove road using the freight station and other roads may get destroyed in the process, not to mention all the wasted funds. In order to solve this problem there is a method to prevent the road from expanding in advance. Simply lay a piece of ground track in front of a road like the image below. It is important to pay attention to the direction of the track, it must be parallel to the road. If you lay track perpendicular then the city may build a level crossing, making the whole effort useless.

Pay extra attention to the direction of the track. It's easy, so lets make good use of it !

Let's take a moment to talk about 4-lane roads.
As you probably know, 4-lane roads appear when a station starts development on a large scale. Unlike a 2-lane road, once a 4-lane road has been built it cannot be removed. From xero_one's experience, large scale buildings seem to be built facing the 2-lane roads which extend out from the 4-lane road. Due to that we don't actually need 4-lane roads, but how do we prevent their construction ?
The method is as follows: Lay some track near the station as shown in the image below.

It's unnatural, but it's all for the sake of maximum population !

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4. Early commercial district road adjustment

Here we will apply the method we learnt in step 3.
As we mentioned in step 1, when we create a commercial city it's ideal to have 8x8 blocks around the station. So what would happen if we had a plot that was 7x7 ? Of course, this means we can't fit 8x8 buildings or 4 4x4 buildings so if necessary you would have to remove the road. However, there is a method to help create 8x8 blocks.

Because a 4-lane road will be built in front of the station we need to make 9x9 blocks there. The purple is the road we want to extend.

In 3D view it looks like this.

I think it's easy to understand by looking at the above images. After the construction of the station we lay track in this formation with the purple line showing the road we want to extend. On the side of the station that would create a 4-lane road we make 9x9 blocks and on the opposite side we make them 8x8. We just lay the track in front of the intersection. Ideally, this is best done immediately after building a station.
By doing this you won't create 7x7 blocks. When the city begins its major development the side with 9x9 blocks will have turned into 8x8 blocks. Of course, if you use the method to prevent a 4-lane road as mentioned in step 3, simply make 8x8 blocks on both sides. Pay attention to the direction the track is laid and don't forget to remove it once the road has been extended as desired.

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The information is based on the experiences and observations of xero_one.
Because of this, success is not guaranteed even when the steps are correctly followed.

Noripyon made corrections and changes to various places (2015/08/24)
Translated by Kresna (2016/11/12)


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