Yes it is Train Fever, but the developers have left out the fever inside the game. At any rate, I enjoy making a nice road network over the train aspect of this game. That being said, several people do the same thing I do with trains, so either works.
As to the laying of roads to grow your cities, not needed at all. If you have a half way decent intercity network and you deliver the goods, the cities will grow. The only city I redo roads are is for my hub City. That city I rebuild quite a bit, I like a N-S E-W main roads right thru the center. I also have a large road that rings it. Then I draw 6 roads out from that ring to all the cities on the map.
1 road to each city, with 0 overlap.