Circular Route?

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    I have read that typically point to point is how to route trains,  but I have one route that can be curricular passing through 3 cities,  I can create 2 routes, each with two trains, one running clockwise and the other counter clockwise.

    Any advantage, disadvantage?

    It would be more prototypical


    I never tried it, but I think it may actually be better than point to point routes for two reasons:

    1) shortens time to each city (you always get q city distance A-B B-C A-C and not two cities distance A-B-C). This should maximise occupation and, if the cities are connected to other cities, you might even end up transporting passengers farther.

    2) trains should never wait for each other at signals or stations (I often use full double tracks to avoid this).

    However, there may a few disadvantaged I can think of:

    1) you will probably need to lay more track (this can be a problem in the beginning where you have limited amounts of cash, afterwards it is no problem as track costs little comparing to running costs)

    2) you may need to use more trains (since tracks are longer and maybe because of the two directions) and therefore higher running costs.

    It would be interesting if someone makes an experiment.


    I found it a good solution if you can have a circular line between the factory, supplier and cities

    • This reply was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by Enzojz.

    gcampono, i do not beleive the running cost to be significantly higher since you don’t really need more trains. In your standard dual track layout with terminal stations at the end you still have trains going both directions. The frequency would be slightly lower with the same amount of trains due to the added distance (from C to A) but on a good circular track that should be minimal.


    I don’t like circulars and they are probably the least profitable to go for.

    A-B C circular, both clockwise and counter clockwise, 3 trains on each, one for each city. Total 6 trains.

    A-B-C-B and back to A straight line, 4 trains required, same amount of passengers carried.



    @Pasi Thank you for your insight

    @Blokker You may be right, but I probably have forgotten the most important element. Regardless whether fares are calculated based on either euclidean distance or transported distance (if someone has some information on that please tell me), then it is better to have straight lines to transport passengers farther. If I have cities A,B,C with 10 km distance between each, in a circular line I only transport passengers for 10 km regardless where they want to go, If I have cities A-10km-B-10km-C passengers wanting to go from A-C or C-A travel 20km. On average (including A-B and B-C 10 km) that makes 15 km. That should earn on average 50% more revenue. Maybe circular lines are able to reduce travel time and are able to attract more passengers, but I’m not sure it will compensate the loss on revenue. Am I missing something ?

    Note: if fares are calculated by euclidean distance (as I suspect but am not sure) then the position of the cities need also to be different… on a straight line as opposed as on a circle.


    Circular lines or A-B-C-D-E etc types of lines are always more profitable. You can also go to extremes, just check out this:


    I think the circular routes are way more profitable than straight line.
    I have 2 circular routes:  A-B-C-D-E-F and F-E-D-C-B-A; 3 trains on each one. The trains are always at least 3/4 full and make huge profits.


    Well I have been able to complete my own test, albeit a small circular route, 3 cities.

    I ran 2 years point to point A-B  B-C  and C-A  two trains each,  then I went back and started the same 2 years with 2 circulars A-B-C than back to A then the counter clock C-B-A then back to C,  each route has 3 trains

    After two years cost and profits were more or less the same so I think any added profit may be with larger routes like Trailvan86 has.

    The advantage is that block control is easer as each loop has it’s own platform at each station,  but as gcampono points out this is not something you can do early in the game as the cost is higher double tracking everywhere.  Although you can get by with sidings just as we do with point to point.

    And the other thing is, it looks cooler then point to point 😉

    Thanks to Nope17 for posting the link to Dampfnudels Mega City,  I watched the full 14 minutes and came away with two thoughts.

    One,  I’m going to need a bigger computer

    Two,  I’m a rookie and need to do a lot more planning.


    Let’s say we got a Line A,B,C,D. Each station is 10 km apart, where the train needs 5 mins for each part.

    Now, with a circular setup the train drives A-B-C-D-  and has a frequency of 20 minutes. Also you set up a second anti-clockwise circle. That’s 2 trains running with each 20 minutes freq.

    I setup the same Line but straight. Goes A-B-C-D-C-B-. My frequency is 30 minutes, when I add a second train its 15 minutes.


    Just take a second to think about it: Do you know any real life circual bus or train routes?




    • This reply was modified 8 years, 9 months ago by Coffeee.

    Trick question? Circle line in the Tube is probably the most known one. But i know, in reality there is very few circle lines as they rarely are that practical and no matter what people say, they are not more profitable than good straight line.


    The Circle Line is no longer a true circle anymore!

    Trains start at the Hammersmith terminal (well off the circular route), run Edgware Road and then continue round the circle in the CW direction back Edgware Road.  They then terminate there, reverse and  go back round the circle in the CCW direction to Hammersmith via Edgware Road.  [This is shown on the current London tube map.]

    The reason for this is that it hard to regulate the train service (maintain an even interval) on a continuous circular route when that route is shared with other services.

    So circle lines are not a good idea!

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