Thanks for the responses, too bad to hear it probably isn’t going to make it. I am not too familiar with AutoCAD, but I assume they mean the UI and easthetics when they mention it.
It’s not necessary per se, I agree on that, it’s just that after 20 years of management games there are so few examples of even rudimentary planning, while it’s the core function of real-life network management. Comparing different scenarios and estimating the efficiency and effects of a route (as well as easthetics!) is only done with some sort of planning feature.
Currently with OpenTTD I mainly use a (real-life!) notebook to make a rudimentary sketch of my lines and what would be the most efficient route of a new line inside my network (how to connect a new city; through city A or Hub B?). However it gets tedious at times and constructing it multiple times is not really a good solution, hence the planning.
I will wait for launch to see how the construction really works, maybe they will implement something in this line of thinking in a post-launch patch if it’s not in at launch.