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RealRailway (RRW) - Development and Support

Started by Swordmaster, June 14, 2013, 08:42:19 AM

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The RealRailway (abbreviated RRW) is the NAM component that involves all current rail modding done by the NAM team. It changes the look of the default heavy rail network and adds functionality. It is a successor to the Railway Addon Mod (RAM), which it supersedes. The major difference between these mods is that where the RAM started from the Maxis look of the network and added elements to that, the RRW is a redesign, with its basic premise being a slight yet important rescaling of the rail width. Any content that has been added by the RAM has been included by the RRW, and expansion of rail options will remain the RRW's main goal.

The RealRailway's name is an analogy to the popular RealHighway mod, whose increased realism compared to earlier content has revealed issues of scale and balance across the other networks. This has been the primary impetus behind the RRW's creation. Technically, however, the two are not any more related than other NAM components are. The RRW will most likely not become as large as the RHW due to the different nature of real life rail networks. The emphasis of the mod will lie first on increasing the network's fluidity and only second on width, capacity and interchangeability with itself or other networks.


  • I installed RRW; my rails don't change. I keep seeing Maxis textures. Why are some textures darker than others?
    If you want to convert your existing rails to RRW, you need to re-draw (i.e. click on) any draggable rail that exists in your cities (thus excluding puzzle pieces). This is because the RRW converts the default rail network from being texture-based to being model-based, as a method to counter differences in shading and coloring across the network.
  • I'm still seeing Maxis textures!
    If you've redrawn your railroads and still see Maxis textures, that means that you've drawn a specific configuration that is not (currently) supported by the RRW. Some setups are unrealistic or unnecessary yet remain available under RRW with Maxis textures for ease of construction. See the manual for further information.
  • I can't click on my network or drag over it. It gives an error/red footprint.
    The code for the rail tool has been altered. Several previously available setups are no longer supported, as outlined in this post. Red footprints may be encountered in the vicinity of curves. In this case, bulldoze the curve and rebuild it. This only has to be done once after RRW has been installed.
  • Why do the textures look like this? My local railroad looks different. Will there be textures that look like x or y?
    The basic appearance of the textures has been developed over a six month period with public and private evaluations from many people. This particular look has been chosen as a relatively universal impression of what rails look like. The developers recognize that there are probably more variations of rails than of road asphalt, and the latter has already spawned several dozen texture mods. As a logical result, the developers encourage the creation of regional or technical variations by third-party creators, but there will be no official NAM Team support for any of these for the time being.
  • Will you include any texture variations as additional overrides (i.e. a SAM-like approach?)
    No. The rail network is far more extensive than streets, and counts many hundreds of textures. The only overrides for this network will be functional variants.
  • Why is the railhead dark and not shiny?
    You don't actually see the railhead, you see the side of the rail, which is always rusty. Viewed from the SC4 angle, the railhead would constitute less than half a pixel on a 128px texture. Inclusion has been attempted several times and severely distorts the balance of scale. (Also see this topic.)
  • Is this a rural railway?
    No, it's a real railway ;D  It's designed to represent both urban and rural lines.
  • Why are the textures not HD?
    The gains of having a HD transit texture versus the increased download size and game loading times is minimal, if there's any at all.
  • Is the RRW compatible with the RAM? Will I need to bulldoze RAM content?
    The RRW is backwards compatible with the RAM, meaning all existing content has been converted to the new specs. You don't need to bulldoze existing puzzle pieces. The only thing you need to do is redraw (i.e. click on) your existing dragged stretches of rail to convert them to RRW.
  • Will the RAM continue to be supported? Will there be new content with the old textures?
    The RAM has been effectively put on hold by the NAM team, and it's unlikely there will be new developments involving the old rail textures. Of course, the NAM team does not keep people from creating Maxis-style textures for new content.
  • When will feature x be released?
    As per usual NAM Team policy, there is no fixed schedule for development.
  • Can I uninstall the RRW and go back to the old textures?
    Yes, you can. Re-run the NAM installer and de-select the RRW option; the installer will do the work for you. However, if you have RRW in existing cities, the network will become "invisible" upon removal of the RRW mod. They simply return by clicking on them again (this process is identical to the initial conversion and likewise excludes puzzle pieces).
  • How about lot textures and lot support? Will there be compatible railyard textures?
    Supporting existing content has always been a primary concern for the developers, and full compatibility is aimed for. Maxis lot textures are included in the mod. Third-party textures are not covered; their conversion to RRW is the responsibility of their respective creators. This can be done in cooperation with the RRW developers if so desired.
  • Are our DTR stations compatible?
    Most of them are, since geometrically, the outside rails remain unchanged (the narrowing occurs with the inner rails). Unfortunately, a few popular stations have rail textures that are part of the BAT. This can only be solved if the original BAT creator releases an updated station, preferably with the rails as lot textures instead.
  • Are Triple track and Quad track (TTR and QTR) still slated for development?
    Very likely, but there is no schedule for this.
  • Will there be compatible tunnels and bridges?
    Very likely, but there is no schedule for this.
  • Which features will make it into the next NAM?
    We like to surprise people ;D
  • Who is making this mod?
    The RRW is a NAM Team project. Refer to the manual for a full list of contributors.

HERE are the master textures for the first RRW version (.xcf versions included, split by layer). If you use these, credit the NAM Team please.



Will the RRW consist of the retexture for DTR, or are STR & TTR factored in as well?

should've read the faq first!   $%Grinno$%

still, gotta love the acronyms!  :D
time flies like a bird
fruit flies like a banana


Copperminds and Cuddleswarms


Nice work, Willy and the rest of the team.  You never cease to impress.  :thumbsup:  I was wondering what had happened to the RAM, but I guess it will no longer be needed when the RRW is released.
Find my power line BAT thread here.
Check out the Noro Cooperative.  What are you waiting for?  It even has electricity.
Want more? Try here.  For even more electrical goodies, look here.
Here are some rural power lines.



This is great. I am applaouding and (im)patiantly following the progress.


At last, the Railways get the love and treatment they deserve :thumbsup:
Lurk mode: ACTIVE


Exiting news! I can't wait to give my railways more realism. ;D


Pink horse, pink horse, she rides across the nation...


Wiimeiser, can you give me a specific lot name so I can check?

Teaser time:




Those textures are amazing.. shame to hear the TTR and QTR have been bumped down the priority list though.
~ NAM Team Member


Quote from: Swordmaster on June 15, 2013, 03:54:21 PM
Wiimeiser, can you give me a specific lot name so I can check?
The ones I'm specifically referring to are Peg's Pine Trails, Logging Trails and SPAR roads, each set has a rail crossing lot.
Pink horse, pink horse, she rides across the nation...


Well then this is a surprise! After the RAM went into hiatus I thought it might be years until railways were revisited but here is the RRW all new and fancy! Another acronym to add to the list aye!


Quote from: Kitsune on June 15, 2013, 05:13:25 PM
Those textures are amazing.. shame to hear the TTR and QTR have been bumped down the priority list though.

TTR was in the midst of a major overhaul when Dedgren disappeared again and QTR never got past the prototype stage.

Don't worry, hopefully there'll be some other unreleased old, forgotten RAM content making it into this  ;)

"We're making SimCity, not some dopey casual game." -Ocean Quigley


So you guys are never running out of ideas? This is very impressive.

The textures are absolutely gorgeous, but in my opinion it was a mistake not to include shiny parts of metal to the rails. Although it gives an overall nice "vintage" feel,  I'm curious how well it will blend with modern, high-density settings.


A small question: how about crossing compatibility with other NAM plugins and texture overrides? (Euro Textures hint hint...)
Lurk mode: ACTIVE


It's an understandable opinion Magneto. I'm only gonna explain this once.

The shiny railhead should be represented only at zoom 6. Inclusion in higher zooms gives the following effect:

This is just an indecipherable blur. This is because of the changed color scheme of ballast rock and ties. It can be ameliorated either by changing the color scheme (moot), or adding additional shading, which will have the effect of making the rails look twice as wide (moot as well). Dark railheads were chosen primarily as a feature (increased contrast at higher zooms), not as a defect.

Like said in the FAQ, HD textures are not on the books. Nor is any texture variation, at least not on my part. Everyone is free to take their stab at doing this. I'm always open to suggestions but I'm not gonna spend any more time on this specific issue.

It's just a matter of getting used to it (call it de-maxification :D)

Quote from: MandelSoft on June 16, 2013, 08:27:28 AM
A small question: how about crossing compatibility with other NAM plugins and texture overrides? (Euro Textures hint hint...)

Well, the question is, whose responsibility is this? (Hint hint ;D )



Bring on the de-Maxisification  ;D

Indeed, the shiny rail texture is perhaps the most radical change here relative to previous rail texture mods, and it's something that takes a minute to get used to. Due to viewing angle and the other reasons mentioned it is certainly time for the shine to go though. As you can see a couple teaser pics back though, even at Z6 the new textures are stunning. As one of the more HD-obsessed people around here I must say I've been completely won over by the look of these SD textures even at their most detailed--and have really been itching to post a couple shots from NORO featuring these beauties for months now  :D

Absolutely outstanding work my friend  &apls &apls &apls &apls


That pic with a urban dense enviroment is amazing!I'm loving this mod!