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Bordering on Madness

Borders! Depending on how you set the darkness control on your toaster, you'll either be thinking of denotations of where one country ends and another begins, or a bookstore. If you thought of the former, then you will enjoy this entry - call all the family around and have them join in the fun. If you thought of the former, well I've got some news for you.

Borders are something of an unusual concept to me, given I live in an island nation where the closest we come to borders are the customs staff at airports, seaports, and marinas. In Vodeo, however, they are of the utmost importance - they show where civilisation exists (Vodeo), and where there is barbarism (everywhere else). Given that they are the frontiers of nations, they're also great places to put cities, since trade is essential to all nations (even North Korea, whether they like it or not). Empire's End, in Avalon's Far North, is one of these.

Palm trees replaced the pound as legal tender here years ago.

Empire's End is Vodeo's northernmost city, and one of the largest in Avalon. For much of its history it had served a dual role as a trading centre in tandem with Serkan City to the north, and as a service town for northeast corner of the Far North. When the railways arrived, it also became the country's main port of entry on its northern border, to the extent that in the 1940s, Empire's End had one of the busiest railway stations in the country. Indeed, it was the railways that breathed life into the town - the waterways to the east and south are far too shallow to allow a port to be built - and once they arrived, it was all on. The town grew modestly thereafter, and was granted city status in 1958. The arrival of the Far North Motorway in 1990 was considered a godsend to the citizenry, who had grown tired of their city streets being clogged with border traffic. The respite didn't last for long, though - Empire's End has experienced steady growth since the late 1980s, and today the streets are humming (or more accurately, stopped) with traffic. The Far North District Council is still trying to figure it out.

Empire's End is a popular tourist destination thanks to its beaches, resorts, rainforest, and proximity to the Cape Orai National Park. West of the city is the town of Waipapacaurai, home to the Waipapacaurai Golf Club, one of the country's finest golf links. The barrier islands that for so long hindered the city are now a major drawcard for tourists, who pay exorbitant fees to jump off boats and swim amongst the coral or laze upon the sandy beaches of Braddock, Spreydon, Bass, and Zoel Islands. At the city's northernmost extremity is the suburb of Ailford, home to The Last Ice Cream Shop in Vodeo, famous for its immense "border-breaker" ice creams. Well, everywhere has to be known for something.

The "Winterless North" ad campaign is the biggest joke in town.

The city is today fairly wealthy, although the difference between the better-off and less-well-off sides of town can be quite stark. While the coastal suburbs are quite fancy with their apartments, hotels, and resorts, the suburbs on the other side of the railway line aren't quite to that stage yet. Dargaville was for years considered the slum of Empire's End (which is both unfair and inaccurate), but it's improving now.

In a real-world sense, Empire's End dates back to 2006, when it first appeared in a spare exercise book as a street in a series of maps comparing a town in 1810, 1830, and what would presumably have been 1850, but I got bored and stopped. However, the name intrigued me, and several years later it re-emerged on the 'old' Vodeo's map, as a border city in the southeast with a large German-speaking (and then later, Dutch-speaking) community. It got dragged into World War I when the Germans invaded from their colony next-door, and they held it for a few months before the Brits turned around and kicked the Hun back across the border, and then took the colony in December 1917. Fun!

This modern incarnation of Empire's End is something of a tribute to the Far Norths of Australia and New Zealand, particularly Kaitaia, New Zealand, and Cairns, Queensland. Kaitaia forms the basis for the city centre (with a bit of Whangarei and Bendigo, Victoria thrown in), while Cairns is the template for the rest. New Zealand's Far North comes into play in the rural areas around Waipapacaurai (a very thinly disguised nod to Waipapakauri, a former Air Force base a little north of Kaitaia), while other parts of the Far North slip in as a shout-out to the northern tip of the country (see if you can figure out where I've put Ahipara and Kaitaia). Dargaville exists irl, but it's only here in the map because I thought it a suitable name for a suburb, rather than a reference to New Zealand's one.

One thing I'm not so sure of is the border crossing at Ailford, though. Since Australia and New Zealand don't have international borders, I've had to cobble the crossing together based on the US-Canadian border, but I'm still a little unsure of it. Is it too small for a major port of entry? Should it be moved further south from the bridge? Should we just close the border and keep the rum and bananas for ourselves? Any advice or in-world examples of good border crossings would be appreciated.

By order of the Lands Survey Department,
ParAvion (talk) 09:14, 15 March 2018 (CET)

Comments go down here

Please affix your signature and timestamp. Bananas bent to order.

Well, I live in Singapore where the borders are just sea around us. However, there are still road connections between Malaysia and Singapore, such as one of the two here. At the Malaysia side of Johor Bahru, it is rather more interesting to look at than at Singapore's side, since Singapore is very small and it seems nothing special. Malaysia hasa harbour at Pasir Gudang (I have never been there yet) which is a nice harbour overlooking Singapore.

In Singkangia, however, it is a different case- it is not an island nation near the mainland, so I thought of possible border fences at the border, probably erected during communist times. There will surely be cities in Singkangia for those from the other side to come over and have some fun, like those from Singapore come over to Malaysia to buy goods which are cheaper in Malaysia, cross the second link to Legoland or buy petrol which is literally 1/3 of the price in Singapore. Mainly border cities need to also be attractive for those at the other side to pop by a visit, so there should be a few tourist attractions.

Just expand your city a little bit and try to model Johor Bahru or Chiang Rai in Thailand, which is a nice example of a border city.--Happy mapping and may God bless you, ZK (talk) 09:42, 15 March 2018 (CET)

Don't call Serkan City madness, someone clearly worked very hard on it. :P But seriously though, I like this city. It looks right for a border town, especially since the islands and natural features blend into each other. FictiveJ (talk) 10:27, 15 March 2018 (CET)

It's only a small detail, but railway bridges over bodies of water are usually straight. I don't know why, but perhaps because constructing the bridge foundations in water is difficult, or maybe it depends on the type of the bridge, like if it's a girder bridge, using bent beams would be impractical? Anyways the rest or the railway is nice, so is the town, and the border crossing is okay I think. --Eklas (talk) 13:18, 15 March 2018 (CET)

It's complicated question. First thing is that most of the railway bridges were projected in pre-computer era (in modern times they were mostly just restorated) and straight beams were much more easy to calculate than curved - every calculation in straight beam requieres basic levels of mathematics (like adding and multiplication), while it is curved you must use mostly integrals. Second thing is just a price. The main principle in projecting is that the bridges should be as short as they can so they should be straight and vertical to the water. In modern times the cost principle is sometimes omitted but again, most railway bridges aren't very modern. The last thing is secutity - it is believed that for the train falling from the curved bridge is more possible than from straight. I say "believed" because in Japan or Alps they have a lot of curved bridges and viaducts and the trains aren't tools of mass destruction in these countries.
ParAvion, about the border crossing I can say it's too small, not because of needs of Serkan City but because of the transport from farther regions, probably more than half of the travellers on the highway are from Serkan, not from Serkan City. I would add one or two more lanes if I were you. --Rüstem Paşa Discussion 13:44, 15 March 2018 (CET)
There's a simple explanation for the way the bridge is built - it's just a placeholder for now. I put it in while I was still sketching the city out, but now that I have a better idea of how the city looks, I'm considering moving it to follow the M1 and crossing the river at Ailford. Would a railyard be a good idea to add in, given the amount of freight crossing the border each way?
As for the border crossing, you raise a good point. The crossing was there long before Serkan City was, and it's far too small to cope with intercity traffic alone, to say nothing of traffic coming from further north. I'll give it a thorough redesign in the next couple of days, but before I do - does it make sense to have border authorities stopping northbound traffic as well? Got to stop the criminals heading north somehow. ParAvion (talk) 13:58, 15 March 2018 (CET)
Ah yes, math and finances, two things I'm not very good at. But the curvy bridges you're talking about, RP, are usually in mountainous areas, right? I think a railway yard would be an awesome idea, it's definitely realistic as most cargo needs to be checked for import duty and that usually does happen at a border station. I'll leave any further advice on the highway border crossing on RP, as roads aren't my forte. --Eklas (talk) 14:40, 15 March 2018 (CET)
Now I just have to figure out where to put it and how to design it. Any ideas? ParAvion (talk) 22:36, 15 March 2018 (CET)
It doesn't actually have to be near the border, you can place it in the western outskirts of the city, like Candle Bay. The size will depend on how much cargo is handled at the station: is Empire's End an important railway hub? If not, the yard won't have to be very big, a bunch of side tracks will be enough. I don't know if you're following the railway tutorial on my bliki, but the upcoming post is going to be about stations and might help you a bit. --Eklas (talk) 16:30, 16 March 2018 (CET)
Railyard near the border is always a good idea because diplomatic relations are changing dynamically and without the railyard Empire's End could end with disfunctional railway if the border crossing will get closed for some reasons. I think redesign of railway should require colaboration with your neighbor because it has a huge impact on the Serkan City which seems railess at the moment but it is rather a good idea, most railways at the shore just follow them.
I don't know if I understand your idea with border autorities but in most cases if neighboring countries don't have any diplomatic agreements about border crossings (like Schengen Area or TIR) all traffic from one country to another is stopped and controlled at the border, it's completely not dependant from starting and ending point of the journey (i. e. if you ride from Poland through Ukraine to Russia, you get controlled at both borders). I hope that helps. --Rüstem Paşa Discussion 14:32, 15 March 2018 (CET)
I'm with you now. Given that the person in charge of Serkan mapped for a day or two and hasn't been seen since, I wouldn't hold my breath on collaboration. Looks like I have some border crossings to rebuild! ParAvion (talk) 22:36, 15 March 2018 (CET)

This is totally not Erilyn City...My capital on the Esthyran-Garzibanian border. (Even though both countries have free trade agreement and are provisioned to join EUOIA) Also, I don't think you need Able Bay Bridge: B10 can just go along Able Bay Road. An offramp from border to B10 is missing. --Austinhuang (talk) 15:34, 15 March 2018 (CET)

The Able Bay Bridge is mainly a shortcut to Laureston, one of the city's more populous suburbs. Without it, I'd imagine traffic along Able Bay Road could get quite interesting. The missing offramp to the B10 is deliberate because of the border crossing, it's mainly just there to serve Ailford and Castlereagh Beach. Once I've re-done the border controls, I'll be adding in an interchange around Able Bay to handle the city traffic. ParAvion (talk) 22:36, 15 March 2018 (CET)
2017 February 26: An Introduction by the Lands Survey Department March 5: Noticing North Harbour March 23: Coffee and Relations April 18: Of Late I Think of Crafers April 30: Why is Roger So Jolly Today? May 4: Listen While I Play My Green Tahorine May 11: Of Motorways and Men June 21: Oh Helensvale! July 3: Parliamentary Conduct July 9: Diplomatic Insanity July 16: A Better Saviso Bradford July 21: Go Where the Rhodes Take You August 8: Get to the Point September 11: When Real Life Writes the Script September 24: Mapping Politics October 15: Breaking the Gridlock October 26: 390 Not Out December 12: Good Cheer and Googie December 31: That Was the Year That Was
2018 January 26: Do These Suburbs Make My City Look Big? February 7: Carry On Doctor March 15: Bordering on Madness May 1: Putting On the Pounds June 1: Further Adventures in Finance June 30: We'll Have a Gay Old Time July 20: Aving Fun in Avington August 15: The Country Members September 26: RADern October 3: Living History October 10: The Hauntings of Holme October 17: Is There Anybody Out There? October 24: If You Go Down to the Woods Today... October 31: The Evil That Men Do November 16: Crawl Out Through the Fallout December 22: There's No Place Like Holme for the Holidays December 31: Looking Backward, Moving Forward
2019 January 30: The South Tonight February 20: Jeez Gerrise March 31: The Angles of Aslington April 30: All the Rivers Run June 23: Consolidation and Crafers July 22: The Pirate Kingdom September 9: Every Which Way but Loose October 3: Tender Loving Care October 10: Mystery in the Mountains October 17: Blood, Sweat, and Tears October 24: Highway to Hell October 31: Supernatural Saviso December 31: 2020 Vision
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