Minecraft: Expanding the Train Station

Jul 09 2011

I’ve been slacking on my Minecraft blogging: not only do I owe you last week’s post (which this is), I owe a VGHVI post! My apologies, I’ll try to get caught up this weekend.

When I last mined, I was hollowing out a train station from my home mountain. I really liked the way the windows looked and its height and width; but it was far too stumpy. So I knew I needed to expand it, at least doubling but hopefully coming close to tripling its length. (And even that wouldn’t be correct proportions for a real train station, but at least it wouldn’t look ridiculous.)

I’d set the front of the train station (the south end) based on where the mountain started turning into sand; the back (the north end) was partly determined by a tower in the middle of the mountain, and partly by the shape of the mountain. In particular, the mountain got quite narrow on the east side, and bulged out in the west, and I didn’t want to completely homogenize that. Also, I wanted to leave room for my house in front, so I couldn’t go too far north.

After walking back and forth over and around the mountain, I decided that I could go a reasonable amount further north. I didn’t want to go so far as to bump into a window on the east side of my house (the glass enclosure from this post), and I also didn’t want to encroach on the rooftop garden (from that same post), but I could comfortably go further than the tower. And on the east side, I figured I’d just build walls past the side of the mountain; that actually makes my life easier because it creates space that I don’t have to dig out. On the west side, however, I wanted to leave the bump in place, so I decided to break the symmetry and turn that into an alcove.

Even that wasn’t going to make the station long enough, however. So I decided to extend forward (south) into the sand part of the mountain. Which was convenient, actually: I use a lot of windows in my train station, and if I’m going to enlarge it, then I’ll need a source of sand to smelt into more glass. So it was convenient to have an excuse to dig into the sand in the front.

With that plan in mind, I started firming out the details. First, I started building up the wall on the east side.

Mountain where I need to extend the east wall

Building out the east wall

There's a cave under the east wall, it turns out

The space between the new east wall and the old side of the mountain

The view of the east wall from the house

That forced me to fix exactly how far back I was going to go. Next, I worked on the front (the south part) of the train station, figuring out how far forward to go. I found a reasonable distance, extended my window lines, and started digging it out.

Looking down while digging out the front of the station

I continue to be a sucker for sunsets

Done digging out the front of the station

At this point, I’d finished digging out the front of the station, but I needed to figure out exactly what the front would look like, because I’d left a gaping hole:

I need some windows here

It took a little experimentation, but I ended up with a layout I was happy with. (It’s asymmetric because the front of the mountain is asymmetric.)

My first pass at a window layout

This layout is much more elegant

The view of the windows from inside

Next, I had to tackle the west side of the station. Here’s the view looking west before I started working on it, with the extension I wanted to preserve some of in the foreground.

The original view to the west

Eventually, I decided to wrap the lowermost windows in the station around an alcove on the west; the ground on the northwest part is rather lower, so I added an extra set of windows there.

Starting work on the west alcove

The alcove is taking shape

The north side of the alcove, with two sets of windows

With that, the outline of the station was mostly clear, though I had to work out the details of how the alcove on the west side would transition into the roof. Also, I have a lot of hollowing to do: I’d finished hollowing out the front, but there was quite a lot of digging remaining in the back. And I need to figure out what to do about the stairs coming up the west side of the mountain from the third floor and fourth floor of the house. But still, the end is in sight!

The view of the front of the station from where the tracks will be


One response so far

  1. […] the end of last weekend, the final outlines of the train station were taking shape; the remaining tasks were to flesh out […]