Train travel guide
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Before diving into this Train Travel Guide, some background information may be helpful:
Trains in the Real World
In real life, a train is a form of rail transport consisting of a series of connected vehicles that generally run along a railway track, and transports passengers and cargo (or "freight") between locations. Trains can only run along railway track, so are limited in where they can travel (unlike cars which can travel anywhere there is a flat, firm road surface) but are able to transport more goods at a more consistent speed than most motor vehicles, resulting in a more efficient, cost effective method of transport. In the industry, trains are referred to as "rolling stock" whereas the track the train runs on is the "permanent way." Trains travel on track - which generally consists of wooden, concrete or metal sleepers laid out in a bed of gravel ballast, with metal rails (standard or head-hardened steel for modern railways, or cast iron for older railway lines) fixed across them with spikes or screws.
Someone who drives a train is called a train driver. In North American Railway lingo, this train driver is often called an engineer, but internationally a railway engineer is someone with a civil engineering degree (or equivalent) who designs railway infrastructure.
Maintenance of railway lines is a very labour intensive process, though many machines now exist that make railway maintenance easier, and a number of issues can affect the track (which in turn affects the speed and safety of the train running along it). Generally, speaking, the poorer condition of the railway line, the slower a train must travel across it to prevent issues (such as misalignments, derailments, broken rails, etc.). Adverse weather can also affect the condition of the track, and also the speed of passing trains. In heavy rain, the track bed can wash away. Fires can destroy the wooden sleepers (or 'ties' in American rail lingo) and extreme heat can cause the metal rails to expand or contract unevenly, causing breaks and 'wiggles.'
For more information on how to roleplay aspects of railway maintenance, the RailCorp (NSW, Australia) handbook TMC 202 Track Fundamentals may be of value.
For more information on how to roleplay a train driver, honestly, go download and play any of the dozen various train simulator games out there.
See also, Wikipedia's Glossary of rail transport terms.
Trains in Cantr
Just as in real life, trains in Cantr move along vehicle connection types called railways, which can be built between towns just like normal roads. Trains cannot travel on normal roads (expressways, sand roads, etc.). For a train to be able to stop somewhere, that location must have a railway station present, otherwise the train will terminate only at the end of its railway line.
Trains move very slowly when uncontrolled, but it is possible for a driver to increase the speed of the train by maintaining a project to "Use train controls" - similar to the ongoing project "working reins" when mounted on a horse. Trains consume coal as fuel, and will move at their minimum speed value when unfueled.
Two types of trains currently exist – a passenger train, and a freight train variant, and one type of light rail – the tram. A passenger train can carry many more passengers and is more expensive, whereas a freight train can carry more cargo. The tram has a much lower capacity than full-sized trains, and is slower.
Your First Railway
Ready to start building your first Cantrian railway? You'll need at least a railway vehicle connection type, a railway station, and a train.
A location can only have one railway station, and trains can generally* only stop in a town with a railway station (though exceptions exist, such as with railway barricades, or at the end of a railway line as a last resort). Trains will travel automatically along railways until they reach a railway station, and then they will terminate. Therefore, it's pretty important for a town to build a railway station. Trains, when stopped, will appear as vehicles INSIDE a railway station building, and can only be accessed from within the railway station.
The railway is a road connection type that allows for train travel between locations. Without this vehicle connection type, trains cannot travel. As a result, the most important part of your Cantrian railway will be your railway track - building and maintaining it (it will eventually decay without repair) are integral to Cantrian train systems.
Railways do not replace other vehicle connection types, and are not upgrades to existing roads, but are instead a totally separate road that exists alongside roads (such as sand roads, highways, expressways, etc.)
Once your location has a railway station, and there is railway connecting it to one or more other locations, you are finally ready to build your first train. Trains are built and named like any other vehicle, but once moved will appear within railway stations and not outside in a location under the vehicles tab.
Railway barricades can be built relatively quickly, and disassembled just as quickly, and when placed in a location block the railway vehicle connection type. Essentially, it will force a train to stop travelling along a railway, ending its travel in that location, and can be used to prevent train travel to towns and locations (for purposes of train robbery, etc.)
Only one railway barricade can be built in a location, and it must be built outside.
Tram stops allow trams to stop at locations where they are built. In many ways, they are similar to the railway barricades, but do not have to be dismantled in order to continue. Note that you can build a tram stop before a station is built, but a tram stop cannot be built after a station is built.