[[idrw]]

The Inter-Dome Railway

“We are pleased to unveil the latest project of Jowett Transport Co. - The Inter-Dome Railway. Our biggest project to date, we have worked with the brightest minds from Cross and Sophostos to connect the domes, affording all members of society the chance to experience the wonders that the world outside can offer. Combining luxurious travel, with speed and safety that has never before been achievable, this really is the way to travel.”
- Antonio Mink, Muruvia, at the unveiling of the IDRW project

“That, through near enough five centuries of enclosure within our domes, it took a civic breakdown in Wildekein to show us what lay outside, shows in a perhaps uncomfortable light just how accustomed we had become to our indomed lifestyles. Regardless, once we came to know of our many neighbours, the urge to travel took root amongst many. But the Wilderness, while perhaps less immediately deadly than we had assumed, remains still a truly harsh environment for the unprepared, and the journey between domes was long even for the well-equipped. The Muruvians saw this, and proposed the idea that some form of mechanised transportation between the domes might shorten travel time and ease passage. The technological and engineering prowess of Sophostos and Cross saw this project through, and though it has taken them twenty years to complete, to see it now in all its glory is magnificent. Only time will tell how well it holds up against the unknowns of the Wilderness, but I for one wish it well.”
- Marta Angliss, Historian, Sophostos

The Idea

At least among some domes, there was a willingness to work together for mutual benefit; however, this was made difficult by the long distance and harsh Wilderness that separated them. Sensing an opportunity, Jowett Transport Co., a well known company in Muruvia, had the idea to construct some sort of transport system between the domes. In order to realise this idea, having sought counsel from the other domes, designers and architects from Cross and Sophostos were assembled to draw up plans.

Co-operation between Sophostos and Cross had its problems, with the more eccentric personalities in Cross colliding with the more academic minds of Sophostos. Eventually they came to a compromise, and designed the Inter-Dome Railway, or IDRW, which would reduce the the travel time from weeks to just a day between adjacent domes. With the design in place, it just came down to the construction. Teams from Cross and Muruvia were joined by workers from Citadell and Wildekein. Each dome worked on the sections of track nearest their dome, to avoid the issue of mass migration of workers. Even with precautions like this in place, the project was immense, and construction took 20 years to complete. Due to the length of the project, there was a considerable amount of turnover in the workforce throughout its construction. The original designers from Cross and Sophostos, too, passed the project on to their younger colleagues over time: Cyrus Vayne is the current representative from Cross, while Emma Timmons and Leonard Potts are the delegates from Sophostos. The project is currently being lead by Daniel Wolfe of Muruvia.

Construction

There were a few setbacks in the process, as one would expect from any such large-scale project. Haven were unable to put together a workforce for the project, with some people being apprehensive about allowing strangers into the dome, but there was clear vocal support from much of its population. Similarly, only some factions of Wildekein provided workers, and those from Citadell, while they helped, avoided interactions with others. Kallipolis didn't assist in any construction, but a station was built for them regardless.

It was a long and arduous task, but after 20 years, all 8000km of track had been completed - this is but a few months prior to the start of the game, during which time much careful testing and checking of the system has been taking place. With that process now completed, fast travel between all eight domes is finally possible!

The Journey

There are in fact two trains that go round the circuit in opposite directions, despite there only being one line. To avoid collisions each station has a second track for them to pass each other. Therefore, when the two are scheduled to pass each other, they cannot leave the station until both trains are there.

The train runs complete circuits on an 8 day rotation (the length of time to complete a full circuit). For the most part, these journeys are one continuous journey from dome-to-dome, taking 12-14 hours to travel between them. However there are some other (more infrequent) variations on this trip.

The Conventions

Every 6 months, the Conventions take place. This journey is unique in that it is free for any one who wishes to attend. In actual fact, it operates much like the normal trips, as it stops at each dome in turn. Starting from Muruvia, it goes round the track picking up attendees at each of the domes. The Convention then happens during the trip from Wildekein back to Muruvia, although people do of course talk in the preceding 7 days as they are picked up. Upon arriving at Muruvia, the Convention ends, and then the train continues round the circuit, dropping off the rest of the attendees over the next 7 days.

Expedition Trips

The other main differing trip is the expedition trip, which takes place once a month. Again for the most part they act the same as the normal trips, except that they stop twice a day, once at a dome, and once at a frontier post equidistant between adjacent domes. These stops allow for expeditions (and other such trips) to get into the wilderness, rather than having to trek from the nearest dome.

For each of these trips, the train stops between every dome over the course of the week, allowing for people to explore from any part of the track. As these trips are far less frequent, anyone disembarking is warned of the hazards - when returning, they have to make the next expedition stop, or they'll have to wait a month to re-board, which could cost lives if people are in need of medical assistance. The alternative is making a trip to the nearest dome, but this also takes several weeks, so could be risky if not planned in advance.

Private Hire

If people are in need, and can afford to do so, they can commission the train to stop at anywhere, at any time. The cost incurred is proportional to the amount it would disrupt the time table - stopping between domes on a day when the train is to travel the stretch is comparatively cheap, but getting it to stop on the other side of the loop to where it is scheduled would take a large fortune. The most common use for these is to plan expeditions which need to be somewhere at a critical time, although such matters of urgency are extremely rare.

Alternatively, patrons can hire out individual (or multiple) carriages - usually for holding some event, although these too are fairly costly.

The Trains

 The Lounge Carriage where meetings take place. The trains themselves are the height of luxury. Each train pulls around 20 cars, with a variety of fittings. There are two lounge and bar cars (one of which the meeting takes place in), and a dining car (with waiting staff) on each train. The rest of the carriages are mostly sleeping cars (due to the length of the journeys) with fitted suites, aside from the last two cars which are for luggage and other freight.

On board, there is a very rudimentary currency exchange, to facilitate people buying and selling goods in other domes. Due to the vast assortment of different currencies in each of the domes, the value of things varies wildly from place to place, and people often find they are better off simply striking a deal with whomever they intend to trade with.

idrw.txt · Last modified: Fri 3 Oct 2014, 01:40:12 UTC by gm_jamesw
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