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Proliferation of rail transport on Safehold

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Re: Proliferation of rail transport on Safehold
Post by ecortez   » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:04 am

Lieutenant (Junior Grade)

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In our own world some freight moves by sea, some by canal, some by plane, some by railroad, and some by truck. How cargo is transported depends on a number of factors. With overseas cargo: delivery by ship is slow but relatively cheap and cargo capacity is enormous, whereas planes can't fit nearly as much on board and are less cost efficient but get to the destination quickly.

Overland transport is dictated by geography and how fast things need to move. In places where there are large natural waterways or where it makes economic sense to dig a canal, you can move large cargoes that don't need to get where they're going quickly. Railroads, trucks, and planes can deliver smaller cargoes in a shorter time, and to spots far from any convenient bodies of water. A realm like Chisholm with resources and good locations for factories but not a lot of potential canals, would benefit enormously from rail lines. You'd expect to see the biggest expansions there, and in certain parts of Old Charis, first.

Where long established road and canal networks exist, as in most of the mainland realms, and there's little need to reach locations they don't serve, upgrading those would be the logical approach. Rails do require a lot of steel and if you're going to replace the roads with narrow pathways - call them sidewalks if you like - and several sets of parallel tracks, traffic along what's left of the road will be severely impeded until you're done (which could take a while).

People tend not to adopt a change until it's absolutely necessary. There's that natural human tendency to muddle along with the old familiar system as long as you can - and in some cases it even makes economic sense to keep the old system permanently. As other posters have pointed out, we still have canals that are not only operating but likely to remain so indefinitely.

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