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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 12:04 am

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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.
Re: Proliferation of rail transport on Safehold
Post by lyonheart   » Sat Nov 17, 2018 8:18 am

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Hi tjthw8s,

Welcome to the forums, please enjoy your favorite virtual beverage on the virtual forums. ;)

The major block to new canals and high roads especially in the island nation was the expense, but thanks to the Mohryah lode that's now irrelevant; Charis can now build whatever it wants wherever it wants.

Safehold canals are very low energy transport systems, RR are not, but both have important roles to play; one of the old maps indicated rivers across Chisholm that if dredged and connected by short canals, could have speeded up the army's movement west considerably.

Current canals are incredibly efficient, extremely low energy transport systems; just 1740 pounds of grain [for 3 draft dragons] for pulling a 2 or 3000 ton barge 40-50 miles per day in ~13 hours is terrific!

However, I doubt steam tugs or barges could move more that 8 mph before erosion could become a problem, though being able to move a 2-3000 ton barge 212 miles per day, 26.51666 hours/5-day, means cargoes travelling 4-5 times farther each day once night illumination was available; which would spark an economic boom in its own right, regardless of the economy's previous condition, so Siddarmark ought to enjoy some advantage there, NTM the temple lands thanks to brother Lynkn etc.

A railroad connecting Delthak through the break in the mountain range to the southwest corner of Margaret Bay, then on to the west coast nearest Tarot, where another railroad headed to Tranjyr and to the north, west and and northwest coasts [all double tracked], would be both a commercial success and a considerable strategic advantage.

A line connecting Delthak to Tellesberg would permit the Duke to get there in a couple of days [test route already up to 60 mph], besides further integrating Margaret's Land into Charis.

A rail line on Howell Bay's east coast would connect to Hiawatha before following 'The Throat' along the coast to East Cape.

Even with steam tugs, the port of Tellesberg isn't going to be able to handle the huge cargo increase steam power will generate, so the RR will have to help spread the load.

A direct line to Silverlode and the Mohryah lode is also quite likely, as well as lines south, southeast, and southwest to truly tie the nation together.

For Chisholm a double tracked rail line from Port Royal to Maikelberg seems likely the first to be completed, while the Cheshire-Cherayth RR line would take longer but permit the imperial family access to the interior, besides reducing transit times between the capitols to a couple of 5days.

For Emerald, east-west and north-south lines are obvious, and the same for Corisande, Tarot, and Zebediah.

Cayleb and Sharleyan expect investors to pay for much of the cost, enabling the crown to point the way in more directions more economically.

Dohlar is small enough that few major routes are needed, so it will set quite an example to the other Haven and Howard nations.

The Armahk plan should include dredging and/or blasting the canals North Harchong has never had, indeed possibly following the original plans that was gunpowder's approved purpose, possibly as a sweetener for the emperor.

I believe the Armahk plan will include helping Siddarmark, probably through the resurrected Qwentyn bank network, which should have had all of its overseas assets etc restored as part of the peace agreement ending the jihad, but relatively short RR connecting the canals might be the best starting point.

So we are looking into a darkened room that only RFC knows of all of the unseen treasures within, like the hidden delights under the Christmas tree, but we're getting more eager and excited every day until TFT does come.

Keep smiling,


[quote="tjthw8s"]Developing rail transport would be fairly high on the agenda for many places post-fall-of-the-Group-Of-Four.

Chisolm most definitely; Sharlayan already proposing it to bypass unnavigable sections of rivers in a realm with few canals.

Again, any realm lacking in canal transport would probably find many advantages in developing a rail network.

Even Charis. And even with the advantages of Howell Bay.

For one possible example: suppose you build a seaport on the northeast coast of Margaret's Land on the coast of Tranjyr Passage. With a rail link south and east to Howsmyn's Delthak complex. Such a seaport would have a definite advantage for any commerce heading anywhere west of Charis, saving time since your ships no longer have to sail so far east before turning south thru Emerald Reach and the Charis Sea and then having to sail back WEST though The Throat into Howell Bay.

And, the Safehold Map from the downloads section appears to show a foothills region all along the western coast of the isthmus connecting Margaret's Land to Charis proper. A Rail line may be feasible all the way south to Telesberg itself.

Even steam powered freight trains would probably be able to maintain a speed of over 40 or 50 kilometres per hour. One could make the trip from Telesberg to Seaport in less than a five-day! And cut at least 3 or 4 five-days off the transit time a ship would take having to go the long way 'round.

And I would imagine that Corisande, Emerald and Zebadiah could certainly all have major benefits even to their own internal economies by developing rail networks.

Plus, even the mainland realms would probably jump on board as soon as they could get their own hands on steam power. Though I suspect Desnair may prioritize on steam power to increase their gold mines output first.

Any snippet or post from RFC is good if not great!

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