Transportation

Transportation is the lifeblood of a civilisation and Fusion City is no exception. With a megalopolis, you'd expect to see excess amounts of vehicles and traffic, but in this article, we're going to go through why that may not necessarily be the case.

The Slinggate Network

Before the Cataclysm, the sling gate network was the primary method of long-distance travel in the world of Dunia, which lead to a lot of centralisation of transport around the gates. Most transport was performed by train, since there was a substantial train network all around the world. However, thanks to the sling gates, the rails never needed to go exceptionally far, and because of this, rail transport was usually relatively short distance, with smaller, but faster trains. For some locations that were far from a sling gate, you could find longer rails. But with the expansion of the gate network, more and more rails fell into disrepair due to underutilization.

Trains and public transport

With so much of industry relying on, and supporting, the train network, the idea of trains rather than individual vehicles for transport was solidifed in the minds of the Kykr. This led to most cities and transportation being built with collective transport in mind. Sure, cars exist, as do hovers and even individual lorries, but they are few and relatively rare compared to what you'd expect.

The Tubes

With Fusion City being the only remaining, functional, city in the world it's the only one we can use as an example. It was built, from scratch, to support a massive population of over 80 million, which meant that transport had to be carefully designed with that in mind. Pedestrians are largely suspended above any major streets, in a system of moving platforms, nicknamed "the tubes". Think of them as horizontal escalators, rapidly taking you to where you wish to walk. Of course, tubes aren't available everywhere, and you may have to step out and walk normally at street level to reach your destination, but it is a decent speed boost for longer walks. For disabled people, it offers great comfort of not having to provide their own locomotion on crammed streets. Get onto the tubes is usually done with a series of rapid elevators. These can get pretty crowded at rush hour, so sometimes walking on street level can be faster, as the bottleneck is the on-off stations.

The tubes were not designed with over 100 million people in mind and if we're to be frank, they barely had capacity to hit the projected goal of 80 million. Like much of Fusion City, it was overpromised and underdelivered.

Interrail

The Interrail is the main and major train system, designed to take you virtually anywhere within the boundaries of the Perimeter Wall. That might be a slight exaggeration, but it'll get you close and it'll get you there fast. The Interrail is one of the fastest methods of transport within the city, outpacing even private hovers most of the time. It does this with great speed, high reliability and frequent departures. The Interrail moves millions of people every day and night throughout the neon-lit city.

Each train is a double-headed construction with six cars to carry people in. Each car is capable of transporting 110 people comfortably, however disembarkation can become a bit of a stressful affair.

The trains are capable of traveling at over 440 Km/h at peak velocity, however it must slow down for some of the sharper turns along the rail. It also takes a while for the train to accelerate to top speed, not because of performance, but because of comfort. Every passenger is required to be seated, and belted, before the train leaves or you risk injury by being tossed around inside. With that speed it can get you where ever you need inside the city within two hours. At least any major region or district. From there, you can either take the smaller shuttles, or walk to your destination.

The interrail, unlike most other things in Fusion City, is a rarity, as it's fast, functional and above all: comparatively cheap.

Shuttles

Perhaps a misnomer, as the shuttles are more like an overground/underground subway hybrid. These short, fast shuttletrains usually connect to highway on/off ramps, tube-junctions and Interrail stations (it's remarkable how often those things coincide) and allow travel out into the depths of districts, where the Interrail won't take you. They're not as fast as the Interrail, but don't have to travel as far either, so they're a more gentle ride. Still a lot faster than walking, even in the tubes, and the shuttle network is exceptionally well developed in most of Fusion City. They are built to get anywhere, so they travel overground or dip down into Vault of Life as necessary. Most of the traveling is done underneath Central and stays in the Vault of Life. While this makes for a rather dull and dirty view of the city as you travel, it keeps the shuttles out of mind and sight from the city above.

Some districts, particularly perimeter ones, have poorly maintained and partially, or completely, dysfunctional rails, making transportation a hassle. The western and northwestern perimeter is particularly prone to wrecked shuttle lines.

Personal vehicles, trucks, lorries and bikes

The kykr have always been quite collective in their mindset and their designs for transportation reflects this. Vehicles are a common sight in Fusion City, but not to the extent you'd expect in a mega city of 100 million people. You'll rarely see traffic jams and usually vehicle spacing is big enough that you'll only see a couple of dozen cars at once. A more common sight are the lorries and trucks, most of the completely automated, that transport goods from the goods terminals to their destinations, deep within districts. These are the most common "road hazard" you'll come across. Every major road are virtually without speed limit, so these lorries can travel at very fast speeds, making crossing these large streets very dangerous. It's for this reason every such road has a tube above it.

Smaller, local roads are speed limited and have pedestrian crossings and during very busy hours, this could lead to smaller traffic jams, with pedestrian traffic blocking up the transportation lorries.

Cars and long distance travel

Cars and lorries both still drive on roads and in fact do so even more than we are used to. "Off road" requires specialized vehicles, since the vast majority of cars, lorries and trucks are electrical and take power directly from the road while driving. If you go onto minor roads or even off-road, you suddenly rely on the car's battery, which is not designed to last for more than a couple of kilometers, because the car is meant to be driven on a powered road.

Specialized off-road vehicles can utilize long-lasting powercells that need either replacement or recharging after use, but these vehicles can last for hundreds or even thousands of kilometers on one charge. With replacable powercells you can also bring extra with you and replace it when you run out, although they are quite bulky, so this is more common for vehicles designed to visit the Shadowmark. These vehicles also tend to be armored, since wasteland raiders are a clear and present danger in the Shadowmark.

No gas or petrol

With the civilisation discovering the equivalent of nuclear energy (see Shadow Power) in their equivalent of "the middle ages", there was never any need for fossil powered technology. While fire and burning wood and coal played a part in the early stages of civilization, everything modern is electrical. Prior to the Cataclysm everything ran on shadow power, but with the advent of fusion energy, raw electricity became popular, especially in Fusion City, where shade-powered vehicles were banned as part of the publicity stunt that was the "City of Tomorrow".



Cover image: by CC BY, Modified by Tobias Linder

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