Wagon-Trains Vehicle in Creus | World Anvil
BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Wagon-Trains

A crowd of locals had gathered on the road, and while they had left enough space on the road for a Power-Wagon or oxcart to get past, the driver of a Power-Wagon had simply stopped in the space to gawk at the scene. While the cab of the crashed Wagon-Train was mostly intact and upright, the same couldn't be said of the trailers behind it; the first was tilted on its side, with snapped axles and a crumpled right side, and the other cargo trailers were flipped over entirely, with smashed crates of machinery littering the bottom of the roadside ditch.   Thanie hopped into the ditch for a closer look, pulling out a bent connecting rod from the underside of a trailer. "Must have been a bad crash to have destroyed all this equipment."   The man on the road paid little heed, jotting down notes with a deft hand. "A costly mistake, to be sure." Ricar Volenta struck a ridiculous figure in his tightly fitted vest and breeches in the summer heat, but the claims adjuster seemed to move too quickly to take the time to sweat. "Nothing here is a permanent loss, the trailers can be put back into service and the cargo repacked, but it is time that was purchased here, and that time has been wasted."   "Surely the great minds of the Etoilean Term Insurance group have factored such risks into their risk bond." Magistrate Haideri seemed unimpressed with the insurance agent. "Put a man at the controls of any vehicle for this long and crashes like this seem inevitable."   "No, they are not inevitable. All risks can be mitigated, Magistrate." Volenta punctuated his speech with exaggerated hand gestures as Thanie climbed out of the ditch. "This driver merely had to take his approved and sanctioned break and rest his eyes, and this cargo would have made it to Gyre safely. Instead, the man is at the Healer's Covenant, and we are here to dig his cargo out from the dirt."   Haideri had walked over to the cab of the vehicle and retrieved a log, with the onlookers parting way for the figure in black. "Patino to Gyre is, if I recall correctly, precisely one hundred thirty six miles by the main trade road. This is, pardon my mathematics, nine hours of Wagon-Train piloting." The Magistrate flipped a page in the logbook. "The driver left Patino this morning at the rise of dawn, and this delivery was demanded just after midday. How was the driver meant to complete the job?"   "That is irrelevant, Magistrate." Volenta closed his own notepad. "I do not blame the driver, but the organization. Our insurance retainer demands a strict risk mitigation stance in order to avoid accidents, and no matter if the driver or the shipping manager was at fault, risks were taken that ETI considers unacceptable."   The magistrate shook his head. "I understand ETI's position, Master Volenta, but understand that I decide what is relevant and what isn't. We will discover the truth here, and it is my judgment that will determine Etoilean Term's liability, and not yours."   The claims adjuster sighed. "As you wish, Magistrate, but should your decision not align with our own, expect an appeal at the Longhall."   Thanie rolled her eyes at that. "I'm sure everyone would love to have another chance to mock the insurance industry, Master Volenta."

Power Generation

Similar to the base Power-Wagons, a Wagon-Train cab is a vehicle powered by portable flywheels in the place of animal power. Unlike Power-Wagons, Wagon-Trains are specifically optimized to tow trailers full of cargo, and are built to be far sturdier and slower than the ordinary passenger wagon. The flywheels in Wagon-Trains are significantly larger than those of their smaller cousins, and a Wagon-Train will typically carry five or six charged flywheels for mid-journey recharge. The cargo trailers typically attached to a wagon-train are simple unpowered carts.

Propulsion

The underlying mechanism of mating a flywheel to a driveshaft to deliver motive power to the axles is unchanged from the basic Power-Wagon, with identical driver's lever controls to engage the clutch plate and regulate slip. However, in order to generate optimal torque for carrying cargo, the driveshaft is mated to a set of reducing gears, lowering the top speed of the Wagon-Train. Wagon-Trains carry the additional load of up to three cargo trailers, hitched to a rear hardpoint on the cab vehicle.

Weapons & Armament

While the Etoilean Ground Forces do make use of Wagon-Trains for transport, the vehicles are generally too slow for direct combat use, and are without armament.

Armor and defense

Experiments with armored Wagon-Trains have resulted in slow-moving mobile fortresses, three or four nearly-invulnerable vehicles able to carry arbalesters or a launcher-turret mechanism in the cargo trailers. In terms of tactics, this proved inferior to simply having multiple independently moving armored Power-Wagons, and the concept was discarded.

Communication Tools & Systems

Like the base Power-Wagon, Wagon-Trains rely on a set of semaphores to signal turns and braking. The cable mechanism that transmits the semaphore signal from the lead cab in the train to the rear trailers, however, is notoriously unreliable, leading many Power-Wagon drivers to simply steer clear of any Wagon-Trains to avoid accidents.

Hangars & docked vessels

The standard Wagon-Train cab vehicle tows three cargo trailers, hitched to each other and connected to the semaphores of the cab. This was the result of trial and error - too many trailers and the Wagon-Train would be unable to move at any speed at all, and too few trailers proved unprofitable given the larger expense and recharge times of Wagon-Trains (as opposed to simply throwing cargo in the back of a regular Power-Wagon, or going back to the time-tested oxcarts). Wagon depots at the outskirts of major cities handle the attaching and detaching of cargo trailers as Wagon-Trains enter and exit.   Wagon-Trains fulfill a specific niche for long distance cargo delivery. Ordinary Power-Wagons can deliver smaller goods, while very large cargo loads are typically sent by ship. Oxcarts pull heavy loads that are under no particular time constraint for delivery (with the Copper and Ironworker's Brotherhood using oxcarts exclusively over Wagon-Trains). Thus, Wagon-Trains are preferred for heavy loads that cannot be delivered by ship (to inland destinations), that must be delivered on a precise schedule (manufactory parts, high value components and the like).
Price
~750,000 Principality Trade Florin, depending on specific model
Rarity
Common
Related Technologies
Beam
6ft
Length
16ft cab, 46ft total train
Height
8ft
Weight
3500-4000lb without cargo
Speed
Maximum speed of 35-40mph unladen, fixed to 15mph when carrying a full cargo load
Complement / Crew
1
Cargo & Passenger Capacity
3 passengers in the cab, carrying up to 2500lb in each cargo trailer (7500lb total cargo)

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Aug 20, 2022 21:03

Interesting article, good job including all those details about the experiments that aren't part of the current design.

Aug 26, 2022 06:37

Thank you for reading my work!