Commissure Transit Station Building / Landmark in Manifold Sky | World Anvil

Commissure Transit Station

A commissure transit station is a specialized active structure - centered on the micro-gravity line of a commissure - which allows ground vehicles to cross the commissue without incident.

Purpose / Function

While the sheer cliffs of most commissures presents special difficulties for the passage of ground vehicles, most nations have constructed causeways to allow rail and road transit despite the verticality of the terrain. A more serious issue is presented by the near-lack of gravity once one reaches the centermost region of the commissure, as ground vehicles require traction on the ground to propel themeselves. To this end, commissure transit stations have been constructed in most commonly-crossed inflection layers.


While commissure transit stations are normally considered a part of the civil infrastructure of their respective nations, the Navigator's Guild has discovered various ways to impose themselves upon the construction and operation of the facilities. This imposition takes the form of civil engineering advising services during the construction process, branch offices installed in the waiting areas leading up to the facilities, the Guild's near-monopoly on publishing road atlases including the transit stations, and heavy lobbying to institute 'safety' oversight by Guild-appointed observers.


A typical commissure transit station is comprised of a platform festooned with mounting straps and nets. When a vehicle drives onto this platform the driver (or, at larger stations, a station attendant) carefully secures the vehicle to the platform so that it cannot drift away during the transition to the road or rails on the opposite side of the commissure. Once fully secured, the platform is somehow spun or swung about so that the vehicle is now on the opposite side of the commissure and inverted in space relative to its starting position; this once again places the vehicle's wheel 'downwards' relative to the force of gravity, allowing it to be unsecured and sent back on its journey.   Commissure transit stations come in three major varieties as of the year 10,000 AR:
  • 'Mass/Drover's Path' Stations: These are among the oldest, simplest, and smallest commissure transit stations, typically composed of little more than a heavy platform or cage suspended over an unpowered pivot. These are most often found in extremely rural areas, and a few date all the way back to the first mass traversals in the Age of Civilization; this history, which included more pedestrian and livestock traffic than wheeled vehicles, is the source of this type's name.
  • Barrel Stations: Barrel stations are a natural iteration of 'drover's path' stations. Consisting of a large cylinder which can rotate on a central pivot, barrel stations can easily blend grades with an approaching road surface, giving passengers the feeling of 'cresting a hill' as they ride the cylinder around to the opposite roadway. Barrel stations are frequently fully-enclosed and, with a clever use of cams to create cargo nets which automatically descend from the ceiling, can even operate on a continually-rotating basis. Rail-only barrel stations need not rotate at all, simply requiring any oncoming train to have wheels with the appropriate attachements to interface with the station's special rails; these rails are slotted such that they do not permit the train to be lifted away from the track. Barrel stations are most commonly found in Manifold Conservation Society, especially Bunker Primus, where continually rotating models have been integrated into the so-called 'gravity baths' for microgravity workers.
  • Rail-Hangar Stations: These transit stations consist of two hangar-like terminals separated by a vertical. semi-circular arc of specialized track. When a vehicle drives into the terminal, it is actually entering a large boxcar with wheels designed so that, despite the lack of gravity, the boxcar cannot be lifted off of the track. The boxcar then travels (typically propelled by a cable or chain driveline under the track) the short distance from one station to the other, where the vehicle contained within can disembark. These are the most common modern design for commissure transit stations, and the end terminals are often expanded to include toll booths, inspection stations, fuel depots, and shops to minister to the needs of travellers waiting their turn at the boxcars. Rail-hangar stations often feature multi-vehicle boxcars to maximize throughput and covered rail lines to minimize maintenance. Many rail-hangar stations also feature dedicated rail lines for the passage of properly-equipped railroad trains (similar to barrel stations), making these a practical solution for rail freight to outlying territories on adjacent cube faces.
Transportation station
Parent Location
Owning Organization

Cover image: by BCGR_Wurth


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