|Goals:||To rebuild the pre-war railroad network of North America|
They are dedicated to the reconstruction of railroads and maintaining their locomotive, which they believe only lives as long as it is fully maintained and operational.
Before the war the US was filled with various railroad companies, a vast network of track stretching across the continent.
With train travel in the 2000's almost restricted to those too poor to afford to travel by plane, rail technology had seemingly barely left the steam era. With diesel prices skyrocketing but coal remaining abundant, railroads were keeping up maintenance on their aging steam fleets, much to the delight of train fans.
When the war came and the abandoned railroads fell into disrepair those who had moved into railway museums and not content to let their beloved trains stay dormant they rebuilt their rails, traveling and building, their children seeing it as something wonderful
Each tribe believed that they were the only people left with a working locomotive, but strangely enough, across the country, in museums and yards and roundhouses others had the same dreams and they too began traveling and rebuilding the rails, and eventually they began to meet up.
Generation after generation they traveled, the rails, even after being restored would have to be rebuilt every year, giving the nomads an unending task in rebuilding the rails.
The Railway Nomad's religion is based upon a myth, passed down from generation to generation.
The following is an abridged version:
In the time before there existed a great and powerful railroad, spiked with gold spikes and spanning the world. It was known as the Transcontinental Railroad.
Man traveled upon it on their mighty Engines, and the United States grew around it.
Then the Evil One came and his name was Ford and his name was General Motors and his demons the Automobile.
The Engines fought but the demons were greater in numbers and their roads, black hard streets grew and choked up the great Transcontinental Railroad. The Railroad was sick and in pain from the neglect of man so it caused the wells of food for the Automobiles to dry up.
But the Evil One would not give up. He made a new demon and he called it the Aeroplane.
High up in the sky it flew like a metal bird and in it's wings it held a weapon to end the world, the Atomic Bomb.
The Atomic Bomb destroyed the land and the Railroad but it also destroyed the tribes of the Evil One who worshiped his evil Automobiles.
In a Rail Yard, a home where mighty Engines slept the families of those who had worshiped Engines gathered. In the time before the Railways had been under control of Rail Barons, men who captured and enslaved Engines with no love of them. Now the Engines were cared for by the holy Engineers and protected by Conductors.
If the whole of the Transcontinental Railway were to be remade, if all the veins of track relaid then the world before can come again.
Railway CodeThe Railway Code is an informal treaty between the various tribes. It is a list of rules and regulations which all the tribes agree upon. It is a large book which is used to avoid collisions with other locomotives, protection of stations and railway infrastructure, and the proper treatment of prisoners from other tribes. These include:
The Staff System
The Staff System is used by the tribes as a replacement for signaling on single track lines. The conductor of each train signs a form in a book at any station or stopping point and takes a metal key. This key is then carried to the next station where it is replaced. The key is then returned by the next train traveling in the opposite way. No trains can pass the station until the key is returned, to be sure that the track is clear.
Each station is maintained in original pre-war condition (or as close as could be approximated) and staffed by a town representative given the pre-war title "Station Master" (or Station Mistress) who mediate between the conductor of the train and the townspeople wishing to board the train or trade their goods with the nomads.
Larger groups such as the Drillers of Abile and the Scientists at Fort Holly have more formal trade agreements with various tries to ship their goods in bulk
The Railroad Nomads are very protective of their stations and in fact any restored rail infrastructure. Tales spread of vandalism or decay causing a decorative blue tile in teh lobby to break or a lamp to go missing and all hope of trading with any tribe are lost. No matter what was on offer the conductors would always request the item restored before trading, taking only the agreed upon contract supplies and leaving, returning to request the same item again and again.
The case of the lamp eventually had to be resolved by having a merc team travel far north to find another station which had the same kind of lamp.
For this reason Stations along their major routes are often the most beautiful buildings in town
If two tribes encounter one another while traveling in opposite direction the two tribes must decide on who should reverse and who should continue onwards. As traveling backwards is undignified neither tribe would wish to do so and this often leads to conflict. The Railway Code, prohibits non-combatants, children or passengers to fight or for the winning side to mistreat the losing side after beating them. The Code also forbids use of the tribe's locomotive as a weapon against the other tribe
Religion and Hierarchy
Railroad Nomads usually have a theocratic society based around their locomotives. Each member of the tribe helps in maintenance of the locomotive, either through searching for parts, fuel or water in the wasteland or by repairing the engine itself. Modifications to the locomotive are rare and changes only made when absolutely necessary. The hierarchy of the tribe is determined by the individual's importance to the operation of the locomotive itself.
ConductorThe most important member of the tribe will usually be the Conductor, who usually lives in the caboose of the train. Despite his distance to the engine itself, his location allows him to see across the whole train. The conductor will have a throne in the cupola, the raised section designed to allow a view of the entire train. When pitching camp the main campfire of the train will either be centered around the locomotive or the caboose. A conductor can be either male or female and the title is usually passed down from parent to firstborn child, although this can be changed if the child is seen to be unfit for duty.
The second most important member of the tribe will be the Engineer, the driver and voice of the train. With the Conductor as the leader, the Engineer is seen as the holy man of the tribe, the man closest to the Locomotive. Both the Conductor and the Engineer's positions are hereditary, passed down from father to son. Engineers are always males as it is believed that only men can hear the Locomotive “speak.”
The Locomotive Inspector or Chief Mechanic is in charge of overseeing the maintenance of the Locomotive. Along with the Engineer the Locomotive Inspector is one who can hear the engine speak and it is he who decides what modifications are permitted on the Locomotive.
The Rail Marshals are the military and security of the tribe. They will be armed with whatever firearms can be acquired and ride atop the engine and carriages. They will often wear variants on railway uniforms, navy blue coats with brass buttons although sometimes they have pre-war combat armor painted in the locomotive's livery.
The Fireman's job seems important but is backbreaking and tiresome. He is in charge of feeding the engine and must constantly work to satisfy it's hunger. In some tribes where a diesel locomotive is used instead of a steam engine the Fireman is not present at all.
Mechanics are the lowest classes allowed to touch the engine without permission or supervision. They are in charge of keeping the Locomotive cleaned and serviced.
Carriage staff are those whose jobs require them to remain inside the train at all times, cooks, laundry and caring for the needs of those higher in the tribe. Although comfortable Carriage Staff rarely get to see the Locomotive and as such are considered to be unholy.
Gangers are very important in areas where the tribe have never visited before. They travel before the train laying track and fresh ties and ballast. They live under the constant gaze of the Locomotive but are prohibited to ride inside while they are working. Often Gangers are press-ganged wastelanders. When not building rails Gangers will also provide supplies and fuel and parts for the train.
By the beginning of the 22nd century the various isolated groups began to interact and the tribes formed into unified groups based on the pre-war railways their locomotives and stock were taken from. An agreement was made to focus on building their respective tracks and allow trade with outsiders. The tribes that shared regions and companies would be known as "Companies"
Companies often form very tight trade relationships and larger ones have even formed agreements to maintain track-age in exchange for fuel and supplies
The company to the west of the Mississippi river, mostly confined to the state of Texas. They are based on the Union Pacific Railroad
A rouge tribe named after the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway This tribe are highly dangerous and attack those they encounter.
A Wasteland Pacific offshoot consisting of a single tribe who travel aboard a Big Boy with the number X4018. They are a warrior tribe and protect Wasteland Pacific and Mikado (and occasionally the New Californian Railroad) frm threats. They primarily fight against Satan Fe
New California Railroad
A railroad formed in tandam with the New California Republic, the NCRR controls all rail traffic in the Californian republic. They are an offshoot of Wasteland Pacific
A company modeled off the Illinois Central Railroad controlling the eastern side of the Mississippi River. They worship Casey Jones, the famous engine driver.