World Creation 8: Hither and Thither We Go
One important concern I have to address is transportation within the Great Machine.
First, let’s look at transportation between cities, or over long distances.
It is already well established that airships are used for the transportation or resources. They are well-suited to this purpose: they’re fuel efficient, outside the range of prospective bandits, and their low speed isn’t a significant factor in routine transportation. However, intercity travel that is time-sensitive, such as political traveling or the transportation of perishable goods, must be conducted much quicker.
To this end, the Great Machine has implemented a network of trains. Steam trains would plausibly emerge from the global system as it stands, can fulfill several story roles (providing backdrops for robberies or disasters), and can provide a certain classical visual aesthetic, with the speeding, hissing, smoke-belching beast lurching through canyons or across plains.
Trains, being run by the Great Machine, would not require a fare be paid by passengers. This allows migration to areas of work or simply by travelers.
Businessmen that transport their goods often rent space on airships or trains, all of which are owned and run by the government to reduce the threat of piracy or black-market dealings. However, there do exist some back-alley transporters who fly airships (illegally, falsely) under the flag of the Great Machine, sneaking past authorities and undercutting government transport rates.
As far as civilian transport goes, bicycles are common within the cities. Perhaps a network of inter-city, tram-like steam cars would serve in the larger cities to move passengers with speed and efficiency throughout the city.
Rangers, who patrol the wastes in the search of resources, tribes, or (in some cases) fugitives/dangerous animals often use a sort of steampunk mountain bike to move cross-country quickly.
That’s it for today’s (rather short) post. Next week, I’ll be looking at the denizens of the wasteland…and I’m not just talking about the humans.