On Ærth the first train of the modern railroad of the modern type was laid down in an empty field some 5 miles north of Paris in France. The track was a mile in circumfrance and the train ran at a dizzying 5 miles an hour. This prototype railroad was established at the direction of Charles IX le Roi, then monarch of France. The route was established at the direction of the court diviner, who had seen vision of French rail crisscrossing the country, with long trains carrying passengers and cargo. He made sure to mention the tax revenues that would come with the railroads.
This first rail was established as a proof of concept, with Charles’ encouragement—and a few executions of the obstinant, it took just a few months to get the track laid and the locomotive and a car built.. The next couple of years were spent working out some kinks; such as the need for flanged wheel, better brakes and connections, and better signalling. The first cowcatchers were installed aroound this time.
But this micro railroad had a few limitations, so Charles pushed for and got and the track extented to a circumverence of 10 miles. Along with this came a more powerful locomotive pulliing a three car train.
Wheels,rails, brakes, connections, and signals saw further improvement, and soon enough the royal railroad was carrying passengers our for a day of adventure. There were tourneys and fairs, and circus strongmen vied against each other to see who could pull the heaviest load. During a series of strong rains the need for sand to provide traction on the wet rails saw boxes that could provide it. While the first attempted train robbery pointed out the need to provide personnel to handle disposing of the resulting corpses—Lady J’darc took care of the blackguard by puncturing his heart with her epee, an event that would be followed by others over the course of time.
In 985 Charles IX le Roi ordered the construction of a track 20 miles in diameter at a location some 20 miles north of Paris. Along with the track were built more powerful locomotives capable of 10 miles an hour, larger passengers cars and the first frieght cars. The first railroad stations were established at one mile intervals,and farmers and the like were encouraged to send their goods by rail. Along with passenger and merchant traffic this proved to be popular and profitable to the crown.
In a special stunt arranged between two cavalier troops—one going by rail, the other “on foot” if you like—it was shown that that the troop who traveled by rail, though it actually took longer for one reason or another,actually arrived at their destination better rested and better able to participate in the competition the two held.
Not that everybody was convinced of the value of railroads to France, but the objections were rather firmly squashed and it wasn’t long before railroads were being planned between Paris, Orleans, Nancy, Nantes, and as far as Tours in the south. It also led to delegations from as far away as Japan and the Mandan nations of Vargaard visiting to see how things worked. There are stories saying that parties of Lemurians skulked around, but no such delegations announced themselves.
By 994 it looked like France was well on the way to becoming a nation of rails. The time between then and now—1017—seeing some 200 miles of track being laid done, with another 500 miles planned for.
And that is your except of The Trains of Ærth