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railways in fiction and fantasy


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whenever we've had threads such as imaginary railways ive wanted to post about stuff like this, but felt it wasnt a suitable place, please add what you would like

 

the Mrs Bradshaw book, a parody of the bradshaw guide about the railways of terry Pratchett's Discworld

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Final Fantasy on the Playstration 1 (1997)

 

Midgar is a massive city split into 7 sectors and 2 plates (upper and lower) the rich, wealthey and well to do live in luxury on the upper plate while everyone else lives in slums underneath in the darkness on the lower plate. its been described as about the size of tokyo which is at least 20 miles diameter

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there are railways criss-crossing the sectors on both plates with a spiral up the central column to connect them

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Sector 7 station

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the trains

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inside a carriage

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the train graveyard next to sector 7 station

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tanker train

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Final Fantasy 8 (1999) on ther Playstation 2

 

a completely different styled world with railways across the world not just the main city

 

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There's a nice description of a country railway station in the C.S. Lewis novel 'That Hideous Strength'.  Sadly I've long since lost my copy (never lend books to people) but it really set the scene and sounded like the perfect inspiration for a branch line terminus layout in early post-war Britain.

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The ultimate 'Railways in Fiction and Fantasy'. That'll be the Southern timetable...

 

More in tune with the thread, I have always had a fascination of the railways on Mars; as depicted in Total Recall. Now, that would make an interesting model...

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Was Terry Pratchett interested in railways does anyone know? I've never read anything by him so don't know if railways were a recurring theme in his work

 

Guy

 

Not really.  They feature in one late novel as his civilisation reached the point where steam traction could be envisaged.  A great model railway opportunity; an eccentric Dickensian city-scape and high-stepping freelance Victorian 'Flyers', but including Dwarfs, Trolls, Vampires etc. as well as humans.

 

Don't read them if the thought of a planet as a flat disc carried on the back of 4 giant elephants themselves standing on a vast turtle will in any way bother you.

 

I love them.

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Much fiction writing that could have had something to say about the railway simply ignores it. Just another utility like electricity supply and sewage management that is assumed present but not discussed. I recall a nice reference - probably in 'Cold Comfort Farm' - which illustrates the once common act of going to the station with the passenger(s) to 'see them off' on a railway journey.

 

Was Terry Pratchett interested in railways does anyone know?

 The Discworld series evolved into broad parables on human behaviour. He probably had a train set in his youth, but I don't see any evidence in 'Raising Steam' that railways were a major interest. Sadly this title came late in the day when the eventually fatal memory deterioration had reduced his ability, and while funny so often lacks the deft light touch that made the best of his output quite hilarious.

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there is an anime called kabaneri of the iron fortress

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kabaneri_of_the_Iron_Fortress

 

a world full of zombies except for safe zones in fortified cities, and armoured trains that run between them ploughing through the zombies. i watch anime but not this one as it didnt look interesting to me

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Girls und Panzer

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Girls_und_Panzer

 

another anime set in a not too different world to our own where highschool girls battle with tanks as a sport, there is only one railway scene worth noting and its a bit odd, a small typical japanese DMU

but pulling 8 tanks on flat wagons?

 

in the national sport of Senshodo (tankery) spectators can watch the match on a large screen mounted on a leopold chassis

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Edited by sir douglas
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Was Terry Pratchett interested in railways does anyone know? I've never read anything by him so don't know if railways were a recurring theme in his work

 

Guy

 

The story of how 'Raising Steam' came to be written is almost as strange as some of his tales.

 

Hugh Norwood built a 009 layout based on Ankh Morpokh, called 'Ansgt Lesspork,'  the story of which is told here http://www.hnorwood.co.uk/files/angst.htm

 

He asked Sir Terry's permission as he was using Sir Terry's setting and characters on the layout, and the story goes that Hugh's correspondence with Sir Terry provided the inspiration for 'Raising Steam.'  So the model railway came first, then the book!

 

Moxy

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There are plenty of options around, as examples The Archers BBC radio series often featured Hollerton Junction and Trollope's Barchester Chronicles feature railways. Barsetshire has been mapped in several published editions. C S Lewis was mentioned above, he also used a train crash as the opening to Prince Caspian. ( one of the Narnia books).

 

Those are just what I can easily remember. It was pretty common, I had a kids book many years ago where the premise of the story involved some wasteland in a triangle of railway land but can't remember the title. 

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Those are just what I can easily remember. It was pretty common, I had a kids book many years ago where the premise of the story involved some wasteland in a triangle of railway land but can't remember the title. 

 

The Chronicles of Didcot?

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There are plenty of options around, as examples The Archers BBC radio series often featured Hollerton Junction and Trollope's Barchester Chronicles feature railways. Barsetshire has been mapped in several published editions. C S Lewis was mentioned above, he also used a train crash as the opening to Prince Caspian. ( one of the Narnia books).

 

Those are just what I can easily remember. It was pretty common, I had a kids book many years ago where the premise of the story involved some wasteland in a triangle of railway land but can't remember the title. 

Have subsequently remembered the title -  A Parcel of Trees, William Mayne.  As you can see from the  link, as I had remembered, the cover even featured a distant railway embankment and signal box.

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There are plenty of options around, as examples The Archers BBC radio series often featured Hollerton Junction and Trollope's Barchester Chronicles feature railways. Barsetshire has been mapped in several published editions. C S Lewis was mentioned above, he also used a train crash as the opening to Prince Caspian. ( one of the Narnia books).

 

Those are just what I can easily remember. It was pretty common, I had a kids book many years ago where the premise of the story involved some wasteland in a triangle of railway land but can't remember the title. 

 

Barsetshire was adopted by Angela Thirkell, who added to the geography

 

In High Rising, IIRC, there is a lovely depiction of a mother worn down by her son's relentless enthusing over what tinplate loco to buy next; something LMS and the Saint Class, Titley Court.

 

I have, somewhere, an old magazine article that set about recreating the railways and how they fitted into the Trollope-Thirkell world.  GW and LMS, IIRC.

 

In fact, I think there is a layout out there called Winter Overcoats, which is the rather industrial town Thirkell introduced to Barsetshire.

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Edited by Edwardian
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Going back to fantasy railways, there is the railway train taken by Alice to pass through the square Q3 in Looking Glass land.  It was quite fantastic, being apparently infinitely wide and able to jump over streams.

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More than a hint of Breitspurbahn about some of this stuff, (especially 'Number 1'); now that was a a proper fantasy railway, the conception of a proper fantasist!

Now that the Chinese are actually going ahead with the idea in a modified form, standard gauge and missing out Alaska, I wonder if it can be considered such a mad concept?

Funny that the originator was not keen on railways as a young man but after seeing what mass car ownership really meant became much more interested in rail as a viable mass transport system.

Bernard

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Are we forgetting the train that leaves platform 9 and 3/4 at London Kings Cross and arrives at a country station called Hoggs Mead, which in the films looks remarkably like Goathland, having travelled over the horse shoe viaduct in Scotland on the way. This journey features several times in different books and films from the Harry Potter series.

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Are we forgetting the train that leaves platform 9 and 3/4 at London Kings Cross and arrives at a country station called Hoggs Mead, which in the films looks remarkably like Goathland, having travelled over the horse shoe viaduct in Scotland on the way. This journey features several times in different books and films from the Harry Potter series.

And (as per the film dialogue - can't remember if the book is the same) has Hermione Granger saying she will go and talk to the driver. Therefore, depending on which reality you accept. either Taw Valley or Olton Hall (perhaps both) had some form of corridor tender or sophisticated passenger-crew intercom. Personally I liked the idea of a WC being fitted with a corridor tender and associated increase in coal and water capacity this always found the idea of Taw Valley (and associated magical sisters) working main line school specials out of KX more plausible than a Hall. Loco changes on route. However, that could be because I travelled on said school specials back in the day on at least one, possibly two, occasions when we were pulled by Bullied Pacifics. (One trip to Wells/Wookey Hole and one to Maidenhead/Thames cruise with return from Windsor Riverside?) 

 

If you are reading this Gerry Beale can you still remember the details?

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This is a fully worked Borsetshire Fantasy interfaced to reality.

 

http://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/blog/440/entry-2096-premise-for-a-fantasy/

 

This chimes a lot more with my impression of Borsetshire than Frank Dyer's, which is a 40 or 50 miles, perhaps more, to the north east.  Mention is made in the programme of being able to see the Malvern Hills sometimes.

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