Fringian General Purpose Locomotive

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General Purpose Locomotive
Tech Level TL–4
Mass 11.5 Tons
Cost Cr450,000
Mode Ground (Rail)
Type Steam Locomotive
Speed 50 kph
Cargo 2m³
Crew 2
Passengers (+1)
Armament none

The General Purpose Locomotive is a Railroad Vehicle. It requires a railroad network of the correct gauge to operate.

Description / Specifications[edit]

A basic steam-powered locomotive. It can tow a variety of loads.

Hull / Suspension[edit]

A generally cylindrical hull mounted on a chassis and primarily made from steel.

  • Length: 11.3m (cabin length 2.8m), Width: 3.2m, Height: 4.1m (including smokestack).
  • Overall Volume: approximately 155m³ (11.5 dTons).
  • Unloaded Weight: 65,300 kg.

The overall volume measures the vehicles maximum dimensions and includes track clearance and the width of the transmission system (side-mounted external cylinders). The enclosed volume of the contoured hull is substantially lower.

The vehicle is fitted with multiple large driving wheels set onto a series of axles and connected to the boiler by rods and pistons. An unpowered wheeled truck helps support the weight of the hull and machinery.

  • The vehicle is designed to operate on rail networks. The gauge (the distance between the inner faces of the two rails) for railroad networks within the Distant Fringe is generally 1.5m and most examples of the locomotive are built to match that standard.

Power / Transmission[edit]

A large high pressure boiler, generating steam by burning solid fuel to heat stored water. The steam powers pistons mechanically connected to the drive wheels. The locomotive carries supplies of water in side tanks and has a hopper at the rear containing solid fuel. Cold-starting the locomotive can take many hours and requires hundreds of liters of water to be boiled until operating pressure is reached.

  • The locomotive vents smoke, soot and steam. It is noisy and spits grease and hot water.


  • Cruise Speed: 35 kph, Top Speed: 50 kph. Performance is identical in forward and reverse.
  • Range: 300 km at cruise Speed, 180 km at Top Speed.

The General Purpose Locomotive typically tows a train of freight wagons or other similar loads over relatively short distances. Locomotives and wagons have an automatic coupling system. At TL 5 the linkage also includes pressure hoses that connects to the towed wagons and operate their brakes.

  • Maximum towing weight is approximately 430,000 kg (equivalent to 7x fully loaded open wagons). Greater loads may be moved but this places stresses on the locomotive that may cause a catastrophic loss of control.
  • Two or more locomotives may work together in order to move larger trains of wagons.

Crew / Cargo[edit]

A partially enclosed cabin towards the rear of the hull contains two crew positions, though there is adequate room for an additional assistant or passenger. The vehicle has basic environmental protection (the hull is weatherproof but is not sealed: the cabin rear is open). The driver's position is fitted with basic mechanical controls. Gauges provide data such as internal pressure and forward velocity. The second crewmember ensures that a steady supply of fuel is provided to the boiler.

The interior of the cab has many areas where small items may be stored. Internal space is provided for tools and maintenance equipment – the tool boxes also double as crew seats

  • Cargo Storage: approximately 2m³.
  • Maximum Load: restricted by available internal volume only.


Headlights and running lights, and a steam whistle. Locomotives may be fitted with animal fenders and spark arresters

History / Background[edit]

A large surface transport vehicle designed for large scale logistical operations. It is designed to tow cargo wagons or passenger carriages. The lack of a tender restricts the amount of fuel and water that the vehicle may carry, severely limiting its range. Locomotives of this type often bear a distinctive livery.

Although the vehicle is manufactured at relatively low tech levels and uses basic materials the design has been perfected over millennia and all of the engineering aspects are well-known and thoroughly understood. The locomotive is relatively efficient and reliable for its era. If a breakdown does occur it can generally be repaired with simple tools and brute force.

See also: Vehicles of the Distant Fringe

References & Contributors / Sources[edit]

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