Liners are a commercial or mercantile spacecraft and starcraft. Some shipping companies refer to themselves as "lines" and their ships, which often operate over set routes according to established schedules, as "liners".
- They are not intended for military use and have little recourse other than to flee for their lives if confronted by corsairs, raiders, or other hostile vessels. They are typically unarmed.
- Most, but not all, liners run to a schedule with set destinations. Tramp liners are one of the few exceptions to set schedules and destinations. Liners typically focus on subsector business trade and ferry passengers about the control zones of just one Imperial Noble or a handful of sub-polities.
- The typical Subsidized Liner is a trading vessel using a 600-ton hull intended to meet the commercial needs of clusters of worlds.
- Cargo Liners transport cargo, general freight, raw materials, resources, manufactured goods, merchandise, and more. Many have cargo holds adapted to particular services, with refrigerator space for frozen foodstuffs, tanks for liquid cargos such as petrols or ship fuel, secure lockers for valuables, and even mail vaults for interstellar mail.
- Passenger Liners typically carry passengers as well, often in multiple travel classes.
Library Data Referral Tree
Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information:
- Advanced Ship Classifications
- Ship Mission Code / Supraclass
- Ship Type Code / Superclass
- Ship Class Code / Class
- Model (TL)
- Bloc (Lot)
- Basic Ship Classifications
- Astronomical Unit (AU)
- Light Speed (c)
- Light-week (lw)
- Light-year (ly)
- NAFAL (STL)
- Parsec (pc)
A Liner is a civilian commercial ship designed for cargo and passenger transport. Liners are usually assigned a Hull Classification of "M". They fill the smallest possible economic niche where regular scheduled freight can regularly be found profitable. Nevertheless, many world-states find it worthwhile to subsidize such trade to ensure its reliability and avoid the vagaries of the interstellar economy.
Merchant Vessel - Subsidized Liner:
- The Type M class Subsidized Liner: One of the most common subsidized liner types.
- A side view of a Codori Prime class Luxury Liner.
- A Tukera Longliner by a highport space station.
- An image of a Lord Somerset class Subsidized Liner.
- A side view of a Mora class Freighter, also known as a Type MK class Transport.
- A side view of a sleek Virtue class Light Freighter.
- A Borazio class Heavy Freighter plying the trade lanes.
- A Deneb class Modular Starship on a trade mission in orbit over a rich world.
Spectrum of Civil Shipping in Charted Space
|Spectrum of Civil Shipping in Charted Space: 1105|
|Synopsis||Tramp||Liner||Freighter||Transport & Tanker|
|Hull Tonnage||100 to 2,499 dTons||100 to 2,499 dTons||2,500 to 999,999 dTons||2,500 to 999,999 dTons or more... |
(...rarely more than 1,000,000) dTons
|Size-Cat||ACS||ACS||BCS & FCS||BCS & FCS (rarely WCS)|
|Ideal Freight Volume||Zero to Low (Hundreds of tons)||Medium (Hundreds to Thousands of tons)||High (Thousands to Tens of Thousands of tons)||Very High (Tens to Hundreds of Thousands of tons)|
|Market||Unscheduled low volume, high speculation trade routes||Mostly scheduled, medium speculation, subsidized trade routes||Scheduled medium and high-volume, low speculation trade routes||Scheduled high volume trade routes with massive economies of scale, or massive (...usually government) projects|
|Rough Market Share||10%||25%||45%||20%|
|Area of Influence||Cluster or Trace+||Subsector+||Sector||Multi-Sector|
|Business||Fledgling Line||Subsector-wide Line & Interface Line||Sector-wide Line||Multi-sector Line|
|Remarks||Merchant Princes & Adventurers||Scheduled & Subsidized Trade||Backbone of Merchant Trade||Corporate Bulk Trade|
|NOTES: While standards exist, ship naming standards evolve with time and over tech epochs. Class naming comments are only generalizations and many exceptions exist. Trade is heavily affected by local regulations, the rule of law, and local security conditions. WCS-class vessels are not ordinarily used for merchant missions as they are too large and expensive.|
Strategy & Tactics (Doctrine)
Subsidized Liners are commercial or mercantile starcraft. They typically cover low to medium volume trade routes with medium risk speculation. Such routes are key to pocket empires as needed services so they are often subsidized to encourage market growth. They are not intended for military use and have little recourse other than to flee for their lives if confronted by corsair vessels or other hostiles. 
Liners typically serve the following roles:
Largecraft & Bigcraft:
|R-class Liner Supraclass Archetypes|
|Fast Subsidized Merchant||(RF)|
|Impromptu Troop Transport||(RF)|
|Interstellar Cruise Liner||(RP)|
|Interstellar Cruise Ship||(RP)|
|Low Transport Liner||(RP)|
|Luxury Star Liner||(RPL)|
|Modular Subsidized Merchant||(R)|
|Nonstandard Trade Liner||(RTN)|
|Starmerc Armed Liner||(RF)|
Supraclass Archetypal Roles
These vessels typically serve the following archetypal roles:
|R-class Liner Supraclass Archetypes|
|Far Liner||R2||Petty class Subsidized Merchant||Built to range longer endurance, farther routes.
|Fast Liner||R3||Kolomyia class Fast Liner||None
|Cargo Liner /
|RC||Jose Cadiz Royal Galleon class Cargo Carrier||A starship primarily for transporting cargo freight subsidized by local government, often connecting developing or newly discovered areas.
|Heavy Liner||RH||Vespir class Heavy Liner||A Heavy Liner is a size-displacement category that includes vessels that weigh between 1,500 to 2,499 tons.
|Clipper||RI||Aurora class Clipper||A starship meant for speedy transport of passengers and high value goods.
|Light Liner||RL||Lightning class Frontier Merchant||A Light Liner is a size-displacement category that includes vessels that weigh between 100 to 999 tons.
|Medium Liner||RM||Mora class Freighter||A Medium Liner is a size-displacement category that includes vessels that weigh between 1,000 to 1,499 tons.
|Passenger Liner||RP||Bastien class Subsidized Liner||A starship liner equipped for transporting passengers.
|Luxury Liner /
|RPL||King Richard class Interstellar Liner||A starship liner equipped for sumptuous luxury living, primarily for transporting passengers
|Merchant Liner /
|RT||Lord Somerset class Subsidized Liner||Merchant Liners are general-purpose design starships, intended to carry both passengers and freight. They are larger than the Far Traders intended for cargoes over 200 tons and over a dozen passengers
|Nonstandard Trade Liner||RTN||Maorin Junker class Merchant||None
|Carrier Liner||RV||Ghost Galleon class Cargo Ship||A liner specialized in carrying other starships, smallcraft, and other spaceworthy cargoes, usually via hangars or external mounts. In many cases, these external mounts give them the cargo capacity of a RM or RH despite their actual tonnage classifying them as RL, which helped prompt a separate code. They often rarely need to dock at a highport save to refuel. If refined fuel and cargo for their next destination are available near their breakout point, they may swap out cargo, refuel, and jump away, with speed and efficiency comparable to an Express Boat, blurring the border with the X class. The chief differences are, these vessels can also be used to rescue ships that have lost propulsion (up to their cargo capacity), and they can serve (most often for pirates or pocket empires) as makeshift carriers for small fighter squadrons.
|NOTES: There is semantic overlap between many of the classes and codes. Some codes organize by mission or capability, others by size and tonnage, and yet others by other characteristics.|
History & Background (Dossier)
The government may subsidize larger commercial vessels (built on type 600 hulls or larger), primarily to assure consistent service to specific worlds. These subsidized merchants are generally assigned a specific route connecting from 2 to 12 worlds of varying characteristics. The route will generally be determined before a subsidized merchant is purchased, to allow tailored design features as may be necessary. When a subsidized merchant is ordered, the ship captain must make the 20% down payment, with the government assuming responsibility for the payments upon delivery, and taking 50% of the gross receipts of the ship while in service. The ship captain is responsible for all expenses and costs of operation. 
Subsidized merchants are also subject to mobilization (...and use as auxiliaries) in the event of emergency or hostilities. At the end of 40 years, the vessel is completely paid off, and full title passes to the ship captain, but the vessel remains subject to mobilization in case of government need. 
Selected Variant Types & Classes
Civilian Ship - Merchant Vessel - Subsidized Merchant - Fast Liner:
Civilian Ship - Merchant Vessel - Subsidized Merchant - Cargo Liner:
- Type RC class Cargo Liner AKA Cargo Liner
Civilian Ship - Merchant Vessel - Subsidized Merchant - Heavy Liner:
Civilian Ship - Merchant Vessel - Subsidized Merchant - Clipper:
- Type RI class Clipper AKA Clipper
Civilian Ship - Merchant Vessel - Subsidized Merchant - Light Liner:
- Type RL class Light Liner AKA Light Liner
Civilian Ship - Merchant Vessel - Subsidized Merchant - Medium Liner:
- Type RM class Medium Liner AKA Medium Liner
Civilian Ship - Merchant Vessel - Subsidized Merchant - Passenger Liner:
- Type RP class Passenger Liner AKA Passenger Liner
Civilian Ship - Merchant Vessel - Subsidized Merchant - Luxury Liner:
- Type RPL class Luxury Liner AKA Luxury Liner
Civilian Ship - Merchant Vessel - Subsidized Merchant - Merchant Liner:
- Type RT class Trade Liner AKA Trade Liner
- Eakhau class Merchant
- Gold of Zurrian class Long Liner
- Margaret class Longliner
- Petty class Subsidized Merchant
- Pride of Vland class Long Liner
- Queen class Modular Subsidized Merchant
- Shianjo class Liner
- Stubbie class Subsidized Merchant
- Tukera class Longliner
- Type RT class Longliner
- Virtue class Light Freighter
Civilian Ship - Merchant Vessel - Subsidized Merchant - Non-standard Merchant Vessel:
- Type RTN class Nonstandard Merchant Liner
Ship Summary List
These are among the most common liners found around Charted Space:
|0 Representative Fat Liner (R1) Classes|
|0 Representative Far Liner (R2) Classes|
|0 Representative Fast Liner (R3) Classes|
|0 Representative Cargo Liner (RC) Classes|
|0 Representative Heavy Liner (RH) Classes|
|0 Representative Clipper (RI) Classes|
|0 Representative Light Liner (RL) Classes|
|0 Representative Medium Liner (RM) Classes|
|1 Representative Passenger Liner / Longliner (RP) Classes|
|0 Representative Luxury Liner (RPL) Classes|
|1 Representative Merchant Liner / Trade Liner (RT) Classes|
|0 Representative Nonstandard Trade Liner (RTN) Classes|
|18 Representative Carrier Liner (RV) Classes|
References & Contributors (Sources)
|This article is missing content for one or more detailed sections. Additional details are required to complete the article. You can help the Traveller Wiki by expanding it.|
- This article is an amalgamation of many different materials published since 1977.
- Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 19.
- Dave Sering. Starships and Spacecraft (Judges Guild, 1979), TBD.
- Ray Harms, Dan Hauffe, Michael Reagan. Darthanon Queen (Judges Guild, 1980), 20-26.
- Marc Miller. Starter Traveller (Game Designers Workshop, 1983), 11.
- Marc Miller. Imperial Encyclopedia (Game Designers Workshop, 1987), 82.
- Loren Wiseman. Challenge 75 (Game Designers Workshop, 1994), TBD.
- Loren Wiseman. 600-ton Subsidized Liner Deckplans (Loren Wiseman, 2006), 1-44.
- Frank Chadwick, Dave Nilsen. Traveller: The New Era (Game Designers Workshop, 1993), 374-376.
- Frank Chadwick, Dave Nilsen. Brilliant Lances (Game Designers Workshop, 1994), 27.
- Don Perrin. Starships (Imperium Games, 1996), 34-35.
- Marc Miller. T5 Core Rules (Far Future Enterprises, 2013), TBD.
- Traveller Wiki Editorial Team
- Author & Contributor: Crawm Lermil
- Author & Contributor: Adrian Tymes
- ↑ An unpublished factoid written by Maksim-Smelchak
- ↑ Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 7.
- ↑ Marc Miller. Starships (Game Designers Workshop, 1977), 7.