Vehicles of the Distant Fringe
Vehicles of the Distant Fringe: A listing of some of the more common civilian ground vehicles (and riding animals) found within the Distant Fringe region.
Each vehicle has a basic description. This serves to give a general impression of its construction and performance. Details such as the internal layout are representative only – alternative layouts are very common.
- The vehicles maximum dimensions are given. These are used to provide a very general outline of its mass in starship displacement tons ("dTons"): this can also be used to determine how much internal space a vehicle uses if it is carried aboard another vessel. Different versions of the same general type of vehicle will have different physical characteristics.
- A displacement ton ("dTon") is calculated at 13.5m³.
- The enclosed volume of a vehicle (those parts surrounded by its exterior skin) is generally much lower than its overall dimensions might suggest. The exterior of the vehicle is generally shaped for practicality though they are often designed to be aesthetically appealing. The contours of the vehicle are loosely defined by its configuration.
- Performance details are generic: different models of of the same vehicle will have different characteristics. Different manufacturers will also compete with one another to produce the model with the "best" performance figures, often trading off aspects such as handling or environmental fittings in to gain advantages in performance.
- Internal cargo storage can differ greatly between different models of the same vehicle. Manufacturers often emphasise the larger cargo capacity of their particular model as a selling point.
The listed technological level is the lowest at which the particular vehicle may be constructed. If the same vehicle is built at a higher technological level, it will be more efficient, it is likely to be constructed from more advanced materials, and it may have an improved performance. It may also include additional items of equipment or upgraded environmental systems. Often a higher technology design exists which directly supersedes an earlier version.
See also Technology of The Distant Fringe.
Vehicles designed and built on a world generally only function on that one world. If they are transported to other worlds they will generally perform far outside of their normal parameters, often with catastrophic consequences. For example, air-breathing internal combustion power plants designed on a world with a standard atmosphere (Type 6 or 7) will struggle in thin atmospheres (Type 4 or 5) and may suffer internal damage if operated in dense atmospheres (Type 8 or 9).
- Vehicles designed to work in higher gravity environments will have bizarre handling properties in lower gravity, and vehicles designed to operate in low gravity may struggle to perform at all in higher gravity environments.
Vehicles designed to operate on one world may be modified to allow them perform more efficiently on other worlds.
A huge industry exists offering such conversions. Skilled mechanics change components designed to utilise atmospheric gases and upgrade or replace fuel and exhaust systems. Adjustments are made to transmission, suspension and braking systems, ballast is added or excess weight is removed, and power plants are tweaked, retuned or even entirely rebuilt. These modifications and conversions allow a vehicle to operate relatively efficiently and safely within its new environmental conditions.
Such conversions allow the vehicle to operate within a single new environment, though "multi" conversions may be performed that allow the vehicle to operate in a far wider range of conditions. It generally costs a substantial percentage of the vehicle's new price, in some cases far exceeding it, to have a conversion done. For prestige, luxury or collectible vehicles (or even ordinary but much-loved family vehicles), their owners consider the money very well spent.
Power and Fuel
Each vehicle has a power plant and carries a supply of fuel. Steam vehicles utilise high pressure boilers which heat water to generate steam, which in turn drives their machinery. Most vehicles use internal combustion power plants using hydrocarbon fuel (typically a liquid such as gasoline or ethanol). More advanced vehicles may use electrical batteries or fuel cells.
The listed cost for a vehicle represents the retail price from new: in some cases mass production of a vehicle and corporate marketing strategies create an artificially low price. Previously owned vehicles are likely to be significantly cheaper but are also likely to have minor faults, reliability issues, or perform less efficiently than a brand new model.
History & Background (Dossier)
No information yet available.
- Please also see: Flying Craft of the Distant Fringe and Ships of the Distant Fringe.
Animals are used as riding creatures, as pack carriers, and to draw vehicles.
|Batha Beast||3700 kg|
|Brobdee (heavy horse)||1000 kg|
|Greyhump Camel||500 kg|
|Horvath's Pony (horse)||700 kg|
|Batha Cart||TL 1||4.0 dTons|
|Chariot||TL 1||0.2 dTons|
|Light Cart||TL 1||1.0 dTon|
|Open Cart||TL 1||1.3 dTons|
|Buggy||TL 2||0.7 dTons|
|Box Cart||TL 2||1.8 dTons|
|Dray||TL 2||1.8 dTons|
|Chaise||TL 3||1.1 dTons|
|Stagecoach||TL 3||1.4 dTons|
Many worlds within the Distant Fringe use railroad networks as an intrinsic part of their domestic infrastructure. Railroads are descended from designs pioneered on old Terra and share many characteristics with their ancient ancestors.
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 railroad locomotives and rolling stock are built to match that standard. Some worlds, of course, use their own unique systems. For the most part, locomotives and rolling stock that are transported between worlds (and which can actually operate in the local environmental conditions) are able to utilise local rail networks without needing significant adjustment to the vehicle's suspension.
|Tram||TL 3||4.5 dTons|
|Early Steam Locomotive||TL 3||3.1 dTons + 2 dTons|
|General Purpose Locomotive||TL 4||11.5 dTons|
|Mainline Locomotive||TL 4||12.5 dTons + 6.8 dTons|
|Express Locomotive||TL 5||12.6 dTons + 7.5 dTons|
|Heavy Goods Locomotive||TL 5||18.3 dTons + 10.7 dTons|
|Steam Motor Carriage||TL 4||17.6 dTons|
|Motor Carriage||TL 5||17.6 dTons|
|Switcher Locomotive||TL 5||8.3 dTons|
|Heavy Freight Locomotive||TL 6||22.4 dTons|
|High Speed Locomotive||TL 7||22.5 dTons|
Rail Rolling Stock
|Light Wagon||TL 3||2.4 dTons|
|Box Wagon||TL 4||15.8 dTons|
|Caboose||TL 4||13.6 dTons|
|Flatbed Wagon||TL 4||8.3 dTons|
|Goods Wagon||TL 4||8.0 dTons|
|Hopper Wagon||TL 4||15.8 dTons|
|Open Wagon||TL 4||7.6 dTons|
|Passenger Carriage||TL 4||17.6 dTons|
|Reefer Wagon||TL 5||12.6 dTons|
|Tanker Wagon||TL 5||15.9 dTons|
|High Speed Carriage||TL 7||17.6 dTons|
Self-propelled vehicles manufactured between TL 3 and TL 8. Ground cars are everyday personal transportation vehicles of the type owned by ordinary people. Wheeled vehicles make up a very large proportion of readily available commercial transport assets.
Wheeled Light Vehicles
|Motor Scooter||TL 5||0.2 dTons|
|Motorcycle||TL 5||0.2 dTons|
|Sports Bike||TL 6||0.1 dTons|
Wheeled Passenger Vehicles
|Steam Car||TL 4||0.6 dTons|
|Basic Ground Car||TL 5||0.4 dTons|
|Basic Tourer||TL 5||1.5 dTons|
|Roadster||TL 5||0.6 dTons|
|Compact Ground Car||TL 6||0.7 dTons|
|Luxury Ground Car||TL 6||1.3 dTons|
|Subcompact Ground Car||TL 6||0.6 dTons|
|Sports Car||TL 7||0.8 dTons|
|Advanced Ground Car||TL 8||0.8 dTons|
Wheeled Light Cargo Vehicles
|Light Goods Van||TL 5||3.1 dTons|
|Pickup Truck||TL 6||1.3 dTons|
Wheeled Transport Vehicles
|Steam Truck||TL 4||3.6 dTons|
|Standard Truck||TL 5||3.0 dTons|
|Box Truck||TL 6||4.2 dTons|
|Tractor Unit||TL 6||4.1 dTons|
|Box Semitrailer||TL 6||7.4 dTons|
|Flatbed Semitrailer||TL 6||3.7 dTons|
|Tanker Semitrailer||TL 6||9.2 dTons|
|Heavy Tractor Unit||TL 8||9.0 dTons|
|Heavy Box Trailer||TL 8||31 dTons|
|Heavy Flatbed Trailer||TL 8||12.3 dTons|
|Heavy Tanker Trailer||TL 8||28 dTons|
Wheeled Service Vehicles
|Passenger Bus||TL 5||7.8 dTons|
|Intercity Coach||TL 6||10.3 dTons|
|Tracked Dozer||TL 5||9.2 dTons|
|Tracked Excavator||TL 5||3.3 dTons|
|Mobile Crane||TL 6||11.3 dTons|
Many worlds within the Distant Fringe use maglev networks as an intrinsic part of their domestic infrastructure. Maglev is a transport system in which trains glide above a guideway (most typically a square section box beam made of cast concrete), supported by magnetic repulsion and propelled by linear motors. The beam contains a magnetized coil which repels large magnets located in the train's undercarriage, allowing it to levitate a few centimeters above the guideway.
Once the train is levitated, power is supplied to the coils within the beam to create a system of magnetic fields. The fields interact with the linear motors built into the maglev vehicle (typically within trucks mounted at either end of the vehicle) and move it along the guideway.
The gauge (the width of the guideway beam) for maglev networks within the Distant Fringe is generally 2m and most examples of maglev vehicles are built to match that standard. Some worlds, of course, use their own unique systems. For the most part, maglev vehicles that are transported between worlds are able to utilise local guideway networks without needing significant adjustment to their suspension systems.
Maglev End Units
|Maglev End Unit||TL 8||26 dTons|
Maglev Rolling Stock
|Maglev Passenger Carriage||TL 8||26 dTons|
|Maglev Flatbed Wagon||TL 8||11.3 dTons|
|Maglev Freight Wagon||TL 8||26 dTons|
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.|
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master Scout Emeritus Adie Alegoric Stewart of the IISS
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science