Gears and Gadgets

The world of Railroad! contains a fair amount of interesting and unique gadgetry. Of course each item is related in detail in the body of the tale, but if you're looking for a little bit more information about the various tools of steampunkery, this is the place to find it.

The Sleipnir (pronounced Schlipnear)

Angry with being denied the use of the existing rail system for a private car, the professor decided to buy up some of his own land and lay his own rail. But thanks to a smear campaign started by the jealous rail barons (as well as the professors own unusual streak of bad luck) the man couldn’t hire a single soul to lay his new rail. With a little ingenuity, and a whole lot of elbow grease, the professor created a machine that could lay the ties for him. Then he wondered if just leaving all that steel and wood just laying around wasn’t a bit of a waste. After some thought on the matter, he built up a train around the track laying system and thus the Sleipnir was born. (So named for her eight cars, after the eight-legged horse of the Norse Gods.)
Her chassis is an array of iron and steel and cast-steel welded plate frames with a top lining if brass fittings. Eight cars total her line; the cab, a cargo car, a mobile kitchen, a meeting car, two cars for staff quarters, the professor’s lab car and then the caboose.
The whole thing is powered by a steam injected four-stroke engine, maintained by a boiler with a spark arrestor and self-cleaning smoke box. She incorporates a feedwater system to warm the water before introducing it into the main tanks, thus preventing water shock and boiler damage. The line takes on water through a scoop, and also by crane at the top of the tanks. (You can also fill the girl manually via buckets, or ‘jerking water’ as the folks on the lines call it.) The train is fitted with a partial closed loop system that captures some of the expelled steam and circulates it to areas of other needs such as extra heat or condensation into the water tanks.
The real beauty of the Sleipnir is her Self Mounting Auto-Reciprocating Track. Or SMART, for short. These tracks run in conjunction with the train’s wheels, laying themselves in short segments, which travel under the body of the train, then lift again at the back of the line where they return to the front. The system is fully negotiable, via steering at the helm, which allows her to travel anywhere she wants.
You won’t find another like her in all the world.
Which might be why she attracts so much darned trouble!

The SPECS, or Sight Perfecting, Enhancing and Clarification Spectacles, are a top of the line goggles created exclusively for the crew of the Sleipnir. The professor's motto "Safety First" implies the goggles are good for nothing more than shielding the old peepers, but the goggles are designed for so much more. Zoom, thermal sensors, night vision, these goggles do it all--and then some.

Next time someone gives you a pair of goggles that 'do nothing' reach for a pair of SPECS and show them what goggles are all about!
Boon's Guns

Florence and Hortense by name, these modified Colt .45 revolvers are a one of a kind masterpiece of weapon smithery. With three barrels and a triple ringed cylinder, these veritable hand cannons can hold nine bullets at time, giving the user three rounds of gun fire. Only three rounds, you say? Well, three is all you need considering that each round fires three consecutive bullets. That's right hombre, each gun fires three bullets simultaneously.
Designed to help their original owner hit his target more often then not, in the hands of an expert shot such as Dodger the guns are a deadly pair of sinister sisters. Reloading is a breeze considering the professor created spring loaded cartridges for easy work of it.

David Naughton-Shires worked up this lovely image of the guns for the readers of Railroad!
Thanks so much, David.

You can catch more of David's excellent work at: