Imperial Railways: A History (帝国鉄道史 導力革命後の五十年, teikoku tetsudou-shi douryouku kakumei-go no gojuu nen) is a book that can be found in Trails of Cold Steel.
The Orbal Revolution of 50 years ago had a profound effect on Erebonia, much as it did on other nations on the continent. Much is made of its impact on weaponry, but I believe its influence on transport was equally noteworthy. Specifically, the Orbal Revolution allowed the creation of railways for the first time.
Before the Orbal Revolution, there were only three methods of transport available to Imperial citizens: horse, boat, and walking. Considering the sheer size of Erebonia, the situation was far from ideal.
Traveling from the Imperial capital of Heimdallr to Bareahard, the capital of the Kreuzen Province, for example, took ten days on foot and four days by horse. Such long journeys would be impossible to imagine for the Erebonian citizen of today.
Changing all that, however, was the Orbal Revolution's transformation of manufacturing, making the creation of mechanical engines possible for the first time. This marked a key turning point in the history of transportation, and Erebonia's first use of these engines was the invention of the train.
[Septian Calendar 1158] The first orbally-powered vehicle to run on rail tracks was developed through the combined efforts of Professor G. Schmidt, a leading disciple of Professor Epstein, and the Reinford Factory, known at the time as a weapons manufacturer. [Septian Calendar 1160] The freight line between Roer City and the Sachsen Iron Mine was completed.
[Septian Calendar 1165] The first passenger railway, connecting Heimdallr and Roer, began operation.
As a result of these developments, the concept of the 'orbal railway' became widely known throughout the nation, and by 1175, a wide-reaching railway network had been created with Heimdallr at its center. This rail 'nexus' effectively connected the Imperial capital with all of the major provincial capitals.
This was followed soon after by the establishment of railways in other nations on the continent, eventually leading to the creation of the Transcontinental Railroad twenty years ago, which has made transporting people, goods, and information all over the continent significantly easier.
There is no doubt that the orbally-powered airships invented in the Liberl Kingdom, and the family automobiles developed in the Calvard Republic are also wonderful inventions. However, a half a century after the Orbal Revolution, it is an incontestable fact that railways are the most important form of transport of all.
Considering the size and history of the Erebonian Empire, it should come as no surprise that it has a wealth of folklore, perhaps more than any other nation on the continent.
This is the first in a series of three books that will introduce a small number of the legends and traditions in Erebonia.
It is my wish that this series will stimulate new interest in the rich history and mythology of this great nation.