Collab:Bai Empire/Railways

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The following is the documentation of the national rail network in the Bai Empire.


Logo of BaiRail

Passenger rail transport in the Bai Empire operates under a hybrid privatization-nationalization model in which the Bai government owns the rail operating assets while private operators maintain them. BaiRail is the brand name for most rail lines in the Empire, with services sharing a ticketing structure for seamless long-distance passenger rail service in the Bai Empire. All rail companies in the Bai Empire are heavily regulated by the Bai government, which sets fares and determines which routes the companies operate through licenses. The government also provides subsidies to the private companies to help maintain and improve the rail network.

The national rail network also facilitates freight transport serving the major ports and industrial areas of the Empire. While some freight lines might run parallel with passenger lines, they must still have separate facilities (e.g. tracks and stations) so as not to interfere or disrupt passenger services.

As the saying in Bai goes, the best way to travel across the Empire is... BaiRail.


Opening of the first rail line in the Empire
One of many modern passenger trains in the Bai Empire

As development and industralisation boomed in the rural areas of the Empire during the 1850s, wagons and carriages were considered "impractical and inefficient" to transport goods across the Empire. The Gaoxi Emperor in 1855 commissioned studies for a regional railroad network in the Empire, following a visit to the Federal States during which he witnessed the construction of the future transcontinental Great Western and Asperic Railroad. However, the conservative faction of the government opposed the railway project, considering steam engines to be "clever but useless" contraptions and "interfering" with feng shui. Upon the Emperor's death in 1861, plans for the railway network halted.

It was only in the 1870s that plans were revised with advocation by many private industries operating in the countryside. Not wanting to pay out of pocket, the Bai royal government permitted these companies to build and operate their own railroads. The central government also called for provincial governments to form their own railway building companies and raised funds by selling shares to citizens and levying taxes. This resulted in the rapid development of a rail network in the Empire.

By the early 20th century, the Bai rail network was dominated by three major companies: The Northern Bai Coastal Rail Company, the Central Bai Electric Railroad Corporation and the Eastern Electric Railway Company. The Middle Bai Government attempted to nationalise rail assets following labour strikes; it was met with a strong backlash.

The rail network was modernised (converting from steam/diesel locomotives to electrical trains) and expanded under Fascist leader Yu Shanliu to demonstrate the technological progress of his regime and to use the railway system as a propaganda tool. During the War of Fellow Brothers, the rail network played a crucial role in transporting troops and supplies to the front lines. The rail lines hence were often targeted and destroyed in the fierce battles of the War. Due to a lack of a centralised government in the Warlord Era, the national rail network remained fractured with control under various regional companies. Under Yu Zeming's authoritarian rule in the 1960s to 1980s, the rail network was rebuilt and nationalised under BaiRail, with new lines being built and older lines being upgraded with new trains and infrastructure.

In the 21st century, to reduce the financial burden on the government and encourage competition in the transport sector, the Bai government sold off operations and services of BaiRail to new companies responsible for local passenger and freight services. While given greater freedom to make business decisions, licensed operators remain regulated under the Imperial Bureau of Rail and Road.

High Speed Rail

Alongside passenger rail, the Empire is also served by a network of high speed rail lines. The first HSR line from Port Dunghoi to Riqing via Xiongjing was built in the 1970s and rapidly expanded when Xiongjing hosted the 1988 Pax Nova Games. Bai develops its own HSR technology, with assistance from Izaki expertise.

Mapping convention

Gnome-edit-redo-bw.svg See also: Help:Making realistic railways

Unless otherwise stated, each rail line on the map is for one track; most rail lines would have two parallel tracks. Generally, all tracks are at least 5m apart from each other. As much as possible (especially in urban areas), tracks should be grade-separated. In the rural areas, please tag any intersection with roads with "railway crossing".

Platforms are 1.5m to the platform edge except for HSR which is 2m. Island platforms are generally minimally 8m wide and side platforms can be 5m. Platform length should be minimally 200m (shorter for local rural stations) and up to 350m (for major stations with interchange with HSR).

Tagging convention

Rail lines

Please note that rail line refers to the rail corridor in general but not the services that run on the line.

Topic Key Values
Type of railway railway=* abandoned, disused, preserved - for unused railways
rail - for regular railways
construction for railways under construction
Terrain features bridge=* yes - standard tag for all sorts of bridges
tunnel=* yes - even railways have tunnels. wild!
Electricity electrified=* Generally yes

For specifics:

contact line if electrified by overhead wire (more common)

rail if by third rail (very seldom used. Only for independent systems)

voltage=* Usually 25000V (25kV AC at 50Hz) for contact line.
Gauge gauge=* Generally the Bai Empire uses standard gauge (1435mm) unless otherwise stated
Name name=* To be in Baiyu. Rendered at level 17, in combination with usage=main at level 14, in combination with usage=main and highspeed=yes at level 13

Naming guidelines:

  • National/Provincial rail: [one character start location] + [one character end location] + “线” (ie. for a route from Port Dungoi to Riqing, “东庆线”)
    • If following major geographical location, the rail line can name after the location, but no more than 3 characters before “线” (ie. for a route along the east coast, “东海岸线”)
  • Local/Inner City rail: [anything] + “线”
  • HSR: See National/Provincial but ending would be "高速线" instead of just “线”
Service service=*
siding, spur, yard - describing the function of the particular track.
main or branch for multi-purpose railway lines
freight for long-distance cargo lines, industrial for lines servicing factories
tourism for... well, tourism and military for lines used predominantly by the army (e.g. military areas)
Speed Generally 160km/h (maximum) for passenger rail, 300km/h for HSR. See Help:Making realistic railways/2 for speeds at track curves.

Railway stations

Station node

  • For multiple lines sharing a station, try to minimise the number of railway station nodes by using a common node for all lines except lines that are physically located away from node.
  • Node shall be positioned at the centroid of the station. This position may not be identical to the train station building as it should represent the center of the station premise inclusive of train platform.
  • Used to capture the lines available at the station via route relations. This can be used to render transfer stations connected to different lines.
Key Value Comment
name Name of station in Baiyu Generally stations are named after the town/village they serve. For major intercity stations, add the city's prefix in addition to the station name (e.g. 雄京晃捝). Major stations are considered to have at least three distinctive mainline services.
name:en Name of station in Ingerish/Hanyu Pinyin
railway station For legacy public transport route relations (public_transport:version=1)
public_transport station For new public transport route relations (public_transport:version=2)

Stop Position

Shall be used as member stop in new public transport route relations.

Key Value Comment
name Name of station in Baiyu Should be same as the station served
name:en Name of station in Ingerish
public_transport stop_position For new public transport relations (public_transport:version=2)


For physical station buildings.

Key Value Comment
name Name of station in Baiyu Should be same as the station served
name:en Name of station in Ingerish
building train_station, roof This refers to the physical station building or roof structure.

Railway Route Relation (services)

Each direction/service should be represented by a route relation.

Parameters of a route relation
Key Value Comment
name Name of service in Baiyu [Line name] + [service type: local/express] + [direction] + [destination]

E.g. 东岸线普通东行彬谭 [Dong'anxian Local Eastbound (to) Bintan]

name:en Name of service in Ingerish Similar to above but Ingerish
type route Indicates route relation.
route train (Train-specific) Indicates route type.
network BaiRail (default)
public_transport:version 2

Each relation should have all rail lines sorted (ensure no broken relations!) inclusive of the railway station served (as role=station) and railway stop position (as role=stop)

Members of a route relation
Member Member Type Member Role Comment
Railway Line Way - For railway ways.
Railway Station Node station For railway station node.
Railway Stop Position Node stop For new public transport relations stop position (specifically indicating which platform the service calls at).
Types of cross-country services (to be worked on)
Service Comment
Limited Express 特急 Direct connections between major stations in large cities
Express 快急 Direct connections between major towns and cities
Semi Express 准急 Include connections with towns with substantial populations
Commuter Express 各快 Skips some stations
Local 各停 Stops at all stations
Airport Express 机场快急 Connects major stations in a city to the airport

Route variants of a service should be part of a route master relation.

Key Value Comment
name Name of route master relation in Baiyu [Line name]

E.g. 东岸线

name:en Name in Ingerish
type route_master Indicates route master relation.
route_master railway, train, subway Indicates general route or train specific route.