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Hi and welcome back to the holiday edition of my bliki. This post arrives two days late. I've been busy. I'm obviously still thinking about boys (coin sound), boys (coin sound), boys (coin sound), but also because a random person in an internet discussion told me it's A SIN and I'M GOING TO BURN IN HELL FOR THIS, I'm trying to focus on other things as well - like railways. I hope Jehovah appreciates it. So many things happened last week. There was the Prague Pride march/festival, which I really wanted to go to, but I had a shift at my summer job. Well, maybe next year.

The Czech internet discussions are a really bad place to visit these days. Some people are still furious about people celebrating sexual and gender liberty - even though Pride march happened four days ago already, while some others are rabidly defending our Minister of Finances over the latest of his multiple corruption/fraud scandals that leaked, and some other people are openly claiming support to the white supremacists in Charlottesville, in conclusion, the internet sucks. But that's not what I want this post to be about.

History of railways in Drabantia

Look I did an illustration

Recently, I downloaded the game Openrails, which is a freeware train simulator based off the legendary Microsoft Train Simulator (MSTS) from 2002. In other words, you don't need an extra powerful computer to run it. All vehicles, worlds etc. from MSTS are compatible with Openrails and since the game's been around for such a long time, there's a lot of them. I downloaded tens, if not hundreds of engines and cars, and about 3000 km of different (Czech) railway routes. It's incredibly addicting and I can't help it. You might see me on a TLC episode in a not so distant future.

It's been pushing me off of spending time on OGF, so I figured if I spend so much time driving trains, I might as well learn something about railways and then apply it in Drabantia. And so I impulsively read ALL of the Wikipedia pages regarding 19th century railway companies in Cisleithania (the northwest of Austria-Hungary) and started planning something similar in my country. Obviously I had to downscale a bit, but the starting point was pretty much the same.

The first railway was the horse railroad from Vozovice (Odrava) to Hrubětice. Opened in 1832, used for transporting wood and stone to the city, but accompanied by many technical problems, it fell into disrepair soon. The first regular gauge steam railway was the state-built line from Odrava Janovo nádraží to Krále Hora (1842), later expanded to Lipice (1845) and Žitava (1853). At the same time, the Ministry of Railroads was selling permissions to build railways to private companies. In the following years, railway construction boomed. Railways became the preferred means of both cargo and passenger transport. The state also supported building local railways in poor regions (the east), to help boost the economy there.

Let's take a look at the map now. It shows the most important railway companies and their main railroad lines:

  • Ústřední státní dráha (ÚSD) - state-owned. Operating between Odrava, Krále Hora, Lipice and Žitava. Didn't expand since 1853.
  • Luhavská ústřední dráha (LÚD) - private, continued building the railway between Krále Hora and Třesno after ÚSD dropped their plans in 1853. Later expanded to Luženec (country border).
  • Odravsko-kolínská dráha (OKD) - reconstructed the horse railroad (1849) and expanded to Kolín (1852) and Poltavy (1858)
  • Banujská dráha (BD) - from Odrava along the river Banuj. Opened in 1851.
  • Boravská železniční společnost (BŽS) - one of the richest companies. Transported coal, salt and iron from the east to Lipice, where it connected to ÚSD.
  • Lipicko-vaberecká dráha (LVD) - built between 1850 and 1861, transported wood and pottery clay.
  • Boravská severojižní dráha (BSJD) - connected the northeast with the southeast. Used for transporting wood, metal and also fabric (textile industry was prevalent in the mountainous east.)
  • Egalská společnost železniční dopravy (ESŽD) - this company attempted to build more railways in the less populated southwest, but went bankrupt and was bought by the state in 1882.
  • Luhavskoboravská uhelná dráha (LBUD) - the richest railway company. Transported coal to Žitava and Kolín.

Around 1875, the state stopped supporting private construction financially, and a law was passed that enabled the Ministry of Railroads to buy any private company in debt. At first, those were mostly small local railroads, but in 1882, the state acquired ESŽD, by 1900 it had bought most of the network in the east. After Drabantia became a republic in 1915, LÚD, LVD and BŽS were bought, in 1923 the state bought the BD, in 1925 the OKD line Odrava - Hrubětice - Kolín and in 1929 it bought LBUD. However some tracks still remain private (e.g. spurs.)

Now it's off to designing a unique architecture style for each line!

In case you couldn't tell, I am a railway enthusiast.

Oh by the way, is there anyone out there also obsessing over Superfruit's new songs? They're so good. Album of the year much?

How do you organize your railways? I'd love to see someone do this with their country. Leave me a comment and see you next week!

Monday bliki by Eklas

Comments are v appreciated

I like trains.

tag yourself, I'm ESŽD Myrcia (talk) 12:11, 16 August 2017 (CEST)

Huh, trains... Every quality mapper on here seems to have a huge passion for trains (I really wonder why), I could be the only one who doesn't know anything about trains. Anyway, nice bliki entry! --Stjur (talkOGF) 16:20, 16 August 2017 (CEST)

I also dont have passion for trains... but I have passion for buses, hahaha! Very nice article, Eklas! Every times I edit my railways, I used to call Sarepava or Histor, now I see I have a new friend who can help me, hahaha ;-) -- BMSOUZA (talk) 17:32, 16 August 2017 (CEST)
Thank you both! I'm definitely not a professional, but I'm always happy to help if you guys need anything. --Eklas (talk) 21:48, 16 August 2017 (CEST)

Very interesting to read about the history of railways in a different country, because I am curious as to how national rail systems made the transition from early private ventures to a unified nationwide network. In the United Kingdom things were complicated because we invented the railway. First come lots of small railway companies that merge into slightly bigger ones, a venture capitalist 'railway mania' where every insignificant village branch line is constructed with the promise of millions for all the investors, and a gauge war in the mix too. Then after the First World War the small companies agree to group into four big ones that cover each of the four corners of the country (sort of) which then get nationalised after the Second World War. Then in 1996 the last gasp of the Tory government is to privatise the network back into fifteen or so companies, except that they are tightly controlled by the government who also pays them millions so they always make a profit. The situation in Karolia is based on that of Germany, with a large state owned national railway and then private operators can run smaller franchises. It facilitates having lots of different colours of trains...

Open Rails looks very interesting, and I wonder if it might be possible to create some Karolian trains and routes. Does it support broad gauge? Sarepava (talk) 20:28, 16 August 2017 (CEST)

That sounds messy. What I wrote is basically a simplified version of how it went in Austria-Hungary/the CR. At first the state built and rented the railways, then after the economical decline in the early 1850s, it sold all of them to the French and started selling concessions instead. Railway construction was supported financially (for example, the more tracks a company built, the less they had to pay in taxes.) By the 1870s, most larger towns and industrial areas were connected via railway. In 1873, the economy crashed, and the state had to stop supporting the private railway companies financially. Instead, a law was passed that allowed the state to take over railway companies in debt, however sometimes the state would also tweak the concessions in a way even the profitable companies got bought. When Czechoslovakia was created in 1918, there were only three large companies left (the last one ceased to exist in 1936.) Since then, there was only the state-owned Czechoslovak Railways, until 2005 when they split into SŽDC (government agency that owns and rents out the tracks) and ČD (state-owned operator).
I think broad gauge is possible in OR, I have one narrow gauge railway in my library so it seems logical. I don't know much about creating your own assets, but I'm sure there are some guides out there. --Eklas (talk) 21:48, 16 August 2017 (CEST)

For some reason while reading this amazing history I realised that I have completely overlooked railways on the map. I am going to try to fix that problem in the next few weeks. By the way, I also love trains, this week I visited the Luzern Museum of Transport, which is the best (best, best, best...) museum I've ever been to, and it's life size locomotives and cars inspired me to do some blikiing(?) on railroads in Litvania. Don't expect too much as I am not as experienced with trains as much as you are! Cheers! --Litvania (talk) 17:56, 23 August 2017 (CEST)

This is a very late comment, but I would like to share that this bliki could be an inspiration for my next bliki entry. Singkangia's railways are starting to take shape, and I am now thinking up for some wiki content for the SR (Singkangian Railways). Until then, Happy mapping and God bleses you, ZK (talk) 12:40, 26 April 2018 (CEST)