Here’s a preview from the Steam Powered chapter of the forthcoming 1879 Gamemaster’s Guide:
Alice and Gruv “Dreadnaught” Class Locomotive
Fuel Charge: 11d
Availability: Very Rare
Armament: LMG port/starboard fixed mounts on crew cab and on tender, ammunition locker for each with 500 round capacity
Cargo: 350 tons
Crew: 3 (Driver, mechanic, stoker); train may also have brakemen, conductor, guards, etc.
Critical Threshold: 30
Looking more like a military assault vehicle than a civilian locomotive, the Dreadnaught has been engineered to deal with the worst the Gruv has to offer. Its designers sacrificed speed for power and structural integrity, producing a locomotive that will never win a speed trial, but can push aside a flock of harpies with little effort, and protect its crew from a mordslanger attack. Customarily painted iron grey with none of the gold leaf or brass trim found on its Terrestrial cousins, this locomotive presents a forbidding appearance that is all business and no frippery. The Dreadnaught class runs on a 4-6-4 configuration, with four-wheel bogies fore and aft, and three independently powered pairs of drive wheels amidships, each with their own pair of dual-expansion internally mounted cylinders, the cranks operating behind the protection of the wheels, hearkening back to Robert Stephenson’s Planet. The armor that protects the boiler and the crew cab has been streamlined for wind resistance reduction, but should not be mistaken for decoration. Made of the same plating as the hull of a battleship, the Dreadnaught‘s armor can fend off a 3pdr cannon at close range. With a three thousand gallon boiler and a coke-cartridge fuel supply system connected to a vacuum-driven venturi, the engine matches the Leviathan for endurance with ease. The tender connects to the locomotive with a flexible armored tube, forming a safe passageway for the stoker and mechanic. Quick-release mechanisms allow the tender, and the rest of the train if need be, to be disconnected and discarded in a matter of minutes.
Engine Number Seven, the Estrella Del Norte, had this function put to use in the incident at Rath Plain just a few months ago. Hostile Saurids blocked the track with boulders and awaited the train with a war party, intending to raid the train in retaliation for the British having ridden to the aid of an enemy tribe. Spotting the blocked track from a distance, the engineer opened the throttle wide, then joined the rest of the crew on the tender, disconnected the locomotive, and applied the brakes, halting the main body of the train. The Estrella Del Norte collided with the blockage at half again its normal cruising speed, smashing the barricade. The locomotive derailed, and its boiler ruptured, scalding much of the war party to death in an instant. Those few that remained were quickly put down by the train’s guards. For his quick thinking, which saved the train and all the people and cargo aboard, the engineer was awarded a promotion by the Alice and Gruv Railway. The Estrella Del Norte has since been recovered, and is being rebuilt at the Fort Alice railyard.