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/qst/ - Quests

File: Cascadia Railroads.png (1.08 MB, 1002x575)
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People made it through the Pulse. They made it through the diseases and the riots that followed. They made it even through the three-years winter. Then they made it through the New Deluge. And the sixteen years of drought that followed. People made it through everything that kept falling on them, conspired to rob them of what little that remained.
And they get used to it. They almost gave up to the hopelessness and chaos. Some surely did gave up on their humanity and sanity. But it took more than sanity, humanity, hope and organisation. It took good spot. And it took luck. Nobody likes to think this way, but that's how the Republic of Cascadia came into existence. A blind chance. Just close enough to important ruins, just close enough to the post-Deluge Sound of Columbia, just close enough to few hamlets and just far away from anything dangerous. All allowing it to flourish.
The fragile alliance of various townships and villages quickly turned into a semblance of real government and then actual ruling body. Then aspirations and ambitions came to voice. New Salem and Eugene were apart by only some 70 miles. A distance meaningless in the past, but now it took three days to pass, six when hauling goods. Maintaning the roads of old turned out too expensive and complex without all the resources and machines, but there was something else.
The old rail corridor. Twisted, partially dismantled, partially destroyed, in disrepair, but still easier to fix and easier to run than anything else. Not bound to petroleum, could use the plentiful timber, not requiring separate engines for each vehicle, easy to control and most importantly, allowing to haul huge amounts of goods and people, getting to either end of the Republic within hours.
At least that how it sounded on paper. Turned out to be much harder to implement. But the government of the Republic pushed hard for this project. They got everyone of any importance on board. Old rails were fixed, new ones were laid down and with much pain, trial and error, working steam engines were build.
15th of April, early in the the beautiful spring of 2100, the final spike of the new railroad was put in place. Nobody knows yet if this endevour will prove to be successful, but the hopes are high.
And thus, the story of Cascadia Railroads goes on.


The quest so far:

Previous thread
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Your name is Collins. Director Collins, sitting in the board of the Cascadia Railroads, a recently started railway company within the Republic of Cascadia. You're in the board on the behalf of Cascadia Farm Co-Operative, a co-op of farmers and agriculture industries, making sure that all the rural communities can benefit on mass transportation and all the farmers are making pretty penny in the process.
Cascadia Railroads is a joint-venture between the Republic of Cascadia and various parties. So far, the company has but a single line, connecting cities of New Salem and Eugene, while stations are being established in Halsey and Lebanon. Besides having CFC in the board, there are also representatives of other prominent companies and organisations within the Republic: Military-Industrial Complex (MIC), The Confederation of Native People of Oregon and also workers of the Cascadia Railroads itself. There is also an envoy of sorts from far-away city of Roseburg, keeping an eye on the railway as Roseburg is trying to join the Republic of Cascadia. But most board members are private investors, looking for their own, often petty, profit.


>Previously in
Cascadia Railroads only has three working steam locomotives and suffers from a permanent shortage of rails. The Republic can only support a very small amount of tracks each year, but also promises with a special bill an additional grant of tracks, if large quotas of various goods are being transported.
After series of board meetings and planning with CFC, Collins presented a special plan for freighting goods between existing and planned stations. While prohibitively expensive, once fully implemented, the plan will allow the company to both recover financially and secure a substantial grant of rails from the government. The plan also provides a connection to the city of Albany.
Beyond management, Collins also made handful of new acquaintances and learned details about the extremely strained situation of the Railroads' workshop due to material shortages. During a lunch with Weaver, Roseburg's representative in the board, Collins also knows about the on-going accession deal between the city and Republic, which will push border far south
Using free time between board meetings, Collins made further acquaintances with some of the board members, was informed about additional troubles with running trains from the workshop and most importantly, learned there is apparent conspiracy against the Railroad and Collins himself. The first looks like works of Thomas Lindholm, a prominent man running the biggest transport and lodging operation in the Cascades, the other forcing to hire a personal body-guard.
Currently, Collins just recovered from his successful, if turbulent mission to the Upper Willamette Valley, where support for construction of an additional rail depo was secured from the town of Halsey. This should allow locals to profit, while the Railroad will gain the governmental rail stipend.
Various bits and pieces


Cascadia Railroads situation

Characteristics of stations

Board members & their shares


>Personal inventory:
Up-to-date list of issues from New Salem's railroad workshop
Priority list for the workshop ( https://pastebin.com/fKhh9JB4 )
Financial report of the Cascadia Railroads
Surveying report and plans
Veterinarian prescription for a natural lactative
Statement of the town council of Halsey, supporting the deal


Jim Baker, a CFC contact (+++++++++)
Railway engineers (+)
Wright of Roseburg (+)
Tom Wilson (+)


Baker's report on fellow board members (ready and waiting in the CFC office in New Salem)


>Lore bits
Factions explained
Rail Provision Bill
Agriculture Support Clause
Issues with the wool shipments
Blue Hounds mercenary company
CFC backstory
Roseburg's attempts to join the Republic of Cascadia
MIC and Confederation's strained relationship


>Rail Provision Act & Agriculture Support Clause
Originally tossed a coin to decide the action of the most recent update, but then it turned out a 2nd vote of what I was writing anyway was cast. Thank God it wasn't the other way around.
The "file" on board members was intended as this fancy piece of work for full immersion, written as if being an actual file, but I'm currently in such sour mood I am simply unable to deliver what I intended. Instead, I will just provide raw data and pointers when needed in far less fancy version, maybe doing a proper file later. Sorry for the disappointment
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>Go to the Railroads offices. Just because your bodyguard-as-assistant wasn't told anything, it doesn't have to mean nothing really happend.

- Let's just hope this time it won't end up with a broken leg
You add with a smirk and try few paces with a walking stick. Could be worse. The leg doesn't even hurt once you catch a proper rhytm and gait. With a bit of extra effort and time, you arrive to the offices of the Railroads no worse for wear.
Your suspicion is quickly confirmed. There are documents, strictly for you and your eyes only, waiting for at the reception desk. Just giving it a glance suggest a transcript from the board meeting you've skipped. There is another set of documents in the Accounting - this one is the cost analysis on the Upper Valley expansion. And it's a thick one, but just taking a quick peak through it leaves you relieved - there are barely any red markers.
From the things Keith would be informed is the date of next board meeting - in two days - and a note from this morning, coming from the workshop and asking for your personal presence there. The documents you've got will probably take few hours to read, so for now paying a visit in the depo sounds like a good alternative.
Familiar faces nod when they spot you slowly strolling through the assembly bay. One of the workers directly point toward the office shed next to the wall. As you get closer to it, you can see all the foremen and Wilson gathered over the table, discussing something and being very expressive, but the upheaval in the workshop makes it all inaudible. They only notice you once you open the door.
- Sup, grease monkeys
- Director - They nod heads or rise their caps a bit
- So what's the urgent thing? Something bad? - You ask, pretty much used at this point to bad or at least not good news
- No, quite the contrary. The delivery arrived
Wilson points on the box that's on the table. It's brand new, made from plain planks. The content is the set of what you assume must be the lathe knives ordered prior. There is also a small card, on which you instantly recognise Baker's handwriting congratulating the "hard working men of the Cascadia Railroads". One of the knives is taken out from the set and put separately. Even you can see it's worn out a bit, but the rest of the set looks almost new.
- With those, we can finally do all the precision cutting work without risk of busting the lathe itself - Wilson explains, just to make sure you understand how important this is for him and his crew - Will be handy with caboose and it's brake system.
- So the caboose got voten in? - You still didn't read the transcript, but asking is faster
- Not... really. - He stammers - No conclusion was made, but the power generator system definitely caught up attention. Still, simply taking away a passenger car was declared "excessive" and here I am, trying to figure out how to make the train work without caboose.
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You can see from the extra weary state of the head engineer this isn't a realistic task, but still put a silly smile on your face
- Can it be even done?
- No. With our materials, tools and engines, it's either the caboose or the slow crawl before each station, with inertia and natural friction helping out. Even if we had proper resources, it's just plain easier and cheaper to build a breaking car and put it in the end and once we have those, it's also easier to refurbish the engines for better efficiency, so it won't have to be a choice between which cars should be coupled into the set.
You think about this for a while. You saw for yourself how bad the current brakes are. If a layman can see something is off and the head engineer claims actions must be taken, this shouldn't be ignored.
- How many votes in? - You tap with your stick on the bag Keith is carrying - I only just got the transcript, but it will be easier to just ask now, before I read the damn thing.
- Four.
- So five with me - You quickly conclude, triumphantly
- No, four with you
- Miller?
- Opposed the idea, on the principle of tickets being sold out three weeks in advance, so decreasing amount of cars is a non-option for him.
You blink in confusion. That was unexpected. Still, the voting happend before you delivered the briefing on the whole issue, so he probably already came around. Hopefully.
- Listen, there is another thing, you probably already got the papers...
You do the quick summary of the milk and refridgeration deal. This time you talk specifics that were skipped prior: about the hygenic and tightness demands for such a large tanker that would be mounted on a flatbed or any other system that could be used for transportation of milk. And obviously, the refridgeration needed to keep it cool during transport. Nobody needs a tanker full of sour milk.
From what started as a simple talk, you quickly end up at a draft board, with Wilson clearly being in his element. You get what's called a "simplified" diagram by the end of your design session, with specifics and any weird elements listed. After all, out of all people, a CFC person will definitely understand the importance of this and have the right type of contacts to make it possible.
By the time you are walking out of the depo with new cheer of the workers, it's already well past noon.

Transcript of the last board meeting
Cost analysis of the Upper Valley rural depo
Rail milk tanker diagram and design
>Acquaintance with:
Tom Wilson (++)
>Read the papers. You need to do a catch-up on that missed board meeting, so head home and start reading, because it's a hefty stack.
>Head to CFC office. There is the tanker design and the documents you've just got, plus you might end up needing to at least glance into the files on board members to seek help with convincing them
>Go to Lindholm's Salem house. If he will be there, pester him about still not having any signs of help toward the Railroads and to remind him of the deal you had
>Other [Write-in]
Oh, and the personal inventory also contains the personal note verions of all the data collected in the Upper Valley. Sorry for missing that one out. Throwing it in for easier search later on

Personal notes and maps on the Upper Valley
>>Head to CFC office. There is the tanker design and the documents you've just got, plus you might end up needing to at least glance into the files on board members to seek help with convincing them
>Head to CFC office. There is the tanker design and the documents you've just got, plus you might end up needing to at least glance into the files on board members to seek help with convincing them
>Head to CFC office. There is the tanker design and the documents you've just got, plus you might end up needing to at least glance into the files on board members to seek help with convincing them
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>Head to CFC office. There is the tanker design and the documents you've just got, plus you might end up needing to at least glance into the files on board members to seek help with convincing them

You arrive to the CFC headquarters at twice the usual time due to your leg. The lunch break passed some time ago, so Jim is already busy with appointments in his office. Clarice grants you access to the archives room and points out the correct set of files. It's an entire box full of papers. She promises Baker should be able to show up in less than two hours and then leaves you and Hanson alone with the documentation.
You decide to first go through the Accounting analysis. Despite being thicker of the two set gained at Railroads offices, you don't plan to exactly read the whole thing - just the general informations and conclusions of various projections. You are really pleased with the results. No matter how it is counted, the construction of the rural depo is perfectly feasible within the budget of the Railroads and in few of particularly optimistic scenarios - almost free of any charge. With regular milk shipments and possible cargo taken from Halsey, it should be profitable all by itself, even without the rail stipend being involved.
Next is the transcript. It's verbatim, or might be. You wonder if this is Wright's doing, or they hired an actual secretary to handle such things. The board meeting went relatively smooth. Even your short summary proved to be more than enough to unanimously - aside your own vote, which is listed as "Abstain" - pass the resolution to construct the Upper Valley depo once Halsey's council makes formal moves to support the construction. Later on Wilson tried to bring the issue of caboose and inefficient brakes. But except for him, Jones and, out of all people, Carter, everyone was either uninterested or actively against shortening the train set. There was minor interest in the power generation along the commuting service, but it got mostly burried under the opposition to the general idea of decreasing number of passenger cars. The meeting concluded soon after, with no conclusion on the subject and a date for next one.
Finally, knowing all of this, you get into the box with personal informations on the board. The whole thing is divided into folders on each person separately. It is not being organised alphabetically, but rather by the strength of the position in the board - which isn't exactly the same as number of shares, even if closely related. From the front page of each folder, you can see names and the percentage share.
From those you quickly add up to 80.55%, and you know the CFC owns another 6.05%, giving a total of 86.6% of shares being held by the board members. The remaining 13.4% of shares is circulating the Republic in unknown hands, but never in a concentration bigger than 2%, or they would be in the board


As you keep reading, Jim knocks to the door
Access to the file report on Cascadia Railroad board members
>How it works
The "file" is a list of general pointers. This isn't all the information that is, it means that this is the first glance, easy-to-grasp bits and halmarks already made by someone. Try to think about it as a multi-use item in a point-and-click adventure game. When situation calls for it, the file might contain some crucial information. Or it might not. Or it might give a false lead.

>Talk about the tanker. This is the main reason you're here, plus you can give Baker update on the skipped board meeting.
>Focus on the report. This is an outstanding piece of work and might be more than handy at playing various board members.
>Plan together a strategy. Explain to Jim the importance of shortening the train sets and adding a caboose, then together try to find board members that would be easiest to convince toward this.
>Talk directly about Diego. You still didn't explain your suspicions to Keith, now might be the right moment to do so, with Baker to consult on this.
>Talk directly about Carter. He's playing some very, very weird game right now and this report seems to further point this out, with his focus on passengers.
And of course:
>Other [Write-in]
>Plan together a strategy. Explain to Jim the importance of shortening the train sets and adding a caboose, then together try to find board members that would be easiest to convince toward this.
>Plan together a strategy. Explain to Jim the importance of shortening the train sets and adding a caboose, then together try to find board members that would be easiest to convince toward this.
>Plan together a strategy. Explain to Jim the importance of shortening the train sets and adding a caboose, then together try to find board members that would be easiest to convince toward this.
Phoneposting just to inform that the next update should be no sooner than Saturday. Already on the way for funeral
Rolled 50 (1d100)

I'm finally back, in shape and with time to write. A quick one to keep things going

>Plan together a strategy. Explain to Jim the importance of shortening the train sets and adding a caboose, then together try to find board members that would be easiest to convince toward this.

You wave the file in your hand
- A fine read. You're running a detective agency or something?
Baker smirks, then greets with you, giving you a bear hug
- Most of this is public informations or barely verifable gossips. Plus I had few extra days to polish the details. Clarice said you were in a hurry. What's the deal?
- Oh, it's a complex one
You give Jim the short version of the issue with trains, their brakes, danger it brings, the caboose, the power generating system, the latest board meeting and your talk with Wilson. That "short" takes almost half an hour and you are still skipping almost all the details. Still, he seems to fully understand this and is more or less fine with this.
- As long as argi products are being shipped, anything goes. You said the issue isn't even about materials? - He eventually asks back
- No, Wilson assured me once material shortages are overcome, that will allow to makes engines more efficient, rather than brakes better - You shrug - I'm not an engineer, don't ask me about that.
- Fine, so what now?
- I was thinking about getting to other board members and convince them to vote for this entire caboose thing. The power system could recover at least some of the loses over decreased number of cars, so it's not even that heavy-hitting on the pocket. And I think Miller should be already on this subject himself, given he was given my detailed report on the issue from first-hand observation. So... - You tap the stack of papers - It's about finding in here who can be convinced to the issue and how. One peson should be enough, but more would be obviously better.
- Oh great, an all-nighter over boring personal details! I didn't do that since last week - Jim says jokingly, then heads to the door - Let me start with getting something to drink, rather than breaking work later.
Once he's back, you're sieving the personal files of the board members for anything useful. It's really dull read when it comes for searching for important detail, given how much basic trivia those files contain. You weren't expecting to get a thrilling read, but it's just mind-numbing on the long run. Still, various things are listed, pointed and discussed along the way. Few hours later, Jim checks the surviving elements in his notes that weren't discarded along the way.
- Ok, so we've got: the MIC man and his desire to please his own management. Linda Wright and making sure things are squeeky clean and profitable, but not just pig-headed about making money. And that Latino guy, um... - He looks into the notes
- Rodriguez - You quickly remind him
- Yeah, him. He worked logistics, so he knows what happens when transport falls apart suddenly. Everyone else is either already on it, or just too preoccupied with making big buck with zero investment.
- I have a feeling the captain might work. The Point Terrace guy.
- Him - Baker gives you a confused look - I'm not saying he can't be convinced, I just don't see how. The remaining people are just small times that accidently got big or pricks like Lindholm Junior, who got into the company solely to spite the old guy. When's the next board meeting?
- The day after tomorrow.
- That should give you more than enough time to easily get two meetings going. Or you need my help with that?

>Pick a single person [Write-in who] you will work on yourself tomorrow
>Pick two [Write-in who] people you will work on yourself tomorrow
>Pick two [Write-in who] people you will work on yourself tomorrow, get Jim involved
>Other [Write-in]

Jacob Johnson, the MIC man
Linda Wright, Roseburg representative (+)
Diego Rodriguez, logistician
Ethan Anderson, wildcard
>>Pick two [Write-in who] people you will work on yourself tomorrow
>Linda Wright
>Jacob Johnson
I think we may be able to sell Wright on the caboose as a necessary part of expanding the rail road long term. If I'm understanding our expansion scheme right, we're mostly relying on the milk stipend, so having more trips & milk deliveries should more than balance out the downside of less passengers per trip. If I'm understanding her file correctly and her main goal is to connect to Roseburg, she should be receptive to expansion based arguments.
JJ seems to be underhanded, which I think we may be able to play off of. If it's true that MIC wants to have 10% ownership, then anything that gets people to sell their shares so the MIC could buy them would be a win for them. We could maybe convince JJ that the caboose would reduce short term profitability (due to fewer passengers) and make some of the "petty" private investors and smaller stockowners sell their shares. The MIC would be able to buy those up and get closer to their goal of 10%. It would be risky to basically sell the caboose by saying it could hurt the company, but it seems like JJ could benefit from his perspective.

I'm also thinking of Diego as a possible option, but he seems a little too interested in personal profit, which makes it a bit of a harder sell, even if he does see how it would be necessary to long term gains. Also, I'm not sure if I'm understanding the financial impact of the caboose and how it'll change the calculus (I'm not a trains guy). Feel free to correct me where I'm wrong guys.
Supporting >>4409852
So going by the notes, my interpretation of them and the pre-takeover course of the quest:

>I'm not sure if I'm understanding the financial impact of the caboose
The problem is few fold and has less to do with caboose itself and more about the train set as such:
- the existing engines themselves are kit-bashed improvised locos mostly build out of scrap metal, repurpoused parts and a whole lot of good will, so their performance is just flat-out terrible - part of the reason why the workshop needs tools is to finally at least calibrate and fix the existing engines and allow some better shape of any new ones that will be constructed
- due to material limitations, the current brakes and braking system is equally terrible
- existing train sets are simply too big by themselves - not in weight to pull, since that's just momentum, but in the dead weight to stop once brakes are engaged
- caboose is an extra car that serves no other purpose other than increasing brake safety and would have minimal loading capacity, luggage mostly.

So the main goal is to cut down number of passenger cars as such, thus decreasing currently the only source of revenue for the railroad, for the sole purpose of better safety of operation. The caboose by itself is simply using the fact the set would be shorter and thus it would be possible to add a car to the set that would further help with braking action and generally help things running.
But there is just no way to recover fully loss of income generated by 1/4 of the train set. Even if the caboose would be serving a dual purpose of being a power generator of sorts to charge batteries and the Railroads selling energy this way.

tl;dr it's a choice between not risking accidents (of the derailment magnitude) for -25% income OR making max money possible and just hoping for the best. And it will stay like that until better engines are being build, as current ones are incapable of pulling bigger loads than a handful of cars anyway

>inb4 what about cargo freight
There are three engines in existence. Two are currently tied with passenger trains, going on the New Salem-Eugene line back and forth. Third is simply there as a back-up and for any new line to be opened. So freight, at least within the Willamette Valley's flats, is perfectly doable and would not affect the existing passenger line, beyond having to share the same tracks and thus requiring proper scheludes.
Oh, and it's not just the milk itself, but yeah, it is going to provide bulk of the rail from the stipend, as nothing "pays" that well, or at least nothing within the existing reach of the Cascadia Railroads. Once steel is going, it will swiftly declass any other rail source, but that will require to gain bunch of additional rails first to make it truly feasible and at least a single bridge to be build, meaning it won't be ready in the first year of operations anyway.
The other sources of the rail within the reach of the existing infrastructure just can't compete in efficiency with milk, while some (fertilizer, wool) are completely out of the reach of the existing or even possible infrastructure right now. So when it comes to rail provision, it's milk and every other stipend-covered cargo in almost 1:1 ration as of right now.
Picking up the proposed reasoning of playing the board members

>Pick twopeople you will work on yourself tomorrow
>Linda Wright, Roseburg representative (+)
>Jacob Johnson, the MIC man

- Nah, I will do fine myself. Besides, how would I even explain your involvement? Or how would you explain it yourself? "Hey, the CFC did a semi-legal profile work on you and it says you will do our biddings"? - You start to laugh at your own joke, but then it hits you what you just said. Still, you keep a smile on your face - I already know Weaver a bit, she seems both reasonable and responsible. Plus, she really doesn't care, as long as the company can pay dividend back to her city's coffers and the railway itself keeps heading south. I'm honestly confused why she didn't back it up by herself
- Like you've said, the stock dividend - Baker points out - That's a whole lot of money that won't be earned with shorter trains and a whole less profits to divide by the end of the year... Anyone else?
You look into the notes once more. To be frank, you wouldn't consider any of the people selected so far for this, especially since Weaver's vote should be more than enough.
- Johnson? - You ask, instead of answering straight - Why do I feel it's going to be a deal with the devil?
- Maybe because he's from the MIC? - Keith barges in for a first time since a really long while - Those guys can be some massive tools to work with.
- Yeah, about that... - Baker taps his finger on the table - They are going to push for the 10%. And they will push then to increase the limit, if not this year, then the next one and if not then, then later. So we should enjoy any sort of influence over the Railroads for as long as it lasts.
- I know. That's why I want to get things going for the Agriculture Support Clause, so eventually everyone will just automatically support all sort of operations and decisions regarding agriculture sector, regardless of how the board will be composed. But that's not a thing to bother now. Besides, there is a chance to increase our own share ownership, too.
Jim looks at you and shakes his head slightly.
- At almost 500 bucks per share, I don't think we have any sort of money reserve for further acquisitions
- That's why it will be the deal with the devil. Johnson might agree on the caboose, if he's tricked into thinking this will temporarily tank the price of shares. I mean it certainly will tank them, but then MIC is going to buy some. so it shouldn't plummet fully.
- I don't think any of this is legal - Your bodyguard points out - Not saying it's a bad plan, but it can have nasty legal consequences if the information gets out. It could even be considered an act of treason against the Republic itself.
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- And this is precisely why you've signed a confidentially agreement - You inform bluntly - I doubt a guy from MIC would rat-out a deal like that. Too much to gain for his company. And if the files are right, he will probably do some own stock trading along the way.
- You sure you want to handle it alone? - Baker tries for the last time to get involved
- If this backfires, it backfires at me -You shake your head - If we get both into it and the deal blows up, then CFC would face a massive scandal, so I don't think anyone wants that.
- Fine, then. Keep me informed about the proceedings. I will try at least try to pin-point where Johnson will be, since Weaver opened an office in the Grand already.
- An office? - You ask, confused
- Yeah, it's like some sort of Roseburg consultation office and other political things... Anyway, don't want to rush you, but I would rather go home than sit here overnight.

The next day, you head to the Grand in the morning. There is a sandwich board in the lobby, informing about the diplomatic office of the city of Roseburg, along with its operating hours. You read it twice, just to make sure it's for real.
You hobble toward the reception desk, nodding your head
- Good morning, how can I help you?
- Do I need to make appointments here or directly in the office - You point out toward the board
- Here. Who should I announce?
- Director Collins of the Cascadia Railroads
- Please wait...
The clerk dials a number on the internal phone and after a short conversation informs you to simply wait in the lobby.
Weaver is there within few minutes, apparently amused by your nervous looks around the hotel.
- Everything alright? - She ask with a smirk
- Yeah, yeah... I just never can get used to this place. It's so weird.
- I get it. Not enough barn stench and rowdy cowboys must be confusing for a farmhand... - But before you can react toward the insult, she switches the subject - How can I help you?
- There is a railroad matter I have to discuss. Can we please...

>Stay in the lobby. Let's make it informal and casual, since the matter itself is about asking a colleague for a small favour
>Go to the office. Let's keep this formal and proper, plus you probably won't be able to afford another random meal in the Grand's restaurant
>Go to the restaurant. Let's talk business while eating and then make Weaver pay for duping you last time into exorbant bill
>Other [Write-in]
>Stay in the lobby. Let's make it informal and casual, since the matter itself is about asking a colleague for a small favour
>Stay in the lobby. Let's make it informal and casual, since the matter itself is about asking a colleague for a small favour
I see, I wasn't aware of just how shit our setup is (due to it being a post-post-apoc setting). Thought we had more than 4 passenger cars for some reason. Still, the basic idea (long vs short term profits) was right since sooner or later we'd have some sort of accident that would cost us way more than the lost passenger revenue. Especially since there are all sorts of quality problems I remember from the earlier threads.

And yeah, milk stipend was shorthand for the whole rails for agriculture shipping thing. Those rails are as good as gold.

>Go to the office. Let's keep this formal and proper, plus you probably won't be able to afford another random meal in the Grand's restaurant
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Hmm. Makes me think we should be prepared for an accident if one occurs - at current, we lack any kind of recovery capability so if a train jumps the tracks further than it can be levered back on with crowbars it'll be a massive PITA to recover it, if even possible. Do we have any spare flatcars we could equip with winching or lifting equipment to assist with recovery operations? I'm aware we probably don't have the money do to it at the moment and getting the stuff for it would be slow and bureaucratic, but it'll be much better to have one in case we need it rather than need it and realise we don't have one, and it could also be used for maintenance and tracklaying.

Also, by the way, early passenger cars are telescoping-prone deathtraps in accidents. Pic related happened at just 8mph and killed three people and injured twenty.
>Stay in the lobby. Let's make it informal and casual, since the matter itself is about asking a colleague for a small favour

- ... just stay here? It's nothing formal nor official. And I already had my breakfast - You quickly add, before she even suggest going for a bite.
- Suits me, if you'll only stop gazing left and right on everything. You should be getting used to such sights, because the rail can make them happen... - She takes a seat on an armchair and gives a nod to Hanson - Who's the big guy?
- This is Keith Hanson, my assistant - You introduce him, but Weaver instead starts laughing. God, this woman can be unbearable with her antics
- Right, right, I'm sorry... Just... - She makes a circle with her hand, encompasing Hanson - You could at least be honest.
- I'm a contracted bodyguard from the Blue Hounds. But I am also hired as an assistant. Nice to meet you...
Keith takes initiative by himself and gives Weaver a firm handshake. She holds his hand for a bit longer, as if assessing him.
- You're expensive? - She asks, deliberately making it insinuatingly
- Blue Hounds are renowed for their accessable prices - He keeps up the silly charade without a hitch, but then simply cuts it short - Director Collins has a proposal to make, regarding the tomorrow's board meeting. This is the matter to discuss today.
He sits down and to cut on any further play, gets a notebook from the bag, passing to you a card with pointers to make.
- Nice - She nods, looking suggestively at your bodyguard - Prim and proper. I like that. Wasn't expecting you can afford... services like those.
- Can we please focus on rail? - You force yourself to not grate your teeth.
- And what else are we talking? - Weaver shrugs, then looks at the paper with pointers - So what's the agenda for tomorrow meeting? Your milkman plan was already approved. Details are a bit sketchy, but I'm impressed you've managed to pull something like that.
- Should I note this as a praise or an insult? - Hanson asks, while leaning over the notebook
- Oh, he's humorous... - The woman grins - Collins, I'm jelous now.
- You might be. It's about rail safety. Or rather - passenger safety. We have to...
- No - She suddenly cuts and you sense from sudden shift in her voice and gestures the playtime is over - That engineer already tried to push that and I say "No way". We are not decreasing passenger flow, at least not until other services are in the menu and probably also Albany ends up being connected.
- You didn't even let me to finish and I wasn't going to even mention the smaller number of cars. It's the caboose directly. Did you shut up Wilson the same way when he mentioned it? The transcript is pretty vague on that subject Were you too busy scolding him to write details down? - You push aggressively and she stays silent, but clearly expecting continuation. Something tells you you don't have patience for those cat and mouse games, but at least Weaver reacts positively to harsh tone - The caboose can be turned into a power generator. Even the smallest car should be able to contain dozens of batteries that could all be charged along the way to Eugene and back. That's pure profit. And the main role of it would be still to prevent derailments on sudden braking or when facing obstacles on the rail. Maybe Wilson wasn't allowed to explain that, either?
She looks at you, still clearly amused, bu also showing interest in what you are saying.
- Remember how you were gushing about the fast travel from Eugene to New Salem? Remember braking action? I doubt that. Takes over half hour in total. Now imagine doing that in Halsey, Lebanon and any other stop on the way. Where is that speed of yours then, if more time is spend on braking than moving?
- That's all great, but how it is going to help recover the simple loss of passenger fare?
- It won't - You cut the chase - But I think it is far better to make less money than make no money at all once the train derails and we have a combination of the destroyed infrastructer, inoperable engine and a PR disaster that might as well kill the company dead. And then you will never get Roseburg connected, making the stock investment a massive loss for the city.
She stays silent for a long while, just looking in your general direction, but not at you.
- I can only agree on this if the decrease of passengers is kept to minimum. Removing quarter of the train is just non-negotiable before there is a sufficient money surplus. So far the Accounting evaluated we won't turn meaningful profit until next year with the expansion and stations being build. With such drastic cut on passengers, now, when it's booming business, is just stupid. Even with the risk attatched - She makes a short pause, then something apparently hits her - And one more thing, I want to see a proper report on how likely the accident is, if at all. I met enough mechanics in my life to panic non-stop about how fragile something is, only for it to run non-stop for decades. Otherwise, I'm going to continue opposing the notion.
- Sure - You say, dismissively
- I mean it - She taps impatiently on the armchair - If you want to turn this into a milking company, fine by me, because that means rail. But it still has to generate profit to maintain the operation going and pay for using that rail for new lines.
- Then that would be all. I will talk with Wilson about this and he should get a report ready
- You're chummy? - You want to bite your tongue, but it's too late now, Weaver is onto it
- We're working together. And he most definitely needed some help with the workshop. You know, making this rail running, so it can generate profit, so I can have my milk deliveries done.
- Oh, the cowboy and the grease monkey working together for the common goal... Admirable
You're not sure if this was a mockery or just Weaver being Weaver. You glance at Keith, but he just purses his lips, also not knowing. Great.
Before you can contineu, she's suddenly distracted by something from the reception desk. The clerk is waving at her and Weaver gets up from the chair
- Report. Before the meeting. Bye.
And she walks directly to the counter, leaving your duo alone. Keith leans closer and talks in hushed voice.
- She's always like that?
- So far - yes. Saw her being completely serious only once.
Still, your business was simple and the exchange fast. Now you need to get Tom into writing a proper report with proper data presented in it.

>Do that, now. The sooner he knows about the paper he has to make, the better. Johnson can wait for the rest of the day.
>Do that later. You've got Johnson to catch and you don't exactly have anything arranged, so you should at least get an appointment if he won't be home.
>Follow Weaver instead. You have whole day for all your plans, now you could do a little spying on your own.
>Other [Write-in]
Three words
Shopping list

Somewhat a spoiler: the workshop is something to continously upgrade with tooling, materials, workforce and generally just money.
If this railway even plans to get anything done in terms of engines and cars, it absolutely has to invest into the workshop. And it goes in an action-reaction situation, where the workshop solves (or tries to) either practical problems (say, climbing mountains or getting suitable engine for freight etc) or upgrading own operation (purpose-build maintenance and construction cars, tank engines for construction etc).
Some of those will happen automatically, others will not, others will be caused by specific choices and events. But yeah, workshop is a bottomless money sink that in the same time turns that money into practical things.

And as for telescope accident - that's a matter of how early cars were designed and lack of proper knowledge for safety designs. This might be a post apoc Amtrak, but that doesn't mean people who are making all the moving stock don't know how to make safe(ish) cars, even with the material limitations at hand.
Also, to cut speculations:
Practice makes the master, so it's not enough to simply throw cash on the workshop guys and say "build better engines". Sure, early on this is going to work, but only due to how terrible current ones are and how short-strung everything is.
>Do that, now. The sooner he knows about the paper he has to make, the better. Johnson can wait for the rest of the day.
>Do that, now. The sooner he knows about the paper he has to make, the better. Johnson can wait for the rest of the day.
If we can get her on board, that's basically an automatic win for us
>Do that, now. The sooner he knows about the paper he has to make, the better. Johnson can wait for the rest of the day.

Rather than trying to chase after Johnson, you decide to pay a quick visit to the workshop. You give few nods to various workers inside of it, but don't stop until you're in the office shed by the side of the depot. There is nobody inside, but before you can even start looking for Wilson, Ian Martin, one of the foremen, gets to the small office. He's surprised by your presence, so clearly, the message of your arrival wasn't passed yet around the shop
- I almost got a heart attack now - He says, half-jokingly, but you startled him for real
- Easy... Where's Wilson? I've got an urgent business to him.
- He should be in the back yard. They are trying to assemble a new cart for construction materials.
You're about to leave, but decide to pry some informations out of Martin, instead of further bothering Tom.
- So how are the lathe knives? Do they even fit?
- Perfectly. They are for the same specification as the machine we have, so it would be weird if they didn't.
- And no other set arrived? - You continue, since he didn't mention anything
- Other set? - The foreman is clearly confused
- Never mind...
You leave the office shed, a bit annoyed. Lindholm gave his word. If it was anyone else, you would understand the betrayal, but him, shaking on something, and then not delivering? As you reach the rail yard, you can see a whole bunch of people welding together a steel frame of a flatbed. Next to it stands a car you never saw prior, much wider to the sides and shaped like W letter
You nod to Wilson once you spot him in the crowd and get on the side, so you can comfortably talk without all the clamour of workshop and yard.
- What's that? - You point out the weidly shaped car
- A gondola for ballast. There are few places where we will need large amount of it to secure the track to Albany. - He trails a W shape with his finger in the air, and you instantly get the idea - Why bother with wheelbarrows, when we can simply use a railcar.
- So how's the construction going? In Albany by June?
- If weather will be good, we might be there by late May, even. The biggest issue, the switch, is already designed and the area for it cleared and prepared, so in a day or two work should start. After that is done. Same with clearance in the whole line. So once the switch is installed and tested, the materials will be just hauled there and Albany should be reached in short order.
- Good, very good... But I have different matter to discuss.
You describe your meeting with Weaver to Tom. He's not pleased with the outcome and especially not by the fact he wasn't taken serious enough already. He just shakes his head in disbelieve.
- And people like that are calling shot here...
- Look, I'm just trying to help here. I'm not pleased with this either, but she's one of the most level-headed people in the board anyway, so getting her on our side is all that matters.

>Suggest a short report. Make it simple and layman-friendly, without any overbearing informations, just to point the issue in organised manner.
>Suggest a detailed report. Prognosis, material wear and tear, all the possible data to simply squash the idea safety can be ignored.
>Suggest sticking it to Weaver. She should already know better, so the report should be instead aimed at her ignorance, rather than engineering issues.
>Other [Write-in]
>Suggest a detailed report. Prognosis, material wear and tear, all the possible data to simply squash the idea safety can be ignored.
She sounds like someone who would want that. Also she might need the data to squash the opposition from her backers.
>>Suggest a detailed report. Prognosis, material wear and tear, all the possible data to simply squash the idea safety can be ignored.
>Suggest a detailed report. Prognosis, material wear and tear, all the possible data to simply squash the idea safety can be ignored.
>Suggest a detailed report. Prognosis, material wear and tear, all the possible data to simply squash the idea safety can be ignored.
It seems like she might be thinking of some particular problem ("then something apparently hits her"), so might as well be comprehensive so we don't miss it. (Also the post I made earlier didn't go through?)
I officially just started my vacations. Currently phone-posting, once I get my old clunker laptop set and done, things should be much easier to handle.
If I apparently disappear from the face of the Earth - that's just the horrible local reception.

>Suggest a detailed report. Prognosis, material wear and tear, all the possible data to simply squash the idea safety can be ignored.

- And please, make sure it's thorough. Obsessive, almost. Let's just drown it all with details and informations, so anyone even questioning the safety matters would instantly look like a fool, not to mention possibly not even understanding the report itself
Tom seems to be confused by your suggestion
- Isn't this... a bit counter-productive?
- No, trust me on this. Any sort of nay-saying is killed dead if people are facing overbearing facts against their stance. Not because they might get convinced by them, but because the more they insist to ignore them, the more deluded they end up looking. This might even accidently convince others to change their stance, just to not be associated with an ignorant lunatic. I doubt Weaver would require such tactic, but with such report given to all of the board, everyone will be more likely to switch their stance toward - if not out of reason, then out of simple shame.
Or at least you hope it could play like this. While sometimes you negotiated CFC deal using similar tricks, there is always a chance to face a stubborn fool, who will always refuse to change a stance on given subject, simply because.
You spend some more time around the yard, observing the progress of work and talking with Tom about car-related issues and prospects of eventually leaving the flats of Willamette Valley, but then you have other duties to attend, and he has both a special car to supervise and the report to write.
As you are heading away from the rail station complex, you realise something that might be needed. Not exactly to help convincing anyone, but rather to know how feasible things are.
- Let's go back - You inform Keith.
But rather than going to the workshop, you head toward the offices and barge into the tiny Accounting room.
- I need an income estimate for a specific scenario the railway might be facing.
You then list elemets of your premise: decreased number of passengers, with a pretty wide spread by how much decreased it would be, the check on prices of charged batteries and most importantly, how costly it would be in terms of finances alone to deal with a derailed train, along with few scenarios for the derailment, ranging between simply jumping on tracks to catastrophic total derailment of entire set.
As you are going with your supposed scenarios, the poor accountant is more and more terrified by your pesimistic visions, while not knowing the context of the report. However, all your elements are carefully listed and the report on them should be delivered for tomorrows board meeting.
After dealing with all of this, it's finally time to chase after Johnson

>Go for his residential address. Even if he won't be home, it should be easy to learn where he is currently.
>Go to MIC bureau. Simply ask where "their" man is and where you can find him
>Ignore Johnson. Weaver should be more than enough to poss a motion through the board
>Other [Write-in]

It only took three hours to tap this in
>Go to MIC bureau. Simply ask where "their" man is and where you can find him
>Go to MIC bureau. Simply ask where "their" man is and where you can find him
>Go for his residential address. Even if he won't be home, it should be easy to learn where he is currently.
>Go to MIC bureau. Simply ask where "their" man is and where you can find him
>Go to MIC bureau. Simply ask where "their" man is and where you can find him

After a moment of thinking, you decide to go toward the Capitol. While MIC headquarters are in Corvallis, their second most important offices work as a government agenda in the old State Capitol building - and they only got prestigeous spot like that due to being old enough and partially run by the Republic itself.
As you get close toward the Capitol itself, an uniformed soldier, in probably the cleanest uniform in all of Cascadia - stops you at a control point. You take out your Railroads card and allow yourself to be searched. Before Keith proceeds, he produced a gun, a spare mag and what you assume must be a telescopic batton. He just gives you an innocent smile, as he's searched for further weapons. Right while standing next to a "NO WEAPONS BEYOND THIS LINE" plaque
Once past the checkpoint, you hurry toward the "private" side of the governmental building, where offices of a small handful of various organisations and companies even slightly important to the Republic are located. It stings your personal pride, considering this is where MIC is having their bureau in Salem - not even the main one - while CFC was denied a spot, and for the Cascadia Railroads itself there were no spots left.
The only remedy for that stung pride is the tiny size of the bureau and how crammed with cabinets it is. There is someone talking in the second room, behind doors with milk-glass on them.
- Good morning. I'd like to know where I can find Jacob Johnson, the board member of the Cascadia Railroads
And before the clerk can even react, you produce your card again. It's thoroughtly checked, as if trying an excuse to get rid of you this instant.
- Please wait here for a moment
He enters the other room and the discussion stops for a while. Eventually he re-emerges. The door remain half-open
- Mr Johnson should be reachable in his Salem address this afternoon.
That's still few hours from now. Once you're out of the office, your bodyguard whispers to you.
- He's inside the second office right now, talking with someone else
- You're sure?
He just gives a short nod

>Ignore him. He clearly don't want to see you right now, do as instructed instead. He might be even busy with something important
>Intercept him. Simply wait in the garden surrounding the Capitol and talk with him the moment he leaves
>Interrupt him. He's in the office and just send you off. Besides, you've got business proposal just as much for him as to the MIC
>Other [Write-in]
>Intercept him. Simply wait in the garden surrounding the Capitol and talk with him the moment he leaves
>Intercept him. Simply wait in the garden surrounding the Capitol and talk with him the moment he leaves
>Ignore him. He clearly don't want to see you right now, do as instructed instead. He might be even busy with something important
Let's not risk pissing him off over a few hours of time.
I've got a working laptop
My heart goes out to you man.
>Intercept him. Simply wait in the garden surrounding the Capitol and talk with him the moment he leaves

- Then we're waiting.
You first make a short, leisure stroll around the Capitol building, never too far away from the entrance to the rented offices. The surrounding park is well-maintained and kept immaculately clean, leaving similar eerie contrast with rest of New Salem and the Cascadia Republic as the Grand Hotel. But it is conveying a very strong message, just like still using and maintaining the ancient assembly building for maintaining the legislature body of the Republic. Even you can't exactly imagine how someone could organise a small vegetable patch in this very park right after the Three-Years Winter ended. Those had to be truly desperate and barbaric times.
Eventually however you can't walk any further without losing the Capitol from clear sight and simply circling the building non-stop is quickly getting old. Instead, you find a nice bench and from it keep waiting with your bodyguard for Johnson's eventual emerging from the building.
You've spend like that well over an hour until the MIC man gets outside. Without further ado you get up and start closing to him. At first he doesn't notice you, then pretends he didn't notice you and eventually just stops, clearly frustrated.
- I'm pretty clear I heard Perkins passing you my message to meet in the afternoon. What you want? - He angrily asks, without "good day" or "please".
- I've got a business proposal, one of those that simply can't wait.
- We don't deal in milk. Nor consider spinach sufficient source of iron for the mill.
He's clearly not in the mood and most likely doesn't have time, either

>Let him go. Excuse him and promise to show up in the evening
>Let him be. Excuse him and drop the issue entirely
>Let him stop. Go directly to selling him ideas about inside trading for easy 10% share ownership for MIC
>Let him choke. Remind him that MIC is powerless to deal with current shortages, so he should listen to you
>Other [Write-in]
*pretty certain
>Let him go. Excuse him and promise to show up in the evening
>Let him choke. Remind him that MIC is powerless to deal with current shortages, so he should listen to you
>Let him be. Excuse him and drop the issue entirely
fuck this asshole
Die roll. Delay caused by poor weather and thus no net. Lovely place, but reception is abysmal

>Let him go. Excuse him and promise to show up in the evening

You really don't want to bow to this man, but what other real choices you've got, if planning to conclude any sort of business with him.
- I'll be then by the evening
- Yeah, like I thought - Johnson grumbles - "Can't wait"
He mocks you, as he passes right next to you, again without anything even resembling "good bye". At least you still got the evening meeting.
Having not much to do for the rest of the day, you take it slow. A visit to the doctor to make sure your leg is fine, then taking a bite in the city, then a review of your options with Johnson. You don't want to piss him anymore, but after the cold reception at the Capitol grounds, you don't really feel like giving him the offer on a silver platter. That assuming he's going to show any interest, or just took piss on you with the later-hour evening.
Since you weren't given any exact hour to meet, you head out when the sun is still relatively high, heading north. This part of Salem is brand new. Rather than taking over the ancient buildings from Before, whatever remained of the old housing structures was torn down and replaced with small, but lavish houses, all erected in the past decade. Despite their small size, the land cost small fortunes and was mostly taken by the richest people and organisation in the Republic, then either kept for prestige or re-sold for even higher price soon after.
If the file was correct, Johnson was simply awarded a "loyalty prize" by MIC in form of a home here, close to all the important business and ability to impress guests. And despite your unpleasant stint earlier today, you are impressed, or at least intimidated by the neighbourhood. It's far too clean, too organised and to new to make you feel anything else than uneasy and as someone who doesn't really fit here.
As you are closing to the given adress, you see one of the other board members around, way too close to Johnson's house to be here by coincidence. It's Hunter Davis, one of those nondescript board members. Given his current walking direction, he most likely left the meeting with the MIC man not long ago... if he really was meeting him, and this is not an actual coincidence.

>Greet and talk with him. Simply chit-chat for a while and learn what he's doing here.
>Ignore him. You've got meeting with Johnson and this guy will be probably first out of the board once you talk with "J.J."
>Intercept him. Rather than dealing with Johnson, try to play this wishy-washy profiteer until he lasts
>Other [Write-in]
>Intercept him. Rather than dealing with Johnson, try to play this wishy-washy profiteer until he lasts
>Intercept him. Rather than dealing with Johnson, try to play this wishy-washy profiteer until he lasts

- You know what? - You ask Keith rhetorically - I don't feel like dealing with Johnson. At least not now. First, let's catch up with this schmuck
You nod toward Davis and start walking in his direction, waving your hand in an overly enthusiastic greetings
- Hunter! - Despite never being formally introduced, you conclude it would be fitting to addess him less formally after working in the same company for few weeks - Hey, Hunter!
He firsts looks around, then focuses on you and only after a while seems to recognise your face. While he's as much of a stranger for you as you're for him, you doubt he even bothered to learn the names of other board-members, not to mention hiring a private eye or other informants to get some intel on them. You almost feel sorry for this guy, considering he's in this company almost by chance.
- Um... - He is catching air like a fish taken out of the water - Em... Jones... Isn't it?
- Collins - You correct him, trying to sound friendly - Nice to meet you outside work hours. Stroll? - You keep playing dumb
- No... I... - He visibly hesitates, as if not sure he should be even talking with you. And it's not just the fact he barely knows you. Ultimately he leans closer and whispers toward you, completely pointlessly, since there is nobody but you and Keith around anyway - I've been doing negotiations with J.J.
You barely contain a grin, hearing the nickname the files explicitly noted about. What a cretine. But you decide to squeeze him like a lemon, playing dumb.
- Negotiations? - You also lower your voice, confidentially - What sort of negotiations?
He looks around for a while, then tries another whisper
- Let's better go to the park nearby and talk there.
You slowly walk behind the young man and just give Hanson a quick glance. He just shrugs, clearly not impressed by your discussion partner. As you are closing toward the park, you just inform him with another gesture to stay at distance, so the poor guy maintains the "secret" character of the talk.
The small garden square, with few neatly trimmed trees and a flowerbed in the center is a better place to enjoy the wealthy surroundings rather than a den of inquiry, but if Davis insists... He takes a spot on one of the four benches and once you join him, he leans closer and starts to pointlessly whisper once more.
- Tomorrow vote for Cottage Grove extension. J.J. is certain the stock price will swell once the nearby coal pit stats shipping through the Railroads. And MIC is eager to pay premium for that coal.
Something tells you you don't want to do any sort of deals with this long-tongued fool. There is being greedy, there is being naive and then there is this guy. You didn't even ask, and he just blabbered everything out himself. Apparently the rumour of him playing anyone for inheritance is highly unlikely.
- Stock price? What about the profitability of the line?
You nudge slightly. You saw the maps earlier, when this was proposed for the first time. For the coal pit to truly be profitable for the Cascadia Railroads, it would require having a connection to Corvallis, which in turn would eat the entire stockpile of rails and require an expensive bridge, without achieving anything in particular, beyond giving MIC's steel mill plentiful fuel to make their own operation far cheaper.
- If the stock price keep rising, this alone would make money - He cheerfully notes.
You might not be a financial genius, but even you know that would require offering new shares first to generate any sort of capital for the company than simple profit for shareholders of the existing stock. Either this guy is not too bright, or too greedy to care for anything beyond his own paycheck. And you're not sure which of those is scarier.
Still, you decide to play this farce a bit longer.
- I guess you're right, I didn't look at this that way... So J.J. is rising voters for another expansion of rail? What about the safety concern of... Whats-His-Name? - You play it dumb
- You mean the guy from engineering? He just seems to care more about hus precious engines than the company bringing big stacks of money
- I guess you're right again. Passanger safety is overvalued anyway - You sneer, but maintain a friendly face
- See! I told the same thing! Good to see another smart person in the board. Coaches are robbed non-stop when heading outside of the Valley and nobody is complaining about that
His "praise" is tough to swallow. Thankfully, your lecture of board files prepared you - at least partially - for conversations like this one. Otherwise, you might have lost your composure long time ago.
Davis checks his hand watch - almost as if trying to flash with it - and gets up from the bench.
- Anyway, remember to vote tomorrow for the extension toward Cottage Grove and everyone will be happy and rich.
He gives you a final nod and starts walking for his next appointment.
- What a twit - You inform Keith when getting close to him
Eventually you're back on track with meeting "J.J.". The house even comes with a fancy picket fence. As you head toward the front door, you're surprised by the owner already being on the open porch. He's writing something on a garden table, while a cigarette is slowly burning on an ash tray nearby. He, or he and his previous guest smoked quite a lot already.
- You wanted something in the morning? - He asks, while putting down the notes and points out a free sit next to the table
>Talk safety. This is what you came here for and you're going to at least try to point out the issue, even if he might be not interested.
>Talk business. Gain his support on your proposal by suggesting proper inside trading and trimming down the size of the board.
>Chew him. Both for being rude and for suggesting stupid ideas to stupid people, to the hindrance of the Railroads.
>Cut the crap. Be direct and confrontational, but also outline what you want and how he gains on helping you. [Roll 1d100]
>Play open cards. Tell him you know both his plans about expansion and about the aims of MIC and try to win him by being honest [Roll 1d100]
>Other [Write-in]
Are the caboose and the Corvallis extension mutually exclusive?
Pretty sure it's not. It's just that having the caboose would slow down our profits, which we would need for materials to get to Corvallis. An extension to the line should pretty much be a matter of having the rails, since the caboose won't fundamentally change what kind of terrain you can go over. At least I think (not operating on 100% atm)

Also, I'm not sure what they mean by Corvallis extension. In thread 1 we agreed on doing the rural Halsey area to Albany line so we could abuse agricultural stipends to "milk" rails from the Republic government precisely because we didn't have the capacity to expand into Corvallis or do anything big. I'm guessing the extension is for doing it next year, after Albany has been connected, since it's literally impossible to extend to Corvallis with our current rail supply and budget (as far as I know). But why have a vote now then and not save it for once Albany has been extended? I feel kind of retarded right now
What the anon already said - caboose and Corvallis aren't exactly exclusive.
But to get to Corvallis, the Railroads would have to:
- connect Albany first (unless explicitly stated otherwise, ALL named towns and settlements within this quest real places in Oregon, I suggest consulting better map than the one posted on top of this thread)
- spend most of their stockpile of rails
- build a bridge (money the company flat out doesn't have unless indebting itself heavily + time); without the bridge the detour is so long the entire STARTING stockpile of rail was insufficient
- Corvallis itself is a terrible spot to connect, as to be profitable, the local steel mill would have to be supplied and that means building rail almost to - but not connecting the town itself - Cottage Grove to gain access to coal.
And installing caboose means anything between -10 to -25% of profits from passenger fare in current capacity of existing engines, since it means shorter train sets and thus less tickets to be sold.

As for extension itself: it is theoretically all within the "range" of starting stockpile of rails, but it means burning all that stock and going in debt by about half a mil just to build the rail to Corvallis - and then keep getting in deeper debt due to maintenance and insufficient profitability of the connection as such. Corvallis is a great industrial hub (and the only realistic source of steel in meaningful quantity), but that requires first having proper infrastructure and other sources of revenue for the Railroads itself.

I will try to get a string of print-screens to represent the seed from RT2 that's used for this game, but I can't promise much - all I've got on this laptop is MS Paint. And obviously real map of Oregon isn't partially flooded.
>Talk safety. This is what you came here for and you're going to at least try to point out the issue, even if he might be not interested.
>Other: don't spend much time on convincing him. Find someone who would not want the rail to be extended towards Cottage Grove, and promise them our support in exchange for their support on the caboose.
File: 1a.png (4.07 MB, 3504x2368)
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Ok, it's far from perfect, but should do.
Version with a commentary in few minutes
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Reminder to not take the RT2 map too literally, it's just a simplification of the whole things and geographical situation, rather than "this is exactly as things are". Buildings in-game are recalculated in the notes to their productivity and they are more of representation of the area or town than specific location
Also, ignore Woodburn's station, forgot to delete it while assembling the "map"
Correction: Corvallis, not Cottage Grove
Also, not included on the map, but important (politically, at least):
>South Yamhill River valley (roughtly west from Woodburn)
The area between Sheridan and Grand Ronde is pretty much entirely under the control of the Indian Confederation. It's part of the Republic, just waaaay out of reach of the rail system. The whole valley would require a connection from Sheridan to Fern Corner and from there to Corvallis and Albany and then the rest of the Republic. Which is roughtly 70 miles of rail to lay down (starting stock was 25). Sheridan is a major city, Grand Ronde is booming thanks to a port, but except those and Willamina there isn't much else in the valley.
Far down south, it's again about 70 miles away, but along the road are following places:
- Walker: coal pit and nearby lumber camps
- Cottage Grove: lumber & paper mills, passenger destination
- area next to Mill Camp has logging camps and another coal pit
- Drain: chemical plant, lumber mill and local cattle farms, passenger destination
- Yoncalla: another lumber mill, minor passenger destination (very small settlement)
- area of Coles Valley, with industries like cement mill, logging camps and cattle ranches, could potentially be a passenger destination
- Roseburg itself

Fun fact - there are good looking coal prospects in the area around Walker irl, even if those in-universe are a result of RNG.
>>Talk safety. This is what you came here for and you're going to at least try to point out the issue, even if he might be not interested.
>Talk safety. This is what you came here for and you're going to at least try to point out the issue, even if he might be not interested.

There is only single, wicker chair to sit on, making unpleasant cracking noise as you rest on it. Keith ends up standing at a distance and this is apparently expected here.
- Yes. In the morning.
You start with an insult, barely containing yourself from escalating it further. Johnson lets it slide, despite catching on it instantly. Maybe he really wants to talk business. Shame his deal appears to be the direct opposite of what you want.
- I've got a proposal for today board meeting. And I want you to consider voting in favour of it
You speak directly, without introductions or small talk. He apparently knows who you are and you knew from the first day who was the MIC man in the board.
- And what makes you think I will consider doing so? - He asks, then picks up another cigarette from an ornate wooden box sitting on the table. He passes the box to you, but you decline
- To be frank, I don't think you will, but I've got my piece and I'm going to deliver it. If you are reasonable man, you will agree with at least part of it, even if you might still vote against the proposal.
- So? - He asks, taking a drag and clearly expecting faster delivery
- I need safety-based cutbacks on passenger revenue: smaller trains, dragging caboose for additional safety.
He looks at you, clearly and obviously uninterested. You even suspect why.
- What you do, Collins, when a farmer doesn't pay his yearly fee to the CFC? - He asks, apparently going for a parallel.
- We send an invoice for it and if no reply, then send inspector three months later.
- And then what? - He asks further, wanting to hear the unpleasant aspect of your prior job. Even if he seems to know them already - otherwise he wouldn't set up the rhetorics for it.
- Then we cut the farmer out and put him or her on debtors list. Until the back fee is paid, we don't deal with that stead, no matter what - You say flatly
- Precisely - Johnson nods - You don't deal with people that stop bringing you the all-important fee, your main source of income and funding. And I'm supposed to force Cascadia Railroads to stop generate income. In the crucial time of most important extension of the rail system. And when the business is booming. All based on an assumption of a mechanic that is himself uncertain about the safety impact of his suggestion. And backed by a person that wants to turn the Railroad into a grocery peddler. Am I missing any bit out of it?
- There is also the part where Miller will now be in favour of such suggestion, based on politics and PR, rather than economics
He nods, somewhat impressed
- So you can still surprise me. Being this good pals with Miller? - He nudges
- Not really. But I just know how to change his mind with properly written report. Experience.
- Might be, after all you both dealt with argi stuff.
He makes a long pause, simply smoking. You already shot all your shots, or rather - fired a single one, to even call this a fight, now simply waiting for his reaction. Johnson meanwhile is deliberately trying to make you feel uncomfortable with this situation. Eventually he puts out the remains of the cigarette in the ashtry.
- Here is my counter-proposal. I don't really care about your milk, cattle or any of that grocery stuff. I just don't. I want Corvallis connected. This year. And I want to be able to deliver all the coal directly from the mining pit, rather than detours or some other way. You vote for that tomorrow, and once everything is done, steel could be shipped all over the Republic. Everyone needs that stuff. And not only they want or need that, it allows to expand the rail faster than any other cargo. Because there is steel to make new rails. That means profits, that means rail and that means the Cascadia Railroads can even afford going for extravagant projects to help the needy and poor.
He proposes you another cigarette, while lighting up new one for himself. This time you accept and pick a smoke for yourself.
- And what if I vote against or abstain?
- Then the notion will be still strong-armed through the board, even if you start to patter and throw a tantrum about it.
- Then why the offer? - You ask, confused - I know you already have some of the board members in your pocket, "Jake". Why bother then?
- You mean Davis? - He smirks, but is clearly displeased - I think you know why. Tell me something: why you even bother with all that safety stuff?

>Safety. People can die if this isn't taken serious enough
>Efficiency. Too much time wasted on stops will slow down the entire thing
>Costs. It's better to earn less than spend a fortune on fixing things after a crash
>PR. If anything goes wrong with the rail, people might turn against it
>Favour. You give Wilson what he wants, he gives you what you want later
>Spite. Simply because you can and this will probably rill some people
>Because. You simply feel like it
>Other [Write-in]
Try to pick one, and if you really must, no more than two
>Efficiency. Too much time wasted on stops will slow down the entire thing
>Efficiency. Too much time wasted on stops will slow down the entire thing
I want to say costs, but this is really more of a concern to me
Reading a book about railway management and Amtrak is used as an example of how NOT to do this.
And it's a Polish book, talking raw theory on running trains from point A to B.
Also, I realise right now I've noted on the map "Lower", instead of "Upper Valley" when giving commentary. Ignore it. It's my standard issue of always confusing which part of the river is upper and which is lower when I'm not doing a double check. The rural depot is in Upper Valley.

>Efficiency. Too much time wasted on stops will slow down the entire thing

You keep flipping the cigarette in your fingers. Ultimately you reach for the matches and light it up. You cought at first drag, not smoking for quite a while.
- Keeping the rail fast, and thus efficient. Right now we've got how many stations?
- Two, New Salem and Eugene.
- And another two are being build. By next month, we will have yet another two, one in the middle of nowhere. Assuming a train from New Salem to Eugene stops only in Lebanon and Halsey, that's about 90 minutes on extra time due to faulty brakes, too long train set and lack of caboose to help with this out. Add to it a stop in that rural depot, which will eventually show up as a popular demand or just money calculation and the train is wasting two hours. And that's just four stops. Imagine what happens when we add Woodburn. Or go from Corvallis to Cottage Grove, passing Albany along the way.
He nods
- Half a day spend on braking.
- Yeah. And we're supposedly providing rapid transport. Plus, when so much time is wasted on stops, this means less trains can pass in general, so your precious coal cargo would have to be moved by night, both increasing costs and decreasing safety of the haul. So I say we cut the trains to advised size, add the caboose and at least enjoy speed as a main advantage of buying a ticket. Otherwise people might seriously start thinking about going back to stagecoaches, at least in the Lower Valley area.
- I might consider this - Johnson says, but his face remains indifferent - Just don't get your hopes too high. Connecting to Corvallis will cost money, after all.
- I might consider supporting that - You reply in kind - I just don't see the point of going against each other.
- I am not - He scoffs off the suggestion, clearly offended - I've got my business to conclude and my own plans how this whole Railroad deal should work. MIC put substantial money into this, one way or another. Not to mention resources. And it wasn't done for altruism's sake.

>Keep talking with Johnson. Rail, private business, chit-chat, but just keep it going
>Conclude your meeting. You've got what you came here for, no point wasting time
>Jab him . He probably won't support your plan, so why not rub him about the reassignment from MIC
>Other [Write-in]
>Conclude your meeting. You've got what you came here for, no point wasting time
>Keep talking with Johnson. Rail, private business, chit-chat, but just keep it going
Rolled 53 (1d100)

Coin toss
Tomorrow is another trip using another narrow gauge, so I'm out for entire day.

>Conclude your meeting. You've got what you came here for, no point wasting time

Instead of replying in any way, you just finish your cigarette and put it out slowly.
- I guess that would be it - You get up from your chair - No point pretending we have anything more to talk about. Still, thanks for the smoke.
You just nod for your farewell and walk out of the porch. Visit to this place ended up being more fruitful by proxy than due to direct negotiations of any kind with the MIC man.

Next day, you come for the board meeting far ahead of schelude. Weaver is already in the lobby of the offices, reading some thick stack of documents. You can even see some charts and diagrams in it.
- I'm impressed - She waves the file - This is obscenely detailed.
- Let me guess: "The engineering report, or how I've started to worry about train safety"? I've heard it's a fascinating read - You try Weaver style of joke and, to your surprise, she chuckles
- Yes, something like that. Why so early yourself? Old farmhand habits still won't die?
- I've got something to check first... See ya later.
You head toward Accounting, for the special report you've asked for yourself yesterday. It's far slimmer than the file Weaver had. Despite the miniscule size of the Accounting office, you force your stay inside, flipping through the pages. The income is obviously decreased in every scenario involving shortened train set, but nothing drastic or tragic. Just not bringing big stacks of money.
By the time you're done with the report, it's still over half hour to the scheluded board meeting. As you're leaving to the lobby, to your surprise Weaver is still sitting there and carefully reading the report from Tom. She's few pages short from finishing it.
- You know, it was a joke about it being a fascinating read
- Oh, how humorous - She makes a deliberate fake smile - Just let me finish this
As you are about to make another remark, someone knocks to the glass window of the lobby. You look and see Jones and Wilson, standing there together. It's Jones knocking. They don't seem to need you for anything in particular, just announcing their presence.

>Stick with Weaver. Pester her a bit, then talk about "her" report and the incoming voting for changes in train sets
>Stick with Weaver. You've got good news in form of the Accounting report, and she looks content about the one from Wilson
>Go outside and talk with Tom. Whatever he put into that report, definitely got Weaver hooked
>Go outside and talk with Jones. He wouldn't try to get your attention just to wave hand to you, even if he won't admit so first
>Bring Wilson and Jones inside. Clearly they want to talk and with Weaver around, they could discuss matters of the incoming board meeting, to make sure everyone is on the same page
>Just ignore everyone and head to the board room

Accounting report on projected income
And of course:

>Other [Write-in]
>Bring Wilson and Jones inside. Clearly they want to talk and with Weaver around, they could discuss matters of the incoming board meeting, to make sure everyone is on the same page
>Go outside and talk with Jones. He wouldn't try to get your attention just to wave hand to you, even if he won't admit so first
The file does say Jones is prideful, so I can see this being a subtle invite to chat
>Go outside and talk with Jones. He wouldn't try to get your attention just to wave hand to you, even if he won't admit so first
Major technical issues. Update either within next 24 hours or on Saturday, when I will return from vacations
New thread >>4431881



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