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Ghost train
Ghost train infobox

Japanese Name

幽霊列車

Romanized Name

Yūrei Ressha

Debut

Chapter 1 (light novel 5);
Chapter 10 (manga)

Status

Operating

The ghost train is how a luxurious train was called when, on account of the Timetable being used, it mysteriously reappeared twelve years after it was destroyed in a derailment caused by escaped prisoner Gloucester Jiryis. It’s present in the Timetable story.

Background[]

Jiryis' attack

Hayling is attacked by Jiryis in the driver's compartment.

Twelve years in the past, the escaped prisoner Jiryis disguised himself as an engineer to leave the capital using the train. The fireman Hayling never suspected him. A young Kamilla and her mother had boarded the vehicle, as well as a detective that was trying to recapture the criminal. When the murderer was about to be found, Jiryis destroyed the brake system and the regulating valve of the locomotive before jumping off the locomotive and disappearing into the darkness of the surrounding mountains.

The pressure was increasing non-stop, so the train kept accelerating. Hayling, unable to solve the problem, jumped off the vehicle to save himself. The train gained speed on a long downhill, eventually going out of control and derailing. Many died in the incident, including Kamilla’s mother. It was the perfect distraction for Jiryis’ escape. Only freight trains carrying slate from the top of the mountain would run on that railway after what happened, since investors lost interest in passenger transportation.

The train reappeared more than a decade later as an illusion from the past when Hayling used the Timetable. It was seen running at a high speed on the Highland Railway, after the last service at midnight. Kamilla purchased a magazine that featured the apparition. Hayling went aboard it once again at the deserted Granholm Station (グランホルム駅 Guranhorumu-eki) in order to prevent the tragedy.[1]

Characteristics[]

The luxurious train used to run on the Highland Line Railway (ハイランドライン鉄道 Hairando Rain Tetsudō), starting from the capital and passing by West Highland (ウェスト・ハイランド Wesuto Hairando) at the northern part of the kingdom. An overnight travel is enough to reach the scenic spot that accommodates the villas of nobles and wealthy people. The route goes through a rocky mountain section and a dangerous and winding long downhill next to steep cliffs.

Child Kamilla

Kamilla standing in the corridor of a passenger car.

The Pullman train has private rooms in the sleeping cars, besides a dining car and a spacious lounge car equipped with leather sofas and a bar counter. The gorgeous interior of the passenger cars is illuminated by gas lamps and occupied by furniture typical of extravagant hotels. Those responsible for operating the black locomotive built in the New World, the engineer and his assistant, stay inside the narrow driver’s compartment. Hot air leaks from the firebox where coal is burned to boil water. A regulating valve allows steam to move the piston that powers the driving wheels. A safety valve blows out steam when the speed limit is exceeded. A speaking tube ensures communication between the conductor and the engineer of the sleeper train.

Besides the brake system located at the locomotive, the passenger cars also have an emergency brake system, although it’s a limited, old-fashioned vacuum brake that overheats when the train is running downhill at full power. It’s an obsolete simple break widely used in the past that operates with the difference between the low pressure inside the brake pipe and the atmospheric pressure. Right behind the locomotive there is a coal-car, a rail vehicle containing fuel and water consumed by the steam engine. They are connected by an old-style chain coupler operated by a lever at the locomotive’s side.[1]

Plot[]

Derailment

The luxurious train derails.

At the capital, the train is boarded by escaped prisoner Gloucester Jiryis, who disguised himself as an engineer. He never exchanged a word with Hayling, the fireman that was operating the locomotive. The murderer eventually answered the speaking tube and learned that the conductor was suspecting about his identity. Jiryis then destroyed the brake system and the regulating valve of the train. Jiryis jumped off the locomotive and disappeared into the darkness of the mountain region, leaving behind a vehicle unable to be decelerated. The valve was shut opened, so steam was continuously powering the engine. Running on a downhill, the train gained speed while approaching a steep cliff. Hayling jumped off the train to save himself from the imminent derailment that would kill many passengers.

Ghost train

Hayling summons the ghost train.

Twelve years later, Hayling uses the Timetable to summon the ghost train. The apparition was even featured in a magazine purchased by Kamilla, whose mother died in the incident. The luxurious train was witnessed running at a high speed on the Highland Railway, where only cargo trains should operate. The ghost train slowed down while passing by the Granholm Station, but never stopped. The fireman jumped aboard, followed by Hugh and Dalian. The same people involved in the derailment were present in this illusion, including a young Kamilla, her mother and a detective that was chasing Jiryis. The passenger cars shook violently when Hayling activated the emergency brakes in order to avoid the tragedy. However, the conductor and the detective stopped the suspicious man.

Ryze's sacrifice

Hayling sacrifices himself.

Kamilla eventually suggests that the escaped prisoner that the detective is looking for may be hiding in the driver’s compartment. The conductor immediately uses the speaking tube to check the engineer’s identity, triggering the events that caused the derailment once again. With the brake system destroyed, the train was already out of control, accelerating downhill in the direction of some cliffs. Hayling, however, sacrifices himself to prevent a disaster by decoupling the locomotive from the passenger cars. When it reached a curve, the locomotive tilted and derailed, sliding down the cliff. White vapor burst out of the steam pipes right after the explosion.

Speed won't stop raising due to the slope and the overheated emergency brakes. Fortunately, the Timetable shows that in Hugh and Dalian’s era a new railway will be used by cargo trains to go uphill. At the bifurcation, the ghost train follows the line that leads to the top of the mountain in the near future. Thanks to Hayling’s heroism, Granholm became a prospering and prominent train station and, most importantly, the fate of the passengers aboard was changed for the better.[1]

Trivia[]

  • Pullman trains in Great Britain were mainline luxury railway services that operated with first-class coaches and a steward service, provided by the British Pullman Car Company from 1874 until 1962, and then by the British Rail company from 1962 until 1972.[2]
  • The Highland Line Railway connects the capital and the Scottish Highlands.[1] In real life, the Highland Main Line is a 190-kilometre-long railway line in Scotland, built on two significant summits.[3] Its construction began in 1861. Plans for the route were proposed as early as 1845. However, they were rejected since legislators feared the ability of trains to be braked on the hills.[4]
  • In Britain, diesel locomotives started to replace steam locomotives after 1945, when cheap oil was ready available. The last one built for British railways was completed in 1960.[5]
    • Locomotion No. 1, built in 1825, was the first public steam railway in the world. It operated on the Stockton and Darlington Railway, north-east England.[5]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 The Mystic Archives of Dantalian light novel, Chapter 1, volume 5.
  2. Pullman train (UK). (2019, October 31). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:30, April 26, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pullman_train_(UK)&oldid=923882211
  3. Highland Main Line. (2020, April 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:54, April 26, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Highland_Main_Line&oldid=948910457
  4. Ann Glen. Highland Mainline Railway History. In Highland Main Line Community Rail Partnership. Retrieved 14:54, April 26, 2020, from https://www.highlandmainlinecrp.co.uk/history/
  5. 5.0 5.1 Steam locomotive. (2018, January 10). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:30, January 23, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Steam_locomotive&oldid=819643070
Characters

Biblioprincesses

Dalian - Flamberge - Rasiel

Key-keepers

Hugh Anthony Disward - Hal Kamhout - Professor

Recurring characters

The Girl in the Bookshelf - Wesley Disward - Kamilla Sauer Keynes - Jessica Elphinstone - Shura Irmania - Armand Jeremiah - The Perennial Wisdom's Owner - Oliver Grosseteste - Mithril - Hugh's mother - Hugh's father - Natalia - Hal's beloved - Miss Roedean

Creatures and machines

Atlantic Rim - Automaton - Beast of Ashwell - Book of Royal Power - Branches of Relationship - Broken Wings - Dantalian - Dead Book - Ghost train - Golem - Guignols - Guillemot - Heath - House-elf - Kasuruhau - Logbook - Loge's giant - Musical automaton - Pioneer Plant - The Harlequinade's creatures - Ras Alhague monster - Scarlet Robe - Sea devils - Steam Giant - The Queen of the Night - W Machine - Winged women - Wooden dolls - Zombies

Dalian Days

Priscilla Riley - Cecil Patreina - Margaret Manschwell

Others

Male Characters - Female Characters
Phantom Book Users - Deceased Characters
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