A History of the RSR
The dense network of main and secondary routes with which the Ruhnian State Railways, with their cooperating rival, the Kroplihne Railway (RK), serve the country, has been in place in more or less its present form (with one major exception) for some 150 years. The first line was opened by the RK from Kropčahne to Bevice in 1839, with branches to Daemenova and Kalmorska, and was followed by the first RSR line from Bevice to Parvašč in 1840. The other major towns were provided with a rail connection over the coming years, Velšia Damroka in 1841, Belšinohra in1843, Čdelectu in 1846, Magane in 1847, Velšia Kristoffru in 1851, Kaišo in 1853 and Terešan and Forihv in 1854. The major recent addition to the network was the "back-door" route over the southern highlands from Forihv to Biuhv, completed in 1941 by the occupying German forces. We have a map showing the opening dates of the various lines. (To view, click here.)

The technology of the Ruhnian railways was produced largely to the standards of the Austria-Hungary dual monarchy, of which the country was a province until 1918. The main stream of locomotive design, however, went very much its own way, departing from the norm in such areas as compounding, superheating and, above all, axle loadings. The principal sources of influence were Great Britain, France, Germany and, later, the United States, all of which had locomotive design policies much less conservative than those of Austria-Hungary. Details of locomotives and rolling stock may be found under the names of the various chief engineers.

In the modern world of individual mechanised land transport (in short, the age of cars and lorries), railways have generally fought a losing battle against the encroaching competition. The most extreme examples are to be seen in North America, for instance, where the railway companies (at the time writing, there are just a handful of them) have long since abandoned the passenger business in favour of long-haul, heavy freight. Let us not go into the political background of these developments; suffice it to say that a combination of free-market overall policy and anything but free-market details of policy drove the American railways into a corner from which there was only one way out - out of many of their areas of business. In Europe, with nationalised railway administrations, there was an endless stream of transport policy, of integrated transport schemes etc.etc. The railways were more often than not pawns of weak and/or venial politicians who were not above pandering to various anti-rail lobbies. The U.K. since the Second World War is a particularly painful case in point. But there were exceptions to this dreary rule. The Ruhnian government had the foresight, courage and depth of concept to find and follow the right path to keep their railways alive and well. The main points of policy were the freeing of rates and tariffs, investment support for the modernisation of rolling stock and servicing facilities and a well-orchestrated publicity campaign formulated to influence public opinion in favour of rail transport. It worked. The Ruhnian government was in any case forced from an early date to tax petroleum fuels quite heavily and had also the wit to recognise the true energy cost of road transport.
Today the RSR and RK form a major link in rail connections between Eastern and Western Europe, the more so since the Iron Curtain was torn down and trade routes opened up. Likewise, the movement of passengers and goods from the Northwest to the Southeast is greatly facilitated by routes passing through Ruhnia. The railways are not content to rest on their laurels, however. At the time of writng, a new freight marshalling yard is under construction at Allinšia, south of Kropčahne on the main north-south route. And during the past decade, several track realignments have been carried out to eliminate steep gradients and sharp curves in the line that involved speed restrictions and attendant loss of time.