Very little is known about railroad operations in the Fallout universe prior to the Great War. The mass presence of freight cars in railyards throughout the wasteland suggests that railroads were used for transporting freight in the pre-war United States.
Fallout: New VegasEdit
The locomotives appear to belong to the same railroad company, as they are all decorated in the same paint scheme. While an operational example cannot be found in the game, Chomps Lewis at Sloan will tell the Courier that what they dig from their quarry is shipped off by train to the New Vegas Strip and other parts of the Mojave Wasteland.
These locomotives were used by NH&M Services to haul trains - cargo trains exclusively as one would conclude from the absence of passenger carriages - until the Great War. By a very long shot, these monstrous machines are the largest ground vehicles appearing in the game, being the height of about a two-story building. Their design is loosely based on a heavy steam engine, with a 6-8-4 ("oooOOOOoo") wheel arrangement. The locomotive has a massive cow catcher on the front made of two huge blades. This is a rather odd design as rather than push dead animals off the track, it would likely rip them to shreds. The engine is very tall in relation to its track gauge, perhaps even bigger than the Russian loading gauge. It is about 2 metres taller than the boxcars it hauls. Tunnels must have been rare on these railway lines. It has connecting rods linking the driving wheels, but no visible steam cylinders. It is driven by a jackshaft, suggesting steam turbine or electric transmission. It is quite likely intended to represent a nuclear powered locomotive, operating on similar principles to the nuclear powered cars of the era. This may involve using the heat from the reactor to generate steam, driving the wheels mechanically via a steam turbine. Hence the resemblance to a steam locomotive. In the state it is found in game, it is completely useless, because it lacks couplings at either front or rear to allow it to pull a train, and lacks a tender to provide fuel.
Trains found in Appalachia are the same model as those found in the Commonwealth, however they are operated by the New Appalachian Railroad company.
Fallout: New VegasEdit
Train engines can be found on the rail lines around New Vegas. Two examples include a lone engine sitting outside of the entrance to Boulder City, and one attached to several boxcars in the Gypsum train yard.
A well preserved example, along with several boxcars and flatbeds, can be found at Bedford Station. Another one is just due east along the tracks near Starlight Drive In. Another one is on a red bridge, northeast of Egret Tours Marina.
- One at Watoga Station pulling several box cars.
- A number of locomotives can be found at the New Appalachian central trainyard.
Behind the scenesEdit
- Locomotives in the Fallout series are based, at least in part, on real-world locomotive design. The locomotives in the Mojave Wasteland are very similar in appearance to the iconic F-Unit series of locomotives manufactured between 1939 and 1960 by the Electric-Motive Division of General Motors corporation. The locomotives in the Commonwealth appear to be inspired by the T1 Class and S2 Class locomotives of the Pennsylvania Railroad, manufactured between 1942 and 1946.
- The locomotive at the entrance to Boulder City is adorned with the logo for the fictional "Barstow Strong Express". This may be a reference to William Barstow Strong (1837–1914), former president of the real world "Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway".
- It is unknown as to how these vehicles were powered. While the real-world F-series and T1 class locomotives were diesel-electric and steam-powered, respectively, the pre-war oil crisis and lack of a coal tender on Fallout 4 locomotive suggest that they may be powered via alternative means.