001 - Electric Locomotive No. 1 - "Peetruskatedraal"
Class/serial no.: Komiizaar/KV538192E
Weight: 100 tonnes
Max speed: 165 kph
And now my story’s begun… At the head of the train stands Electric Locomotive No. 1, named for St Peetrus’s Cathedral. “The Notre Dame of the North” according to the tuurismisburu, the shell of Sankkt Peetrus stands to the east of the city centre. The locomotive was built for pace rather than traction, pulling passenger expresses between the state’s principal cities. As such, she is a figurehead. Look at the remarkable speeds she was able to attain, testament to the engineering prowess of our workshops (all closed now, of course). Not that she runs at such speeds any more. First of her class, she was called “Praesidium”, originally. Following The Twilight of the Autocrats, she was renamed. The locomotive is in remarkable condition for her age, except that – in an apparent oversight – her cowcatcher is badly bent out of shape. Sitting behind the windscreen of No. 1 Locomotive, looking out across the high nose is its driver, Jaan-Luukas Noormanis. His function is largely ceremonial, these days. It’s almost as if he’s acting, playing a rôle for which he’s over-qualified. Kappitaan Noormanis must be approaching retirement. He is dressed in navy blue overalls. As the locomotive blasts by, he lifts his cap by its peak – beneath it his scalp is entirely hairless – and tips it as if to salute you, as if to say, gotdanja!