The four major cities RedBoots takes place in, plus others.
The Redboots saga takes place in four main cities, and the area between them. Other cities in the UK may be featured, but are less prominant. As an alternate history, the representations of these cities may differ to their real life counterparts, and settings within them may be changed to better suit the story.
Birmingham is the beating heart of industrial midland Britain. As “The city of a thousand trades”, It is the crux of the manufacturing empire, and considered neutral ground for the Railway gangs. By forming an unwritten border between their territories, both sides can benefit from its vast wealth and trading capabilities. The city represents a microcosm of the United Kingdom in 1865, including the social, technological and financial aspects.
It is home to the RedBoots gang, and is the main focal point of the RedBoots Saga. The majority of their exploits and shenanigans take place here.
There are currently Two major stations in Birmingham, along with a litany of smaller, suburban stops. New Street is the largest, and is the midland hub for RSC along the west coast main line. Touted as “The crown of the midlands”, it is one of the busiest and largest stations on the entire british network. Snow Hill is the second largest, opened by the GWS a stone's throw away from their rivals at New Street. As a Brunel endeavour, it is dual gauge, operating both standard and broad gauge lines. However, it is set to be replaced soon, as plans for a bigger and better station on Moor Street have been in development for some time, with fierce opposition from Stephenson.
Under the arches of Snow Hill station, just down Waters Street, sits a smoky den of dissolutes. This is The Caprotti Inn, an intoxicating cabal of commotion, populated by a veritable smorgasbord of weary travellers, rowdy drunkards, villainous plutocrats and everything in between. The Inn is undoubtedly the beating heart of the booming city.
The Luna is an ex-LNWR 4ft Shunter owned by Parker Huxley, and along with its accompanying coaches forms the home of the RedBoots gang. The engine is a diminutive, maroon shunter, with the tiny footplate extended and a roof placed atop it. The first wagon is a modified box van. Halley retrofitted it with a coal chute, a rainwater collection system for a bath, and a stove. She uses it as her study. The second coach is the largest; A charming Cream and umber “Suburban”. Naturally, it contains their sleeping quarters, as well as additional storage and a minuscule kitchen. The cavalcade is completed with the brake van. This remains largely unchanged from its original purpose, as all private trains are required to use one. The only major additions are a few comfy seats and an upgraded stove.
The city of Manchester is famous for being one end of the pioneering Liverpool and Manchester Railway, and since then has blossomed into the industrial epicenter of the North. Because of its long standing links with the Stephenson Dynasty, The city serves as the base of their operations, taking over from their original outpost at Newcastle-upon-tyne. Manchester represents tradition and stability, a microcosm for the attitudes and principles of the Stephenson dynasty.
The Vulcan Foundry is the fulcrum of the Stephensons workforce. Situated in Newton-le-willows, 20 miles outside of Manchester, this is one of the world foremost Engine builders, importing their creations across the globe. So named for the Roman God of fire and the forge, the scorching furnaces of Vulcan bring forth molten rivers of steel, beaten and formed by indomitable steam-mallets into the very finest of railway engines.
There are three major stations in Manchester city center. London Road is the principal hub and by far the busiest. As the Core station of the northern network, it served both Standard and Broad gauge trains, although the latter was introduced much later to the city. Oxford Road is one stop down from London street, opening just a few years after it. The station is physically divided, Standard gauge on platform 1, Broad gauge on 2. As a result of this division, it is a crowded and cramped station, in dire need of an expansion. Victoria is the final major station, designed and built by George Stepehnson, and thus entirely operated by their clan. No GWS Engines get anywhere close to Victoria.
Bristol is the southwestern stronghold and playground of Brunel and the GWS. Initially overlooked at the start of the industrial revolution, this booming city soon became a major player in the industrial world after Brunel chose it as the western terminus of his new railway. This influx of passengers and trade quickly established Bristol as a genuine competitor to the likes of Manchester and Birmingham. However, Bristol also has a troubling past. During the 18th century, Its ports were the center of the slave trade, a fact that Brunel and the current populace are keen to consign to history. Bristol represents the new and the modern, staying away from the traditions and heritage of the past and focusing on the future.
Bristol Harbour is a hotbed of activity in the city center. On this stretch of the river Avon sit dry docks, warehouses and railways all brimming with trade and commerce. Pattersons yard in the northern quarter provides vessels for international enterprise, while the tobacco merchants dry out their product in the kilns of the west. As the industry grows ever larger, eager businessmen are seeking to expand their locations to the Severnside ports at Avonside and Portishead. This would allow for larger ships and more expansive warehouses.
The piece de resistance of the entire GWS Network is Temple Meads station. This ambitiously ornate palace of steam stands as the original terminus of Brunels Railway, before the extension to Bath. Much like Manchester Victoria, Temple Meads is single gauge, this time exclusive to Brunel Broad. The less extravagant station at St Philip's was originally constructed by GWS to ease congestion at temple meads, but has since been sold to RSC in exchange for greater access to Wolverhampton. Trades like this are frequent as each company wishes to expand their own network further.
The historic city of Oxford represents the intelligentsia of the United Kingdom, famous for its University, its libraries and its highly educated populace. It is also the seat of government for the United Kingdom, despite not being the capital. Parliament moved from London after the burning of The Palace of Westminster in 1834, and temporarily moved to the University of Oxford. Reconstruction costs were deemed exorbitant, and the government remained in Oxford.
The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the english speaking world, operating since 1096. For centuries it has been a breeding ground of snobbery and classism, so it seems fitting that most former prime ministers were educated in its halls. Naturally, it was deemed a suitable location for Parliament to reconvene after the fire.
In 1838 the Prime Minister called for a new House of commons to be constructed in Oxford, after the university became fed up of loaning out their hallowed halls. Within 5 years, a new palace was constructed. Built upon Victoria Hill, so named for the newly crowned Queen, the Palace of Grandpont (known by the metronym “The Hill”) was designed by Charles Barry and furnished by Messers Kipling and Beaufort.
London is the capital city and former seat of government. It will never be featured in RedBoots.
Newcastle-upon-Tyne is an industrial city in North East England. It is home to the Stephensons original workshop on Forth Street, now operating as their secondary base. The people of Newcastle are known as Geordies, the name originating from a safety lamp designed by George Stephenson.
Swindon is a factory city in Wiltshire, deep in GWS territory. It is home to Brunel's largest engine works and is seen as a linchpin in the GWS Empire.
Portsmouth and Southampton are coastal cities in the South east, closely tied to one another. The former is the largest naval base in the British Empire and the birthplace of Brunel, and the latter is a major player in the shipping industry. Both are fanatical Brunel devotees; all railways bar the main stations are broad gauge. Their coastal positions make them prime locations for the GWS to expand its horizons beyond railways, most notably launching revolutionary and groundbreaking steam ships.
These are the hometowns and cities of the RedBoots gang. Parker was born and raised in Birmingham (See Above for extensive detail). Juno was also raised here, but her actual place of birth is unknown. Halley is of Colombian descent but was born in Birkenhead, merseyside. It is known for its shipbuilding, along Liverpool. Eris is of Korean descent but was born in the village of Glynneath,Glamorgan. It is a small mining community, connected by the Vale of Neath railway.